Around the World in 8 hours Charity Distance Challenge

The challenge was somewhat affected by the very changeable and unpredictable weather we have had this year, 64 clubs signed up to take part in the challenge however only 29 managed to submit a distance towards the final total.

This meant that we fell some way short of the target to fly the equivalent distance around the world. The total distance flown turned out to be 7328km which is equivalent to flying to Kathmandu from BMFA Buckminster, so still a good distance.

As well as the distance, some clubs raised money for local charities and nearly £3000 has been raised. Best of all though, was the fun and banter and the simple enjoyment of flying along with others, meeting up at the club field, getting the BBQ going and just generally having fun. All which adds to the value of taking part in model aircraft flying.

I will finish with a huge thank you for your efforts. Please see some of the selected reports and images of the event below.

Hale Hall Model Aircraft Club

To add a little spice to the distance challenge we decided to hold a ‘one make’ pylon racing event with prizes being awarded for most points and the greatest distance flown.  We chose a derivative of the Flite Test Baron foam board model; we used a cheap powertrain from 4-Max.   Build sessions were held in our club hut, resulting in about 15 models being ready for the challenge.    The weather ‘Up North’ was very poor for the first few days of the challenge, either too windy or too wet! Our first 4Hr event was held on Thursday with the final 4 Hrs being completed on Sunday 9th.   We used a simple race track course with 3 models in each heat.   Competition was fierce, with some close racing and not too many ‘incidents’! Other members preferred to rack up the miles by flying circuits in between the pylon races.  Overall, we managed 777 laps which was a total distance of 182,010 metres or 113 miles. Another excellent BMFA event which engaged our members, produced a lot of laughs and improved our flying skills!

Ipswich Radio Control Model Club

We had originally planned to complete the challenge during the first weekend of the allotted 9 day period but as the weather was not too good on Saturday 1st July we chose to postpone it until the following Saturday. We did, however, manage to do two hours at our ‘Sunday only’ site on the 2nd July despite it being a bit on the windy side!

Only four of us braved the conditions to complete a total of 244 laps of a measured 400 metre course. At least this was a start. The final 6 hours were to be completed the following Saturday, weather permitting.
Saturday 8th July dawned warm and sunny with light winds. Just perfect.

A few of us arrived at our regular site early to set up the Gazebo and get the all important BBQ out ready for action. We set out a triangular course using three traffic cones to mark out a course with a total distance of 250 metres and away we went. We had a mix of some members that stayed for the whole day and others that came for a brief visit just to get a few laps in. This worked well and the laps soon started adding up.

We made steady progress as the hours ticked away (in between eating burgers and having a bit of banter between us) culminating in a mad frenzy of laps in the last half hour as we realised how close we were to
breaking the ‘thousand laps’ milestone. We finished the 6 hours having completed 1002 laps between the 17 members that took part. A most enjoyable
Neil Jarrold
Ipswich Radio Control Model Club Chairman.


Caterham & District Model Flying Club

Members of the Caterham & District Model Flying Club assembled to take part on the Distance Record Attempt on Saturday 1st July, which was nice and sunny but very windy!! Still, a good number of members braved the wind and there was at least one model flying around the course for most of the 8 hours, sometimes more having a bit of a pylon race!

The course was made up of two pylons, 130m apart, making a 260m lap and clickers usually used for fun fly competitions were put to good use counting the laps.

There were all sorts of different model types being flown, some fast, some slow, especially in that headwind! It was noted that IC models could fly a lot longer than the electric ones, with a Laser powered Astro Hog easily managing around 50 laps per flight.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable, relaxed and social club day, with everyone there really enjoying the event and by the end of the day we had clocked up 876 laps.

Impington Village College MAC

This was held on Sunday 9th July and despite the dodgy weather forecast we had a warm and sunny day with generally light winds. A great turnout of about 50 FF, CL and RC pilots enjoyed the flying, banter and Steves BBQ. Thanks to everyone who came along and especially to the cook Steve.

We took part in the BMFA Round the World challenge and it was amazing to see how the miles clocked up even though we calculated in metric.

The total distance flown during the day was 382km. This was made up of 32km FF, 150km CL and 200km RC. The RC included one “flyaway” but we didn’t count the walking to retrieve it or the carrying back LOL.

Some pictures from the day are below and a short video is here.

Keighley & District Model Aero Club

A good day was had by all that attended. Not as many on the flight line as we would have hoped for. We think the threat of thunderstorms in the afternoon may have put some flyers off. Non the less those that turned up put in a strong effort. Hot dogs were served as a reward for their efforts.

Beaufort Model Flying Club

Sunday 9/7/23. The forecast was terrible (rain/thunder storms) but all we actually had were a few sprinkles at the start and the event was well supported with many members in attendance, probably enticed by both the Club BBQ and the aircraft/accessories "bring and buy" sale! Whilst the difficult wind conditions meant several models weren't flown it was a very successful afternoon over all. The Club will, as in previous years, continue to support the Air Ambulance during the year.

We raised £300 at the event, with a total of £900 so far raised in 2023 for the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity.

Cardiff Model Aircraft Club

Cardiff Model Aircraft Club split the 8 hour period into two, a three hour period on the 2nd July under very windy conditions, and a five hour period on the 9th July with a few breaks for heavy downpours of rain. Three pilots took part on the 2nd totaling 140 circuits, Six pilots took part on the 9th totaling 506 circuits. Two models were used with GPS tracking data over six flights, 646 circuits, to average out the circuit distance which was 887.857 meters, 646 times that distance gave a grand total of 573,555.71 meters, rounded up to 573,556 meters. The distance between our flying field just west of Cardiff to the center of Amsterdam. We are very proud of our contribution toward the BMFA total.

Ospreys Model AircraftClub

We split our 8 hours into 2 sets of 4 hours, Sunday 2nd and Saturday 8th both mornings as the sun causes fliers issues in the afternoon.

Sundays weather was challenging with a swirling variable strength wind hampering our efforts. Our strip has quite a few trees around it which creates challenging turbulence, and with a relatively small landing strip quite a few arrivals relied on the "aresta grass" to stop aircraft on landing. We had a turn point at either end of the field slightly offset from the flight line giving us a 250m run before turning and a 500m lap total. Total for Sunday was 284 laps = 142km.

Saturday was better but very humid. Wind was much better in terms of strength but direction not the best. We had a NOTAM covering our site at 13:04 - 13:34 BST for a BBMF Spitfire to fly past at a fete less than 1 mile down the road - picnics were taken but no sign of the Spitfire. 332 laps completed = 166km.

Total for Ospreys 616 laps = 308km

Eric's Odd Bods

Saturday 8th July 09.00-17.00

A total of eleven from our membership came down to the field to put in as many laps as we could for the day a few different models where used a glider, Cessna, A few Riots, an A10 and our favorite of the day a gremlin owned and flown by Tony Coyne. Our patch consisted of a course in a rectangular circuit of a 1/4 of a mile and each person counted there own circuits, we managed some impressive counts on battery powered aircraft, its amazing how far you can go with the throttle turned right down and just cruising around the patch. The record of the day goes to Tony Coynes' Gremlin, managing to stay aloft for 69 laps before running out of fuel, not bad for a little OS 36

All in all we had a great day with bacon rolls for the early risers and a BBQ for lunch, A great day with thanks to Clive Kerr and Lewis Jarrett for taking some photos, I totally forgot !!

Cant wait to do it again next year great event for getting the boys down the patch

Tod Fowler - Club Chairman

Bramhall Area Thermal and Slope (BATS)

The BATS club have been planning for this event for a couple of months canvassing support from around fifteen members. We are restricted  to the use of our flying field to weekends and evenings only so we originally planned two sessions, one of six hours for the 1st of July and a further two hours to coincide with our Wednesday  competition evening. Unfortunately, due to high winds and heavy rain we had to postpone the first session to the following Saturday.

The Wednesday evening session of the 5th of July, proved very enjoyable. We set up the 100m x 100m x 50m course with the recommended poles brightly decorated for the occasion. Using electric gliders and combining the BMFA Challenge with our evening duration competition, we had ten club members managing to clock up a total of 148 km during the two hour session.

The re arranged six hour session on the 8th of July was again disrupted due to high winds and Thunderstorms forecast for around mid-day. However, despite the forecast a few hardy members gathered early and managed a further  37km before the rains came.

We are a little restricted at BATS due to being electric and glider having to rely on batteries for our power. Our potential to fly greater distances in this Challenge is probably much lower than i/c powered aircraft but we hope our modest contribution will help towards achieving a good final total.

Phil Morrell - BATS Event Co-ordinator

East Cheshire Model Flying Club

Split into 2x four hour windows over consecutive Sundays, 17 flyers completed a cumulative total of 1275 laps of a course which had been GPS measured at 1/2 mile per lap, so the total distance flown was 637.5 miles, or 1026KM.

Had the strong winds on the first Sunday not grounded all but the bravest flyers, we would have made an even greater contribution to the distance. Despite the camaraderie, the competitive spirit crept in with pilots fitting bigger batteries and bigger fuel tanks to get the most laps in a single flight, or fly the fastest laps. The Club provided a free BBQ each Sunday with a Prostate Cancer UK donation box for members to show their appreciation.

All agreed that the flying was great fun and we had a brilliant couple of days.

Salisbury Model Flying Club

BMFA “Fly Around the World” attempt
8 hours within the period 01 to 09 July 2023
We had initially decided to split the allocated 8 hours into two 4-hour periods across two weekends. However, inclement conditions resulted in the eight hours being distributed across three days:-
Sat. 1 July. [Hours 1 to 4]
Only six flyers and one spectator arrived at the designated start time. Conditions were drizzle, overcast and strong gusty winds in the worst direction (WSW to WNW) for our site. Very turbulent. After three hours of brave participation by the more experienced flyers, rain and increasing wind stopped play
A wide variety of models were flown (IC, Petrol and Electric. Vintage, Trainers, Aerobatic and even converted LIDLs)
198 Laps counted with 111 kilometres achieved
Sat. 8th July: [Hours 5 & 6]
Low attendance due to clashes with other events such as Woodspring Wings
We awoke to early morning sun with 7/8 blue sky and a modest SW wind that encouraged an early start of course flying. First laps were flown at 07:50 in a blue sky but it was quickly becoming heavy overcast. Wind was soon gusting strongly from the South and heavy rain starting to fall; Cumulo Nimbus forming in the area. Flying abandoned by 09:00 after 37 laps had been achieved. Remainder of day saw intermittent heavy showers and gusts with low Stratus forming
Sun. 9th July: [Hours 7 & 8]
Increasingly strong gusting Southerly wind with rain forming upwind. Only two models were flown but 58 laps achieved before deteriorating weather made flying unsafe. Attempt terminated at 12:30

Total distance flown by SMFC = 164,122 Metres  [164 Kilometres]

Much less than we had hoped for but it all counts for the BMFA total !

Nuneaton Areomodellers Club

On Saturday 1st July Nuneaton Aeromodeller's attempted the BMFA Distance Challenge, 'Around the World in 8 Hours, we joined the BMFA in a cumulative distance challenge to fly at least, the equivalent distance of a complete circumnavigation of the globe & it's the clubs total cumulative record that will count towards this total.

On a very windy but bright day 7 members took part in the BMFA around the world challenge. Despite the gusty conditions the 7 flyers managed to rack up 822 Laps of the 250m course, A course was marked out via cones & wind socks on the day, starting & finishing Level with the club's wind sock, a total of 128 Miles or 206Km was achieved, this is the equivalent of flying from Sibson to Portsmouth.

Well done to all involved those that attended, many thanks to Chris & Angie for supplying the refreshments.