Sadly we have to report that Dick Edmonds, known to many in the aero modeling world , passed away on 14th October 2017, aged 87.
Dick was born and grew up in High Wycombe. As a young lad Dick was always keen on aircraft spotting, especially during the war years, when the town’s furniture industry was diverted into making aircraft parts – particularly for the largely wooden Mosquito After the war he started his hobby of aero modeling with Free Flight, then went on to Control Line and eventually RC. Dick joined the High Wycombe and District MAC as a teenager in 1947 and soon joined the committee, serving in various positions for 30 years.
Dick was a very active flier in our club for many years but he was also a renowned designer of model aircraft and a world class competition flier. He won the Control Line class B Team Racing World Championship in 1960 and represented his country at many International Competitions for Control Line flying. Our club was also active in National competitions at this time, encouraged and led by Dick. In 1963 he designed a special fuel tank for control Line models – the Reguflow - and subsequently went on to manufacture and market it and hence his company, Edmonds Model Products, was born.
Dick soon progressed to designing model kits, starting with a 2 function RC model called the Chaser. This was followed by a range of kits including Easy Rider, Ivory Gull (Distributed under the Keil Kraft name), Apogee, Eclipse, and Corona. Dick was one of the first to introduce ARTF models with a range of gliders – firstly the Halton Special around 1970, then collaboration with Sean Bannister led to the Algebra Range of glider kits and finally came the Calculus. His gliders were successful in competition during the 1980’s and 90’s, competing at national events flown by Dick himself and others.
Somehow Dick also found time in the 1970’s to fly as one of the MacGregor demonstration team at Trade Shows such as Sandown, Sywell, Cranfield etc. They flew four identical high speed aerobatic models in formation.
As his business grew, Dick’s wife Maureen joined the company full time and Edmonds Model Products moved in 1976 into an Industrial Building near the centre of High Wycombe. Dick semi retired in 1995 and finally the business closed in 2001, but this did not stop Dick and he switched to designing scale models. Some of his plans were published in a Model Magazine.
Because of poor health Dick has not flown at our club for some time but he still visited our field regularly, spending several hours sitting and watching models flying. He was always keen to chat about the latest developments and offer a few words of wisdom based on his vast experience, but he was very modest about his earlier achievements. As his mobility deteriorated he did manage to continue electric model flying in a field behind his house up until about 3 years ago when he could no longer stand and look up into the sky.
His outlook on life in his later years was that life was like walking the gangplank, never knowing when it was your turn to walk off the end. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
High Wycombe and District MAC