Directly control, with your hands a piece of model flying aeroplane history. Never more than 20 metres away from you, feel every slightest movement, change in attitude and even the buzz from the engine as you paint in the sky aerobatic manoeuvres from a simple loop to the more challenging square eight or even the four leaf clover. With poetic grace, the confines of flying in a hemi-sphere suddenly become a dance in the air, a ballet performed in close proximity to you and those that spectate – a dynamic entrancing spectacle whose excitement and reward rarely leave you once you’ve tried it.

For many it has been the first step into the world of model aeroplane flying, it is a discipline that has stood the test of time. Adapting with good humour, camaraderie, engineering prowess and aerodynamic understanding - specific to pushing the envelope of what is possible flying extreme aerobatic manoeuvres - whilst still controlling the aeroplane directly with a handle and fine steel wires.

The sport has continually enabled those who still prefer a physical connection to the aeroplane they fly, the chance to fly some of the world’s finest examples of model aeroplane production – both commercial and self- made, electric and internal combustion powered.

The UK is home to a dedicated community of control line aerobatic pilots; CLAPA – the Control Line Aerobatic Pilots Association is the national body which oversees the running of organised events and competitions in the UK, liaising with the BMFA and other regulatory bodies. They are continually developing ideas and encouraging those around them to further themselves and their fellow devotees.

Read more about CLAPA at

Control line aerobatics caters for pilots of all abilities, aspirations and ages, who may wish to re-kindle the memories of times past, those who wish to fly purely for fun and relaxation and those who may wish to take their flying further and enter the world of competitive flying at national and international levels. In the UK, CLAPA hold domestic and national competitions annually, running their own leagues in several classes from vintage and classic to entry level and precision aerobatics even incorporating a yearly competition between the 4 home nations held at the National Flying Centre, Buckminster.

Provisions have recently been made by the organisation to provide those that wish to try their hand at control line aerobatics, the chance to fly a professionally built, fully trimmed model at no expense or expectation. So, if you fancy learning how to spin on the spot whilst directly controlling a fully acrobatically capable model aeroplane. . . . and not fall over – then control line aerobatics could well be the discipline for you !