IMAC Newbuildings 2014

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Oct 082014

The final IMAC comp of the year in Northern Ireland took place on the last Saturday in September.

We had a few pilots unavailable but 7 enthusiastic guys turned up across 3 classes.

Robert McCartney
Martin Sweeney

Iain Johnston
Brian Foran

Harry Reid
Steven Tait
Sean Scullion

We got started early and with a slightly different idea I did a judges warmup with my big electric Carden PRO. It got the judges’ eyes in and we went straight into the comp.

Flying double rounds we managed 2 full round (4 sequences) before lunch. We had a lengthy lunch break and finished the day with an unknown round. I think everyone enjoyed that challenge.

With some of the guys having 4 & 5 hour drives home we finished up at 3pm and quickly got the results tabulated.

1. Robert McCartney
2. Martin Sweeney

1. Brian Foran
2. Iain Johnston

1. Sean Scullion
2. Steven Tait
3. Harry Reid

As with all IMAC NI comps this year we have been able to hold a raffle in aid of Action MS (NI), this has only been possible with the kindness of several sponsors,
-RC Factory/Electric Wingman
-Powerbox Systems
-Engel Modelbau
-Scorpion Power system
-Jersey Modeler
-Horizon Hobby UK

On the day we raised over £170 add that to the previous comps at Causeway Coast & Omagh we raised over £450 this year for Action MS NI. A big thanks to all the sponsors and to each and everyone who has bought tickets in the raffle. It makes it worth while. I will present this cheque to Mike & his team from Action Ms, so Check back for the photograph.

Thanks to North West Model Aircraft Club for their hospitality and indeed Causeway Coast & Tyrone Model aircraft club for their similarly warm welcome at the earlier comps, it’s great to have so many great clubs supporting IMAC in our area.

A thanks also to our judges this year Paul Harrison & David Nolan for their efforts! Finally to the pilots for supporting the comps!


Jul 272014


IMAC Clitheroe is held each year during the last weekend in July. This year it was our first trip over to the Mainland for a comp and is our last chance to compete before the World Champs in early September.

We set sail on the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry on Friday evening and travelled south for 200 or so miles to the flying site just outside the town of Clitheroe. When we arrived at 11pm, everyone had retreated to their Caravans or tents so we for bedded down for the night ourselves.


Saturday morning dawned with clear blue skies and a very light breeze. Perfect conditions for a days competition. With a few competitors having last minute technical problems with their aircraft we had 10 pilots in total, a little down on normal but last minute problems can’t be avoided. 2 basic class pilots, 1 sportsman, 1 intermediate, 2 advanced & 4 unlimited.

After a short pilots brief we got underway about 10am with the plan to fly 2 double knowns, a unknown, a single known and then freestyle for those that wanted to compete in that class.

Basic was first up, unfortunately one of the new comers had some bad luck on takeoff and clipped the fence at the end or the runway, it’s caught many pilots out over the years, hopefully it won’t dent his enthusiasm for IMAC. With the prefect conditions everyone flew well and our biggest problem was keeping the suncream from running into our eyes and finding a suitable place to get some shade! Not that we are complaining, I’d happily take 28-deg each time I go to fly! Pete Mumford had an exciting first flight, his Edge 540 developed some elevator flutter, he throttled back right away but it took a few seconds for him to regain control, fortunately with the speed bleed off the elevator started to have some control, he smoothly brought the plane round and landed. The problem had been caused by the control horn departing from the elevator. Pete’s edge is a IMAC veteran, it must be 10years old, so it had just worked loose over many 1000’s of flights. It couldn’t be fixed at the field, is Dan kindly lent him his Carden PRO.

We completed two rounds before lunch break, after a short pause we went straight into the unknown and final known. The wind picked up a little for the unknown and everyone managed ok with it. On the unlimited unknown we had the tailslide to trip us up and it did, no one scored for it, I did slide for about a fuselage length but it fell to the left. It looks like IMAC’s sequence committee is pushing the Tailslide this season, so the worlds is bound to have at least 1! Practise required!


With the sequences over it was time for freestyle, Chris was first up and put it a nice flight, Dave was up second about 3/4’s of the way through his flight, his rudder closed loop gave way, he waggled his way around and needing to keep the speed up he came In fast, model dug in and tip over, minimal damage, a broken prop. I was third up, about a minute into my flight it was my turn for a mechanical problem, the aileron started to flutter, luckily i was able to throttle back, stop the flutter and land without any problem. On investigation it was the inboard starboard aileron servo that had stripped. I wasn’t too annoyed, the servos on the H9 Extra 300 had probably done a good 1200 hard flights and it’s not a bad wear rate for the servos. That was the competition flying over for the day, I got a chance to fly my fellow IMAC UK World Champs team mate Brian Horn’s H9 Extra 300, he wanted a second opinion on his setup, I can report it’s spot on, I really enjoyed my flight and Brian has done a great job getting it just right, he will do well with this at the World’s next month!

The club had kindly laid on a BBQ for us and we all enjoyed the Craic, food and flew some smaller electric models. I had the new Parkzone Super Cub and Sukhoi with me, flown on the new DX6, everyone was impressed with how they flew and for an IMAC crowd the Cub was the most popular model, we may see someone at future IMAC comps! It’s a cracking little aircraft it has to be said and the more I flew the Suk I’m enjoying it more and more! The rain came in about 10am so everyone called it a night and headed to bed after a long day in the sun!



After a night of heavy rain, Sunday was a little more grey and there was noticeably more wind. It was more IMAC UK competition like! The club spoiled us again with breakfast and we got flying with full stomachs at 10am. The forecast was for showers up to and rain after lunchtime so Phil the CD had planned on getting 2 double knowns in before that. With a few flash showers we did manage it and by 1.45pm we had 4 flights in the bag. Phil suggested we call it a day as the rain was coming and a lot of people had a long journey. By 2pm Win had the results ready and the prize giving took place.
You can see the results below;



I was very happy to take first place in unlimited and the overall “Woodvale” Trophy. For me it was a warm up comp for the Worlds and I’ve seen a few things and chatting to Chief Judge Phil have a few things to work on for the big comp. So a very worthwhile weekend!


Thanks to all who organised the comp, Phil & Mike our judges, Win for score keeping and to Andrew & his wife for looking after us all throughout the weekend, food, tea you name it we had it!

Clitheroe is one of my favourite comps, it always has been and still is a worthy successor to the Woodvale Comp, relaxed, a great site and always good to meet up with friends. Looking forward to next year already!

Thanks also to all my sponsors for their continued support! Some pics below.





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IMAC UK Rhyl July 2013

 Competition, Horizon Hobby UK, IMAC  Comments Off on IMAC UK Rhyl July 2013
Jul 172013

The middle of July saw IMAC return to north Wales. The Rhyl club have hosted a comp at their site for several years now and my dad and I have been attending on and off since 2006.

The weather of late has been superb and the forecast was for more or the same.

My dad and I arrived on Friday for a practise day and made the most of the quiet field. A few of the guys arrived in early afternoon and the conditions were perfect.

Saturday morning brought more perfect weather and the competition started at about 10am. There were 14pilots, 4 in sportsman, 1 in intermediate, 5 in advanced and 4 in unlimited.

Unlimited started first with a double known, the standard was very high and this showed, some nice flying in the ideal competition conditions. Pete Mumford had some engines trouble on his Hangar 9 Sukhoi and dead sticked on the first round. Dan Workman kindly lent him his Carden for the rest of the comp.

Advanced followed with 5 in that class, it was close competition in this competitive class with the standard improving all the time. After a long lay off Darren & Matt Dorgan returned to IMAC and flew really well.

Brian was the Lone Ranger in intermediate class flying his hangar 9 Sukhoi.

Sportsman’s 4 pilots battled it out, with good flying, two visitors from the Republic of Ireland flew in this class, Brian & Graham, I think we will see more of these guys in the future.

On Saturday Sportsman and Unlimited has their unknowns, Sunday saw intermediate and advanced fly theirs.

From the Unlimited perspective, the unknown was a nice sequence, it flowed well and wasn’t as technical as it could have been which gave us chance to make the schedule present as best as we could.

At the end of Saturday, 3 pilots took part in freestyle, myself, Darren and Matt. The conditions were perfect for freestyling, Matt’s routine was really clean and precise, very impressive.

Sunday was just as perfect a day, with a slight breeze up the strip. The standard was high in unlimited, there was nothing to choose between Dan, Angus & myself. The standard has stepped up his year and its great to see and compete in this class.

The rest of the classes completed their unknowns on Sunday and we all flew 4 sequences that day, so 8 in total for the weekend, 7 knowns & 1 unknown.

Freestyle finished the weekend, Matt started with another great routine, I was up next with my Yak. I got a little too low in an inverted flat spin and just ran out of height. Very fortunately there was little damage and it will be easily repaired.

With the scores calculated by Win it was time for the presentation. The results are below,


1) Allan Griffiths
2) Barry White
3) Graham Dwyer
4) Brian Horn


1) Brian Horn


1) Matt Dorgan
2) Mal Green
3) Phil Hoyle
4) Darren Dorgan
5) Dave Lucas


1) Matthew Poots
2) Dan Workman
3) Angus Balfour
4) Pete Mumford


1) Matt Dorgan
2) Darren Dorgan
3) Matthew Poots

I was delighted to take the win in unlimited and well done to Matt on his win advanced and freestyle, well deserved.

You can check the full results here

Here are some pictures that Brian Colclough kindly took.

















Feb 182013

My Dad & I attended an IMAC Introduction Day at Laois Model Aero Club near Portlaoise Southwest of Dublin.

A few scale aerobatic enthusiasts are keen to start some IMAC in the Republic of Ireland and asked if we would come down to give them down info on how to go about it. We were made most welcome by all members of the club and they looked after us really well.

The club has prepared information leaflets on IMAC aerobatics and invited several modellers from all over Ireland. There was a great turn out, 20plus IMAC aeroplanes and plenty of flying throughout the day.

I flew some Demo’s of sequence and have a short talk on IMAC answered the guys questions.

All in all it was a superb day and a big thanks to Brian, Mikey and all the guys in the club for the invite and the warm welcome. Everything has to start somewhere and these guys have the right attitude and are going about it the right way, Great to see.


(ed: More pics on the Laois site)












IMAC UK Scotland 5th & 6th May 2012

 Competition, Hangar 9, Horizon Hobby UK, IMAC, Spektrum  Comments Off on IMAC UK Scotland 5th & 6th May 2012
May 042012

The IMAC 2012 season opener took place in Scotland on the 1st bank holiday weekend in May.  The weather leading up to the competition was wet & windy, in fact some areas had hail stones, only in the UK can you expect that in May!!  Fortunately we encountered no such problems at Castle Kennedy near Stranraer.  The weather was close to perfect for flying the whole weekend and it made all the difference.

Malcolm Balfour was the CD for the weekend, assisted by the rest of the Balfour family who helped out and made us feel welcome.  He ran four classes, Sportsman, Advanced, Unlimited & Freestyle.  The Unlimited class was very close and the standard was high with Tony Robinson, Simon McNeill, Angus & Malcolm Balfour and myself in this class. Unfortunately for Thomas & Steve had some issues on Saturday and were unable to compete for the rest of the weekend.

Angus, Malcolm and myself had a great battle all weekend, with really close scores and there wasn’t much in it by final rounds. Malcolm & Angus flew their new 3W Yak 54, powered by a 3W170. This plane was designed by Quique Somenzini back in the TOC days and is a good 10 year old design, it proves a great design is always a great design.

Angus & Malcolm with their 3W Yak54

My Sequence Carden 300 & Freestyle H9 Sukhoi 3.1m

David Balfour, Thomas David & Dan Gallo with his Raven

Simon & I during one of his rounds
The Judges
Thomas Chilling Out

After 7 rounds of known & one unknown I was fortunate to come out on top of unlimited. In the freestyle class I was also able to take the 1st position. Here are some pictures from the prize giving, the prizes got presented by Mrs Balfour who is Treasurer of the SAA.

Prizing Giving

1st Sportsman David Balfour

2nd Sportsman Dan Gallo

3rd Sportsman Maurice Cox

1st Advanced Lee Hancock

3rd Unlimited Malcolm Balfour


2nd Unlimited Angus Balfour

1st Unlimited Matthew Poots


3rd Freestyle Simon McNeill

2nd Freestyle Malcolm Balfour


1st Freestyle Matthew Poots


SAA Cup for Highest Unknown Score


Overall Group

Thanks again to the Malcolm for CD’ing and everyone who helped run this comp. You can view the full scores on the IMAC UK website, click here

Hangar 9 3.1m Sukhoi SU26-MM

 Horizon Hobby UK, IMAC  Comments Off on Hangar 9 3.1m Sukhoi SU26-MM
Jun 082011

Sukhoi This is Hangar 9’s largest model to date at 3.1m it is an unlimited IMAC/3D model which is based on Mike McConville’s hugely successful 85cc design.

Horizon Hobby UK have kindly supplied me the all new 3.1m Sukhoi for review and to use at IMAC comps. I will be doing a built report and flying. I’ll update it as I go along so keep checking back. Continue reading »

Carden Extra 300

 Competition, Horizon Hobby UK, IMAC  Comments Off on Carden Extra 300
May 252008

cardenextra10Saturday 24th May 2008 saw the test flight off our brand new Carden Extra 300. This plane has been on my dad’s building board for 6 months and has been a new experience in building for him. After visiting Tucson in 2007 we decided that our current 40% Extra 260 which flys brilliantly, could be improved on.

The full Tucson story is here.

(feb 2014: will be after I fix the links)

Continue reading »