Tag Archives: Radio Controlled Aircraft

Birth of the Inspiration Pattern ship “Inspiration 1”

This is the story of a model radio-controlled aircraft, which was designed and built from scratch, during the lockdown in South Africa in 2020. It was built by Alec McNamara, from Durban South Africa, who told his story to Aviation Central Durban reporter Trevor Viljoen.

History on the design and build of the INSPIRATION 1
At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown in South Africa on the 26th of March 2020, I was in the process of building and covering a 101” Big Stik. Around the 3rd of April 2020, I ran out of shrink cover and could not get any delivered as the shrink cover I use, is imported.

After two days of watching TV and being totally bored, I decided to clear my build table and take my roll of drawing paper and cut a piece at 2.5 meters. I then put a center line on the page and started drawing. I had the idea that I wanted to build a Patterns Ship. Over the next two and a half weeks I sat drawing, erasing and redrawing until I got a rough plan of what I wanted.
The following two weeks I just sat and fine-tuned the plan, taking into consideration I do not have a drawing program on my computer.

On the 7th of May 2020, I was required to return to work and with great excitement, I took the wood sizes that I had worked out with me and on my way home I stopped by the local wood shop (Timber City Pinetown) to purchase a sheet of the lightest 3.0mm commercial plywood they had and got it cut to size as they offer that service. They obliged with no hesitation and 30 minutes later I walked out with all my wood cut to the required size.

The Inspiration then started to develop.

All the cutting and shaping was done by hand using sanding blocks and a Dremel.
The canopy and cowl are made with moulded fibre glass and painted with 2K paint. The landing gear is made of a fibreglass inner with a double carbon outer layer. The Inspiration took all of Eight (8) months to develop into this flying giant.

After an extensive meeting with Jason Barker “The Durban Drone Guy”, an experienced Pattern and Advanced 3D Pilot, six (6) hours were spent going through the, almost ready, Inspiration. He advised on some changes that I should consider. I heeded his advice and made the changes accordingly.

The Inspiration 1…
On Sunday morning of the 6th of December 2020 at around 08:45 I loaded the Inspiration 1 in the car and my daughter and I headed for MMAC (Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club) where we met Jason. We went through the Inspiration 1 for the final time and did a second range check. I then did the Pre-Flight Inspection and got the Inspiration 1 ready for her maiden flight. We then found on taxiing that the landing gear was a little unstable. We made a bit of a jimmy by putting linked rubber bands on the landing gear to hold them in a suitable stable position for the maiden flight.
Only once Jason was satisfied with the makeshift repair would he take her into the air. Jason did some ground runs and we found that the spring from the rudder to the rear wheel was too soft and steering was a bit erratic. Once he saw that and we still had some form of control Jason lined the Inspiration 1 up for take-off, did some final checks, revved the motor to feel for unwanted vibration and was then ready for take-off.

At approximately 13:15, the INSPIRATION 1 was born as she left the ground on her maiden flight, piloted by Jason Barker. Oh My… What A Spectacular Sight She Was!
I give many, many thanks to Jason (the test pilot) for the time expended and all the advice given with getting this model to where she is today and for taking her through her paces on her maiden flight.

Wingspan – 1930 mm
Fuselage – 2100 mm
Wing Aspect Ratio – 5.68
Dry Weight – 8.1 kg

Motor – CRRC Pro 36cc
Propeller – 19 x 8 Falcon painted wood propeller
Motor cut off – RCEXL opto ignition kill switch
Ignition Battery – X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery
Ignition unit – RCEXL Ignition unit (Comes with Motor)

Receiver – AR8010T 8CH Air Telemetry with satellite receiver
Throttle servo – CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Aileron Servo – 2 x CYS S0110 – 11 kg (Metal Geared)
Elevator servo – 2 x CYS S3006 – 6 kg (Plastic Gear)
Rudder servo – CYS S0150 – 15 kg (Metal Geared)
Receiver batteries – 2 x X-power 2100mah 2S1P Life battery

Alec McNamara

Large Scale Aerobatic Club KZN Event at MMAC

This past Saturday Aviation Central team members from Kwazulu-Natal, Trevor Viljoen and Alan Richert visited the Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club for a Large Scale Aerobatic Club KZN event.
We were treated to a beautiful hot sunny day with clear blue skies and just a slight breeze in the morning, ideal conditions to get in some great flying.

Due to a smaller amount of entries for the event, each pilot flew three rounds.
Some great flying demonstrated by all pilots, with the wind picking up later in the day to provide a greater challenge for the pilots.
It was a fantastic day with some very good flying and a lot of fun was had by everyone!

The results from each class were:


1 Rob Hill 63%
2 Brett Bakke 61.6%
3 Richard Flemming 57.5%
4 Clive Gager 55.7%
5 Rolf Bartels 55.9%


1 Inus de Wet 53.2%


1 Ian Becke 60.8%
2 Brad Rae 57.4%


1 Charl du Rand 62.5%
2 Mark Savage 57.9%

Well done to all who participated and to everyone involved in the organization for the day, for a well run event!
We look forward to the next events, especially the scale day currently scheduled for the 5th December 2020.

Below are some photos from the day.

Large Scale Aerobatic Champs Howick 4th & 5th November 2017


Large Scale Aerobatic Champs Howick 4th & 5th November 2017

Large Scale Aerobatic this weekend was at the Howick Model Flying Club which is situated in the Natal Midlands, just off the R617 Rd in the town of Howick,the town is more commonly known for Howick falls and for the Midmar Mile held at Midmar dam during the year.HMFC is an RC club flying everything from electric to gas,gliders,helicopters and aircraft. A radio controlled aircraft is a small flying machine that is controlled remotely by an operator on the ground using a hand-held transmitter .

On the weekend of the 4th & 5th of November saw the Large scale Aerobatics Championships held at the field, with some great weather and an awesome atmosphere between spectators, pilots and the organizers. Rc aerobatic aircraft ranging from 30cc to the bigger 150cc models were put through their aerobatic paces. There were category’s the pilots fall under that being the Freestyle up to the Advanced category’s the pilots flew.

It was fantastic to watch and be part of CMC Hobbies which are based nearby in the town of Hilton, who offer a great spread of Rc hobbies to the South African public. To the private generous individuals and LSA South Africa who were present, the clubs chairman Clive and his team of organizers on a safe a successful event.


Aviation Central looks forward to visiting the club again soon ,hopefully with more members, who can also taste the world of Rc flying in Natal. Thanks to all who were not mentioned we gladly appreciated your hard work being placed in this sport. To all the participants well done on your achievements. If you need any info on this Club or future events, please contact Clive on 0735007177 or clive@cmchobbies.co.za







View photos from the Gauteng Large Scale Aerobatic Champs



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