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29th JUNE 165web IMG_1652x web3 IMG_1635x

BMFA Distance Challenge 2015 The Flying Pig

This was our first shot at a payload challenge. Our approach was to begin with small chuck gliders and gradually develop by testing and refinement. Progress was slower than we thought and we wound up building this thing a month before the competition. Flight tests took place on in the competition week only to discover that our plane had some significant flaws to add to the great ideas.

BMFA Distance Challenge WINNER 2016 The Atom Bomb

Blessed with at least two very capapable home educated designers Connor and Ali, the team split into two from the start to develop two contrasting solutions based on our learning from 2015. The team voted on the solution least like our flying pig - ie with rounded form, larger, longer tail and front loading. Despite advice to the contrary we kept a pusher configuration because it saved propellers. We also filled it with expanding foam. Once again we over ran and the first competition flight was its maiden. And we won. Watch the vid here!

BMFA Distance Challenge WINNER 2017  The Gherkin

Once again, starting from basics team members competed to design a shape that would allow the payload to reside at the centre of gravity of the plane. This was a feature of the Pig but the Atom had relied on a calculated guess that the payload wouild be a solid block of balsa again.  Milo's glider camew the closest to a swept wing configuration that we liked. Milo presided over the design but  Home Eds Ben and Jamie with CAD and expert building skills contributed hugely to making it happen. A sudden modification of design was possible because of these guys' commitment and once again we went on to win.

BMFA Quantity Challenge 2017 The "Mighty Dorito"

Ryan, our longest standing student and technical wizard decided to enter the Quantity Challenge with the support of TJ and Olly our other oldest members. Once again we started from basics (this does take time!!) and once again we over ran to the extent that the test flights were in the competition week. Ryan's all-wing design was statistically predicted not to do well. No flying wing ever has at the payload challenges. But true to our educational ethos this was not to be a deciding factor. We came 5th of 11 teams and have lots of ideas about how to improve it.

Twas ever thus. This is such fun.

BMFA Payload challenge 2018 - Three planes this year - loads of drama and mishaps.

But we win the Egg challenge and our students achieve CREST award for their projects.

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Each year a few of our students enter the British Model Flying Association's Schools and Universities Payload Challenge . . .breath!