Southampton Model Aeroplane Club

Established 1932

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Indoor Free Flight with a BMFA Gyminnie Cricket.

At the RC power Nationals one of the evening entertainments is indoor flying inside a hanger at RAF Barkston Heath.

I had marvelled at the indoor rubber free flight models and in 2008 I bought a Gyminnie Cricket from the BMFA stand at the Nationals, this cost me the princely sum of £2.50! The Gyminnie Cricket is part of the BMFA educational programme of models and there are also a number of competitions for this 15” wingspan model at regional and National level.

The Gyminnie Cricket is of very conventional construction, being just strip balsa glued together with PVA adhesive and then covered in lightweight tissue. The tissue is just draped over the structure, it is not shrunk with dope. As you can see from the photo's the model has polyhedral wing construction and under slung fin. The completed model weighs about 6 grammes without rubber motor.

I took my completed Gyminnie Cricket to the 2009 Nationals and had some really good flights, the model skimmed the roof girders of the hanger but mercifully avoided getting tangled up in the same girders. At this stage I recognised that the supplied propeller was not as good as it might be.

On returning from the Nationals I spoke to John Hook of Flitehook fame about the propeller, he advised me to use one of the Czech propellers that he sells, this is the propeller that you can see frozen in the above photo's. This propeller absorbs the power of the rubber motor better than the original, and gives longer more controlled flights. John also sold me a variety of different sizes of rubber strand to make up new motors with.

At the same time John invited me to the next indoor free flight meeting that he runs at the West Totton community centre. I went along with the Gyminnie Cricket in revised form and was very pleased with the performance improvements. At this meeting I recorded my best flight of approx 2 ½ minutes duration.

At this meeting I decided to invest in a motor winder, these units are made by Derek Knight of K&P products in Portsmouth, it is a 10:1 step winder and costs £7.50, so far this is the most expensive item that I have purchased for indoor free flight. My total expenditure so far is approximately £15.00.

I would thoroughly recommend trying indoor free flight models, it probably rates as the best value for money I have seen in aero modelling. The Gyminne Cricket is available from the BMFA in kit form, the plan is also free to distribute and you can download the plan and instructions from the SMAC website. I believe that John Hook also sells ready made Gyminne Crickets, speak to John if you are interested in this route to get into Indoor Free Flight.