Perspectives from the Inner Circle - A History of C/L flying in Vancouver during the mid 1950s through to the early 1960s

By Henry Hadjik

The mid 1950's through to the early 1960's was an extremely good growth period for control line modeling. There were some five lower mainland control line clubs, which included:

  1. Royal City Aero Club, which later inspired the establishment of the Pacific Aeromodellers Club in 1990. The R.C.A.C. flew at Queens Park and Blue Mountain Park in Coquitlam.
  2. The Vancouver Gas Model Club, which flew contests in Stanley Park Oval.
  3. Collingwood Gas Model Club
  4. Sea Island Model Aircraft Club
  5. Norburn Sky Kings
  6. Vancouver Bi-Liners

With the development of radio control modeling in the 1970's, control line interest fell off appreciably. Many of the local clubs closed their operations. However, in 1984, Chris Sackett convinced me to join the VGMC where he was trying to re-establish control line activities and the opportunity to assume use of the Rice Mill Control Line Flying Site was a huge advantage. Membership grew well through the mid eighties with a lot of contests being flown, including Racing, Speed, Stunt, and Sport Events. Activities included a number of community flying displays with participation in mall and hobby shows in the Vancouver area. Frank Boden was a major promoter!

In 1989, members considered that it was time to expand to form a new club at the recommendation of Howie Cowan, the B.C. Zone Director for the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC), to meet the changing model interests of the membership. And, so it was in 1990 that the Pacific Aeromodellers Club was born, comprised of 22 former members of the VGMC combined with some original members of the Royal City Aero Club of New Westminster.

PAC and the Vancouver Gas Model Club (VGMC) continue to work together in maintaining our joint flying site at Rice Mill Road, Richmond, which features 2 paved circles and a grass combat flying site plus parking area. Additionally, PAC enjoys the benefit of a new control line site at Clayburn Community Park in Abbotsford and an association with the Mission Wings R/C Club and the B.C. Aces. Flying interests are varied range from R/C, free flight plus Control Line Racing, Scale, Navy Carrier, and Sport events combined with flying displays & summer barbecues.

Members continue to compete at various contests, including the Northwest Regionals, which is scheduled to return to Eugene Airport for 2006. PAC members constructed a brand new Naval Carrier Deck several years ago and we expect to promote the Carrier Scale events in the future (and Mel Lyne’s Diesel 15 combat events continue to draw a crowd). With any luck we'll still all be flying 25 years from now. (I'll be 92 - how about you? Mobile wheel chairs in the racing circle, everybody!) Like Frank Boden, continue to encourage young modelers to fly control line! May God Bless and keep you --- In the Circle!

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