The Scottish Model Helicopter Championships have been run in Aberdeen by the Aberdeen Aeromodellers Club since 1986. Up until 1992 it was held at Hazelhead park on the west side of Aberdeen. When the club moved into it’s own premises at Banchory-Devenick a few mile south of the city it was inevitable that the event would move to this purpose built and more controllable environment. Prior to the move the event was held Bi-Annually but since 1994 it has been held yearly,
The event is held over two days, normally the 2nd weekend in June, but this can vary a week either side depending on other event schedules. Contestants start arriving as early as Wednesday to enjoy the facilities and hospitality, relax a little and also practice. The Scottish event has always been run in a less formal manner than many competitions and continues to attract entries from all over the UK and occasionally Europe as well. Being informal the ‘Experts’ are often seen helping each other and also giving tuition and encouragement to the less experienced sometimes entering a competition for the first time.
Over the years the competition has evolved along with the models and pilots capabilities. The technology has moved on a long way from the early days and now the models feature battery power in favor of internal combustion engines, and many are now flybar-less which would have been unthinkable in the eighties. The main event, FAI F3C, has always featured but the schedule is much different. Scale has always been an interest to some and also featured since the first competition. The fun-fly event has had to give way to allow time for the Sportmans event which is the entry level competition, having said that it is more difficult than the F3C of the early days. Free-Style has also grown into the F3N competition which is gaining popularity and is more spectator orientated.
All in there is something for everyone that likes helicopters and more. During the weekend there is time allowed between rounds to allow demo flights. These can be anything from a small electric powered cub’s for around £50 up to 250mph Jet turbine powered scale models costing several £000’s of pounds, even two of them in formation. If you’re interested in model aircraft you’re welcome to spectate and enjoy a snack from the catering van that is there all weekend.