Gravesend, UK: An action shot shows a model midair. Mediadrumimages / Topfoto / Retronaut

By Alex Jones

 

GLORIOUS photos from the 1950s depict high-flying hobbyists and their families enjoying a day out flying model airplanes.

Taken on a sunny day in Gravesend in 1951, the fascinating pictures reveal an eager group of model-makers winding up a propeller for flight, breathless spectators ducking out of the way of an out-of-control plane, and two men making minute adjustments to their beloved craft.

Gravesend, UK: An aeronaut closely monitors the progress of a model airplane. Mediadrumimages / Topfoto / Retronaut

The stunning shots also include a group of women enjoying a boardgame alongside their pristine motorcar and an airplane enthusiast tracking the progress of his ‘kite’ with the aid of a spyglass.

The Kite and Model Aeroplane Association, the first flying club of its type in the UK, began in 1909, just six years after the Wright brothers took to the air in their landmark first flight.

Gravesend, UK: Model airplanes becaem increasing popular in the 1950s. Mediadrumimages / Topfoto / Retronaut

Aeromodelling Clubs, whose members often referred to themselves as ‘aeronauts’, became more popular in the mid-20th Century, especially as commercial flight became increasingly affordable in the 1950s.

Before plastic kits became the norm, most planes would have been made with wood, rubber or metal. The propellers would be hand wound before flying and certain models could be controlled from the ground by string held by the aircraft’s pilot, as depicted in these incredible images.

Gravesend, UK: A day at the aeromodelling club was fun for the whole family. Mediadrumimages / Topfoto / Retronaut

The sport remains popular in 2019 with around 780 affiliated clubs across the UK with a combined membership of over 36,000 members of the British Model Flying Association.

Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, was well known for his love of flying model aircrafts.

 

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