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Flying, Friendship and Fun

Exhibition Piece: Impington Village College Model Aeroplane club was founded in 1946 by Ray Malmstrom, who designed many models including this, the Saab A37 Viggen. This model was crafted by John Valient.

By Michael Marshall; Model Aeroplane Club

The Impington Village College Model Aeroplane Club was founded in 1946 by a member of staff, Ray Malmstrom.  Ray had only recently been demobilised from the air force and came to the college to teach art.  He was a man who was passionate about aircraft, and was able to share that enthusiasm with pupils from the college and model aeroplane makers worldwide.  Throughout his life he was always designing model aeroplanes, nearly always aimed at the fledgling modeller.  His designs were published in model magazines, on the back of cereal packets and in books from the publisher of the famous Eagle Comics.  Sometimes the designs were for scale models, often for bizarre or perhaps humorous subjects, but when he published a plan everyone knew that it was possible to make the model fly.

The club is still going strong with probably sixty current members and caters for nearly all model aeroplane disciplines.  In the winter months flying takes place in the college and sports centre.  In the summer months modellers take to the sports field behind the school where you can find rubber powered stick and tissue models flying alongside electric and power models with radio control.  There is also a strong contingent of control line modellers.  Many of the club members take part in model flying activities outside the club and compete in competitions, mainly organised by the British Model Flying Association and in overseas events.

There are still members of the club who were students at the college at its inauguration.  The club has always kept an identity with the school and with Ray Malmstrom, who in aero modelling terms was internationally famous.  The book on display was published by the club in 2007 to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of its foundation.  It contains many articles and photographs from the club but perhaps more importantly there is a collection of plans chosen by the members to showcase some of the best designs.  The model Saab A37 Viggen shown on display is described on pages 53 to 55 in the book.  Club member John Valiant who built this model has been kind enough to lend it for display.

For more information see online or search for the British Model Flying Association.

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