Leatherhead and District Model Flying Club (as it was originally named) was formed in July 1957 by three members of the Epsom Club who wanted a separate organisation in the Leatherhead/Dorking area.
The flying activities at that time were control line and free flight but there was no official Leatherhead flying ground. Epsom Downs was used for free flight. Control line flyers flew wherever there was a suitable piece of ground. Advantage was taken, however, of local fetes where volunteers were invited to put on a display!
On 4th July 1959 Mole Valley Council clamped down and totally forbade our club’s control line display on the basis that it was ‘far too dangerous’! This, in spite of our assurances of safety rules and Third Party Insurance!
In October 1963 we took part in the district’s first model engineering exhibition at the Dorking Halls where we had an area on the stage from which we flew electric powered ’round the pole’ models made from Kiel Kraft Kits. By modern standards this type of model flying was very primitive but it drew the crowds for this three-day event and was considered to be one of the best exhibitions ever held at Dorking Halls. So much so, that by the organiser, Syd White, was asked to have a repeat show in 1964. Further shows followed in 1965, 1966 and 1969.
In 1981 we negotiated with Mole Valley District Council for a piece of land in the Leatherhead Surrey, suitable for radio control operations. It was thus that we came to obtain a licence on the ground that we presently use.
The Club flies all types of fixed wing aircraft up to 7kgs, be it scale or 3 D, anything goes, from your most sedate trainer plane to a your fastest war bird !! Although most models are now electric powered, I.C. engine and ducted fan are also most welcome.
Our Chairman, Ian Newton, is also a BMFA Instructor, Examiner and runs training for the Club. There is an enthusiastic glider contingent at Leatherhead with tuition from our glider specialist Ian Harvey. Unfortunately we can’t fly helicopters or drones on this site.
We are a like-minded bunch of all ages, who like nothing better to get together at the flying field to show off our aircraft and have a good natter with plenty of banter and micky taking with the not so perfect landing ! But most of all we have fun and camaraderie. Some of us have been members for 30 years or so and like nothing more than to give advice and chat about your model from the initial build to your maiden flight. There is a wealth of free advice at the club.
We have a large air field, with good access and parking right next to the pits. Two grass runways are kept in an immaculate condition by our very own Frank Bone. Chairs and aircraft benches are all permanently on site for members use.
We currently have vacancies for new members for both young, old and anywhere in between! Whether you’re a complete novice, intermediate or advanced pilot, everyone is welcome at Leatherhead.
Tuition and training equipment is available for novice flyers to train and pass their BMFA A test in order that they can fly solo. We have our own examiners and instructors to help out any novice.
We meet in the afternoon 2p.m. until 5p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In summer, we have evening flying on Thursdays from 5p.m. until 8p.m..
Please feel free to check out our website, just search, Leatherhead Model flying Club for more information about our friendly club. A membership application form can be downloaded from our website, or if you’re in the area, feel free to come on down for a look and a chat on our flying days mentioned above.
Leatherhead is not the oldest club in the country and certainly not the youngest but it has survived all manner of ups and downs and with the enthusiasm that keeps going, we plan to continue for many years to come.
We aim to promote the flying of radio controlled fixed wing aircraft in a safe, friendly and attractive environment.
Our flying field is located off Randalls Road Leatherhead Surrey (KT22 0BA)