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Old May 19, 2013, 09:09 PM
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kkphantom's Avatar
Australia, WA, Perth
Joined Nov 2010
662 Posts
Martyn Cowley RIP

Just learned that Martyn Cowley, former editor of Aeromodeller and top free flighter has succumbed to a massive heart attack. R.I.P.
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Old May 19, 2013, 11:51 PM
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Gold Coast Australia.
Joined Jan 2005
2,575 Posts
Just received the terrible news here as well. He passed away on Friday.

He was a very good Free Flight man indeed. First met up with him in Denmark at the '77 World Champs when we flew F1C.
He flew all sorts of FF models from when he lived in his native UK, to when he moved to the USA to be involved with Paul MacCready and the human powered flying machines as well as the solar powered aircraft.

He really is a big loss at not an old age to aeromodelling. RIP Martin.
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Old May 20, 2013, 01:04 AM
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brokenenglish's Avatar
France, Centre, Amboise
Joined Nov 2011
1,845 Posts
Sadness and disbelief. He was far too young.
Perhaps Martyn's level of excellence, activity and achievement overstressed the machine a bit...

A little FF story in tribute:
In the mid-seventies, I went to watch an international FF event in France. As the British team were "setting up", I asked Martyn why all the other top competitors had engine starters mounted on short poles (they just pushed the nose of the plane into the starter to start the engine).
Martyn replied that he'd served his time in CL combat pit crews (with Richard Wilkens), and that his Rossi, properly set up, would start with one whack, quicker than carefully pushing a plane nose into a starter...
He then proceeded to prove it, five times out of five, and won... RIP Martyn
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Old May 20, 2013, 10:39 PM
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United States, CA, Thousand Oaks
Joined Sep 2010
232 Posts
Martyn interviewed and then hired me at AeroVironment, back in 1989. In the years since, I had the privilege of working with him, but the best times were the lunchtime flying sessions at the local park. He was a great guy and his loss will be felt throughout the worldwide modeling community.
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Old May 22, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Joined Jul 2009
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Dick Paquette

Greetings - do you have any info at all regarding services for Martyn. I retired from Boeing recently, but for a couple of years we worked quite closely on integrating a comms relay with the Puma.
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Old May 22, 2013, 01:32 PM
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United States, CA, Thousand Oaks
Joined Sep 2010
232 Posts
I still work at AV and I haven't of any services for Martyn yet. We'll probably get a bunch of folks together one day soon, for a mass flyoff of Martyn's hand-launched and catapult glider designs.

Back in 1994, when we were a much smaller company, we all built his Gold Rush HLG design and had a blast tossing these things around in the local park at lunchtime. One day, I launched directly into a massive thermal and last saw my Gold Rush as it headed downwind while climbing very quickly. Martyn jumped on his bicycle and gave chase, returning to the office an hour later while regretting that he wasn't able to track it down. I think another flying session would be a fitting tribute.
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Old May 22, 2013, 05:38 PM
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United States, CA, Gardena
Joined Oct 2004
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Got this from Ray Morgan.

- Norm

I have some bad news to share, with apologies for the group email. Martyn Cowley died of a massive heart attack this past Friday night. He apparently died in an ambulance being transferred from a local E-R to a better equipped hospital, after driving himself to the local E-R. (Typical of Martyn, he did not want to impose on anyone when he apparently felt symptoms at some point Friday afternoon.)
We are planning to have an informal memorial service, coupled with an indoor model fly-in (an event Martyn got started locally some years back) in a Gymnasium here in Simi. Currently, we are planning this for 7:30 in the evening on June 15. We will send out a set of Martyn's plans for a balsa "chuck glider" for those who'd like to build one and bring it for a group "chuck glider" launch at the end of the memorial. There will probably be some liquid libation after as well, and light snacks. If you think you might be able to come, please respond to this email, and we will include you in our distribution of details as the time approaches.
His parents may or may not be able to get here from England for the event. Martyn's remains are going to be interred in England, with a formal funeral held there. He was 64 years old.

Best to all,
Ray Morgan

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Old May 25, 2013, 03:33 AM
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Joined Jul 2009
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Very sad news. Martyn was a true all rounder and a very good combat flyer in his
younger days : I believe he reached the final of the British nationals in the late sixties/early seventies when there was a huge entry and you had to be very good to do that. I last saw him two years ago on one of his annual visits to the uk when he attended a vintage combat event. He was as enthusiastic as ever about aeromodelling and control line in particular
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