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Nov 10, 2008, 05:53 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP

British Ivan Model Builders Organisation (BIMBO) Flyers

This discussion group is for all electric fliers in the category "Ivan Pettigrew builders", which spreads the net pretty wide as far as model types go. The BIMBO has met three times: twice at Naseby Reservoir, where there is a field for wheels and water for hulls and floats, and once as guests of the Christchurch and District MFC, when we flew at the Club's grass field north of Lymington, and at Longham Lake north of Bournemouth.

Ivan's website is full of attractive mid to large-sized model aircraft ranging from a 120" span Martin Mars to a 58" span pylon racer, but perhaps the most popular models are of flying boats: the Short Solent and Sealand, the Grumman Albatross, Consolidated Catalina and some floatplane conversions such as his version of the DH Canada Twin Otter. A characteristic of these electric-powered models is their light-weight construction, resulting in quite low wing loadings (10 to 14 oz/sq ft is not unusual) and their resultant manoeuvrability and good flying qualities. Although not designed for absolute beginners, some of them are very suitable for supervised RC training. Construction methods are slightly idiosyncratic but once mastered, models are quick, easy and cheap to build (and repair!). There is a complete RC Groups site devoted to his models at where you will find build threads for most of the Ivan's Plans.

Ivan is a New Zealander living in Chilliwack, British Colombia, Canada. His local club, Chilliwack Electric Flyers holds open meetings twice a year and welcomes visitors with open arms: two BIMBO members made the trip in 2010, flying their own and Ivan's planes at the flying field and "the Pond." Extensive photo coverage of these events can be seen at Beverley Hudson and Sam Jay's website and later in this thread.

The BIMBO meetings are very informal and unstructured. Any model "in the spirit of Ivan" (lightweight, electric powered, preferably but not necessarily scale) will be welcome: just let us know via your posts that you would like to attend. Our aim is to hold a flying meeting at Naseby towards the end of May each year, with access to water and grass for electric powered models, as well as a further meeting as the guests of Christchurch & District MFC later in the year.

Please chime in with your Ivan's models, suggestions for venues, build thread details and photos.


Who: Nick Chud: DH88 Comet, completed and flown Jan 2012

Who: Trevor Hewson: Chipmunk, conmpeted and flown Link:

Who: Paul BW: Short Sealand 400
Status: Very nearly finished

Who: Ken Spokes: Minicat (ie Catalina 480) Completed and flown 2 July 2014.

Who: Pentaxman (Andy): Minicat. Completed and flown off land and water Sep 2012

Who: onthecouch: Bristol Freighter
Status: "First job, two wing tips each 18inches long..... 108 inch wing span! what was I thinking??"

Who: Tim Calvert (35mHz): Twin Otter
Status: Well into the build

Who: Clive Spencer: Albatross. Completed and flown off water 5 June 2013

What: Ivan's DH88 Comet
Who: NickChud has flown his
Trevor H has flown his,
SAS Flyer (guest BIMB) and Mountainman2442 have flown theirs,
Link: There is a Comet build thread here

Who: David Baker (how much): Solent 400 built as Sunderland. Completed and flown 9 March 2013

Who: David Wilson: DH Express enlarged to 130" span. Completed and flown.

Who: Bart Lammerse (Bart83) (guest BIMB): Short C23 Empire inspired by the Ivan Solent plan. Completed and flown! 25 April 2013.

Who: Arvid and Daniel Havsgard (guest BIMBs) DH Mosquitos completed and flown September 2013.

Who: Scott Wallis (Wallis100) Catalina 400 (Minicat)Status - the build is underway.

Who: Martin Hardy Twin Otter 600. Completed and flown September 2013

Who: Leslie Ward Sealand 480
Status - Under construction December 2015

What: Ivan's Druine Turbulent 50
Mike, Nick, Tim, Scott, Sue and Martin have the plans and there is a group build thread here:
All have flown.

Who: Pentaxman Jr Ivan's Twin Otter 480
Status: Construction began October 2016

Who: Pentaxman is building the Ivan's Beaufighter. Completed and flown August 2019

Who: Malcolm Bird DHC Chipmunk. Completed and flown.

Who: Martin Hardy Sealand 480 Complete and flown 28 May 17.

Who: Sopwith Mike is converting an Ivan's Lancaster into an Avro Lincoln Completed and flown 16 May 2020

VIDEOS We all have videos of Ivan's planes, and "Spirit" models too. There is no room on this page, so they will all be added to post 700 later in the thread.

IN THE SPIRIT OF IVAN These are models designed and built by BIMBO members within the spirit of Ivan's originals. They appear at the end of the Hall of Fame.

Last edited by Sopwith Mike; Apr 21, 2021 at 05:03 PM.
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Nov 10, 2008, 06:56 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar

Billing Lakes

I spoke to Tony Chaplin this morning of LMA. He's a lovely guy, very helpful and experienced. I said there would probably be up to 10 of us, possibly 20 in the biggest possibility, no public. From the waterplane point of view a gathering in May, apart from the first Sunday in the month would be no problem at all. for a small contribution to the club, we could use their boat, I think.

The big problem is .. no chance of a mown grass strip. the nearest place might be the Northampton MAC who have a site about 15 miles from there.

I guess most of us could arrange a site like PT's 2 football fields for a gathering. The key to it all is, can we find a lake nearby where the fishermen, sailors and bird watchers wouldn't come after us with pitch forks.

One idea is Naseby reservoir, at jct 1 of the A14, here . My friend has a boat there and there's a farmer neaby who flies a microlite. I'm sure I could track him down and chat him up.

At this stage, we must keep kicking the ideas around. something will come up.

Nov 10, 2008, 01:10 PM
Registered User
paulbw's Avatar
Hi Mike and Nick,
The two most important things for me - to meet up with the people here but to do it where there is water to fly from. I am not sure that it matters if we use a different date - just in case anyone actually decides to go to BC!
Are there any BIM's that have wheels-only models?
I have no water locally whereas land-based sites are available. So whilst adding-in a grass strip would be the icing, for me the lake-cake comes first!
Nick, if in Water Authority ownership, is sports use of reservoirs possible? This could be a lot of fun if it all comes together!
Paul W.
Nov 10, 2008, 01:27 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
If it's lake only, then Billing Lake gets my vote.

However, I want to see the DH Rapide, Mossie, Chipmunk. There's a Lancaster in Scotland, maybe we could coax him down with the promise of a bed and dinner.

I'm not sure how official my permission to use the Naseby Reservoir is. Only the farmer and the bloke who lives in his grandfather's squatter house on the shore. I'll check up if you think it's a possibility.

Whatever lake we choose, it should be much easier to find a big playing field nearby, at least on a Saturday. I can think of two suitable ones as well as our Market Harborough MAC within 5 or 6 miles from Naseby.


Nov 10, 2008, 01:34 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar

As things stand at this moment, I have no IP planes that are waterborne, they are all wheeled so for me a short (10 or so yards) rough grass strip is necessary.
I plan to build a MiniCat over winter so this may not be such a requirement and I could possibly put floats on the Chipmunk but the Mossie on floats would be a no-no.


Naseby sounds good, with the weather the way it has been in the last few days I would say most places look like lakes right now. I drove past a BMX site with lots of tracks running into some very deep looking water.

At a push, if there is a open vehicle track that we could close on a temporary basis for land flying on the same site then I would be fine with that.

How about a quarry type site? They normally have some largeish bodies of water and flatish ground on the same site.
Nov 10, 2008, 01:53 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar
Just Google Earthed Naseby Resevoir and I can see what looks to be a Sailing club on the west bank near the quarry. That may restrict things a little..

There is what looks to be a large house and stable complex slightly to the north of the resevoir with a longish looking lake, maybe that might be worth investigation.
There is a Water Authority Reservoir with a dam just south of the village of South Kilworth.
There is another small lake / Pond to the south east Corner of the Kilworth Golf Club.
Last edited by pentaxman; Nov 10, 2008 at 02:08 PM.
Nov 10, 2008, 02:27 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar
How about Graffam Water?
I think TN managed to get permission to do a maiden there.
Nov 10, 2008, 02:33 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar
Found another body of water with what looks to be boats and Camping / Caravan site along side.
referance 52 15'53.65"N 0 15'24.64"W
Nov 10, 2008, 04:55 PM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar

The "Sailing Club" on Naseby Reservoir is my unusual friend living in his grandfather's squatter house. The house has been there since about 1920 so they can't move him. All the junk around his house that you can see is boats, old cars etc. He's on our side. He works as the winch man at Sibbertoft Gliding Club so he's an enthusiast for flying with his own single seat glider.

At Market Harborough MAC we just got an invitation from them to come and drink beer at the Gliding Club on Thursday nights, or something. I'm the only one in MHMAC with a wateborne plane, they're mostly petrol-heads and I don't attend very often, I only joined to get the insurance. But I'm sure this gathering represents a possible line of enquiry.

I think the important thing about getting a lake is that we need one with a boat. I think flying boats, and more so float-planes, are harder to handle on the water than in the air. They always want to go up wind, and float planes tip over if you turn cross-wind. Most of these lakes have 2 or 3 shores inaccessible with trees to make it hard to get your plane back.

I know enough farmers around here that I'm sure we can find one who'd mow us a patch somewhere. What would be best is a field adjacent to a lake somewhere. Our cricket field is always available on a Saturday. It's about 10 minutes drive from the lake. Don't imagine a proper cricket field - it's used by cows all the week. The farmer would fence them away for us, but the outfield is pretty rough. We would be allowed to use the square, which is about 30yds sq and it's rolled and cut every week. I know cos I roll it.

Shall I persever with the Naseby Lake plus a field nearby?

Those lakes next to South Kilworth border onto by brother-in-law's farm. The smaller one's got too many trees round it for my flying skills. I'll give him a ring tomorrow about the larger one. It's a possibility. I should have thought of that... doh!


Last edited by nickchud; Apr 22, 2009 at 09:59 AM.
Nov 10, 2008, 05:25 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar
Persue as many lines of enquirely as you feel you can.
Hopefully one should lead somewhere good.
If necessary I could always take a trip around that area and do a reccy or 2 of a weekend.
I will check, but I am pretty sure I will be able to lay my hands on a rubber dingy for the weekend if needs be so don't let a lack of boat restrict the search.
Last edited by pentaxman; Nov 10, 2008 at 05:34 PM.
Nov 11, 2008, 01:12 AM
Registered User
LukeZ's Avatar
Originally Posted by nickchud
The farmer would fence them away for us, but the outfield is pretty rough.
Rough fields are no problem for PT! He's used to taking off from cratered surfaces akin to the lunar landscape. I was talking to Ivan once and he told me how he had always thought you British guys would be taking advantage of cricket pitches or perhaps Her Majesty's gardens, until he saw some videos of PT's field. It's true, he really only does need a few yards - just hit one of those bumps and up you're flying!

Nov 11, 2008, 12:02 PM
Registered User
pentaxman's Avatar
Thanks Luke, that made me smile.
It does suprise a lot of people when a 74" wingspan electric plane can lift off in 5 yards from a standing start in still air. I still prefer to fly to scale so longer take offs are the normal rule of the day but it is nice to have the extra power to hand if it needs to be used.
When the better weather gets here I will get TT to do some video of the Chipmunk on a short take off.

Just confirmed tonight that the dingy is available to us, not sure of its condition since it has been stored for a good few years but I will test it as soon as I can.

PS I thought it about time to change my Avatar, so the Chippy it is for the moment.
Last edited by pentaxman; Nov 11, 2008 at 12:09 PM.
Nov 11, 2008, 12:17 PM
SB-28 UK Display Pilot
GeeW's Avatar
If you need a recovery boat I have one I can bring along if needed c/w lifejackets etc.
Just so long as you let me fly my e-(but not IP) flying boats.
Nov 11, 2008, 05:10 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Thread OP
All e-models are welcome GeeW!

If anyone wants to fly off salt water, with a safety boat/aircraft carrier and 1000m or so of clear water all around, and is prepared to travel to Christchurch on the off-chance of a nice calm evening and full tide, PM me direct and I can give you the details. It has to be an evening high tide so that there are no sailing boats around: early morning or 7-8pm in the summer is best. But it's an unforgettable experience, and you get to wash the planes down afterwards with fresh water and grease up all the clevises!

We also have a grass site close by (it's a public area, so you do need insurance and to be the guest of a Christchurch MFC member).

Nov 12, 2008, 03:18 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
That's an excellent plan, Mike. I'll go if that's what we decide.

The Naseby Reservoir is also a real practical possibility. PT was right about the Sailing Club. My friend lives next to it and he tells me that they're not active, but they would let us use their beach and parking space. The lake belongs to British Waterways. There are a few fishermen there sometimes, always at the East end of the dam, well out of the way.

The farmer who's next to that lake is a friend of my brother-in-law, I've met him and he originally encouraged me to use the lake. He's a sheep farmer, so he should have some fields should suit us. I'll speak to him today. Maybe we could mow a strip. The lake at S Kilworth belongs to Severn Trent Water and is jealously guarded by bird watchers and fishermen. My brother-in-law's farm is all wheat and barley, so not suitable.

All ideas still open for discussion, of course.


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