Ken Gale

Well known figure in RC Helicopter circles and very quickly submitted a reply to my 'calling' notice along with a couple of pictures of two of his 'vintage' helicopters.

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the info. Looks very interesting, something I’ve thought about doing for some time as we are a scale club with some geriatric heli's as well! I started flying heli's in 1975 with a Kavan Jet Ranger which is still flying, although only on sunny calm days! I have the original manual in PDF format somewhere if you are interested as over the years several heli flyers have put requests on forums etc. I’ve also got a Kavan Allouette from about 1978 although that’s not now flying as the noise is unacceptable now and a modern silencer would be tricky to fit. I’ve also still got some spares for the Allouette and a few spares for the Jet Ranger if anyone is interested.


Ken (Jan 2009)


Although the photo shows a flybar, I usually fly it without as it actually fly’s much better and much more like a ‘modern’ machine. If you’ve flown one of these heli's you’ll know that response is not what you might call instant. I usually tell other flyers that it’s less like radio control – more like fax!! I have to admit to changing it inside so it now has eccpm , a heading hold gyro and a Zimmerman exhaust. It’s now very quiet and with a head speed of around 1100 it flies very leisurely.

I’ve also got a kit of parts from a crashed one that will one day go into a fuselage that I moulded myself some years ago (that’s one of my mouldings in the photo – the original lasted about 6 months before I shredded it through a large oak tree!). I’ve also got an unstarted kit that, going by the box contents, must have been one of the last ones to be produced around 1983 along with an original Kavan fuselage moulding that seems a bit brittle by today’s standards.