Aeromodelling and Juniors in Israel
Introductory words from Per Findahl, Chairman of the CIAM Education Subcommittee:
“For many years, I have been impressed by the very high level of competition of the Israel Junior Free Flight Team. They have always been at the top in the championships which I have attended as Director of team for the Swedish juniors and more recently as a member of the jury. When they meet you see how much fun they are flying together. I asked Aviad Levy to give us an idea of how Israel was successful in this way, so we can get a better idea of how a successful Junior program can be run. Here is Aviad’s response: Prepare to be inspired! “
By Aviad Levy
Aeromodelling began many years ago in Israel. At the time, many juniors were in the Israeli Air Force (also known as the Flying Camel). With the establishment of the State of Israel, many balsa model building clubs (a good hobby for juniors and a way to improve fine motor skills) were opened. Information and techniques were passed on from adults to juniors, helping them build models and fly them in the field.
Certification courses were launched and still exist to this day, allowing young people to participate in club life and teach them leadership skills. For the instructors course which takes place every summer, the juniors are the main guides and the best of them are chosen to be instructors. These new instructors then return to their clubs and share their skills with other sports enthusiasts.
League competitions are held annually between cities, producing champions and providing prestige to various clubs. Many adults who grew up in the club system now help young instructors by teaching and coaching in the field. This “pay it forward” approach helps promote information among junior instructors and children new to the sport. Most of this adult member help is on a voluntary basis.
The interclub competition brings together adults and children with the aim of winning championships. The ethic of fostering different qualities and skills in individuals contributes to the warm atmosphere of the group and enables juniors to be successful.
Most clubs in Israel are based on free combat models (HLG, P-30, E-36, F1H, F1G, F1A, F1B, F1C, F1Q) and gliders (F3K, F5J). Two clubs are based on F2B, F3A. All clubs are linked to the NAC, which organizes the aeromodelling league.
Each club has its own program, but the main goal is to start with internal class models such as HLG, P-30, E-36, F1H, F1G, then after completing this program to continue to international classes such as F1A, F1B, F1Q. In gliders and RC models, children also start with internal models, in order to acquire the basics of construction and flight, and then move on to international models such as F3A, F3K, F5J.
All classes built in clubs are field tested and then competed in the model aircraft league.
Knowledge learned in clubs
All learning happens through sharing, and it is important that the knowledge chain continues. Knowledge acquired in clubs is not taught in school or university.
Over the years I have learned that the more you give, the more you receive, and that giving knowledge to juniors makes them feel like they belong, which is of great importance.
New blood and talent are essential to maintain clubs. Here in Israel we have 10 great clubs and the club managers and guides / coaches are true believers in continuing this proud tradition.
Aviad Levy was the CEO of the Aero club of Israel from 2009 to 2019. He now helps juniors with technological and aeronautical skills. He is the manager of four aero clubs, two of which opened in 2018. He builds and pilots free flight models, RC models, RC gliders, main classes: F1A, F1Q.