Eaton man to fly the flag for Britain at model aircraft event

A Norwich man and his model flying machines are travelling to South America to represent Britain in an international competition.

Mike Woodhouse, 68, of Marston Lane, Eaton, is part of the British team which will be competing against about 40 other nations at the World Free Flight Championships in Argentina next month.

Mr Woodhouse, who is married and has two daughters, will be taking six flying machines that he has adapted over the years to the championships.

'My models tend to be a general progression and development. They tend to grow over time and a lot of the parts are interchangeable between the models,' he said. 'They are made of carbon fibre and have wingspans of up to about two metres.'

Mr Woodhouse is one of nine competitors chosen from across the country to represent Britain in the competition taking place near Cordoba and which should have between 300 and 400 people taking part.

When asked about how he felt about being in the team, Mr Woodhouse said: 'I am very proud – it is nice to have GB on your models.'

He said he first represented Britain in 1967 in Czechoslovakia and has been in the British team a number of times, competing in championships in places such as the USA, Portugual and France.

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Mr Woodhouse and two team mates won the team medal for their class in the European championships in Portugal and at the world championships in the Ukraine. The same trio will be competing together in Argentina.

Mr Woodhouse said there are three classes in the championships and the classes are defined by how the models are launched into the air. Mr Woodhouse's models are powered by rubber bands which drive the propellor, and his models can climb to about 300 metres.

'The object of the exercise in all the competitions is to keep your model in the air as long as possible,' he said.

'The main thing is picking the time you launch the aircraft and you need a bit of luck as well.'

Mr Woodhouse said model aircraft have been a hobby of his since he was a boy.

'When you fly these things on a nice day with nice conditions and you see them flying around the sky it is brilliant,' he said.

Mr Woodhouse has already travelled to Arizona, California and Norway with his models this year. He will be travelling to Argentina tomorrow.

Do you know somebody who will be representing Great Britain in an unusual sport? Call Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email