The aeromodelling story of Cliff McIver, considered one of his club's most promising junior members during the late nineteen fifties.
The pictures at right may be enlarged by clicking on them.
1. Here's Cliff at the age of eleven, with his Elfin 1.49 powered Hellcat. With small planes like the Hellcat Cliff became an accomplished young pilot, able to perform an almost infinite number of consecutive figure eights.
2. Cliff was for several years one of the most active members of the Sandringham Model Aero Club, formed in the mid nineteen fifties in Melbourne's south east. Pictured here at the club's George Street flying field is Cliff with his friends from the club, from the left Geoff Cawsey, Lindsay Edwards, and Max Stevens.
About this time Cliff demonstrated his love of horizontal figure eights by performing on a windy day more almost infinite numbers of consecutive eights with a lightweight stunter after its engine had stopped.
As a junior Cliff once defeated Doug Harlow to win the State Junior Combat title, but perhaps his greatest competition success was in an event called a "Butchers Picnic", where all entrants flew together in the one circle resulting in numerous prangs with the last survivor becoming the winner. Cliff reckons the secret of his success was his tactic of running around the outside of the group of other pilots!
3. Under the guidance of his mentor Athol Holtham, Cliff became the proud owner of a nice Thunderbird, considered at the time to be the best stunter available. Around this time club leaders hoped that Cliff was ready for success in open competitions... but it was also around this time that Cliff developed an interest in hot rod cars and all but disappeared from control line circles.
4. In the twenty first century Cliff flies radio control models like this one, and runs a successful hobby shop. He has built up the Hawthorn Hobbies business over a period of something like fifteen years, selling mainly radio control models and kites.