1956 - 1963;
I started with modelflying in 1956, and that with freeflight gliders, I was 9 years old.
I became a guestmember of the local modelclub MFC Meteoor in Velden (Existed from 1955-1961), near Venlo, in the province Limburg Netherlands.
(MFC Jupiter Venlo did not exist yet at that time, this Club was founded in 1958).
My uncle Miel Hermkens (my father youngest brother and only 5 years older than me) was already a member there, and from him I learned building and flying Freeflight gliders.
Radio Control you saw seldom in those years, because it was so expensive, one could buy a good second-hand car for that money ! Myself I even could not afford a timeclock for my gliders,
So I had to do it with a simple fusecord (in Dutch; lontje, or in German; glimmschnurr), wich burned away a cord (to hold the stabilizer on his place), so that an elastic pulled up the stabilizer.
Sometimes the fusecord put out premature and did not burn the cord, then you were in big trouble and the model could fly away with the wind in a thermal bubble and get away !!!
In the early sixties we moved to Oss (50 km north of Eindhoven) in the province Noord Brabant (NB), and in 1963 I stopped modelling.
1964-1973. No Modelling at all. Just working during day-time and studying in the evenings & weekends.
The experience in building and flying, gained in those Freeflight gliding years, became very handy 10 years later as I started with the hobby again, but now Radio Controlled.
(Freeflight models you cannot trim during a flight, so they must be built very accurate without any warps ! )
So, 10 years later I wanted to start again with the hobby. I drove to our old Hobby Store, Modellbau Leo Seiler, Josefstrasse 2, Straelen, Germany,
(just over the border near Velden-Venlo. In Germany then, the model stuff was much, much cheaper than in the Netherlands).
I bought there my first RC equipment, the Graupner Varioprop 12S (27 Mhz), and my first RC Model, the Graupner Taxi with an Osmax RC 0.30 (5cc) engine.
The total difference with the Netherlands was over 600 gulden then (275 Euro,then), and that was 35% lesser! I combined it with a visit to my family in Velden, so also no extra fuelcosts!
August 1973 - 5 January 1976;
I had to learn RC flying myself, because there was no Modelclub in the neighbourhood.
That were many attemps on a moor near Tilburg, more repairing than flying, then I met a guy there wo could fly already, and he helped me sometimes.
At the end of 1974, I heard there was a new Modelclub "The Wings", 10 km from my home. So I became a member there.
I was approched by 3 other guys from Oss with no experience in RC flying, and I had. One of them could Control Line flying, the other two had no experience at all.
They wanted to start a Modelflying Club in Oss, our hometown, and I joined them.
In October 1975 we organized a meeting in a local hall and there was a lot of interest, not only in flying, also in boats.
5 January 1976;
The Model Club was founded official on this date, and was named Modelbouwvereniging (MBC) "Delta", with 52 members. We, the four initiators, became members of the board.
In dec. 1979, the boat division splitted off to start their own club. So on 29 April 1980 we decided to change the club in a Modelflying Club; Modelvliegvereniging (MFC) "Delta", Oss.
Up today I am the only one left from the beginning, and who is still a "Delta" Clubmember.
All others from the starting on 5 Januari 1976 have left the club in the passed years, and some passed away.
The late 70-ties, the 80-ties, the nine-ties, and the 2000'nds.
From 1978-1982, I flew Aerobatic contests (F3A) with Curare and Magic.
Became club champion Aerobatic, district & national Champion in the beginner class Aerobatic RC3 (F3Ac) & runner up in Aerobatic RC2 (F3Ab).
This all just for learning better pattern flying, because I wanted to fly Scale contests later on.
I flew a lot of Waterflying Contests and was 9x National Champion, continuous from 1982-1990, also with an twin-engined flying Boat, built from own plan (not Scale, span 2,60m=102").
With my Sunderland I was also winner of the Euro Scale Cup Waterflying at the Lake of Constanz in 1994 (on the border of Germany-Switzerland), and 3rd in 1997.
My first Scale model I built in 1975 and that was the Clipped Wing Piper Cub from a Sig Kit (span 1,60m=63").
My second Scale model I built in 1976 and that was the Bo-209 Monsun from a Graupner Kit (span 1,60m=63").
But I wanted to make them better scale and lighter, and that was a lot of work, cutting away, change things and so on.
My toughts after that were, the next scale models I will draw myself (I had become a teacher Building Technics and had worked with an Architect before, so drawing should be no problem).
Own Scale Plans;
The first Scale model built from own plan was in 1977, that was a Messerschmitt ME-109 (span 1,70m=67").
The second one was in 1979, a Spitfire (span 1,70m=67").
The 3rd one was my well known 1/10th B-17 Flying Fortress in 1983 (span 3,20m = 125")
The 4th one was in 1987, the Liberty Sport (span 1,60m.= 63").
With the Spitfire and a Ju-88, I flew my first Scale contests 1981 in 1982, was Runner-up and Winner.
With the Ju-88 and the Liberty Sport I became also National Champion F4C.
Not all of these plans I put in circulation, because I had to overhaul them, but never did ! Perhaps in the future ?
My own plans and well known Champion Scale models, which were circulated, are my;
-B-17 Flying Fortess in 1983 (1/10th, span 3,17m=125").
-Short Sunderland in 1990 (span 3,45m=136").
-B-17 Flying Fortress in 1994 (1/8th. Span 4m=158". This 1/8th plan is not available yet!).
-P-61 Black Widow in 2000 (span 3,10m=122").
(With these 4 large scale models I was very succesfull on National contests and on International Scale contests all over Europe, see above on the picture).
-A-26B Invader in 2015 (span 3,60m=142"). Up today the A-26 never flew a scale contest, because I stopped contestflying before.
Some of these plans were sold via MAP, than via Nexus, than via Encanta Media, all-in the UK, and than they dissapeared together with a lot of my mouldings which they borrowed from me!!!
Than I was tipped, that an American and a Canadian Guy took advantage of my plans and that they sold them via E-Bay, with my name removed or even changed !
I complained at E-Bay, but that did not help for long!
So I updated the plans in 2010, each more Sheets and more Details and now Dural or Carbon Wing and Stabilizer Joiners.
I decided to sell these updated plans myself and not anymore via publishers !
Jan Hermkens, Oss, N.B., Netherlands.