Aeromodelling and Juniors in Israel
Introductory words by Per Findahl, Chairman of the CIAM Education Subcommittee:
"For many years I have been impressed with the extremely high level of competition flying from Israel’s Junior Freeflight team. They were always on top in the Championships I attended as team manager for the Swedish Juniors and more recently as a Jury member. When meeting them, it’s plain to see how much fun they have flying together. I asked Aviad Levy to give us an idea about how Israel has succeeded in such a way, so that we can ge a better idea of how a successful Junior programme can be run. Here is Aviad’s response: prepare to be inspired!"
From Aviad Levy
Aeromodelling started many years ago in Israel. Back then, many Juniors were part of the Israeli Air Force (also known as the Flying Camel). With the establishment of the state of Israel, many clubs building balsa models (a good hobby for Juniors and a way to improve fine motor skills) opened. Information and techniques were passed from adults to juniors, helping them to build models and fly them in the field.
Certification courses were started and exist to this day, allowing youngsters to participate in club life and teaching them leadership skills. For the instructors' course that is held every summer, juniors are the main guides, and the best of them are picked to be instructors. These new instructors then return to their clubs and share their skills with others who are passionate about the sport.
League competitions take place every year between the cities, producing champions and providing prestige to various clubs. Many adults that grew up in the club system now help young instructors through teaching classes and coaching in the field. This way of ‘paying it forward’ helps to promote information among the junior instructors and children new to the sport. Most of this help from adult members is on a voluntary basis.
Inter-club competition unites adults and children in the task of winning championships. The ethos of fostering different qualities and skill sets in individuals contributes to the warm group atmosphere and allows juniors to succeed.
Most of the clubs in Israel are based on free fight 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 connected to the NAC, which organizes the aeromodelling league.
Each club has its own programme, but the main aim is to start with internal class models such as HLG, P-30, E-36, F1H, F1G, and then after completion of this programme to continue to international classes such as F1A, F1B, F1Q. In Gliders and RC models, children also start with internal models, in order to get the basics in building and flying and then continue to international models such as F3A, F3K, F5J.
All classes that are built in the clubsare tested in the fields and then competitions in the aeromodelling league.
Knowledge Learned in clubs
All learning takes place in sharing, and it's important that the chain of knowledge continues. The knowledge learned in the clubs is not taught at school or university.
Over the years I have learned that the more you give, the more you receive, and that giving knowledge to the juniors gives them the feeling of belonging, which is of great importance.
New blood and talent is critical to maintain the clubs. Here in Israel, we have 10 big clubs and the managers of the clubs and guides/coachrs 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 technology and aviation skills. He is the manager of four aeroclub, included two opened in 2018. He builds and flies free flight models, RC models, RC gliders, main classes: F1A, F1Q.