20 December 2022
If it’s a clear day, you’ll find Alan Rowson out doing what he loves the most – flying.
No, Alan’s not at the flight deck but these model planes certainly don’t fly themselves. And when they’re in the air, you might even mistake them for the real deal.
“Some of the planes I build have engines from 10cc up to 62cc. These are mainly petrol engines, so they are powerful machines. When they are up in the air, they are spectacular to watch.”
A former bank manager and volunteer firefighter, Alan first picked up the hobby from his dad when he was a young boy.
“Dad used to make scratch-built models. These are not at all like the pre-assembled kits you get today as old school scratch-built planes can take up to a year or longer to make. It’s a real skill.
“I was fascinated by them. And because my brothers weren’t interested, it was something special my dad and I could do together.”
Over the years, Alan’s passion has steadily grown. At its largest, his collection included more than 70 planes and filled his previous three-car garage.
When Alan and wife Linda, moved to Forest Lake Gardens over a year ago, it was time to downsize.
“When I start working on a new model now, I have to make sure it fits on the garage shelf. Or unfortunately it’s out with the old to make way for the new.”
Alan says the trick to model aeroplane construction is time and patience. And a lot of it.
“One of my favourite models I built is a Lancaster Bomber used in World War II. I was working on it periodically for over 10 years before selling it to a friend who now flies it. I was very proud to see it fly.”
When he’s not toiling away in his workshop, Alan spends much of his time participating at the Hamilton Model Aero Club, where he has been Treasurer since 2013.
“I’ll get a call from a friend asking if I want to go flying and I’m off out the door. It’s always a good day to fly!”