FAI Aeromodelling Commission (CIAM)

Years 1936-1949

Authors: Tony Aarts and Peter Keim

Before World War II

Aeromodelling taken care of in FAI General Conference by delegates most of whom had little or no knowledge of aeromodelling.

In the pre-WW-II years several important international contests were held under FAI-rules. Among them the yearly Wakefield Trophy contest. This trophy was donated by Sir Charles Wakefield in 1927 and intended for rubber-powered aeromodels. The pre-WWW-II Wakefield contests were held every year until 1939.
In 1937 the first international contests for model-gliders were held both in Austria, organized by ISTUS, the later OSTIV (a scientific organization for full size gliding).
Another important contest was the King Peter Cup, donated by King Peter II of Yugoslavia. It was intended to be held every year, alternately for gliders and rubber-powered models. First contest in 1938 in Ljubljana (Yugoslavia) for rubber-powered models and in 1939 for gliders in England from 19-24 July; 8 countries with 76 models participating.


In the June issue of both “Aeromodeller” and “Model Aeroplane Constructor” has been reported that the FAI has established rules for International Records for Model Aircraft.

After World War II


FAI General Conference in London, September 10-12
Great Britain, France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden put Aeromodelling items on the Agenda.
All items on Free Flight.
Mention of specific Model Commission, “Commission pour les Modèles Réduits d’Avions” (CMRA). No mention of Chairman or other Officers. This Model Commission, with a few exceptions, did not consist of practical aeromodellers.
With reference to the last pre-war FAI General Conference in 1939 the British aeromodellers were complaining about the rules for timing duration record flights approved at that conference. This rule says “timekeepers should move to follow the model during its flight by all means of location available to them and also make use of optical instruments”.
This impractical rule could be adopted because most countries belonging to the FAI have not, in the past, gone to the trouble of sending an aeromodeller to attend the Model Commission meeting, but left this in the hands of one of the representatives for full size aircraft. No practical aeromodellers, except a very few, have up to now served in the commission. The delegates have to be educated in what is actually required and should be clearly informed of what the difference is between the conditions required for models as compared to those for full size aircraft.


Meeting of FAI Models Commission in Geneva (September 16-19)
Model specifications revised:
Smax = 150 dm2; W/Smin = 12 g/dm2; W/Smax = 50 g/dm2; Wmax = 5 kg; min. fuselage cross-section S/100 cm2 (glider), S/80 cm2 (rubber and power).
Definition of surface area (projection, fuselage area included).
Indoor models considered of little use for aeromodelling, so no separate class. Also no separate mentioning of Control Line.
Mr. Alex F. Houlberg (GBR) elected president of Aeromodelling Committee.
FAI A, B, and C Certificates introduced.
Introduction of FAI Aeromodelling Contest Calendar.
Model contest rules included in FAI Sporting Code extensively revised, effective January 1st 1948 (see above).
French name for Aeromodelling Committee: CIMR, Commission Internationale des Modèles Réduites;
in English: CIAM, Commission for International Aeromodelling.
In the beginning CIAM Meetings have always been attended by the FAI Director General. In the early years it was Mr. Gillman. Meetings were mostly both French and English spoken and the D.G., in particular Mr. Gillman was a great help by translating English into French and vice-versa. Some delegates, who could speak German as well, were often translating English into German for German-only speaking delegates (e.g. Austria).
From around the beginning of the seventies all discussions took place in English only.

First after WW-II International contest for gliders and power models in Frauenfeld, Switzerland, June 21-23, with 11 countries participating.


FAI General Conference in Paris, September
For aeromodelling new record classes were introduced viz. Tailless Gliders, Control Line (speed with models powered by piston motors and by reaction motors), and Indoor Models.


FAI Conference in Cleveland, USA, September 2-8
Aeromodelling Committee met under presidency of Alex Houlberg with representatives from France, USA, Netherlands, Monaco and Turkey.
Circular Flight (Control Line) speed rules. Max. flying height 5 m, speed pylon and yoke for putting in wrist of steering hand.
General rules for conduct of international contests. C/L Aerobatics to be regulated.

CIAM Officers: A.F. Houlberg, GBR, President, G. Derantz, SWE, Vice-president, F. Cartier, FRA,
Secretary and J. van Hattum, NED, Assistant Secretary.