AN INTRODUCTION TO THE DAWN PATROL

The Dawn Patrol was established at a meeting held at RAF Woodvale in August 2007, between Ian Redshaw, Dave Tappin, Chris Poyser and Ken Hart. From the start the aims and objectives were to establish a National Team of World War 1 enthusiasts, to produce 1/3rd scale radio controlled models of the significant designs used by the Allies and Central Powers during the 1914 - 1918 war. Ian and Chris were already in the process of setting up a 1/3 scale Sopwith Pup display team. This became the basis for Dawn Patrol, along with two machines they had campaigned the previous season. A Morane N Monoplane and a De Havilland 2 pusher.It was agreed that Ian and Chris would accept responsibility for developing a themed chronological flying sequence. Ken would act jointly with Dave as team co-ordinator with Dave  taking on the additional roles of team commentator and benefactor. Adverts were placed in all the British R/C model magazines, and the BMFA and LMA journals inviting devotees of this period of aviation to get in touch. The response from all corners of the UK was first class. It was immediately obvious that the concept of a National Team was feasible if a system of communication could be established. This was duly set up in the form of a round robin e-mail system, and a private Dawn Patrol Pilots lounge on the RCMF website.The Dawn Patrol was in business!

The large Model Association spring seminar held at Wigan in March 2008 was the first get together for the new team, with many members meeting for the first time. Ten models were on display(albeit including some incompleted machines ) which was a most encouraging start. The Dawn Patrols first flying event was the Wheels and Wings show held at North Weald Airfield in Essex, during May 08 .The weather was very marginal with high winds, but eight of the eleven aircraft entered actually flew. Throughout the weekend the team proved to be a magnet for spectators and photographers. All of us knew that what was on display was simply the tip of the forthcoming iceberg. At the suggestion of Dave Tappin the team adopted a policy of requesting members to select a colour scheme of an Aces aircraft, when finishing their models. It was agreed by everybody that this would give the Dawn Patrol a unique theme, which had never previously been attempted. With the possibility of static displays at major full size events in the  future, it was felt that this feature would be of great interest to Air Historians as opposed to modellers. Model builders the world over tend to select certain designs which are then built over and over again. It reflects great credit on the team that our members were prepared to take on the construction of a major range of historic designs many of which to our knowledge had never previously been built to a 1/3 scale.The well know American company Arizona Model Aircrafters based in Phoenix Arizona, proved to be a huge help by producing for the team twelve bespoke kits for the majority of the significant missing links.The specialist  British company Fighter Aces, whose owner Phil Clark is a member of Dawn Patrol, provided major assistance, in expediting this order with AZM. In order to establish a good standard and maintain the quality of the Dawn Patrols first generation  of models, a comprehensive specification was agreed upon to be administered by the four founding members, plus one other, to give an odd number. The piloting ability of all members to give a safe display in a large formation was also to be assessed. All teamsters must be current members of the LMA, both pilots and groundcrew, and all fliers must hold the BMFA "B" certificate and the LMA proficiency certificate.

A significant development occurred in April 09 when the renowned international booksellers, Osprey Publishing, agreed to an association with the team. Osprey were prepared to allow access to their renowned Aircraft of the Aces series for use on the DPs forthcoming website. The Dawn Patrols aces theme dovetails perfectly with this highly regarded series, in fact the majority of our members used these books as a reference source. The team were delighted with this development. Over 350,000 copies of Aircraft, of the Aces have been sold world wide.

The growth of Dawn Patrol in just 18 months have been remarkable. We are confident the team has a bright and enduring future.

DAVE TAPPIN
TEAM CO-ORDINATOR

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