On Saturday the 6th of August at around 4 o'clock dog walkers and picnickers on Epsom Downs were mystified to see groups of people of all ages and sex walking across the Downs. They were generally carrying small 20" span rubber powered balsa model aircraft.  The group soon settled in the centre of the Downs and the chat was of rubber motor lengths, balance points and wing incidence settings. Some of the fascinated spectators asked what was going on and were interested to hear this was the annual Mass Launch of a model aircraft called the Cloud Tramp.

The event is held in memory of Charles Grant who was an American and designed the model in 1954 in an effort to get American youth interested in aeromodelling, which hopefully would lead to full size aviation.

The models are launched simultaneously across the world at 17.00 hrs BST, giving this event a true international flavour. This means that in countries on the other side of the world such as New Zealand or Australia the models are launched in the dark, often in sport centres or illuminated car parks.

The Downs meeting was organised by the Epsom Downs Model Aircraft Club [EDMAC].  Luckily for the fliers, which is not always the case, there was wall to wall sunshine with a fair breeze blowing towards the famous Epsom Grandstand.

Fliers came from far and wide to participate in this unique event, now in its 22nd year. The Club was pleased to welcome the current chair of Epsom and Ewell Conservators, Councilor Liz Frost, and the past Chair, Jean Smith, both of whom took an active part in the proceedings. As the minutes ticked away to the start time, Ted Horne a veteran free-flighter, gave the impending launch signal and requested that all the fliers line up in a straight line facing into the wind. As the start signal was given the air was filled with what seemed like hundreds of models [actually 26] all climbing away. As always there was a lot of good-natured banter as the planes climbed into what was now a stiff breeze.  Some fliers saw their planes collide with other CT's , some flew for a just a few seconds with others travelling literally to the famous Epsom Grandstand.  Whatever the planes progress each flier was enchanted by their particular planes flight and agreed to come again the following year.

Why not build your own Cloud Tramp, its simple and easy to construct, and join your fellow Tramp-ers on the Downs on August 5th 2017 and help us achieve a record breaking  attendance.

Report by Tony Tomlin, EDMAC

 

 

2013 Cloud Tramp Report

The 2014 Cloud Tramp event took place on the Downs on Saturday 2nd August, with the traditional launch at 17:00BST - the same time as other Cloud Tramp events around the world. (Bear in mind that in New Zealand a few hardy souls are launching their Cloud Tramps in the dark at 6am on a winter morning!)

In warm and relatively calm conditions (compared to some years!) 25 people participated.

Cloud Tramp mass launch - 2014

The 'official' group photo;

2014 Group Photo

Once again Ted Horne kept us all in order, and to time.

Ted Horne with the clipboard

Further shots from the day

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

Cloud Tramp fliers

And finally Robin Willes with a Cloud Tramp that looks like it shrunk in the wash!

Robin with 'shrunk' Cloud Tramp


2013 - Report by club chairman, David Lambert

On Saturday 3 August at 17.00 hrs the annual Cloud Tramp mass launch was once again held by EDMAC on Epsom Downs.

Cloud Tramp participants on the Downs

It was a bright but windy afternoon on the Downs and with Robin Willes running the event this year 31 Cloud Tramps were seen to take to the blue sky promptly at 5pm and some very good flights were recorded.

It was great to note that the number of Cloud Tramps launched in 2013 had increased from last years 22 to 31.

Mass Launch

EDMAC was very pleased that Councillor Jean Smith, Chairman of the Conservators and the Consultative Committee, and Sam Beak, the Downs Manager and her young daughter both made time in their busy schedules to come along and join in. Both were provided with a Cloud Tramp model to Launch and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Why not make a note in your diary to join us on the 2 August 2014 for this fun event with one of the easiest to build and fly models ever designed.

Thanks to Peter Norman and Derek Foxwell for the photos.

The participants

This years participants were as follows, Robin Willes, Margaret Willes, Susan Moore, Graham Moore, Peggy Moore, Connor Sawyer, Martin Stanbridge, Sarah Stanbridge, Peter Norman, Alex Cameron, Pete Cameron, Fred Brown, David Lambert, Jamie Lambert, Jean Smith, Tony Tomlin, Keith Miller, Tom Thompson, Pauline Holloway, Mike Holloway, Roger Marples, Sam Beak, John Privett, Peter Michel, Adrian Smith, Cedric da la Nougerede, Mary da la Nougerede, Malcolm Jagger, Tony Green, Barbara Green, Derry Eggs.

And a final word for this year's event from Robin 'Orange Vest' Willes, "As far as I can ascertain Epsom's 31 Cloud Tramps was the biggest local launch out of the 142 so far reported."

Tony Tomlin and others


The 2012 Cloud Tramp took place on Saturday August 4th.

Robin Willes reports, "This year 22 fliers launched at Epsom under the skillful direction of Ted Horne. Tom Thompson's 'plane went almost the full width of the Downs and Margaret (Ooh where's it gone?) Willes' landed near it.

Cloud Tramp world wide mass launch will be on August 3rd next year [2013] so please make a note in your new diary to join us for this fun event with one of the easiest to build and fly models ever designed."

 

 

 


 

On Saturday 6th August the 2011 EDMAC Cloud Tramp event was held. This year 32 flyers gathered and took part on Epsom Downs. Numbers were slightly down on last year but still a good turn out never the less.

Cloud Tramp group picture

At 17.00 hours the mass launch of 32 Cloud Tramp models took place, a spectacular sight.

Congratulations go to Leon Cameron who recorded the longest flight with a time of 1 Min. 42 secs. He no doubt had serious coaching by both his father and grand father who are seriously keen aero modellers.

Many thanks to Ted Horne for running the event again this year and taking the official photos. Thanks also to Tony Tomlin for supplying additional photos. The event was great fun as always and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

May I also thank the R/C flyers present who stopped flying whilst Cloud Tramp 2011 took place.

Well done everybody.

David Lambert

Chairman EDMAC

 

 

We've received the following photographs from the 2011 event;

Mass launch

The Chairman's model

 

Robin gets ready to launch

 

 

 

 

The Group Picture

Ted Horne ran the Epsom Downs part of Cloud Tramp in 2010 and 2011. Last year we asked Ted for an explanation of Cloud Tramp for those who might not have encountered it before;

'For those club members who are unaware of the origins of the Cloud Tramp ''Competition'', I will attempt to give a very brief summary of the event.
 
'Back in the early fifties, an American by the name of Charles Grant attempted to encourage the youth of the day to become interested in aeromodeling, and the best way to do this he thought was to publish a simple plan and a set of instructions in a hobby magazine. In 1954 the plan of the Cloud Tramp was published in Model Aeroplane News. The only difference between that plan and today's plan, is the fact that whereas the original showed the propeller being carved from balsa or pine, today's plan allows the use of a plastic prop.
 

 

'How the event became truly international I do not know, perhaps someone can tell me. What I do know is that on that on the first Saturday in August at exactly 5.00 P. M. U.K. time, a mass launch of Cloud Tramps takes place at exactly the same time all over the world. 5.00 P. M. U.K. equates to 9 A.M. Californian time, and 5 A.M. Australian time, where I am told the event is flown under flood and searchlights, as it is dark there at 5 A.M. in their winter. Whilst there are no entry fees, no prizes, and no glory for being the last one down, some organisation have made it into a competition of 5 flights.
 
 
'For as long as I can remember, there has always been an event on Epsom Downs. This year some 37 flyers took part, not as many as previously when as many as 50 plus have taken part, but never the less, a good turn out.'

 

Thank you Ted, for running the day, in both 2010 and 2011, and for the explanation. More information on the event came be seen on the Cloud Tramp website.

 

Cloud Tramp 2010

EDMAC again hosted Cloud Tramp on the Downs on Saturday August 7th 2010. Initial reports indicate around 37 Cloud Tramps were launched. Video and photos from the day are shown below. I've been promised some more phots which will be added here when I receive them.

Alex Cameron videoed the launch at 5pm - here is his video;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIPwTH_uz0A

 

The traditional, official group photo courtesy of Peter Norman - thanks Peter!

2010 Official Group Picture

 


Cloud Tramp 2009

Despite the rain the 2009 Cloud Tramp event went ahead on Epsom Downs on Saturday August 1st 2009 with around 40 people participating in the mass launch at 5pm to coincide with other groups around the world. The initial pictures are shown below. More details will be added when available.

Cloud Tramp group picture Cloud Tramp Mass Launch Cloud Tramp picture Cloud Tramp picture Cloud Tramp picture Cloud Tramp picture Cloud Tramp Mass Launch Cloud Tramp group picture

 

Cloud Tramp 2008

Initial pictures from the Cloud Tramp event held on Epsom Downs on Saturday August 2nd 2008 are shown below. 
More details will be added when available.

Cloud Tramp mass launch Cloud Tramp Group picture Cloud Tramp Group picture Cloud Tramp Group picture

 

Cloud Tramp 2007

Cloud Tramp Group picture

Thirty-four EDMAC members and guests participated in the 2007 running of the annual Cloud Tramp event on Saturday August 4th. The picture above is the official Epsom Downs Cloud Tramp picture, courtesy of Peter Norman.

This year the weather was not entirely favourable, with a moderate, gusty wind from the South, but given the weather we've been having this summer it could have been a great deal worse - at least it didn't rain! The mass launch took place at 17:00 BST to coincide with other events held all around the world. More details of Cloud Tramp can be found on the Cloud Tramp website which will be updated as details come in from around the world.

Participants this year were;

Robin Willes, Chris Hayward, Tony Clark, Keith Miller, Barbara Green, Rod Green, Shaun Green, Derry Eggs, Graham Moore, Peggy Moore, Martin Standbridge, Roy Sissons, Peter Evans, Leon Cameron, Simon Nolan, Melanie Nolan, Peter Norman, Graham Sheppard, Jan Sheppard, Alex Cameron junior, Malcolm Jagger, Colin Derrick, Eddie Birch, Terry Bird , Alex Cameron senior, Pete Cameron, Fred Brown, Tom Thompson, Jean Smith, Mike Eyre, John Privett, Tim Mountain, John Meaney & Margaret Willes

Thanks to the Downs Conservators and the BMFA insurers for making it possible for EDMAC to host this unique event.

Cloudy

16°C

Epsom Downs

Cloudy
Humidity: 85%
Wind: S at 28.97 km/h
Friday 11°C / 13°C Showers
Saturday 10°C / 14°C Scattered showers
Sunday 9°C / 12°C SP_WEATHER_BREEZY
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