BMFA Southern Area - The Southern Area of the British Model Flying Association SABMFA

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Southampton MAC

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Model Flying in the New Forest

Would you like to fly your model aircraft or heli at an old war-time airfield in the depths of the New Forest (Hampshire), on any day of the week, during the hours of daylight, all year round ? Well, several hundred modellers have been happily doing this for many years at the well-known Beaulieu Airfield in the New Forest. However, there are just a few things you need to know before heading off to fly. Richard Sharman (BMFC chairman) explains...

Firstly, this site is part of the Forestry Commission (FC) lands. The Beaulieu Model Flying Committee (BMFC) is the sole organisation recognised by the FC for flying, and pays for the licence to manage model flying on the ex-wartime airfield. No other site within the Forest is licenced for model flying, or is likely to be. Individual flyers can obtain a permit from BMFC to fly for only £5 (probably the best value flying site in the country!) on proof of BMFA membership. Flying without a permit is not allowed. Remember, this is a public area, available to all including horse riders and dog walkers. Modellers should be respectful of their rights, just as they are of ours.

Any modeller with a permit can fly planes or helis up to the 7Kg limit, if electric or I.c powered, but not turbines. Gliders and glider towing is also permitted, and there is a Free Flight section where all types of free flight models are allowed. Special provisions exist for control line and rotorcraft.

All flyers need to read and understand both the Forest Bye-laws and the BMFC flying regulations (which mainly follow BMFA guidelines) and are there solely to ensure that flying takes place safely and enjoyably. There is a permit board, where your permit must be displayed while flying, and it doubles as a frequency control board for 35Mhz users. The pits area, flight line and pilot box are clearly marked and must be respected at all times.

There is no limit on the number of aircraft in the air at any one time (subject to frequency control) but it can get crowded at popular times so a degree of patience is sometimes required before it is suitable to fly.

Flight line “hogging” is not appreciated by other flyers so, again, it is necessary to be respectful of others. 3D flying must be well away from the take-off and landing area in front of the flight line. It is strongly recommended that flyers obtain at least an A-certificate - examiners are available at local clubs such as SMAC (Southampton Model Aero Club). I hope you will visit us in 2014 and enjoy this great model flying area.

Off the B3054 at Grid Ref SU358007 (no post code !)
General contacts:
Richard at
Permits are available (3 ways):
In person on site by application to a BMFC representative.
Online, courtesy of SMAC, at
By email from Mark Derbyshire,
For Free Flight please contact:
John D Thompson at

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