The Indoor World Championships in 1974 was my first encounter with indoor model flying. On a trip to Lakehurst, New Jersey, with my daughter and the late artist Mike Hinge, to see what was billed as the “Aerolympics”, I marveled at the enormous dirigible hangars on the field. As the afternoon progressed, great thunderheads arose to the West and we thought of finding shelter. We headed for the indoor event in Hangar 5. We were so taken with the space that we wandered in a dream through the half light toward the quiet activity at the far end of the hangar. I set up my camera for a few shots of the enormous space. My daughter was the first to notice a model about to land nearby and we all began to run toward it. Suddenly from the darkness came a great shouts, “Stop running, now!” We froze in out tracks, too fascinated by the slow-moving microfilm ship to be embarassed.
Planes were being pulled down with helium balloons on lines and a kind of atmosphere of anxiety could be felt from the fliers. We made our way to the “pits” and everyone was hurrying, very slowly, to put the fragile planes in safe places. A little while after we came in and the thunder storm hit outside, a cloud formed under the ceiling of the hangar and it began to rain inside. I knew what was going to be occupying my attention for the next few years.
This book became a kind of documentation of my experience of building indoor models over the next six years. I know it has and hope it will continue to inspire others to tell more of this sport that so few have seen and to tell more of its history.