Flying site upgrades to 2014.

Video courtesy of Alastair Nicol

The West Calder club was formed in December 1999 as a response to only being able to fly on week-days on Kirknewton airfield The full history is here but basically we received three lottery awards over a number of years to develop the site. This is what it looked like on day 1:

and today:

In 2011 we invested quite heavily in replacing the original single-strand electric fence with a full-blown stock-proof fence. Whilst the sheep were welcome in keeping the grass short they did unfortunately leave a considerable mess behind.

The addition of a sturdy gate between the flying area and the car park means no sheep, and we keep a 1 metre wide long grass free zone around fence as protection. The end result is a much cleaner flying site and one which is now very youth-group camping-friendly.

The next piece of development work was to replace the old dangerous path to the pilots stance and replace it with a new safe slab one.

Another of the recent additions is the "large model" starting area for the planes that are too big for the normal starting tables

Being unable to curb the enthusiasm of the highly skilled volunteers the committee arranged for the starting table areas to be uplifted and re-laid again with slabs rather than the mono-block we had originally. The mono-block is earmarked for another project in the new year.

We have 2 pits areas - tarmac for general use:
and a grass overspill area:
New assembly tables with fenced-off paved area:

Being conscious of the fire risk when charging Lipos, and the worry that one car going on fire would damage adjacent cars, the club installed a charging table. This is all driven by a leisure battery donated by one of the club members, a new duel charger supplied by the club, and a busbar installed by another club member.

As well as the starting table for glow and petrol engines, the club installed a specific clean table for electric models where all arming and disarming must be done:

This year (2014) saw a major moss-attack whereby the grass runways were treated with organic-friendly moss killer, then scarified and generally cleaned up. The result is two very nice grass runways:

Further work over the last 2 years includes the annual painting of the club house (ok, container) and this year a major task to paint the inside as well.

The club has a 66 metre tarmac runway with an adjacent 90 metre grass runway and an 80 metre cross wind runway. Also put in this year was a second pilot's stance which doubles as the cross wind stance, but can also be used on training days to position the pilot depending on the weather conditions.

So what's next?

For 2015 an upgrade to the seating area is planned using the aforementioned mono block, and as the club gets bigger the single outside table is not big enough so a second one is planned.

The club website is and contains maps and contact details. Saturday & Sunday mornings are the busiest time and we are always pleased to have well behaved visitors, though as usual, please contact the Secretary beforehand.