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Past Meeting

Tony Hooper MBE - The future of unmanned aerial vehicles

Model Lockheed Super Constellation Following the very successful meeting in September where we had an excellent exhibition of models large and small, we were delighted to welcome Tony Hooper, the Chief Examiner for the Large Model Association, to share his extensive expertise with us from the world of (large) model aircraft and how that relates to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Before he retired Tony was a Commercial Pilot and former Chief Flying Instructor for the RAF Flying Scholarship scheme and still instructs at Wellesbourne with over 15,000 flying hours in his logbook. He is an approved CAA Examiner for the flight testing of candidates who wish to operate with UAVs commercially.

Reaper MQ9A This is a very topical subject with increasing use of UAVs in war zones, aerial photography, surveillance and aerial delivery.

The main points of the talk were:
History of UAVs since World War II
Comparison between large model aircraft and UAVs
Some of Tonys projects - up to 100kg
Future developments

Tony Hooper MBE

Tony Hooper and BN Islander
14 Britten Norman Islander
powered by two 3W60 engines
At the age of 16 Tony joined the local Air Training Corps and on his 17th birthday he went solo in a T21 glider. This started the seeds of a full size flying career as a Commercial Pilot flying both piston aircraft and jets. He was a Chief Flying Instructor for the RAF Flying Scholarship Scheme for over 25 years and in 1998 he received the MBE for this work.

Because he always retained an active interest in model flying, he has been the Chief Examiner for the Civil Aviation Authoritys "Over 20kg Large Model Scheme".

Besides supervising the Inspectorate role for the Large Model Association, Tony has also made a number of flying scale model aircraft for films and TV.

When he retired from Commercial flying he started an involvement with Nottingham University who wanted to carry out research and development with Unmanned Aerial Systems to improve their University degree course in photogrammetry.

Over the last 10 years he has worked with a company called EuroUSC, which is an accredited body within Europe for the regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

He has worked on numerous projects including one sponsored by the Government called Astraea, which involved the development and flying of a 75kg seaplane.

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