Eaton Bray Sportsdrome was opened in the late 40s by Douglas Arthur Russell the owner of Aeromodeller Magazine
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Eaton Bray Model Sportsdrome


Eaton Bray Sportsdrome was opened in the late 1940s by Douglas Arthur Russell the owner of Aeromodeller Magazine.

It was, for a short time, to become the Mecca for model enthusiasts from all over the world.

On The Wire article - 2010

Modelling activities in Britain have always experienced opposition and had restrictions imposed, which have increased dramatically of late. Issues of noise and pressure through commercial and leisure development continue to impact on the hydro lakes and flying sites available. The situation for tethered cars has been even more difficult with no tracks at all in this country since the demise of Mote Park, Maidstone in the 70's. Enthusiasts would love to see a track established in this country and model flyers continue to petition the BMFA to create a central flying site. Yet sixty years ago, such a facility did exist. This was the Model Sportsdrome at Eaton Bray in Bedfordshire, and the man behind this modelling mecca was D.A. Russell the Managing Editor of the 'Aeromodeller'.

Continue reading this article: D.A. Russell and Eaton Bray.

Newsreel titled 'Model Cars' from June 19th, 1950

Click here to view the newsreel on the British Pathe website.

Bob Palmer's Scrapbook

Aeromodeller - August 1945

Eaton Bray Model Sportsdrome

As stated in last month's Editorial, full facilities and amenities will not be available until next year, but from Saturday September 15th of this year, the Aerodrome will be available on Saturdays and Sundays for the flying of all types of model aircraft from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Adminission charges will be 1s. per adult person, 6d. per person under sixteen years of age. Both these charges will be reduced by half for admission after 3 p.m. on both days.

Water for drinking purposes and lavatory accommodation for both sexes will be available free. A limited amount of protection from rain, will, it is hoped, be available, if required.

Cars, motor cycles and bicycles may be parked round the sides of the Aerodrome.

There will be no organized competitions this year, but club members may organize competitions amongst themselves, subject to non-interference with the flying of other visitors.

Flying may take place on any part of the Aerodrome subject to the general directions of the Aerodrome Manager.

Owing to the grass having been sown as recently as the Spring of this year, the normal close cropped surface will hardly have been consolidated. Small temporary take-off boards will be available.

Dunstable & Luton Journal - October 12th 1945

Model Sportsdrome at Eaton Bray
First In The World

Model Sportsdrome
At Eaton Bray

In the early part of next year, Eaton Bray will be the centre of the worlds first model Sportsdome.

Now under construction it will afford aero-modellers the opportunity of enjoying their hobby under the most favourable conditions.

The site which is just over 70 acre's in the form of a square with 600 yard side's was licensed as a civilian aerodrome just before the war, and is regarded as an ideal spot.

Other reason's for the choice are that the ground lie's in a sheltered part and tree's and other obstruction's are remarkably few. From the ground around it will be easy to watch plane's in flight or to retrieve straying machines.

The site is being laid out for the flying of all type's of model aircraft and there will be every amenity both for visitor's and those who do the flying.

All The Year Round

The ground is large enough for club's to occupy different part's without interfering with the flying arrangement's of other's. There will be all the year round facilities and particularly during the summer months.

Central figure and inspirer of the project is Mr D A Russell the well known pioneer in model aeronautics. He was the first man in the country to set up a wind tunnel and other essential equipment for research purposes.

He is the author of more standard works on the subject than any other man and is associated with a group of companies giving a complete service to those interested in full sized and model aeronautics.

Aeromodeller, June 1946

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Aeromodeller, June 1946

Aeromodeller, June 1946

Article from unknown publication

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Sportsdrome article

Calendar of Events, Aeromodeller 1947

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Sportsdrome Calendar 1947

Aeromodeller Annual 1949

The general title of Eaton Bray Model Sportsdrome hides a multitude of activities, not perhaps appreciated by everyone. To make our varied activities more widely known, we have prepared a number of leaflets on our work which we will gladly send you. Here in brief are our principal activities.

The 72 acre aerodrome itself is fully equipped for regular model aircraft meetings, model race cars, motor cycle grass track racing. Regular aeromodelling Instructional camps. Lavatories. Parking, Catering. Camping. (Eaton Bray Gazette No. 1, gives you full particulars.)

Our photographic studios provide prints of pictures from "Aeromodeller," "Model Cars" or other of our publications. North London Bookbinding Company binds our books – and will bind your copies of "Aeromodeller" or any other binding you want done (E.B.G. No. 2 for details.)

Aeromodeller Plans Service has a separate announcement, but Drysdale Plans Service should not be forgotten when you need boat, car or workshop accessory plans. (New list now ready.)

"Model Cars" and "The Model Mechanic" are published from Eaton Bray and are the best possible journals for all interested in model car racing and building, or model engineering of any sort (Specimen copy, 1/6 each or the two 2/9.)

The famous "Harborough Publications" need little introduction, offering a range of thirty or more model aircraft books, covering every aspect of the hobby, as well as many fullsize aviation publications. (Send for special book list.)

"Masco" Products include the famous "Masco" Kitten model car construction key, a wide range of castings and workshop accessories. (New 16-page Catalogue just published.)

Then there are "Dagra" models, our precision scale models, as produced for leading aircraft manufacturers. (Prices from £25 upwards.)

Please send for all or any of our informative literature, and let us know if you would like to be informed from time to time of our activities and new productions.

Aeromodeller Annual


Ian Rennie Hospice at Home

This page was created in memory of my late father Bob Palmer. If you have found it useful, then all donations towards IRHH are gratefully received via