Rob & Yvonne's website
I guess I am a bit of a hoarder at heart, I still collect stamps, specialising in stamps from;
My Australian, Canadian, South African, Great Britain and New Zealand collection is comprehensive from around 1900 and from 1910 in the case of South Africa. The number of stamps in my collections is just over 100,000, and consists mainly of British Commonwealth stamps.
My other hobby is Genealogy and I have managed to trace my ancestors on both sides of my family back to the early 1600's. As with all family history a few skeletons have emerged, but nothing too serious. I have spent the last 15 years researching the four branches of my family and I have just written & published four books detailing my family history, dating back to the early 1600's (images on right).
My family comprises the Dunn and Kimble family on my paternal side and the Tayler and Webster family on my maternal side.
Our family is spread around the world, but now reside mainly in South Africa, Australia, Canada, England, USA and now, New Zealand.
For as many years as I can remember, my father was involved in aeroplanes one way or another. He owned a few light aircraft, amongst then were a Piper Cub, a Piper Super Cub and the one he liked best, a Fairchild. He also build many model airplanes over the years and helped us build models as well. The early ones were control-line models, then free-flight gliders and later he built radio controlled models.
In the late 1960's he turned his hobby into a business when he bought a sports store in Durban and added a large inventory of model equipment.
It was about this time I became interested in radio controlled model aircraft, and I too, turned my hobby into a business when I opened a Model Shop business in Durban.
I built and flew many different models over the many years I participated in this sport - from simple Sunday flying, to pylon racing, competitive aerobatics and scale models from time to time. I also test flew many very interesting models fro customers and friends.
Around 1973 I imported a number of Kavan 1/4 scale Bell Jet-Ranger model helicopters - and one of these was for myself. These were quite a piece of engineering and were to say the least, were tricky to fly, and also expensive as rotor blades were broken fairly often as a result of some heavy landing. In those days, we did not have any gyroscopes and they do these days, so as one person said, flying them was like, "patting one's head while rubbing one's stomach".
I also got involved with model racing boats, but it was never really something I enjoyed.
Another branch of modelling I got involved in was scale model car racing, but again, this was something I did for business rather than for the sheer pleasure, which only flying provided me.
Recently I bought a Kyosho M24 Helicopter which I learnt to fly - it's a bit like riding a bicycle, you never really forget how, but one is a bit rusty. The M24 is very under-powered but it sure can take punishment - I have crashed it so many time and th only damage is the motor pinion gear. I also bought a Kyosho EP Caliber 400, a much better chopper which flies very well, but when it crashes it does plenty damage. This chopper is certainly as sophisticated as the Kavan Jet ranger, complete with Collective Pitch and the tail rotor is dampened by a Futaba gyroscope.
The new radios are much more complex than the ones I last used, today they are so programmable that sometimes one needs a manual just to get by.
I also have a really good flight simulation package (Reflex) which handles both fix-wing and chopper models.
My parents and their Super Cub
Ofcolaco, Northern Transvaal
My Kavan Bell Jet Ranger
Middle Stik, Aero Fly bi-plane and Shoestring
My last models in South Africa
The Hobby Shop I owned