of Busto Arsizio 1918 Army airfield
on Caproni Field 1955
in Busto Arsizio 1984
- The date
of birth of model aircraft passion in Busto Arsizio was 1938,
thanks to Eng. Guidi and Messrs. Croci and Cibene (owners of
the MICROMOTOR Company which produced airmodel engines). Ten
years later in 1948 Messrs. Franco Gallazzi, Carlo Ottolini and
Lanfranco Pozzi joined the club, organizing a model aircraft
course in S. Edward's church youth club center. In 1957 they
established a sport association for model aircraft called G.A.B.
The availability of means were very poor at that time, but the
enthusiasm to let a small self-made plane fly up in the sky was
enough to get over all walls and thousands of difficulties. The
leader of this handful of young men was Carlo Rabolini, who was
able to enlarge and expand interest in model aircraft inside
and outside the town borders. Unfortunately, Carlo lost his son
Gian Piero, who was a member of the model aircraft group, during
an aeronautical show on Vergiate airfield on 8th May 1959. To
remember that tragic loss, Carlo requested the name of the group
be changed to ''Gruppo Aeromodellisti Bustesi G.P. Rabolini''.
In 1962 GAB built its first flight runway on a public field close
to Ugo Mara army base in Solbiate Olona, which gave the necessary
authorizations. Over the years GAB, despite personal sacrifices
and financial hardships, not only enlarged their first runway,
but also built up some others; one 60 meters long by 15 meters
width for radio remote control models, one asphalt circle with
a diameter of 44 meters by 4 meters width surrounded by a safety
fence for control line models, and a third runway of grass used
for combat models. All of them had water and other various services
which encouraged friendship, not only among the club members
but also among their families and the spectators.
For thirty years these runways saw pilots of all categories compete
for national and international titles. We must not forget the
air shows which aroused appreciation and admiration of people
when life-like scale model aircraft and helicopters, and graceful
stunt acrobats kept more than 5000 spectators looking skyward.
These air shows not only promoted the model aircraft sport, but
also brought solidarity to many less-than-fortunate people. We
are proud that the receipts of many air shows were turned over
to handicapped citizens in 1977, to victims of an earthquake
in 1978, and to city schools in 1985, to mention some of them.
Unfortunately in 1990 the cooperation with the army stopped and
GAB was compelled to find another solution to allow club members
to continue with the flights of their models. No one lost his
courage and everyone turned up their sleeves, which allowed the
radio remote control model runway to be finished in 1991 south
of Busto Arsizio, in the territory of the town of Buscate, immersed
in the green of the moorland.
The second runway there was finished in the spring of 1997 after
a delay of 6 years because it was not easy to find a field suitable
for flights of aircraft models reaching speeds over 300 Km/hour.
After great efforts the runway was finally built on an old branch
arm of the military airport of Malpensa. Only a small fragment
of this airport, built by the German Army in 1940, remained ,
but GAB was able to restore it and today it is considered to
be a historical monument.
Various categories are practiced by the GAB club members, from
beginners to experts in remote control models, including a few
world famous pilots in control line. However, it is the common
passion and the enthusiasm which bring us back to our childhood
ages and increase the club membership year after year.
There are generally two ways to practice this sport: control
line, called VVC (in Italian) or C/L (in English) and radio-remote
control flight abbreviated R/C. VVC or C/L models are divided
into four official categories recognized by the International
Aeronautic Federation F.A.I. They are F2A-speed, F2B-stunt, F2C-Team Racing, and F2D-Combat. In addition, there
are amateur categories with various models such as Fun or Sportier
which consist of model reproductions, school models, Goodyear
racing or whatever can be flown linked to two steel wires and
The R/C category controls models through radio equipment, where
the pilot can control different functions on his model such as
engine power, movable flaps, air brakes, retractable landing
gear, and whatever else can be useful for the model to fly in
the sky. Remote control includes models with and without engines.
R/C models are also in various categories recognized by the F.A.I.
The most spectacular and the most popular (The Queen), is F3A-Stunt.
We must not forget the Maxi, the Gliders, the Pylon Racing, the
Replica or the Fun Fly models, which can
intrigue thanks to their particular features. Today G.A.B. counts
over 80 club members, 30% in C/L and 70% R/C. All of them are
always looking for new frontiers to be crossed, with respect
for safety rules, the environment and having a civil life.
almost forgot! There were and are so many champions of different categories
among the GAB club members.
Please go inside to the champions page!
- By Ettore
- F.A.I. logo