It was with great sadness that the members learned of the death on February 1st 2013 of Paddy Doherty from Castleknock, Dublin but late of Mullingar. Paddy was a member of the early Drimnagh Aeromodellers in the late 50s and 60s but I first encountered him in the Leinster Club in the Phoenix Park during the middle to late 1970s. A cabinet maker by trade his building skills were superb and at the time, he had just completed a Keil Kraft Super 60 with transparent covering which showed the excellence of his building. His Super 60 became known as a Superb 60…! Paddy himself was always turned out in a very dapper outfit, often with blazer, shirt, tie or cravat and cuff links…!!
We lost contact for a good number of years until we met up again when he found out about the Royal County Aeromodeller’s Club. He became an associate member and visited the flying field on numerous occasions. He was always noted for a great sense of humour, excellent knowledge of aviation theory, his friendship and his resolute determination in his discussions..!!!
His greatest build was G-USTO. This was a built up kit of a Stampe SV4 biplane originally produced by Svenson. Paddy went to a lot of effort to modify the kit with stronger and more scale cabane struts, U/C mounting, strategically placed beefing up and a more scale wing angle setup. He powered it with an OPS 60 twin cylinder, horizontally opposed 2 stroke engine which he eventually converted to petrol.
Paddy also made a dedicated trailer for G-USTO that allowed the entire model to be dissembled and installed in the trailer which could then be towed safely behind his car. At the field the lid of the trailer transformed into a waist high bench which allowed the model to rest at a convenient height for rigging and starting purposes. I had the privilege along with Alex Cuipers to fly G-USTO on a number of occasions. To say it was a nerve wracking experience would be an understatement. One felt that one was taking the life of Paddy’s first born into one’s hands!! In the end, each flight became an anti-climax as the model was a delight to fly and each flight not only looked very scale but gave Paddy immense pleasure to see his handiwork in its natural surroundings.
Paddy suffered a stroke in his later years yet he still managed to design an electric powered glider and had it almost fully built with only the use of one hand. He was also fanatical about drawing up plans for a ¼ scale model of a 1929 Brunner-Winkle Bird Biplane, a full size biplane that Charles Lindberg purchased for his wife because he found it to be safest aeroplane of its type!! In fact, Paddy had been in discussion with a chap in the United States who had restored a Bird Biplane to flying condition and they kept up the correspondence until late last year.
We will miss Paddy for his aeronautical knowledge, his dogged approach to any discussion and his friendship. You always had a smile on your face after meeting with Paddy.
May he rest in peace.