The Caldera is the stuff legends are made of. It is designed and flown by Dieter Perlick. For a while it was sold commercially, but sadly not any more.

I made Mark Abbots an offer to salvage the bits from a big ‘off’ he had at the Welsh Open. When I started putting it back together it was clear one of the joiner boxes had been stressed and had expanded several mm. I clamped it up but was never happy it would hold up at high G. It not something you can reasonably repair or should take a chance with. Luckily the the Caldera is, without doubt, the prettiest plane in the world so, after getting a coat of paint to match the room, it ended up on our living room wall!

It just so happened that at the same time Covid lockdown had got Dieter building and  he offered me a brand new, Dieter Original. I couldn’t afford it but couldn’t say no!

The Caldera is strong, light and has a great surface finish. It has wing ballast and, unusually, there’s a fuselage tube as well, which is just fantastic. Wing surfaces are IDS, so there is loads of movements available.  2 x 18650s fits just fine, with the emphasis on just!

In the air the Caldera is a joy. It’s fun in all conditions but put it on a straight ridge in good lift and it’s the type of experience that if why we do this sport. 

The only the that would hold me back from flying this in competitions is that I tried it once and fast though it was the 2.7m span meant I cut myself to destruction! So you either commit 100% to that size plane or it becomes tricky. With them being so hard to acquire it is hard to commit to it being a number one race plane. That said, what a plane!