|WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS – – 2009 - Thanks Chuck O'Donnell|
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
Your columnist is sitting here listening to NOAA Wea-ther Radio, the Weather Bureau’s own radio station, telling him that we had only 58% of the rain we normally have in December, a statement that makes him raise an eyebrow. We did, they say, have “measurable precipitation” on 22 of the 31 days in that month, which sounds more like it. They are also telling me that we are on the same track in January. So why haven’t I seen at least some weekday flying to write about? I suppose I could have missed a decent day, if, indeed, there has been one, but I’ll bet it has been only one.
In the latest issue of Flying Models, there is a good quote from Ben Shereshaw. Ben was a very prominent freeflighter and designer in the 30s and 40s. He also was the designer and producer of the Bantam .19 engine that lasted into the early 50s. On one of my trips hack home, I saw him on the local R/C field with the drawings he’d made for a 40-size Pattern ship. This was definitely not a throw-toge-ther model - “labor-intensive” would cover it - but, boy, was it pretty! Ben was about 91 at the time and I’ve not heard of his death, so I guess he’s still around at about 95. But, to get back to the quotet Charlie Reich inter-viewed him some years back for AMA’s biography project and Ben told him that R/C had come about because of automobile running boards. Freeflighters used to stand on the running-board and shout directions to the driver as they chased their models. In the late 30s, auto manufacturers started to put the running boards inside the cars, depriving the model-er of that vital perch, so there just had to be R/C to get the models hack.
By the way, did you notice last month that I’m still at odds with your Editor’s editing program? It turned “nav. lights” into “nay lights” and “R/C” into “P/C” in two places and into “R/O’ in another. Someday, I’m going to put in a piece about French aeroplanes and I’ll salt it with circum-flex, cedile, and accents both grave and aigu. I can do that because they are all on my typewriter. We’ll just see what happens then!
You knew that this was going to happen as soon as I had time on my hands and nothing else to write about: I’m going to gripe about WWI ships which have been modeled too much, but there’s a problem. Not with the griping - I have no problem doing that - but I always like to suggest an alter-native which has not been done to death and therein lies the problem. I never want to see another Fokker Dr.I. The alternative, if you must have a triplane, is the Sopwith Tripe, the one that started it all. Much prettier and better proportioned, but the wings are so thin that you’d need to have functional brace wires to keep it together.
The SPAD VII OR XIII would be a fine replacement for the plethora of Fokker D.VIIs. Alas, its wing is even thinner that most of the others - look at the pictures of Balsa USA’s model and see how appallingly thick the wings are. The kit makers had no other choice unless it was to make the bracing functional. That would really cut into sales. The same company is bringing out a 1/5-scale kit of their Nieuport 17 and I’m thinking of it as an electric model. Yes, the N.17 has been modeled far too much, but there is a simple solution. Put formers and stringers on the sides and call it a l7bis. You can even call it a 23bis; they were the same except for the engine and the fact that the gun was shifted a bit to the right. Oh yes, and will somebody tell Balsa USA that the parasol Morane they’re kitting is an AI, not an Al - that’s “ay-eye” rather than “ay-one? In fact, that is the company designation; l’Aviation Militaire called it MoS 27C.1 if it had one gun and 29C.1 if it had two. Too many Pups and S.E. 5as. If you are not wedded to “Warbird”, build a Dove which was a Pup with two cockpits and swept wings to keep the CG in the right place. And Major Jack Savage invented skywriting with a half-dozen S.E. 5s which had exhaust pipes joining behind the tail and the rudder split into top and bottom sections to accommodate them. If you must build a Fokker D.VII, make it Dutch. They interned a number of them that landed on their territory during the war. The Fokkers were repainted dark green and marked with a big orange dusk like Japan’s Hinomaru. but good Dutch orange instead of red. You can put Belgian or Italian markings on your Nieuports and, indeed, Russian. Mind you though, Nieuports built under license by the Dux company in Moscow sported no less than 14 roundels.
This column is being typed a good week early, because the production staff (me) is off for a couple of weeks, seeking sunshine and old aeroplanes. You will remember that was tried last year and I got thoroughly rained on in Sydney and Brisbane while you were enjoying the third-driest Febru-ary on record in Oregon. This year it’s Tucson and Mesa and if you have beautiful weather while I’m gone, I don’t want to hear about it. But, if you do get flyable days in the two weeks before the next meeting, that’s why it isn’t mentioned in this month’s column.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
As I did last month, I listened to NOAA Weather Radio and they told me that Eugene-Springfield had but 27% of the rain it should have had in January. All that good weather must have come while I was in Arizona, because, since typing the last column, I have been at the field on but one good flying weekday. True, I may well have missed one or two due to a couple of appointments with the doctor and a pair with the dentist, but here’s the little bit I managed to see.
Wayne Wahrmund still flies his U-Can-Do and his LT-40, but there is a new bird in his stable. It’s a 40-size Piper Cherokee, very pretty in red and white. The engine in this 40-size ship is an O.S. of the AX series and of .55 cu. in. displacement. "I went a little crazy”, Wayne admitted, cheerfully. The thing flies quite well and Wayne handles it easily. There are flaps, but I haven’t noticed Wayne using them yet.
Vern Wells is flying a real antique. This is a Sterling Fledgling whose design must go back to l970 or earlier. This ship had tricycle gear at birth, but Vern’s is a taildragger. The engine is a modest - for this field - O.S. 46LA. The plane isn’t new to this club. Chuck Jenkins acquired it from someone who was selling out, just in case he ran across one of us who had need of a docile model to practice on. Vern’s getting in that practice.
Besides these new additions, we had a some of the same old guys flying the same old planes. Frank Blain was out with his Extra 330 and his Obsession and President Tran was tinkering with his Zeke. Had the cowl off at one point and was delving inside the engine room. He did get in one flight that day, all with the gear down due to an air-pressure problem in the pneumatic retracts. Jim Corbett had his flock of electrics, including the Stinger whose new landing gear has cut down on, though not eliminated, the bounces on landing. Doug McWha was, as usual, flying that disreputable EasySport and his twin, the Dual Ace.
I don’t know the name of the God of Propellers, but, whoever he is, he has it in for Our Man McWha. When I got to the field, Doug already had a bandage on one finger, cut by the trailing edge as he flipped it. There was a second bandage on another finger which was cut as he reached around the prop from the front to make an adjustment. Say what you will about Our Doug, but you cannot deny that he is brim-full of confidence. He is certain that the very next time he reaches around the prop, everything will he okay. And, of course, it isn’t.
Shortly after my arrival, one of the three-bladers claimed yet another McWha digit. After Dr. Corbett had cleaned the gore off of Doug, wrapped the gauze and tape around the new wound, and squeegeed the blood off the mat and into the grass, Doug had the brass-bound nerve to walk up to me and say, “I suppose this is going to be in the newsletter?” He had to ask? By the way, Doug says he had cut himself on props only two or three times. By his reckoning, this incident counted as only one time because they all happened on the same day. There seems, to me at least, to be a bit of fuzzy logic there, but, what the heck, they’re his fingers.
While I was down in Arizona, enjoying sunny, 75 degree, weather, I saw some beautiful old aeroplanes at Pima and Mesa. The former has acquired a very handsome Waco ZKS-6, among other things. Interpreting Waco’s alphabet soup, .that. means it has a 285 h.p. Jacobs (Z), a standard interior (S), and conforms to basic assembly drawing “K”. They also have an Oscar, the Nakajima Ki-43 which was the Japanese Army’s standard fighter. They’ve completed their B-23 restoration, though as a civilianized C-67. It’s true that the B-23s converted to transports did rather more flying in that guise than they did as bombers, but I’d still like to see one as a real B-23. New, also, is a Curtiss O-52, the last of the big, heavy observation planes whose job was taken by the far-lighter L-4s and L-5s. Their Yale still looks good in spite of all these years in the Arizona sun. If you have an AT-6 kit and don’t want to fiddle endlessly with retracts, the Yale is worth a gander. Same airframe, even the tail, but fixed gear. You’d have to change the cowl just a little and round the wingtips. And the paintjob is a bright yellow! The Confederate AF Museum up in Mesa was a bit of a disappointment this time. They’d moved out several of the interesting machines and the only notable newcomer was a dandy Cessna Bobcat. A compact twin that the late, lamented RCM had construction drawings for a good 45 years ago. You could call it a UC-78, AT-8, AT-17, JRC (Navy), Crane (Canadian), or T-5O (Civil).
You’ve hit it lucky. I have a lot more to write, but my sinuses hit me Friday night and I’m going back to bed as soon as I mail this.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
Yes, there has been some flying this month though the weather still refuses to cooperate fully. My informants at NOAA Weather Radio told me that we had about 76% of the rain we should have had in February and that we’re running some-where in that vicinity this month. That still doesn’t seem to have resulted in too many flyable weekdays, though I continue to miss some, I think, to doctor’s appointments.
Freed from the cares of The Presidency, Pat Willis has had his faithful Giles 202 out at the field a few times lately. This one has a BCMA (is that right?) 40cc gas-burner in it. Now if this engine would just be honest about the whole thing, it would admit to being a 2.44 cu. in. engine in real measurements, but don’t be too hard on the poor thing. It’s an orphan; BCMA folded. Pat has a new bird on the way. No, not that secret project of his (does that one really exist?), but a Cessna twin, a 444 (I think). My knowledge of Cessna twins stops right after the Bobcat (steel tube, wood, and fabric as a plane should be) so I can’t tell you what to expect from this one.
Khoi Tran, weighed down by those Presidential burdens, did manage some flights with his Zeke — and with the gear up at that. The landings were all wheelers with a flip over on its back at the end. One saw a very long, straight roll which finally encountered a soft patch ‘way down the strip and over she went. All very entertaining for the onlookers who were generous with advice, but eventually one could see a lot of daylight between the fin and the top of the fuse-lage. A sure sign that attempting another flight would be asking for it, so Khoi retired the Mitsubishi for the day.
Rich Richardson took one of his Amp Rider electrics and put a new wing on it - a wing with ribs that have an actual camber to them instead of Rich’s usual flat plate! He says it does improve things at around stall speed. He was also flying a foam creation which I shall try to describe: It’s a straight- lower-wing, swept-top-wing, tailless bipe with “curtains” acting as interplane struts out at the tips. Both Rich and Jim Corbett seem to think it a trifle under-powered.
The aforementioned Jim C. was flying his electric Stinger; Frank Blain his usual Extra 330; and Doug McWha that disreputable EasySport of his. Not only is its appearance execrable, but now it’s making funny noises. One opinion is that the bearings are so worn that the balls themselves are able to jump around inside their races. Another opinion is that the balls are entirely out of the races and are jumping around inside the case. It doesn’t bother Doug. He says he’ll fly it until it won’t run, then turn it over to Chuck Jenkins who has seen to Doug’s bearings before.
Jeff Engel’s Frenzy continues to give good service with that “110” electric motor up front. He had another, 40-size ship, one he’d just repaired in the wake of a mishap last Fall. I said to myself. “I’ll remember what that ship is called”, and I don’t. There have been others on the field and I’m pretty sure Doug had one, but it’s not a Twist, Pizzazz, Tango, or Harrier -- just something in that genre. Anyhow, it’s about to go on floats and its geared motor swings a 19” prop just fine. There you are Khoi; another float flier for your cohort.
I finally asked Wayne Wahrmund about those flaps on his Cherokee and he confirms that he has not, indeed, used them to land yet. The thing just lands so well without them. Wayne’s got a new model, one of Hangar 9’s efforts called a Pulse 60 XT (extremely temporary? no, heaven forbid!). The plane is meant for a .91; this one has a Saito 1.15. Anybody surprised? Wayne says the 1.15 is made to slip right into the same mounts as the smaller engine. It’s being flown a bit rich as befits a new powerplant, but the needle is being richened a click or two at a time. The low—speed needle is about there while the high-speed is still leaving a thin plume of smoke.
The reason your columnist is missing flying days to doctor’s appointments is all in aid of finding out why I am all red spots up both arms, across both shoulders, and halfway down my chest and back. Some different stuff on my face, too. At this typing (3/23), there are four doctors scratching their heads, rubbing their chins, and expressing bafflement. Very close to fifty years ago, I knew a first-class Wakefield flier who suddenly found himself allergic to balsawood. It took three years or more for the medical community to find something he could take for it. Strange to say, he’d make out okay today. Modern Wakes are all carbonfibre, Mylar, and Kevlar - almost no wood save for ribs and spar webs. One thing the medicos have done is take me off Ivory soap and put me on Dove. Have you noticed that nowhere on a package of Dove does it say, “soap”? Instead it says, “Beauty Bar”. So, if the next time you see me, I look more beautiful than ever, you’ll know the reason.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
We weekday guys have actually been lucky enough to have had several nice, sunny days in the last month. We enjoyed them so much that we even allowed the weekend crowd to have one as well. Pat Willis’s new twin is a Cessna 421, not a 444 as I said last month. Well, I was off by only 5.4% which isn’t that bad, is it? Pat had the 421 out on that sunny Sunday I mentioned above. (You didn’t hear that in this column which is strictly about weekday affairs.) Despite the cheap seats being filled with onlookers offering buckets of good advice, the engines, a pair of long-unrun K&B .45s, were paragons of non-cooperation. Our President (No, not that one, I mean Khoi Tran.) told me that Pat had the Cessna out again on the Monday and that both K&Bs were singing happily, but that Pat did not attempt a first flight. Khoi put that down to rank pusilanimity, but I haven’t heard Pat’s side of the story as this column went to press (4/13).
( Bet it’s different. )
Khoi himself has sworn off twins, so he says, in the wake of the Mosquito debacle. Shall we get up a pool about how long it is before he shows up with another? Khoi’ll never be able to resist a big, honking warbird guaranteed to rattle the dishes on shelves clear beyond Halsey.
Larry Nielson has taken to flying a full-blown Patter ship, quite a change from his Ugly Stik and 40-size Kaos. This Olympian Medal is a hefty, red-and-yellow, glass-fuselaged bird whose power is an 0.S. 140RX, a 2-stroke with a tuned pipe. Rex Lesher, a real Pattern guy, has been standing by as Larry comes to terms with this beast. Larry seems to be having no difficulties at all.
Speaking of big beasts, the new Great Planes Reactor Frank Blain has added to his stable is no Park Flyer, either. Frank has a DL 50 under the cowl and he’s found that the Reactor dead-sticks pretty well, because the DL has quit on him a couple of times. Pat Willis was flying it when one elevator half went u/s after a servo plug came loose. The thing lands pretty well on one elevator half, too. I think that both problems have been resolved at this writing.
Chuck Jenkins has been trying Wayne Wahrmund on the instructor’s side of the buddy box with himself as student. He hadn’t been able to talk Wayne into it with a real student until he, himself, had Vern Wells up. Chuck handed the instructor’s transmitter to Wayne, stood by for a moment, then said, “I have other things to do”, and walked off. This is called, “Throwing them in at the deep end”. Now Vern’s pretty good, except for landing, but I think I did hear some knees knocking from Wayne’s side. When not becoming a (somewhat reluctant) new instructor, Wayne has been flying the blazes out of his Pulse. He changed from a Master Airscrew 15-6 prop to a wider-bladed Graupner 15-9 and put in a Hanger 9 glow plug as well. Says it all made a noticeable improvement.
Also on the buddy box, though with Chuck, not Wayne, was Delayne Thompson whose Superstar has an O.S. .46MX. All seemed to be going well. How about going on the buddy box with a helicopter? Larry Neilson, not content with going Big-Time Pattern, did just that with Alan Wellentin on the instructor’s side. Larry, the helicopter and Alan - all survived.
There was a new ship in the hands of Mike Burgess the other day and I had to ask him what it was. Not new, in fact. It’s his old Avistar with a complete re-covering job. Upped the engine to an Evolution .46, too, and he’s quite pleased with it. That’s an engine whose owners all seem to feel that way.
Gary Moorhead’s all-foam electric T-28 is what I’d call on the low side of medium-size, but it takes off our grass runway with little difficulty. The deeper grass on edges causes a modicum of taxiing problems, but nothing dire. In the air, the T-28 seems to handle quite well and Gary aerobats it to his heart’s content.
Clearing up more lapses in last month’s column, I now report that the Jeff-Engel ship whose name I couldn’t remember is called a Diablo. There, I’m clean again.
Believe it or not, your columnist has had a glow ship in the air. It’s a 15-650 with an O.S. .60FSR for power. The engine hadn’t been run for a good ten years or more and I had to borrow a starter a couple of times until the rings loosened up and stayed that way. After that, hand-starting was a doddle. Only one flight because I’d run down the receiver battery while getting the engine and control surfaces all sorted out. Like Larry, Alan, and the helicopter above, we all survived. The plane is an enlargement of the old 15-500 pylon racer. Thick (15%) wing, wing area as in the second number of the designation, tailwheel l.g., boxy fuselage, engine out in the breeze, square-cut empenage with a modest dorsal fin, strip ailerons. Nothing remarkable, but a steady flier.
You will have noticed the absence of a usually-prominent name in this month’s column. He’s, beginning to think I’m picking on him, so here is a month of rest. I did mention his starter just above and I thank him mightily for the use of it, but it remains an anonymous starter for the nonce.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
Well, I’ve now heard Pat Willis’s side of the story and it is, indeed, different. He flew the Cessna 421 on the day in question, but Khoi had already left, thus missing out on the historic event. Pat has flown the 421 several times since and has even rolled it, something that would cause heart attacks among the Cessna sales staff. The technical guys would probably be okay with it, but then technical guys are made of sterner stuff. Pat’s not entirely happy with the model’s canopy and, the last I heard, was contemplating a change of props. There was also some problem with the landing gear. The mains dutifully retracted, but the nosewheel leg remained sticking out like a sore thumb. That’s been taken care of.
Joe Kizer says he has not flown in a year and a half, but he was at the strip one day recently with his old Pizzaz. It used to have a .46 in it, if I remember correctly, but there’s now a Magnum .52 up front. Joe says he likes the extra power and he seemed to be knocking any rust off his flying skills with no trouble.
In fact, Joe felt so confident that he trimmed out a Nexstar for a new guy, Mickey Cohen. Mickey is new to us, but he has flown before. In the “I haven’t flown since…” category, he’s got 15½ years on Joe, so he has, wisely perhaps, started in again with the Nexstar. As I figure it, Mickey was flying in Chicago when I was flying down in Bloomington. That’s 150 mi. away, so never the twain did meet. He has an Extra 330 in storage and a partially-built ¼-scale Cub. Now I have to convince him to finish it as an L-4 or an NE-1 - anything but another d------d yellow J-3. By the way, Mickey has a lot of experience in full-size aircraft - big full-size aircraft - so he knows how an aeroplane flies and he’ll be back to the Extra before long.
Wayne Wahrmund is adamant that he is not about to become a new instructor. He has, however, just bought a buddy-box which is fully compatible with his own transmit-ter. His story is that it is just for flying Vein Wells around on the LT-40 and for helping his neighbor who is going to get into R/C. I’m not at all sure I’m convinced. Another pool? This one on when Wayne is up with his first ab-initio student?
On that first weekend this month, when you were all at home, staring gloomily out at the rain, your columnist was down outside of Sacramento, also staring gloomily at the rain. but he was doing his staring up close, because he was out in that rain flying models in the Northern California Freeflight Championships. Granted, he had models for four events and flew in only two, but he did fly. He won both events, but honor forces him to admit that he was the only one to fly in both. Scores weren’t bad, so I feel it wasn’t highway robbery. Now I will tell you John Pratt’s sad story. First, understand that when Waegell Field is not being the center for aeronautical activity in Northern Cal-ifornia, it is a cow pasture and during the contest a few dozen of the permanent residents had gathered well to the north of the flightline. The wind wasn’t much and shifted around. My flights all went northeast, but when John launched his Old-Timer Large Stick, it went due north and landed between 400-500 yards away. When he got to it, one of the ladies had eaten the tailsection and both outer panels of the wing. In fact she had the model in her mouth, possibly taking it off to store away for a midnight snack. John had to chase the cow to retrieve his model. The prop and fuselage didn’t look bad and the two inner wing panels seemed okay, but the tail, a big one with twin fins, was unrecognizable as were the wing outer panels. Now when was the last time you heard of a cow being so interested in an R/C ship that she ate the tail surfaces?
I’m not sure about this column for next month. A week after the meeting, I go off for two weeks and don’t get back until three days before I have to submit my copy to your editor. You may have to endure “What I did on my Summer Vacation” or, who knows, I may get nothing typed at all and give you a real break.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
The all-too-brief Oregon Season of Good Flying Weather may be upon us. I’ve been out to the field on some very nice days that featured real blue skies, real sun, and light (or, at least, light-ish) winds. Come out to the field and make the most of it because it won’t last long.
Dave Simmington has a new
ship. You’ll remember
Extra 330 which he has newly rebuilt and he has installed a gas-burner
it along. I may have this wrong, hut I think the engine is an SEE 40.
itself has a tangled history, though it appears to have started life as
Pat Willis’s ships (it has his badge number on the fin.), then was
flown for a
time by Kevin Kline before Marty acquired it. It lost the landing gear
appeared to be a perfectly normal touchdown, but the damage was minimal.
Chick Foster was flying a large Sig Rascal on a day when I was trying to get a couple of FF ships ready for a contest, so I did not get any details and now he has a Sig Clipped-Wing Cub in the air. Again, I was fettling Freeflight ships and got no details.
goes like blazes, but, again, I was down in my FF ghetto and just saw
by. Now down there with me was new member Tom Kopriva who is also a
freeflighter. On this day, however, he had a sidearm--launched
glider. After some previous wrestling with it, Tom had the launch down
then discovered that it definitely needs more positive incidence in the
Not as easy as it sounds. With this bird; you have to unglue the wing
incidence. Tom claims to be a nervous R/C-er who tends to throw in full
or full left at any point even approaching a panic situation. That can
with. After all, when I started flying R/C, 51 years ago, right about
I HAD was full right and full left; there wasn’t any of this sissy
Some of you may remember about 30 years ago when we had a big Balsa Crisis, because they were talking the stuff to use for insulation in enormous tankers for carrying liquid natural gas. We weathered that storm, though balsa prices went up a lot and stayed there. Now, I’m told, we have another problem on the horizon, if not right in our laps. They are using our precious balsa for the blades on electricity-generating windmills. These contraptions are, of course, hip, politically-correct, and terribly, terribly, ecological - but they’re using our wood! There have already been some glitches in the balsa supply locally. Jim Trump got a shipment from Sig (of all people) that was of such low quality that he sent it back and I was talking to a kit manufacturer who did the same.
bit thin this
month, because I was away for two weeks. I went to an airshow, an air
and an auto museum in
The cars? I saw two museums full of the most beautiful automobiles on Earth. And some funny-looking ones, too, I’ll grant - like the Goliath Pioneer whose wooden body was covered in imitation leather. To offset that comical little three-wheeler, there were three Bugatti Royales, including the one built without headlights because the buyer never drove at night. Took pictures in the car museums, too, and I’m sure some will be worth seeing.
oldest model mag in the world, dating from 1929, but the French Le
d’Avion is the second-oldest and Flugmodel und Technik from
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
I hope you noticed that Your Editor’s optical scanner is on the sauce again - swacked to the gills on rot-gut Oregon wine, no doubt. “Bit’ became “hit” and all the “but’s were transformed into “hut”s . Fiesler will be amazed to find that their Fi 156 is now an Fi 136 and Dreguet’s Type XIV was demoted to a lowercase xiv. What will happen this month?
And you will have noticed that Doug McWha’s F-22 became an F-23 in last month’s column. The truth be told, that was me , not Jim’s optical scanner. You know how it is with me and jets; it’s surprising that I was only one off. Anyhow, Doug found himself up to his hips in servos and used two of them to put working flaps in the F-22. He’s delighted with the results, especially, he says, on takeoff.
Gerald Johnson had a small, molded-foam Bearcat that looked a bit like Daryl Greenamayer’s racer. but the ship was giving him trouble, so he pulled out a truly ancient Goldberg Falcon 56 and had no further problems that day.
of old models, Les Levitt has taken the Kadet he used to fly down at
Marty Witman’s huge Cessna Agwagon is very modestly powered by a Brison 50 which seems more than enough oomph for it. The plane has a working hopper and Marty tried a mixture of Rice Krispies!) and cornstarch to dust the strip. The mechanism worked just fine and the dust poured out of the hopper, but was so dispersed as to be invisible once it was only a foot or so from the nozzle. Bright-red Rice Krispies are, apparently, not to be found in local markets, but research continues.
Marty looms large in this month’s column. He has managed to take the gear off that Extra twice more and both times it was a perfectly normal-looking landing. And he’s shearing four 1/4-20 nylon bolts each time. Not to be outdone by some guy from Junction City, Springfield’s Wayne Wahrmnd broke three sets of 10-32 l.g. bolts on his U-Can-Do in one flying session. He had put a ¼” balsa block between the gear and the fuselage belly to get more prop clearance, then replaced it with plywood of the same thickness when the balsa got a bit mushy. The ply seems to have been just slightly too unyielding. Now don’t run out and invest your stimulus check in companies making 10-32 nylon bolts. Wayne’s gone back to balsa and the trouble seems to have stopped.
Wayne has continued to take some of the load off Chuck Jenkins’s shoulders by handling the buddy box for guys who fly well enough to need only occasional help in the air and with landings. He’s had John Byrne up this way, among others. When he does this, Wayne likes to use his own model so as to have a plane that he’s entirely used to, if something should go awry. Usually, it is the faithfull LT-40, but he was flying Tim Roome the other day on the big Pulse. Wayne is getting closer and closer to instructing right from scratch, because Tim is pretty new to it all. That said, I must report that he must have been handling the 90-powered Pulse pretty smoothly because Wayne did not have the ashen-faced look you’d expect on a guy who has a raw beginner at the sticks of his pride and joy. (N.B. I may be close to having Tim’s last name right. It came off Chuck Jenkins’s computer phone and you know how I mistrust info from computers.)
cruel fate forces you to look for a model in the fields southwest of
over the trees, keep an eye out for Tom Kopriva’s electric. Jim Corbett
that Tom found a nice thermal one afternoon, shut off the motor, let
fold, and settled down to ride the thermal. Right into the sun. Of
you have been in
Mike Farr has been flying an 0.S. 46-powered Aerostar and had an odd accident. He’d run off the strip and on taxiing back, the tall grass caught his gear and hooked him into that bench down at the far west end. He also has an electric picked up at the South Lane auction. There’s an incongruous note in the presence of WW1 U.S. roundels on the wings of this sleek bird. They are, however, strictly in aid of telling top from bottom, no Scale stuff implied.
Mike has a low-winger as well, called a “Pacific Knockout” It reminds me of a smaller VK Cherokee converted to tail-wheel landing gear. Chuck Jenkins was the test pilot and carefully checked balance and control action before advancing the throttle for takeoff. That part was smooth enough, but once in the air, Chuck found he had neither aileron nor rudder control. Throttle and elevator worked though that didn’t prevent some damage, notably broken motor mounts. The investigation waits on new mounts to see if vibration caused the problem.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
Mike Farr’s low-winger is a “Pacific Knockabout”, not “Knockout” as I wrote last month. That does not seem, to me anyway, a good name for a plane. “Knockout”, yes, “Runabout”, yes, but “Knockabout” seems to presage a sticky end. Be that as it may, the reason for last month’s loss of control and crash turned out to be a faulty receiver. Mike has installed an old Futaba now and the ship is back in the air.
Delayne Thompson is now flying a Stunt Super from World Models. It certainly cannot deny a whole lot of Ugly Stik ancestry, but, hey, Phil Kraft’s old Stik was-is-a fine-flying model. That’s no doubt why it has been copied by so many companies all over the world. Delayne says the instructions that came with his new plane were terrible, but that it didn’t matter because the ship was so easy to put together. Tower .46 is the power.
Craig Canaday’s Aeroworks Yak-54 has made its debut. It was a total success right up until - literally - the last couple of seconds of the landing roll-out when it veered off the strip and broke a prop. Do you know how much props for those DA 100s cost? I had two freeflight ships with me that day and, combined, they weren’t worth as much as Craig’s prop.
Rod Madison had another debutante at the field one day: a DHC-2, the Beaver, large enough to need a Saito 125 up front. Rod was doing taxi tests and running into vibration trouble with the metal wing struts. I had to leave at that point and don’t know how things came out.
Okay, Marty Wittman, you are now one down in the bolt-shearing sweepstakes. Wayne Warmund took the gear off his U-Can-Do again in what he admitted was a “hard” landing. Wayne was smiling, though, because his balsa spacer block just let the bolts shear without tearing the anchor block out of the fuselage.
Consider the plight of Ken Springate who discovered that one of his aileron-servo leads had slipped back inside the wing. He couldn’t even see it, let alone fish it out. He spent a good ten minutes shaking, twisting, and jiggling that wing before the offending lead deigned to reappear. All of this, of course, to a chorus of advice from the peanut gallery.
Dwayne Graville has been flying a slightly tatty Sig Kadet Sr. with an elderly Enya .46 up in the engine compartment. A Graville Winter Project will see the Sr. recovered and ailerons added. Dwayne, on dead-calm mornings, even flies his indoor electric Ember and he’s found out just what the range on those Indoor transmitters is and he found it out without doing the Ember any damage.
Speaking of Indoor, take a trip over to the armory in Springfield some Wednesday between 2:30 and 4:00. You will see as many as ten guys cruising around the gym with electric R/C ships, mostly Vapors and Embers with one of those little Cessnas thrown in from time to time. I opined that they needed models that would do something and Doug McWha came down on me with both feet. That would spoil the “relaxing” atmosphere! He hasn’t convinced me. Chuck Jenkins does loop his Ember occasionally, but that’s not enough for me. There was one of the four-channel Sukhois there one day. It hit a lot of walls. Too fast for the place?
Len Stolfo is one of the Indoor guys who also come out to the field to fly Electric. Len’s had a lot of experience with photography of all sorts and the other day he combined the two interests. He was flying a Rogallo-winged machine which had one television camera facing forward, another facing aft, and a still camera on an intervalometer shooting a picture every few seconds. There were a few focus problems on the first try, but Jim Corbett may have some of Len’s output on the “website” by now.
The hay bales were out in front of the strip for such a short time that only Dwayne Graville had a chance to hang a plane on one. In making a bit of a mess of a recovery from making a bit of a mess of a landing approach, Dwayne perched his red Stik-like electric right on top of one stack. Being a freeflighter, I carry an extensible pole in the car for the express purpose of getting models out of trees. It was up to the task of retrieving the electric, though there was a broken prop at the end of the whole affair.
That pole was nowhere near long enough when I put my Fubar 36 in one of the trees south of the strip. A search party of Dwayne, his grandson Steven, Marty, Wayne, and I located the model, over 30’ up and truly caught in the branches. Still there the next morning when I went down to see if the wind had been kind. Don Desimone came along to see and he managed to get that tree swaying through a wide arc, changing the rhythm so that the tree went one way and the model the other. The Fubar came down in three stages to where it could be lifted down with a long stick. 24 hours in the tree and all that shaking netted the necessity for a tissue patch in one wing-rib bay. Thanks again, Don!
The Willamette Modelers’s Old-Timer contest takes place on 9/12 and 9/13. There is a swap meet at the Tangent School on the Saturday night and there is always R/C stuff to be had. It’ll cost you a full dollar to get in and I’ll post the flier in the shed in the next week or so.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
Every so often, a holiday falls on a weekday and there are a lot of non-weekday faces at the field. When there is not only a holiday but a fun-fly, it really gets crowded. We had that situation on Labor Day and there really was a crowd.
The only actual “fun-fly” event was a Limbo. You flew your model under a banner supported by two poles as many times as you were able in a set time. It was won hands-down by Doug McWha flying that disgracefully dilapidated Easy-Sport 40 that has held the title “Club Eyesore” for so many years. It wasn’t all clear sailing, though. On an early pass, Doug was too high, dove, still went over the banner, hut did contact the ground solidly. He straightened the nose gear, cleaned the dirt out of the engine compartment, put on a new prop and continued.
Secretary & Chief Cook Al Barrington stepped out from behind the barbeque grill and was giving Doug a run for his money until he hit the banner right on the nose. The Eagle II is not a fast plane, so the plastic banner simply rolled with the punch and let the model down nose-first without a scratch, but Al declined to continue.
Others did not get off so easy. Jim Corbett’s electric Stinger hit one of the posts hard and had some nose damage. He continued with a foam profile, hit the post again, and, missing half the horizontal tail, wound up between Pat Willis’s huge Giles and my sailplane. Wayne Warmund was doing well with his LT 40 until he, too, got much too close to one of the posts and bashed in the extremity of his left wing.
Chris McVey, visiting from Corvallis, showed why heli-copters were barred from the Limbo. He flew a small electric ship under the barrier, popped up and over, then took it under again, this time backwards. Looked as though he could have kept that up all day. Brad Werneth had his stable of helicopters out. Pat Willis flew a small, electric chopper that the wind bothered somewhat and Oliver Willis had a very small ship with contra-rotating rotors. I saw only one flight on that one, hut there must have been more, because he was later expressing dismay over a flat battery.
Don Desimone didn’t fly anything, but he served as the designated anchor when Pat started the 3W85 in his Giles 202. Pat declined to fly the Giles in the Limbo event. Craig Canaday was similarly disinclined with his Yak 54. We expected them, to each do one of those hang-on-the-prop things right under the barrier, but, no, they forebore, disappointing us all. I do think I saw Craig do it later with a small, foam, electric biplane.
President Khoi Tran’s tuned-pipe sort-of-a-Corsair made several fast and clean passes under the Limbo banner, then quit. Engine trouble? Craig Canaday was trying a pass with a Twist - and inverted at that - when his engine quit. He managed to get it rolled upright and the ensuing arrival, undignified though it was, did no damage.
Khoi also flew his Ultimate Bipe, a design which is my candidate for World’s Ugliest Biplane. Ivan Walker, another wise Limbo shunner got a fair amount of air time with a neat low-winger called a Rambler 45 and Robert Buttler did the same with an Escapade, a similar machine. Jacob Blewett had another Escapade on the field a week or two ago. Seems to fly well and I’m told it’s cheap.
Darin Thanner, new guy, flew a Sig 4-Star 40 powered by a Saito 50, one of the black-and-gold series I think they called Golden Knight. Look out! When he was a kid, Darin used to fly sailplanes down at Nielson & Cantrell. If he gets back into them and Dwayne Graville gets that monster glider of his back in airworthy shape, you will have three sailplanes to contend with on any given day.
Notable non-flyer was Delayne Thompson’s big Cessna Skylane. Eventually, the cowl was off and he and Chuck Jenkins were poking and prodding the Saito 115, which continued on a course of non-cooperation. Saitos are generally pretty reliable, so my guess is that there is a fault in the fuel system. It runs; just not well enough for a test-flight.
Oh, yes. How could I neglect to mention Phil Arnold’s Extra 330? This is the blue & yellow bird that sticks out over the back of the pickup truck. Has a 3W150, no sissy little 100. Of course, you look down the flight line and it’s so big you don’t realize there’s an aeroplane there. You think you are looking at a blue & yellow wall. It’s a monster - but it is such a nice-flying monster! Phil says it handles very nicely and it looks so steady to me that I wonder if it might not have been a good candidate for the Limbo. Yes, it would fit between the post. Not by a whole lot, that’s true, but it would fit.
Your columnist qualified for his own column by getting in five flights on the old Aquila sailplane. The first two launches, I’d rather not talk about - really sloppy - but the last three were quite good and all five landings were just fine, thanks. Alas, in between launch and landing there was no lift to be found. Tried twice to piggyback on some vultures, but, by the time I got up, they and the lift were both gone.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
If I’m hearing the Weather Bureau’s radio station correctly, Oregon is about to revert to being its usual dismal self for the next week. It has been nice while it pretended to he some other state, one where the sun shone regularly, but we knew it had to end some time.
Craig Canaday has been out quite often on weekdays with that hulking Yak 54 of his - the one with the DA 100 up front. Craig tells me that, when he first started flying this Yak, everything worked, but the engine was not hauling it around with the verve he had expected. He called Desert Aircraft and told them his sad story. “You have the ignition plugged in backwards”, they said, “It will run. but the spark will not advance”. Craig looked at his ignition connection and, lo, they were right. The (very faint, according to Craig) +s and -s on the plugs did not line up. He reconnected them with everything lining up correctly and, you guessed it, the DA 100 had enough oomph to hang the Yak on its prop ‘til the cows come home.
Mike Lee has an O.S. 40 in an Aerostar and is giving it a workout. Mike is a master of the cliff-hanging, heart-stopping, hair’s-breadth takeoff. We are all sure he’s never going to make it and we’re all getting to our feet to go haul the Aerostar out of the weeds and -pop!--he’s up in the air.
Robert Meador is another Aerostar flier and with a Tower 46, no less, but he’s under the tutelage of Chuck Jenkins, so things don’t get too hairy. Chuck was also standing by Terry Kise when he flew his Eagle II, another bird with a 46, 0.S. this time, but Terry was flying a moderate-size electric Piper PA-18, Super Cub, on his own with no apparent difficulties. He and Dwayne Glavine were flying together and landing together practically on the same patch. Dwayne’s bird these days is his electric Stik. Repairs are continuing on the Sig Kadet Sr. in the wake of a takeoff disaster a couple of weeks ago. Rebuilding the Kadet Sr. was to have been a Winter Project, but events have moved up the schedule. Ailerons will he installed, provision for floats added, and did I hear something about the fuselage being stretched?
Our fledglings do make progress. Mickey Cohen has been out all on his own and pulled off a deadstick landing very nicely one day. Otherwise, it has been the usual crowd with the usual models. Wayne Wahrmund’s been flying his U-Can-Do and his repaired LT-40. You’ll remember that the latter had an unintended encounter with the limbo pole at the funfly. Doug McWha has been flying --- no, I won’t even say it. Your Editor, Mr. Corbett, flies his usual flock of small electrics. Hey, Jim! The last time you fixed this typewriter, you left out the paper-release lever. (I have been forgetting to tell him that at the field for over a month, maybe two. Now, with it right in front of me, I’m jumping at the opportunity.)
Your Columnist was away for two weeks, in Illinois, visiting the people he worked and flew with for 16 years. The fliers are flying the same things we are. There are guys with the monster aeroplanes and one of them just won the Regional IMAC aerobatic championship. Not as many helicopter guys, but just as many electric guys and a number of pylon racers. There’s a club competition for 4-Star 40s and a regional league for Event 424, the lowest level Quickee 500 class.
As long as I was in the Mid-West, I took a side trip to Fairborn, Ohio, to see the Air Force Museum for the first time in 17 years. It always was a dark place, but it seems worse now. To add to the difficulties, I had a flashgun which was pulling a Pollyanna on me, telling me all was just peachy with its battery when, in fact, all was definitely not well. So I have a flock of photos, but they all should be rather lighter.
From there I went on to Auburn, Indiana, to the ACD Museum. That stands for Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg and the place is full of examples of all three makes - multiple examples of all three makes! V-12 Auburns, Deusenberg dual-cowl phaetons, Cord 812s knock you flat. I’ve pictures of them , too, and the lights were on.
From there to Muncie and the AMA Museum. Everything from pre-WWI twin-pushers to relatively modern Pattern ships. Big display windows showing the products of the old and famous kit makers like Cleveland, Comet (Carl Goldberg started with Comet.), and Megow. That’s “MAY-go”, by the way. A 50s hobbyshop you can walk into, with kits on the shelves and engines and accessories in the display cases. Lots of models of all sorts hanging up, including an Aquila sail-plane. Hey, wadda ya mean “museum piece”? I’m still flying an Aquila! Out on the big flying field, they were having a Vintage R/C event. They were flying, with modern radios for safety’s sake, models from before ‘65. There were a couple of Falcon 56s, at least one Trisqui re, several Ken Willard designs from RCM, and one of the early DeEolts. There was a beaut of a VK Navaho, a high-winger, but no trainer, an aerobat. The oldest design was a Lanzo RC-1, the first model to make a successful R/C flight at the Nats (1937). Quite a sight.
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
<>Right here at the start, an abject apology to Dwayne Graville. I made a thoroughgoing dog’s breakfast of his name in last month’s column, calling him “Glavine” I don’t know what I was thinking of. Tom Glavine was a fine pitcher and I liked him, even when he was playing for the enemy (Atlanta), but he hasn’t flown any R/C ships — on this field at least.
Before long, the weather is going to make finding grist for this mill rather difficult, but in the two weeks since the last column, there has been some decent flying weather on the weekdays. Still, with only that long to work with, this edition will, of necessity, be short.>
Dwayne G. repaired an LT 40 wreck that Chuck Jenkins contributed. He brought it out; it flew well; and he was just settling down to have some fun with it when the wing dowel at the leading edge pulled out. The two nylon screws at the trailing edge were not up to the task alone, so down came the LT 40. Dwayne’s working on the repairs now -engine and radio survived — and he’s looking into building a 4—Star kit, probably a 60. The old Sr. Kadet is still in the shop and will emerge with not only ailerons, but with a pair of bombbays and a glider tow rig as well.
Robert Buttler’s Ultimate Biplane has seen a lot of flying in the last couple of weeks. The Super Tigre .90 is more than adequate power. Good thing, too, because his Escapade is no more. Robert was swanning about, doing inverted figure eights when a spot of disorientation set in. Dug quite a hole. And at full bore, too. Radios and engines are tough; his survived.
Heck of a time for Mr. Buttler to plant his Escapade, because our other Robert, Meador, was in the air on his first solo — with an Escapade. These EPD guys have nerves of steel though. Not only the solo went fine, but a couple of more did as well — and he even got away with a downwind (not a very strong wind) landing. Either Robert M. has a real talent as a flier or Chuck Jenkins is a genius of an instructor, because that solo came after a very short stint as a pupil.
Mickey Cohen is now flying a Hohbistar 60 — the Mk.III, no less. This bird has a hi-convex airfoil, symmetrical, I think, and Mickey has an O.S.6O in the engine room.<> Wayne Wahrmund is now flying a Funtana 40 which he got from Doug Deveraux. It was subjected to some of Doug’s improvements and the wing is 3” longer than normal. To allow for this elongation, Wayne felt he had to go up to a new 0.S. 55 for power. Or maybe the horsepower race just got to him.>
Another new O.S. 55 can he found in Doug McWha’s Easy-Sport, if you can bring yourself to look at that disgrace. Pat Willis and I are figuring that all that extra power will do what all the gods do not seem to have been able to accom-plish: Reduce the thing to splinters. Splinters that are not being held together in a sort-of-sirplane shape by packaging tape and Monokote. There’s hope. Already the main landing gear has come loose and has to be held on with rubber bands.<> Get set for this one. Editor Corbett, far—famed for his bottomless collection of smallish electrics, was out at the field with a Midwest Sweet Stik and the engine was a K&B 40. Both of these go back a year or two. Or twenty. The Sweet Stik was a good flier. Mine had an 0.S. 40 FSR and I still have the drawings and the 0.S..>
The last I saw them, Jim and Doug were swapping blades on one of the lawn mowers. They have two sets so that they can have a sharpened set on the mower while the other set goes back to Jim’s shop to be honed to a razor’s edge. That’s how your runway gets to be in the good shape it is.<> I set out to sort my balsa strip and music wire. It turned into a major project. I have more pieces of some sizes of wire than most hobby shops. I have at least a few examples of every size of balsa strip known to man and a few with quite unusual crossections. There are pieces of very wide trailing edge stock, but not one of them is long enough to make a trailing edge for a model large enough to need wood of that size. And I have three or four l”xl”s and the same number of 1/32 x 1. Why do I have those? I’ve just started sorting my balsa sheet, but that seems to be going more easily. I should sort my covering raaterial, too, but that’s going to wait until I’ve built the Cavalier Std.. I know where the covering is for the Cavalier!>
WITH THE WEEKDAY WARRIORS
It has finally happened. Your columnist has been up to the field on only one weekday (since the last column) when there was anybody flying there. If we didn’t have fog down around our ears all day, we had rain. There was that stretch of a few days which saw the high temperatures not getting out of the low 30s and I doubted that even the usually intrepid Weekday Warriors would be daring those frosty morns.
On the one day mentioned above, I found only Wayne Wahrmund and Dwayne Graville flying from a quite soggy runway. Wayne had his U-Can-Do, now powered by a new Saito .82 4-stroke. He’s been breaking in the engine and has it so far along that he has confidently shrouded it in a cowl. The Saito .82 is worming its way into Wayne’s heart; he says it’s a first-class engine. We do have to convince our Wayne that holes in cowls for exhaust stacks, needle-valve exten-sions, air intakes, and the like should have rounded cor-ners. This is an aesthetic consideration, of course, but it is also true that square corners in plastic tend to develop cracks.
Dwayne was flying his faithful LT-40, the one with the distinctly elderly Enya .46 up front. He tells me that he got a handful of wrecked models from Chuck Jenkins, among which was one slightly smaller than the LT. (Seniorita?) He intends to repair that one and put it on floats. He has a set of floats which are just a bit small for the larger ship and should be just right for the smaller.
Dwayne gave me a list of P/c frequencies he got off the computer. It gives all the ham frequencies, the 72 meg frequencies for airplanes, the 75 meg frequencies for cars and boats, and even those in use in the UK, though not the ones for Canada. This list also has the still-legal 27 meg spots the toy manufacturers are using on things you see in department stores. Down at the bottom of this list is 27.255 mc. Ah, doesn’t that bring hack memories! When I started flying P/C in 1958, I was on 27.255. So was every-body else. Well, there were quite a few people on the Ham bands, but those of us without Amateur Radio licenses were on 27.255. You took turns - one guy in the air at a time. You had to have a Citizens’ Band Radio License to use the gear, but there was no exam required as there was for the Ham band. All you had to do was send in the application and the fee to the FCC and back came the license. I remember that fee as $8.00, but Editor Corbett says that $12.00 comes to mind. He confesses that, as a lad, he flew illegally, sans license. (N.B. If the next issue of this newsletter bears a Leavenworth, Kansas, postmark, you’ll know that the Statute of Limitations has not run out.) The fee was annual, by the way. Fairly early in the game, they dropped first the fee and then the license, but I cannot remember the years of their demises.
There was another exam-free frequency available, 465mc, but I never saw a 465 rig in use on any of the fields we flew on. It had a reputation - deserved or not, I don’t know - as being short on range. It also had an antenna with two elements, one of which had to he oriented vertically and the other horizontally. The antenna had to be installed in the wing, away from batteries, receiver, and assorted wires. When you put on the wing, you plugged in your antenna as you now do your aileron servo. That may have contributed to the marginal popularity of 465 mc..
There was no fuss about plugging in the aileron servo, because there was no aileron servo. These models were single-channel, rudder-only. There was a variety of actua-tors for that rudder, some of them a bit, let’s say, bizarre, but the most common were the escapement operated by a wound-up loop of ¼” rubber and the pulse actuator. I used the former which gave you right rudder on one push of the button and left with two pushes. That’s full right or left, none of this effete proportional stuff. Turns were made in a series of steps, because holding down the button dropped the nose into a spiral dive. Loops, rolls, and Immelmanns were possible, but that’s a story for another time.
Pulse-proportional actuators kept the rudder in constant motion from left to right. The pulse was fast enough that the plane, which was quite slow, simply did not notice the rudder motion and flew straight ahead. When you moved the stick to one side, the rudder pulsed more to that side than the other and, voila, a turn, either open or tight. The drawback to pulse-proportional was that the constant operation ate batteries and we were using the classic carbon-zinc flashlight batteries. (Alkaline? What’s alkaline?) When the batts gave out, the rudder went full-left and you spiraled in. No throttling back - no throttle. With escapement, you could run out of turns on the rubber loop (I did that but once) or the escapement could stick. My Esquire was set to fly in a big left turn, so I just had to follow it up the road where it generally lit on the long-abandoned Scudder dairy farm. I flew with a fellow who had pulse-proportional and he’d spiral into the field in front of us, which, fortunately, was, more or less, a swamp. It was rare for the models to he damaged to any serious extent. Bob did come back from one retrieval, though, covered in mud up to his hip pockets.
See, that’s what happens when there’s no flying to report on; I ramble. This is being typed a good 10 days early because I’m off for Florida on the 12th. I’ll return with a bunch of old-airplane photos.
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