I believe that, after 14 hours, I have recreated the site pretty close to what it was.  No customers or orders were lost.  Thanks for your patience. –george

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Last night I tried to do a simple upgrade to a portion of the Shopping site.  It failed completely.  I am trying my best to resurrect the site and just wanted everyone to know that I will have it operational as soon as I possibly can.  My apologies for the inconvenience.  We will return shortly.  –george

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Back Home from Indiana

It was a busy weekend, full of work for me.  Of course, working at flying is better than other kinds of work!  I had some bad luck and some good luck.  After 3 dismal flights in Phantom Flash, I finally had victory in my sites as flight #4 of PF #4 was certain to produce a max.  With two more flights left, I was hopeful.  But it was not to be. Flight 4 went OOS at 4:30 and my backup plane was not in good shape.

I did win the Cloud Tramp Mass Launch and the Watson Challenge.  The Watson Challenge is a McCook Squadron event:  any plane, best 2 of 3 flights – but you MUST use a 24″ strand of 1/8″ supplied by the Contest Director.  I put it in my little Pacific Ace Junior and flew to victory.

I also came home with 4- 3rds and 3- 2nds.  The best of those was in Embryo.  I got 3rd place with my brand new Tomahawk model, beating several others and only losing to Free Flight giants: Ted Allebone (2nd) and Herb Kothe (1st).

Third place award for Embryo

Third place award for Embryo

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Off To Muncie!

I am leaving this afternoon for Muncie and the McCook Squadron FAC Contest on Saturday and Sunday.  I feel very much behind the curve; not prepared to sell or fly.  I have shortages on certain products, I am trying out a new trailer, and I have several new models that are relatively (or completely) untested.  Not a good way to start the weekend!

Here is the most recent new model – Don Campbell’s Tomahawk Embryo.  Don was a fellow Cloudbuster who passed away last year.  This is sort of a tribute to him.  This is done in Silver and Turquoise Esaki tissue and has a 7″ Superior Prop.  The logo on the side is just how Don has it on the plan and it is printed right on the silver tissue.

I do have a new Embryo – my Sky Rocket – but it weighs in about 25g or so without rubber.  I am sure it will fly well, but I wanted a light weight Embryo again.

As you can see in the gallery photos, the Tomahawk weighs in at 18g without rubber, 28% less than the Sky Rocket.  The Tomahawk will likely be my next kit, as I laser cut all the parts and traced the original plan for a new, fresh plan.  I did adjust the windscreen to gain full raised cabin bonus points.

See you in Muncie!

Tomahawk Embryo

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This is just a short note to let all my customers, past, present, and future, know that I appreciate their business and their patience with me and my business.  As you might be aware, this Free Flight Supplies business is NOT my “real” job; I have a normal 40-hour-a-week job and I am restricted to running Volare Products/Superior Props/Shorty’s Basement after hours.  Because of this, I sometimes lag behind in timely filling of orders keeping bench stock.  All of my kits and manufactured items (winders, counters, blast tubes, etc.) have to be assembled in evenings and weekends by my crew:  me, myself, and I.

I know this is not an optimal situation for you, the customer.  Every day, I tell my wife or my son that I need more time and have so much to do.  I have lots of ideas and strive to provide the best product I can.  In short, thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support.


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June Cloudbusters Contest Report

Yesterday, we finally got our first outdoor meet of the year in the books.  We had been rained out twice and we were all itching to fly.   We had decent weather and about 17 members/flyers in attendance.

Photo of the Day:  we found this plane while searching for another.  This is a Phantom Flash that was lost sometime last flying season.


Here are three videos we were able to record.

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Pre-order for the FAC Nats in Geneseo and the AMA FF Nats in Muncie!

It’s only two months until these contests and, as I personally scramble to get my fleet ready to fly, I’d like to remind everyone that I do accept PRE-ORDERS for delivery to Geneseo, NY and Muncie, IN in July. Submit your order and it will be packed and you can pick it up at these events, saving you shipping charges.

It is especially important to pre-order if you would like to buy any Superior Props propellers or accessories, so that we can get them made on time. If you need and Old Timer Folders or 3- or 4- bladed props, get those orders in now!

Just go online ( and select your items. During checkout, select “EVENT PICKUP” and be sure to add a comment at which event you will pick up the order.

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Evening Therapy* with a HiMax

After a long day working on the business (29 kits assembled, among other things), I decided I needed some Evening Therapy, as my friend, Chris Boehm calls it.

We haven’t had a chance to really fly outdoors yet, and while I have tested some new models, I don’t have the local space to properly trim.  So I decided to get out an older, trustworthy, predictable model just for some fun.

This is my 16.5″ span T.E.A.M. HiMax filmed last evening.  In a subsequent flight, I got the stalling power flight calmed down (more down thrust and a little right thrust) and the plane really gets up.  It was very satisfying to have the plane simply go up and come down without having to fight it or think about why it’s not performing as expected.



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Pontiac Psych-out!

This is to get into the heads of all my FAC flying buddies that will be going to the 2014 Indoor Fling in Pontiac, MI tomorrow.  Here is my hangar of airplanes for tomorrow’s competition:

Peanut Scale:  Pegna P.C.1 and Junkers Stuka
FAC Scale:  T.E.A.M. HiMaxDime Scale:  Chambermaid
NoCal:  T.E.A.M. HiMax
Phantom Flash
Embryo:  BC Special
Goodyear Race:  Falcon Special II
WWII Mass Launch:  Stuka
Pinkham Field Stick:  19″ Cloud Tramp and Sleek Streek
Pinkham Field Victory:  TriFlyer
Jet Catapult: Yak-21

As it says on my model box: “look upon my works and despair!”  (Now if I just get a chance to fly half of them!)



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Best Practices – Torque

For all of my years of flying, I’ve been pretty much a “by guess and by golly” or “TLAR” (That Looks About Right) flyer.  I never put much scientific practice into my flying.  I am pretty analytic, so I understand that it “could” help; maybe I’ve just been lazy.

Well, friendly competition never hurt anyone.  I’ve come to realize that if I want to keep winning – or not give wins away – I better start applying some of the basic principles of rubber flying:  I am going to apply Don DeLoach’s Tail Volume – CG formulae; I may start building more conventional aircraft (like my Chambermaid), I am going to venture into events that I never flew (such as Dime Scale), and I am going to start measuring torque while winding.

I was at an informal indoor event a month ago and was struggling a little to get good performance out of my NoCal HiMax and my flying buddy (and competitor!) Winn Moore asked “to what torque are you winding?”  My reply: “I dunno – never used a torque meter.”  He said “use my Wilder Winder with Torque Meter and tell me where you are.”  I did and gave him a number and he said for that motor cross section I could go at least 60% higher in torque.  I was shocked.  I tried it and got GREAT results.  I was sold. (Speaking of “sold”, I had been back bidder on ebay for the very winder that Winn let me use!)

I did a ton of online research and built some spreadsheets and I now own 3 Torque meters that I have built and I am working on a fourth.  Here are two of them.  The one attached to my winder should be good for all of my Indoor/NoCal/Phantom Flash motors.  Full scale deflection to left or right (counter rotating twins?) should be 1 inch-ounch.  The larger also fits on the Wilder and should be good for all of my peanuts and smaller ships with full deflection of 2 inch-ounces.  And I build a long, detached one for big stuff up to 12 inch-ounces.

two homemade torque meters for my Wilder Winder

two homemade torque meters for my Wilder Winder

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