FOR SALE – “Experimental” Prop

In the last batch of prop blanks from the Prop Factory (my dad), I received a couple of blanks that were strange in appearance.  The pitch was as advertised but the block layout was shifted (due to an error in machine set up).  I decided that these were so strange that I did not want to sell them to a customer base that loves every aspect of wooden props – including how nice and symmetrical a blank should look.

So, I decided to see if I could make a finished product that would look good.  The photos show the result.  I think the finished prop looks fine, but I will let the public decide!

This is a 10″ Diameter x 14″ Pitch regular rotation balsa prop for Rubber Powered Free Flight.  Notice the “scimitar” shape to the blades – this was due to the layout issues mentioned above – I could not get a symmetrical blade out of this blank.  The maximum blade width is about 1.25″

This was made from 5-pound balsa and it now weighs 1.7 grams as shown.  It will need final finish (dope, CA, glassing – your choice), a central hub installed (currently a 3/32″ hole), and some sort of drive/freewheeler.  These are left to the buyer.  Also, there has been no effort to balance the prop, although it is nearly balanced.  I also carved in a bit of under-camber into the blades.

Price:  $20 postage included, shipped USPS Priority to anywhere in the United States (international postage will be greater).
Payment:  PayPal preferred.
Contact me ONLINE (email, Facebook post, Facebook Messenger, etc.) if you want this prop.  We will work from first to contact me has first opportunity.

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Customer Photos! – Roy Courtney

Long time flying friend, Roy Courtney, sent in two photos of some of his Volare Products Embryos.

Here is his Big Cat

Big Cat by Roy Courtney

And here is his Durham Mystery

Durham Mystery Plane by Roy Courtney

Both should be great flyers – Thanks Roy!

If you would like to see your photos here, just send them on in to me.

Just an update on me – I’m slowly getting better.  I still have a hard cough remaining from the bronchitis and my right ear is still plugged, but I am definitely getting better.  I have sent out some orders, but still have a significant stack that piled up while I wasn’t feeling like doing anything.  I will get these out as soon as I can.  Thanks for being patient.  –george

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The Winds of November

Here is my “fortune” from fried rice last night…




Expanding my business – ask my son:  that is on my mind every day.  But these past couple of days shows just how fragile a one-man shop really is.  It’s been a few days since I posted.  I feel like it’s been forever.  Sickness grabbed ahold of me and knocked me down.  I’m starting to get better, but not fast enough.  I did absolutely nothing for about 5 days, fighting what is thought to be some sort of viral bronchitis.  I haven’t been knocked out like this in ages.

As a result, no building, no site updates, no orders filled – and people are getting antsy.  I finally got some orders packed last night and might get some packed tonight.  I’m back at my job (hadn’t missed due to extended sickness in about 5 years), but working means resting in the evenings, so it all will be slow going.

However,  I do have new products in the pipeline.  Some are commercial items that I will be distributing, some are items I picked up that I thought modelers might be interested in, and there are some more Short Kits coming – one is very close as a  prototype has already been built and flown, and a couple would need the plan packages completed.  And of course, Superior Props – we keep getting requests for new props and we get them out the door as soon as we can.

Also, I have had a couple of customers send in photos of their completed Volare Products.  I’ll post them soon.

So, thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Making Balloon Wheels

My Comper Swift needs wheels.  So, I figured I would just make some nice balloon wheels that matched the photos of the subject being modeled.

Here are the steps I took to make the wheels form some very light 1/16″ sheet balsa.  I think the photos pretty much explain it all.  What they don’t explain (and neither can I) is why I forgot to weigh them before I affixed them to the landing gear!  But they can’t weigh more than 1.5 grams or so.


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November Nuggets – Two New Programs!

I am going to try some new awareness campaigns starting in November.

Program #1 – Builder Photos. Please send in photos of your completed Volare Products Kits or Superior Props. We know how good they are, but why take our word for it? Help us tell the world how pleased you are with the products. Feel free to include yourself in the photo (or not) and any pieces of information about the product and its successes for you.

Program #2 – Monthly Short Kit Giveaways. These giveaways will be for a pre-selected kit and will run for a week or so – and will only take place on our Facebook page. You can enter simply by “liking” or “sharing” the announcement that appears on Facebook. At the end of the defined time, a name will be selected at random from the list of participants and that person will be contacted and sent the short kit, free of charge! The only additional request is that should you win, you send in a photo of the completed kit to Program #1.

Oh, here’s the Facebook page:

So, send in your photos any time, and look for the November giveaway soon!


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NEW PRODUCT – Ohka NoCal Short Kit

One of my long-promised short kits, I finally got this package finished.  It is based on my old NoCal plan, but I have redrawn it and re-engineered it for laser cutting.  As with all my NoCals, this is designed for outdoor flying.  This long fused plane creates a NoCal with about 60 square inches of wing area.  With the long nose, you want to keep that prop light, but once trimmed, this should give long flights.  We recommend a 6″ prop and a loop 3/32″ rubber to start out with.  Special thanks to Oliver Sand for building the kit prototype.  Remember, a “short kit” provides the plan and laser cut parts; you supply the stick wood and hardware.

Find this and all my kits by clicking HERE


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JUST IN!!! The NEW Gizmo Geezer Nose Buttons!

You’ve heard rumors (maybe even from me!) but now you can see the real thing.  I just took shipment of a large batch of the latest version of the famous and popular Gizmo Geezer Nose Button with Adjustable Thrust.  Now it includes your choice of prop shaft size!

Since the user has a choice, the user will also have to do the minor final assembly.  The shaft size is determined by a bushing that must be installed right before screwing the front assembly into the back plate.  (Instructions included.)

Once assembled, they are used in the same way as the old design.  No dimension has changed (excepting the prop shaft size).



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NEW PRODUCT! – Stout 2-AT Scale Short Kit

Finally, I have the Stout kit online.  We included this kit in the 2015 FAC Outdoor Champs registration packet – and 48 people received them.  This is the One-Design for next year’s contest.  If you weren’t there or just want another, now they are available in the Basement.  Thanks to Cloudbusters Jack Moses, Mike Welshans, and Winn Moore for help in the prototyping stage.  And thanks to Stu Weckerly for inspiration and years of friendship.

This 18″ span Short Kit includes 3 sheets of laser cut parts and a plan sheet, plus the story of the Stout 2-AT Air Pullman and a little bit about Stu.  And beyond the One-Design, this qualifies for FAC Scale and FAC Golden Age Monoplane.

Hop on over to the Basement and order yours today; it’s only 10 bucks:  SHOP HERE

There is also a link above in the Gallery – I have collected over 40 images for you to use as documentation.


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Back in Stock! 1/4″ Rubber!!!!

You asked for it; FAI is now making 1/4″ rubber again!  NEW AND FRESH!!!  The smallest box they offer (and the only size I carry) is 1 pound boxes.  I took a bunch of these to the Outdoor Champs a couple weeks ago and sold out!.  I have more on hand now.

Also, all other sizes of rubber are re-stocked and Crocket Hooks, too.  And in the mail on their way to me are re-supplies of CA glues and a huge lot of the NEW Gizmo Geezer Nose Bearing kits!

More to come!


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Summary: 2015 FAC Outdoor Champs

Jack and I went down to Muncie on Wednesday afternoon.  We left Battle Creek around 12:30 and arrived about 3:45.  We were very surprised to see so many people already there!  We had anticipated about 50 registered contestants (48 was the final tally) and about half of those seemed to be on the field for a beautiful afternoon and evening of flying.

I love going to the AMA flying site: it’s a huge site for FAC events, it’s relatively close, and when we get a lot of people, it’s a really fun time.  I attend four contests a year in Muncie and the FAC Outdoor Champs is the biggest.  After checking the flight schedule for Thursday and Friday, I figured I could sell and fly on both days, since I only had to log flights in 4-5 events each day.  And the flyers barely let me get started to test on Wednesday before they were handing me money (to trade for product!)  Sales went well thought the contest;  thank you to all of my customers.

I thought had just a glimmer of hope in NoCal.  At Geneseo, in July, I had put up a very respectable series of flights and was sitting in first place – until Wally Farrell came along and lost his model on a 9+minute single flight.  NoCal is the total of three flights with no max flight time (the only FAC event with no max).  His single flight time just beat me and I had to settle for 2nd.  My hopes were that his new NoCal would not beat me this time.  I again put up some respectable times in the morning and thought maybe the winds picking up might keep my scores in #2.  In the middle of the day, wally had logged flights – and they were lower than mine!  But by the end of the day, he had a different model top my scores and so did Mark Rzadka, so I settled for 3rd.  Wally beat me again!

I like to compete, but in unexpected ways.  Currently, I fly Old Time Fuselage with a Pacific Ace Junior – not a regular Pacific Ace, but the little-know Junior.  This is a 15″ span model that really looks like a Peanut sized plane.  It is so small that it cannot fit into Embryo class.  I’ve had it for 3 years or so and finally figured out how to make it fly.  I’ve even been told that it can’t win.  Well, my second and third flights were maxes with the last being over 5 minutes and me losing track of the model.  I found two other lost models while searching, but couldn’t find mine.  I think I ended up in 4th or 5th with the little plane.  Someone DID find it Friday – after the heavy rains came through.


My other big story involved my venerable Goodyear racer, the Falcon Special II.  I designed and built this under the direction of Russ Brown in 1998 or 99 for publication in his Crosswinds newsletter.  It did very well for me in 1999, earning 5 kanones.  It was one of the planes that survived my lengthy hiatus and even one another kanone in 2012 – when it flew into a bean field and a found it by stepping on its wing.  Since then it has been like an old favorite dog that shows flashes of its old self, but you just don’t have the heart to put it down.  Thursday night, I tried a test flight so that I would be ready for the race on Friday.  Well, the model rolled right and nearly broke off a wing.  With the field repair, the thing is really suffering now.

I think there were 10 of us for the race!  I made it through the first round easily; even Jack commented how well the plane was flying.  In the second round, I survived, but the performance wasn’t the same.  Before winding for the third round, I checked the motor – there was a big nick in the motor by the prop shaft.  I decided to try to nurse the motor through the winding.  I slowly wound, trying to ease in turns, until the strand snapped.  Since I was going slowly, only the one strand broke, with its ends captivated by the knotted motor.  I immediately stopped with the winder and put the prop on and started doing the old 1:1 ratio winder, turning the prop slowly and carefully.  If I could just get a few more turns in, maybe some other hapless pilot would dork in before I fluttered to the ground.   After several turns, Jack says “it’s getting kinda tight!” – well, it popped.

Now I had a choice:  Let the other three pilots fly without me or just give my model a hearty toss and hope for the best.  Tom Hallman captured the moment of launch for the four of us (that’s me closest to the camera).  My tail heavy model did a large figure 9 into the ground – and a second later Jack Tisinai’s Hot Canary went in!  If I had only stopped hand winding, I would have got third place!

A Mighty Leap-s

The last (short) story:  I am very happy to have placed second in Peanut.  My no-bonus-point Barracuda could not catch Tom Hallman and his 30 bonus point Bleriot. But I was able to get a better score than Wally Farrell and his Floyd Bean – and he maxed!  Placing between these two is not an easy task!

Overall, it was a wonderful contest, the last big one of the year.  I had a great time with friends and realized that I have a bit of a Zen attitude about flying – whatever happens, happens.  As my flying buddy, Chris Boehm says, “a day flying is better than a day without flying!”

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