UK Vacation Report

This is not modeling related, but I thought I would share some high-level details of our 2-week driving trip through the UK.  As I said, this will be very high level and impressions, as a 16-day trip has too many real details and memories to cover here.  I had intended to do one short post daily, but on about the fourth day, my cell phone stopped working.  It had a cracked screen and it just went blank.

A LONG TRIP – it was 16 days.  I felt that, if we were going for that length of time, we were going to see a lot.  I opted to drive all around the UK and see a little bit of a lot of things, rather than staying in one place and seeing everything that one spot had to offer.  Was it right or the best?  Probably not, but we got to see a lot.   And in fact, I liked London the least of all – and we were there for 4 nights. I was told “you’ll never make it” when I described what our plans were before the trip – but we did – and we saw most of the things I had planned, not all, but we did add a few that weren’t planned.

The black dots are where we spent the night: Dublin, Port Isaac, Bristol, Carlisle, Loch Lomond, Inverness, Kirkwall, Inverness, Edinburgh, York, Ingrave, and 4 nights in London.

AGE – The US doesn’t have or know “old”.  Our old buildings and such are no newer than our statehood, generally.  On our east coast, there are buildings approaching 300 years old, for sure, but over there – we were in many fully functional buildings that were built BEFORE there were British colonies in North America.   Even if the buildings weren’t functional, it was amazing to think that “people were actively in this spot, with their functioning civilization, a thousand years ago” – or even older in some of the prehistoric sites.

St. Kevin’s Church. Glendalough, Ireland. 12th Century church. St. Kevin lived in this very remote area in the 7th century and is became a pilgrimage location and center of learning, even as remote as it is.



St. Paul’s Catherdral, London. Built in the late 1600’s by Christopher Wren. There had been an church of some sort on that site since the 7th century.

The remains of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall. It is amazing to think there was a thriving castle and community on this remote rock. There are dozens of foundations up there. What effort it took to get supplies there.

PEOPLE – virtually everyone we encountered was pleasant, polite and helpful (except for one attendant at St Paul’s Cathedral in London).  There were less obese people there than here.  Maybe that has to do with the fact that they don’t seem to mind walking places and walking a lot – or riding bicycles.  Oh, and many people have dogs and walk with them everywhere.  Dogs seem to enjoy a higher status over there – and they are well-behaved, too.  In fact, one of the most touching memorials we  saw was near Hyde Park – a memorial to Animals in War.  As it says, millions of animals, from pigeons to elephants have been used in war and “they had no choice”.

Animals in War memorial, London.

WEATHER – our weather was VERY cooperative.  We did have some light rain while driving through the Scottish Highlands, but it was neither unexpected nor surprising and it didn’t detract from the trip.  Most of the time the weather was mild with clouds and sometimes it was even sunny.  The temps ranged from a low of 11C on a couple of mornings to 24C in London.  That’s roughly 50F-75F.  We brought light jackets and no shorts and that proved to be the right call.

Glen Etive. Scottish Highlands

DRIVING – Driving had me worried.  I had never driven on the left before.  I started to pay attention when we got to Ireland – I did no driving there, but knew I would have to get used to what I was seeing.  The road signs are different and took some interpreting.  I had the trip all planned, with Google text printouts of every day.  They were somewhat useful, but would not have done the job.  When we rented our car, we opted out of a manual transmission – one less thing to worry about (I can drive a manual with no problems, but combine the shifter on the left with driving on the left and I thought it just might be too much at once).  The choice of an automatic changed the type of car – we got a Nissan SUV and with that came a Navigation system.  That Nav system proved to be the real hero of the trip.  It worked great and held my hand the whole trip.  I only made a couple of wrong turns and we were generally on time everywhere we went.

Driving on the left – it is strange sitting on the wrong side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road.  Within a mile or two of the airport, I was on a freeway and that made things a little easier, except I tended to drift to the left and it wasn’t natural to put the right side of the car along the right side line on the road.  All drivers respect the lane assignments, that is, stay in the slower lane and only change lanes to pass.  Very, very few people ride in the outer lanes for any period of time, except where there is heavier traffic and it is obvious that you are going faster than the inner lanes.

Roundabouts are easier than US people think and they flow smoothly.  You just have to know where you want to exit the roundabout -and that is where the GPS really helped us.  “Exit the roundabout at the third exit and continue on the A40” – a typical GPS command.  We would watch the route numbers painted on the lanes approaching the roundabout, get it the proper lane,  wait for a gap in traffic, enter and start counting exits.  The traffic tended to naturally move outward as you approached the desired exit and I really have very few problems – I think once I almost entered into the path of a car, and only once had an issue of begin in the wrong lane.  I did miss an exit once, also, but it was a simple matter to just continue around.  Roundabouts are EVERYWHERE – at nearly every intersection of any significance, even on streets in towns.  In fact, the only real problem I had with them was when they stacked two on top of each other in a town.  Think of a five-point intersection where there was not one, but two small roundabouts adjacent to each other.  Rather than cutting through the middle where I was told to go (and I couldn’t see how with the heavy traffic) I just went around the double outside until I got where I needed to be.  Roundabouts help with traffic flow.  all people keep moving and no one stops at an intersection, unless the heavy traffic has dictated that stop lights are necessary on the entrances.  There should be more roundabouts here in the states.

One thing I never got used to was turning at a regular T or cross intersection.  If I had to turn left,I had to remember to stay on the inside and it was quite unnerving to start to turn and see a car coming at you in the outside lane – right where they were supposed to be, but right where I would be over here.  Also, right turns were equally anxious – you have to turn, crossing traffic – into the lane were 40 years of driving has taught me there will be oncoming traffic.  It never became natural and every intersection like that caused me to concentrate to make sure I was going the right way.

Backroads in England are just like you see on TV – high hedges on either side of the road and very narrow lanes – like the bushes are rubbing BOTH sides of the car.  We even went through some where the bushes on the sides had grown together over the road so we were in a tunnel.  This is quaint, but means you cannot see a) around curves and b) the countryside.

a backroad in Cornwall

In fact, I would say, except for the main expressways, all lanes are narrower over there.  A two-lane state highway equivalent seemed to be about as wide as our county roads – with hills and curves and bushes on the sides and an expected speed of 60 mph.

The last bit on Driving – there are dozens and dozens of cars in England/Europe that we never see.  In fact, I rarely saw a car model that I recognized.  And there just are not “big” cars – that is, anything larger than our mid-sized cars are very rare.  We drove a Nissan SUV a Qashqai – apparently something similar to a Rogue here in the states.  It had a diesel engine and I am sure it had a turbo.  This was the first diesel car I have driven.  I learned something – we have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to cars.  Diesel cars are unusual here, but not there.  The performance on this car was great.  In addition, it got superb gas mileage.  Take a look at these photos:

The top is shortly after I got the car.  We got it with 1700+ miles on it and returned it with about 4300.  I reset the mileage after I took the top photo and for the rest of the trip I AVERAGED 48 MPG.  The second shows the best average MPG for a section of the trip – 55 MPG.  Even after converting from Imperial gallons, that means 45mpg peak and 40mpg average.  Why aren’t we, as a country, demanding this type of mileage our of our cars?  We’ve been sold a bill of goods.

We saw a lot of things, many more than I can possibly share in this post and it is already too long.  It was a good trip.  But now I have to get back to the model aviation business!  Oh, no aviation museums, no flying contests, no hobby shops – nothing like that on this trip.

Building repair work in London. It seemed like nearly every block had some construction like this. I wish I had ownership of a Scaffolding Company in London – I’d be set for life.



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An August Vacation

It’s been a busy summer and it’s about to get busier.  The Mrs and I will be gone for just over two weeks.  I sort of promised her that we would go on a trip to the UK a few years back.  We’ve never gone anywhere but to her Costa Rica, so now she’s holding me to it.  So, order fulfillment will again be delayed.  You can either order and wait – or wait and order – your choice.  Thanks for your patience.  As the Go-Gos once said “Vacation – all I ever wanted”.


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Ups and Downs at the 2017 AMA Nats (long article!)

A LONG story, but filled with fun and excitement!

This year, the AMA Nats were the week after the FAC non-Nats, so some of us had to travel to New York and back and then to Muncie, practically with out a break in between.  I arrived home from NY on Sunday and left for Muncie on Tuesday.  It’s been a long two weeks.

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and met up with my flying friends.  Weather was good and we were able to get some testing in.  I had broken the fuselage of my Pepper at Geneseo and rebuilt it on Monday.  I tested it Tuesday and after a methodical process, I got consecutive max test flights (over 2 minutes).  It is ready to go for Thursday.


We had good weather on Wednesday and were flying from the southern edge of the AMA site.  It was a light schedule for me and my practice is to fly my endurance ships right away in the morning when the weather is calm.  It was OT Stick day and I launched my trusty Wanderer just as I had the week before in NY.  Wow, something was wrong.  It was stalling on the way up and the glide was not right.  My time just exceeded 2 minutes by a couple of seconds.  Now the stress sets in.  My Wanderer is good for maxing out – but not in this condition.  If I wanted to win the event, I need to fix this – but how, it wasn’t flying correctly.

I made some thrust changes and did another flight.  I put up another crappy flight that was longer than 2 minutes.  I got lucky but needed reliability to return to me.  A few test flights and thrust adjustments and it dawned on me – if the glide is bad, why am I messing with thrust!  I examined the tail – all was good.  So I looked at the wing.  I had used a 1/16″ square hard balsa shim on the trailing edge to set the glide.  It was compressed.  I added a strip of 1/64″ plywood – now I had to reset the thrust – some idiot had messed with it.

I did a couple more test flights and called for an official flight.  It boomed up with Wally Farrell’s Gollywock close behind.  I always set my fuse long because I am not sure were 2 minutes is exactly.  My plane got higher and higher.  and finally – around 3.5 minutes the DT went off and it settled into a quick and flat descent.  Wally had DT’d also but was gliding.  I was following on my chase bike and decided that if my plane would be landing on the field, I would chase his, since it looked like it was going towards some trees.

Mine landed in a tree on the edge of the property.  I noted which one and took off to find Wally’s plane.  I was sure it had gone behind the residential property and went to look.  it wasn’t in the open grass behind and I couldn’t find it quickly in the corn.  I retrieved my model and we discussed how and where to look for his plane.  Wally, his wife Julie, and I went to look on the residential property and in the corn.  We couldn’t find it and decided to return later after Wally was done flying.  Pat Murray and I did find it in the afternoon – in the corn.

At the end of the contest, we had a 6-person fly-off in OT Stick – six people maxed out.  We agreed on a 15 minute launch window with high time winning the event.  Five of us put up long flights and one person had a DT malfunction.  The five successful flights were within 20 seconds or so in length – a very close contest and a lot of fun.


Thursday’s forecast promised rain.  It wasn’t constant rain, but the morning was wet with sprinkles, drizzle and light showers off an on until noon or so.  Since the forecast was predicting worse later, we bumped the Mass Launches up to 9am and 10am for WWII and the Races.  That left little time for my habitual Endurance launches.  I worked on the Pepper right away for OT Fuselage.  I did about 3 launch attempts before WWII – all with the same result:  low level with a bank to the right immediately after ROG into the wet grass.  It takes time to get ROG models to fly right.  First get them to fly (like I had two days before) and then get the table launch trimmed out.  This is a new plane and I just didn’t have time for the ROG part this event – the Pepper had to be set aside.

It was time for WWII.  The air was heavy with humidity – it wasn’t raining, but it had before and would after.  There were at least six of us flying in that combat.  Due to the treat of imminent rain, the rounds were cut to two rounds at the CD’s discretion.  Two would be eliminated in the first round.  The first eliminated was Wally Farrell when his Hellcat took a bad turn on launch and hit Pat Murray in the head. Ouch.  This was followed shortly by Marty Richey’s great-looking Zero hitting the drink (wet grass).  My Judy had a very stable flight and would join Winn Moore’s Tony, Pat Murray’s Avenger, and Don DeLoach’s Corsair.  We were doing self-timing, that is, we start the stopwatches on command before the launch command, launch, then stop when our plane is down and provide the times to the CD.  The Tony went down early.  The Avenger and the Judy headed north and the Corsair headed to the east.  As Pat and I chased, mine was in a very stable flight and glide slope.  Pat had got into a porpoising motion, but it was going to be close.  He and I saw that my Judy came down about 8 seconds after his Avenger.  We returned and turned in the times and waited for Don’s return.  Don reported the exact same seconds as Pat – I had won – AND beat Don DeLoach in WWII Combat!

Embryo took place on Thursday and I had to get some times in on my Defending Champion, the Bad Axe.  I put up a max and dropped the second one by 10 seconds or so and then maxed the third flight – all in the misty drizzle.  Those times were much like my 2016 performance and I had to wait the rest of the day for other flyers.  The afternoon got better and we saw some sunshine.  We had to move to another part of the field due to shifting winds.  I had left the door open and now had to wait as flyer after flyer had a chance at my times.  In the end, I don’t think anyone had more than one max, let alone coming as close to maxing out as I did – and they had nicer weather!  The Bad Axe repeats as AMA National Embryo Champion!

OT Fuselage was still open.  Since there was no 2-Bit at the AMA Nats, I could fly my King Harry – a consistent performer, in OT Fuselage.  Again, I did this in the wet morning and I maxed out.  And again, at the end of the day we had four people that had maxed in OT Fuselage.  We nearly had five, but Wally Farrell waited all day to log his flights.  He maxed once with his Jimmie Allen Sky Raider and send up another – it went WAY up and started drifting to the north east.  I chased after, catching up to him and Julie in a golf cart.  As we watched on the extreme norther boundary of the field, up against, a corn field, I asked why it hadn’t come down yet.  He said the DT must have failed.  After 13 1/2 minutes, we saw it come down in front of trees far away.  We returned and he was going to get in his car and look for it.  He was told he had to return and get a 3rd flight by 5pm to qualify for the fly-off – and it was 4:30.  He set off but returned within 15 minutes without his model.

So at the end of the contest, we had a fly-off:  Pat Murray (Jabberwock), Don DeLoach (Flying Aces Moth), Winn Moore (King Harry), and me (King Harry).   Notice that all of the contenders except the Jabberwock are smaller planes, eligible for 2-Bit.  Even Wally’s Skyraider was a 2-Bit.  As we started to prepare, the day’s last rain showed up.  We were on the west edge of the field and with the rain, the wind shifted to the west.  The four of us wound up and rode out to the mid-point of the field and agreed this would result in four models in the corn, so we rode even farther east.  We launched in the rain with soaked planes and Don’s Moth went straight up – he has a tremendous motor in that model.  Pat went west and Winn and I went south west at moderate height.  Mine was so wet it couldn’t climb like normal.  Pat went down, Winn beat me by a couple of seconds, and Don flew to the very south edge of the field, winning another event.  All of us were over 2 minutes again.


Friday was scheduled to be windy and it was.  I tried to fly my Turbo Goose, but it was just too windy for an untrimmed plane.  I didn’t risk damage to my B-52, so I didn’t fly Scale.  I did fly Jet Cat with my little Ohka, broke 30 seconds once, but couldn’t string together enough to get into the top three.

All that was left was to defend my 2012-2016 string of Peanut Championships.  I had my venerable Pegna P.C.1 that isn’t afraid of a little wind.  Or so I thought.  I tried for two officials and got 36 seconds each time.  A test flight with a new motor hit 1:06 so I was ready.  I logged a 58 second official third flight.

If you remember, I challenged everyone to bring a Peanut out to the AMA Nats and challenge my string.  We had several – one of which was Wally Farrell.  At Geneseo, he said he needed to get with me to talk about Peanuts so he can get better at flying them.  If you’ve seen Wally fly, you might be scratching your head now – I was.  He brought an immaculate Peanut Wittman Buster Goodyear racer.  he put in a 117 second flight, but couldn’t leave that alone, and put up another flight – and lost his plane in a fly-away.  But he is the NEW AMA Nats Peanut Champion and I settled for second place.


For the most part, we had a good contest.  We found a couple of our models in the corn and only broke a minimal number of models.  Our little group for friends did have out down moments:  Pat Murray suffered a flat tire on the FAC trailer and we had to change that after sunset when we discovered it.  Don slipped on his motor bike on the wet grass Thursday, caught the bike, but laid the hot exhaust on his calf.  It sure looked like a second or third degree burn as it blistered immediately.  And right after my WWII victory, I realized that I lost my wallet.  That was in the back of my mind the rest of the weekend and I’ve started the drudgery of cancelling and replacing the variety of cards that were lost.






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A Quick Geneseo Report

My week in Geneseo, NY for the Flying Aces Club non-Nats was a success.  We had a great time and I passed some milestones and even learned some lessons about flying and preparation.  I’ll try to summarize before leaving in a few minutes for the AMA Nats in Muncie, IN.

Sport Endurance

I took my Wanderer (OT Stick), King Harry (2 Bit+1), Bad Axe (Embryo), and my new Comet Pepper (OT Fuselage) expecting great things.  Like all things, there were ups and downs.  I logged eight official maxes with these planes.  I maxed out with the Wanderer and took First Place.  I maxed out with the King Harry and had a fly-off with Bobby Langelius – my 2:55 flight was not quite long enough to beat his 3:15 flight – so I took second.  In Embryo, I got a max on the first flight of my Bad Axe, but learned I need to let my motor rest – I put up two more flights in rapid succession and they got less and less.  The last flight was only a little over 90 seconds (lesson learned).  My Pepper showed good flight characteristics right off the board, getting about 1:45 flights in test.  I wanted a little more climb and a little more duration, so I made a new  motor with the equivalent of one more stand of 1/8″.  I grabbed the winder, wound up to less torque (but more winds) and took it for a test.  It zoomed, did a wing-over, and powered into the ground – crushing the fuselage back into the cabin.  Post-crash analysis revealed that I used different winders with different torque meters and wound to a much higher torque (lesson learned).  I rebuilt the front half of the fuselage yesterday and it is ready to go for Muncie

all that could be salvaged from the Pepper fuselage.


Scale Models

I went to Geneseo with three essentially untested scale models:  my Judy (WWII combat), my Peanut Grumman Goose, and my 30″ span B-52.

The Judy did great.  I made it into the 2nd round (of 3) in the WWII Combat – where they took out the bottom NINE.  My Judy flew for 87 seconds that round, but the cut-off was 95 seconds.  You can see my model in this photo coming right at you in the upper left.

Ronny Gosselin photo

The Goose proved to be a challenge.  I had tested it on a loop of 0.050″ on each motor before and it was too weak for me.  So I went with a loop of 1/16″ in each motor.  It seemed to be too much power and we had to wrestle with thrust settings on the tiny Peanut.  My best flight was 30 seconds; good enough for second in High Wing Peanut (only because of the 35 bonus points).

Jack and I winding. Ronny Gosselin photo

My B-52…I had literally dozens of low, low powered test flights on this at home.  My build seemed to have induced wash-IN in both tips and I struggled to get that stabilized – tests would result in a flat start and then a nose-up pitch and a straight dive into the ground.  I got that sorted for the most part, but it is always lurking in the background.  Geneseo was the first time I flew the model with the engine pods on the wings.  I have always been worried they would be very vulnerable to damage.

I saw some of the old flight patterns at Geneseo and in went in nose-first more than once.  The pods “may” have a slight stabilizing effect, whether it is from drag or from weight (the assemblies are 2 grams each), I don’t know.  Here is a video of a test flight of 43 seconds – I logged an official flight of 55 seconds.  This didn’t come close to placing, but I was happy with it!

Now I am off to Muncie for more flying fun!


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We’re Off to Fly Planes!

We are leaving Tuesday for the FAC non-Nats in Geneseo, NY and then to the AMA Nats in Muncie, IN next Tuesday!  So, if you order now, I won’t be able to process your order until August.  Stop in at either place – or both places – and say hi!

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Ohka JetCat Build – Lots of Pics!

On Monday, I designed built, flew, and lost a little test bed Ohka Glider.  Ok, “designed” might be a stretch – I participated in an online Ohka JetCat build back in 1999 or so, and I started with my rough plan from that time.

The glider is small – only a 9″ wing span – but it was fun to shoot around the back yard.  It really wanted to zoom and would gain great height on low power and a nearly flat launch. I pushed my luck too far,launched too high and the wind and glide took it into my treeline, near the top of a tall pine.  It was a quick build (and a little twitchy), so I wasn’t too upset.

Build #1 – lost

Don DeLoach commented that the tail looked too small.  I had already enlarged it once, but trusted Don’s advise (as we all should) and scaled it up again for build #2.  Build #2 took place yesterday and I decided two things:  1) photo-document the whole thing and 2) go with full decoration.  What follows is my build process, with some explanations of why I do certain things.

the laser-cut parts. top-to-bottom: 1/64th ply, two sheets of 1/32″ balsa, and one sheet of 1/16″ balsa

an experiment in #1 that continued into #2. I replaced the nose of the main fuselage with 1/64″ plywood. The nose takes a lot of stress and needs to be strong.

I have some 1/8″ wide carbon fiber ribbon that is 0.005″ thick. I cut this to the length of the fuselage, tip-to-tip, and split it to 2 strips 1/16″ wide. This will be on either side of the main fuselage to add a great deal of strength.

I pinned down the fuselage side and drew a line tip-to-tip where i wanted the carbon fiber to go. I am using medium CA. It gives you a little time once you put the strip down, but locate the strip quickly.

the carbon fiber strip is in the proper location and I an pressing and rubbing it down with the flat end of an xacto handle. Press and force out the excess glue.

do the same to the other side. Once the glue was pressed out, I wiped down excess with a piece of scrap balsa.

I designed nose doublers to add even more strength. Before I glue them on, I feather the trailing edge so that there is less of a “step” there on the fuselage.

There is one for each side. They cover the ply-balsa joint, cover the carbon fiber strip, and extend past the wing to give full support there, also. Given that I need nose weight, I could have done two ply sides over a solid 1/32″ fuselage, but this works just fine. Note that they are also somewhat cross-grained to the main fuselage.

This shows the CA over the entire area. You don’t want any separation anywhere. I used an “x” on both pieces so that I knew which side was to be glued and which side was to be sanded. Make one left and one right!

Did I mention that the nose takes a lot of abuse? After the sandwiched CA is set, I ran thin CA around the edge to soak into those joints and inside the hook. Then I coated the front part of the nose with thin CA.

The leading edges on Build #1 took a beating, so I am using bass leading edges. Bass isn’t super hard, but it is better than light balsa.

All parts ready for a) assembly or b) covering! I feathered the trailing edges of the wings and did a little of the same on the tail pieces. All surfaces were sanded smooth and edges rounded.

Printed Tissue! This is a tutorial for another time, but I basically take the plan, a good 3-view, a select color, assorted graphics and layer them in Photoshop. Printed on white Esaki through my Epson printer.

Cover just like any other model. I coat the entire surface with UHU (yeah, that’s purple UHU – it fades over time and the label peeled off) and cover with dry tissue.

all parts covered and ready for assembly. Notice there is no black CF stripe down the side of the fuselage. I glued an strip of 1/32″ balsa over the CF strip and sanded it down until there was almost nothing left – just to “hide’ that black strip.

setting the wing dihedral

I am happy to report that Ohka #2 has NOT been lost.  I stopped testing short of that.  I probably had well over 100 flights on the #1 on Monday – it was just too much fun and showed little glimmers of promise.  #2 is much more stable and predictable and pushed the limits of my small field inside of 10 flights.  I would have a video here, but I can’t figure out how to launch a jet cat and film it at the same time.


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New Short Kit and Other Product Updates

First off – a new kit announcement – the long-awaited (is anyone waiting for this?) PBY NoCal Short Kit.  I spent this morning cutting and packing ten of these short kits.  This is not a simple model, as it is a twin prop, twin motor NoCal.  But I have spent some time engineering in some glue joints and overlaps that should make it a little easier to build and stronger once assembled.

I need to mention that I built and flew this kit prototype back in October/November, but it took some inspiring comments regarding NoCals by Vance Gilbert and Dave Mitchell in a recent issue of the FAC News to get me to finish the drawing and parts layout.  By the way, this is cut from 1/32″ balsa, so it’s not as bulk as you might first think.  Find it in the Shop for $10 plus shipping, as are most of my short kits.

It is hard to believe that it has been a week already since the WINDY McCook meet down in Muncie.  I have barely got anything accomplished since then.  I twisted my knee down there and hobbled around for most of the time.  Well, it hasn’t got a lot better since then and I am set for an MRI next Thursday.  We”ll see what that report is, but I am sure it won’t be easy news.

Because of that, I’ve done little more than try to keep up on incoming orders.  In a way, it is fortunate that June orders have slacked off a bit as it takes a little pressure off of me.  I have been trying to complete some pending plans and parts layouts for new kits.  With the PBY just released, I have the following kits at 85-90%, or maybe even closer in some cases:

Comet Pepper Old Time Fuselage – two prototypes under construction by modelers
Peanut Baby Cyclone Goodyear Racer – needs parts laid out to cut and prototype built
24″ Cessna C-34 – parts cut and on my bench awaiting my construction to start
Denny Starling – a rare 2-Bit – parts cut and awaiting a prototype build

Two “under wraps” designs:
a contest-winning Embryo by a well-known modeler – parts cut, awaiting a prototype build
another 2-Bit with a twin-fin – parts nearly ready to cut

I have any number of model plans at less than this state, anywhere from 75% done to “man, I want to do this one someday”.  And new ideas and designs sometimes jump the line, like the twin-fin 2-Bit mentioned above.  I enjoy drawing up plans and making them available.

In closing, REMEMBER TO PRE-ORDER for Geneseo and AMA Nats.  This will make it easier for both you and me.  See you there!

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FAC CONTEST REPORT – McCook Field Squadron @ Muncie

Event Results below.

For several years now, the Dayton Squadron has hosted an annual 2-day FAC contest in Muncie.  As it falls in June, it is generally a good opportunity to do a final trim for Geneseo on the big AMA national Flying site.  This year, however, the wind prevented any meaningful trimming to take place, and nearly blew the contest away to the northwest, but we persevered and there were about a dozen or so registered contestants.

Last year, the Dayton club said that the CD responsibilities were getting to be burdensome for their aging group, so Pat Murray and Winn Moore stepped forward to run the show – as long as the Dayton people would continue to show to fly and provide the awards (placards and pins, known as “McCookies” – see the last photo below).  They agreed and the show goes on.

The wind was… well, let’s say “aggressive” all weekend.  Event the evenings and mornings saw wind of about 7-10 mph and the mid-day winds were in the 15-20 range, with gusts much higher.  It was quite a challenge to get planes to fly, especially those that were light and well-trimmed for light and variable conditions.  The wind forecast definitely caused some flyers to stay at home.

I will recall here two events from the weekend.  The first was watching Tom Ersted flying.  Tom is one of the Dayton crew and has usually been found at the HQ tent doing scale judging and almost never flying.  This year, Tom flew in at least four events (P-30, Embryo, Phantom Flash, and NoCal).  Tom would go up on the hilltop, where the wind was strongest and launch his Phantom Flash.  He put up three flights of between 60 seconds and 90 seconds each and easily won the event – for his first kanone!  He also flew in NoCal and 2:20 flight that was OOS (even with binoculars) and still going up.  He lost his Embryo with another OOS flight on his first flight.  Well done, Tom – you’ve got some building to do!

The other significant event was the awarding of the coveted FAC Blue Max award.  The FAC awards these to contestants that surpass the 16-kanone level.  It is the one and only FAC Performance Award excepting the century-mark kanone plaques.  This was awarded to Elvin Buchele, an old-time modeler from Toledo.  He usually shows up at the larger FAC meets in Muncie.  When I told him that Stu Weckerly had passed away (I knew they were friends) he recalled that Stu was a nice guy and had driven Elvin and another teen to the 1951 Nationals in Texas.

Well, as I noted in the medal presentation, Elvin always leaves the Muncie contests before the awards ceremony and I have been waiting for two years to give him his Blue Max.  Sunday, we decided to have a presentation mid-day, before he left.  We called all the flyers over to the main tent and presented Elvin with his Blue Max.

George Bredehoft, Keeper of the Kanones, awarding the Blue Max for 16 Kanones to Elvin Buchele, as Stu Cummins observes.

Here are the Kanone Events Results.

Simplified Scale – 3 flyers
Pat Murray – Mr Smoothie – 255 points
Winn Moore – Mr Mulligan
George Bredehoft – P-51

Jimmie Allen – 3 flyers
Pat Murray – Skokie – 279 seconds
Elvin Buchele – Skokie
Stu Cummins – BA Cabin (Skokie)

Phantom Flash – 3 flyers
Tom Ersted – 228 seconds
Pat Murray
George Bredehoft

Greve Race – 3 flyers
Pat Murray – Mr Smoothie
Winn Moore – Mr Smoothie
George Bredehoft – Elmendorf Special

WWII Combat – 4 flyers
Pat Murray – Avenger
Winn Moore – Tony
Elvin Buchele – Spitfire

Jet Cat – 4 flyers
Elvin Buchele – P-59 – 95 points
Winn Moore – T-37 Tweet
George Bredehoft – T-37 Tweet

OT Stick – 4 flyers
George Bredehoft – Wanderer – 360 seconds
Pat Murray – Gollywock
Stu Cummins – Gollywock

Embryo – 7 flyers
George Bredehoft – Bad Axe – 190 total points
Pat Murray – Big Cat
Stu Cummins – 50% Pacific Ace

2 Bit – 5 flyers
George Bredehoft – King Harry – 292 seconds
Pat Murray – Erie Daily Times
Winn Moore – Wisp

Golden Age Combined – 3 flyers
Winn Moore – Stout 2-AT – 298 seconds
Pat Murray – Stinson SR-7
George Bredehoft – Martin MO-1

FAC Rubber Scale – 3 flyers
Winn Moore – Tony – 131 points
Pat Murray – Stinson 125
Elvin Buchele – Ercoupe

We also had entries (and awards) for the following events.  They did not earn kanones as there were not enough flyers or they are not FAC events:

Cloud Tramp Mass Launch – Pat Murray
AMA Cat Glider – Elvin Buchele
FAC Peanut Scale – George Bredehoft
NoCal – Tom Ersted
Dime Scale – Don DeCook
AMA HLG – George Bredehoft
OT Fuselage – Pat Murray
Watson Unlimited Challenge – Jim Bair

Here is one flyer’s collection of the ever-popular “McCookies”, awarded for First Place in an event.

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Customers!  Help ME to help YOU!  If you are planning on going to the FAC non-Nats in Geneseo (mid-July) or the AMA Nats in Muncie (end of July), PLEASE consider pre-ordering.  This will help me in that I go to these events to PRIMARILY fly and secondarily sell.  Pre-ordering will ensure that your complete order is packaged and ready for you to pick up at the event.

I will have my sales goods at each event, but I will not be dedicated to selling, but rather – like you – I will be there to fly and compete.

This is ESPECIALLY TRUE for tissue purchases.  I will NOT be bringing bulk tissue to either event as it is very difficult and time-consuming to count and package on the field.  So if you want TISSUE, you must pre-order.

The DEADLINE for ordering for pick up at these events is SATURDAY 15 JULY.  After that date, I will be packing for Geneseo and Muncie is the week after Geneseo, so there will be no time after 15 July.

PLEASE ADD A COMMENT to your order telling which event you will attend.  You can also pre-pay (select EVENT PICKUP on the shipping page) or defer payment until the event.


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Roscoe Turner Squadron Contest Report – 27 May 2017

*** – Pictures and Event Results below – ***

Pat Murray is trying to get his Roscoe Turner Squadron spun up and they held their first contest today at the AMA Flying Site in Muncie. Two Cloudbusters traveled down to help him out.

We got a late start as Pat had to arrive in the morning. Then we had a rough time finding a reasonable location as we had tow contend with high water, wind direction, and r/c modelers. The wind was uncharacteristically out of the north west and then headed south. We thought we had a relatively acceptable spot, but we got chased off my a “sanctioned event CD” worried that we would interfere with his r/c jets – we saw about three jets all day. So we got underway about 10:30 and had to wrap up at 4pm.

Speaking of three, Winn, Pat, and I were the majority of flyers and logged the entirety of official flights. Bill Garrison from Indianapolis showed up and flew some planes, but didn’t log any flights. I think something called “race weekend” had something to do with low attendance.

The weather started out “not too bad” and got to “pretty darned good” by the end of the day. We had several maxes and one lost (OOS plane) and only one plane got really wet (Pat’s winning Phantom Flash) by dropping in the “puddles” (or lakes).

We took the opportunity to test new planes on a big field and fly those we don’t want to risk on small fields.

Here are the events and results:

Jet Cat
Winn Moore – T-37 Tweet – 93 total points
Pat Murray – Czech Aero L-29
George Bredehoft – T-37 Tweet

Phantom Flash
Pat Murray – 279 total seconds
Winn Moore
George Bredehoft

Pat Murray – Big Cat – 298 total points
Winn Moore – Maverick
George Bredehoft – Durham Mystery

George Bredehoft – King Harry – 325 total seconds
Pat Murray – Erie Daily Times
Winn Moore – King Harry

Golden Age
Winn Moore – Stout 2-AT – 305 total points
Pat Murray – Stinson SR-7
George Bredehoft – Martin MO-1

Dime Scale
Winn Moore – Martin MO-1 – 170 total points
Pat Murray – Staggerwing
George Bredehoft – Ta-Go

Greve Race
Winn Moore – Mr Smoothie
Pat Murray – Mr Smoothie
George Bredehoft – Elmendorf Special

We couldn’t fly NoCal because I lost my Cessna Centurion OOS after about 10 minutes – on an untimed test flight early in the morning.

I cannot recommend enough flying at Muncie – do it if and when you get a chance – and Pat is providing us with more chances to fly this year!

Pat Murray holding court and winding his Event-winning Big Cat Embryo

Pat’s Big Cat in flight

Pat’s Erie Daily Times 2-Bit

George Bredehoft’s Event-winning 2-Bit King Harry after a max flight. There was about 4 inches of water under the model, but it didn’t get wet.

Winn Moore test flying his brand-new King Harry

Winn’s winding his brand-new Embryo Maverick.

Winn’s Maverick in flight. Threat for big-field Embryo this year.

Bill Garrison test flying his Tail-Firster Embryo

George Bredehoft’s brand-new Yokosuka Judy for WWII combat. It flew with authority on about 800 turns on this test flight. I estimate it flew about 1:210+ (there was air).

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