Shifting Gears for the Nats

Today is the Sunday before the Indoor Nats start and a week before the Outdoor Nats – and I better start preparing.  Not only do I need to gather my models and documentation, but I need to mentally prepare as my mind is elsewhere right now.

As some may know or remember (I did mention this before, didn’t I?), I have a 1963 Studebaker Lark.  I have had it for 10 years or so and have done very little on it for most of that time.  I jumped back into Free Flight with both feet and the car has sat in the barn all that  time, with only occasional attention – until this year.

In April, I took the car down to my dad’s in Ohio and we began a process of swapping engines from one of his Studebakers.  Once a month, I went down there for 4-day sessions.  I had expected three sessions, but three turned into four.  Neither he nor I are as young as we once were and the work required was possibly a bit more than anticipated.  Regardless, a couple weeks ago, we buttoned up my Lark and actually drove it down the road (and back).  Now it wasn’t perfect, but it was running.

This week, I trailered it back home and it is back in the barn.  It has been on my mind pretty much non-stop since then.  I still have a lot of tweaks and adjustments to do, but it is fun to be back working on cars.  I reminded myself that he and I had done similar projects several times – back in the early ’80s.  Early 80s???  Could it really be 40 years ago?  That amazed me – time has a way of slipping by, doesn’t it?  And, of course, I know he doesn’t have another 40 years in front of him, so it was good to spend that time with him.  I think he thought so, too.

Right now, I could go on and on about the car.  BUT!!!!  It’s Nats Time!  Time to get my mind right and back on track with Free Flight.  Because of the weather (June and July appear to be the new “rainy season” here in Michigan), I haven’t been flying since early June in Muncie.  I’ve been drawing and packing orders, but not building or flying.  Now the “biggest” contests of the year are just days away.  I have made a list for the Indoor Nats of what planes to fly in what events and on what days – that’s a start.

Of course, I used all Indoor season (ending in May) to tweak my fleet, knowing that the Nats would be in the very same facilities that we use monthly.  Of course, I took some of those models OUTSIDE at Muncie in June – and adjusted them.  I knew the implications then, but went ahead.  Now I will be forced to take the ones that I adjusted for Outdoors and re-trim for Indoors and hope I can get some of that Indoor magic back into them.

It looks like I am planning on flying 14 events.  And I have 12 or so models called out for that duty.  While I had decent success “locally” I anticipate that the competition will be a little bit steeper and the Nats brings in people from all around the country.  As for the Outdoor Nats next week – I better start making a list for that contest, too!  I am way behind and way out of practice.

I better get my head in the game…if I could just get that supercharged 4-speed hardtop pushed into a back corner of that same head, maybe I’d be able to prepare a little bit better.

See you there!

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