31 January 2024:

Click HERE to shop NOW!

This is my new store on SHOPIFY.  All of my Blog Posts and Documentation will remain here.

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Shop Status and Future

30 Jan 2024

I have, after considerable time, effort, and expense, converted my web-store to Shopify.  You can find it here:

PLEASE NOTE:  All Products, Customers, and Orders were migrated to the Shopify store.  Everything since I converted the store last time in 2020.   All existing OPEN orders will be completed within the new store.  I am sure there will be challenging issues coming up, but please continue to be patient and we will get through them.

For some unknown reason, my entire site may be broken.  I cannot seem to make a new post.  This post was done by editing an old post, so it is not technically a new post.  It had been my intent to keep the WordPress Blog, Image Galleries, Documentation, Downloads, etc. all right here.

But in order to make it more than a static page, I may have to rebuild it completely.  That will take another great deal of time and effort – and I am not up to that right now.

This does not mean that I will be inactive.  On the contrary, I will continue to work as I have had in the past.



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New Year and New Stuff

Happy 2024!

Yesterday, I decided to go through my books and am posting many duplicates I have for sale.  I think I counted 19 books.  (There’s some good stuff there!)  You can find them in the BOOKS section!


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Year End Report – Good Riddance 2023

I am generally a man in good spirits – and that is true today, too, but this year has been one pain-in-the-ass after another.  Most of these have been in the “real world” and not modeling related, but they have bled over and have affected and continue to affect my business.

Today, I turned off access to, and sales of, the Superior Props Old Timer props.  I have limited stock-on-hand and no idea of when I can have them available again.  I do have a supply of basic freewheelers, but as that diminishes, that category will also be disabled.

The backstory:  10 years ago, I visited Bob Gourdon in Louisiana and decided to purchase the Superior Props business.  I had a plan.  While I was still employed full time, my father would do the machining of the props as I needed them.  He had careers in carpentry, cabinet making, as a machinist, and finally a toolmaker.  He had retired 10 years prior and a new opportunity in woodworking and light machining gave him a new and enjoyable project in his retirement.  My plan was to eventually take over the prop shop myself – but that was in my wild-eyed youth and before I had grown Volare Products into what it is today.  Maybe both of us knew that plan would never come, I don’t know.

Regardless, after my mother died in 2020, his focus in life changed.  Now, at 84 years old, he has been spending 30-40% of his time in the Netherlands.  Again, I have plans.  But these plans are the slowest moving plans I have ever had.  A modeling friend of mine here in Michigan volunteered to take over the operations and we went down this spring for training.  One thing after another has prevented us from moving the shop north (my dad’s house is in Ohio).  At this particular point in time, I do not know when the move will happen, nor when Superior Props will be back in operation.

But that’s not all.  I am backlogged in my little shop and that dates back to early summer.  I’ve been trying and trying to catch up, but there have been events that have just kept punching at me and which have been preventing me from doing more than treading water.

The future looked bright in the spring of 2023, but there were clouds on the horizon.  My wife and I tend to take a summer vacation every couple of years and we schedule that in August as that month is usually light on contests.  We checked the calendar and adjusted appropriately.

In preparation,we had to consider my aging dog, Marcus.  He was 14, and getting weaker.  We had gone somewhere for a couple of days earlier in the year and when we brought him home from the kennel, he could barely walk.  It was a hard decision, but in early June we decided to put him down since a) he was suffering daily and b) it would be a terrible existence for him in a kennel for two weeks.  Anyone who has had a close pet understands – he was my daily companion since the day we rescued him from the pound.  He was there for months (as a puppy) – no one wanted him because he was deaf.  Anyway, that hit me hard.

Right on top of that, my sister-in-law told the family that they needed to get to Alabama to visit my brother.  He had been battling pancreatic cancer for a year and a half, declared cancer-free, and then hit with a recurrence – all in a year and a half.  We all decided to visit and I went down a day earlier than my father and other brother.  It is a good thing I did.  I spent the day with him and he passed away that night – before my family could visit.

One good thing that happened (but still took time) was the wedding of my younger son.  This happened at the end of June and was a wonderful event, and stands as a highlight of 2023.

July came fast after that. Bang-bang-bang:  A week in Geneseo for the FAC contest, the next week in Muncie for the AMA contest.  And then two weeks in Scotland and Italy.  We get home from that vacation and both of us are diagnosed with COVID.  More downtime.

I spent August and early September preparing 50 Scale glider kits for the FAC Outdoor Champs and got them ready.  The weekend before leaving for Muncie, I was “attacked” by a kidney stone.  Not only did I miss the contest, but I was diagnosed with an associated infection and had not one, but two stents (one after another) installed between my kidney and bladder.  This turned a week of periodic intense agony into a month of intermediate-grade discomfort and pain.  Now we are into October.

My father announced to us that he will be moving to the Netherlands and wants to sell the house and its contents by this coming springtime.  At one time, he and my mother were authorities in Early American Pattern Glass and wrote dozens of books and monographs on the subject – and the large house was jam-packed with all types of glassware.  They were antique dealers and collectors.  As my mother was declining, they disposed of most of their collection, but the house is still full of a great variety of antique furniture and family artifacts and history.  My brother and I are struggling to figure out what to do with it all in what is turning into a very short period of time.  Oh, and the Prop Shop is at my dad’s house still.

This has been hitting me harder than I expected.  All of my childhood memories and artifacts are being dragged to the surface.  What do I keep?  What do I let slip out of my life?  Where do I put everything I want to keep and pass on to my sons?  Of course, this also highlights my own mortality.  Oh, the anxiety.

So, I have turned off some of the Superior Props.  I am slowly doing analysis on my entire product line.  I am flooded with orders and struggling to make progress and eliminate this blockage of backorders.  By eliminating items which are a hassle to produce and package, maybe I can ease some of my future work.  The part I enjoy is kit production.  Well, let me clarify:  I like designing and developing kits; I don’t particularly care for packing and shipping kits!  But there are parts of the business I like even less than packaging kits, so those items will slowly disappear.  This is easy – I just won’t restock the times and I will remove them from the online catalog.  For example, why am I stocking glue stick when anyone can go down to the local supermarket and buy the exact same product off the shelf?

Anyway, 2023 had been one of the more challenging years in my life and I will be happy to turn the illusionary corner that is New Years and get on with something new.

Have the happiest holidays that you can manage.  I hope to see you at the next contest.


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FOUR NEW KITS for Your Winter Building!

Summer 2023 has been a very hit or miss season with several personal stumbling points and roadblocks.  Right now I am NOT at one of my favorite contests (FAC Outdoor Champs & Ted Dock) due to a kidney stone that is causing some longer duration issues.

At the risk of calling a strike on my own position (I still have many backlogged orders to fill), I took this downtime to release FOUR NEW SHORT KITS, as promised.

The first is the Schweizer SGU 2-22 36″ span glider for FAC Scale Hi-Start/Towline Glider.  This has been a long-time coming and many have been asking about it since seeing several of the videos by the designer, Tom Hallman.  Since it was part of the registration package for the FAC Outdoor Champs (and selected to be next year’s One-Design), I held off releasing it to the general public.  Now’s the time and you can find it HERE.

The second is a re-release of my swoopy Embryo, the Sky Rocket.  It has been 10 years since I designed the first iteration and this is version #3, initially build by my daughter-in-law, Michelle Salazar, and brought to full promise by Mike Kelly (he triple maxed yesterday at the Outdoor Champs).  The link is HERE.

The third short kit is another obscure Old Time Stick that is small enough to fly in P-30.  I found this Supreme Models kit and thought this would make a great Stick model.  Ken McGuire was up to the prototyping challenge and did a great job producing a great flying model.  Here’s the link to the PRODUCT (check out his test flight video).

And the fourth kit is for a tiny 10.5″ span indoor ROG, the Wasp.  This was published in the January 1942 Aeromodeller and was something of an online discussion last winter.  Frank Scott asked me to make the short kit and I sent him a few.  He built three and the fly great.  I think this would be an excellent Indoor One-Design for a club.  Find it HERE.


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the AMA Nats and my Return to Peanut

My personal Contest experiences, with photos and a video.

Right after the FAC non-Nats in Geneseo, NY last week, we had the AMA Nats in Muncie, IN this week.  That makes for a busy and tiring two weeks.  EIGHT dedicated FACers made it to both events.  Besides Pat Murray and I, Mark Rzadka (NY), Clete Schenkel (IN), Mike Smith (OH), FS Gilbert (NJ), Doug Griggs (MD), and Duncan McBride (FL) attended both events.  Pat and I managed 16 FAC events under the NFFS management umbrella for the entire AMA Free Flight Nats.  Most events were well-attended with about 10 or so contestants in Dime, OT Stick, Embryo, and Jet Cat.  Three events could not award kanones:  Scale Glider (two entries), Simplified Power Scale (one entry – but others flew – I don’t know why they didn’t get times recorded) and WWI (essentially cancelled due to wind).

Wednesday was a spectacular day with light breezes and plenty of sun – and a mysterious mid-day chuck where the the air “looked” good, but was nothing but down (that lasted for about 2 hours).  Thursday and Friday were increasingly windy but generally nice days.

On the first day, I played with my Schweizer glider and placed first (out of two) with a best flight of 60 seconds.  My Dime Scale Bird Dog placed third on the basis of a max fly-away deep into the corn where I chose to let the battered plane rest in peace.  I tried twice to max out in OT Stick with the Holy Ike and the Miss Production, but this was in the “down air” time (which was verified by other Free Flighters on the other end of the field).

On the second day, I did triple-max in OT Fuselage and beat Pat Murray in a two-person fly-off.  The windy conditions prevented others from achieving triple-maxes.

Friday, the third day, seemed to be destined for little action as the day started windy and it just kept blowing.  People were likely to choose not to fly and some people even went home in the morning.  Some of my Friday planes were broken on Thursday and I wasn’t going to chance my Jumbo twin Focke-Wulf 189 in the wind.  I would put up some Peanut flights, because I’m not “that” scared of the wind – haha (Peanuts bounce much better than larger models).

I had brought my 30″ B-52 (single prop on the nose) along just to push it to the limits.  It is battle-worn and on its last legs.  I built it in 2017 and have never got it powered correctly as it just limps along and stalls out.  The stalls cause damage on landing and, although it was designed with pop-off wings and motor pods, repeated rough landings were taking their toll.

As I prepared for a flight, I broke the motor winding.  So I had to make one on the field.  The old motor had been made of multiple loops of 3/16″ and I didn’t have any in my box, but I did have 3/32″.  Sometimes, making motors on the field in not the best practice, even for me (they are now calling me “Field Motor Marshal” since I am seemingly always making motors on the field) and I got confused in the conversion from loops of 3/16″ to loops of 3/32″.  I got the loops right but the length was way short.

During this motor making madness, I realized that 4 loops of 3/16″ is the same size motor that I use in all my OT Stick and Fuse models!  I needed to wind ti to the same torque values that I do in those events.  I installed the short motor and wound it to “5” on my winder with is about 20 inch-ounces.  I walked out into the clearing and faced the wind and gave it a nice level launch.  Oh wow – the thing went up flat and fast – so much better than ever before!  It got sky-high but the motor ran out – but it glided down to a nice soft landing 36 seconds after launch.

Being the smart guy I am, I immediately dug out my Hep Cat and took the (longer) motor out and put it in the B-52 and wound it up.  I noted that one of the 6 loops of 1/8″ was broken, but that was ok with me – I wasn’t going up to max torque (“6”) so this motor would do just fine.  I wound it and got about 1200 turns (previous short motor flight was about 700) – this was going to cruise nicely.

Again, I launched into the wind and the climb-out was fantastic.  It got way-high again.  The speed, etc. caused one of my slip-in jet pods to fall off early in the flight (after the flight, Tony Ross virtually walked right out and found the stray pod!)  As the big bomber came around into the wind, something upset it – it did a slight nose up and it descended in a high-speed vertical dive from altitude.  This ended the future of this model.  You can watch a not-very-good video here:

Peanut was another story.  I entered my trusty Corsair, but apparently it doesn’t like the wind and failed to make any impressive flights and Pat Murray was winning with his little Fairchild.  FAC Rules allow for a second model, but I had to choose which one.  I tested my Aircraft Design Stallion but it was rocky and unstable in the wind.  I then went with my BD-4.  It has a much larger wing and behaved much better, but still I tweaked it a little.  I wound about 2500 turns into the 1/16″ motor and walked out to a launch site and waited.

Pat waits often, checking for thermals.  I didn’t use any electronic aides, but was just trying to feel the air – in that stiff breeze.  I told Pat (timing) “I don’t know if this is good or not, but I am going” and launched it.  The model dutifully climbed up circling and eventually found to lift. It went higher and higher and farther down field and I chased it on the bike.  Finally, it started severe porpoising, like the motor came off the prop shaft and went to the back causing a tail-heavy condition.  That was probably a good thing, as the 7-gram model eventually fluttered out of the thermal and down to the ground – at 2:54 – a max.

Maxes are hard to get in these conditions and I was feeling a little confident.  Pat got out his second model and was going to fly it.  I had judged his Witt’s V racer and we had the same scale scores – he would have had more, but he didn’t have a spinner (!)  Still, he would need a max to tie me and, while the plane had maxed before, it would be hard in the wind.  I noted that he was struggling to get good times and went off to talk to someone else.  When I turned around, two guys in the pit area were looking far afield with binoculars.  Pat had maxed (about 4 minutes) but they felt he lost the little green and yellow model deep into the corn – or farther.  Uh-oh, he maxed and we were tied.

Pat returned WITH his model!  It had gone very far to the south, past the corn field, past the airport (!) and Pat, by a stroke of luck, saw it come down!

Neither of us wanted to fly again for fear of losing our models, so we decided to throw our fates to chance and agree to flip a coin.  Rick Pendzick has made some FAC coins for just such a purpose and Pat had one (the loser of the coin flip get the FAC coin as a consolation prize).  He let me call the toss.  Ugh.

This coin toss not only meant a Kanone in the FAC, but the winner of Peanut Scale at the AMA Nats gets their name engraved on the Walt Mooney Perpetual Trophy that is kept in the AMA Museum!  I had won this event at the AMA Nats in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, but had been shut out since then.  I wanted my name back on that trophy, but now it was out of my hands.  Mark Rzadka had the coin and told me to call it in the air.  I called “heads”…

Pat Murray and I – with the FAC Coin – all smiles BEFORE the coin toss to determine the AMA Nats winner in Peanut Scale.

The 2023 AMA Nats Peanut Scale Champion with the Walt Mooney Perpetual Trophy


My AMA Nats medals: 1st in Peanut, 3rd in Scale, 1st in OT Fuselage, 3rd in Dime, 1st in Scale Glider


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Testing a New Prop

My Elmendorf Special Racer – video below.

After I lost my Caudron, I remembered I have a nearly-new Elmendorf Special to fly.  I had built this light-weight for Indoor Flying, but that never really worked out.  So, maybe I could get it to fly for the Greve Races in Geneseo.

The Elmendorf Special was the Keith Rider R-5 in its original livery.  Later, this plane would be more famously known as the Jackrabbit.

I developed a kit for the Elmendorf immediately after I created the Jackrabbit kit from the Tom Nallen plans.  There were only minor changes from one to the other, so why not create the two versions of the same plane/plan?

I am really liking these props that Archie and I are printing.  I decided to try my “embryo” prop on this model.  Basically, it is a 7″ diameter, 9″ pitch, 1″ wide blade printed prop with a Larrabee profile.  I “guessed” at the blade cross section where the spinner would fit and put those cutouts in the printed spinner.  It all looks good, at least.

So, last evening, after recovering from our son’s wedding the night before, I got the 16″ span racer out, complete with its “indoor” motor – a loop of 1/8″ rubber.  After a few test glides/flights, I had added a lump of clay to the tail to balance the heavier prop and changed the thrust in the Gizmo Geezer nose button and had some success.

Here is a test flight on about 700 turns.  I am still pondering if I need to go up in power (it landed with a significant amount of turns) – or if this size motor will be good, once torqued up.  It just might be ok.  Next stop:  Geneseo.


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Planning and Preparing for Geneseo

Coming out of the McCook meet at Muncie (17/18 June), I knew I had some work to do on some models.  I had neglected repairs, etc over the winter and it showed when I went to Muncie.

One of the models that needed work was my Caudron C.460.  I only fly it in the Races (Greve or Combined) and only on big fields.  The last few times I have flown it, it has been first model out of the mass launch, usually flying downward and landing in about 5 seconds after half a circuit, if that much.  Frankly, it has been embarrassing.  This model won the 2019 AMA Nats FAC Scale event with a max, so it “can” fly – it just hasn’t lately.  At 50g on 88squares, it is a little heavier than I like, but when it is well-trimmed it gives a nice flat glide and is a pleasure to watch.

So I decided to “fix” the model before Geneseo.  One of the first things I did was to design and 3D-print a new prop.  I have been using a carved prop, but have had so much success with printed props recently that I decided to convert this model to a printed prop.  Archie Adamisin and I have been trading idea back and forth to create some pretty good props.  Two things that I have suggested and we have been able to implement are Larrabee profiles and folding props.  I don’t know that Larrabee shapes are “the best” but a) I like them and b) they seem to do as good as other blade shapes.  As for the folders, they sure save the nose of the model when landing.  The bigger the prop and the heavier the model the more force is exerted on the frame on landing.  I am sure we all have had noses torn out on less-than-perfect landings.  Well, hinged blades help reduce this damage.  Of course, in the FAC, the blades must not fold before landing – and these don’t – there is enough friction between the blade and hinge to keep them open while freewheeling.  Also, centrifugal force keeps them open, too.

Here are some images of the prop, spinner backing plate, and spinner that I drew up and printed for the Caudron.

Testing in the back yard showed that my Caudron was out of trim (we knew that from poor performance).   I changed several things:  tail weight added, decalage reduced, and thrust settings changed.  This was before much power could be added since my small(ish) back yard cannot accommodate big flights.

I headed for the Cloudbuster “contest” yesterday even though the wind was supposed to increase to unflyable by mid-day.  There was a little wind when I got there, but not terrible.  I set my DT to 60 seconds and got to testing the Caudron.  My initial setting needed more tweaking as I worked up power.  Again, tail weight, decalage, and thrust all needed minor changes, but it was flying again.  Winn suggested a small amount of weight on the right wing to flatten the attitude when circling to the left – that worked.

I upped the power again; maybe something like 1200 turns out of a possible 2000?  The prop pulled the model up into the wind – not fast, but gradually and purposefully.  It seemed to be just enough power to counter the occasional gusts that threatened to destabilize the flight.  The tip weight had opened up the circles to big-field size and the model slowly rose while going downwind.  It got higher than expected and was very far downrange when it looked like it hit near the top a large tree – I thought I saw a flash of leaves or something indicating it was in the tree rather than behind the tree.  Winn couldn’t tell – he lost it in the same tree, but didn’t know if it was in front, in, or behind it.

I went to find the model.  I crossed the airport, and then was finally at the tree on the third property, after passing through some rather dense undergrowth.  In fact the undergrowth surrounding the tree was about 12-foot high.  This would be a difficult search if it had not gone in the tree.

I gave the tree a glance, then moved on past the tree.  When planes disappear “in trees” they are usually behind (or in front), so I pressed on.  The bushes did open up a little beyond the tree, but still, you couldn’t spot anything anywhere – it was going to be nearly impossible to find the model, especially since it was so high when we lost sight of it – it could be anywhere.

I went back to a vantage point where I could see the tree and where I thought it went in.  This tree was something like 80 feet tall – maybe more.  I studied the “corner” where I thought the plane was for a time and then I saw some straight lines that looked unnatural for a tree.  I got my phone out and zoomed in – yep, there was the model – at an impossible height.

I went back a few hours later, after the wind had really picked up.  The model was still wedged into the tree.  I even took a video of how much the wind was moving the tree, but the tree wasn’t releasing the Caudron.  So that’s where it stays.  So much for a respectable flight at Geneseo.




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Summer 2023 – Unbelievably Busy

I don’t know how I am going to manage the rest of this summer.  All of a sudden, nearly every week from now until mid-August is occupied. Next week, I am visiting my brother, who is suffering from cancer.  My younger son is getting married at the end of June.  We are (hopefully) moving Superior Props north, some undetermined time between now and mid-July.  I have the FAC non-Nats in New York a week in mid-July, followed by the AMA Nats the very next week.  Almost immediately after I return, the Mrs has scheduled a two-week trip to Europe.

This will have a severe impact on my business.  Many of the exiting orders and any orders placed between now and mid-August will likely be delayed.  I will have merchandise at Geneseo and Muncie and if you want to place orders for pickup/delivery for either contest, go ahead – I will try to get them prepared.

Since I do kits pretty much on-demand, I may or may not be able to have kits ready for these events.  I will try my best, but understand, there might be significant delays in fulfillment.

If you have an order placed and cannot wait, I recommend you contact me and we can cancel the order.  If you can please be patient, I will do my best to get things sorted for you as soon as I can.

Apologies in advance.


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New Products and Products Delayed

There are TWO NEW Short Kits and some other product news.

It is always a pleasure to see photos and videos from other modelers.  In Connecticut, John Koptonak does a great job of documenting the Glastonbury Modelers’ indoor contests.  While watching his monthly Facbook videos, one model caught my eye – Peter Kaiteris’ Crossbow Bostonian.

I contacted him and asked about converting the Bostonian to Embryo.  Just as we were starting out talks, the Bostonian plan arrived in my mailbox in the FAC News.  Peter and I worked to redesign the Crossbow to meet Embryo requirements and soon sent him a prototype short kit.  I have a strong urge to build this, also, but I have already built two Outdoor Embryos this calendar year and have yet to really fly either of them and my building board it packed with other projects.

But Peter was diligent and got right on the build.  He made a couple of suggestions and soon had a ready-to-fly model.  And boy does it fly!  Maybe you have already seen Tom Hallman’s video of the first day out with the Crossbow II.  It is amazing that on its first ROG test it puts in a max!  Under overcast conditions!  Here’s the video and you can find the Short Kit right here.

The second new kit was equally inspired.  I was surfing the web for a possible Peanut Subject (Scaled Composites Vari-Viggen) and ran across Frank Scott’s SAAB Viggen JetCat plan from a 1973 American Aeromodeler issue (OMG, that’s 50 years ago!).  I chatted with Michael Smith about possibly reprinting in his McCook Squadron newsletter (Frank Scott’s home squadron) and Mike told me he already published it – and had built one.

Well, I loaded up the plan and traced it in my CAD program and gave it a couple of enhancements to fit all the pieces together like puzzle pieces – and I added strakes on the bottom of the wing.  I build my prototype and flew it in the back yard.  It seemed stable, but unremarkable; I was getting about 10 seconds a flight.  I have a stack of built (and un-kitted) prototypes that get 10 seconds – they are disappointments and part of the frustration of the JetCat event for me – so 10 seconds was…meh.

But then I added a gurney to the rudder and it started to give some decent flights.  Importantly, (and in typical canard fashion) it didn’t like to stall.  I mean, if it was tail heavy, yeah, it pops the nose up and flutters to the ground.  But I have had several that would seem to glide well – until they got slow.  THEN the nose would go up and that would be the end.  This one showed none of that.  With minimal nose weight, it would keep the nose down and cruise, never lifting and killing the flight.

I started applying more power and various angles and soon I was getting 14-15 seconds in my limited back yard.  It would do a nice steep climb up and have a real nice transition into a flat, wide glide.  Very good.

I took it back inside and gave it a quick spray with Design Master Gray – and I printed and cut out markings from bond paper and glued them on, old school style.  I snapped a pic and within 10 minutes I had my best flight with it – a huge climb flipping into that flat glide – but the light breeze was taking it east toward the trees.  It went into a pine tree well above 40 feet at 16 seconds.  I couldn’t even find it.  But I did the next morning, as the wind had knocked it down.

By the time I found it the next morning, I already had a new one cut and a prototype kit shipped off to Frank.  I created a tissue print and built the second prototype this week.  We will give it a good test when the weather dries out a bit.  You can find the full kit here.  (By the way, that is SEVEN new kits this calendar year – so far!)


My dad turned 84 this January and is “retiring” from the Volare Products Production Facility (as he calls it).  He won’t be cutting props any longer, nor making any hardware.  Clearly, this is another important transition point for Superior Props.

But we have a plan.  I am working with one of my modeling buddies (a player to be named later) to transfer the Prop Shop to his home and he will take over making props.  This transition has started (we went down to my dad’s for introduction and instruction), but it will not be complete until we move all of the equipment and get it set up – and get everything back into production.

Now, I have a good deal of bench stock of standard Superior Props, but most folders are built on demand and not stocked.  This week, the first resulting order refund occurred as I did not have a 9″ 4-blade prop in stock.  This might be occurring more frequently, but our plan is to be operational by early summer.


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Marching On – 2023

New products and a short review and look forward.

Wow, 2023 is (just about 1/4) of the way through.  That means SPRING is coming to those of us in the northern hemisphere.  I am sure us flyers are looking forward to getting outside.  This year has been pretty busy for me already.  Three months in and I have built FIVE models already – and I have a 6th model ready to cut and build.

The weather was (almost) nice this week and therefore I had a chance to test fly two of those new models.

First up:  Pres Bruning’s Ayres Loadmaster Peanut.  Pres is an artist and his plans are artwork.  I am sure everyone has admired them repeatedly.  When the FAC announced they would be having a Pres Bruning Mass Launch (for any of his designs), I just had to build one.  I chose the Loadmaster.  Please read about my build HERE – there is a lot more than on this page. Find the Short Kit HERE.

And you can watch my test flight video here:


Secondly, I was “challenged” (well, I challenged myself) when a customer asked if I had a Free Flight version of the Ugly Stick.  For those of you who are Pure of Heart and have never been tainted by the street-walking attractions of radio control, the Ugly Stick is an ever-popular bastardization of the Fokker Eindecker.  It has been built is virtually all rc sizes and is a sport plane (not at all Scale) for those fun days at the rc flying field.

At first I was taken aback – I don’t do rc – and besides, there is no “category” for such a model.  Then I got to thinking…I could make this fit into Embryo.  So I did.  I am providing Dural-style 3D-printed landing gear and over-sized (for Embryo) 3D-printed wheels.  To “punish” you for wanting a rc replica, I eliminated the wheel pants, cabin/cockpit, and any DT design.  In addition, I am providing balsa parts to build your own 2-stroke replica (that will get you that FAC Embryo 1-point Bonus for exhaust!)

Surprisingly, this model might just be a great flyer!  Find the Short Kit HERE.

Here’s a video:

March 2023…  I looked at the calendar and said, “well, April 1st will be 10 years since I started this business”.  But I was wrong.  I took over Shorty’s Basement and started selling products under that name on April 1st, 2012.  That means 10 years has come and gone and we are starting on our 11th year in business.

Things have changed a lot (including the name).  Most of the product line has changed.  Superior Props has been added.  And I no longer sell kits from other manufacturers.  But I have produced 120 different kits of my own and sold nearly 6,000 of them.  Building and flying is what I love and the kits are a by-product of that.

Speaking of Superior Props, a change is coming there, too.  My dad, who turned 84 this year, and has been widowed for 3 years, has decided to move on to a different setting:  the Netherlands.  He has been spending nearly half of the year, in short segments, over there for the last 2 years or so.  Now he has applied for a resident’s visa and expects to move over there on a more permanent basis.  As a result, we are looking to move the Prop Machine to a friend’s house so that my dad will no longer be saddled with having to make props for me.  This should be accomplished some time this spring, hopefully before summer.  But keep in mind, there may be shortages or downtime on the Superior Props product line.

I do have stock-on-hand for nominal-sized Freewheelers, Gollywock props, and some Old Timer Freewheelers.  I also have one or two of some of the more popular Old Timer Folders, but most of those are made to order.  Just keep that in mind as we transition.

Onward and upward, everyone – much like that Ugly Stick I built – but try to stay out of the trees!



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