What happened to Small Flying Arts?

By Dave Wingate

Small Flying Arts is habit forming. I like to visit the website every day, and I’m probably not the only one at MAC who does this. So what’s the problem? Nothing serious, except the SFA Discussion Forum has been off line for a week and nobody knows when it will be fixed.

In case you don’t know about SFA, it is the most popular website dedicated to small model airplanes like the ones we fly at MAC. It is part ezine (web-based magazine) and part file sharing site (many free plans, images, and other downloads) but the best part of SFA is its discussion forum (message board).

This past year has been a bad time for Small Flying Arts. While the forum remained popular, it was troubled by personality conflicts and petty arguments, causing several prominent members to quit the forum. New websites directly competing with SFA were launched. And tragically, SFA’s creator and administrator, Bhagat Dhillon, died of a heart attack in November at age 47.

Would SFA be running today if Bhagat were still alive? I don’t know, but I like to think so. It doesn't really matter because it’s a hypothetical question. In reality Bhagat’s family has expressed a commitment to keep SFA going, and I expect the discussion forum to be repaired sooner or later.

In the meantime, many SFA members have migrated to one of those new websites: Hip Pocket Aeronautics. Who knows? It may become the next Small Flying Arts.


planecrazy said...

Good tips! I had known about Small Flying Arts for some time, but for some reason had not gone there often, and not at all recently.

The tip about the "Hip Pocket" website is also a good one. Some good info there. For instance, I had forgotten or never knew for some reason about the 20g rule for Bostonians with more wings than a monoplane - I had actually at one point contemplated a 14g biplane Bostonian. I'll have to go to the AMA website and check out the complete Bostonian rules.

Bruce Feaver said...

Hi Dave:

Thanks for letting me know that you posted a link, I appreciate the update.

On another note and to make things clear, Dave (Ratz) my adminstrator and I have not created Hip Pocket Aeronautics as any kind of competing website, not at any time. In fact we were hardly memebers of SFA and did not know of the problems of SFA when we launched. My plan for HipPocket was different than that of SFA and my vision had never been similar to it or to compete with any big time forums like SFA. In many cases, throughout numerous posts I have always supported any activities that other sites have been doing in promoting model aviation. I understand that we have been a welcome place for SFA members and I am grateful to be at a place and time to accept the members from SFA viewership. I apologise for my rant but I just did not want people to get the idea that I created our website as a competitor to SFA and I get that from time to time.

Thanks again for poting a link in your bog, I am grateful, please post a link in our links section on hip at any time.


Bruce Feaver
Moderator Hip Pocket Aeronautics

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link on FSA. I am rather new to model aviation and FSA was one of the first sites I found for plans and disscussion on the topic. I did notice a change in format to the site and have not really visited much since. I was going to go tonight when your link came up. Thanks for the heads up. And best of luck to SFA and Hippocket. I have used both great sites.