If you're not a member of Marin Aero or SAM 27, you can fly in the contest as our guest. Membership of Marin Aero is informal, but if you want to join us on a regular basis to fly outdoors at Lakeville, you will need to join SAM 27 and AMA - both have a low rubber only annual fee - see the links below right.


May indoor session

5-24-09, another uplifting experience in the house of St Vincent.
Our time in the gym is very limited, so its often a mad flurry of activity as we try to get several models trimmed simultaneously.

George was very pleased to finally get his sidecar model to fly acceptably, being frustrated to the point of scrapping it on previous attempts.

Dave K. had his Fokker triplane flying in a very stable manner...its from the Lee's Hobbies kit.

He also brought along his new dime scale Beech Staggerwing, which is nearly completed.

Tyler was flying an Eindecker with almost no dihedral in the wing, even so, it flew very nicely and appeared to slide into the turns.

Kermit, Ed, Mike and Brian also attended, and a good time was had by all. And then the basketballers chased us out...Blast!


McGuire Quad in the Windy Sock

An updated plan of the McGuire Quadraplane appeared in the March 2009 issue of Windy Sock, newsletter of the Alamo Escadille, and a feature article was published in the April 2009 issue showcasing the "Fantasy Quad" built by Windy Sock editor Joe G. Joseph.

Renewed popularity of Jason McGuire's fantasy flyer started several months ago when several people noticed pictures of George Benson's Quad on this blog and requested plans. We gladly scanned Jason's original drawings, along with some of George's notes and revisions, and posted them here. The scanned drawings occupied seven pages, which is a bit much even for an airplane with so many wings.

Alamo's updated plan has been reduced to two pages! Thank you.

All of the plans published in the Windy Sock are available to download free for several months following publication. After that, archived newsletters and their plans are available for a small fee.


Adding Dihedral

Most free flight models need dihedral to fly, and that is especially true of low wing monoplanes like George's new dime scale Miles Magister. After the initial test flights George decided his model could use more dihedral.

Adding dihedral to a finished model is not the easiest thing to do, but it can be done and sometimes makes the difference between a good and a poor flyer. This is how George increased the dihedral on his Magister, and also installed diagonal bracing to provide for a more rigid wing.

The first step is to remove the tissue covering on top of the wing (both sides of course). A new razor or scalpel blade helps make a clean cut. George trimmed the tissue up to the dihedral break at the first rib out from the fuselage.

George cut the spar and made it shorter by approximately 3/32". He also cracked the leading and trailing edges enabling him to adjust the dihedral angle. A small piece of balsa sheet with notch was glued to the rib to hold the spar.

George supported the wing root and tip while gluing the spar, leading edge, trailing edge, and gussets -- taking care to make the dihedral angle equal on each side. Then he glued in 1/20" square strips for diagonal bracing. The only thing left to do is replace the tissue.


Tall Grass

Be careful what you wish for. Tall grass is fine for short test flights, but it can be a big problem when your model lands hundreds of meters from the launch site in a field like this.

Tom and George (above) helped me look for my Island Flyer on Sunday, unfortunately to no avail.

This is a "good news/bad news" situation. Someone will find my Island Flyer soon. But this is how he'll pick it up:

This is the last picture of my Island Flyer. I thought it would be funny to compare the Island Flyer's wingspan to the prop from Gale's new 'Scooter' model.

Scooter is one of Gale's original designs. This model is an enlarged version of the 30-inch prototype. Scooter was the name of a black cat Gale once had, and the model is a work of art evoking the character of its namesake.

Black tissue represents Scooter's fur. The instrument panel resembles a cat's paw, the headrest a foot pad. The complex contours of the wing symbolize Scooter's corkscrew tail.

Gale is still sorting out the trim on his new Scooter. Meanwhile, Tom is working on a couple of his new warbirds.

Tom just started flying his new Zero. The model has a DT and we think it'll need one. Tom did his usual magic on the digital graphics. Also note the scale details inside and outside the cockpit.

Tom's new P-47 had its best flight yet. This one looks like it'll be a contender at our upcoming FAC contest. And there's that damn thresher again in the background.


Remembering Earl

Earl Hoffman in 1991

After reading Brian's fine tribute to Earl Hoffman, I'm reminded of some special moments that we shared with Earl. One of the most memorable was in April last year when Earl flew his twin pusher at Lakeville (with a little help from his friends).

Ed, Brian, and Tom stand by as Earl carries his plane to the launching area. The twin pusher flew well. We were fortunate to share that day and this fine hobby with Earl.

Photos courtesy of SAM 27


Earl Hoffman 1912-2009

We mourn the passing of the eldest member of SAM27 & MAC, Mr Earl Hoffman, at age 96.
Born in Detroit in 1912, he studied aeronautics and meteorology in school, and went on to a 38 year career with the US Weather Bureau.
Earl was an accomplished indoor flyer with more than a few records to his credit. I recall reading that his Symphony design was chosen by the NFFS as one of the ten best models of '87.
Earl participated in several of MACs indoor sessions, despite the limited vertical space in our gym.
I remember him as the picture of concentration as he carefully prepared his incredibly delicate creations... even as errant models crashed all around him. His patience seemed limitless.
Obviously evident is the fact that he had an intense love of modeling...to still be active in the hobby at age 96. He's an inspiration to us all.
Rest in peace, Earl.


Pfalz canard torpedo bomber

George Benson is building a scaled up version of the canard bomber, his own whimsical design.
George, always the innovator, has incorporated some neat features...an all-lifting stabilizer, shock absorbing undercarraige, and the rubber motor will span the full length of the fuselage.

If it flies as well as the prototype, it will need a dethermalizer for sure.
What a fun project...nice job George!


Thanks, Dêkuji, Danke, Arigato, Merci

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Dave's peanut scale Fokker D-VII

Dave Krinard's modeling skills are evident in the lightweight construction, and the highly detailed camoflage finish on this one.
Anyone who has built a few, knows how challenging the peanuts can be.

He had it flying nicely inside the gym, after a minor adjustment suggested by the helpful fellows at SFA...
(what a great bunch of guys they are!).


The Art of Aviation

Artists have been inspired by aviation, and airplanes in particular, for over 100 years. Some of the best aviation art is found in posters created during the Golden Age of aviation. Pop art like this was designed to promote events, products, travel, and ideas -- but now these works are appreciated purely for their artistry.

America's #1 Travel Destination

Morale Booster

WARNING: Don't drink and fly.

Have a nice May Day!

These images are from AllPosters.com which offers a variety of aviation themed art including posters, photography, and other media. The company is not affiliated with Marin Aero Club or this blog.