Show and Tell

The monthly indoor meeting at St. Vincent's on Sunday was well attended. Flying conditions were perfect, a nice change considering how windy it's been lately over at Lakeville. One of the highlights of this day was seeing Kermit's new project, a radio control pterodactyl. That's a flying dinosaur -- but you already knew that, didn't you?

This is not the type of model that we fly in the Marin Aero Club (we focus on free flight) but some of us are into a variety of model types. Kermit has flown most every kind of model airplane, and if you don't believe me just look in the back of his van. He decided to build this unique aircraft after seeing it in the Real Flight simulator on his computer. The twin electric model is available as a laser cut kit from Marsten PteroWorks.



On the 25th July at Lakeville, Jerry Rocha is running a SAM contest with four events.

Hand & catapult gliders combined
Old time small rubber, stick & cabin combined - 150 sq in max wing area - Gollywocks, Senators etc.
020 nostalgia & replica combined.

Nominal entry fee - just a few bucks.

I'm in for the old time small rubber and gliders - how about you.

And now for the NO CONTEST

It's Gale's new almost-built P47, and it's as perfect as I've ever seen. It is intended to capture the spirit of the Jug, not create a small replica. It is art, sculpture of the highest order, as well as being true in form to the original.

It will fly too. Congratulations Gale.


What started it all

Here's a photo of our intrepid leader George with his mother, standing in front of a Fox Moth. It's probably 1935 or so, and for five shillings each, the family enjoyed a pleasure ride. The four seats in the enclosed cabin faced each other and the pilot was up top in an open cockpit.

Happy days, when the world was at peace and there was no wind at Lakeville.



Lubomir Koutny and the Czech approach

Perhaps you know of Lubomir Koutny, the distinguished Czech free flight modeler. He has been a top competitor for decades and many of his scale model plans have been published. In 2003 his book, "Rubber Powered Models," was published in the Czech language.

Koutny's book is said to be an excellent resource, particularly as it explains the Czech approach to design and construction.

There is a chance that the book will be published in English. This depends on gathering a certain number of pre-orders. If you are interested you will find more information at Minimakety.cz including the author's email address.

But wait, there's more. Bernard Guest is organizing a Koutny cookup at the Hip Pocket Aeronautics Builders' Forum. Participating in this cookup promises to be a good way to learn about Czech style models. Many plans are available including peanuts and 1/20 scale from Michael J. Woodhouse and other sources.

Koutny's P-51H

If you are like me (which is to say relatively new to free flight modeling) you may be asking: What is so special about the Czech approach? Bernard explains some of the basics in this excerpt from the HPA Forum:
1. The wings are quite special...look at the airfoil. It changes from near-scale, semisymetrical at the root (which makes the intersection of the wing a fuselage more scale like) to strongly undercambered at the tip.

2. The wing structure is unusual too in that it uses closely spaced sliced ribs near the center section with the spacing increasing towards the tip (lighter).

3. The fuselage is interesting too of course....all those stringers! Why? Apparently, the main reason is that this yields a much more realistic representation of the metal skinned bird.

4. The propellers are light and made using a hot bending technique that involves taking an airfoiled blade blank and twisting it free hand against a hot iron.

Another Koutny design, the Ki-61 Hien

I am intrigued by this cookup and expect to start building one of the Koutny designs later this summer. Either of the models pictured above, the P-51H or the Ki-61, would be fun to build. I believe the cookup expires in one year, so I have a realistic chance of finishing on time. Anyone else want to join in?

Photos from Openscale reports at Minimakety.cz



If you come to a Marin Aero Club meeting you'll see a wide range of aircraft types. One of the most distinctive designs is George's peanut scale Fike Model E, a 1970s era light plane with a wing chord that seems to cover half the fuselage.

George explains how he rebuilt and repaired his Fike during our winter hiatus:
The Fike flew well until its flight path coincided with the steel uprights at the end of the benches in the gym, resulting in the necessity of building a new wing or scrapping the plane as the wing was beyond repair. As is often the case, further damage was evident so I built a new wing, stab. and fin. The fuselage was repaired but a new one could have been built in the time I spent patching and fiddling. Trimming has started, not helped by wing warping from a ride in a hot car to St. V. which shrunk the tissue further.

Fike as originally built, circa 1990


Dethermalizer Explained

George built a dummy DT and brought it to our meeting last week to demonstrate one way these mechanisms can be set up.