Sunday Indoor Well Attended

At least 20 people came to Marin Aero Club's second meeting of the year on Sunday. About two-thirds of them brought models to fly, the rest came to watch and hang out with friends. It was an interesting session with many new planes, and some old ones that we haven't seen in a while.

Jason McGuire returned to MAC for the first time in about eight years. This is the prototype of his Twerp design.

See the plane? Tom's Flying Fish Bostonian is one of a kind, his own design.

Phobe's 1/2 scale Baxter Pussycat flew OOS (out of sight) indoors, landing inside the top of an I-beam. Jerry tried unsuccessfully to retrieve it with our telescoping pole.

Brian's sheet balsa Ford Fliver

Jason's Fiat G.50

Phobe with Jerry's Cub

Mike's winter project, the Cessna C-34 posted here in February, is almost complete.

Ed's micro RC Diddle Rod. It has an electric motor and faux cylinder.

Need a balsa shim? George has two different kinds.

Tom's Latécoère 26, a French mail carrier

More of Tom's models. If you look closely, you'll notice the wing from the Latécoère, separated from the plane by a hard landing. The damaged pylon can be fixed easily.

Mike's dime scale P-47

These are the Fether Plane (sic) kits Jim bought on eBay, posted here two weeks ago.

I had a little problem with my Little Richard, absentmindedly putting in the wrong (1/8 inch) rubber motor and watching the plane shoot out of my hand like a rocket. What a surprise! In one second it hit an I-beam, ripping the wing off. The fuselage continued to climb until it hit the ceiling and crashed to the floor, while the separated wing spun around its lateral axis making a slow descent. We all had a good laugh, and I only wish there was a video.

Towards the end of our meeting, Gale dropped by with his new rubber-powered free flight P-47 before taking it up to Lakeville for its maiden flight. You have to see this extraordinary model up close to appreciate how beautifully built it is.

A detail for model builders to appreciate: the P-47's hand-carved, carbon-reinforced prop with freewheeling assembly.


Gale force winds at Lakeville

No, it's not what you may think.

Gale Wagner, renowned East Bay sculptor, continues to amaze us with his flying art.

At first glance this is a scale P47 Razorback, but looking past the obvious you will find much much more. I snuck out of our indoor meeting at St. Vincent's to follow Gale to Lakeville - where his creation tasted and tested the wind and long grass for the first time.

There may be some work needed to get predictable flights, but the art is undeniably vertical take-off, the irony vast, and the beauty as exquisite as David or Narcissus.

The craftsmanship is so out of sight that it is rendered moot and mute.

Gale's Vietnam experiences are spread thickly over this model, and you should let it speak to you.




Indoor Flying in Sacramento

Ed and Kermit fly indoors with a group in Sacramento, meeting on the 3rd Thursday of the month at Sacramento Turn Verein (a German exercise club and social organization).

Ed reports: "Chris Borland is instructing a group of middle school kids how to build and fly Science Olympiad models. They are all good flyers and did well in a recent contest with other school groups. They all do about 2 minutes. Some adults fly these also and don't do any better!"

Turn Verein's auditorium has a smooth ceiling about 22 feet above the floor (no girders or hanging lights like we have at St. Vincent's) so models that touch the ceiling are likely to deflect gently downwards. You still need to stay away from the walls, though.

Ed has done about 7 minutes here with his EZB.

Anyone interested in the Sacramento group may email Ed for more information.


Season Opener

It's a good thing we scheduled both of our April meetings inside the gym, because it was pouring rain yesterday in Marin County. We normally alternate outdoor (2nd Sunday of the month) and indoor (4th Sunday) throughout our flying season.

George is always working on something interesting. Here are the bones of a B.A. Swallow he started building after seeing an article about the plane in this month's issue of Flight Journal magazine. The outlines of George's model are based on David Aronstein's plan. George enlarged it from 16-inch wing span to 30 inches and redesigned the structure to provide a more robust airframe.

Mike built a balsa sheet profile BD-8 in a few hours on Saturday night. He didn't have to build the motor stick and prop assembly. He already has one that fits a series of models that he's scratch-built.

While we're on the subject of balsa sheet profile models... Jim built a pair of feather planes (a biplane and a monoplane) from a Japanese kit he found on eBay.

I like the minimalist design of these little airplanes.

And now for the feature you've all been waiting for! A video of Dave K's twin-rubber peanut scale He-219. I started recording this only a moment after launching my Little Richard (which you'll see at the end) and once again I found myself spinning around in the middle of the circular flight path. When will I ever learn?

For some reason, most of the pictures I took yesterday didn't turn out very well. Maybe because I was dizzy from making that video. Tom also had his camera and perhaps he'll post a few more pics. In any case, we'll be flying again in two weeks and will have more to report then.