Fairey Barracuda - The biter bit.

The Barracuda was going down.

At the controls the captain knew something was wrong when he felt a rush of cold air around the knees and the torpedo bomber went into a series of dizzying loops.

Most of the front end was gone and the DT was completely shot away.

“I can’t hold her,” shouted Flt. Lt. Benson to the navigator. “You better get out!”

“But what about you sir?”

“Don't worry about me. Just leave me here alone at the controls. As long as you're alright.”

The navigator baled out, and the stricken Barracuda looked like it was headed for a crushing future.

More to come . . .


Marin Aero Club's 2011 Bostonian Contest

Paul took all the marbles in this years Bostonian shoot-out. His original design puts in an amazing performance, beating all previous winners. First prize was a pair of ChannelLock round-nose pliers.
Congratulations Paul, on a well deserved win!

                      Indoor models in action.

Mike's tandem-twin engined Skymaster Bostonian was still in testing and didn't compete.

George shows us how its done...head down, prop held with left hand, start timer with right hand, breathe deep...and follow through.

                    Tom frees the Flying Fish

Peter flew his trusty Prairie Bird...an amazingly popular kit from Peck-Polymers, still in production.


Sept Indoor Session 2011

This indoor session saw many Bostonians being tested and tweaked for next months contest... trying to squeeze every last second of air time from these little workhorses.

MAC has some very creative builders / designers in its ranks.

Ed found time to fly his stick, when the air wasn't being churned up by Bossies.

Haoyang built the Basic Bostonian, a nice T-tail model.



Sowing a seed.

How hard can this be?
Let's give it a try .......

Sunday, September 25th was the last chance you all had to trim your Bostonians indoors before our yearly competition planned for October 23rd. Lot's of new and old Bossies were seen .... many of them flying nicely ... if you have a Bossie in your collection and intend flying it on the 23rd then you need to test fly sooner than later. You haven't heard the last of me on this subject I intend to moan at you regularly over the next 4 weeks to make our Bostonian Contest a hard fought event and erase last years meager showing from our history books.


Arado 440

Just thought I'd post a picture of the Arado 440 before it got crunched.

No, seriously. It flies fast, high, and on the rails. I used my own plan, developed from the best three view I could find. The only deviation to the original is that the nacelles are lowered to allow the rubber motors to avoid the leading and trailing edges of the wing.

I like three bladed props - they suit my preference for a scale looking flight, rather than duration. They counter rotate and are made from a Smart Balance container. Guess what - they balance. But because they don't freewheel too well, the drag was nosediving the model when the winds came off. So trim consists of a tiny bit of lead in the tail countered by downthrust. The glide to the right is now flat and sidethrust gives a lefthand climb.

Right now the model is missing the big vertical vane at the very rear of the fuselage, but I kind of like the way it looks.
The silver finish may be more accurate because with only three prototypes made towards the end of WWII, it's doubtful that the real thing ever received camouflage paint.

I will have some in-flight photos soon.


PS Motors are each four loops of !/8 - it's fast!



John Pratt, one of SAM 27s most prolific builders and flyers of freeflight rubber models, has 30 of them on display at downtown Petaluma's Mail Depot at 4th and C from now until September 6th.

John will be in attendance on Saturday August 20th - at a reception between 11am and 1pm.

You can see the collection during the Mail Depot's regular hours (Mon-Thurs 8 - 6, Friday 8-5 and Saturday 9-3)

John has flown his exceptionally wide range of models competitively all over the US and in Europe, and his models are beautifully built, as evidenced by this classic 1932 Gordon Light Wakefield which was performing at Lakeville this morning along with Paul's similar model.(Despite the wintry appearance, it wasn't long before the fog blew away to reveal clear blue sky.


Skymaster, skokies, 49er, bostonian, bees and "the boys"

Skydate August 14, 2011.

Having failed to find a Swift Tuttle particle burning up like an HTV-2, a few of us tried to create a daylight meteor shower at Lakeville this morning.

Mike L muscled in in his Mustang, opened its cavernous trunk and produced another two miniature marvels. Brian S posted an article on the all-sheet 49er earlier this year and Mike took up the offer to build one. It proved a great flier.

Not content with this, he unveiled his new Bostonian. Wow! Not only does it fit the Bostonian rules, but it happens to be a perfect scratch built scale rendering of the push-pull Cessna Skymaster. And on top of that in Spanish Navy markings. Again it flew really well as the overhead shot shows.


Mike claims the Skymaster is a "bit heavy". This could be subterfuge of course, but maybe offers a chance for one of us to pip him at the post this year - maybe Jim's pelophylax could leapfrog to victory.

Paul flew his p30 - beautiful - blew by and beyond us, bothering the busy bees, two of which stung Paul as he attempted a retrieve. Don't wear yellow. When the bees find out you're not a pollinating prospect they attack.

George B, Jerry L and me flew Jimmie Allen Skokies. My huge four loops of one eighth proved useless against a vicious windshear, but switching to three loops and more winds worked wonders when the thermals picked up. Both Jerry and George enjoyed high flights and easy limits which bodes well for the upcoming Jimmie Allen contest.

It was a fun morning with Jim B confessing that his recent reintroduction to free flight had presented him with some of the happiest times of his life. If ever you wanted a celebrity endorsement of a sport/hobby there it is. Thanks Jim

Beautiful day - friends, sunshine, laughter. Where else could a retired packaging expert, airplane mechanic, chemist, retired engineer, musician and sculptor begin to believe they were boys again - all for a couple of gallons of gas and some rubber lube.



Where Hobby dreams come true

Great news!
Ian Dauth and his wife Caryn have opened a hobby shop in San Anselmo.
Jim B and George B attended the grand opening last week of Dauth Hobbies - 224 Greenfield Ave #2 San Anselmo 415 454 3087

George helped Caryn and Ian put together an order for freeflight materials and I urge you to support the new venture whenever you can.

Best of luck to Ian & Caryn - at last there's somewhere for me to get what I just ran out of at the last minute and usually end up "borrowing".

I wrote a small piece on Gale W's sculpture and giant rubber models called "BIG" for the SAM 27 folk's website - you can view the pdf right here



July indoor flying

It has been about a year since my last indoor session.

I'm noticing some changes around good ole St Vincents...
sorry to see the massive old eucalyptus trees at the entrance fall.
New fences going up, new paint job on the gym, and new faces

in the club.
The membership may ebb & flow, but I think MAC will be
around forever.
And on to the flying....

Haoyang has built a fleet of interesting models.

He modified a Peck One-Night 16 into a Stuka.

His very stable flying wing.

This biplane is also from a One-Night 16.

Shows how much fun a little kit-bashing can be!

Dave brought this sleek looking Micro-X Hornet.
I once built the outdoor, 36"version, and when
I finally got it trimmed...it went O.O.S.!

Jim was developing his Bostonian design. It flies very well on
winglets and no dihedral.

He calls it "Pelophylax", which I believe is some sort of
tree frog with psychoactive properties.

A riveting flight sequence.

Mike's amazing F7F. Structure is 1/32 balsa, covering
is condenser paper. He says it weighs in at under 7

The Broussard MH1521 was a suggested group build for peanut scale. Mike has thrown down the gauntlet...anyone need the plan?


Wind alert

I stumbled onto a new weather reporting site, called "WindAlert".
It has a real-time feed from a weather station at Burdell CA (Gnoss Field), which is approximately three miles away from the SAM Lakeville site (just across the river), so hopefully it will be accurate...we will see.
In addition to present conditions and predictions, it also has history graphs for previous years, and wind statistics.
Fascinating stuff for us wind watchers.


How about a Nordic glider, for a change of pace?

Here's the "Rapid"...an easy, quick building A-3 Glider that will fly
well on a towline or hi-start.
Designed by Jaromir Jindrich of the Czech Republic.
Construction article by Stu Richmond.
From the pages of Model Builder magazine, March 1986.


Origami, Broussard and Tigercat

It looks like Mike L has a firm grip on 2011 indoor flying and it's left some of us scurrying for the heaps of peanut plans.

You may remember towards the end of last season I waxed lyrical about the Holste Broussard we'd seen at Schellville. There was talk of a contest, plans were circulated - an outdoor version contemplated. Then nothing from any of us, until Mike revealed a 5/6g peanut that immediately flew on the rails in slow circles in the Gym on Sunday.

This was followed by an exquisite Tigercat also flying slow. Must be very light.

"Great props Mike. what are they made of?"

"Origami paper," Mike casually responded, and explained how you could laminate two sheets around an appropriate form, then dope.

I immediately thought of bad models I'd crunched that could have flown had I known this secret. Like this one that now works better on a tuk tuk courtesy of Georges' recent travels in the orient.

Who knows what other secrets lie in the pages of Mikes impressive flying log.




I just found out about Outerzone, a new website dedicated to the preservation of vintage model airplane plans. The website is run by volunteers who collect free plans from the Internet. The idea is to create a stable, easy to search, backup depository. The founder says Outerzone is built on an "industrial strength" platform with enough storage space for about 25,000 plans. There are already over 1,000 plans on the site. This could be the start of something special. Check it out: www.outerzone.co.uk


Season Opener

We were back in the gym last Sunday for our first meeting of 2011. Around 12 people were on hand, not a bad turnout considering it was Easter. Some of the regulars did not make it and were missed.

In this video: (1) Paul's modified Peck Polymers Bostonian Pup. (2) Mike's peanut scale Broussard MH1521, just built and making its maiden flight on Sunday. (3) Todd's Big Pussycat. Will it end up in the lights?


2011 MAC Schedule

Marin Aero Club meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month (outdoors, weather permitting) and on the 4th Sunday of each month (indoors) from April to November. Our winter break starts in December.

at the SAM 27 field near Lakeville

May 8
June 12
July 10
August 14
September 11
October 9
November 13

in the gym at St. Vincent's in Marinwood

April 24
May 22
June 26
July 24
August 28
September 25
October 23
November 27


The Livesay Files

A lot of people in the free flight community miss Dave Livesay's Briefcase, a huge online collection of free plans that disappeared in October 2009 when Yahoo pulled the plug on GeoCities. For the past month, there's been a lively discussion in the Small Flying Arts forum about making the files accessible again. The question is how to do it.

A group of SFA members is working on a project to distribute the files on CD in the same manner as a chain letter. That will get the collection (over 1200 files) into more people's hands, but it doesn't address the problem of making the plans permanently and readily accessible to anyone who wants them.

The Internet is obviously better than CDs for distributing digital media. So why doesn't someone create a new website for storing the Livesay files? That's what Chris Boehm decided to do. He just started the merlin236 Yahoo Group (Merlin's Free Flight Group) and has already uploaded hundreds of peanut plans. In so doing, he's used 78% of the group's storage space, meaning an upgrade will be needed to accommodate all of Livesay's Briefcase.

Incidentally, it is possible to view some defunct websites (or parts of them) using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. For example, here's a snapshot of Livesay's Briefcase back in 2002. And here's a look back at another site we miss, Deathtrap Squadron Plans.


Hey, why not build one of these?!

An easy to build, all sheet model by Dave Thornberg.
From the pages of Model Builder magazine.


In the News

Ray Bazzurto on the cover of the current issue of Antique Flyer, the SAM 27 newsletter