SFM News Letter

December 2007

by: David P. Andersen

The next meeting of The Scale Flyers of Minnesota will be Friday, December 28, 2007 7:00 p.m. at the American Legion Post, 6501 Portland, Richfield. East entrance, downstairs. Guests are always welcome. Come early and dine in the restaurant. Meetings will be held on the last Friday of every month thru March. ( Directions )

Don't Miss It ... Only 30 Days Away!

The Second Annual Dinner for Scale Flyers of Minnesota, IMAA Chapter 46 and SMMAC will be held at the Bloomington Outback Steak House (12th Ave. S and 494).

January 19, 2008 at 6:00 P.M. Only $15 per person plus cash bar. Bring your Spouse, Family and Friends - everyone is welcome!

For reservations, contact Cal Branton at BRANTONCFB@msn.com 

At the last meeting ...

(on any photo to enlarge)

John Baligrodzki discussed this year’s Scale Masters Qualifier.  After 22 years, it deserves to be named the Minnesota Scale Classic.  9 contestants, just right for one flight line and a good time. One winner, Ed Crummley and his Fiesler Storch, we sent to the Scale Masters Tournament in California.  John offered to be the CD again next year at ACRC the weekend before the Owatonna Northern Alliance Fly-in.  John will investigate using the long (really long) grass runway.  Good job, John and thanks.

John also showed his Tachikawa Ida originally scratch-built by Jim Biza from RCM plans but extensively rebuilt by John. At first, he intended to just fix a broken aileron hinge but then decided to replace the Monokote with glass and water-based resin which led to new canopy frames, cowl, panel lines, rivets, etc.—“One thing led to another and quickly spiraled out of control.”   John posted a question on the Internet asking how to paint a hinamaru (which is merely a red circle) and received 50 responses, some quite complicated. OS 120 Surpass flies it “very very nicely.”  Scale yellow trainer color scheme is very visible.

Dave Schwantz’ 80-inch span, 22-lb BVM T33 has a JetCat turbine, lights, beacon and 3M aluminum covering over glass.  Thicker aluminum for hatches. Flush rivets embossed with a sharpened brass tube. Panels scuffed in different directions, no clear coat. PCM receiver antenna in cockpit hood.  Model Master paint.  Other markings are Pro Mark dry transfers cured with Mokote iron.  Modified Erdle F104 cockpit. Modeled after an a/c stationed in England in the 50s & 60s.  30 flights so far.

Dick Steine told the following fascinating modeler’s tale:

Some time ago, Dick and Wayne Siewert built two Aerotech P-47's for a customer in Venezuela.  After about a year, both needed repairs that were beyond the ability of the customer.  So Dick was invited to go to Venezuela to fix them, with repair fees and expenses paid.  Caracas was dangerous.  Lots of social unrest, student protests in the streets, corrupt police, crime and generally scary “God-awful neighborhoods.” Armed guards at the hotel.  A driver took Dick to the customer’s house which was beautiful but was walled and electric-fenced and had a simple workshop.  During his stay, there was an airshow nearby that included two F16s, Russian and French helicopters plus R/C models.  Friends and modelers came from up to 400 miles to see the airshow. Dick attended and was appalled by the lack of R/C model safety - flying next to the parked F16s, over the crowd, etc...

And the models were not sophisticated - old Sig Kougars, simple maneuvers, etc: with many ARFs.  Dick was invited to fly one of the models in the airshow.  He did so with his aerobatic, American airshow style.  The audience applauded! Dick said it is hard to build and fly models there because it’s “hard to get things.”  He concluded by saying that we “are so fortunate” to be able to pursue our hobby as we do.

Cal Branton reported on the Top Flite B25 ARF.  88” span, two OS 82 engines.  (OS 70 discontinued, replaced by OS 82.) Well done but Monokote was full of wrinkles.  “Really, really nice kit, spectacular.”  Former Minnesota Scale Flyer Jim Sandquist did the test flying and refinements to the design.

A letter from Jim Sandquist to all SFM Members!

Hello Dave and greetings to all of the Scale Flyers!

I have been gone for almost 9 years now and I can honestly say that I still miss the group. The Scale Flyers is a very special group of modelers that is not duplicated in too many places across this great country. I do keep tabs on what is going on back there through the newsletter and information I get from Cal.

You asked what is going on with me as well a bit of information on the new B-25. Let's start with what has been going on with me. I am now one of four designers in Hobbico's R&D. My most recent designs that you might be familiar with are the Top Flite Staggerwing, Top Flight Cessna 310 and the Great Planes Revolver. I do not do nearly as much flying and modeling as I used to do, primarily because of the amount of time spent doing this as a job. It takes a special person to turn their job into a hobby and maintain the same level of enthusiasm for their hobby. Though I do not spend as much time in the "hobby" on a personal level I can assure you that my passion for modeling and making sure that you guys get the best product we can put out is very high on my list of priorities and I try to do this to the highest level my company will allow me to. Much of my personal modeling time is now spent sailing. My wife and I bought a small used sailboat a few years ago and now spend much of the summertime weekends doing it together. A good portion of my time in development is test flying prototype aircraft for the R&D department. That is where I got involved with the B-25.

I was the primary test pilot in the development process once the design was complete. Prior to the final design elements being complete I gave input on thrust angles that I had learned from the development of the Cessna 310. We were very concerned that both of these airplane would have reasonable flight stability on a single engine should you have one of them quit in flight. I was very happy with the flight characteristics of the B-25. It is a very stable, almost trainer like flyer. Test flying required all of the normal military aerobatic maneuvers you would expect but we also put it through a number of ridiculous aerobatic maneuvers just be cause so many modelers seem to take planes like this and fly them inverted down on the deck, (No offense to Mac Hodges!). Beyond the flight maneuvers the plane is also tested for slow flight stability, stall characteristics and engine out flying. In the case of this plane I had set the airplane engines up on two different throttle controls that I could reduce to idle independent from each other. This allowed me to slowly see what would happen when an engine would quit and ultimately to allow us to fly the airplane with a single right engine or left engine.

I am happy to say I did not lose any of the early prototypes in test flying. I can also tell you that this is a really great flying airplane! Besides the great flight characteristics the airplane has a level of detail that is not often found on ARF's. Though it is not perfect in every detail it really does give a very good scale presentation. The interior details included in the kit make it a good value. The only thing we have gotten complaints on are the foam tires. I wish we provided something different but it is one of those compromises we make for the sake of a low price. I like the plane well enough that I got my hands on an uncovered version that I intend to glass, detail and paint. I have added working bomb doors and droppable bombs to mine and have put in a set of brakes from Robart. It should be a good looking and fun plane when I get it all finished. By the time you read this I would guess that Cal will either have his done or be bringing the kit for one of the club meetings so you can all get a look at it.

I do not know when I will be up your way next but if the opportunity arises for me to get together with all of you I would really look forward to it. Keep up all of your good work!

Jim Sandquist

Photo's of the Month!

Roy Maynard's Aerotech Frank

Mike Doff's SE5 at ACRC

Scale Contest

Dick Galash's Savoia

Marchetti S 79

Wayne Gerdes' Sky Raider

Recommended reading: “I Could Never Be So Lucky Again”  by James Doolittle. At your library.

“Buying or building, the age-old question in our hobby.

So which are you, modeler or shopper?”

Richard Franks, Editor, Model Airplane International

Meeting photos by Bud Durant...


Cal Branton, President


(651) 459-5107

Mark Prokop, Treasurer


(651) 688-6340

D. Andersen, Secretary


(952) 890-9529

Jon Bomers, Webmaster