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February 2012

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The next meeting of the winter season of the Scale Flyers of Minnesota will be held on Friday, March 30, 2012 at the American Legion Post-6501 Portland, Richfield.  Come early and dine in the restaurant.  (Directions)

 At the last meeting ...

58  SFM members & guests joined us for this months meeting ... a new attendance record!


Scott Anderson introduced Captain Dick Brown, a B-26 pilot who flew 66 missions in Europe and later, a pilot for NWA for 36 years.  “I like to fly airplanes - just give me the wheel and let’s go.”

The B-26 was troubled at first - rushed into production with poor control and undertrained flight instructors - “one a day into Tampa bay” - until the wing was extended by 6 feet and engine-out and other procedures were developed.  Then it was “a good one.”  H3 bombed Utah beach ahead of the Normandy Invasion, returning with holes in the wing - the B-26 was one of the first to have self-sealing fuel tanks.  He bombed transportation infrastructure in France (“Please don’t hit the cathedral”) just barely ahead of advancing troops - “I’m sure we killed a lot of people.”  His aircraft’s nose was blown off, had two crash landings, and sometimes returned “full of bullet holes.”  But he never lost a crew member.  “Nobody got hurt.”  He attributed much of this to escort by Tuskegee airmen who always provided cover above and below - they “really did a job on them (the German fighters).”

After the war, Dick Brown flew 12 aircraft types with NWA from DC-3 to 747, including the Martin 202 which was derived from the B-26, a total of 24,000 hours. He liked the 747 least - “I didn’t like the automation.”


Larry Sorenson (his email address is spelled “soarinson”) brought the largest wingspan airplane ever to appear at a SFM meeting - 16 ½ ft (200 inches), a 1937 Reiher sailplane.  1:3.5 scale. The Reiher was the “pinnacle of German sailplane design” at the time.  Czech LET Models ARF distributed by SoaringUSA.   Foam and obechi plug-in wings, plug-in stab.  Aerotow with 80 cc towplane.  Up to 40-minute flights.  “Real forgiving.” Gull wing adds stability in thermal turns.  Flown locally at Owatonna and Elk River sod farm.

Scott Russell has started work on a 1/4 scale Airworld FW 190A  designed by Stuart McKay (from England).  Estimated weight is around 45 lbs and it has a 100” wingspan.  Scott plans to use a Moki 215, Sierra landing gear all controlled by the new Futaba 18-channel transmitter that he demonstrated for us.  It includes telemetry and even a camera.

Phil Schwartz observed that there are not many Nosen Corsairs around “because it doesn’t fly very well.”  His weighed 49 lbs before paint and ballast, 108” span, 3W150.  Will need 11 lbs nose weight.  The Nosen plans show no flaps or retracts. Substituting a fiberglass fuselage was “the biggest mistake I ever made - nothing lined up.”  But it was “fun to build,” even though “not very scale.”   Phil added a Dynamic Balsa cockpit kit, hatches to the cowl for access to the spark plugs prior to cowl removal, and a Biela 4-blade prop ($185).  Painted with rattle cans—“I shake three cans at once.”

Phil also asked Captain Dick Brown to sign the diamond marking on his wing...

Joe Niedermayr successfully “invented” a retractable and shock-absorbing landing gear to replace the easily bent music wire fixed gear of his Hobby King Mosquito.  But other upgrades were “my frustration for a year.”   “Old-fashioned instructions,”  paint peals off with masking tape, difficult to paint over because “nothing sticks to it.”  At last, he discovered that a coating of spray adhesive works as a primer for paint and glass. The first flight was okay until the first turn—“ I applied the aileron and it went zzzssshooom.  I went home and I cried.”   The problem was traced to an intermittent servo.  After repair (Hobby King does not sell spare parts!), the plane continued to tip stall. The foam structure was so flexible that it survived crashes well but the flex in the wing and lack of washout degraded stability.  Joe solved this problem by stiffening the wing with fiberglass while building in washout.  Clever!

Tim Len unpacked a Pro Design Grumman Gulfstream G500 ARF right out of the box.  74” span.  Fiberglass fuselage.  Plug-in, built-up wing and stab, split flaps.  Twin ducted fans.

Tim will upgrade from fixed gear to retracts and double bogeys.

Mark Dubay’s gorgeous Ryan PT-22 (aka STK-3R) was built from a highly modified 1/5th scale SIG Ryan STA kit designed by Maxey Hester who won the ’73 NATS with this design.  Mark converted the nose from inline to radial, installing a YS Supercharged 4-stroke engine. All wood structure.  World Tex polyester fabric w/ nitrate dope.  Rib stitching is K&B Superpoxy applied with a needle nozzle.  SIG Epoxylite panel lines. Painted with Klass Kote. Wing walk is textured black paint from a rattle can.  Curved hatch is lithoplate bent in a roller press.  Headrest is also lithoplate, formed around a Fleet Farm plumb bob.  External longeron is an aluminum tube cut lengthwise.  Mark replaced the kit’s music wire landing gear with steel tubing plus oleo.  The tailwheel strut is scratch-built and also includes an oleo.  Upper spat fairing is also rolled lithoplate.  Wing wires are Nelson elliptical steel tubes silver-soldered to Nelson clevises.  Cockpit coaming is JoAnn Fabrics with very small eyelets sewn with carpet thread.  The cargo pod between the landing gear struts holds a battery pack - this location lowers the CG while being accessible.

The project took some time. “Products have come and gone since I started the model … It was a test bed for everything I know how to do.”

John Baligrodzki showed us a bunch of parts for his Yellow P-47 project.  An Aerotech dummy radial.  Also from Fritz Dezings, John presented Rivets, Dzus fasteners in rub-on sheets as well as their paint masks.  Lastly a Perfect Pilots pilot figure and a Krylon painted cowl.  Additionally he described his experiments to create shades of aluminum using Rub-N-Buff, Krylon, and applying thin coats of aluminum paint over various colors of primer.  That’s innovation!


“I’m 81, been flying since I was five.  I still can’t fly very well.”

... Corky Wald.

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Fly well, fly safely and share your skills

David P. Andersen, Secretary of The Scale Flyers of Minnesota.

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