January 2024

Next Meeting

Friday February , 2024


Meeting Directions: CrossPiont Church


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We’ve had a wonderful El-Nino winter! Only one week of below zero temps so far this winter and it was nearly 40 degrees for this meeting.

This SFM gathering had 27 members and guests join together for presentations, discussions and plain old story telling. The meeting room was full and waiting for a good joke when President Cal Branton started the meeting at 7:02.


Roy Maynard’s 1/3rd Scale Morane-Saulnier A1

Roy Maynard brought in his latest acquisition, a Seagull Models 1/3rd scale Morane-Saulnier A1.  A World War 1 Parasol monoplane fighter.

The Morane-Saulnier A1 (MS A1) was a French parasol wing fighter aircraft produced by Morane-Saulnier during World War I.

The MS AI was the first aircraft to be fitted with a fixed forward firing machine gun, the world's first fighter, which fired the weapon through the arc of the propeller.  It was also one of the world's first bombers.  During the first half of 1917, Robert and Leon Morane with Raymond Saulnier presented their newest fighter aircraft, the Morane Saulnier AI to the French military for review.  It was favorably accepted by the French, and as many as 1,210 were produced.  It entered service early in 1918 and the new fighter was popular with its pilots, who liked its speed and maneuverability.  Despite the fact that the Morane’s flight characteristics were well liked by many pilots, the duration of its active combat service was limited to a mere three months.  It was withdrawn from combat as a result of unproven but alleged structural failures and reliability problems with the 160 hp Gnome engine.  Many remaining aircraft of this type were refitted with smaller, more reliable powerplants and used as advanced trainers for the duration of the war, and post WWI as well.

Roy tells us there have been 2 different 1/3 scale Morane Saulnier A1 models available, a kit from balsa USA and this ARF from Seagull Models.  The model had originally been built by a modeler but not flown, and subsequently sold to a hobby store in Illinois.  The model was acquired sight unseen.

The model was delivered with a Spektrum Avian motor equivalent to a 50cc gas engine with a matching 120 amp speed controller installed.  The prop is a 24x10 Xoar electric prop. High voltage HITEC servos (180 oz at 7.4volts) are mounted for the control surfaces.

The ‘PRO’s” on this model include a nice standoff scale appearance and high quality Spektrum motor and speed controller.  The complex cabane and wing struts seem very strong to support the center wing and outboard wings.  Online videos of this model appear to show excellent flying qualities with its 103” (2.6 meter) wingspan and estimated flying weight of 25-30 lbs (12-14 kg).  Power will be provided by two 6S lipo batteries in series (12S going to motor).  The model will be guided by a JETI transmitter and Demon Cortex gyro and will be flying this Spring.

The “CON’s” include a less than optimum assembly by the original owner with multiple spills of cyanoacrylate glue on the model including the machine guns, one of which was broken.  One of these spills damaged the tan shrink covering on the right horizontal stab.  By pure chance, the exact replacement covering film was acquired from China thru AliExpressUS.  The "Chinakote" camouflage covering is apparently laser cut to shape and applied at the factory in Vietnam.  The entire model when completed at the factory is sprayed with a matte clear.  The kit uses cyanoacrylate plastic hinges for the control surfaces.  My preference would have been to use conventional nylon hinges. Close monitoring will be used to look for any fatigue developing in the hinges.  The pilot that came with the kit was of poor quality and weighed 12 ounces (165g).  This was replaced with a bust from "Aces of Iron" that I painted and  weighs 6 oz (80g). 

Don't Forget

Mark Your


Ron Jesberg’s Lockheed Orion

Ron Jesberg recently joined the Scale Flyers of Minnesota and this was his first meeting with all of us scale ‘NERDS’.  Ron brought a wing from his Lockheed Orion Project that he had researched, drawn the plans and built.  He’s put in years of work and is looking for someone to check it out and perform the maiden flight.

As Ron tells us, “I first saw the Orion in a trade magazine in 1976 and knew right away that I wanted to model it.  Off and on, over many years I collected pictures and information on it.  In 2015, I discovered actual shop prints from the Lockheed factory in Burbank California, circa 1932.  That was the find that spurred me to undertake the project because up until then I had not been able to find any drawings I trusted.

Many years of kits and a few scratch builds made me confident I could do a large scale model.  I am a manufacturing engineer for an aerospace company, so my CAD and technical skills enabled me to model this aircraft and send the CAD files to the laser cutter. 

The plane is all balsa and ply including the cowl.  I made molds for the windshield and windows and created all the graphics in CAD and had them cut by a vinyl cutter. The plane is 1/5 scale at 102” span (2.6 meters) and weighs 32 lbs. (14.5kg).  I will bring the plane to next month’s meeting and talk more about it then.”

We look forward to the February Meeting to see Ron’s Orion in person!


Scott Anderson’s ¼ scale Ryan PT-22 Recruit

Scott showed his nearly completed Ryan PT-22 Recruit and ARF model by Seagull Models purchased through Tom Wheeland of Legend Hobby.

Scott originally purchased it to showcase his Saito FA-325-r5 five cylinder radial engine. The Saito is a perfect size as a 1/5th scale replica of the Kinner R5 used on the Ryan.  Unfortunately this is a ¼ scale model so the Saito would look far too small even for stand off scale, so Scott had to find an alternative engine.  The DLE-35RA would work well but he'll would miss that 4-stroke sound.  The Saito FG-40cc would work, but its spendy.  He settled on the NGH-38cc gasoline 4-stroke from Motion RC.

The model comes with a substantial fiberglass cowl with (5) built-up mock cylinders to simulate the Kinner. The NGH-38cc 4-stroke fit neatly between the bottom 2 cylinders and seems to disappear.

Scott procrastinated for 2 years when he decided to rip off the “ChinaKote” from the fuselage and use “Flite-Metal” to give it that natural aluminum finish. It was his first time fiber glassing a large (lightly built) balsa fuselage and using Flite-Metal. Applying the Flite-Metal took time and patience. First to mark the panel line on the fuse and then cut out each panel and apply to the surface. The cowling alone tool 68 individual panels to cover and it handled the complex curves nicely!

Scott had it ready to fly at the Owatonna “Northern Alliance Military Fly-In” but there were more details to work out.  He did get to fly it at Fond Du Lac, WI at the Midwest Warbirds event.  The NGH-38 is not a powerful engine so he found that the Ryan flew at scale looking speeds and sounded like a full size PT-22!


Cal Branton’s & Kirk Hall's Zapata Warbirds ¼ Scale AERMaachi C.200 SAETTA Project

Cal and Kirk share the progress on their ¼ Scale Maachi C.200 radial engine fighter.  Built from Zapata Warbirds Plans and laser cut by Bob Holeman plans.

The project has progressed to get up on its legs for the first time at this meeting.  At the last meeting Kirk had assembled one wing, since then, only working on weekends, they have most of the airframe assembled for our viewing.

Specifications: Maachi C.200 ¼ scale


Fuselage Length:

Rec Power:

Est. Weight:



  104” (3.76m)

  81.25” (1.9m)

  Using a BME-116 cc twin

  Forecasted Weight, 38lbs (21kg)

  Custom, by Sierra Giant Scale

  Callie Graphics


The Maachi C.200 radial cowl weighs about 3# (2.5kg) and is produced by Jeff Micko.  Jeff is also producing a fiberglass fuse for the David Andersen Designs Maachi C.200.

Cal & Kirk will build another from David’s plans once the fiberglass fuselage is available.

We look forward to seeing it fly this spring!

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Cal Branton, President



Larry Sorenson, Treasurer



Scott E. Anderson, Secretary



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