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March 2013

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The final meeting of the 2012-2013 winter season was held on Friday, March 29, 7pm.  Meetings of the Scale Flyers Minnesota "SFM" will resume in the fall of 2013.

 At the last meeting ...

Chris O’Connor presented his Beechcraft T-34 Mentor.  Quarter-scale, 100” span, 48 lbs, GT-80 modified for Rim-fire small spark plugs, custom Robart gear, Jet-Tronics proportional electric brakes, two A123 battery packs, 14 servos, mode 1, built from a Mark Frankel kit.  (Mark Frankel & his T-34 have been Top Gun regulars since 1991.)The kit is a Glass fuselage and foam wings.

The tail is molded skin over foam for built-in corrugations.  Stits fabric and paint, a form of polyester - “easy to use.”   Panel lines are F & M Superfill epoxy feathered to trim tape.  Large markings are vinyl’s by Lettertech in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Smaller figures are dry transfers from ProMark.   Strobe lights, nav lights and landing lights.  A Jet-Tronics gear sequencer controls three air tanks, one for each landing gear plus brakes, two cylinders on each main.  

Custom Bisson concentric augmenter exhaust tubes are functional and scale.  Small parts such as door handles were measured from a full-size Bonanza and copied.  It's a beauty ... Good luck at TOP GUN Chris!

 Chris and his T-34 are headed for Top Gun, maybe next year.

“Aren’t you afraid to fly it?” someone asked ... “Mark has a defibrillator,” Chris replied.


Scott Russell described how the fiberglass spinner on his P-40 delaminated, causing vibration which destroyed the spinner in the air.

Cal Branton also described the overheating of an engine, also on a P-40, that caused the plastic spinner to melt in flight and flow backwards over the nose, stopping the engine and causing a crash. Lessons learned:  Inspect spinners regularly.

Darren Bitzer displayed the partially built fuselage and tail of his DC-3.  137” span, fiberglass fuselage in 4 parts, foam wing. Two 20 cc engines, 37 lbs estimated weight, Robart gear modified to electric. Darren purchased the molds from Jamie Hankins, Tennessee.  Darren uses internal, pushrod-less servos for rudder and elevator.  He plans on kitting the result.

David Andersen discussed his latest esoteric idea ... a quarter-scale Saab 21, a WWII era twin-boom Swedish pusher fighter.  Still in the research stage.  Electric power, on-board engine sound.  This would be a team project with Roy Maynard and Jeff Micko.

This aircraft is an excellent flyer, so clean thru the air that a 1990's Reno formula one racer "Pusher Galore" was modeled after it!  Saab only build 64 of these from 1950 to 1952.  The 1/4 scale dimensions will be approx wingspan: 111" and a length of: 105".   The web-editor can't wait!


Kirk Hall & Cal Branton returned with the fuselage frame and landing gear of their half-scale Fokker Triplane, built from 1 of 8 kits by Glenn Torrance.  Being built for the Mid Atlantic Dawn Patrol event.  Span of the lowest wing will be 9 ˝ feet.  The aircraft will be powered by a 3W 275cc engine.  Wheels are child’s bicycle wheels with bungee cord shocks.  This is a big project, “One of us will be dead before it is finished.”  The major effort in building the wings is the central box spar to which the ribs are then added.


Roy Maynard demonstrated the GZ Electric Retracts for his 1/3rd scale Heinkel 162 Salamander.  The gear uses a Maxon motor (not a Chinese knockoff) on 14 volts.  A programmer is provided with the unit.  Power is automatically disconnected when the receiver is off.  Electric proportional brakes are attached to the Robart wheels.

An active group discussion developed about the

Roy's GZ Electric Retracts

reliability of Down & Locked, LLC gear followed by an explanation of propor-tional brakes and how to program them.  Always research the reliability of new products in the R/C market before you buy.


Joe Niedermayr explained another one of his ingenious retract designs. Part of a Dornier 217 small enough to fit in a car without disassembly.  The twin strut design is pulled up with a fish line and lowered with a spring.  Over driving provides a lock in the down position.

AutoCAD, compatible software is available, called DraftSight from Dassault Systems  It will open and edit 2D .dwg files. 

Recommended Reading

Lost in Shangri-La recounts this incredible true-life adventure for the first time.  A riveting work of narrative nonfiction that vividly brings to life an odyssey at times terrifying, enlightening, and comic, Lost in Shangri-La is a thrill ride from beginning to end.


Jon Bomers has incorporated R/C FlightDeck into for all to use!  It is the world's first and only syndicated, Worldwide RC Event Calendar/Promotion and Event Registration system!

In a highly disaggregated community of well-attended RC events, R/C FlightDeck allows you to search and register for R/C events worldwide.  Event Coordinators/Promoters can accept and administer online pilot registrations, generate sanction documentation.  Please note that web-header tabs wont change for 60-90 days, to make sure MN Event Coordinators are updating and using the system.  I encourage ALL of you to spread the word!  This could be a Powerful Tool for you ... both now and in the future.

“I learned more in life from aero modeling than I ever learned in school”    - Dave Platt


Not sure who Dave Platt, AKA Mr. Scale is?  Check out the brief video from  It looks great full screen!  PS... an Ad may pop-up at the beginning ... just "X" it out.


To Our International Visitors ...

Thank you for checking into our website from time to time.  We appreciate your desire to keep Scale & Giant Scale R/C planes flying everywhere!


Cal Branton, President

(651) 459-5107

Brian Crossley, Treasurer

(612) 721-4989

D. Andersen, Secretary

(952) 890-9529

Jon Bomers, Web Editor

(651) 343-3407

Fly well, fly safely and share your skills

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

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