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March 2015

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A Scale Flyers of Minnesota meeting was held on Friday, March 27, 7:00 pm. at; Southtown Baptist Church.

We will be taking a break during the summer flying seasons and starting up again in October of 2015 ... Enjoy the flying season!

 At the last meeting ...

It's SFM's 11th On-line Anniversary!  SFM was incorporated 30 years ago last November but our "On-line Presence is Celebrating its 11th Anniversary" this month!  Although several other were involved, Mr. Bill Cowette is credited with starting the Scale Flyers of Minnesota.

During the winter months the SFM meet and discuss building, finishing, detailing, building documentation and flying techniques unique to scale modeling.  A newsletter is generated after each meeting summarizing the techniques discussed and originally snail mailed to each member.  In fact, Bill Cowette printed the first newsletter on a mimeograph machine!  We want to thank to all of our visitors and scale flyer supporters worldwide ... safe landings to you all!

Brief Bits

  • Hat tip to the original 7 who were the catalyst for the Scale Flyers of Minnesota; Bill Cowette, Brian Crossley, Boyd Bowdish, Vic Leerhoff, David Andersen, Dale Cordes and Graham Hatcher.

  • Check out Ahmed Elbassal’s flight video of his turbine sailplane presented at the last Scale Flyers meeting and filmed in Kuwait.  Goto:

  • Cal Branton asked for a volunteer to form a Facebook group to announce trips to Owatonna and other informal events.  Larry Sorenson volunteered.
  • Photos this month are courtesy of Peter Martin & David Andersen - Thank you guys!


Chris O’Connor, our flight line safety officer for events at Owatonna, described an accident at a recent Top Gun Florida Jets.  A Dolphin Sport Jet lost control at the top of a loop and crashed on the runway about 30 feet from former TCRC President Tim Len who was flying at the time. 

It exploded into a “flame thrower” toward the pits followed by a large black cloud of smoke that obscured pilots’ views of their aircraft.  Another pilot was burned badly and lost his plane.  This is a reminder to perform maneuvers beyond the far side of the runway well away from the flight line!

Brian Crossley, called for a change of meeting dates in order to avoid holiday conflicts and to better present late winter projects.  A schedule has not yet been decided.

Jeff Micko "Micko Aircraft & Accessories" said goodbye ... he is moving to Oregon.  He will continue to make and sell parts and kits in a new and bigger shop.  Lucky for us ... Jeff gave away some airplanes and kits.  His Jack Stafford B-24 and prototype Hellcat are for sale!  We will miss you Jeff!

Contact email will remain unchanged:


Larry Sorenson presented his MDM Fox, a Polish aerobatic sailplane.  The model was built from a Czech Valenta kit.  Jets Munt VT-80 turbine (18 lbs thrust, made in Spain), 14’ span, 1/3rd  scale.

The turbine runs throughout the flight.  It is removable via 2 pins for aero-tows.  Entire aircraft structure is Kevlar and carbon fiber with an aluminum heat shield on the LE of the fin.  The first flight weighed 22 lbs without turbine, later flights were 27 lbs dry with turbine


The amazingly creative Joe Niedermayr showed his scratch-built Airbus 320.  60 inch span.  Joe does not let small size stop scale detail.  Foam and fiberglass with help of Keith Sparks (good name for an electric airplane designer)  in Houston who vacuum-formed some parts.  Two electric fans produce 1000 watts (50 amps) of power.  Stringing 12-gage wires thru the wings was difficult.  5-piece wing is very thin so cable control is used for the ailerons.  Drawn in CAD.

All-flying stab.   Electric retracts.  A larger version built by Keith Sparks used fixed gear.  He reasoned that Airbuses are never seen by ground observers with the gear up.  Joe disagreed.  His separate servo-operated gear doors deviate slightly from scale in order to provide enough runway clearance.  Navigation lights didn’t work out because available lights are too big but landing lights attached to the Landing Gear legs fit okay.  Windows are computer-generated stickers.


Pedro Restrepo showed devices for a “glass cockpit.”  Scale lighted instruments such as artificial horizon in various sizes.  Very realistic.

He showed small microprocessor PC boards from Texas Instruments for programming instrumentation such as GPS, gyros, air pressure, temperature and servos.  As an example, he showed a system for programming the canards of an airplane for a gentle lift-off using a gyro and an acoustic height-above-runway sensor. vistors are growing by leaps and bounds!

David Andersen has been quietly and methodically telling the world where we are on the Worldwide Web!  He's also placing strips ads on a few scale websites to drive link traffic to our website.

Jeff Quesenberry described his Vindicator built from enlarged RCM plans -“the worst plans I’ve ever had ... just a nightmare.”    Fuselage rear is box truss covered with fabric attached with CA and painted with Randolph dope.  Fabric wings simulated by sheeting with 3/32” balsa  plus 1/32” capstrips. 

Large tapered oval fiberglass custom cowl by Jeff Micko.  He will use a Moki 250 cc radial engine.  Ailerons 48” long required spliced components.  400 oz-inch servos for flaps.  His choice for a color scheme will be a pre-war one with - yellow wings, etc. 

Estimated weight is 80 lbs.  Jeff passed around a large Robert-like hinge recently offered by 3W.  The full-sized Vindicators were retired to trainers after a disastrous performance at the Battle of Midway.  They were replaced by the Dauntless.


Cal Branton and Kirk Hall showed progress on their ˝-scale Fokker Triplane, a prototype of a Glenn Torrence short kit.  Internal structure duplicates full-size including 150’ of cross-brace wire.  Full Scale longerons were wrapped in cloth so that the outer fabric will stick.  Servos are under a cloth seat.

Scale cockpit includes IflyTailies

details such instruments and scale rudder pedals.  Rudder outer edge is 6 layers of spruce and one layer of carbon fiber.  Scale rudder size.   3W 275 cc engine with two 50 oz tanks.  Taxi tests will determine the number of springs required in the tail skid.

Scale carburetor intakes that are tubes in the side of the fuselage are of some air-draw concern.  16” wheels from a bike store will be fabric covered.  Custom muffler by Opie Logue.  Dummy cylinders under a huge aluminum cowl.  Scale box spar wings.

Cal Branton also introduced Ken Stoddard to the group.  He's getting back into the hobby after a long hiatus.


Brandon Archer’s Hobby King Mig is a highly bashed ARF.  He added electric retracts, cockpit details, reshaped nose, landing light, spring-loaded scale tailwheel, new canopy, tail fairings and a sound system.

Brandon also demoed a MrRCSound systems that loudly duplicates onboard engine sounds, machine gun and voice (”Clear!”) sounds.  It uses a 2 ˝” transducer instead of a conventional speaker that can be mounted internally to reverberate thru the entire structure. 

Uses 3S to 8S batteries, depending on sound level desired.  He demoed a Lycoming, Merlin, DB (Me 109) and other sounds.


Scott Russell showed scalable flap hinges that he made by 3D printing. 

An excellent related article on flap design with photos and drawings; "Those Hellcat Flaps"


Pete Stapelton brought a partially completed Balsa USA Ercoupe in 1/3rd scale.  10’ span.  The kit includes steel scale landing gear that must be assembled with 60% silver solder and a propane torch.  He reported that the framework is fragile and flexible until sheeted.

The kit is very complete - cockpit details, sliding windows, etc.  Right rudder moves only right and left rudder moves only left for coordinated turns.  Only 6 ribs per wing panel is scale.  Saito 57 cc twin.


50% Howard Pete is getting ready for the U.S. SCALE MASTERS QUALIFIER, Hemet CA 4/11 & 12, 2015.

Geno displayed his 50% "Andersen Designs" Howard Pete.  He's an avid scale modeler and competitor and this time he's hoping that size and details will help.  The Pete is 45lbs, powered by a DLE 85cc and shows off "the new" Williams Bros 9.25" wheels nicely.


"If it looks good, it will fly good."

- William Lear


2015 Warbirds & Classics Events

Start Date

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Warbirds & Classics o/ Michigan





Warbirds Over Denver



St. Charles


Windy City Warbirds & Classics





Northern Alliance Military Fly In



Fond Du Lac


Warbirds & Classics o/Midwest





Indiana Warbird Campaign





Air Supremacy Over Elkhart





Warbirds Over the Rockies





TCRC Scale Saturday

CD's ... Don't Forget to Update Your Events on "RC FlightDeck"

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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.  I encourage ALL of you to continue to spread the word!  This Powerful Tool is growing exponentially since place on the website.  If you have not checked it out you should do so!

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


Brian Crossley, Treasurer


Scott E. Anderson, Secretary


Jon Bomers, Web Editor



Scott E. Anderson, Secretary of The Scale Flyers of Minnesota.


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