This was our Final Meeting for this building season.  All of you have a great and safe flying season ... we'll be looking to see all of you at all various flying events this summer and fall.


First Meeting of the 2019/2020 building season is currently scheduled for October 25, 2019




Photos & Meeting Notes Courtesy of Scott Anderson



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The 7pm meeting was called to order by President Calvin Branton.

There were 47 members and guests in attendance and a large variety of nice aircraft to discuss!


Duane Dahnert’s and Cal Branton’s ¼ scale Grumman Gulfhawk Project Update ...

Duane and Cal brought in the finished ¼ scale Grumman Gulfhawk to help celebrate Duane’s 96th Birthday this week!

You may recall that the Gulfhawk was a dream project for Duane who got copies of the full size aircraft’s plans from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. He had spent a month or so at the Smithsonian taking photos and detailed notes on the one-of-a-kind aircraft displayed there.  The landing gear was scratch built by Duane from his own drawings and is an exact scale representation.

The aircraft is covered with SolarTex and painted with latex paint that Cal had matched from color samples provided by Gulf Oil. Gulf Oil had originally commissioned the full size Grumman F3F aircraft back in the 1930’s to perform at airshows and sell Gulf Oil Aviation Fuel.

Cal has powered it with a Desert Aircraft DA-100 twin and he tells us that he believes this is the only ¼ scale model of the GulfHawk built. There are many F3F ¼ scale models but not the GulfHawk.

We’re looking forward to the maiden flight this summer!


Chris Mayer’s e-Flite F-16 Thunderbird PNP 70 mm EDF

Chris brought in his F-16 from Tower Hobbies. He tells us that several members of SFM are planning to fly these together this summer.  The performance with a 6S battery is outstanding so we expect to get many interesting stories this summer!

Chris has had a chance to fly it during our short experience with Spring (before the last blizzard) the week before the meeting. Powered with a HRB 6S 4000 mah battery Chris tells us it is a great flying aircraft! He’s very impressed with the handling qualities.  The electric retractable landing gear is of very high quality with robust construction. “It flies like it’s on rails!”

Assembly was pretty straightforward.  It took only an hour to assemble and another 30 minutes to apply the stars.  All other marking are pre-applied at the factory.


Roy Maynard's ¼ Scale Hawker Hurricane – Electric!

Roy Maynard (builder) brought in the nearly finished 1/4 scale Hawker Hurricane before he and Dave Andersen (designer) take it to compete at the Toledo R/C Show in the designer class.

The Hurricane is 1/4 scale Mk2c Hawker Hurricane designed and framed up by Dave. Roy spent 3 years doing the finishing.

Dave’s plans show gas or electric versions. Roy chose to power it electrically with a JETI E105/30 motor (equivalent to 200cc gas engine).  It turns a 32x10 prop around 5000 rpm.  The batteries are qty.(6) 7S 5000 mAH LiPo battery packs paired into series (equivalent to 14S or 48V) and then paralleled to a JETI 300 speed controller.

The construction is all balsa and ply with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin, then painted with custom mixed KlassKote paints. Roy used Model Master paints for weathering. The paint masks were custom from Callie’s Graphics.

All 3D printed parts are from The electric landing gear is custom made by Matrix Machine.

Roy demonstrated the on-board sound system (and it was loud!). The Rolls Royce Merlin sound system is from Model Sound in Canada with (2) four inch speakers in the radiator and also makes the cannon firing noise.

The lighting system is from ElectroDynamics. The cockpit kit is mostly from Dynamic Balsa with some I-Fly-Tallies components. The pilot was from Warbird Pilots.

The radio is JETI with telemetry for motor rpm and temps.

Roy used an A123 redundant battery system for the receiver thru a JETI CB200 power distribution center, same as his jets.  The servos are HiTEC 7955 as he has had good experience with in his jets.

Roy Tells us that he will test fly the model this Spring sometime after they get back from Toledo, where Dave will be entering the model in Designer Scale.


Sherwood Heggen’s ¼ scale Dario Brisighella Steen Skybolt

Sherwood has rescued another project from oblivion! The Steen Skybolt was originally built by an unknown builder who did not finish it. SFM member Bob Briesemeister had found the skeleton in at a swap meet covered in dust and damaged but knew Sherwood loves a challenge so he made it available to him.

The Steen Skybolt was designed by Dario Brisighella (Mr. Quadra) from Nov. 1982.

Sherwood rebuilt the plywood, spruce and balsa structure.  The wings and fuselage were basically built.  The airframe was in rough condition with an accumulation of apparently years of dirt settled into the wood.  The stab was broken off on both sides and there were no plans, landing gear or cabane struts.  It was, however, built well and straight and the correct fiberglass cowl was there.

Sherwood documented his ‘rescue’ in RC Groups and was able to get a set of plans from a modeler from Oregon. The landing gear was purchased from TNT Landing Gear and Sherwood re-built the cabane struts according to the plans.

Sherwood say’s that no aerobatic biplane looks good in the air without smoke so a Sullivan smoke pump and 24 ounce DuBro tank was installed which feeds smoke oil to the muffler through a Bad Dog smoke nozzle (a really nice accessory!).

The structure was covered with white Ultracote over a well prepared and sanded structure providing a great looking finish.  Rustoleum Regal Red and Rustoleum Navy Blue rattle-can paint provides attractive trim colors along with vinyl graphics cut by Steve Meyer.

The color scheme is a near copy of the late Hale Wallace's full scale N1HW which he built it in the early 1970's. Hal was an active modeler from the early 1940's until his passing in 2000.

The engine is a new DLE 55 with Pitts style muffler turning a Xoar two blade 22-8 propeller. The finished weight is about 21# so it should fly well! Sherwood has a 24 ounce DuBro gasoline tank to ensure he gets plenty of flying time!

The servos are HiTEC 5645 for control surfaces and Futaba 3305 for throttle and choke. The flight batteries include (1) dual lead A123 2500 mAH for radio and smoke pump, and (1) LiFe 1300 mAH for the ignition.

Jim Courtney’s ¼ scale Balsa USA Nieuport 17

Jim is looking to join in on the ‘Dawn Patrol’ gaggle flights this summer with his recently completed Balsa USA ¼ scale Nieuport 17.  The plane is traditional Balsa construction and covered with SolarTex (no longer available).

He powering this bird with a DLE 30 swinging an 18 x 8 Zinger prop.  It took about a year to build and is guided by a Futaba radio.  Jims looking forward to the maiden flight once the snow melts! (June?)


Ahmed Elbassal’s Avanti SI Sport Jet

Ahmed tells us it a sport jet design and build by Sebastiano Silvestri.

He wanted to lighten the typical structure to improve the durability and performance.

Ahmed build it with honeycomb sandwich for fuse and Airex for wings, rudder and elevator and a lot or carbon fiber the wood in it (around 2% of it) . The conversion saved 3 lbs in the kit and retract landing gear.  He saved half of the weight by making the gear struts with carbon fiber.

The retracts are JP's brand: Ahmed tells us that they are a very reparable design.

The original kit weighs in at 12 kg (26.5 lbs) dry weight and after his modifications Ahmed’s comes in at 9.5 kg  (21 lbs). For sport flying you can power it with a 120N turbine for 3D you can use a 220N turbine.  The first unit was test flown in Dubai in January.

Ahmed offered to share his links for the construction and test flights below:


Larry Sorenson’s Skymaster 1/7.5 scale F-4C Phantom

Larry brought in a beautiful example of the F4 Phantom the Skymaster, in a Naval VX-4 scheme and it's turbine powered.

Larry had pitted next to the previous owner at an event a few years ago and has seen it fly.

Larry kept in touch and jumped at the opportunity to add it to his own turbine powered fleet.

The F-4C is Skymaster’s 1/7.5 offering.  It is powered by a Jet Central Rhino.  Guidance is by Graupner and servos by JR.  It will fly with airspeed telemetry and a Demon Cortex gyro.  Navigation lights are run by a Details 4 Scale controller. 

The drop tanks, iron bombs and AIM-7 Sparrow missiles are fixed and cosmetic.  The landing gear retracts are Skymaster’s scale F-4 set.  She carries 220 oz. of fuel which should provide nearly eight minutes of flight.

This Phantom has flown before so Larry expects it will know its way around the pattern. 


Rick Freeman & Bob Gustafson’s ¼ scale Nieuport 17

Rick shared his joint project he’s been building with Bob Gustafson, a Russian Nieuport 17!

At the end of the Great War, the newly formed USSR needed aircraft for their new air force so they acquired surplus fighters from several sources. This Nieuport 17 is a great sample of one of those aircraft modeled after the Red Army’s 20th Air Group.

Rick tells us that the construction is typical BUSA balsa, ply & spruce. The rudder had been beefed up due to an “experience”.  It was covered with SolarTex (no longer available) and painted with rattle can Krylon Silver Colormax paint (with very good results!).

The Nieuport is powered by a Saito FA-150 4-stroke converted by Rick to electronic ignition (with a 2400 mAH NmH 6V pack) and an 18 ounce DuBro tank.  The propeller is a Xoar 18x6 with simulated laminations and a homebuilt multi-bolt prop hub.

Rick is using PowerOne brand metal gear analog servos with a whopping 230 oz-in. of torque.  The receiver is powered with a 6.6V LiFe battery of 2400 mAH capacity.

As usual, Rick has added lots of special details that you have to look to appreciate including, landing gear relocated to the ‘scale location’, Williams Brothers wheels that had been turned on the lathe to remove the molded ‘spokes’ and the drilled access to the fill valve.

Rick has added pull-pull cable actuation for the scale elevator and rudder actuation as well as creating a riveted aluminum cowl and rib stitching embossed from aluminum tape!

The project took 6 months by Rick & Bob Gustafson and had its maiden flight in the fall of 2018. Ask Rick about the story of that flight!


Ahmed Elbassal’s Su-57 Stealth Jet Project

Ahmed displayed the beginning of his plug for a new composite Jet model, the Su-57.

Dozen's of process photos have been put to gather in a great YouTube Video for you to checkout at:

He acquired a ‘foam’ model of the plane from Moscow 2 years ago, It consisted of hundreds of sliced cross sections that need to be assembled in the right order to create the 3D model of the aircraft. Ahmed says it was 396 pieces that were NOT numbered so it took him 2 weeks to put that puzzle together so he could then model it in SolidWorks for the design of the model structure.

His model will be 2.8 meter (9.2 feet) long  will powered by Behotec JB220N, 55lb turbine single or 120N twin turbines for scale flying and 160N twin turbines for 3D flying.

Ahmed expects the Su-57 will be between 13kg to 15 kg depending on the setup, for scale or 3D flight.

Construction: will be carbon fiber, with honeycomb sandwich for the fuselage and Airex for wings, rudder and elevator.

The project is commissioned by Peter Avache from Altecare, and it will be tested in Mississauga, Canada this summer!


Rusty Freeman’s 3D Hollow Casting Rig

Rusty has been working up a method to create lighter wheels/tires for larger aircraft models.

It requires a rig that can rotate in 3 axis to allow a RTV rubber to evenly cover the inside of a mold to create hollow tires.  Rusty purchased the components from Servo City and expects to test it in the near future.

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Cal Branton, President


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