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November 2012

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Up Coming SFM Meetings


 December 28, 2012


January 25, 2013


February 22, 2013


March 29, 20113

The next meeting of the winter season of the Scale Flyers of Minnesota will be held on Friday, December 28, 2012 at the American Legion Post-6501 Portland, Richfield.  Come early and dine in the restaurant.  (Meeting Directions)

 At the last meeting ...

Cal Branton invited our guest speaker Charles Horihan, a Vietnam-era pilot.  Charlie described training in a T38 Talon, the highest performance military aircraft at the time, capable of climbing to 30,000 ft in 3 minutes (average vertical speed 120 mph), ceiling of 53,000 ft, and a roll rate of 300 degrees/sec. Slow rolls could be done with only rudder. In one emergency pull-up he reached 9.3 Gs without losing consciousness due to his G-suit.  But the a/c was rated for only 7.3 Gs.  Some Dzus fasteners were popped.  Then he “went off to fly C-130 Herky Birds” because he “wanted to see the world.”

He flew Berlin airlift missions when there “was a lot of stuff fresh from WW2.”  He helped put out oil well fires in Iraq caused by Egyptian terrorists, carrying pipe and supplies and meeting the famous Red Adair.  Landing gear doors were removed, and the wheels were partially deflated in order to land on sand.  The movie Hell Fighters with John Wayne is based on this incident.

At the age of 25 he went off to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand to fly “airlift stuff,” being told that the war would be over in 6 months.  He flew “beans, bullets and bodies,” mostly supporting the Army. Then he dropped night flares over the Ho Chi Minh Trail, illuminating trucks to be attacked by Sky Raiders, F100s and F4s (the F4’s were too fast to be useful)—“a pretty Rube Goldberg operation.”   Over 200 million tons of bombs were dropped on the trail, more than all of WW2.

His last assignment was flying Cessna Bird Dogs as a Forward Air Controller (FAC).  They were equipped with rockets which were occasionally used.  He radioed targets to artillery units. A “rewarding” accomplishment was rescuing a group of surrounded ground troops.

His last day in Vietnam was the first day of the Tet offensive in which his Bird Dog was damaged, and he escaped under mortar fire.

After the war he did photo mapping in the US and South America and flew for NWA.  When he retired at age 60 in 2001 he had flown over 26,000 hours of which 1000 hours were in combat, all accident-free.  “I didn’t even blow a tire.”

Returning to Vietnam as a tourist, he found the people to be “very gracious,” and “they treated us very well.”

John Baligrodzki presented his Yellow P-47.  8 flights so far.  “Flies nice.” Construction with the help of Kirk Hall.  John substituted a G62 for the standard G45.  No balance weight was required.  He applied 13,000 vinyl rivets from Fritz Designs 

They were applied after primer and before Krylon Metal Silver.  After much experimentation, he found the

best results to be buffing each panel in a different direction with 000 steel wool.  This surface is easy to repair.  “Repairs blend right in.”   He tried to repair a broken wingtip with expanding foam but he used too much and it “popped right off.”  ProMark paint masks ($80) and Perfect Pilots pilot.



Cal Branton covered the wall with the plans of a 50% Scale Fokker Triplane, an enlarged version of a quarter-scale Glenn Torrence model.  “Very scale.”  Cal previously owned a smaller Fokker Triplane that was “the worst airplane I have ever flown” so he “decided to build another.”  The structure contains 80 feet of dowels, mostly stringers.  The plane will be co-built with Kirk Hall.

Contrarian David Andersen announced his “one-man campaign to abolish the pushrod.”  He complained that pushrods are not scale and they are a major source of play that gets worse with time if clevises are included.  So he offered three alternatives, and described their advantages and disadvantages.  They are:

  • The Spangenberg aileron linkage that uses two brass tubes and a ball link.

  • A rudder servo mounted below the rudder, its arm having a slot that accepts a round-head wood screw in the rudder.

  • A “wing servo” mounted in the elevator.  Its metal servo arm has a slot that engages a metal tab in the stab.  The arm doesn’t move.  Instead, the servo moves with the elevator and acts as another hinge.

He demonstrated with the tail of Roy Maynard’s Ki 45 currently under construction.

Elevator Example Aileron Example Rudder Example

Andersen LA-7 Plans Enlarged!

Danny Lanz enlarged David Andersen LA-7 Plans  from a 96" wingspan to 120" and he modified the design to include a removable stab.  Despite its massive size, plane will transport in a full size SUV with the center section of the wing attached, sitting on its wheels.  This makes for really quick field setup for a massive Warbird. The project weights about 85 lbs. Painted with Model Masters paint and tastefully weathered to eliminate the "ARF" look.

A ton of thought and about 2000 build hours have gone into this project so far and still needs the radio install, balance and test flights.

The ¼ scale LA-7 uses; a Herbrandson 289cc 2 Stroke twin with a 36x16 3-bladed prop, Hitec and JR digitals servos throughout and heavy duty hardware, a Smartfly redundant power system with Li-Ion batteries, Sierra custom retracts, a one-off canopy and cowl, rivets, panel lines and scale piano hinges were used, it has retractable tailwheel with doors, a 3 piece wing, removable stab and a Sierra custom 7 ¼” spinner.

Build thread at RC Scale Builder (don’t forget - forum membership required)


"Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort."
                   - Franklin D. Roosevelt


Jeff Quesenberry's Heinkel 111A Wins!

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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