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October 2009


Our next meeting of the Scale Flyers of Minnesota will be in November 27, 2009. Our meeting location is the American Legion Post, 6501 Portland, Richfield. East entrance, downstairs. Guests are always welcome. Come early and dine in the non-smoking restaurant.  (Directions)

At the last meeting ...

Many thanks to SFM members who organized local scale events this summer.  Thanks to Brian Crossley for the Minnesota Big Bird Fall Classic, John Baligrodzki who CD’ed the Minnesota Classic Scale Masters Qualifier, Stan Zdon for the ACRC Fun Scale contest and Warbird Fly-In, Dick Steine for the Grassfield Big Bird Fly-In, Chris O’Connor for the TCRC Big-Bird Fly-In, Tim Johnson and Phil Schwarz and their families for the Owatonna Saturdays and the amazing Northern Alliance Military Fly-In.  All well done. Thank you!

Bob Pokorny, who past recently, was remembered.  A sympathy card was signed and memorials were collected for his family.

Kirk Hall presented a Composite ARF (CARF-Models) Spitfire MK 9, an improved version of the FiberClassics kit. Still, there were no instructions in the kit, you have to download them from the internet.  Kirk revised the tailwheel structure, making it more scale.  The air intake will be obscured by making it a screen in the shape of a letter. Air will be scooped from the oil cooler and rerouted to the front of the engine.  The air exit has yet to be designed. This completely encloses a DA 85 engine and muffler.  Wing is two-piece.  There are no formers in the fuselage except for the firewall.  Nice sheet-metal look with excellent panel and rivet details. Really not an ARF, actually a fiberglass kit requiring lots of assembly work. Between quarter and fifth scale. Will fly with 3-bladed prop and added details. Expected flight weight is 31 lbs.

Scott Russell showed his first jet, a Skymaster ARF Plus Pro F16 ARF which has had 3 flights, solving several mechanical problems with each flight. Small size and gray colors are hard to see in overcast but okay in sunlight. 16 lbs.  JetCat P70 turbine. Scott redid the elevator, reducing the throw to only 45 degrees.  Scott described a failsafe for the retracts and brakes that automatically lowers the LG when pressure is less than 50 lbs. It costs about $400.  Scott is also building a larger Fly Eagle Jet Model Factory F16 with a 108” wingspan. Eric Malkerson showed wheels, retracts and other parts he is making for various dealers.  Eric’s products are renowned for their quality.
Dave Andersen showed another air system failsafe circuit distributed by Troy Built Models ($140).  But the air nipple has no barbs, so he is not convinced the device will improve reliability.
Wayne Siewert discussed his retirement from Aerotech Models.  The company will no longer be making kits but will continue making aftermarket parts for several kit makers under the leadership of Wayne’s former employee, Gary Braaten.  Current web site for aftermarket parts is www.aerotechmodels.com remains.
Dick Steine rebuilt a Top Flight mustang, stripping off the covering, glassing it w/ ¾-oz glass cloth. 1/5th scale, 85” span, Brisson 3.2 (50 cc).  Replaced retracts with Aerotech retracts made by Eric Malkerson, revised inside of wing, redid nose to scale shape, Aerotech gear doors, sliding canopy, cockpit, guns, lights, tank caps, hard-points and vortex generators. Changed t/w to forward-rotating per scale. Roy Maynard demonstrated the retracts and flaps on a modified Byron Hellcat. He installed an Aerotech dummy engine that served as a cooling baffle.  G62 w/ Pitts muffler. Onboard smoke, Robart retracts. Correcting known problems with this kit, he reinforced the fuselage in front of the tail.  Used c/f rods to the elevators for “zero play.”  Flaps use 300-oz servos.  Outboard flaps in plug-in wings are coupled to inboard flaps by pins.  Blue Box pilot figure.  Will be painted in Fleet Air Arm colours.












2009 Summer Events
Chris O'Connor's Mustang lifts off at TCRC Big Bird Fly-in Eric Malkerson Fires up Ancient Tachakawa Ida at Grassfield Larry Sorensen Tows Kevin Kavaney's glider Dave Szabo Sea Fury at TriValley Warbird Tuesday Scott Anderson at TCRC Float fly
John Bombardo's Cub at Rich Valley Fly-in Tim Johnson's (Bob Patton) Cessna Wins Minnesota Classic Dave Andersen's Pit Crew at Chapter 46's Fly in Jon Bomers' Tire Cover as he roams the Northwest Events Pete Stapleton's Ziroli Panther at Chapter 46's Fly in


I Learned About Flying From That ...

It was during one of those beautiful Minnesota evenings that live in one’s memory that I flew a low pass at AgAir10. After clearing the field, I slowly throttled up to begin a big lazy chandelle. Suddenly the engine quit (a failure of the reed valve due to a cracked gasket, I learned later).  No airspeed, no altitude, the runway behind and the sky above — the classic engine-out dilemma.

I decided that my best option was to U-turn and land downwind.  So I did what I usually do before landings, I lowered the gear and dropped the flaps.  Then I realized that I didn’t have enough altitude for flaps, so I raised the flaps while continuing the downwind turn.  By then the airplane was on the verge of a stall so I pushed the nose down and dove for the runway.  The plane picked up speed and cleared the edge of the runway so closely that I saw the plane’s shadow pass by on a bush just inches below.  The landing was fast but okay, rolling nearly the entire length of the field.  No harm done.

Joe Grice was there, watching the entire event.  He has been flying since he was 17. He is a senior airline pilot and a better stick than I can ever hope to be.  So I sought his advice.

“Joe,” I said. “I just barely made the runway. Perhaps I should have waited to drop the flaps and gear until just before touchdown.”

“No,” he replied without hesitation. “In this situation, you did the right thing.  It’s best to get the airplane configured for landing as soon as possible so you can concentrate entirely on the approach.  Flicking switches at the last second would have left no room for error.”


Next Meeting


Cal Branton, President


(651) 459-5107

Mark Prokop, Treasurer


(651) 688-6340

D. Andersen, Secretary


(952) 890-9529

Jon Bomers, Webmaster


Cal Branton has invited Bob Zenz, to speak of his experiences flying the B-17s Miss Behavin’ and Ain’t Miss Behaven’ in combat over Germany.


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