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October 2014

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About 30 Scale Flyers of Minnesota members attended our first meeting of the winter season, held on Friday, October 31 (Halloween), 7:00 pm at the Southtown Baptist Church, 2600 W 82nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55431.

A December Meeting has been added to the schedule for Friday December 19, 2014.

 At the last meeting ...

Brief Bits

  • Cal Branton reported on his and Kirk Hall’s trips to scale flying events in Colorado and Virginia Beach.  Extremes of weather and field conditions.

  • Joe Niedermayr thanked all who helped with the Cleary Lake flying field project.  The “project is stuck” for now due to a road access problem.

  • The meeting ended with a brief group discussion on how to get response from Sierra Giant Scale.  “Call in the morning” seems to be the best solution.

Dan Schmidt brought a “kitchen table scale” Albatross D2 built from a Lazer Works Short Kit, Design by Peter Rakes.

The parts “fit like a glove.”  E-flite 480 motor, 3 cells.  Polyspan fabric, Minwax polyurethane—“simple, easy, quick, non-toxic.”

The spinner was carved from foam, covered with glass cloth, and the foam removed.  Nail heads in the natural wood finish were simulated by puncturing with a pin and rub-bing the hole with wood stain.  Dan reports that small airplanes are harder to build than large airplanes.  For example, 1/64” ply must be bent around smaller radius curves

Roy Maynard described the TV program First Air War.  New Zealand modern full-sized recreations of Brisfit, SE5a, Albatross, BE-2, FE2B, etc.  Watch for rebroadcasts on PBS


Chris O’Connor’s P-47 (actually Nate O’Connor’s airplane) started as a Top Flite ARF.  32 lbs, 85” span, Sachs 4.2  magneto, Sierra gear.  18 flights including Fond du Lac.  “Flies Fabulous.”  Requires no rudder or elevator correction on takeoff.

Chris rebuilt it by stripping off the plastic, replacing the turtle deck and other parts with fiberglass parts from Wylie Warbirds [].  Glassed and covered with Flitemetal and embossed with panel lines and rivets.  Flitemetal added only one pound to total weight. Pilot by Warbird Pilots, Aeroloft dry transfer markings. Operational navigation and landing lights by ElectroDynamics.


Steve Meyer’s P-47 also started as a Top Flite ARF. 32 lbs, 10 oz.   Brisson 4.2, Sierra retracts.  Landing gear blocks were reinforced with ply and triangular stock.  Like Chris, Steve also replaced the turtle deck and other parts with fiberglass parts from Wylie Warbirds, mentioned above.

Recovered with glass and painted with Behr latex.  Added panel lines.  Custom dry transfer graphics by Cindy at Aeroloft.  Scale Specialties dummy radial engine.  The color scheme is derived from 200 photos of a modern rebuilt Duxford SNAFU.  Enlarged stars-and-bars on both wings were unique to the D-Day invasion.  The checkerboard cowl was tricky--Steve used a laser level to align the paint lines, some of which are tapered.

Joe Niedermayr’s Learjet is his third.  The first, a Hobby Lobby foamy, quickly deteriorated.  The second crashed due to a reinforcement of the wingtips that introduced wash-in that made it unstable.  But it had excellent electric turbine engines.  Learning from these experiences, Joe scratch-built the third.  He saved the turbines from the second Learjet and made the tail, nacelles and wing removable for ease of handling.

The fuselage is a cylinder of 1/32” ply, balsa nose, foam tail, plastic covering.  He used a carefully selected water glass plug to mold the nacelles in glass cloth and resin.  (Is there any material that Joe hasn’t used yet?)   Electric retracts, 800 watts total power in 3 cells.  Hobby King door sequencer.  The plane tends to be nose heavy despite the two engines behind the CG, so the batteries are placed above the wing.


Mark Wolf’s Great Planes P16 is another example of ARF-bashing.  Only 19 ½ lbs, recovered with SIG Koverall, Stits rib tapes, 30 cc gas engine, Aces of Iron pilot, concealed aileron servos, rebuilt landing gear and pants.

Flown at Fond du Lac.  The pilot is mounted on a dowel, held in place with magnets.  The pilot can be removed by pulling him up which exposes the switches and jacks below-very clever!


Dennis Batty’s “close to quarter scale” Condor Models P4 Grasshopper is an example of another reason for ARF bashing--“a lot of stuff that didn’t quite fit.”  It was “a lot of work.”

Also, the landing gear had to be rebuilt plus modifications to mount the 20 cc gas engine and tank.



David Andersen Retiring as Newsletter Editor ...

After 25 years as editor and newsletter editor of the Scale Flyers of Minnesota, I am retiring from this very pleasant and rewarding job.  Thanks to all you creative guys for giving me so much fascinating material.

But not to worry ... Scott Anderson will be taking over.  He is a master scale modeler, an excellent writer and photographer, a frequent contributor to the TCRC newsletter.  Jon Bomers remains our hard-working and creative web site manager. Please support Scott and Jon with photos!

Build and fly well and continue sharing your skills.

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




November 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the incorporation of the Scale Flyers ... Bill Cowette would be pleased with what he started and with what you guys are still developing.


R/C FlightDeck incorporated into for all to use has been a great hit!  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.  I encourage ALL of you to continue to spread the word!  This Powerful Tool is growing exponentially since we incorporated it into 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


D. Andersen, Secretary


Jon Bomers, Web Editor

Fly well, Fly safely & Teach others what you've learned!

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

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