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Posted by PeteSchug | Aug 30, 2013 @ 05:47 AM | 5,640 Views
I've read a lot of flying books, very few of the "how to" variety. Several by women fliers. I've always been curious about why people fly. I think it's a calling, like theater or dance or the church. Some hear the call, most do not. Books by women fliers interest me since it tends to be more of a male thing. Maybe I'll figure out what the special fascination is by reading their experiences.

The other subject within flying that attracts me is the memoir. English people in particular seem to gravitate to writing memoirs and English fliers no less than any others. Of these my two favorites have been, "On Being a Bird" by Philip Wills and "An Aeroplane Affair" by John Isaacs. Harald Penrose (Harald is correct) has a few personal memoirs in the huge collection of books he's written. My favorite among his books is "Airymouse" the story of his adventures flying a Currie Wot.

http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/...psaacabc69.jpg

This is a Currie Wot. Similar to both Airymouse and the ones Isaacs built for his club. I'm not going to say anything about Harald Penrose's book except that it was a pleasure to read and had me itching to try a Wot.

I read "On Being a Bird" shortly after my first lessons in a sailplane. (Late 1963) Tony Barone the FBO of Wurtsboro, who taught me to fly, solo'ed me in his Champ and who's son was my gliding instructor, had bought a pile of remaindered copies and was selling them for a dollar each....Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Aug 21, 2013 @ 01:54 AM | 5,053 Views
I'm not going to claim expertise in shooting airplanes, I'm only going to say that I've been doing it longer than most. I've formed a few opinions on how to best shoot airplanes and I hope to share my experiences in this blog episode.

A bit (a lot) of personal history.

I started in RC just as the first proportional RC gear was coming out. The club I joined flew mostly Orbit reeds with some Controlaire in the mix and a couple of brand new Orbit Analog proportional sets that were hinting at the possibilities. All this was on 27 mHz and we lost a lot of planes to CB'ers yakking to pals in Australia using huge Wattage linear amps in the trunk of their cars! This was the late fifties or very early sixties. I was in my mid twenties.

My first servo equipped planes flew with Citizenship proportional gear. My first plane landed in salt water on its second flight and I sent everything back to Citizenship. After they returned it, it never failed again. I flew it for several years and eventually replaced it with Kraft gear on 72 mHz.

In those days we flew until we had nothing left that was flyable, went home and rebuilt or started a new plane. No ARF's yet. You either built or tried to buy someone's old plane. 27 mHz was a hard taskmaster in the NYC area.

Because of the short lifespan of the average model I felt a growing need to record the parade of passing planes for posterity.

Thus I bought a Super 8 camera and added cinematography to my skills. Once I had a few reels of film...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Feb 21, 2013 @ 07:29 AM | 6,473 Views
I'm seventy-five now and this story dates from my mid twenties so at this point it's a half century old.

The first I heard of Brownie was when my Boss Peggy Coyle at J.M. Huber told me we were getting a new secretary in the place and she was a pilot and I was not to talk to her. Miss Coyle (I never called her Peggy and her married name was McKenna) knew I was capable of talking about flying to the exclusion of everything else including (especially) work. However, when people who share some deep interest meet the inevitable happens. It's like being in a foreign country and meeting someone from your home town.

So, as it happened, the next morning this older woman walked into the mailroom and said something like, "Hi, I'm Brownie. I hear you're a pilot." and that was that. I don't know how long we talked, but we exchanged a lot of information.

Brownie had been a WASP in WWII. In this case WASP stood for Women Airforce Service Pilots. Notice the last word of the acronym is pilots, so WASP is plural and saying WASP's would be redundant. The WASP did everything from ferrying bombers from factories to airbases, flying generals around, towing targets and in Brownie's case testing radio controlled drones based on the Culver Cadet airframe.

Sounds simple and sounds interesting. The country needed pilots and there were all these women who could fly, why not use them? The reality is that something like 25,000 women applied and of them 1,830 were accepted for training, of...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Oct 27, 2011 @ 04:43 AM | 7,748 Views
Once upon a time I had a girl friend named Chris.

She could be a royal pain, and I'm sure she felt the same about me on many occasions. We lived together for three and a half years and finally got smart and went our separate ways. One of the high points of knowing her was meeting her father. Chris, for some unaccountable reason was not entirely proud of her parents. She seemed to think that they were too materialistic or something. She, of course lived on a higher plane, admiring her wit and intelligence and her cuteness. Who needed material things when they were so gifted.

I'm not making fun of her, but it is a disappointment that she found so little in common with her parents, especially her father, Joe. True, as Chris predicted, on my first visit to her parents home on Lake Hopatcong her father showed me his coin collection and the many silver medallions he had purchased from the Franklin Mint as collector’s items. Also the Waterford crystal that he bought on his frequent trips to Ireland. His company, Warner-Lambert sent him all over the world, and on every trip he brought something home. He and his wife really did have lots of nice things to show, and the house itself was beautiful.

To me, whose early memories were of the second world war, with blackouts, men in uniform, rationing and war movies, the most interesting thing about Chris' father Joe was what he did in the war.

Joe was Polish and from a wealthy family. At the age of sixteen he abandoned the...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 21, 2011 @ 09:35 AM | 8,179 Views
I'm in my seventies now and all of these are memories of my twenties.

Some Glider Flights

I have almost one-hundred-fifty flights logged in sailplanes and probably a few more that for one reason or another escaped being logged. That's not many flights for something that has been such an important part of my life. I spent several years hanging out at Wurstboro airport every chance I got, flying mostly sailplanes or talking about them, running after tow lines, bringing gliders back to the launch area with a club car and helping tie them down or stack them in the hangar at night. In those days I lived to fly.

There are a few flights that stand out in my mind. Two of them involved things that I read about in books by Philip Wills the English sailplane pilot who wrote "On Being a Bird" which is still one of the best books on soaring I ever read even if it's a bit dated by now.

Being English, Wills often flew in weather that we wouldn't even open the hangar doors for here in New York State, except for lessons toward solo or a license. As it happened I made arrangements to take my friend Alex up for a glider ride and it was one of those days on which nobody would fly for fun. I was flying one of Sailflight's Ka-7's and the FAA says you need five landings to a full stop (Is there any other kind in a glider?) in type and kind in the past 90 days to carry passengers. I asked Bill Placek, the local FAA safety director, who was on the field at the time if a recent flights...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | May 02, 2011 @ 06:34 AM | 8,558 Views
This is an incident that occurred around 1970 when I was a new pilot. It involves full sized airplanes.

It was a beautiful day for flying, late spring or early summer. There were lines of gliders waiting to be towed, there were sounds of engines, both in the air and on the ground and we were walking around the airport looking in the grass for the oil filler cap for my friend Av's Stinson. The engine was a no longer very common one hundred-fifty horsepower Franklin. There were no other Franklin engines from which Av could borrow an oil cap for a while and the caps from Continentals and Lycomings would not fit. So Av Tennebaum, George Barone, son of the FBO and I were walking around the airport looking in the grass hoping that the oil cap had fallen off someplace where we could find it. The alternative was ordering one from a parts supplier and that would take a week at best.

We were around the middle of the area used as a taxiway and we heard the whistle of a fast moving plane behind us. A Ka-7 was flying by over the runway at well over a hundred MPH! It was also oscillating up and down wildly. George instantly recognized the problem. The person flying was pulling the tow release instead of the spoilers. At speeds like that it is almost impossible to set the glider down. The elevator becomes hyper sensitive and you get into pilot induced oscillation, which was exactly what we were looking at.

Just as the glider pulled even with us the pilot took it straight up. I could see...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Apr 30, 2011 @ 09:58 PM | 8,655 Views
This is another episode from my website blog. It's expanded a bit and the final section that begins "A little retrospect on all this" is new. I haven't flown for years, but it's still in my blood. I look at the prices of used sailplanes on the internet all the time. Planes that I flew back then are quite affordable today, but experience shows that plane ownership involves a lot more than initial purchase price. Maybe the best bet is a homebuilt since you can be your own mechanic. Assuming that you have time to devote your life to flying!

In "The Wind in the Willows" Rat says something like, "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." So it is also with almost anything you love, but small aircraft seem especially worth messing about with.
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I always wanted to fly, but somehow the idea of actually going to an airport and taking lessons never really jelled. I needed a bit of a push. For all the hanging around City Island and watching the float planes based next to the ferry on Fordham Street it never occurred to me to just go over and ask what it cost for lessons.

The big push came when my friend Dave Harris announced, with a big smile on his face that he had taken a flying lesson. "You always talk about it, but I went and did it." He'd been riding his motorcycle around and saw a guy with a motorcycle and and...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Apr 29, 2011 @ 02:30 PM | 8,683 Views
I have a web site and blog outside of RC Groups and this is an entry originally written for the blog. It's written for friends rather than fellow RC'ers so the flavor is a bit different than if written for my blog here.
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I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation that was born when my Uncle Ben pointed to an airplane flying by and told me there were people in it. I was probably not yet three and I thought that it was too small to have people in it. My uncle countered my argument by pointing to a far away car and said that car only looks small, but it has people in it too. He then said that we look small to the people in the plane. From that day forward I wanted to be one of the people in the plane.

That was early WWII and there were lot of movies where the pilot was the hero. From the age of five on I wore leather jackets, leather gloves and a leather flying helmet with goggles. I was not interested in being a cowboy or a fireman or anything but a pilot.

When I was five I also started eating Wheaties, since if you sent a Wheaties box top and twenty-five cents to Jack Armstrong you got a pair of beautiful paper airplanes models. The first I ever sent for was the Flying Tiger and the Japanese Zero. My father built the Zero for me, but when I asked him to make the Flying Tiger he told me that he had shown me how to build one and now it was my turn. I built the Flying Tiger and in the next year, many others.

When it came to more conventional models...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 15, 2009 @ 07:43 PM | 10,466 Views
I originally wrote this as a sort of memoir to share with friends who might remember some of the incidents or people involved. I showed it to a glider pilot in my club and he had heard some of it from one of the other people involved. Sad to say, Vinny Algozino is no longer with us. He was the oldest member of our club and several of our members learned to build in his house. They spend so much time there that Vinny's daughter said that she thought they were her brothers. This has very little to do with today's flying but this is what it was like when we started.

Our First "Real" Glider

Back in the early days of proportional RC I was learning to fly full sized aircraft, both power and gliders at Wurtsboro airport in upstate New York. I soloed a Champ on skis, and later on wheels, but when spring rolled around I got hooked on sailplanes. There is no feeling like the first time you stay up for an hour in thermals on your own, flying like a bird, with no engine. The sense of accomplishment is hard to describe.

At the time I was also a member of Squadron Escarole, flying RC at Rodman’s Neck, in Pelham Bay Park, Bronx NY. Fellow club members back then included Vinny Algozino, Lou Scarlino, Cosmo Patrone, John Sbare and Jimmy Kokiadis. In those days I was flying Tri-Squires, Aristocats and an Ugly Stik. There was also a Kwik-Fly and an Aeromaster, but I don’t remember the exact chronology of all these planes.

I think that someplace between the Aristocat and...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 13, 2009 @ 07:19 AM | 10,427 Views
It's been almost two years since I've posted to this blog. I haven't done much flying in the interim, but I am getting a bit active lately.

Last February I bought a Schweitzer 2-33 at the WRAM show. I started it but a bout of sciatica got in the way, then my flying buddy, who is retired decided to go to Cancun, Myrtle Beach, Maine and who knows were else, so the Schweitzer wound up on hold, for a very long period. I guess I will get back to it this winter. I have to add that the wing, which is balsa covered foam is a total pain in the butt. It would have been finished if it were built up, but this build involves multiple cuts in the foam for the spar, which is not a simple chunk of wood, but has a box for the wing joiner in it. The cuts are fairly complex which involves a lot of careful measurements. Just when you think you are done there is one more cut before assembly. You are still not off the hook since after covering you have to cut into everything to add the spoilers and then the ailerons. As I said, I think I would have been done if not for the foam wing!

In the mean while I have been struck by the ultra micro bug. I got myself a couple of Park Zone Sukhoi's and an e-Flight mSR heli. I also have the PZ ultra micro P-51 on order. I love this small stuff. This is what I imagined RC was all about before I actually got involved. These are airplanes that you can fly with reckless abandon and most of your crashes won't damage the plane. The Sukhoi flew right out of...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Oct 21, 2007 @ 09:37 AM | 11,828 Views
I looked at the first mention of the L-19 in this blog. That was back on July 29th, 2006. When I read it I found this curious statement:

"An L-19 like the ones I flew behind at Wurtsboro and a Supercub which I also had some memorable tows behind."

I guess I left the reader to wonder what I meant by 'memorable tows.'

I just dug through my log book and couldn't find a reference, but there were actually two tows that stick out in my mind. Both involved getting waved off by the Cub pilot, who, on both occasions, was Dick Paggett. Paggett (I have to check how he spells his name) was a WWII B-17 pilot and at that time, about 1965, he was also partners in a Ka6 with an ex-Messerschmidt pilot. Paggett is eighty-one, still passes his second class medical, and still tows gliders at Wurtsboro. A lot of history has passed under his wings.

The first wave-off (where the tow pilot rocks his wings to tell you to get off) was my fault. The sort of thing that beginners learn lessons from. I was in a 2-22 and had forgotten to set the altimeter. Tows were to 3,000 feet in those days, and it seemed to take forever to get there. A couple of hundred feet short of 3,000 (or so I though) Dick waved me off, and I pulled the release.

It was a slightly eerie flight. The wind was strong and dead smooth and there wasn't a ripple or a bump in the air. I tried hovering, and was almost successful. There was no lift at all and I soon found myself approaching pattern height. I entered...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Oct 20, 2007 @ 10:15 PM | 12,094 Views
This is one of those stories that goes nowhere.

We did everything right but it crashed anyway.

We lugged the L-19 out to the field on a Monday to avoid as much distraction as possible. Jimmy was doing the flying since he also did the lion's share of the building. In fact, it was his plane in that sense because I would never have had either the time or the patience to do the job he did. Both of us worked on it, and we both paid the bills.

We called a few friends who were interested, and most of them showed up before the plane was fully assembled.

Jimmy did a lot of minor engine adjustments, then put on the cowl and the wings. We did a huge range check with the engine running, and not a glitch. There were two lipo battery packs each plugged into a spare channel, and each with it's own switch. The switches are designed to stay on for any failure. They were each tested separately, then both were turned on for the flight.

It took a few runs to get the plane off. It was a bit hard to control on the ground. Jimmy owned a full-scale Luscombe so he is a bit used to planes that don't want to track straight and once he got the Luscombe mind set going he was in control and did a nice takeoff.

Despite our using almost three to one aileron differential the plane had tons of adverse yaw. It needed lots of rudder in the turns. It looked a bit uncomfortable to fly. My Monocoupe looked like that until I put in a huge amount of coupled rudder.

Most of the flight was just...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 16, 2007 @ 11:25 PM | 12,300 Views
It's been a long time in the making, and now it's almost ready to fly. There is a list of about a page of little things that have to be done before the maiden, but basically the L-19 is about to make like a big bird.

We brought it up to Wurtsboro NY, the home of it's big brother, for a bit of showing off. The one constant complaint was that it wasn't dirty enough. The full sized one has been a glider tug for about forty years and only had downtime for maintenance on an as needed basis.

There is not much more to say now, this will be a short blog entry, mostly just to post a couple of pictures. We couldn't pose things as we wanted since the big one was working today, but you get the idea.

I added one workbench picture to show some of the detail.

Pete
Posted by PeteSchug | Jul 07, 2007 @ 01:20 PM | 12,514 Views
It's a long time since I posted anything to this blog. As far as flying goes it has been a very slow season for me. Way back in the blog I mentioned an L-19 that my flying buddy and I were working on for use as a glider tug. My flying buddy has watched most of Dave Platt's "Black Art" DVD's and is gung ho about scale these days. He went from scale to - Scale to — S C A L E. He can work on the L-19 full time except for household chores and helping in the garden. I only get to his house on weekends so I am relegated to the small stuff. Nevertheless I have made my significant contributions, both in the field of consultation and actual bits and pieces. More later.

I'm back visiting my friends in Vermont, looking forward to flying wherever I can. We went down to Lowell Lake this morning and the air and lake were serene. Dead calm and quiet but for the birds. We went back to my friend Bob's house for my plane (The same beat up pico Tiger Moth as last time) and gear and his canoe, and when we got back to the lake it was very windy and there were a lot of boaters. The boats were widely scattered so it would have been safe to fly but the only takeoff site is very poor and it would have been a downwind landing into roots and rocks. There are clear spots but they are easier to hit when you aren't being pushed by a fifteen mile an hour wind. No flying in other words.

Later that day it calmed down and I flew from my friend's driveway. For this flight the camera was...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Oct 12, 2006 @ 07:33 PM | 14,484 Views
Someplace way back in this blog I mentioned that I am a risk taker as long as I am not in the plane.

I'm in Vermont and I wanted to shoot some airborne video while visiting. My friend Bob showed me Lowell Lake and I decided that a flight around the lake would make a nice video. It was a fantastic day but unfortunately I was not able to fly then. The next day was cool and overcast and not very exciting looking, but I decided to take a shot anyway.

Bob and I stuck his canoe on the roof rack and I checked over my much abused Tigermoth. This moth is a veteran of Vermont. For those who have visited my blog before, this is the link to the video of crashing into trees.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=537950

This shows the abuse that can be heaped on a GWS pico Tigermoth. If you look back a few blog entries you can see a picture of this same TM in pieces on the bench after Ernesto decided that he was not to be trifled with.

Getting back on topic, Bob and I drove to Lowell Lake and after helping Bob get the canoe off the roof rack I lugged the gear into the place I where I was going to try to take off and land. Bob was supposed to paddle the canoe there, but he took a very long time and finally I started hearing voices, so I investigated. Bob was talking to a ranger who would not let him launch the canoe without a flotation device. The resolution was that I helped him carry the canoe to my take off site and then he drove home to get some life vests. The...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 17, 2006 @ 08:50 PM | 14,679 Views
This week was a mixed bag.

I rebuilt my Tigermoth and it came out good as new. I stuck the 120° lens on my KX141 and tried to fly with myvu goggles. I was able to do a little but I spent most of my time peeking over or under the goggles and looking at the plane itself. That was a good idea since I did not have a spotter.

The battery in my DVD player was dead so rather than waste time I focused the 120° lens using the myvu goggles. No good, the videos are all out of focus but the plane (cabane, front cockpit etc.) is in sharp focus. So much for the forgiving nature of wide angle. All this is practice for something to be described later.

The big thing was that I flew my ASW 28 and got in three tows. Not the best flying that I've ever done, but each flight was an improvement over the previous one. The glider flies well, I just have to learn to slow my head down to the glider's pace and learn how much the spoilers affect the pitch.

I was waiting for my fourth tow and the tug pilot was bombing around having fun. The engine quit and he was in a bad position and had to do a downwind landing. Unfortunately,WE were downwind. The tug approached like a locomotive and, being downwind. the rudder was totally ineffective. I thought I could stop it, but on second though, that was a heavy plane and it was really moving. No time to grab the glider. We just got out of the way and the tug smashed into my right wing and drove it into the flight line fence post. The wing of the...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Sep 09, 2006 @ 11:00 AM | 14,569 Views
Last week the WRAM club had it's annual picnic. It was postponed for a day in the aftermath of Ernesto. We had about one hundred twenty members and guests, and James Kokiadis, my flying buddy did the honors as chef. He cooked for three days straight and a week later the house is still a disaster area. Highlights were the fantastic meatballs, baked ziti, spareribs with homemade sauce, the way better than commercial potato salad, sausage and peppers and the fajitas. All that beside the usual hot dogs and high quality burgers.

There is a shot of the field taken from my GWS Tigermoth. The food tables are out of sight behind the large tree on the left. That's where most of the 120 or so people are. I am the tiny dot just to the left of the top most plane in the picture. That is Steve Richman's Rascal tow plane and the next two planes are his Lunak and his Minimoa. I have a couple of airshots of the Minimoa taken from my GWS Tigermoth

I got to fly my slightly rebuilt Mini Funtana, and with the wings in the rear position, a stronger mount for the LG, aluminum LG legs and wheels big enough for grass it is now a much better performer. The wheel pants were impossible in grass. I think my plane actually used them as skis more than as wheels since the takeoffs were about twenty or thirty feet. Now it gets off in a foot or two. I am looking forward to sticking video on this one. I've already got a couple of spare canopies so I can cut the present one down for open cockpit flying....Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Aug 13, 2006 @ 06:36 PM | 14,710 Views
It had to happen.

I finally got my glider to the field the same day as someone brought a tug. My flying buddy and I are working on a quarter scale L-19 and I am replacing the OS 1.20 with a Saito 2.20 in my Dave Patrick Cub, both for use as tugs, but neither is quite ready.

This weekend there was a fun fly and between events there was plenty of time for fooling around and Steve Richman offered me a tow. I got things ready and waited for the next event to be over. Somehow it managed to take forever, and then, all of a sudden Bob Krull, our club president and main tug pilot asked me if I was ready. I have to admit to being very nervous, never having flown this glider and never having aerotowed a model. I've flown full sized but here I am, a sixty-eight year old beginner.

As with full sized, all nervousness left when the ailerons started biting air. I got off the ground early and stayed low until the tug started going up. Following Steve's advice I left the Picolario off. Staying behind the tow plane was not hard until we got pretty high, then I just got off.

The glider needed very little trim. I think I gave a few clicks of up and that was that. I tried a loop and didn't quite make it over the top. I stalled inverted a little before mid point, but the glider fell through nicely and I had no trouble at all controlling it.

I spent most of my time loitering around the downwind side of the field listening to the Picolario announce altitude. Only the tiniest bumps of...Continue Reading
Posted by PeteSchug | Jul 31, 2006 @ 12:10 AM | 15,167 Views
These are video frames taken from my new (old) GWS Tigermoth. I lost my original one a couple of weeks ago and my flying buddy gave me his. I got replacement gear and spent at least half of Saturday soldering tiny wires together to link tx, camera and power source. Being lazy I just take what the CC 10 amp brushless esc provides. The plane now has a gyro like my original and the lighter Berg 4 channel rx.

I love shooting video from a tiny plane that goes unnoticed by most people, but I have to admit the guys in the Aerial Photography forum have my attention. A good still camera takes MUCH better pictures than I can get with video and most subjects do not require video. I get a real thrill out of air to air video shots, but scenery is better done with a still camera.

I watercolorized "Toward Patterson, NY," but the other two are straight video frames.

Pete
Posted by PeteSchug | Jul 29, 2006 @ 10:14 PM | 15,116 Views
I've got new video gear in a Tigermoth that I hope to fly tomorrow, but getting off the subject of airborne video for a while, here's a look at my ASW 28 - 18.

I used to fly full sized gliders and the desire to try RC gliders has been with me for the past forty years. I did fly one here and there, with some success. The Kadet had hundreds of flights on it, and made it into some thermals once in a while. I also had a Graupner Uhu I got from Hobby Lobby eons ago. I managed to shoehorn an Astro FAI 05 into it and it had an impressive climb for it's day.

I got my ASW 28 at the WRAM show from Northeast Sailplanes, and it languished in it's box for a year or so. I finally got it all stuck together and installed a Picolario to tell me about the weather aloft. I will probably stick my KX141 on it for at least one flight.

My flying buddy and I are working on two tow planes. An L-19 like the ones I flew behind at Wurtsboro and a Supercub which I also had some memorable tows behind. I have a Dave Patrick cub and took out the OS 1.20 and am sticking in a Saito 2.20 on a Hyde mount. The engine looks big enough to shake the cub apart with so I plan to treat it with kid gloves. The L-19 is being built from Vailley plans and all the main structures are done, but we are planning to glass it a la Dave Platt, and the time frame looks on the long side, which is why I am replacing the 120 in the cub with a 220. I figure that if I want to fly my glider this summer I better take a shortcut and get some kind of tug ready.

Here's a few pictures of the glider and the L-19. Sorry, I never took one of the cub.

Pete