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Posted by Justwingit | Dec 07, 2014 @ 02:58 PM | 4,498 Views
Although most people who are concious of history are aware of the great surprise incurred by the United States on the morning of 7 December, 1941, with the resultant massive loss of life by the forces stationed at Pearl Harbor, few realize the great level of grit and determination displayed by the shocked and dazed defenders....

America struck back that morning, and struck back fairly effectively given the total and complete surprise of the attack by the IJN....

If anyone is an aviation history buff, they'll undoubtedly have heard of George Welch and Ken Taylor....both pilots whose bravery and resourcefulness are depicted in the classic 1970 movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (which was fairly accurate, historically), and 2001's "Pearl Harbor", which was decidedly less accurate.

But few have probably heard of Lt. Harry W. Brown, and his undaunted courage flying an obsolete P-36 Hawk, from an auxiallary training field near Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Here's his story:

Here's a profile of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk:

Clearly, however, the P-40 was the aircraft credited with putting up the most fight that fateful day...

From Wikipedia:
"At dawn on December 7, 1941, 2nd Lt. Welch and another pilot, 2nd Lt. Ken Taylor, were coming back from a Christmas dinner and dance party (with big band orchestra) at a rooftop hotel in Waikiki, that ended in an all-night poker game. They were still wearing mess dress when the...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Apr 18, 2014 @ 10:03 AM | 6,327 Views
Today I thought it fitting to remember an exceptional chapter in aviation history....the day a heroic band of Army pilots did the unthinkable....took land-based, medium bombers off of a pitching and heaving carrier deck and flew 600 miles deep into enemy territory with the mission of bombing their capitol city.

I originally posted this on the Wildcat thread, but thought the time and effort warranted posting it here in my blog as well, so please forgive my indulgence...

As is customary on this thread, we always look at chapters in our little 'Cat's history. One chapter not to be overlooked is the Doolittle Raid....

Although it was the USAAF pilots flying B-25 Mitchell medium bombers on that day that stole the spotlight (and earned EVERY word of praise for their efforts), our little Wildcat was there as well, with Wildcats from Enterprise's VF-6 flying both inner and outer CAP's just in case they were needed to repel any attacks on the Hornet as she came in close, and once the B-25's were on their way to Tokyo, Wildcats from VF-8 joined the patrols as well to give VF-6 some relief from the constant inner and outer CAPs.

Prior to the launch, however, on the morning of 18 April, Wildcats from VF-6 were involved in several sorties to attack and suppress Japanese picket boats, and Wildcats thoroughly strafed the Nanshin Maru and the Nitto Maru. Most of the fighter planes returned to the Enterprise out of ammo, prompting one of the Wildcat pilots, LT (jg) Wilmer Rawie to...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Mar 03, 2014 @ 09:57 PM | 6,051 Views
Here's the last couple of videos I shot with my trusty Mobius camera while out flying my Carbon Z Cub....

First up is another video I shot while shooting various approaches and doing all sorts of touch-n-go's. I'm doing different kinds of approaches, from no flaps, long approach path type stuff, to using flaps and dropping her in on steep, bush style approaches to my "postage stamp" sized runway.

This really is an excellent tutorial on how to do various approaches, landings and take offs with your CZC, so anyone interested in improving their technique would do well to watch this....plus, I'm talking my way through MOST of the flight, so you'll actually get a running narrative of what I'm doing on the sticks....talk about "virtual instruction" :
Touch and go with the Carbon Z Cub 23 Feb 14 (9 min 31 sec)

This video is one I made on the spur of the moment; I realized I could quickly cover some basic tips on the Carbon Z Cub that would help out a lot of folks just getting acquainted with the model, so I went for it :
Carbon Z Cub helpful tips (4 min 16 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 27, 2014 @ 12:45 PM | 6,238 Views
WOW !!

This thing looks too cool :

Looks like it's gonna be a great spring !
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 23, 2014 @ 11:55 AM | 5,981 Views
Alright folks, here's the next couple of highly anticipated (yeah, right !) Carbon-Z Cub videos from the sprawling, highly advanced Justwingit studios....

First up is a pretty fun video flying the Carbon-Z Cub on a nice, sunny, but occasionally breezy Saturday afternoon:
Saturday afternoon with the Carbon Z Cub (9 min 16 sec)

Next up, is another video shot the same afternoon (yesterday), with this one being a bit more relaxed, flying the last of 4 batteries this afternoon. A tricky take off followed by an even trickier landing...at least from the pilot's view. The wind direction made things a bit interesting, to say the least !
Flying the Carbon Z Cub on a breezy Saturday afternoon (9 min 56 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 13, 2014 @ 10:05 PM | 8,112 Views
Here's a couple of fun videos I shot of my Carbon-Z Cub with my trusty Mobius camera Velcro'd to my hat...!

These are both pilot's view videos and this first one demonstrates basic flight and some simple, basic aerobatics :
Sunday Morning with the Carbon Z Cub 09FEB14 (11 min 16 sec)

This video I titled "Blown away" because I flew her in a little too much wind....like 17mph too much !
Blown away! Flying the Carbon Z Cub in wind 09FEB14 (19 min 6 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 07, 2014 @ 06:08 PM | 6,029 Views
I thought of this on the spur of the moment, thinking it might be a good thing to talk about what to look for when buying a used Wildcat.

I plan on doing a few more in this series, and will talk about things like what to look for, simple mods, c/g and basic flight, hand-launch techniques, and where to look for a PZ Wildcat

Here's the first video :
Buying a used PZ Wildcat Part 1 (6 min 46 sec)

Hope you enjoy it, and let me know if there's something in particular you would like to see....I'll do my best to oblige !

Posted by Justwingit | Feb 07, 2014 @ 01:01 AM | 6,489 Views
Well gang,

It's been along time since I've flown my T-28, so I had to break her out of retirement...

I recently bought a Mobius ActionCam, and this thing is just too much fun ! I've been shooting video of pretty much all my models, and recently got the trusty T-28 out for some fun in the sun...!

First up is a video of basically just flying the T-28 around, getting used to her again, and talking about her great flying qualities....
Flying the Parkzone T 28 Trojan 05FEB2014 (9 min 11 sec)

Next up is an absolute hoot! I Velcro'd on the Mobius to an extra canopy that I set up for an 808 KeyCam about a year and a half ago, and went up, up and away ! The fun comes in because, for some weird reason, the plane sounds like a slimer....it sounds really, really cool and I recommend you keep the sound up so you can hear me adjust the throttle as I put her through a series of basic aerobatic maneuvers. The landing sequence is pretty cool too as you can hear me make very slight adjustments all throughout the approach path:
Inflight video with the Parkzone T 28 Trojan 05FEB2014 (6 min 31 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 07, 2014 @ 12:52 AM | 6,321 Views
Here's a couple more videos I made recently with the PZ Wildcat in the starring role....

First up is an early morning sortie over the Mojave, with yours truly narrating as I go. I start out by giving you a quick tour of my flying field. The main teaching point I make during the flight is about "hooking" your loops....and how to avoid it !
Parkzone F4F Wildcat 05FEB2014 (9 min 51 sec)

Next up, is a tutorial video aimed at newer RC pilots, and those looking at getting a Wildcat. I discuss three basic maneuvers with the Wildcat: the loop, aileron roll, and then put them together to do a reverse half-Cuban eight. I also discuss basic RC model safety and functions checks:
Parkzone F4F Wildcat Tutorial 05FEB2014 (10 min 5 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Feb 04, 2014 @ 09:22 PM | 6,343 Views
Well, I finally did it....I took the plunge and joined the video revolution ! I recently plunked down $80 and picked up a Mobius ActionCam....and extremely glad I did!

The video quality of this little cam is simply superb, and it's as perfectly at home shooting video from your plane as it is on the ground...

It's capable of shooting true 1080p, and a 10 minute video clip will wind-up being around 2GB....not bad if you're running an 8GB Micro-SD card. The manufacturer claims the battery lasts about 80 minutes on a full charge, but I haven't tested it to find out.

My very first video was shot from the top of my Carbon-Z Cub and came out very, very nice. I rendered it in 16:9, so you get the full, wide-screen effect.

Here's the video, complete with my annotations:
E flite Carbon Z Cub with Mobius camera onboard in 1080p (9 min 16 sec)

Today, I shot video with the Mobius Vecro'd to the bill of my hat...worked fine ! I was flying one of my Parkzone F4F Wildcats, and narrated as I went along, talking about everything from how the model's set-up, to the maneuvers as I was doing them, to general info about flying RC in the Mojave desert...

Here's the Wildcat:
Flying the Parkzone F4F Wildcat with Mobius in 1080p (9 min 11 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Dec 04, 2013 @ 02:18 PM | 6,533 Views
I just finished this project that started out as an epiphany last night...

While looking at the Jim Griffiths' painting of George Gay hanging in my study, I felt I needed to do something in their honor...

I challenge you to get through it without crying....

Torpedo Eight, Heart of Courage (2 min 11 sec)

And as the famous line from "The Bridges of Toko-Ri" goes, "Where do we get such men?"...
Posted by Justwingit | Sep 11, 2013 @ 05:11 PM | 8,065 Views
Have you forgotten???

Do you remember where you were when you first heard???

In the memory of my brothers AND sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice...
...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:07 PM | 7,792 Views
Okay gang,

I finally have had the time to really sit down and pour through the DOZENS of wonderful photos Bill took Saturday. I would have done it sooner, but we a little bit of a flood here on the outpost Sunday afternoon and it's been anything but business as usual out here on the frontier of civilization since...

In any event, as I said earlier, I poured over literally dozens of photos taken by the artist himself, and it's really, really hard to choose the cream of the crop when they're all so good. I've attached some real lookers for y'all, and there's a special surprise: the Storch and the Stuka finally made some formation flights this weekend ! Not surprisingly, it was actually easier to form up and stay together than with the Bf-109...DUH ! The Storch and the Stuka have an area within their respective flight envelopes where Dan and I can work together and Bill can snap away!

For those who've never tried formation flying, let me tell you, it's very, very nerve wracking. The pilots MUST be side by side and constantly communicating in order to pull it off...and I mean such mundane things as "throttling up" or "turning right, gently" and so on. In order to get the shots we do, I normally set-up waaaay out, flight straight and level, and let Dan form up on me. With the Stuka, it works like a charm, and after a couple of passes, we were even flying coordinated turns !

Bill also got numerous photos of me enjoying my little Storch up close and...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Aug 08, 2013 @ 05:36 PM | 8,506 Views
Well, it finally happened...the Storch is no longer a drone !

Due to RCG member hillbille's constant encouragement (or chiding, whatever the case may be...) I decided to finally fix the Storch's only real glaring issue; the fact that there's no pilot figure .

After looking at all the fantastic photos Dan and Bill have taken of the Storch as it slowly cruised around the dry lakebed, it sank in that there's just something missing that would really set it off. And frankly, Bill's right: it needed a pilot figure. While digging around my parts box earlier this week, I realized I had a relic from the past, a leftover pilot figure I had yanked out of a 1400mm FMS Zero a little over a year ago. I liked the Zero, but it was just too big and I sold it last summer. But before I did that, I took out the pilot figure as I thought he was just a tad too small for that model. Besides, he looked decidedly more Caucasoid than Asian, so I figured it was time for him to go. Tossed him in the box and forgot about him. No wonder he looked so melancholy...

Segue to this past Monday, when I was digging through the box looking for something else and stumbled across this little guy....Hmmm...I thought he just might do the trick. So with a little cosmetic surgery (basically just removing his oxygen mask that was already hanging loose near his chest) and a uniform change I think he looks the part.

I did some fairly in-depth research on this, and found out that there really wasn't a "...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Jul 14, 2013 @ 11:54 PM | 9,162 Views
Had an extremely enjoyable outing yesterday with "der klein Storch" and I think I finally got her really dialed in...this thing fly's like a dream !

A small adjustment on the c/g netted big dividends on the glide-slope and sink-rate. By moving my 1300 battery back slightly, she now floats down much more predictably and with full control. I normally maiden my models slightly nose heavy, and she still is...just not as much. I thought about it during the week, made the adjustments, and the proof is in the video. The model just fly's utterly fantastic, and I was able to perform scale t/o and tail-high landings all day long...

The wind was really cooperating as it was 5-6mph, steady out of the north-west; and, unlike the previous Saturday, there were no thunderstorms, just innocuous clouds floating high above...

With her new and improved c/g (and steady, predictable wind) I was able to really get her trimmed out and dialed in. Still looking at 2-3 clicks down, but mine seems to like 3-4 clicks right aileron and I even dialed in a click or two of right rudder...sweet!

RCGroups members hillbille and sgtoinkz were back down at the dry lake and Bill snapped dozens of photos and shot plenty of video while Dan did lots of flying. The first video clearly shows how smooth, scale-like takeoffs are easy to do, and on the first t/o, watch how the tail lifts off the ground within a foot and I gently rudder steer the model through to liftoff and casually climbout....this...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Jul 07, 2013 @ 06:55 PM | 12,070 Views
The Background
First and foremost, let me start by saying this is my first foray into balsa PNF models, so I really didn't know what to expect other than it must be a pretty cool model....I mean come on, a balsa PNF Fi-156 Storch?!? What's not to like...

I'll also start out by saying, or admitting , whatever the case may be, that I've always liked Gerhard Fieseler's ungainly creation. Ever since I was a small child, the Storch held a special place in my heart....even over all the Focke-Wulfs and Messerschmitts, which is especially odd given the fact that I actually had relatives fly FW-190's and Me-109's during the war...but none that flew the Fi-156, at least as far as I know...

The Arrival
The package arrived after about 10 days travel time from China (Int'l warehouse)...not bad. It was double-boxed and very neatly packaged inside. Although the model's various parts were so well wrapped (the term I would use is "mummified"), the prop nut had rust on it and noticeable scars from some sort of wrench or pliers....Hmmm....not cool, but oh well. BTW, I'm not the first to make note of this and probably not the last, either. Otherwise, all the somewhat delicate balsa and covering components arrived totally unscathed...good job on the boxing/packaging save for the enigmatic damage to the prop-spinner...

The Build
The assembly went as well as can be expected from a fairly intermediate modeler, but make no mistake, this is NOT a model for beginners. It is...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Jun 30, 2013 @ 07:51 PM | 7,694 Views
Took both of my T-28's out today for the first time in what seems like forever....

Winds were a steady 8-10 mph and temps were in the low 90's so it was finally good enough to get behind the sticks again...

Put the PZ T-28 up first to help knock the cobwebs off and get the thumbs limber again, and then sent the DF T-28 up for some spirited sport/scale flying...Oh, what fun !

In response to the above posting in the Parkzone T-28 thread (Post 29097), my friend from the U.K. had a question in regards to the flying quality of the Durafly T-28:
Originally Posted by Damnandblastit View Post
Long time no see. Thought you had caught sleeping sickness

How I envy you your dry lakebed. Huge and really smooth.

How does the Durafly compare to the PZ for flight characteristics? Was looking at one a week or so ago, then thought it appropriate to fly a Bomber from my ex bomber airfield and bought the Century B25 Mitchell instead.

Just waiting for a Rx and its ready to break a prop or two.
Out of respect for the Parkzone T-28 thread, and not wishing to get blown-up over daring to mention Durafly in Parkzone land (fan-boys in the extreme), I felt it prudent to post my reply here:

Greetings my friend !

I hope all is well over on your side of the Atlantic....

Have been very busy with work lately (despite sequestration and the general economic meltdown, they always find stuff for us to do...) and after...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Jun 04, 2013 @ 05:48 PM | 8,232 Views
Aviation and history enthusiasts are probably already aware of the significance of June 4th: the first full day of combat during the Battle of Midway. To be sure, it was practically the only day of battle, but some minor skirmishing was still taking place on the 5th, and for all intents and purposes, the battle was over by the 6th.

Recently, I purchased a couple of prints depicting exceptional heroism and bravery displayed during the fight. Although I won't go into too many details here about the battle, as so much is available elsewhere (and much more eloquently stated, I might add...), for those who are looking for more on the battle, I highly recommend Walter Lord's timeless classic, Midway! Incredible Victory.

I'll go in chronological order, as the battle unfolded, in my description of the prints I recently acquired. The first, depicting the charge of the USAAF B-26 Marauders at roughly 07:10 in the morning of June 4th, was purchased from a website called the "Aviation Art Hangar". Titled "A Shot Across The Bow" by artist Roy Grinnell, it shows 1LT James Muri's B-26 "Suzy-Q" as he buzzed the flight deck of the Akagi.

The link is here: http://www.aviationarthangar.com/avarthashacb.html

I purchased one of the limited editions with both James Muri's and Roy Grinnell's signatures, gladly paying the extra money for something with both signatures, especially more important given the fact that James Muri passed on just this past...Continue Reading
Posted by Justwingit | Apr 07, 2013 @ 10:12 PM | 9,586 Views

Spent a wonderful Saturday at the 1st Annual Warbirds over Las Vegas at Bennett field, and I'm here to tell you it was absolutely spectacular!

Saturday was the last day of the three day event, so competition among the modelers was serious...

Plenty of warbirds from all conflicts and time periods for all to see, great weather, and superb flight demos put on by numerous, skilled pilots. Although there were many fine models lining the viewing/pits area, I'll cover a few of the outstanding ones, my favorites of which, I'm happy to report, were all category winners

Not in any particular order, first up is a model of one of my all-time personal favorites, Keith Hedge's 108" Ryan L-17 Navion. Scratch-built from Wendell Hostetler plans, Keith's L-17 stole my heart. Complete with sliding canopy, air retracts, brakes, and flaps, Keith's fuel powered Ryan had no problem putting on a very scale flight demo, which ultimately won best of Korea-Vietnam inter-war category. A native of the UK, but now living in Las Vegas, I asked Keith "why a Navion?" He simply said because it's unique...and I couldn't agree more

Next up, I really liked (and repeatedly drooled over ) Stephen Lucy's superb 80+ inch Wildcat, complete with retracts, flaps, clear windows on the bottom of the aircraft, and a completely scratchbuilt and detailed cockpit. Another one of my childhood favorites, I couldn't believe the amount of detail that went into this one -- Stephen even took the time to...Continue Reading