|Mar 21, 2010, 09:15 AM|
A little about me and where I am in this hobby.
It has been a very long time since I have written anything here, so now that I finally have the time, I thought I would share a little more about me and where I am in this wonderful hobby.
The year is 1974 and I am a child of eight years, living farm life. Not that of cattle, horses or other livestock mind you; but living in the great north of Michigan planting and harvesting crops for the canning,winter season. Each year would bring something different, sometimes new and exciting and other times rather dreadful for a child. I come from a poor family of the times with my only friends being miles away at school. As such, school was to be my only release from the everyday humdrum and goings on at home. I know, I know, everybody had it poor back then and most elders will tell you the story of having to walk to school in a blizzard and back again. I never had it like that, but what I can truely say is that my clothes were in fassion long before their time. my best go to church on sunday clothes were so full of holes, that even by todays standards would be considered rags. Even though we raised crops yearly, my mother was not known to be the best in the kitchen either. I know she tried, but it seemed cooking a bountiful meal was simply above her. Our greatest meal of that long ago time was hamburger soup. This meal would consist of one gallon of water, one pound of ground burger, perhaps an onion and salt and pepper to season. Served with a loave of bread and butter, we filled ourselves. 6:30 pm was our time to bed down for the night and we would read ourselves to sleep.
I remember while attending elementary school, of having a chance to purchase books monthly and having a chance to visit the school library. It was during these times that I found the world of aviation and the modeling concept there of. After showing one of these weekly reader type pamplets to my mother and showing her the booklet I wanted, she informed me of my grandfathers hobby. After the next meeting with my grandfather, my part in this hobby began; this was the summer of 1974. My first model was from a Comet kit, was powered by a rubber band and looked and flew like a brick.
I spent many a evening and weekend for a month building that model and remember using nothing but white glue,dope, glycerin and green soap. I can still smell those wonderful scents today. My grandfather would soon become more a part of my life than any other person in my family. For the next few years we would continue to build and fly various models each gaining more and more knowledge. Our models began to look and fly a lot better too. I remember that in the spring of 1977 I had my first OOS (out of sight) and lost my model. My models hadn't been flying that well and I dismissed the need for a dethermalizer. We searched for hours and found nothing, my plane had gone home.....
From that time on, I was hooked...........
1980, this was the year that my granfather introduced me to a Sal Taibi kit. A 1/2 A freeflight model with mechanical fuel cut off as well as dethermalizer. Covered in light red silk and being far larger than any other model I have built, I was intrigued. I began bulding and found myself with a model I feared to launch. Until this time I had only built rubber powered models and this was a completely new venue for me. All I could foresee for this model is another OOS, or so I feared. Gramps again came to my rescue.... We obtained all the appropriate materials to start and launch my new model and towards the field near my home we walked. We found our launch spot and proceeded to go through the preflight check. when we were both sure everything was in order we commenced to start the tiny motor for the first time. I recall this too, as if it were yesterday...scared the britches right off me when that cox motor came to life, I thought it was going to self destruct. It sounded like a hive of bees and they were all coming in for the kill. Nothing like the rubber power I was now used to....
After assuring me that all was ok, we lit the wick, set the timer to cut the fuel and lauched. It began to climb skyward like a homesick bird and a few seconds later the engine indeed quit and my new plane leveled out and began to glide in a large circular pattern. Before long the dethermalizer did it's job and the tail popped up creating a stall. My plane simply continued to glide in a circular pattern porpoising until it touched the ground. Subsequent flights that day were all wonderous and each flight would result in the same. What a wonderful time..... I had started with rubber bands and have now come into a world of fuel.
Schools out and a lot of work to do around home. It will soon be time to start preparing for the fall and winter months here in God's country. But until then it is time for home chores mowing the lawn and trimming brush back. This is where I first began to build my aircraft lighter than ever. You see, our home sat next to a lower area containig marshland. This is where the idea of using reeds came into my building. Some of that (saw) grass had to have been over ten feet tall with a stem straight and true. Needless to say I commited myself to cutting a bunch and letting it dry in the sun until it became dry and hardened a bit. This usually would only take a week or so, but I did manage to take a few stems inside with me and those seemed to dry a bit faster. They would weigh next to nothing and could be used many ways in building. As spars for my wings, axles, even used in place of balsa sticks where weight would be an issue. I have build many models in the years since using building materials found around home. Though I no longer live in the same house where I did as a child. Those building blocks created a solid foundation a long time ago and have held me firm.
More to come......
|Aug 23, 2010, 09:17 PM|
wow couldnt stop reading it, i didnt even mean to start and once i did just couldnt stop, you know you should write a book...
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