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Posted by Cox PT-19 | May 03, 2021 @ 11:14 AM | 6,615 Views
Suffering from some sort of cranky indifference over the weekend, I passed on traveling to Breezy Hill for our annual memorial fun-fly to our late/great buddy, Darryl Wilson.

After a few hours of sitting in my chair like an old man waiting to yell at kids to get off his lawn, I noticed that the wind had really dropped, and decided to bring out the Dynaflite Butterfly Darryl had built several years before his passing.
I'd charged it up the previous night, on the chance that I might feel more sociable on Sunday, so it was just a matter of strapping on it's wings and going for it. I KNEW I wasn't at the top of my game, as far as flying, but just went for it, and got a reasonable flight that was right on the verge of being fun.

After a successful return, out came the Go Pro cameras and their selfie sticks, and the Butterfly was refueled for another round. In spite of my freshly mowed yard, I chose to hand-launch from the cow lot, as the wind was now rapidly picking up from the southeast.

This went well, with the O.S. .25FP hauling the motorglider through the downwind turbulence of the back barn. I flew only a few laps, with a couple loop sessions before the rising wind convinced me to bring the Butterfly home.

Instead of going for the wonderful tall grass of the cow lot or pasture, I elected, as I'd done in the previous flight, to "shoot the chute"...that somewhat narrow approach to my front yard between the powerlines and cedar tree.

When the...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Apr 19, 2021 @ 11:31 AM | 7,131 Views
Breezy Hill's "1/2A Day"

One day of cold, damp air, followed by one with warm, sunny skies, both with plenty (and I mean PLENTY) of engine tinkering, jokes and laughter...and great food served up by President Ronnie.

Nitro was burning and castor oil was slinging as assorted versions of Leroy Cox's tiny engines either screamed or sputtered, or both, with new airframes and old dinosaurs taking to the air.

Allen Bagg had a small fleet of planes, but had some engine problems, and did some "mix and match" with their parts, giving him a hyper-speed combat wing to fly on Sunday.

Leo's typically high performance engines hauled their planes around their circles, with some crazy great stunts by his Medallion .049-powered Ringmaster flying on 60 FOOT LINES!!!!
His Medallion apparently has an identity crisis, and thinks it's a Tee Dee.

Allen also rounded up some prizes, with SIG sending a Mini Zilch kit and two bottles of SIG bond glue, along with Brodak giving dealer cost on a Baby Clown.

Mixed in with this are some balsa and foam gliders which will be given to kids who can attend our little get-togethers.
Thanks to Steven Jany and Alvin Petrowske for their continued great work in keeping Breezy Hill looking so good, and to President Ronnie for feeding us!

Thanks to everyone for the great time!

Here's an album of the weekend...some photos were previously posted, but I wanted to get them all in one lump, and there will probably be others pop...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Mar 30, 2021 @ 09:39 AM | 8,967 Views
A Flash-Back to some of the fun at Sig's 2016 Fly-In:

"The Glow in the Dark Flying Cow" at the Sig 2016 Fly-In (4 min 9 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | Mar 03, 2021 @ 03:49 PM | 10,763 Views
I wanted to run the "Stunt Tank" version of Cox International's new aluminum backplate today, and rather than build up another engine, I chose a faithful old friend that's dragged assorted flying machines around the Hill and S.M.A.L.L's for a long time.

With no changes other than new gaskets and pick-up tube, the old Golden Bee got it's backplate swapped, and was bolted to the stand and cranked up. I'd put several runs on the Babe Bee, but I decided to REALLY run it's golden sibling by doing on-the-run refuels just for the heck of it.

Once settled into it's run, the GB was real steady, and probably would have flown the B.O.T. all the way to Little Rock if it could have lifted the fuel. After 20 minutes or so, I let it run out it's fuel with no needle-fiddling along the way.

One note to any new-comers: While the old hands all know is important to use the fillister style backplate screws to prevent fuel leaks. I just used the GB's originals in the test, with no leakage, but I think Matt and Bernie stock them if you need replacements.

The last photo is the answer to a question that arose, asking if the aluminum backplate has a steel insert to accept the needle valve. The magnet says, "Yes!"

So now, the Q-Tee is on charge, and we may sneak a flight in later today.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Mar 01, 2021 @ 03:21 PM | 11,279 Views
A Photo Album of

"Allen and Kim's Excellent Adventure"

The "Ice-o-Lated Control Line Contest" at Buder Park near St. Louis, Missouri

So, you're awakened by lightning and thunder on a day when your friend and fellow Circle Turner is gonna be twirling 60 foot lines around in the sky...what could go wrong with that?

Allen Bagg switched from steel to Spectra flying lines a long time ago, but if God can hurl a blinding stream of electrons with gaazzilions of volts and amps through miles of thin air, it's still something to consider.

We decided to roll the dice on this trip to Buder Park in St. Louis, even with the predicted storms and accompanying 26 mph winds, figuring that a washout could still be salvaged with a side-run to Schaefer's Hobbies just a mile off 270.

Cruising up I-55 through showers mixed with blue-sky-teasers, it was still a fun trip, talking model airplane nerd stuff, and whatever else came up.

We got to Buder Park in a light mist, with Dan out in the circle, putting in a practice flight. Also, the predicted winds, thankfully, never arrived. Allen got his gear down the line and I grabbed my cameras, just in case the weather would let the contestants get some flights in.

The weather, amazingly, held through the day with just a few moments of light drizzle, until the event was abruptly ended by a clap of thunder later in the afternoon.

Allen got his flights in, and won 1st place in Intermediate, with some good practice for the...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Feb 02, 2021 @ 12:11 PM | 15,606 Views
"The Miracle at KCGI"
Fourteen Years Ago Today

Almost 2 years before Captain Chelsey "Sully" Sullenburger landed his powerless Airbus A320 in the Hudson river (dubbed "The Miracle on the Hudson") after failure of both of his engine due to bird strikes, we had our own "Ground Hog Day Miracle" at Cape Girardeau's airport.

On February 2nd, 2007, a Beechcraft Super King Air B200, cruising at twenty seven thousand feet, suffered a loss of cabin pressure, incapacitating it's crew, and entered a near-vertical dive.

As the plane reached lower altitudes, the crew regained consciousness and pulled it from it's high-speed dive at around seven thousand feet, shedding most of it's horizontal tail surfaces, bending it's wings, and warping it's rear fuselage in the process.

With the King Air's elevators left behind to flutter down into the Missouri farm fields, the pilots' only pitch control was with engine thrust. Using engine power as their sole method of raising and lowering the plane's nose, they made a successful, albeit very fast, landing on Runway 10 at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

The pilot later joked that he'd "ruined 4 new tires"...the King Air had landed so fast that, on runway contact, it ground flat spots in the tires of it's main landing gear.

The twisted King Air was parked and tied down on the east ramp for some time before finally being cut up, and hauled away.

During this time, the now-legendary King Air...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Feb 01, 2021 @ 05:30 PM | 16,729 Views
This time, Mavic footage of Allen's Pink Flite Streak doing it's thing over the Crop Circle.

The beginning moments are from my video camera, while the rest of the footage is from my Mavic Drone, which provides a different perspective to control line flying.

Unfortunately, the Mavic doesn't have a microphone, so there's no sound track with it's footage, and I haven't found any unlicensed music that I like.

I often open a separate tab to You Tube music for background tunes to videos that need it.

Allen's Control Line Flying at the Breezy Hill 'Frozen Finger Fun Fly' (4 min 17 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jan 31, 2021 @ 04:53 PM | 17,479 Views
Once again, the Breezy Hill R/C Flyers have welcomed the New Year with their "Frozen Finger Fun-Fly".

In the past, these get-togethers have had weather ranging from "Spring-Like" to "Christmas-in-the-Arctic". This time, my best descriptor would be "Raw"...overcast and windy, with a damp coldness that defied the insulating layers I was wearing.

Early in the morning, the Flyers closed off the north end of the pavilion, and fired up the salamander heaters, which actually makes the place pretty comfortable.

Our visitors were Blake and Allen, the latter driving up from the other side of Poplar Bluff to turn some rounds on Breezy Hill's Crop Circle.

President Ronnie's wife, Beth, supplied hot lasagna and fixings, and Billy brought his trademark hot apple cider.

While the winds were sort of mean, the flyers put up multiple flights in an example of the diverse forms of modeling supported by the Breezy Hill Gang. Radio Control---both electric and glow powered, Free Flight Rubber Band, and Control Line Flying took the field through the day.

As is always the case, visiting and camaraderie were what made the whole thing a fun event, leaving us to look forward to flying again in the Spring.

The Breezy Hill Flyers' 'Frozen Finger Fun Fly' 2021 (16 min 1 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jan 05, 2021 @ 10:22 AM | 12,524 Views
Been spending some time converting old video and movie film footage...and if my old program dumps my work one more time, I may go get myself a new computer and converter solely dedicated to this silly stuff.

Back in the day, even though I'd bought one of those monstrous VHS camera/recorder combos (with an equally monstrous price tag), I STILL liked packing a Super 8 film camera around because, well, I thought it was cool.

In the purest example of "You just had to be there.", here's an un-cut, unedited strip of film of the 1994 Brodhead Piet Reunion, complete with the sound of my clackety projector:

Super 8 Footage of the 1994 Pietenpol Reunion at Brodhead, Wisconsin (3 min 33 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jan 02, 2021 @ 05:28 PM | 15,624 Views
"Rusty's Medallion"

We've lost several friends from our little circle of flyers this past year, making me redouble my efforts at having a good life and appreciating it at the same time. The clock is ticking folks...get out and do stuff.

My friend, Rusty Knowlton passed away a few months ago, and was a walking example of squeezing all the living possible from one's existence.

We met in person one time three years ago, but were constantly in touch, before and after, through the Cox Engine Collector Forum, and his weekly/bi-weekly live forum, "At the Bench", over on the Stunt Hangar site.

A memorial has been organized by the C.E.F. in honor of Rusty...a "Traveling Engine Event"...with three engines mailed between members who will run, fly, or display them for posting on the Forum, along with any thoughts or memories they may have about our ole bud.

I was recently honored and somewhat shocked to receive a package of Rusty's gear from Will Davis, a mutual friend. One of the items was a Cox "Medallion" .049 engine, and it was instantly assigned duty in the nose of my "Scout" project. With as few changes as possible, it'll be bolted to the little plane, with some sort of notation on the model's side.

The "Medallion" series of Cox engines are considered (by me at least), to be the "Gentler Tee Dee's"...not as powerful---though close--but easier to start and a little less picky about their...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 21, 2020 @ 11:05 PM | 17,575 Views
Back in the day (anymore, seems like all my stories start that way), there was a monthly aviation auction held at Cape Girardeau, Missouri's airport. I think it spanned three decades from the 1960's through the 80's, though I first encountered it in 1974.

Anyone could bring their plane to sell, but buyers had to be established dealers. Airplanes...big and small...rough and pristine...would migrate to our little airport with an urgency I wouldn't experience again until my first arrival in Oshkosh.

Line Guys were charged with parking the airplanes on the north a big loop that the auction truck would slowly traverse during the bidding. The airport was totally socked with these planes, and those of buyers who'd come to check out what was for sale, along with our regular Ozark and Air Illinois airlines, and transient flights who just happened on the fun.

These were wild times, and while fairly stressful, a Line Guy could often make a week's wages in one day as the High Rollers threw 20 dollar tips around in attempts to get as close to the head of the line as possible. Many brought along young ladies, sporting the legendary "Mile High Club" pin on their halter tops, to "negotiate" the placement of their boss's airplane (and yes, it worked).

This was also a time of Great Life Lessons for me. I'll admit to being wildly naive about the essence of being a pilot and I can only blame the Sky King TV series which I still carried in the way I...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 16, 2020 @ 02:30 PM | 19,259 Views
Flash-Back to Winter 1975...or so.

This Piper Navajo suffered a complete power loss in it's right engine (note the feathered prop), with the left engine not able to keep the plane in the air.

Flying south, toward Cape Girardeau, Missouri's airport, and more or less lined up with runway 20, it came up short less than a mile out.

Successfully landing in the southbound lanes of I-55, the plane immediately rolled onto the Diversion Channel Bridge, where it's left engine---still running---hit the bridge's guard rail, turning the plane into the rail.

The propeller broke off and flew into the field or channel below, while the plane's left wheel was shoved against the concrete lip of the roadbed, and it's radome against the guardrail.

In the photo, the Navajo has been dragged from the bridge (not sure HOW that was done), and parked directly across from the airport entrance on Nash Road. It's waiting for us to scrounge some parts for it's left wheel strut so it can be towed on into the airport.

After a few months, it was repaired and turned back to it's company.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 09, 2020 @ 05:59 PM | 18,911 Views
65 and the paint is flying.

With these temps, it was an ideal chance to throw some color. Tom Tom's paint was still somewhere on the road, so I turned to a back-burner project, a design that's almost as old: Walt Musciano's Scientific Model Company "Zipper", another 1/2A control liner.

As usual, this is another flash-back model, having built one back in '69, and literally flying the wings off the thing.

This new one was painted white, but this was also to be it's base color coat, and was waiting for me to try to copy it's red white and blue box art.

After spending a bunch of time masking it off with tape and paper, it got it's red trim. Everything turned out well by my standards, with very little color creeping under the masking. It will now get it's blue trim, a canopy, and final assembly before it makes some racket.

I intended to take a break and maybe even wrap things up when I discovered that my stealthy Fed Ex guy had dropped off my Brodak order while I was painting Zipper.

So...the air compressor was cranked up again, and my Badger paint gun was loaded up with what looked like egg nog. This too turned out nicely, with just the standard blemishes to keep me humble.

Now I got two planes curing up in the shop...which DEFINITELY smells like "Model Airplane"....Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 07, 2020 @ 01:03 PM | 15,351 Views
Had a Big Time with the SEMO R/C Flyers' Fun Fly at their field just north of Sikeston, Missouri.

Due to severe laziness, I didn't fly my planes, but instead, sent the Mavic drone out snooping around when the air wasn't choked-full of hovering airplanes.

Fellow flyer Allen put in a bunch of control line flights in a make-shift circle on the south end of the field, somewhat uncomfortably close to some heavy power lines.

We even had an Erickson Air-Crane fly by on it's way to some job somewhere, along with a few errant boomerangs to dodge.

Gonna go back tomorrow and do my best to sling some castor.

The second day of the SEMO R/C Flyers' "Chili Fun Fly" was a little more raw (rawer?) than the day before.

After being too lazy to drag my gear from the van on the day before, I immediately began setting up shop when I arrived at the Flyers' field on Sunday. In a building breeze, I got the Jetco "Shark 15" stooged up, fired up, and launched on the circle the Flyer's had set up for us on the south end of the flight line. At least I could claim one flight flown.

Allen showed up, but wasn't sure about logging any flights as the cold wind was now getting reinforcement from a cloud layer blocking the sun. We lined up our planes by the fence for display, but eventually put them away to keep the breeze from turning them into tumble weeds.

The chili and...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 28, 2020 @ 10:54 AM | 20,227 Views
So, we pulled it off!

Once again, Larry McKenzie's brain child---"Black Fly Day" took place on Breezy Hill!

Lots of sunshine, but with cold wind and turbulence breaking over Breezy Hill. Still, that didn't stop the Flyers from using the WHOLE day on "Black Fly Day".

Our one "casualty" was Billy's new Piper Cub which either had a radio problem, or got caught in one of the many rotors that were rolling across the field.

The Control Liners stood their ground in the wind, and the Flite Streaks and Shoestrings...and one lonely Bi-Slob...kept on flying when not taking breaks to allow the R/C's a turn. At this point, the Crop Circle is intersected by the R/C runway, but plans are underway to move it toward the east a bit to give everybody some elbow room.

I had my Sig Kadet Senior Sport out among the Electron Herders, making sure the R/C runway got a good dose of castor oil. The "Big Bunny", Stan Fronabarger's stunt-flapped Flite Streak, got some flying time, though we're gonna have to try it again when things are calmer.

Special Guest, Allen Bagg, drove the 60 miles or so from down south with his collection of Flite Streaks, and had a big time smoking the Crop Circle.

Flyer Brian had his Control Line Shoestring, whose aft CG gave him some considerable entertainment in the rough air.

A great time, and full day, as confirmed this morning by my aching feet and stiff back!

2020 Black Fly Day (9 min 41 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 23, 2020 @ 12:28 AM | 16,066 Views
Continued Crazyness Out In the Shop:

The Little Tom Tom is pretty much through it's construction phase...just getting clear coats 'till it's masked off for color.

So now, it's sibling "The Scout" is up for the bench, and getting it's parts punched out and trimmed.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 19, 2020 @ 10:39 AM | 18,195 Views
Don't know if my retro controliner is gonna be ready for Breezy Hill's "Black Fly Day" on the 27th but, if not, it may be up there as a "Show-&-Tell" static display. The Flyers appreciate the work and time it takes for this special kind of silliness.

After a bunch of carving and sanding, it's time to start the finishing process, which often takes longer than the building process. The paints used---Brodak Dope in this case---must be allowed curing time between coats, along with a light sanding before each new coat is applied.

Since I can't keep the shop heated all the time, Little Tom Tom will be brought inside between each painting session to help set the finish. So, the house will be filled with the special aroma that used to get me banished to the front porch.

It's wing frame will get a brushed-on clear coat to adhere it's silkspan covering. Then more over-all layers 'till it starts to shine, when the paint gun comes out and a thin white coat is applied for a base color. This is followed by scheme color and trim, and a floor littered with bits of masking tape.

As a friend of mine might say, "It's looking mighty airplaney!"
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 17, 2020 @ 10:19 AM | 15,502 Views
So, this little kit popped up on Ebay, and I stalked it for a few days before a last-minute pounce netted me another project in my crowded shop.

This is yet another "Snubbing My Nose at the Past" affair, having built a Little Tom Tom when I was 13 or so, and ending up with WAY-less-than-nice results. The build went well, but I was strapped for money to buy the incredibly expensive bottles of Aerogloss dope to finish it.

My youthful impatience took charge and, instead of waiting and working to get the funds, I decided to try finishing the model with spray paint from some cans I'd found in our old coal shed. As I said, the results were WAY less than nice, with Little Tom Tom's fuel-soaked gooey finish being impossible to clean, or even handle without it leaving it's traces on your fingers.

Like many others, it's life ended in a "Viking Funeral", and another early Life Lesson learned.

This one will be different. It's gonna get a finish of similarly expensive Brodak Dope on silkspan (from my precious stash of that macho tissue), with a base color of cream, red trim, and copying the scheme from it's box photo.

The kit's die-cutting and balsa are actually pretty nice, and I had few problems getting the parts loose from their sheets. I'd assumed, because of it's similarity to the other 1/2A VECO kits that it was designed by the legendary Joe Wagner, but a fellow named "J.E. Barr" is listed instead. The plane is very close in size to my...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Sep 25, 2020 @ 02:47 PM | 14,410 Views
So, there I was, MINDING my own business, when one of those vagabond visions of days long-gone slides through my tired brain.

In the mid-1970's, a couple years before getting my first reliable radio control system, we were still cranking out a fair number of control line model airplanes. Sunday flydays weren't what they'd been just a few years earlier, with girls and motorcycles having taken the lead interest, but we still managed to get some flying done.

Midwest Model Co. had released several profile control line model kits featuring (as I remember): a P-51 Mustang, P-63 Kingcobra, BF-109, and my AD-1 Skyraider. All were scaled to about the same physical size, with the intent of clubs and individual flyers staging aerial combat matches.

I sorta wanted the Kingcobra, but the Skyraider was sitting on a shelf in the hobby store, so that was it. My budget was WAY too tight to risk a plane like this to combat flying, though I think I may have flown it in the same circle with Kevin's Midwest P-51 a few times.

I built it on an overturned dresser drawer in my tiny apartment on North Park Street in Cape. So if you happen to purchase some antique furniture, and find glue blobs, pencil marks, and X-ACTO scrapings on the underside of a drawer, CONGRATULATIONS!'ve also purchased an antique control line building board!

The Skyraider was a large model for my well-worn .35, but still flew OK, with scale-like loops and horizontal 8's, AND, with the lower speed allowing me...Continue Reading