Raymond-leflyr's blog View Details
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Jan 05, 2020 @ 06:22 PM | 8,011 Views
I was thinking about the difference between what today’s teenage model airplane enthusiast might remember fifty-plus years from now – and what I remember from the mid to late 50’s.

Model Airplane News and Flying Models magazines at 35 cents an issue – more than the price of a 1/6 x 3 sheet of balsa. New Free Flight and CL designs to drool over every month. Dreaming about the single channel radios and models. Ambroid and Testors glue, Butyrate dope. Silkspan covering. The full-page ads from Polk’s and Americas Hobby Center.

Building models from magazine plans or kits that took weeks, if not months, to build. Boy, did I cut a lot of ribs using a used single-edge Gillette razor blades. The designers I looked for; Earl Cayton, Larry Scarinzi, Paul Del Gatto, Henry Struck, Walt Mooney, Sal Taibi. (Not to mention Fixit Wright and Bunny Talby.)
As opposed to today’s $300 SAFE “trainers,” ARFs, computer radios, receiver gyros, “kits” that take a few hours to assemble. Government regulation. Heavy sigh.

Here’s an imaginary conversation in 2070 (translated here to 2020 English), “Yes, grand-child-person we really went outside with no air-masks to fly actual, physical model airplanes that we almost controlled ourselves. No, it’s true! Not virtual hologram images regulated by probes connected to your brain. Oh, sometimes we didn’t even mark our FAA license number on our models - we were so bad!
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Dec 07, 2019 @ 12:16 AM | 6,646 Views
I'm gonna write this here for two reasons; one is that I feel it is safe for me to write this here on a RCG blog since I don't expect too many people (if any) to see this and two, that means I won't get people fussing at me for having an opinion. But it makes me feel better to get things like this out of my system and if I send this to people I know or put it in our club"s newsletter, I might hurts someones feelings or make someone angry. This way I am pretty much anonymous.

I am not a big fan of SAFE. I keep seeing bad things happen to airplanes when the pilot can't exercise enough control to correct a problem. Yes, I know that one can flip a switch and change the setting, but pretty much new pilots in a panic mode don't think of that - let alone remember where the right switch is. Guys at my club have flown into trees and behind the pits when they can't make a sharp enough turn. The other thing is that when a person "masters" his $300 trainer and advances to a more challenging model that isn't equipped with gyros guess what happens. It just makes you sick to see nice World War II ARFs snap on takeoff.

On a positive note; I love my little UMX ARFs. I think it is a mark of our technological progress that someone figured out how to get gyros in those tiny receiver/servo bricks. And I'm betting that they wouldn't sell near as many without gyros. Heavy sigh.

Finally, has anyone beside me found it hard to find the old "bricks" for little scratch indoor projects?

P.S. I have been an active flyer and AMA member since the mid 70s and the good ole days were great, but today's models and systems are better - although I do miss having a winter building project(s).
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Feb 24, 2018 @ 07:48 PM | 6,507 Views
I went to the swap meet at Burlington this morning. I guess I’ve been to this particular one eight or ten times since we’ve been here in North Carolina. I’ve been to Toledo, WRAMs, Lebanon, the Southern Show, and several local versions here and Virginia too over the years. I’ve seen some things change, some haven’t. Multi-rotors and electrics have certainly made an impact. Other “fads” have come along; some stay, some go. But one thing that seems to have remained the same, at least since the mid-70s, is the age of the participants. Actually, if anything, the age of the average aero modeler has risen (rose?, gone up.)
Another thing that I came away from today’s experience is that there just aren’t many things I want or need anymore. Oh maybe a BUSA kit (one that I don’t already have sitting in my attic) at a great price, or a nice Sagitta cheap. But I either have it stashed away upstairs – or I buy it via the Internet (and get it delivered in two days). Yes, that is certainly a comment on the times we live in now.
So back to today, I pretty much gave away the stuff I had brought. And frankly, I threw away most of the rest – except for the NIB 10 cc gas engine – watch for it here on RCGroups (cheesy plug, huh – I love it!)
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Jan 26, 2018 @ 10:29 AM | 6,814 Views
How model aviation has “evolved” for me since the early 70s;

• CL racing and combat (the best of times and fondest memories)
• Mufflers
• First R/C, five channels, “I’ve been hit”, RME
• Wide choice of kits, great magazines and plans
• Hobby shops with what I need
• Better radios, more channels
• Acceptance and curiosity from the public
• Li-pos and brushless motors – no more frequency flags
• Fast forward to the last few years
o Rapid development and availability of new technology
o Irresponsible use of same, mostly ignored
o Regulatory scrutiny and restrictions
o Change in public perception (and reality) of model aviation safety
The result, I fear, is that the hobby that has been an integral part of my adult life is changing around me, out of control, and universally negative. Heaven help me, I may have to take up golf.
There, I’ve had my rant. I wish it had made me feel better. Alas.
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Apr 17, 2017 @ 08:37 AM | 9,101 Views
I just found out that one of my best-ever flying buddies is not well.
I wish I could console him and talk about all the great times we shared.
But time and circumstances has kept us apart and I’m grieving for him and what could have been.
Get well soon – and stay that way old friend.
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Feb 27, 2017 @ 08:11 PM | 9,745 Views
I went to the BARKS swap meet this weekend. Sold some stuff. Gave away some stuff. Left early. Had a good time. BUT I had a brain storm while I took a pass through the aisles, checking out what other people were selling. One of the things that caught my eye was the number of people who had piles of old two-stroke, glow engines that nobody ever buys.

I too have piles of old two-stroke, glow engines that I know I will never mount in a model or run again. I also know I couldn't sell mine either - so here's my brain "storm" (or fill in another word after you read the rest of this).

I'm thinking of taking a dozen or so of them apart; removing the crank shaft and piston, and drilling through the back-plate to make room for a hollow threaded rod so that I could stack them up to make . . . wait for it . . . a LAMP.

I'm thinking of a spiral type pattern with .60s on the bottom, .40s in the middle, and .25s at the top.

Since I have a few transmitters that are leftovers from when I flew with the Good brothers, I thought that the base made from one would be the cat's pajamas. Actually, I do have an Expert transmitter that would be perfect given its flat, square, boxy shape - and snazzy, non-black color.

I figure I could stick the whole thing together with JB Weld and have something that would become a treasure that my grandchildren would fight over when I leave this earthly realm.

Thinking about it some more on the hour-long ride home, and it occurred to me that I...Continue Reading
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Mar 19, 2015 @ 07:49 AM | 11,352 Views
Are any clubs doing Fun Fly’s anymore? I found an article in a 1979 RCM on the subject recently and it reminded me of when my club used to hold a single-task event each month. It wasn’t everybody’s thing but I think it helped to keep interest up for the most active members. It only took an hour or so which meant that we didn’t tie-up the runway for too long.

The tasks were selected with the capabilities of the average pilot and the average plane in mind. None of the plane wrecking tricks specified in “real” competition; Just climb-and-glide, timed flight, taxiing through a course, etc.

We tried electric combat for a while but it didn’t last long. Super simple models, easy to fix at the field - but I think folks just didn’t like it when the models got bent; goes against Nature I guess. Mores the pity.

Anyway, now that I think of it, the fun fly thing probably wouldn’t work well with today’s foam ARFs. But I am curious if anybody is still doing it.
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Feb 19, 2015 @ 11:32 AM | 13,289 Views
Gentle Flyers,

Here is a photo of my electrocuted Hangar Rat. I was motivated to build the little thing by my recent trip to a nearby indoor event that was characterized by numerous UMX ARFs (mine too) zipping hither and hence around a very nice venue. There were a couple of Vapors and such that flew in a manner that was more like what I remember from the 70s when my club had free access to a basketball court in a National Guard Armory. Back then there weren’t any ARFs let alone micro R/C equipment. We built Peanuts, Pistachios, EZBs, Manhattans, HLGs, etc. and spent many happy days enjoying the slow, graceful flight of these beauties.

There were a couple of entry-level models that were popular back then like the Peck R.O.G. and the Hangar Rat. A few feet of 1/8-inch rubber, some lube, a winder, and a stooge put you in business for maybe ten or twelve dollars. The Hangar Rat was a little bigger than the others and could be flown outdoors at dusk when the wind dropped. Ah, the good ole days!

This one has the R/C innards from a defunct Parkzone something but is “traditional” in all other respects – including the non-doped, but crinkled, Esaki tissue covering. I hope to take it with me to the GAMA swap meet to play with in their indoor area in a couple of weeks.
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Nov 21, 2014 @ 07:14 PM | 11,334 Views
Gentlemen (I always have to smile when I write that word here),
In keeping with my commitment to provide the tiny airplane world with the best opportunities to increase their pleasure, I hereby present a way for modelers to “invest” for their hobby. Picture it; the latest issue of your favorite model magazine arrives in your mail box. You tear off the envelope and race to the porcelain seat where you settle down for a good ‘read’. You normally flip past the same full-page ads that are unchanged from month to month – but wait! What’s this; a thing of beauty ARF that has your name written all over it - you say to yourself, I MUST have one! But, whoa look at that price! How can I work that into the household budget . . . walk to work, sell the dog, talk to the wife about her working for a dating service? Well dear friends, there’s a better way. Sign up with RL Nvestment Survices, llc. Stand back and wait for the hobby dollars to start rolling in! You really, really want that OctoCopter that flies itself don’t you? PM me after midnight tonight with your credit card number and I’ll get back to you pretty soon. (As always, results may vary.)
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | May 07, 2014 @ 06:19 PM | 12,051 Views
A few months ago I “discovered” the blogs on RCGroups. Years ago I had made one entry in my own RCG Blog shortly after I joined the group – just to try out my new “personality”.

Fast forward a couple of years and I decided to make one or two more entries just for fun. After that I started scanning each day’s blog entries and – I quickly became . . . well, bored; photo after photo of yet another ARF or photo after photo of yet another quad/drone. Rarely is there some information about a model that someone actually built.

Don’t get me wrong I’ve gotten a couple of ARFs myself. In fact, I fly my Fun Cub more than anything else – even my previous favorite Electro-Hots (built from plans) and my relaxifier Lanzo Bomber (also built from plans). I have known for a long time that I derive as much pleasure in the workshop as I do on the flight line – and that my flight line experience is enhanced by knowing that that thing in the air is really “mine”.

Ah there, I feel better now. Here’s a photo of my ‘Bomber and ‘Hots.

When you post a blog entry apparently RCG takes you to it so you can see how it looks. Gee, I didn't realize what a great looking guy I am 'til I looked closely at me holding the 'Bomber. I look wise and knowledgeable too doncha think?
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Mar 09, 2014 @ 06:41 PM | 11,897 Views
Hey, stand up and be a man! Deny the influence of the Media who only promotes “larger sizes” to increase sales! Yes, I am man enough to admit it; the “petites” do turn me on. There, I’ve said it out loud for the entire world to hear - and I’m not ashamed!

“Oh”, you drool, “look at the D’s being boldly displayed over there. Aren’t they wonderful?” Well, just because, thanks to the current fashions, our proverbial “cup runneth over” are we too timid to stand up for the “little people” and their small “endowments”? I say, NOT!

Give me a modest C or even a delicate B any day.

Alright, alright here’s the deal; I do hereby expose my manhood to ridicule – but I don’t care . . . my favorite models have . . . up front . . . As - and dare I say it – even 1/2As!
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Feb 16, 2014 @ 09:35 AM | 12,920 Views
This epic tale of love and denial was born in a time when different social classes were kept strictly separated – and yet these two impetuous young people would let no mere polite conventions make them keep their eyes on the ground. Follow the tale of two star-crossed lovers of things altitudinous through their ups and downs - soaring flights to humiliating crashes – and finally to – well you’ll just have to buy the book.

The author has refused to reveal the sources and inspiration for this ground-breaking work – but regardless, it remains the sole and only account of the true beginnings of our beloved hobby/sport – R/C Sailplanes. So, find a copy of this literary classic and prepare yourself to plunge into the very souls of Keith-Kliff and Kate.

As a conscientious reviewer, I cannot allow myself to divulge the most riveting passages to you, dear reader. However, I will tease you with the following exchange that takes place in the very first chapter.

“Oh Keith-Kliff, this wondrous model you have built makes me all warm – deep inside!”
“Stifle yourself Kate, and watch me hurl it off this castle turret with my suntanned, muscular right arm.”
“Oh Keith-Kliff!”

Later towards the end of the saga where there may be a glorious ending waiting for you – or not (heh, heh) – I tease you again with quotes directly from the book.

“Oh Keith-Kliff, what insightful and clever name will you give to this launching mechanism you have so brilliantly devised?”
“. . . I will...Continue Reading
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Feb 07, 2014 @ 09:40 PM | 12,388 Views
I’ve been thinking that I need a nickname; something in keeping with my reputation among the miniature aviation community. I mean a lot of politicians and other superior people have monikers in quotes in between their front and back names. So why shouldn’t I? Do you remember Abraham “Abe” Lincoln, Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson, George “Babe” Ruth, and Jim “Reverend Jim” Ignatowski”?

The first thing that leapt to mind was “Ace” of course; Raymond “Ace” Leflyr. Has a certain ring to it don’t it? Conjures up images in my mind of a combat hairball where my SST model (electric powered) is festooned with numerous streamers that have been deftly plucked from the dozen other models in the sky.

Alas, as appropriate as “Ace” might be, I fear that it has been overdone. “So”, I said to myself; “what could be fitting, correct, and accurate – yet humble?” I thought of some examples that might represent my many skills such as, “Flash”, “Champ”, and even “Super Man”. Then I thought it might be humorous to ordinary people to refer to myself in completely absurd terms like, “Crash”, “Goofy”, or . . . “Honest”.

Then inspiration struck (it always happens to me that way), I think Raymond “Genghis” Leflyr says it all. Watch out Tartar peasants!

P.S. Seriously, I know that nobody reads blogs (I myself am a regular reader of only one blog, Heilig’s, here on RCG) so I take this as an opportunity to just be silly and amuse myself – since I no longer have another outlet for wurds. To prove my point; what blogs do you read regularly?
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Jan 31, 2014 @ 02:56 PM | 11,785 Views
I remember the discussion V** and I had one time. There we were sitting in an upscale dining establishment (the exterior featured stylized arches if memory serves) basking in the warm glow of contentment that follows a fine meal served in an environment of casual graciousness (urp). As is always the case between us, the subject was focused on things that fly - up, up, and away. Way far away in this case as we were discussing how best to distribute the ashes of a dear departed fellow aeromodeller. As our minds soared (heh, heh) I revealed that I had recently completed a forty-size Telemaster. How easy it would be to fit a recess into her belly to hold the revered remains that could be opened to dispense same over a model airfield, garden, or a favorite motel/trysting place (!)

I recall that we sat silent for a time; as if in the grip of reverent contemplation . . . then V** suggested that we could perhaps market the service and thereby finance many glorious modelling projects. In that way, he suggested, we would become the envy of our fellow club mates (and also relieve the never-ending pressure from our wives’ to stem the flow of funds into the coffers of various foreign and domestic toy-stuff vendors).

For myself, I saw “Final Flight llc” as a sacred calling to bring warmth and feeling to a process of honoring the passing of a fellow hobbyist. Whereas the person I had just shared a repast with was interested only in crass commercialism - feathering his own nest as it were. I was outraged and disappointed of course. As I choked back tears of frustration I turned the discussion to other subjects (which was easy to do since V** has an incredibly short attention span). In a flash he was staring vacantly off into the distance (toward the “dollar” menu I believe), mumbling something about a speed rally.
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Jan 29, 2014 @ 10:31 AM | 11,802 Views
I was recently pondering my eventual demise and wondering how best my hobby cohorts may celebrate (?) my passing. Then in a flash of brilliance (as it often does) it came to me; a procession (a somber parade if you will).

Picture it; a line of pickup trucks (mini vans would be acceptable but no semi’s) slowly passing by the end of our driveway. Each one pauses briefly as my wife grabs handfuls of toy stuff and tosses it into the truck’s bed until the mourner beeps indicated that he/she has enough to mollify his/her grief (or there is no more room). The driver then rolls gloomily off (no wheelies or burning rubber – that would be disrespectful). Hark, is that the barely audible sound of melancholy bagpipes in the distance?

There are two major benefits to this plan; my pals would think of me fondly as they used (or sold) my many treasures, and my wife would finally be able to rid herself of all that “trash” in my playroom (garage, attic, and hidden under beds).
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Nov 27, 2007 @ 09:02 PM | 12,454 Views
. . . that it was Marco Polo's birthday. He's the guy who invented morse code in case you forgot.

Oh all right, I'm recovering from surgery and I can't get upstairs to my workshop/playroom. Can you say, "bored?"
Posted by Raymond-leflyr | Sep 09, 2006 @ 04:36 PM | 12,887 Views
9/9/2006 I have been totally enjoying the brushless/li-po experience for the past two years. Today marks the first time I turned the prop on a Johnson 250 (J250) motor (one of ten I recently received from Hong Kong). This one is mounted on my Lady Bug (the ARF that I bought cheap in a swap meet). I didn't get to fly the model but I did do a couple of donuts on the shop floor.

Maybe I 'll get to fly it tomorrow - maybe fly some SSC combat tomorrow too.