phil alvirez's blog View Details
Archive for November, 2011
Posted by phil alvirez | Nov 29, 2011 @ 10:53 AM | 5,652 Views
chapter 4: at the field!
when i started building models, the only way was free flight. but i just built them. i could not make them fly. tried winding the rubber band and launching, but the plane went bazuk. nothing worth watching.
so for several years i just kept building and improving my skills, until 1 day i met a guy that flew models and he told me that the local air force allowed modelers to fly at the local airfield. i started going there and began to learn what it takes to make a free flight model fly. took me a long time-so much to learn-but was a most rewarding experience. there were the youngsters like me, who flew rubber powered planes, and were scattered all around, and the men, who flew engine powered planes, at the center of the field. those guys arrived early and set camp with ropes and a tent, chairs and table, and dressed as explorers, including a safari hat, and were full of themselves. didn't let us to enter into their camp, so we just watched in awe from the outside those wondrous, humongous planes covered with silk and powered with super cyclone and anderson spitfire engines. and then i watched some getting into thermals. they used dethermalizers, some with a parachute that was kept in a box in the fuselage and when released by a timer, trailed into the wind and dragged the plane down. others used spoilers on top of the wing. then Carl Goldberg invented the tilt/up stab that became the standard since. l learned things like to use long rubber motors and to lubricate and wind them with a hand drill and stretch them; to make a free-wheeling prop, to use shims to change incidence, down and side thrust, to slide the wing back and forth to change the cg; to warp the wing and tail; to turn on glide only tilting the stab; so many things. then folding props. the works!

wonderful times when we discovered flight, and it was the most amazing experience (and still is).
by the way, folks, if anyone has pics that want to share, bring them here. you are welcome.
Posted by phil alvirez | Oct 31, 2011 @ 07:14 PM | 5,930 Views
chapter 4-books!i recall seeing my mother always with a book. any free time she had, she was reading. and that made me try to decipher those signs on the paper, until i learned to read. and that opened a window where the sky is the limit. as soon as i was allowed to go to the library, there i was, exploring all those treasures, windows to the fantasy, where i could learn and dream of all that i wanted. then i discovered books on aviation, first full size, then models. and magazines: Model Airplane News, with all the models, plans, theory...like Charkes H Grant's Design Forum, where i learned how to design my planes. well, he provided proportions, but also let me experiment with structures and airfoils, learning to plot them. and about coordinates, polars, all the mysteries unveiled. then learned about the books of Frank Zaic, with hundreds of plans, structures, more theory. there was no room for more in my life. and so far...still there is no room for anything else. there is no time to try all the ideas. when i corresponded with another great guy, Jim Clem, we agreed that we had to live hundreds of years to be able to try all the things that we dream to do. so little time...although now we have this net thing that goes beyond the wildest dream. today, we are living in a world where science-fiction has become reality. remember Dick Tracy's wrist radio-television that seemed too fantastic? now we all have celulars and see them as the most natural thing.