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Posted by GRW3 | Jun 06, 2019 @ 01:28 PM | 579 Views
We removed the last of our non-fixed assets from the field we've leased since 2005 last Saturday. I had not intended to go back but it was a duty. The biggest thing we had to remove was the tractor shed. It was a modular construction so it wasn't that difficult but it did require some exertion. We also removed all San Antonio Prop Buster signs and painted over those we could not remove. While we technically still lease the field until the end of August, it's clear we are no longer in control, so we just wanted to disassociate our name from any potential issues.

Some people brought planes to fly but not me. I flew there once after the notification but I didn't like it very much. I've already joined two other local clubs to have a place to fly, both with better facilities. I didn't join them before because I'm a loyal SAPB member since '84, so I flew there. It was no problem for me but I knew people who stayed away from it because they felt it was too hazardous to their aircraft. We sort of got this field from a (then) generous offer from a local flyer, that sort of turned into a trap, when we lost both of our previous fields. I believe we are going to take a much more judicious approach to finding another field.
Posted by GRW3 | May 11, 2019 @ 12:24 AM | 1,002 Views
Things just don’t last… The original garage door in this ‘62 house started falling apart on me. (No, I didn’t acquire it when I was 10, we bought it in ‘91.) It was a traditional four panel design with glass at eye level. It was pretty heavy. The glass had been painted over before we got it but that just provided privacy, the infrared light came right through and it could be very hot but it worked well enough. Until the end of April.

I had just unloaded from a day at the field and went to shut the door. About 3/4 of the way down it jammed. When I pushed a little harder, the bottom ripped off. Time for a new garage door. Before that could be done, I had to clear out the back half of my shop. All airplanes were moved to the TV room or stored in my minivan. The building board were covered boxes and tools.

It took a while to coordinate time with my son-in-law but we ( and by “we” I mostly mean him) got a new door installed. I got an insulated four panel from Lowe’s. It’s much lighter than the old door and the insulation is a godsend. It may be spring but a west facing garage door gets hot pretty easy.

This is my busy travel season but I finally managed to get everything back in order and working on models again. Besides putting in a new door, I have also been doing some rearranging to get more useful space that had been lost to, essentially, inertia.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 28, 2019 @ 10:03 AM | 757 Views
The title to this blog post is a quote from the Propbusters movie below… I agree…

These two movies are available on Amazon Prime and I recommend them both. RC Propbusters: Untold is an intimate look at modeling in Connecticut but it could be anywhere. It will have the most appeal to this group. Model Citizen is about model railroading and while that is not a focus of this group it says a lot of meaningful things about the importance of a hobby.

One of the things apparent in both films is that modeling is primarily an adult pursuit. I have felt for decades that the AMA has wasted a lot of resources trying to return to the halcyon days when model aviation was the rage among the youth of America. It’s proba why they went so gaga over multirotors. Those days aren’t coming back. Better they spend money advertising with AARP than what they have done. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be youth outreach, just that it shouldn’t be so consuming. It should be more along the lines of EAA’s Youmg Eagles program. There - Visible - Far from the primary emphasis.

RC Modeling may actually be suffering from this overemphasis on kids by making our hobby appear childish. This is a great hobby for adults. It is a great stress reliever. It keeps your fine motor skills going. It gets you outside away from the TV. It lets you participate in man’s greatest desire - to fly.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 25, 2019 @ 01:07 PM | 1,209 Views
I saw Richard Stubblefield in the CL Combat column in a recent issue of Model Aviation. He was a hero to me when I was in high school, when I was flying control line. I was never a competitor but I loved to go to the contests at Melrose park and watch him fly combat and people like George Aldrich fly stunt. I didn't really know about Melrose Park until I got my drivers license and could get around on my own. I knew about Ace Hobbies off Tidwell but when I was dependent on Dad, the instructions were (as we were invariably on our way to somewhere else) go in and get what I need quickly. When I could drive, I could hang out. When I was hanging out is when I learned about Melrose Park. This led to really successful control line flying.

My friends and I had been flying control line in backyards and the nearby elementary school parking lot for several years. I went through several Goldberg models, like Li'l Jumping Bean and Little Toot, with limited success. I got the basics down with a Cox PT-19 but I wanted a better experience. Hanging out at Ace Hobbies resulted in meeting some good control line flyers, who introduced me to Melrose Park as a place to fly the real thing. Inspired, I built a Sterling Ringmaster with, in a daring move against conventual wisdom, an OS 35 CL engine. There was some question about the OS instead of the traditional Fox but the running characteristics spoke volumes. I was plenty nervous when I first flew the Ringmaster at Melrose but I was surprised...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 22, 2019 @ 11:09 PM | 913 Views
We’re supposed to have the field until the end of August but I believe the end will come much sooner. Not wishing to take a chance, the club has decided to remove all of our removable assets. We suspect the owners will be very unhappy and terminate our lease immediately. They understand we are going to take our tractors, large and small, but they may not understand we’re taking everything that is not rooted in the ground.

I’ve been a member of the San Antonio Propbusters since January 1984. It was only the third RC club of which I was a member. The others were in Houston, Jetero R/C (still going) and Sheldon R/C (long gone). I’ll stay a member as long as the club goes on, field or no field. I have to have a place to fly, so I’ve joined the Boerne Area Model Society, BAMS. I’ve flown there several times and I have some good friends in that club. It’s a little further to drive but not terrible.

The reason for the last trip to Somerset was to get a flight in with my Sport Cub as close to the anniversary date of when I first started flying it four years ago. Earlier in this blog I discussed how I got back to serious flying. The Sport Cub was my means. It certainly shows its wear and the numerous repairs. It’s been flown at BAMS several times including once when most were not flying because of the winds, a testament to my efforts to get my flying skills back online.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 14, 2019 @ 11:15 PM | 1,394 Views
We’ve lost another field or, to be more correct, we’ losing the field at the end of the summer. The owners of the property have decided to take it over and run it themselves. Don’t know if we can recover, the clubs four decade run may be coming to an end. Just found out today. This morning, I was thinking how nice it looked with the wildflowers in the non-flight areas.
Posted by GRW3 | Nov 18, 2018 @ 07:44 PM | 2,805 Views
I’ve had this blog since 2006. One of my early posts discussed my clubs field travails. In particular, I lamented the one that cost us a lot of money. Here is the post:

Retread-Flying-Field-Daze

Yesterday, I had a reason to return to the landfill. We had done some demolition work for a room remodel and need to dump the debris. My son-in-law drove and I took it in. I felt a wave of nostalgia as we turned in the gate, the first time since 2005. Through the weigh scales, past the methane powered generators and up the old familiar hill. Even the turn off was the same one we used to use. The difference now being the giant landfill mountain where the flying field used to be.

My son-in-law and his two helpers unloaded the debris while I contemplated the fields fate. The 2020 date we were supposed to have the field to seemed a long time in the early ‘90s but not so long now. With the changes in the hobby, I wonder if we could have kept the 150 member roster that field needed to keep the maintenance up or would we be struggling now with no money to move on when they did claim the field for use. Never know.

We’re doing OK now. I think the recession hurt a lot due to gas prices but, thanks to fracking, that looks to be history. We’ve got one modest sized signature event for the fall and are trying to establish one for the spring. The fall event, discussed in an earlier pot is for modeler built models. With good weather we get about 25 pilots averaging about two planes each. We’ll be OK.
Posted by GRW3 | Nov 04, 2018 @ 12:03 PM | 3,452 Views
I went up to Flite Fest Texas with my buddy Ron Fritz on Friday. It was a two hour trip from his house ( about 20 mi east of San Antonio.). After such a wet fall in Texas, it great to see a sunny, CAVU day. There had been some rain Wednesday night so there was some mud but it was not a big deal. (If it had been a normal fall, it wouldn’t have been a deal at all.)

I flew my share but I spent more time just taking things in and absorbing the ambiance. What a great spirit, people of all ages having a great time. The combat segments are way more mesmerizing in person than in the videos. There was a streamer event that I would have participated in if I had been clever enough to read and understand the schedule. All the big crazy planes were just fun.

I did buy some Flite Test stuff. Their store was well laid out, even if the grass floor was a little squishy. Everyone working there was super nice. They had all their fast build kits laid out in separate bins, with all their power packs and batteries next to them. I bought a mini scout and a double A pack. Double because I have a balsa School Boy kit that needs the same size system. I also got a couple of t-shirts.

I did chat with Laine, of Laine’s Planes, and good naturedly prodded him about the glue caddy he’s supposed to make for me. He was a little apologetic but I told him I knew he had a busy show and rescue helicopter season so winter would be soon enough. He left most of the work to his wife as he was busy...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:54 AM | 3,427 Views
A couple of years ago, my trusty DX7 Acro (gen1) started giving me problems. This was after it had been accidentally knocked out of my hands. I was otherwise happy with Spektrum so I intended to stick with it. Looking at the variety of transmitters they had available at the time, I couldn’t make a decision on which one to get. About the same time, They introduced the entry level DX6E, offering a good deal with a receiver and it ran genuine Airware, so that’s what I got.

I’ve had pretty good service with the DX6E, only had to send it in once for a power switch issue. Still, with time I decided I wanted to move up to a better model. I particularly wanted to get dual diversity because I want to go to more events, like I used to, and I think it’s an advantage in a crowded radio environment. Also, the more advanced radios offer features, like talking, not available on the E model radios. So I’ve been shopping this year. I started following the big DX thread on RC Groups.

I have to admit I was attracted by the whiz bang dual computer iX12. I started following that thread too. There was a lot to like. It is very advanced in some aspects but at its heart it’s a DX with a cool interface. I got a chance to handle one at the Toledo R/C Show and I was impresses by layout and graphics. Still, it’s very pricey. I also noticed that the iX12 forum thread spends a lot of time talking about operating problems whereas the DX thread spends most of its posts discussing how to do things....Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Aug 18, 2018 @ 05:51 PM | 3,730 Views
I was building a Balsa USA Fokker EIII and nearing the end of the assembly. I could have gone with the plain stock gear but I wanted that EIII look. I also had to modify it to take some Top Flite wire wheels I needed to figure out how to solder larger pieces. Low and behold, Balsa USA has a video about soldering landing gear on their website. Great, I thought.

As I watched the video it showed the prep, how to get the pieces together and then the copper wire wrap. Then he got the soldering iron. It was huge, compared to the normal soldering iron. I knew then that’s what I needed to get, a big soldering iron. As I recall, he gives a watt range to look for. I found this one on Amazon.

I got it. It works great. The only the he didn’t mention was that it takes about 30 minutes to get up to temperature. There are ones with more wattage available on Amazon but they cost a lot more money.
Posted by GRW3 | May 10, 2018 @ 07:19 PM | 3,392 Views
I was getting frustrated. I wanted to read MA on the airplane but when I opened the app, it wasn’t there. Then I noticed every time I opened it, I had to download MA again. Hmm, not happy. I knew you used to be able download and hold, why not now? I started poking around the tools but didn’t find any specific info about downloading.

I did note, however, I had two 2017 months of MA in a Download column. I wondered, if I delete these will I be able to download and hold the current issue. Well, let’s swipe left and give it a shot. I eliminated the two stored issues and reloaded the current issue. After reloading, I stepped back to the introduction screen and it now says READ (see picture) instead of DOWNLOAD. I then checked download page in the tools and the current issue is now there.

So, failing to find any other controls, I assume the iPad app allows you to keep two (2) issues of Model Aviation downloaded at a time.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 22, 2018 @ 11:05 PM | 3,643 Views
Around 97-98, I bought an RTF from the local HobbyTown. I wanted it as a trainer for my boys, who were bracketing 10 at the time. For various reasons that didn’t work out so I started flying it as a sport plane. I flew it as a pleasant break from the various and sundry higher performance planes that accompanied it to the field. I flew it a lot. A lot, 2 or 3 flights a trip to the field.

It started with a Thunder Tigre 0.40 engine and an Airtronics radio. I wore out that Thunder Tiger out and replaced it with an OS 46FX I had available. Woo Hoo! That was an exciting upgrade. I literally flew the covering off. Not figuratively, literally. It had that old sticky back covering that wasn’t repairable. One flight led to a terrible buzzing, half the lower wing covering was in shreds. Not only that several hinges were broke. Completely removed with Monokote. It’s now on its third motor and third radio flight pack.

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Posted by GRW3 | Apr 15, 2018 @ 12:50 AM | 4,011 Views
My long time modeling pal, Jim, and I went to the Weak Signals R/C show this year. We’ve both been before. I’ve been 6 or 7 times since ‘83, he’s been a couple and we last came together in ‘06. This post is to talk about what we did and what you might do for a Toledo, or other show, trip.

Getting There

I fly a lot for business. In general, more flying as a reward for flying isn’t that exciting. Over the years, most my miles have gone to friends and family. This was a good occasion. We decided to do this trip in November so I got two round trip tickets from San Antonio to Detroit, on American for 50K miles, Thursday to Sunday. If you don’t have miles consider Southwest Airlines. They routinely have buy ahead sales and April in Detroit is not high tourist season so Toledo weekend shouldn’t be a blackout time. Jim rented a car.

Staying

The attached to the show Park Inn is convenient but not cheap. I have travel related hotel points so I got us a room at the Marriott Fairfield just inside the state line off Alexis Rd. On a Texas driving scale, Toledo is small so it was fine with the downtown cutoff being two exits down the highway. The free morning breakfast was pretty good. I use Fairfields and Hamptons for routine business travel.

Eating

I put up a post in the Toledo Show forum page asking for recommendations on where to eat, and got plenty. On Thursday, we went to Tony Packo’s. It was great. Friday we went to Jason Cole’s favorite, Shorty’s Roadhouse (...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 12, 2018 @ 10:25 PM | 3,960 Views
I posted the story of my old friend in the Sport Cub thread.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...ostcount=18029
Posted by GRW3 | Mar 04, 2018 @ 11:23 AM | 4,617 Views
I’ve flown the heck out of the Sport Cub (SC). After a few years of only dabbling in RC Flying, I decided to get serious. I was capable, I didn’t need a straight trainer, just not as capable as I used to be. The SC embodied a lot of my favorite elements: high wing, taildragger, scale looking. I got it and started flying it, a lot.

At first, it was my only flying plane. I’d fly it five or six times a session. Once I became familiar with it, I got bold. Wind? No problem. Crosswind? No problem. Reverse pattern? No problem. Strange field? No problem. Combinations of these issues? No problem. Well, of course starting to do these things was a problem, mentally, but I was determined.

Once I was comfortable with all that I started pushing other limits. In doing so, I’ve broken the poor SC several times. Each time I’ve repaired it but the wear and tear has taken its toll. A full wing Cub type is never a great aerobatic plane but as long as it’s straight it can do passable aerobatics. A bent SC, not so much.

I like doing close in, low aerobatics. Not 3D but maneuvers a full size airplane could do. I can still do it but with bent plane it’s a handful. I knew I needed a new plane in this class for this type of flying. There are a handful of planes that came close but just st didn’t seal the deal. Then Horizon announced they were going to offer an E-Flite Clipped Wing Cub (CWC). Bingo!

I love CWCs. I’ve had two 1/4 scale ones in the past and have a third in the planning stages. Yes, I thought, I’ll have one of these. As soon as means, motive and opportunity gelled, I ordered one. It’s ready to go but the weather isn’t. While I don’t mind flying a known airplane in the wind, it’s not ideal for a maiden. Anticipation grows.
Posted by GRW3 | Feb 18, 2018 @ 03:16 AM | 4,892 Views
I occasionally participate in swap meets. I go to them more often to buy odds and ends but every few years I have some 5hings to sell. This was a sell year. I teamed up my pals Jim Branaum and Bob Severance, who did this much more often. We went to the San Antonio area Tri City Flyers Swap Meet, an annual event I like to get to to hit the itenerate hobby shops, if nothing else. On a personal basis, it’s a good place to catch up with old pals.

There had been a great disturbance in the Swap Meet force in January. The long standing Georgetown RC Swap Meet had been visited by the Tax Man. The state comptrollers had shown up to register all the amateur sellers to pay sales tax. (Yes, it’s true. If you rent a space to sell, you owe sales tax.) Some vendors pulled chocks and left but not all. A week or so ago we got a note from Tri City that the same would apply there too. It takes about 15min to get a sales tax ID on line so we did it. We wondered how it would affect the event. It did seem to have an impact. There were empty tables both Friday and Saturday.

The backstory on Georgetown is that, as related by the grapevine, they have a disgruntled former member who is waging a vendetta against them. Someone with political clout sufficient to roust out the staties to hassle them. What we're not quite sure of is if this caused the state to send notes to swap meet organizers to pay up or if Tri City poked the bear.

I gathered up my things and piled the into Jim’s truck to...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Jan 01, 2018 @ 11:26 AM | 6,293 Views
Ever have one of those days where the flying gods hit you with lightning but you still end up satisfied?

We like to have holiday weekend events. By observation, we found that having an event on the actual holiday wasn’t the best plan. We have since moved our events to the Saturday before and that has worked much better. This last Saturday 12/30 we had our New Year’s Event. We had good food (burgers, hot dogs, links and tamales) and a good turnout. The weather hasn’t been cooperative this holiday season but it was reasonably pleasant.

I arrived just before noon, put the chili in the smoker and got everything set up. I started to fly once and there were, unusually, four planes up (our limit) so I started visiting. In short order lunch was called. I went over and fixed a chili cheese burger and covered a couple of tamales with chili then sat down to eat. While I was eating, a young man launched one of those folded foam board airplane. As it flew around, I could tell it was slightly tail heavy, controllable - barely.

While still eating, I hear those infamous words “heads up!” I looked up just in time to see that foam board airplane pummelt down and smash into mine!

The picture shows them at rest after the impact. Startled, I just stared for a few seconds. Initial observation made me think it had almost missed and only pushed down the right aileron. I got up, set down my lunch, took a picture and then picked up the airplane. Focusing on the aileron, I noted it...Continue Reading
Posted by GRW3 | Nov 13, 2017 @ 12:06 AM | 4,584 Views
We were at a flying event. We had limbered up we some afternoon flights on arrival the previous day. I flew my Sport Cub and my buddy flew his 35cc powered Extra. It flew better than ever after he had replaced a fussy throttle servo. The almost new engine was still breaking in but it was solid.

The next morning, first he made a minor repair on another plane and flew it. Then he pulled up the Extra to the starting area. We got it started, no problem. The he rolled it to the take off zone and we went to the pilot station. He gave it full throttle, it zoomed up high, arced over the top of an elliptical loop and came plummeting down into the pits, full speed. Just about as fast as you could read it. Shock! Stunned silence for a few moments. I had yelled “Watch out” but would not have done any good.

He said he wasn’t worried when the plane popped up because strong gusts had been causing serious ballooning on approaches all morning. When it wouldn’t push over... roll.. or throttle back he knew there was a problem. He yelled too but I don’t remember. All I remember is that red specter flashing straight down into the ground.

There was a guy standing in the same location as the person in the wreckage picture when it hit. He fell upon impact. I was afraid the wing had caught him but thankfully “no” it was just the startling nature of the impact that bowled him over.

The engine was broken into three pieces. The head ended up in the starting station. We picked up and swept up as well as we could but little bits of debris were everywhere. After he calmed down, he flew out the day with other airplanes.
Posted by GRW3 | Jul 30, 2017 @ 10:26 PM | 5,464 Views
I captured this image from the Flite Test video highlights of Flite Fest East '17. I think it really shows the spirit of the event, a mixture of flying and community. I like the big events for experienced modelers. I've been to some in the past and I'd like to catch some others in the future but it think the Flite Test guys are seeding the future of the hobby. We won't get all the people they touch but hopefully we get enough to keep the hobby alive.
Posted by GRW3 | Apr 02, 2017 @ 05:23 PM | 7,023 Views
About a year and a half ago, I had no flying airplanes. The trainer of had flown sporadically over a decade needed serious work. The three channel electric Cub was deaujjjd. I wanted to get back on track. I had seen good words about the Eflite Sport Cub so I bought one of those. It proved to be a good choice. It's an excellent flyer, exactly in my preferred type of flying.

At the same time, I wanted to start building again. I had a Sig LT-25 and an OS 25LA that I bought quite a while ago for the youngest son, who decided he liked rockets better. I decided a Sig kit would be an excellent way to get my building chops back (what a nice kit).

Early last year I was wandering through the not so LHS and they had a Hobbico AcroWot on clearance. I had built an original AcroWot from a self imported kit back in the '80s and it was a great flier. I noted the e-version but thought I had missed my chance, so I snatched it up. I escaped death by Tactic and put a Spektrum receiver in it. About the same time I got a complete Alpha trainer (airframe, engine, radio, flight box, starter, etc) for a song from a family friend who runs a pawn shop and wanted it out of his inventory.

The LT-25 was a delight to fly and the Alpha, by comparison, was a ponderous pig. The Alpha went on the "not likely" list. I took a flyer and got one of the 42" Eflite P47s on clearance. It has been a learning experience.

After finishing the LT, I decided to tackle a Sig Kougar rebuild. Middle...Continue Reading