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Posted by bob57hdt | Nov 03, 2017 @ 01:22 AM | 1,274 Views

2017 Raffle Donors: Bob Smith Industries, Curt White, Dream-Flight, Dremel, Fly by Night Models, Hitec/RCD, Hobbico/Great Planes, John Cole, and Robin's Hobby.

What an eventful year this has been and it is not over yet. It has been a year of exciting and tragic events. We all know about the three hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico, Houston, the southeast US and the wild fires in the west, especially tragic those in the Santa Rosa area and the recent terrorist attack in New York City.

It was also a special year in many other ways. I am not a big baseball fan but I did watch this years World Series. I found it a very exciting and special World Series. It seems that every game posted a new record for the World Series and we had two teams that were the best in Major League playing each other. Not the same old teams but ones that have not been in the series for many years. The two duked it out for 7 games and the team from a devastated area won bringing some happiness to a city that needed some good news.....

Extremely special to me was this years Katie Martin International Tribute (KMIT). If you remember back at the first Katie Tribute I stated that I wanted the world to know how important and how much Katie contributed to Bob Martin RC Models and the sport of Slope soaring. This was the core reason for the Katie Tribute....

This year we reached new heights in the Katie Martin International Tribute. For the first...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jan 12, 2017 @ 03:55 PM | 4,324 Views
Hi again,
I told you that I was going to clean out the garage to make room for the 57 Chevy. This is a daunting task but you have to start somewhere. I found some boxes on the shelves filled with photos and slides. Much of them are of Katie's family (Mother, sisters, brother in laws, nieces and nephews) but some are of us, our trips to England, Costa Rica, trade shows all over the USA, motorcycle days etc.
In that this thread is paying tribute to Katie and her contributions to the RC soaring world, I thought the following photos were apropos. Katie taught many many guys to fly on the slope and a few wives and girlfriends too. This location is Ave. 37 or Mt. Washington in Los Angeles.
Posted by bob57hdt | Jul 22, 2016 @ 06:52 PM | 4,928 Views

The 2016 Katie Martin International Tribute was different in so many way. Every year each event takes on a new and interesting life of its' own.

As I have mentioned and as these blog entries are titled, Life is Good again. It has taken me 6 plus years to begin to be a whole person again. If you have followed our career and life, you know Katie and I were one person in two bodies. We were the sum of each other and our strengths and weaknesses were supported by the other. Slowly I have learned to live without her physical presents, although in nearly everything I do, I can feel her presents helping me to find solutions and make decisions that we use to make together.

So, LIFE IS GOOD AGAIN means that I have found the way to continue my life, have fun again, take on challenges and strive to be all I can be on my own. I have had lots of help along the way....believe me. You may have been at one or more of the Katie Tributes...talking with me and letting me talk about slope soaring and Katie....that was part of the help I needed to heal and move forward.....Thank you....You may be one of the thousands of people that read my blog or visit the Katie Tribute thread....this is very therapeutic also and I thank you too.

Each year I get a little sharper and am able to plan and execute my life and the Tribute better. Last year Pete suggested event shirts...he claims his entire wardrobe consists of event shirts...I was not able to put...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jun 29, 2016 @ 11:51 PM | 5,553 Views
Hello again,
It has been more than six months since I wished you all a Merry Christmas. I am not real big on the politically correct thing and I hope I have not offended anyone, but we are all adults and I believe in honesty over dancing around the bush. Say what you mean and mean what you say. One of you commented recently to me that I am what I appear to be. I sure hope so, otherwise my late mother and wife would be very disappointed in me and would probably haunt me.

Having that out of the way, I am still basking in the enjoyment of June 4th at Torrey Pines. The 2016 version had a number of firsts. This was the 6th annual event and the 4th International event.

Our good friend in Venezuela, Gonzalo, is an attorney and has been working hard to keep the patriotic citizens fighting for democracy out of jail. He is doing what he can to help guide his country out of the dictator led communist regime, that is bankrupting the country, toward free elections and democracy. For this reason, he and his countrymen could not stage their normal Katie Martin Tribute but followed our thread and participated in spirit. We wish him and his countrymen the very best and hope they will succeed soon.

We had a new comer, Norbert, from Germany join in as best he could. He recently was introduced to the Hobie Hawk and followed the Katie Martin Thread, joined in, posted pictures and in his own way, had a one man Tribute and celebrated and honored Katie.

We also had a...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Dec 07, 2015 @ 03:13 PM | 6,116 Views
2015 has been an interesting year for me. Accepting that I have a health issue and dealing with it successfully. Gaining a handle on focus, energy and the future with greater clarity and my renewed interest in designing, building and flying. All in has been the best year I have had since my sweetheart Katie passed away.

I would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that the date for the next Annual Katie Martin Tribute will be June 4th, 2016 at Torrey Pines.

My sincere gratitude to all of you that have followed my Blog here and I want to wish all of you the VERY BEST WISHES FOR A FANTASTIC HOLIDAY SEASON. Be safe, healthy and make sure your loved ones know you appreciate them.

Best of everything to you and MERRY CHRISTMAS from me to you!

Posted by bob57hdt | Sep 20, 2015 @ 01:46 PM | 6,910 Views


Chapter 5 will be the final chapter and I am still trying to locate, scan and present promotions and ads for the Hobie Hawk over the years. Some very creative and beautiful ads were run by the various companies that produced the Hobie Hawk. One such ad prompted a phone call from a Madison Avenue Ad agency, looking to get a piece of the action. When asked what they would charge for such an ad, they calmly said they could do an ad like this one for around $20,000.00. That is just the production cost folks, and has nothing to do with the placement in a magazine......They obviously do not understand the hobby industry but shows the quality and creative effort the Hobie Hawk inspired. I will keep looking and will present as many as I can.
If any of you have access to any Hobie Hawk ads or reviews, please let me know.
Until then.....

This appeared at the end of Chapter Four and my sincere thanks to Tony Johnson, Greg Garrett, Curtis White, Mitch Brian and Gerry Yarish at Model Airplane News for sending me ads and copy to help complete this final chapter. Sorry if I missed someone.....but thanks to everyone who helped out. I spoke to Dennis Ross and he does not remember running any paid ads, so I will present what I have collected and those sent to me because of the Hobie Tales thread on RC Groups. I tried other threads but received no response.

I am going to include price lists, order forms, promotional flyers, Magazine...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Aug 19, 2015 @ 11:30 PM | 7,599 Views


I do not remember the hot wire machine for the rudder and stabs. I do remember that they were cut with multiple wires. I have a vague image of the foam blocks, from the same foam as the wings, sitting vertically with a clamp that held the block in place. The arm with the wires was brought down around templates and cut the stabs and a different jig cut the rudder foam blanks. As I remember it, we got four or more elevators and four or more rudders from each block.

The horizontal stabs had hardwood leading edges glued in place and the root injected molded pieces were glued on. They were then sanded and prepared for the 1/64th (.4mm) ply skins to be applied. Special aluminum platens were also used to vacuum bag the horizontal pieces. Like the wings, there were holes in the foam, die-cut ply skins with holes for alignment and glued, vacuumed bagged and cured.

On the rudder, after the foam cores were cut and prepared, the injected molded rudder piece with control horn was glued into place and a wood wedge was glued to the bottom and a wood piece glued to the leading edge. As with the stabs, the die-cut 1/64th in. (.4mm) ply skins had glue applied, aligned and vacuum bagged in their special platens.

If you go to, and I highly recommend you do,, click on History on the left, scroll down to the Shop Tour of Ross models and check out the photos. On the left, second one down shows the air router that cut all those...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Aug 07, 2015 @ 01:02 AM | 8,259 Views
Hobie told me he spent most of the time concentrating on the wing plan form, dihedral and airfoil. Ultimately it is the wing that makes the airplane, the rest is dressing on the cake. Boy did Hobie dress up the cake.


The following is from memory:

Chapter Three


Rather than guessing, as I do not remember with any certainty about the airfoils origin I will only state that it is relatively thin under camber section and it works incredibly well. Brian Joder published information he got from Hobie I believe, so if you need to know more information, go here: and scroll down to the bottom.

The Hobie Hawk is not a floater, that is to say, you cannot fly it just above a stall but it is very efficient and will thermal in light lift as long as you keep it going but still has the ability to penetrate pretty strong breezes on the slope. The elliptical dihedral was chosen for control and low drag. As with all wings and especially long slender wings that are common on sailplanes, wash out is extremely important.

SPECIAL NOTE: One very obvious trait the Hobie Hawk had was what many called the Hobie Rock. Because of the low drag clean aerodynamic wing design, when you would turn by inputting rudder command, the airplane would yaw, this means the tail of the airplane would go left if you wanted to turn right. This means that the right wing would speed up gaining lift, the left wing would slow down losing lift...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jul 30, 2015 @ 09:30 PM | 7,635 Views
Special thanks to Brian Joder for allowing us to use his pictures in this presentation

The following is from memory:

Chapter Two

We will start with the fuselage. To my knowledge, to this day, no RC Sailplane has gone to this extent to make a fuselage that offered such design advantages.

The nose piece: This was designed to be ultra strong and resilient, therefore rotational molded from natural polyethylene. The molds were made in a process called “vapor deposition”. This means that a plug (the male shape of the final part) was put into a chamber and literally coated with nickel, molecule by molecule until it was about .060” or 1/16” (1.6mm). This is far more accurate and precise process than electroplating as I did with my Dura-lene molds and more expensive too. The molds had two holes in them that a rod was slid through holding an aluminum insert for the main wing rod and a brass tube for the alignment wing rod. A pre-measured amount of polyethylene powder was poured into the mold, the mold was closed and bolted together and mounted on a arm that would go into a large 10 ft. X 10 ft. oven. This arm had gears on it so each of the several nose molds would rotate in every axis. The oven door would close and the interior would heat up to 400 degrees. The arm would continue to rotate for approximately 45 minutes. During this time, the interior of each mold would get hotter and hotter until the powdered polyethylene...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jul 28, 2015 @ 12:25 AM | 8,293 Views
The following is from memory:

NOTE: Brian Joder has a website called where he has collected a lot of great information about Hobie and the Hobie Hawk you will undoubtedly find very interesting. Also on this site are pictures of some of the equipment used to produce the Hobie Hawk. Every tool, jig, fixture, mold or machine was designed for one purpose...Making a Hobie Hawk and in today's dollars we are looking at over $2 million dollars investment.....Hobie never did anything that wasn't first class !

Chapter One
When Hobie got the bug to fly an RC sailplane he was frustrated that he could not buy something and go fly that day! He thought there must be many people like him that would enjoy flying if they could just go buy something and not spend days, weeks or months building. Hobie decided to design and manufacturer the Hobie Hawk and he had two primary goals. First, he wanted a sailplane that anyone could walk into a Hobby Shop and buy that was completely built and ready to fly. Second, he wanted to make sure that if you needed a replacement part, every part made, no matter how long it had been since you bought yours, the new parts would fit as good as the original. Of course, all this must be Hobie quality.

First he had to design the Hobie Hawk and he told me that he tried many designs before he came up with the final design. Early prototypes were not the sophisticated super ship we have come...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jul 26, 2015 @ 12:23 PM | 7,453 Views
Hi everyone. There have been numerous people that have asked questions and there have been some threads started that have people asking about how the Hobie Hawk was actually built. Some of the answers are close and some are speculation. There is information available like that of Brian Joder's and the info there about Ross Models but I am unable to locate an accurate step by step description of the making of a Hobie Hawk. In the coming weeks, I will attempt, from memory and help from others just how a Hobie Hawk was created from raw materials to finish masterpiece.

There is a thread started by cmwhite that is a great place for you to post your personal experiences with the legendary Hobie Hawk. Please do so. I will monitor that thread and if you have questions, please ask them and I will try to answer.

Here is the location:

Come back here periodically to read the Real Story of the making of a Legend.

Posted by bob57hdt | Jun 30, 2015 @ 09:37 PM | 7,723 Views
Friends Fog and Future 7-1-15

As we grow up we can take many directions. Some follow traditional paths that is expected of us, or that family has traveled before us. Grow up like our father or grandfather or if of the female gender our mother or grandmother. Some will live their lives within a few miles of their parents, grandparents and have close relationships with their families. Brothers, sisters, cousins, parents and grandparents and lots of friendships with people you grew up with, went to school with or worked with.

I was born an only child, so I did not have brothers and sisters. My father was out of my life at a very early age, we moved often so I went to 5 schools in 6 years and so I grew up finding things to do by myself. I found that creating things with my hands always made me happy. As I grew up I learned many skills and I loved to study things and see what made them tick. My other fascination that began before I started school was aviation and more specifically airplanes. These were magically things that were heavier than air, carried people and all of this done with some invisible force.

What has this got to do with our hobby? Only this.....In many ways our hobby is like a family. My fascination with aircraft is why model airplanes were always in my life. It is why that I studied sailplanes when Katie wanted one and why I felt I wanted to create designs of my own.

Back to the family time I lost Katie late in 2010, modeling...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Apr 20, 2015 @ 04:20 PM | 8,019 Views
Pete (PGR) brought up the idea for an event shirt for this years Katie Martin Global Tribute. Others agree it is a good idea and I thought it might be nice to have shirts that people could wear and continue to honor Katie all year long.
I have not bought event shirts since the days of the Schneider Cup RC event I promoted here in Lake Havasu in the late 80's and early 90's. We had thousands of people attend and we would sell 500 to 1000 shirts, so the cost per shirt was quite low.

For Katie's Tribute the attendance is less than 100 so the quantity would be low and the unit price would be high. I then thought about our enthusiastic friends in Spain and Venezuela. I am sure some of them would like to have a shirt too. I then thought about all of the people that have participated in the Katie Tribute Threads but because of schedules, distance and cost cannot attend in person but do so in spirit.

By including all of these groups we should be able to get enough orders that the unit cost would be reasonable and we would not have to charge an arm and a leg.
As with the raffle, all profits will go to the American Heart Association in Katie's name.

This shirt has to be of high quality....after all it is all about Katie. Second, as suggested, it will have the image of Katie launching a SR-7, you know the one that was on the cover of RCM magazine many years ago and the image I use for my avatar here on RC Groups.Name: SR7KatieCover.jpg
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We are looking into Tee-Shirts primarily, however...Continue Reading

New SR-7?

Posted by bob57hdt | Mar 24, 2015 @ 02:14 AM | 9,363 Views
Back in early 1980's, after the SR-7 had established itself as the go fast slope soarer, I would occasionally get letters or phone calls (remember, we did not have the internet or emails) asking what was next. Puzzle I would ask, what do you mean next?
They would explain to me that they have a SR-7 and they are looking for something faster. Faster? Have you run out of airplane? After some discussion I found out that when they first showed up at their flying site with their brand new SR-7 they were the king of the hill. Eventually other flyers got SR-7's and soon our hero no longer had the fastest ship in the air. What he was looking for was something that would again put him out in front.

I do not blame him, is some ways I created the SR-7 to do just that.....allow me to show that I could design something that would dominate the slope.

As I have stated before, the SR-7 was a no compromise slope plane that was designed to go fast and roll rapidly. It was not good at a lot of things but those that is was designed for, it did well. We often look for easy solutions to perceived problems. Being the best, fastest, smartest or best at anything else requires effort. Buying the latest may make you the best for a while, but as soon as someone else buys one.....there goes your advantage, now it comes down to effort to stay the best.

As my journey with Katie through the years in this great hobby, I got distracted and found that being a big fish in a small pond is OK for...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Mar 18, 2015 @ 01:39 AM | 8,967 Views
I received this email and it really upset me. I tried to keep politics and religion out of my business activities. I strongly believe in this country, the rights and freedoms we all enjoy every day of our lives here in the USA. Many years ago I had the freedom to follow my dream and create Bob Martin RC Models and successfully pursue it, not only as a hobby but luckily as a business that supported my wife Katie and I.
This all happened during a period of time in our nations history when we were in a war overseas that became very unpopular, particularly with the younger people.
I will not comment on the right or wrong of that war, but many of my friends answered the call of their country and many died for their country in that conflict.
Today I read where the government of the US as well as other countries are arresting people that are trying to go to Syria to join terrorist groups. This is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Back in the days of the Vietnam war, Jane Fonda, because of her celebrity and money, went to North Vietnam, a country we were at war with, betrayed our captured servicemen, posed sitting in an anti-aircraft battery, and in general, gave aid and comfort to the enemy, an act of treason, normally punishable by jail time or even execution. She returned to the US and was never punished in any way and now being honored?
I am sorry if I offend anyone, but read this email completely and make up your own mind.

Jane Fonda was on TV 3 times last...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Jan 09, 2015 @ 06:40 PM | 9,507 Views
Hello friends,


For those of you who may not know why there is a Katie Martin Tribute, I will try to explain how it all began and how it has grown into an International Tribute.

When I lost Katie, I spent months wallowing in self pity. Why me, why Katie, why, why, why!
Some close modeling friends saw that I was spiraling out of control and wanted to do something to help me. Thank God for friends! Two of them approached me and suggested a sailplane know where you grab your sailplanes and go from one flying site to another. There are no known flying sites within a few hundred miles so we planed to start at Torrey Pines and go from there. Brent Daily and Scott Baude suggested we would dedicate this to Katie. Scotts partner at Xtreme Power Systems, Jim Drew joined in and as time passed more and more friends heard about the road trip and my good friend Eric (oldschooler) started a thread on RC Groups and the next thing we know it became the Katie Martin Tribute Fly in. After the great success of the first year, our host, the Torrey Pines Gulls and others suggested we make it an annual event. Each year manufacturers and modelers have come forth with donations for the raffle. I have tried to find things that would be valued by attendees for the raffle. I have donated, the original Talon that was both the kit label aircraft and also Katie's personal Talon, a fiberglass SR-7 that I was...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Dec 31, 2014 @ 12:26 PM | 9,026 Views
Hello everyone,
First of all I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year. As I have thousands of followers of this blog, many I do not personally know, I wanted to use this medium to pass on my best wishes to all of you for a very happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year. As we reflect on those things that we did, didn't do, thought about and planned for in 2014 and look forward to new plans for the new year, I sincerely hope that you will achieve many if not all of your goals. Remember that family and health are most important as nothing else has substance without those.
Katie and I always made out New Years Resolutions. We would type them up and exchanged them on New Years so that we could help each other succeed in those resolutions. Not surprisingly was that in each case, we both listed "Finding a way, each and every day to make the other smile, giggle and be healthy and happy." These were our first and most important efforts every day of our married lives.
Having lost my one and only, I realize that those efforts were not in vane as we had so many years of happiness through good times and bad, we always had each other and the constant love that produced.
We live in a different time than when Kathy, or Katie to you, were married. We have been credited with providing many of you with the joy of our aircraft and slope soaring. I would like to offer the above to all of you, that if in time of stress in your life, try making someone else your object of good will, make them feel special, bring a laugh, a giggle or at least a smile on their face and you will find it very satisfying and much of the stress will leave you and you too will be much happier.
God bless all of you and may your New Year be one of great health, happiness and prosperity.
Katie Martin (in Spirit)
Bob Martin
Posted by bob57hdt | Oct 30, 2014 @ 09:17 PM | 9,963 Views
This entry is a little long to post on the thread so I have chosen to make an entry to my Blog so I can clearly explain and answer the many comments on the SR-7 copies thread on RC Groups Slope forums.

First of all, I have read all the comments from Johnfh, Tspin, Douwe, droydx, MATIN, ClayH, 67econoline, Speedfreeeek, chip.greely and TFLG.
Let us first address the idea that when a manufacturer stops production he is abandoning his customers. As much as we like to consider it a sport or hobby to us, it is a business to the manufacturer and if sales drop too low, it is not cost effective to continue to produce that product.
As for the aspect of copyrights or design patents. Copyrights do not cover designs and design patents are very expensive and few if any model airplane designs warrant such protection. As mentioned, Ford or Boeing offer products that cost tens of thousands or millions of dollars and are protected because they warrant it.
So the bottom line is "Does Bob Martin or any designer have the right to prevent someone else from producing his design?" The answer is NO!
"How does Bob Martin feel about other people making replacement parts for his designs?" I am flattered by the idea that people would still want to build and fly my designs, especially as one poster mentioned, there are faster and more maneuverable planes available today.
I am also honored that there are a large number of flyers out there that have come to my defense. Some...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Sep 13, 2014 @ 12:58 AM | 10,277 Views
Katie vs Katie II vs Katie II v 2.0

I noticed Kathryn A. Kolan during my senior year in High School. There was something really special about her but we never really got to know each at school. The year following our graduation a mutual friend of ours was going into the Army and so we had a going away party for him at a roller skating rink. I was floor manager and told Kathy that I would let her in free if she wanted and she excepted. This was our first sort of date and I found she was a very good skater and we danced to almost every song. I asked her out the following week, she accepted and four months later we were married.

I bring up this early meeting because she was Kathryn or Kathy in those days. It was many years later that she acquired the name Katie.

It was in the spring of 1968. We had moved from Oregon to Southern California a couple of years earlier to seek our fortune in the land of we thought. We each had held a couple of jobs and Kathy went to work for Douglas Oil Company, downtown Los Angeles. This worked out great because I was working for Crocker Citizens Bank in administrative headquarters only a couple of blocks away.

It was during this time that Kathy was asked to pick another name. Kathy was hired into the data processing department of Douglas Oil. There was a very unpopular girl there that approached Kathy and said, “My name is Kathy and there can only be ONE Kathy in this department!” Kathy is a strong person and in...Continue Reading
Posted by bob57hdt | Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:06 PM | 9,083 Views
Recently a gentleman place a Limited Edition of the SR-7 up for bid on ebay. It started at $1 but rapidly reached $618.00. I was amazed and then I received an email from him telling me the story of him growing up, the sacrifices his father made so he could enjoy this great hobby. He also mentioned he had read this blog and asked that I expand on the history of Katie and the Katie II. I will put on my thinking cap and in the next few days I will add a chapter to this blog about the history of the Katie II.