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Posted by CrashTack | Mar 14, 2013 @ 02:44 PM | 3,393 Views
The 1969 Graupner Cirrus model included a decal sheet with the pilot’s name “Rolf Kuntz” and the registration number “D-9422”.

But Why?

Kuntz was a German glider pilot. He started flying in 1943 but, working as a ground crew, he never saw action as a pilot in the war.

In 1957 he flew an HKS-l to fourth place in the German Nationals at Oerlinghausen.

The HKS-1 was built by the German manufacturer Schempp-Hirth. After the war, forbidden by the allies from building aircraft, the company manufactured beds, wheelbarrows, radio cabinets, and other furniture. In 1951 the prohibitions were lifted and the company returned to sailplane building.

By 1958 Kuntz was flying his first World Championships in Poland. He also flew in 1963, and in 1965 he came third in the Open Class, flying the first prototype of the Schempp-Hirth SHK at South Cerney in England. Developed by Klaus Holighaus, the SHK was probably the last mainly wooden Open Class glider to be developed before glass fiber aircraft became available.

In 1967, Holighaus designed the "Cirrus", an Open Class glider made entirely of epoxy-fiberglass.

And here’s the point: Rolf Kuntz was again selected to fly on the German team at the 1969 World Championships, in a Cirrus. But on January 10, 1968 Kuntz was killed while co-piloting a helicopter, in a night-time incident over the North Sea. His craft went down amidst snow and freezing rain.

The 1969 Graupner model of the Cirrus bore his name and became known as the “Rolf Kuntz” Cirrus.

Now back to Google to try to figure out the registration number...
Posted by CrashTack | Mar 14, 2013 @ 09:58 AM | 2,617 Views
In my first post I mentioned I bought a used Katana 60, ep.

First motorized plane I've ever flown.

After a few successful flights (video to follow) the inevitable happened.

I suffered a prop strike while landing on a frozen lake. I took off again without noticing 2 inches of prop were missing. Ice is unforgiving.

On climb out I banked and stalled. The pancake landing broke the fuselage in half, and scattered balsa and hardware around.


But a day's work and she's back in shape. Epoxied some light brass channel across the fractures.

Like my first glider, this will be the epoxy queen that will teach me the basics of flying with power.

Revelation is that a Katana with a big electric motor won't glide like my...gliders. I know, not the best trainer, but there you go.

Didn't help that I added exponential to the throttle, so backing it off just a bit has a non-linear effect and the rock starts to fall.

But live and learn.

Posted by CrashTack | Mar 13, 2013 @ 10:57 AM | 2,515 Views
Just down the street there's a very big field.

Caught a nice thermal which carried me high around the city.

Still working on the camera focus, but getting there.


geez...the youtube image stabilizing software makes the whole frame rock back and forth...seasick...

Over Halifax, Nova Scotia (5 min 8 sec)

Posted by CrashTack | Feb 28, 2013 @ 07:39 AM | 2,889 Views
Walter and his wife run the Forest Haven Inn in Balfron, Nova Scotia. Near Tatamagouche. He's been flying rc sailplanes for 35 years. He designed and built the Elio. He invited me up for an afternoon of flying.

Thanks, Walter.


Forest Haven Flying (4 min 19 sec)

Posted by CrashTack | Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:56 PM | 2,671 Views
Well, I've taken time out from funeral arrangements and stuff to do some more flying.

The Halifax Electric Flyers kindly let me join them for their Winter Fun Fly at a member's home on Porters Lake, a half hour or so out of the city.

Great day. Vic hosted, Mary served up delicious pulled pork sandwiches and even better chocolate peanut butter cups, and the thermals lifted the bird up to over a thousand feet.



High Over a Frozen Lake (9 min 7 sec)

Posted by CrashTack | Feb 18, 2013 @ 02:36 PM | 3,127 Views
My brother saw my Snowbird video and sent me this link.

It's a BBC show where a big kid tries to cross the English Channel with a sailplane model on autopilot.

Lots of fun, and full of British humor. I grew up with my own rubber band Sleek Streaks, so I know just how he feels.


Posted by CrashTack | Feb 16, 2013 @ 12:51 PM | 2,679 Views
Well, the neck didn't heal.

We lost Helga last week following her successful surgery.

Pneumonia got her. Sonofabitch.

And the snow hasn't melted, but I just couldn't wait.


Snowbird (2 min 29 sec)

Posted by CrashTack | Feb 09, 2013 @ 02:27 PM | 3,199 Views
Hi all,

On a Friday night back in 1992 I found myself watching competition bocce on television.

Right then I resolved to wake up the next day and get myself an rc sailplane.

I'd built one in the late 70's and destroyed it on its maiden flight. It was maybe -10 degrees, on the frozen river beside our home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

So in 1992 I built a Sophisticated Lady, and the next year an Olympic II.

Flew them a ton at the big park near our home in Toronto. Hi-start and then the thermals off the nearby highway.

We moved to NYC from 1999-2002, where I flew in Liberty State Park across the river in NJ.

My last flight there was on a nice thermal that took the Oly II high enough to circle the Statute of Liberty.

Not kidding. Wish I'd had a camera on board.

But the fuse for the Oly was lost, somehow, when we moved back to Canada.

And now, in 2013, I've been here in Halifax NS for 2 months taking care of my ailing mother in law. (She had a broken neck for over a year until the doctors found it.)

Needing a diversion, I again turned back to rc and bought a 100" Elio sailplane (see and an ep Katana 60.

Right now I'm messing with them and, basically, just waiting for the neck to heal and the snow to melt.