Sky Bench - Page 2 - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Apr 09, 2012, 10:36 PM
Registered User
wow! nice building - i used to build like that
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Apr 09, 2012, 11:02 PM
Registered User

Max Patch

Ray ,
I envy you.
The Max Patch Bald, absolutely beautiful,
The Appalachian Trail runs across the top, only place i know of that you can hike the AT and fly your sailplane at the same time!


Greg B

P.S. take the trail that goes off to the left of the parking lot. It is a little longer but less steep than going directly up the trail that goes off to the right of the parking lot.
Apr 10, 2012, 06:55 AM
Registered User
Greg, thanks for the trail tip, hope to have some good Max Patch Bald pics. Idea ... What if ... you, Don H. and I do a little flying on the Max this Fall ? Gulf Coaster Reunion ??

Apr 10, 2012, 01:48 PM
dwells's Avatar
Yeah, I'm green with envy too! looks like a good spot to slermal there, Ray. I know you'll have a great time and wouldn't think of sending the dogs after you. No high tension poles there to give anyone grief . Have a safe trip and enjoy and I'll be looking forward to vaca pics .
Apr 10, 2012, 04:32 PM
Father of Fr3aK, DLG Pilot
tom43004's Avatar
Ray, we flew an impromptu DLG contest very near there last fall... beautiful country.

Glad to see you're still at it. Building kits and airplanes for others can be a thankless job and I freaked when I saw the alert too.

Be good.

Tom Siler
Columbus, OH
Apr 11, 2012, 12:02 AM
Registered User
would love to get back to the Max and fly.

My GC is in the corner of the workshop awaiting repair.

will keep this fall in mind,

Apr 28, 2012, 11:13 AM
Registered User

My first visit to MAX PATCH, many more to come!!!

It was a bust ... I didn't get to fly on the MAX. I had one day to fly before continuing our trip South .. but, too many people on top to lay a Hi Start and fly safely. Spring breakers and perfect weather turned out to be a bad combination for me, but I'll be back.

Walking to the top was easy for us, we went up the left side trail ( longest way up ) and down the shorter path.
My photos do not show the full depth of what you will experience when you reach the top. Our trip plans included a few more days in the Smokys during our return home, so I had another shot at flying the MAX.

Not to be ... Wind, Cold and Snow on the tops during our return stay .. awful.

So here is the plan for my next attempt:

Take an E Powered, hopefully my Windlord will be ready (great traveler), if not, my 2M E Lil Bird and a Hi Start for the much traveled Windfree. The Electrics will fly safely and launching will not be restricted. I'll have no worries flying an electric on the MAX Patch.

A SPECIAL THANKS to Greg for telling me about the MAX, I have been going to the Smokys over 40 years and never heard of this wonderful spot. And to Don for providing the Internet links to the MAX. Is is outside of the National Park. If you can make it to Exit #7 on I 40 in North Carolina ( easy trip from Gatlinburg ), you can make it to Max Patch. Hopefully my pics will be helpful.
Google Max Patch.

Directions from Internet:

Max Patch Bald is the kind of place that becomes a part of you after just one trip. The route up to the summit passes through picturesque mountain communities that have largely escaped the mass tourism radar. Passing by old red tobacco barns, little white churches, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, and even the occasional country store, the route eventually starts a long gradual climb through the deep forest. Then out of nowhere it appears, an enormous grassy bald, and what may be the single most stunning view in the entire region.

Though many mountains are higher, none seem so when you are on the summit of Max Patch Bald. On a clear day you will see completely across most of eastern Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains, Craggy Mountains, Pisgah Ledge, the Newfound Mountains of Haywood County, and Walnut Mountains of Madison County. Pictures cannot do justice to the summit, a la Sound of Music. This exceptionally beautiful grassy peak is often covered in wildflowers and affords a spectacular 360-degree view. At near the 5,000-foot level, this is one of the first places to see brilliant fall color and substantial snowfall. The one-mile loop trail to the summit is easy to moderate. Take the trail to the left. It is best done in the clockwise direction, saving the steepest sections for the downhill return. You don’t have to be a serious hiker to enjoy what has been called The Crown Jewel of the Appalachian Trail.

Pack a picnic. You won’t find restaurants or stores in the Max Patch community and very few en route. There is a single table picnic area that is easy to miss, along the Little Creek Road. Most enjoy their picnic on the summit. Speaking of which, Earth Fare at Westgate Shopping Center off I-240 near Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza or Whole Foods just north of I-240 on Merrimon Avenue (US 25 north of I - 240) in Asheville are favorite places for locals to purchase a grand picnic lunch for the trip.

These directions are written as the best route for an excellent day trip from Asheville. Plan to spend at least four hours for the trip and the trail from Asheville. The route follows mostly paved state roads, though a relatively small part of the route is on gravel United States Forest Service roads. Except under the worse weather conditions, these gravel USFS roads are easily passable with a standard car. Directions were verified as of October 2006, though they should be good for the indefinite future. Since directional signs on the route seem to change or disappear from time to time, they are written with that in mind. Though you may return the same direction you came, it makes for a longer and less interesting trip. Please Note: the route seems much more natural and less logistical when you are actually driving it, than it appears here in writing.

From downtown Asheville follow US 19/23 S- I-240 W- I-26 E (Patton Avenue) across the Smoky Park Bridge staying on US 19/23 to West Asheville in one of the left lanes. Avoid the two right lanes, which exit to I-240 and I-26 east.
Turn right at fourth red light past the bridge onto well marked NC 63 (Leicester Highway). You will pass through Leicester and Sandy Mush communities. Continue 26.9 miles to the small community of Trust. The last few miles before arriving at Trust, NC 63 will slow considerably with the twist and turns up and over Dogget Mountain.

Near the summit of Dogget Mountain, there are a few areas that are wide enough to pull over for an outstanding view of the entire valley that contains Asheville and Weaverville behind you, as well as the Craggy and Black Mountains beyond them. As the road flattens out and undulates on the summit of Dogget Mountain, look carefully ahead for the only glimpses of Max Patch Bald on the route. It looks very close, though you are still several miles away by car. As you approach the next turn onto NC 209 north, the beautiful little chapel of St. Jude at Plum Nilly Farm is hard to miss. Trust General Store / Spring Creek Cafe is a worthy stop at this location (

Turn right on NC 209 North towards Hot Springs at what appears to be a new roundabout intersection at the end of NC 63. Hopefully the signs will have been replaced when you travel this route.
Turn left on Caldwell Mountain Rd. after passing the Spring Creek Community Center, This road crosses a low pass and ends at Meadowfork Rd.
Turn right, on Meadowfork Rd. and go several miles past a BP station until you come to a small block building on the left at the intersection of Little Creek Rd. Turn left onto Little Creek Rd. There is a small brown NFS directional sign marker for Max Patch, across from the intersection on the left hand side of the road. Stay left at the Y shortly after turning, avoiding paved Poplar Gap Road. Stay on Little Creek Road (Gravel FS 1181), and go several miles to the where the road ends at Max Patch Road. It is all gravel road from this point to the summit.
Turn Right onto Max Patch Road (gravel NC 1175). There is a brown NFS road sign for Max Patch Mountain. You are just a couple miles from the summit now.

The trip up through Madison County offers unforgettable scenery, but is quite a drive. The shortest and most scenic return trip is the twelve mile route to the Fines Creek Community in Haywood County. The return trip is faster utilizing I-40 east to Asheville. (South of the often treacherous and heavily traveled stretch of I-40 through the tunnels in Pigeon River Gorge) The quickest and shortest route to I-40; however, is the more northerly gravel Cold Creek / Harmon Den Road. This is only preferable if you are approaching from, or heading into Tennessee from Max Patch.

Return the way you came - down the mountain on Max Patch Road (gravel FS 1175). Continue heading south over 5 miles. (Avoid turning left on Little Creek Road or right on Cold Creek / Harmon Den as you descend.)

Watch for the occasional view of the western wall of the Great Smoky Mountains across the Pigeon River Gorge as you descend into Fines Creek. Christmas tree farms, red barns, and beautiful old mountain homes dot the landscape. .

Turn right at the Y onto the paved Fines Creek Road from Max Patch Road. (Avoid the new bridge and directional sign to the left for NC 209.) There is a sign for I-40 to the right, though it is easy to miss. This will lead directly to I-40 east and back to Asheville.

Yes it is a long drive, but it would be a challenge for anyone to find a more scenery-packed day trip from Asheville. Unlike the Blue Ridge Parkway in Autumn, there will be no bumper to bumper traffic. Leave the fall crowds behind, and join the locals. Some Asheville residents would like to keep this a secret. With regional travel section newspaper coverage, the secret has been out for a long time. (Though many gave bad directions, or only directions for the less scenic and Tennessee oriented Cold Creek Road Approach through Harmon den) There is plenty room at the top for all. After all, it is National Forest landmark.

The old mountain communities that you travel through en route to and from Max Patch Bald are living and breathing, unlike their counterparts across the Pigeon River that were swallowed up or frozen in time by the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so many years ago. In spite of the remote location, there are lots of fairly sophisticated, proud, honest, and independent people who live in these small communities. In many ways they are smarter than most city dwellers in their sheer wit and ability to cope with whatever nature gives them. They manage to eek out a lifestyle that is disappearing quickly throughout the mountains, though many suffer long commutes to jobs where they can actually earn a living for their families. A wave of the hand or a nod to passing cars is still the norm in these parts of the mountains. Remember that these communities largely stay the same because, as you will discover, they are on the “road less traveled by.”

Recipe for the perfect visit to Max Patch Bald: Pause near the summit. Turn very slowly in a complete circle. Lie down in the grass. Close your eyes for one full minute. Think about what you just saw. Take a really deep breath. Hold it. Slowly exhale. You will never forget it. Now Max Patch has become part of you
Last edited by Ray Hayes; Apr 29, 2012 at 08:47 AM.
Apr 28, 2012, 11:47 AM
Registered User
Sky Bench ... Woodys Forever
Last edited by Ray Hayes; May 01, 2012 at 01:41 PM.
Apr 28, 2012, 12:12 PM
registered weapon
Welcome back Ray, sounds like a great time, nothing like a nature fix in a beautiful corner of the world to re-boot the soul...looking forward to more photo's & extending an invite to you, next time you decide to get over towards West Yellowstone, MT, give a PM, would love to fly(fish) with ya, I'll row you guy's down the Madison River and show you some purple ribbon trout fishin... Take care & thank you for your sailplane kits.
Apr 29, 2012, 09:12 AM
Registered User
Fantastic invitation, the Madison is a beautiful river ... Thank you.
We could fly at the old West Yellowstone airport too.

Put a few more photos up and added descriptions. I'll also add a few places to stay in Gatlinburg later, I have lots of kits orders from patient customers to catch up on. I Can't get current on Paragon orders, evidently many guys have been waiting for this one.

Sky Bench ... Woodys Forever
Apr 29, 2012, 04:17 PM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar
Hi Ray

My friend Jeff wants to get a full Paragon kit and would like to know how long he has to wait, he is new and not in the RC groups yet so he asked me to find out?


G Don
Apr 29, 2012, 06:38 PM
Registered User
G Don,

Shipping would occur about 2 weeks from receipt of order based on my current order status, but that can change based on orders received starting in tomorrows mail, before I receive your friends order.
Apr 29, 2012, 08:31 PM
Registered User

copied from a customer's RC Groups post

Maybe this will help others:

Originally Posted by kurtenstein View Post
My 2M Lil Bird is almost finished!!! Left to do: hinges, balancing. Speaking of the latter, the wing looks pretty much unbalanced: if I hold it between my fingers or lay it to rest on a table, it always tips on one side. Should I bother balance it? How would one do that? I thought of screws in the tips. I've been looking on online building manuals and it doesn't appear to be a common concern.

Thanks again!

Dear Sky Bench customers, some times asking for help on RC Groups can get you more than you asked for, many times, you end up with a mixed bag of answers that leaves you where you started. Now I know that asking for help on RC Groups can be part of the fun in working on your kit and generally it is a good thing to do.

Back in the day when I started building and competing with RC Sailplanes there was no one to ask for help, as a consequence, I developed my own system of gaining knowledge. A simple approach of trail and error and in this threads case, I would recommend flying the 2m Lil Bird as is, you know which wing is heavier. The flight will tell you if the wing weight is a problem, you are going to hand launch it first for a few test glides to see if it flies straight, watch for the heavy side to drop first.

Two things to do before covering the wing, check the balance and check for twist. If you don't do the checks prior to covering and flying and you discover you need to off set the rudder trim to make it fly straight, this will likely mean you have a twisted wing. After removing the twist, test fly it again and watch for the heavier tip panel to drop. Do you know how to check for wing twist, I hope a poster will jump in if you don't know?

Hope this is helpful ..

Sky Bench ... Woodys Forever
May 02, 2012, 10:16 AM
dwells's Avatar
Hey Ray,

Sorry you didn't get to fly but what the heck, look at that outrageous scenery!! There's so much to see in our diverse countryside and so little time. I've never had the pleasure of enjoying our great national parks but you inspire me to start tailoring my vacation time (what little there is) to visiting these places.

I know you had a great time getting to enjoy nature even without the chance to sail a bit. Thanks for the photos!

May 02, 2012, 03:57 PM
life long racing nut & modeler
granada don's Avatar

If you can get to Cal. you really need to see Yosemite, when down on the valley floor the tall rocks that make up the park are amazing with all the water falls in the spring.

Go before summer as it gets hot like 95-100 in the valley and no wind to cool you off , so it is a bit cool at nite but spring is better plus the water falls are cooking from the snow melt.

This park is Mother Nature's best work with Yellowstone next on your list to see on your way home.

You could start by going to Monterey Bay then Big Sur to see the Redwood's then drive across the state and Yosemite then Old Faithfull etc.

Take 2 wks and you would have one hell of a neat trip, enjoy the beauty!!

G Don

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sold Sky Bench Lil' Bird 2 hand launch RTF rcdude01 Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 7 Jan 11, 2012 10:03 PM
Discussion Sky Bench Aerotech Big Bird Finally Flies! jpgilbert Thermal 12 Dec 01, 2011 01:23 AM
Found Wanted - Sky Bench Sky Bird NIB Kit Mauilvr Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 3 Jan 01, 2008 12:22 AM
Sky Bench Aerotech Sky Bird anyone? Chris K Thermal 5 Feb 12, 2003 12:09 PM