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Mar 21, 2019, 10:01 PM
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In Memoriam: by Steve Ehlers:

AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame Member: Edward "Ed" Rankin, 1927-2019We are saddened to announce the passing of Ed Rankin, a long time charter and lifetime member of the FortWorth Thunderbirds. Ed
Ed flew control line airplanes in the early days and his primary interest was Speed. At the time he set the first speed record for over 150 mph with a class B airplane.He got interested in R/C in the late 50's and his first radio was a Citizen Band Radio system. It was said by some that the aircraft were just Free Flight airplanes with radio interference. He was a Charter and Lifetime member of the historic Fort Worth Thunderbirds R/C club and served a term as President in 1967. In the mid 60's he started his love of racing with R/C Pylon Racers and was very active with NMPRA. He was very competitive in the .40 F-1 class for years and flew in many contests .
Ed was very good friends with Gale Helms (Steve Helms' father) and they flew in many of the same contests. He also flew and competed with pattern aircraft over the years but R/C Pylon has been what Ed concentrated on. At one time he wrote articles for the AMA magazine's Pylon section and also the RCM (Radio Control Modeler) magazine.Like many other Thunderbirds,
Ed liked the Giant Scale aircraft and in 1994 he started designing USRA legal aircraft, with the Ray Cote Shoestring as the first in the line of his fast winning aircraft. In the 1995 Gold race in Galveston, Texas, the Shoestring he designed won First place flown by Richard Oliver, Second place was Ed Rankin and Fifth place in his first race was Roger “Hippy” Cirelli.Ed went on to design, race and sell kits of many other legal winning aircraft for use in USRA events.
As the years went on, he decided to only build aircraft and then Sponsor a pilot to fly his aircraft. Jeff Powell, Randy Rich and some others were on his Rankin racing team until last year when he decided to retire from racing.Ed worked for General Dynamics from 1951 for 40 years until 1991 when he retired. During that time he worked with and was a designing influence on many well known aircraft such as the first 2 Prototype F-16's working on the project as a Design Engineer. He worked as the Engineering Manager of Configuration on the A-12 aircraft and was the Chief of Engineering Design of Configuration on the B-1.During his time at General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin), he worked with a new design concept that was flown and proven with a radio controlled aircraft. It was known as the “Torsionaly Free Wing“design. It flew with a wing that in essence “floated” on the fuselage structure. The proof of concept was to be able to fly at High angles of attack in landing configuration. Ed flew the plane on demo flights in front of the Air Force officials around the country. I believe it was tested at first at the Historic Fort Worth Thunderbird Flying Field at Benbrook Lake.Ed has been one of the Engineers that evaluates thestudents submitted Designs, Proposals and Oral presentations, for the SAE (Society of Automotive Design) Aero Design competitions that have been held at Thunderbird Field over the past several years. He has given talks, mentored the students, given them advice and written a paper for them on what to do when you get your engineering degree. Most recently, Ed has been designing a new Full Scale Racing aircraft for Dick Keyt who owns the record setting “Polen Special," the fastest 4 cylinder aircraft in the world (307.4 MPH). This new plane was to be another record breaking design of Ed's.
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Apr 01, 2019, 06:07 PM
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WAMS News Letter - Apr. 2019

Weatherford Aero Modeling Society
April 2019

President: John Savage
[email protected]
Vice President: David Moore
[email protected]
Secretary: Carole Savage
[email protected]

Treasurer: Verne (Sarge) Bell
[email protected]
Field Safety Officer: Roger Guinn
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor: Bernie Olson
[email protected]
Newsletter submissions to [email protected]
Upcoming Events

April 2 – WAMS club meeting at R&K Cafe on Ft Worth Highway in Hudson Oaks. 6:00 pm dinner & parley; 6:30 meeting start

April 6-7 – AMA Pattern Contest at Thunderbird Field

May 11 – Warbirds at Thunderbird Field

June 1 – WAMS Spring Float Fly at Sunshine Lake. $20.00 Landing fee includes lunch, plus coffee and donuts. Registration at 8:00, Pilot briefing at 8:30AM, flying from 9:00 until 3:30 PM. Any float-equipped RC aircraft is welcome. See attached flyer


Another Successful WAMS Swap Meet

Thanks to the many volunteers, WAMS hosted another successful Swap Meet! This was the second year that we used Weatherford High School and again it worked out great. Although it doesn’t lend itself as well as Shirley Hall Middle School for staging the auction, overall it’s such a pleasant, inviting facility that it provides a nice fit for this long-running club tradition. It’s also one of the only major swap meets still being held in the region – a much-needed boost for the hobby.

Other News

SAE Aero Design – This year’s event was held March 8-10 and open to eighty five teams representing colleges from around the world. More than 1,000 participants, volunteers and spectators were on hand. The Thunderbirds host the event two out of every three years and it will be back here again in 2020.

Friday, March 8, was reserved for aircraft inspections and oral presentations by the teams. Those activities were held at ‘The Olive Hotel’ in South Ft Worth; formerly the ‘Radisson Fort Worth South’. One of the most inspiring oral presentations that I judged was from a Venezuelan team. These students had to deal with unique and difficult economic and political challenges on their road to the competition. Hopefully, the future will bring stability for these young Engineers in their home country.

Flying was held Saturday and Sunday March 9 & 10. Weather for the two days couldn’t have been much more different. Saturday was sunny and warm but tested flyers with 15 knot winds directly across the runway for most of the day. To say attrition was high would be a gross understatement. On Sunday, winds dropped under 10 knots and were right down the runway but it was chilly. Throw in some light sprinkles and brrrr.

The flying was thrilling and brought exciting moments. Arguably the most impressive flights were by the Georgia Tech Advanced team which dropped three autonomous gliders that had to guide themselves to a landing zone with no human intervention. The gliders flew down in formation, even making a sharp turn together right into the target. The Blue Angels would have been proud to put on that performance. Wow!

Final medal standings included:

Micro Class
⦁ Ningxia University
⦁ Georgia Tech
⦁ Wroclaw University of Technology

Regular Class
⦁ University of Manitoba
⦁ Nanjing University of Aeronautics
⦁ University of Virginia

Advanced Class
⦁ Georgia Tech
⦁ Wroclaw University of Technology
⦁ Pontifical Catholic University-Rio de Janeiro

Feedback Needed by April 15 for FAA ANPRM – On March 29, AMA issued a message to its members to make us aware of an FAA Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) that needs our attention. The FAA is seeking our input prior to establishing additional regulations for operations of unmanned air vehicles in the US. Explosive worldwide growth of UAVs is creating both opportunities and problems – as noted in the article that follows this one. Although our part of the hobby has created none of the issues, the reality is that we’re being swept up in the rush to regulate this new phenomenon.

Areas for future regulations mentioned in the ANPRM:
⦁ Operations over people
⦁ Weight limitations
⦁ Night operations
⦁ Lighting requirements
⦁ Remote identification and tracking
⦁ Creation of a publicly accessible database of unmanned aircraft
⦁ Studies for remote ID are underway
⦁ UAS-specific airspace restrictions

Discussion areas for comments to the ANPRM:
⦁ Stand-off distances for operation of UAVs from people, and structures (horizontal, vertical, and slant distances)
⦁ Beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations
⦁ Altitude, airspeed and other performance limitations
⦁ Unmanned traffic management operations
⦁ Payload restrictions (types of payloads, sensors, equipment)
⦁ Critical system design requirements (redundancy requirements)

It’s the AMA’s position that our hobby has created no new risks to the airspace system and should be exempt from any new regulations. The AMA asks us to provide our comments to the FAA by its cutoff date, April 15. AMA’s request to us is included here:

“Dear members,

Model aviation needs your help to ensure future regulations do not place unnecessary burdens on our community. Last month, the FAA issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the safe and secure operations of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). In this ANPRM, the FAA is currently seeking comments on potential new rulemaking for operational and performance restrictions on UAS, including model aircraft. Some of the parameters being considered include altitude, airspeed, stand-off distances and unmanned aircraft traffic management.

AMA has long held that the hobby of model aviation has introduced no new risk into the airspace, and therefore should not be subject to any new regulations. AMA is in the process of submitting comments to the FAA to this effect, urging the agency to take into consideration the existing safety guidelines for modelers and the differences between model aircraft and commercial drones – the FAA cannot and should not take a one-size-fits-all approach to regulating them.

It is critical that we voice our support for the hobby by submitting a comment to the Federal Register regarding this ANPRM. Click here to submit a comment or visit and search for Docket No. FAA – 2018 - 1086; Notice No. 18-08. Below you'll find a suggested template for comments, which you can customize with your personal story and then copy and paste into the comment field on the Federal Register website. The current deadline for submitting comments is 11:59 pm on April 15, 2019.

Rulemaking is a lengthy process but rest assured that AMA will continue to advocate for our members and keep you informed as it progresses. As always, thank you for your continued support, and please reach out with any further questions or concerns at [email protected].

Thank you,
AMA Government Affairs”

Template Comment for AMA Members: ANPRM Safe and Secure Operations

I am writing in response to the FAA's advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the safe and secure operations of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including model aircraft. My position is simple: model aviation has introduced no new risk into the airspace, and therefore should not be subject to new regulations.
[Insert personal introduction details such as: I am a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) and have been flying model aircraft safely and responsibly for XX years. I am also a model aircraft club officer/educator/designer, etc. I love to fly XX because...]
As the FAA considers new rules for UAS, I urge the agency to take into consideration the existing safety guidelines for modelers and account for the fact that model aircraft and commercial drones are not the same – the FAA cannot and should not take a one-size-fits-all approach to regulations. Not only would that approach run counter to the long-standing principles guiding both manned and unmanned aviation regulations, but it would also place an unnecessary burden on hobbyists like me who have been flying model aircraft for recreational and educational purposes safely for many years.
Hobbyists who fly model aircraft do not need to be included in new rules for drone operators because we already follow our own proven set of safety guidelines, often at remote fixed flying site locations. All AMA members fly according to the organization's safety code, which has been recognized by Congress as an effective means for managing the modeling community. Our existing safety guidelines work – and there's no reason to add new rules.
For example, AMA members always fly within visual line of sight of their aircraft, which allows model aircraft pilots to see and avoid anything that may be flying nearby. Also, AMA members must maintain a 25-foot distance between their aircraft and any individuals whenever they are flying. At competitions and events, spectators are required to stay behind a well-defined line, typically 50-100 feet away from the flight line where pilots are operating models, depending on the size of the event and aircraft.

Advanced drones, however, have created the possibility for new risk, and that's why AMA has supported giving the FAA the authority it needs over sophisticated drones with advanced capabilities, such as those designed for sustained and controlled navigation beyond visual line of sight. The FAA could use the presence of a navigational system that utilizes multiple waypoints as a means of differentiation between model aircraft and sophisticated drones.

New restrictions on model aviation could have a detrimental impact on long-standing model aviation events and competitions that support local charities and non-profits. Beyond curtailing events and harming charities, new rules would have a chilling effect on youth involvement in the hobby and stifle the benefits of utilizing model aviation in STEM education, ultimately hindering efforts to attract youth to the aviation industry.

Again, I urge you to consider model aviation hobbyists separately from operators flying sophisticated drones as you work on new rules for UAS. Not all model aircraft and drones are the same, so the FAA cannot simply take a one-size-fits-all approach.

[City, State]
[Optional] AMA Member Number: _________

UAS Industry Growing Exponentially – The commercial UAS organization, Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), reports that research and innovation are driving explosive growth in the industry.

A report released by AUVSI and the Danish Technological Industry (DTI), “Global Trends of Unmanned Aerial Systems”, forecasts the industry will grow to $10 billion per year by the end of the next decade. The report points out that 80% of patents issued for this market have been release since 2016, illustrating the rapid growth in development.

The report also mentions that the US has developed the most platforms (628), followed by China (309), then France (114). Cameras are the most common equipment installed but with other sensors, artificial intelligence, and internet connectivity, new uses will continue to develop expanding potential markets.

Models and Power Lines – A sad reminder from Clayton News Daily in Georgia about retrieving models from power lines:

“FOREST PARK, GA — A man died in Forest Park Saturday evening and another was injured after attempting to retrieve an unregistered quadcopter “drone” near electrical wires.
Forest Park Police say the incident was reported around 6:23 p.m. in the 800 block of Needle Drive. The victim, Ruff Fitzgerald Teasley, 37, was trying to knock down the drone when the pole he was using touched power lines, electrocuting him. Police tried to revive him until Forest Park Rescue arrived and transported him to a local hospital. Sources say the victim was never revived.
Teasley's brother, Calvin, 29, told police he had been trying to knock the drone out of a tree when Ruff came home from work. When Ruff tried to help, the pole touched the wires. According to the police report, Calvin Teasley told police the shock hit them both so hard, Ruff Teasley was thrown on top of the storm drain and Calvin landed right next to him.”



I. You must be a current member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) before joining this club.
2. You must agree to abide by club rules, club field rules and AMA rules.
3. Potential members are allowed three visits to the field, accompanied by a member, before making the final
decision to join.
Please complete for annual renewal so that all data is current and updated, including present frequencies used. Info indication by a '*' are required!
(Please Print) And please include your E-Mail Address as we are sending newsletters by E-Mail if possible.

*Name __________________________________________________ ________________________________

*Address __________________________________________________ ______________________________

*City ______________________________________________ *State __________ *Zip ______________

*Home Phone ________________________________ Work Phone ________________________________

Cell Phone _________________________________ E-Mail _____________________________________

*Birth Day __________________________________ Spouse's First Name __________________________

I hereby apply for membership in the Weatherford Aero Modeling Society, AMA Charter # 2287 and agree to
abide by the Club By-Laws and the AMA Safety Rules.

*Signature __________________________________________________ _

*AMA Number ______________ Verified By ___________________________________ Date ________
(Current Club Officer)
(Check One) Individual ______ Family ______ Senior Membership ______ Newsletter only ______

*Dues Paid $________ *Date ___________ *Check # ______ Cash ___ Received by _______________
Dues: Individual Membership $35.00.
Family Membership $45.00.
Senior Membership $10.00. (65 years old)(Senior Family $13.00)
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*Send this Application, plus a Photostatic copy of your current AMA card and a check for your club dues to (Make checks payable to WAMS):
Verne B. (Sarge) Bell
1805 South Greenwood Cut Off
Weatherford, TX. 76088-8613
Apr 08, 2019, 08:49 PM
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First Submarine To Reel in a Helicopter!

USS Corporal (SS-346): First Submarine To Reel in a Helicopter!

On Thursday, 26 April 1956, off the southern coast of Florida about 20 miles from Key West, Cmdr. William F. Culley of Augusta, Georgia noticed a problem mid-flight. Culley, the pilot of Navy helicopter #51 on an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) training run as part of Squadron VX-1, realized that he was losing oil quickly from the main rotor assembly. He was too far from the coast to return for an emergency landing. Culley’s mind raced as he considered his options. Bailing was certainly possible, giving Culley and his three fellow crewmembers the best opportunity to survive the incident, although at the cost of a very expensive Navy helicopter—the Sikorsky HSS-1, known as the Seabat because of its ASW package. Finding a small cay in the vicinity to land on would be ideal, but a sweep of the ocean landscape failed to show any small land masses that might have provided such an opportunity. Crashing into the ocean was not a desirable option. Culley, his co-pilot Lt. J. K. Johnson, and two other crewmembers, G.A. DeChamp (SO3) and M.R. Dronz (AT2), realized that they had precious minutes to make a decision before mechanical failure required a costly abandonment. A “May-Day” call was sent from the helicopter in hopes that another Navy or even merchant vessel could lend a hand.
Meanwhile, not far from the distressed chopper, the USS Corporal (SS-346), assigned to the submarine base at Key West, was submerged, also participating in the ASW exercises as a designated opposing boat. The Corporal was a Balao-class submarine. She was built at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut and commissioned shortly after the conclusion of World War II in November 1945. She carried a complement of 10 officers and about 70 enlisted men. The Corporal was 312 feet in length with a beam of 27 feet, 3 inches. As it turned out, she would need every inch of that beam for her next unscheduled assignment.
The radio shack of the Corporal intercepted the May-Day call from the disabled helicopter. This news was communicated immediately to the sub’s skipper, Lt. Cmdr. Erman O. Proctor in the Conn. He wasted little time. “Emergency surface. Blow all main ballast.” The words reverberated over the sub’s 1-MC as the Corporal executed an emergency blow and came to the surface with a gargantuan splash. In contact with the helicopter, Proctor ascertained that the chopper could remain airborne for only a short time longer. Culley requested the Corporal to make heavy knots in his direction to pick up survivors should the need to ditch the helicopter arise.
The Corporal radioed that they were on their way to the scene directly and then proceeded at flank speed to the provided coordinates of the chopper. In just a few minutes, the Corporal made it first visual contact of the stationary chopper suspended only a short distance above the ocean surface. Moving in to the helicopter’s immediate vicinity, Proctor had an idea that he shared with Culley. “How about attempting an on-deck landing?” The reply from the chopper was emphatic: “Hell yes, let’s give it a go.” Absolutely no one wanted to see a valuable asset plunge needlessly to the ocean depths; the replacement price for the Sikorsky helicopter was about $250,000.
The Corporal carefully positioned itself directly under the still-hovering helicopter. Communications between chopper and submarine continued at a fast and furious pace. The mechanical issue with the helicopter prevented it from turning in any direction; hovering was still functional, but no adjustment in heading could be made from the cockpit. Once the Corporal understood this problem, the submarine maneuvered herself in the open seas such that her after deck was lined up with the landing wheels of the chopper. But did the helicopter have enough room to land on the deck? The answer wasn’t entirely clear from visual inspection by the submarine party standing topside and looking up at the spinning blades of helicopter #51.
There were two critical issues to ponder. First, was the beam of the submarine wide enough to accommodate the landing wheels of the helicopter? The answer to that question wasn’t immediately clear to those crewmembers of the Corporal who had gone topside to inspect the underside of the hovering helicopter. (The “recovery party” in this case consisted of volunteers headed up by the COB.) Second, assuming that there was enough room from side to side, could the pilot of the helicopter bring her down in the very tight window from fore to aft on the submarine deck without striking the sail with its main rotor or the fantail with its rear rotor? Since no one had ever seriously contemplated the answers to these questions, all the men could do was to look closely and guess. To all who were there, it seemed like a very tight proposition, but there seemed to be just enough room from fore to aft and from port to starboard along the after deck to give it a shot. Still, given the vagaries of the sea and wind conditions that could shift the relative positions of the submarine and helicopter, the whole idea was incredibly risky. However, short of dumping the chopper there seemed to be no other viable alternatives, so the submarine crew prepared for the surprise drop-in.
The COB and his topside men had no protocol manual to draw from. They simply relied on their instincts to mitigate the risks of the impending landing—such as taking down the long wire antenna to avoid an inadvertent snag. The men then grabbed mooring lines in preparation for the next step. The helicopter began its final descent as pilot Culley attempted to keep his bird directly over the centerline of the submarine hull. Except for one intrepid sailor, the members of the recovery party stayed crouched at a safe distance just forward of the sail during this time. The person who volunteered to remain in harm’s way was engineering officer LTJG George Ellis, who braced himself along the after edge of the sail and provided hand signals for the pilot to fine-tune his landing. Ellis’ role was critical as the margin for error was razor-thin. He risked serious injury or even death from any errant move during his makeshift role as a signal officer, as the main rotor blades of the descending helicopter spun very close to his head.
The radio shack of the sub sent the message, “Do you think you will make it?” Any response from the helicopter was delayed, since the message was received just as the three wheels of the chopper (2 front, 1 rear) made contact with the weather deck. The landing had to be absolutely perfect, and fortunately the seas had become mercifully calm during the attempt. With the precise teamwork between the hand signals of LTJG Ellis and the considerable skill of the chopper pilot, the bird miraculously touched down. Incredibly, a small part of each front wheel ended up overhanging the deck edge on each side, but there was just enough room for most of the rubber for the helicopter to remain stable topside. The men on board estimated that an inch or two longer span on the landing gear would have made the attempt a no-go.
“We’re on your deck and damn happy to be here!”, came the relieved reply from the helicopter. The pilot had stuck the landing on the very first try. The recovery party rushed over with their mooring lines to tie up the chopper to the submarine. It was the first time that a submarine had ever rescued a helicopter, and it was entirely coincidental (and fortuitous) that the width of the submarine deck was just enough to accommodate the chopper’s landing gear.
Once the blades of the helicopter had spun to a complete stop and the assembly was properly secured, the crew emerged onto the deck, where they were met by Lt. Cmdr. Proctor. “Welcome aboard!”, offered the skipper, in perhaps one of the most unusual unplanned visits in submarine history. The guests were escorted down the hatch and offered food and drink, while the Corporal steamed back to the Naval Annex at Key West, arriving just before sunset around 1830 hours local time. Word had spread about the plight of the helicopter and the unconventional heroism aboard the Corporal that had saved her; as a result, a large crowd had gathered spontaneously at the pier to greet both submarine and helicopter. It must have been quite a curious sight to witness the sleek submarine heading into her berth with the most unlikely bounty lashed to her dorsal hull.
Navy mechanics made the necessary repairs to the helicopter rotor casing after a large crane lifted the bird from its precipitous perch on the Corporal. The broken oil casing was replaced, and the chopper again was ready for flight. Subsequently, the four-man crew climbed back into the cabin to depart, after grateful handshakes had been exchanged all around. Giving the thumbs up, Cmdr. Culley started the main engine, and those assembled at the pier to see the chopper off held onto their hats as the big bird took to the sky. In minutes, the helicopter was out of sight, and the men of the Corporal had themselves the yarn of a lifetime—about the big one that didn’t get away.
Last edited by rowdyjoe; Apr 08, 2019 at 10:15 PM.
Jun 30, 2019, 12:24 AM
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Amazing - gigantic flying rc boat 1929 dornier

Can you believe - 12 OS FS.62 four stroke engines propelling this beast (6 pulling and 6 pushing).

Aug 01, 2019, 01:20 AM
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The YF-23 Story - ATF Competition

Watch this ...
Aug 17, 2019, 08:41 PM
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How Planes are Meant to be Flown

Watch this fun video and tell me if you think it's real or CGI.

Thank you Woody Lake.


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