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Jan 26, 2014, 10:24 AM
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How time flies

I picked up my first model airplane magazine at Ebbling's Pharmarcy in the southdale shopping mall in January 1974. How 40 years has gone by quickly. The feature plane was Bob Violett's Shrike pattern plane. I had a paper route so I could afford to purchase a set of plans. Still have them to this day. Searched for a fibreglass fuselage with no luck. Working on plans for a balsa build.

My first Midwest Sweetstick had an Enya 0.35 engine and a World Engines 5 channel radio. The plane didn't last long, I built a warp into the wing and it barrell rolled on take off. My parent's felt sorry for me, and gave me a Goldberg Falcon 56 Mark II as a Christmas present. I built it and used it as a part of a science project in high school. I like the metallic blue and red on the Blue Angel pattern plane, so I covered it in monokote blue, red and white. Flew great.

When I went to University to pursue an engineering degree I put most of my hobby stuff aside for a while (also looking for work and an interest in women). I tried to get back into flying with a high wing trainer (blue and yellow kit from M&H Balsa, I believe). When radio's went from AM to FM, I tried to give up the powered planes and take up model gliders. I sold every thing at a club swap meet and put money into a Futaba 7UAP system. Started a glider, but both sat on the corner of the basement for ten years. Every few months I would venture into the LHS to pickup a magazine. Weekends were spent helping my parents at their cottage. I never thought of flying during the week day evenings.

After getting a back pay cheque from my employer, instead of investing in a new computer, I would get a new plane and engine. This was around 2000, and I purchased a Super tigre 40 and a Hobbico Avistar ARF. Wow no building, no warped wings and no long winter building season. This was put aside as my daughter was born the following year and then my son three years later.

I unboxed the Avistar in 2006 and joined one of the local clubs to learn how to fly again. Boy did I find out I missed some interesting models in the market from 90's to 2005. I did attempt to fly a Hobbico Superstar Ep in 2005, but my first hand chuck with a brushed motor was not too good. I still have the model, but have switched it to brushless electric. Much better and can takeoff from the runway now.

Found out I still like building as much as flying. I built a Kraft Kit 4 Seasons 40. I've built from plans, a F-18 pusher model. And finally maiden a Tower Kaos this past September.

It's become a bit of a family affair as I had both kids in the club this past year. My daughter Katrina (12) was flying hands off with the instructor the first evening. Brent (8) was just learning how to land at the end of the season. He can't wait to solo this year.

As much as l like ARF's, I still like building with balsa.

Looks like thanks to Leo at I will get an opportunity to fly a Bob Violett Shrike after 40+ years.

Well I picked up my Shrike kit at Pembina, ND and returned home with it. 43 years is a long time.
Last edited by jpurcha; Oct 16, 2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Sep 03, 2018, 04:14 PM
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I just purchased from you a Lil Jumpin Bean control line kit. Reading through your blog I see you basically started RC when I did. I also am a Joe Bridi fan as I have a few of his kits still new in box.
Looking forward to building his XLT and use my rear exhaust Moki .61.
I started back in 1964 by making a hand toss slab wing balsa gliders. About 3 months of that I finally made a glider that flew into the next neighborhood on a hot day. Hand-tossed it from a second story apartment building. It didn't glide rose several feet in a thermal I knew nothing about thermals at 7 years old. I was hooked on airplanes from then on. In 1966 I learned to fly control line with a Cox PT-19 trainer. Never crashed. Went on to build balsa everything. During highschool in California moved into fast combat wings like the Voodoo and Ringmasters, a Flight Streak and Veco long ago.

Advance several decades and now flying RC gliders, helicopters, gas and glow sport planes, now getting back to control line just for that 'kid' feeling and anything a club member wants me to maiden and giving instruction when needed.

Just wanted to say that that Avistar you had is my first ARF. That thing was a true HOT DOG stunter and not a slow poke. Flies well off skis and snow.

There's more but here is enough for now.

Dan Berry

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