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Jan 04, 2020, 03:51 PM
AMA 32832 - SPA L27-VRCS 1138
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Nathan Bast Tribute

This post will be to pay tribute to my RC mentor and all around good guy Nathan Bast RIP.

Nathan was a great human and a very talented model designer/builder. He worked for Testors Corp in Rockford Illinois for a number of years. One of his projects while at Testors was the successful Freshman series of control line planes

I got to know Nathan about 1980 when as a RC newbie I started flying at the field that Nathan would frequent. Nathan immediately stuck out as a gregarious friendly person with a wonderful positive attitude. He also had his own unique brand of a sense of humor. As I got to know Nathan better I started to learn about the many RC planes he had designed for his enjoyment only.

I will profile some of his personal RC designs in this blog.

This is Nathan in what I learned was his standard pose. I am not sure why, but most every time a camera came out he would jut his arm into the air which seemed to signify - having a great time!

Last edited by Dave Swanson; Jan 04, 2020 at 03:57 PM.
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Jan 11, 2020, 09:06 AM
AMA 32832 - SPA L27-VRCS 1138
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The Groover! Nathan's Masterwork!

The Groover is one of the most popular of Nathans designs among local flyers who ever saw it fly or were lucky enough to have some stick time. It is an amazing sport pattern plane! Nathan designed it to be light, strong, fast, and "groove".

Here I am with my prized Groover 4.

The Groover was designed and refined over many years by Nathan. The Groover had 4 generations. Each generation a refinement of the prior. All generations of the Groover were good flyers, but the 4th and final configuration was, and still is, an amazing plane; fast, very aerobatic, and tracked (grooved) like it was on rails! Knife edge performance was very important to Nathan. The Groover 4 in either the 60 or 40 size was and is capable of many consecutive knife edge loops with a good engine.

The Groover was known to only a small enclave enthusiastic devotees. I was among them and will always remember the day Nathan felt confident enough in my flying ability to let me fly his Groover. What an amazing experience that was! Pure RC nirvana!

Nathan was kind enough to share his plans with a few of us and 35 years ago during the Groover's heyday there would be 2 or 3 Groovers at the field.

Nathan is on the right giving his signature hand signal as if to say "having a great time"!

The focus on knife edge performance can be seen in this wonderful photo taken by my son.

The wonderful airfoil shape of the fuselage;

And the substantial sub tail fin and rudder;

The knife edge performance is also enhanced by Nathan's building techniques that kept it light. The total weight with all gear (less fuel) is 6 lbs.

The engine is an old OS 61FSR ABC that is still in great shape and fits like a glove.

Wingspan - 61.5 inches
Wing Area - 561 sq. inches
Aspect Ratio - 6.74 to 1
Ready To Fly Weight (less fuel) 6.1 lbs
Wing Weight (with servo) 1.75 lbs.
Engine 1982 vintage OS 61 FSR ABC
Jan 11, 2020, 09:33 AM
AMA 32832 - SPA L27-VRCS 1138
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Groover Continued

Only Nathan and I at the field this day. I took Nat's Groover up and was putting it through the paces when I heard a brief flutter and saw 1/2 of the stab and elevator separate and float down. The Groover was still quite flyable in spite of the fact that the elevator control horn was on the side that flew off!! I eased the Groover back to the field and landed without incident.

Here is Nathan pointing to the stab and doing the circling "crazy" gesture with the other hand. A testimony to a well balanced plane if there ever was one!

Jan 11, 2020, 09:35 AM
AMA 32832 - SPA L27-VRCS 1138
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Groover Continued

Nathan was famous for napping at the flying field.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Nathan with his Groover.

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