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Dec 18, 2008, 11:39 PM
Ricky Windsock
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2. RC Capers 1975 - 1982

With a job and my new found freedom of actually having some of my own money and no longer having to rely on the generosity of my brother, I began my RC career. I purchased a kit from USA Ace Radio Control called a Honker. I already had a few Cox .049 engines from the contol-line PT19 trainers from a few years earlier. The black widow .049 was an especially prized weapon to power my new Honker. I don't remember the all up weight of this model but I can tell you a black Widow only just got her airborne with rudder and elev. What a great little plane to learn on when you don't have an instructor. This plane had a simple two piece plank "Jedelsky" wing where the planks were joined at a slight angle to each other to create undercamber. In a matter of weeks I was buzzing around like an expert and was already planning strip ailerons and a third servo so she would roll better. I bought a TeeDee .051 and retired the black widow and now I had an aerobatic 3 channel Honker. I don't remember what happened to her but she was much loved and absolutely flown to death. I advanced to an ACE Pacer which was a tape strapped hi density foam wing 1/2A "pattern" type aircraft powered again by the TeeDee .051. Great plane and lot's of fun though always rather underpowered. I also bought an Ace AllStar Biplane which I powered with an OS .15 and this became my first 4 channel aircraft with the addition of throttle. I discovered the vagaries of snap rolls on early liftoffs with this one and her death came rather quickly. The Warwick Model Flying club was formed about this time flying from a Park behind the Warwick Cemetery and I did spend time helping a few other budding RC pilots to learn the craft.
Discovering grog, girls and go-carts sort of dented the enthusiasm for model planes for a few teenage years but once I settled down again with a good lady at about 21 years old (Sheralyn is still my wife) I got right back into model sailplanes and some powered models. As a teen I had built a sailplane from RCM magazine plans called a Silent Squire. I think it was originally designed as a slope model with a semi-symmetrical section but it served as a great thermal trainer for me on the balmy Darling Downs around Warwick. Like most of us that have enjoyed thermaling she eventually went up out of sight and downwind and she was gone for a week. Finally found her unharmed in a paddock about 4 miles away. A great sailplane that just loved the bungee (histart) and was good in light wind on the slope too. I also flew an old beater called a Trident made as a kit by Aeroflyte. The wing was rather weak after many mishaps but she served as a great TD trainer for me. Around when I was 22 I completed a Dave Dodgson Maestro Mark3 which my brother had purchased and made a start on but had never finished. He left it in my care for a few years too long so I went about completing the build. I found her to be a beautiful flying sailplane with excellent landing control with spoilers and flaperons. Anyone who knows the Dodgson Designs machines will attest to the effectiveness of the mechanical mixer that was employed to make these flaperons work. With great spoilers as well, I found I could land this big bird at my feet almost every time. I flew the Maestro often with my bungee and occasionally a hand tow when I could convince one of my friends to run. During that time an older friend Don Ewart (also a full size sailplane pilot,) often flew with me at Morgan Park near Warwick.
Some friends told me about a soaring competition being held in Central Qld at a place called Eidsvold. It sounded exciting and I had never been in a competition before. In fact I had hardly ever flown an RC sailplane in the company of other sailplane pilots. We went to the Central Qld Sailplane Championships with my trusty Maestro and I read the rules. The contest required a series of flights where we were required to keep the sailplane aloft for 10 minutes exactly and land it as close as possible to a line marked on the ground. I had never practiced for such a thing but it seemed fairly simple and by the time the two day comp was over I had beaten 40 or so mostly experienced pilots into 3rd place. I was excited and now addicted to sailplane contests and I thought I was a world beater. I was to find out it isn't always that easy.
Last edited by aussief3b; Jul 27, 2011 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Add Content
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