Better than Indy

Memorial Day Weekend. Stay home and watch the Indianapolis 500 on TV? Not when we can fly in the gym at St. Vincent's.

Ed launches his EZB.

Brian's NOCAL Beechcraft Staggerwing.

Austin, who is already designing and building model airplanes, gets some pointers as he prepares to launch George's Puss Moth.

The Puss Moth is a good flyer.

Brad and Baxter ready to ROG.

Their Bostonian is starting to show its potential after a series of trim adjustments yesterday.

Peter's Honeybee. Notice I am standing in the background, after this tiny plane hit me in the face last month!


I'm not sure who owns this CO2 powered model. I have not seen it fly, and I'd like to know more about it.


Nickel scale Cessna

George has started the motor.

I need to make sure the nose block is right-side-up.

My Celtic achieved its best time yet, 1:10, after multiple near-misses with the beams.

Kermit's XE5 also had its best time yet, 1:04.

Richard's XE5 is also doing well, sometimes flying above and through the beams...and other places.

This is better than motor sports any day. Special thanks to Austin's dad, Chris, who took all these photographs.

Dave W.


A movie for modelers

By Dave Wingate
MAC Film Critic

If you build model airplanes you will probably enjoy “The Flight of the Phoenix.” I mean the original (1965) version, not the recent remake. This is a good movie and model aviation is part of the story.

What happens when you combine the Sahara Desert, a surplus C-82 transport, aging pilot, alcoholic navigator, and a sandstorm? If you think this is a recipe for disaster, you’re right.

“The Flight of the Phoenix” is a psychological thriller with interesting, realistic characters. The film owes its success to a fine cast starring Jimmy Stewart, Richard Attenborough, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Finch, and Hardy Kruger.

At the center of the plot is an intense conflict between the pilot (Stewart) and one of the passengers, an aircraft designer (Kruger) who wants to rebuild the crashed plane. These two don’t always act rationally, but being stranded in the desert seems to have that effect on people.

How does this relate to model airplanes? I don’t want to give away too many details, but I will say “The Flight of the Phoenix” explains the difference between a toy airplane and a model airplane . . . emphatically.

One last note regarding models: Richard Crossley has created a highly detailed, free flight version of “the Phoenix” that can be seen on Mike Stuart's website: 2005 BFMA Indoor Scale Nationals


XE5 news

Yes, we are all supposed to be building XE5s for an indoor competition.. and of course there will be a dose of controversy surrounding weight and props etc to spice up the handicapping. Here are three contenders - from Ed, Richard, and Kermit, who will certainly be up there in the standings.

Gentlemen - please send me your construction notes and I will post them here for the benefit of members who just don't have your experience. Below are some notes from Kermit in response to my briefly seeing his beautiful yellow and green version perform at our last indoor meeting . . . .

Thanks for the kind words about my XE5. Now that it has actually flown, I can reveal "the rest of the story" behind its showing up Sunday. I actually began to cut wood to build it last Weds. afternoon! I keep promising myself that I'm NOT going to do that "last minute build" thing anymore, but it quite often seems that is the only way I can get myself motivated to get something built. I actually completed putting the last minute finishing touches (headrest, windshield, pilot) on it about 7 PM Sat. evening. I was quite pleased with how quickly I was able to get a reasonably good performance out of it Sunday. However, despite of how well it flew, I'm seriously considering cutting into it to put more incidence in the top wing as I really don't like the way it recovers from rafter and wall collisions (or rather DOESN'T recover!). I'm pretty convinced that the setup on the plans with the top wing with a degree or two LESS incidence than the bottom wing is NOT the way to go. Another clue, besides the "recovery problem", is that it seems to "want" to fly VERY nose high. My interpretation or analysis of that is that the upper wing is flying at too low an angle, thus causing the overall nose-high attitude. I'll probably first try to set the top wing incidence roughly equal to the bottom wing (about 1/16" higher on the LE than now), and then if that is better, but not enough, maybe even a degree or so more than the bottom wing. I'm pretty sure this will require the addition of a bit of noseweight, but oh well!



Here's the completed FW TA 152. 32" wingspan, 80 grams with rubber. It won't turn easily so now there's a big tab on the rudder. I've tried it, but only in the wind - climbs fast but couldn't hold the height as it turned downwind. Please let's have a calm day at Lakeville.

Happy crunches