Another project

Who doesn’t like the TWA Constellation? It has to be one of the most beautiful multi engine airplanes ever conceived!

This is Pres Bruning and his beautiful model that I just downloaded the plans to build.

I will be building this beauty slowly myself. Stay tuned!

A Possible Flying Site!

Gregg Goris(my only active member of our local FAC Squadron) and I found this site. Actually I have been noticing it for 7 years now. It has never been used. It’s un-fenced and there are no trespassing signs. It’s 5 minutes from my studio and 15 from my house. We haven’t yet identified the owners and we are hoping to. In the meantime I’m heading over there in in the early morning when the winds are calm to fly! I know the local sheriff so I don’t expect any problems. Two old guys with rubber airplanes in this town just aren’t a threat.The red marked area is 15 acres, if you add the field space to the right of it which is also open it’s 25 acres. No grass this time of year so there might be some tissue repairs but after nearly 2 years of “no place to fly” I’m willing to risk it. Windy website says it’s 1 kt right now at 9:36 am in that location.If we can get permission this site is right off the 101 Fwy and easy to get to.

Victory Stick

This entry is a re-post from the Flying Aces Face Book page. This is a Volare Products beta kit build of the famous 1940’s design called the Victory Stick.

I’m glad you guys are enjoying this! I am enjoying building this simple and small airplane. It was a bit tricky getting those wing wires bent, the right incidence and keep the center line of the wing true to the fuselage center. But I did it. Next time will be easier but it was really fun.Fuse came out well and fit the 3D printed nose button well and the Gizmo fit the nose button well too.When I balanced the plane on the spar I found it quite nose heavy. So I moved the wing forward by sliding the wire wing supports forward until I got what I thought the right CG should be. Wrong. In a test glide it was really nose and dove straight in.I kept moving it back and trying again. When I got back to where the plans should the wires being it was fine. The glide was nice. Forgot about that vertical tail having an airfoil. That does changed the CG location on the wing. Pretty far forward of the spar.This is the stuff that makes it all so much fun. Science, physics, experiment and results. It never get old.Tomorrow she get doped. I’ll paint it with an airbrush lightly. Something pretty. Love the tail and the tail fairing. Kit goes together well as do all Volare kits.I’m using a 6 inch Czech prop now. Closest I have to a 6.5. Got to order more props from George.More tomorrow and then I start the Shaft. I’ll do the Keith Rider R-5 last.

FAC Club News

I love their magazine and I always look forward to Vance Gilbert’s column. This issue was a kick in the pants.

After reading Vance Gilbert column in the new FAC Club news I got a little motivated. Everything he talked about kept ringing that bell. I was stuck late at my studio waiting for a show to render out. I went into the shop and there was Volare Caudron. She is nearly done except for a few panels lines and the exhaust stacks. I sure love this airplane. Nice size, great lines and George Bredehoft did an excellent job on this kit.I have had a couple of tosses on the front lawn and she settles in nicely with no bad habits. But I’m planing to do exactly what Vance said. Fly something! And this plane is the one.Only problem is is finding that field. All the fields I had where in parks and they all are closed.So as I drive to the studio tomorrow I will keep that eye open for that mythical field. Because as Vance so visually (to me) described, was a moment of peace and joy. And man did that sound like heaven to me. Great read and something to keep you going! Thanks Vance.

Why Free Flight?

I get this often. In and age with radio controlled airplanes that can do even more than their full sized counter parts it hard for some to imagine why anyone would want to build and fly something you can’t control.

I’ve have done all things model in my career from building models for movies, to radio controlled submarines, sailboats and yes, airplanes and jets. But they all lacked something for me as a modeler. This haunted to me until I discovered free flight, stick and tissue, rubber powered model airplanes.

There is just something about it, and that something is going back in your mind to when you saw your first airplane fly through the sky. For me it was a DC 3. It captivated me. I want to make my own airplane a fly it. I knew as a young boy about the model airplanes. I would see them at the hobby shops I haunted on a nearly daily basis. But my parents just didn’t share my interest enough to buy me a kit. So I’d save up my allowance and buy those balsa sheet Guillows rubber band airplanes.

The first time I went to the park to fly one of these planes it was a wonder. I wound it up, pointed it level to the horizon and let it got. It flew in a big circle and climbed up and up. At that moment I felt at one with that plane as if I was up there in the sky myself. That in fact was true. I was up there with it and what a feeling!

To this day little has changed(except the complexity of the models I build) and once I got back into free flight I was hooked. Casting off that model you built by hand and watching all your hard work and craftsmanship pay off is something you can never get enough of. There it is up there. Free and flying. You have created something that has taken on a life of it’s own.

Nothing compares to this feeling. Not even my radio controlled planes with retractable landing gear, lights, bells and whistles, and a talking radio. Nothing.

I hope this answers your question.

Koolhoven and missing time…

OK. We have a weekly show that I have had for years about the work I do at my studio Some of you already know about. I have had requests from subscribers to show some stuff that isn’t monsters for movies, or Star Ship models, but a free flight plane under construction. So put the lavaliere mic on and Mary grabbed the camera and we started shooting me building the wings from scratch for the Koolhoven. This plane just fascinates me and it’s all your fault Tom.We shot for awhile and Mary went upstairs to do some painting. I had lots of studio work to do but I could put this build down until I did a few more things, a few more things. Before I new it I was nearly framed up! I had missing time and a sense of joy. But it wasn’t aliens it was an airplane! This hobby is essential!Here’s how far I got. Don’t worry it won’t have squared off wing tips I just haven’t sanded them yet.

More Progress on the Koolhoven

We thought we might had found 70 acres of unused land in Ojai for a flying site. We contacted the school that owns the land but found out the Google images were out of date. They built more school on the land and wished us the best of luck. So the haunt continues. It’s bee awhile now with no flying site for our squadron. The Aquatic Center in Ventura is still closed because of the pandemic and it won’t change anytime too soon.

I will broaden my search but the best hope now is to find private land and lease it. I’m going to look into Sod fields up here next. Stay tuned!

The Koolhoven is coming along nicely. It is Cool. I’m surprised how well these 90 year old plans are yielding a straight and true air frame(maybe it’s just me, I don’t know). It shows me how little has changed since 1937. The plans are no different then plans today or the methods involved in building. Wonderful.

Started the wings yesterday. In an hour I had this. Cutting the parts from print outs on balsa is a real joy. You just make your own kit as you go there’s really nothing like it!

You should all try it.

Koolhoven Progress

It’s amazing sometimes what one can do in a hour or 2. I printed out plan parts for cutting the formers and started building this over 90 year old plane.

I heard back from Keith Steiner who is making the counter rotating geared units for this plane which I’m now on the list for.

All parts are cut by hand on the scroll saw and with an Exacto. So far so good. This is what building is all about. All from scratch without a pre-cut kit.