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December, 2000


Well, the triad took over a little sooner than anticipated, but things are rolling smoothly enough. We had a pretty good turn out at the last meeting, and we hope it only gets better. We raffled off a Dazzler fun fly kit which Steve Cole won. This next meeting we will have lots of things to give away. Besides the kit raffle, we will also do a 50/50 raffle for 1/2 of the cash, as well as door prizes and rewards for the "Name That Plane" series. Our aim is to make the meetings more fun, and move most of the important business to the Board meetings.

Rob Jensen will be giving a foam wing cutting demonstration, the first in a series of "How-To" sessions aimed at the scratch builder and kit basher. Future demo's will include Airfoil Theory and Aerodynamics, Mold Making and Composite Construction, Propeller Balancing and Enhancement, Engine Clinics and Advanced Trimming for Aerobatics.

We would also like to see more stuff for show and tell, so bring in your latest project finished or not. If there is anyone who has a trainer that they would like to have checked out before its maiden flight, please bring it to the meeting so it will be ready when you take it to the field. Rumor has it that an indoor "Flying Grandma" as well as a couple of free flight planes will be there for entertainment!

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In last months Model Airplane News, Maynard Hill wrote an article detailing his efforts in establishing a closed course FAI World speed record for a model. I wrote to him and asked him for some insight as to what I might expect in my attempt at the seaplane record.

It seems that in the 70's the FAI changed the rules. It decided that to set an all out, or straight line record, there must be three official timers present, and all their watches must read to within 1/IOOth of a second of each other for the record to be considered official. Well, if that sounds impossible, it is!

So where does that leave me? I still want this record, so I must come up with a timing system accurate to 1/1OOth of a second. This pretty much dictates some sort of automated optical timing device. I know that there are such things out there that are similar in nature that may be modified to suit my needs. I have sent a few E-mails, mostly to F3B glider guys asking for help. If anybody has any ideas, I'm all ears!

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Congratulations to Jeff Costa for correctly naming the Convair Sea Dart as last months mystery plane.

This month we will talk about copy cats. The Russians are infamous for copying Western aircraft design on such planes as the Tu-144 (Concorde copy) to the Buran (Space Shuttle Orbiter rip-off). Name the US WWII bomber that they copied nearly bolt for bolt.

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For this month I have chosen the younger version of last month's member profile. Rob (AKA Robbie, Red, or whatever else you want to call him) has been a member of WCF since its inception. Rob was born in Eureka, California and moved to Santa Rosa when he was 6 months old. He and his wife Carole have been married about 6 years. They have 3 children, Taylor, 3 1/2, and twins Macey and Jack, 4 months.

Rob is a graduate of Montgomery High School While attending school here be took a drafting class that he says helps him to this day drafting his own airplane designs. Rob also learned a lot about airfoil designs from Daryl Perkins and Mark Alien. These two guys are world class R/C glider pilots.

Rob works for Automotive Paint Systems delivering automotive paints from Santa Rosa to San Rafael to Napa. Prior to this he worked as a painter for Anthony's Auto Painting for 10 years. He also worked for 8 years part and full time for Toy and Model in Coddingtown when he was 15 years old.

As any of us who spends much tune at the field knows, Rob is one of the most skilled R/C fliers in our club. As I learned doing this profile, the reason he is number one, is his enthusiasm for the hobby. Also, Rob has spent a great deal of time in the past flying gliders. He told me that flying gliders taught a lot about airfoils and building clean. They also made him a better flier because "there is no power to bail you out." A favorite glider of his was called the Gentle Lady. It was with this plane that Rob mastered his skill of flying low and then catching it by hand. Many of us have seen him do this with his Wingo. Rob soloed at age 6 with a plane called the Mini-Mambo. It was a .25-sized plane that met its end by flying into a fire hydrant (a little to low eh Robbie?). The first plane he built was a Carl Goldberg Eaglet.

Rob estimates that between himself and his dad they have built probably a couple of hundred planes. I asked him to recollect what his best crash was and be told me that it was with a .25 sized pattern plane called a Curare when he was 10 to 11 years old. He said that he lost it in the sun and when it came out it was inverted and he pulled full up elevator and it was quick history.

Rob told me that his most memorable moment in flying R/C was last year at Woodland in a combat competition. The last event of the day was a 17 (Yes, SEVENTEEN) plane heat. I can only imagine how wild that must have been.

I think it is safe to say that if something flies, Rob has an interest in it. Especially if it is fast. One of his most recent projects is called a SwitchBlade. It is a small electric plane powered by a Speed 400 motor. It is capable of speeds m the neighborhood of 85 to 90 mph. Flying fast (and low) and test flying someone else's brand new plane are what Rob especially enjoys. He told me that the most challenging plane be has ever flown was one that he, his dad and Bill Jones built. It was a flying car. You can see it at our website under Experimental It was scratch built from plans found it RCM magazine.

Before the existence of our Club, Rob flew at a large field on the corner of Calistoga and Middle Rincon Rd. He also flew a lot at the old Cotati Drag strip. Rob has competed at IMAC events, jet fly's, glider races, combat meets and fun flies at various clubs. He has also designed his own Quickie 500 Pylon Racer. While at his house he showed me his latest creation. It is called a "Flying Grandma." It is about 3 to 4 inches long and the head and body make up the fuselage, the legs make the tail and the arms make up the wings. It really does fly too. It can be seen at a website called www.planefancy.com.

Rob is also one of the members of our Club's new triad with Steve Cole and Larry Childs. They are going to be splitting up the President's responsibility. This club is very fortunate to have Rob who very unselfishly gives a lot of his time towards not only helping members with any questions or problems regarding modeling, but also test flying new airplanes and helping new fliers learn the basics. He was our Newsletter editor for a year and did everything from generating articles to getting it in the mail to all the members. He has organized and orchestrated every fun fly our Club has had since I have been a member. I don't even want to think of what our club would be like without this guy.

Besides flying Rob has tried his hand at playing guitar and he used to enjoy playing softball. In the near fixture be is also going to be attempting to break the world record for the fastest model seaplane. I have no doubt that somehow he will manage to do it too.

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By Steve Cole

Sorry this did not make the last Newsletter, but I wanted to make sure that this does not go unnoticed. There was small group, Steve Berkhofer, Richard Lange, Gary Whitt, Des Shaipiro and myself that finished the assembly of the setup tables. Unannounced, Steve B. showed up at the field with bis arsenal of tools and started going to town. Richard Lange, not being too shy, jumped right in and helped Steve with cutting the table tops and constructing the table bottoms. Gary and I went out and grabbed a few tables that needed new tops and replaced them with fresh ones. Des, realizing that we needed to finish the job with some paint, made a mad dash to Gairett Hardware. Now brushes and paint in hand we finished the job in the familiar gray motif. Everyone in this work party will receive points towards next year's dues.

Remember that you can help the club out in a number of different ways, not only would it benefit the club but you help yourself in the process.

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The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM. Rob Jensen was chairman. We had 24 members present. We had three new members who introduced themselves Joe Olsen, John Reed, and Tom Nowelsky. Welcome to Wine Country Flyers.

The Treasurer, Dale Chiaroni, gave us his monthly report. Dues for next year are starting to come in. Don’t forget to send a copy of your 2001 AMA card with your check.

Jeff Costa reported on the recently scheduled work parties. Most have been rained out but some of the guys have, on their own, taken care of some of the most needed chores. Thanks a lot guys. You know who you are.

No more news from the county on the noise issue. I'm sure well hear from them eventually, though.

Larry Frank reported that Susan Classen of the county has been invited to attend our New Years party as our guest.

Hal Meyers has picked up the new combination locks and they will be on the gate soon.

The Web Site committee, consisting of Dino House, Richard and Jean Lange, Rob Jensen, and Mike Cingari, gave us an update on their progress. Dino also showed us some samples of the new name badges to be considered for next year.

A raffle was held with the prize being a Dazzler fun fly kit by Great Plains. This was won by Steve Cole.

The answer to the name the plane question was the Convair Seadart.

For show-and-tell, Larry Childs brought in his ARF Sig Extra with a Saito 150 for power. He says it is a great flyer and well constructed for an ARF. Looks great, too. Also, Robbie brought in a speed 400 electric pylon racer called the 'Switchblade'. I've seen it fly and it is fast. Robbie also stated that he now has a vinyl cutter so if anyone needs numbers, lettering, graphics, etc. for their aircraft give him a call.

Larry Frank gave us the final details on the New Years party. This should be great fun. Jeff Costa will again be the master of ceremony and some terrific entertainment is lined up again for this year. Besides Jeff that is. The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

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Board Meeting Dec. 5, 2000

  • The meeting was held at Robbie's house at 7:00 PM.

  • A decision was made on the name badges for next year. Hall's Trophies will be doing them for us.

  • A decision on purchasing the Tuff Shed for the transmitter impound was postponed pending approval from the county.

  • It was suggested that we make up some certificates for the folks that solo for the first time.

  • A kit that was donated by Tom Wikie some time ago was rediscovered and will be a future raffle prize.

  • A form for keeping track of points for next year and more training guides will soon be printed up.

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WIN A PRIZE... Like a FREE airplane kit or building tool. Come to the meetings!





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Officers 2004:

President: Stevo Smith
Vice President: Phil Leech
Secretary: Larry Miller
Treasurer: Tom Haddorff
Member at Large Sid Maxwell
Board Members 2004:
John Reade

Gary Child

  Ralph Grella

Brody Carlson

Guy Nicholas

Web Coordinators: Stevo Smith
Newsletter Editor: Stevo Smith
Assistant Editor Phil Leech

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Wine Country Flyers
P.O. Box 4198
Santa Rosa, CA. 95402