MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
To all new members, welcome to the Wine Country Flyers. This
being an early start to a new season, please be patient with our training staff. New
members needing help may find weekends the best time to get training. However, this is
also the "wet" season (building time for a lot of us!). When weekends become
drier you will find more staff on hand to help out. If you need help getting a ship ready
please call one of our Board members. Names, of the Board members are on the applications
and in this Newsletter. Flight training syllabuses are located in the shack. Contact a
Board member to receive one. Training staff will check and "OK" your plane
before all flights. Please become familiar with all field rules stated in the application.
They are there for good reasons. All members should also be aware that the new 2000 badges
are now being distributed to those who have paid their 2000 dues. Everyone will be asked
to wear their badge when at the field to insure compliance with the rules and to help us
learn to identify all members who may not be well-known to everyone. Until next month,
keep your wings level!
back to top
NOW FROM THE
"FIRST LADY" OF WCF
I would like to thank the Board members for presenting me with
the Award and the Gift Certificate at the annual Fly2K Dinner. It was nice being
recognized for helping out at all the events. It is a lot of hard work, but I do enjoy
helping and would like to help out in the future.
FROM THE SECRETARY
1999 was an extremely successful year for the Wine Country
Flyers. As of the end of the year, we had over 120 members in the Club an all-time
high! When I first joined this Club about 10 years ago, we had fewer than 40 members.
Apparently we must be doing something right!
The year 2000 should be another banner year with numerous
events planned. Over the next few months we will be announcing our plans and the schedule
of events for the year. We have a great Board of Directors that will keep things running
smoothly and keep the bills paid. The Board cannot accomplish these goals without the help
and participation of the entire Membership. We need more participation from every member
with the events, the field work parties and the general operation of the Club.
Contributions to the Newsletter are welcomed from anyone willing to submit an item for
inclusion. We would especially encourage our new and Junior members to contribute items
for the Newsletter.
On March 1st, I am required to renew our Club
Charter with the AMA. A copy of our roster is required to be submitted. Therefore, we need
everyone to get their annual dues to the Treasurer by the end of February. This will be
your last reminder and your last Newsletter until we receive your 2000 dues! Thank you for
Our annual New Years Party was a great success! The food was,
to say the least, fantastic. The entertainment was provided by a magician named Ken Garr
who amazed us all with his illusions. He did, however, have some trouble getting out of
his straight jacket until Dino House graciously agreed to assist. Jeff Costa, our Master
of Ceremonies, was also very entertaining. During the evening, awards were presented on
behalf of the Club to members who put forth that extra effort for the Club. Chuck Green
and Greg Brannon received beautiful plaques for their service to the Club. Kim Jones and
Rob Jensen also were presented with framed certificates of appreciation for their efforts.
Numerous door prizes were given out to those whose lucky tickets were drawn.
Thanks to Richard and Sean Miller, we received some great PR
from the story written about the Wine Country flyers in the Press Democrat. I have
received many telephone calls from people expressing interest in our Club since the
article was printed and many new people have come to the field to check us out. For those
of you who may have missed the article in the paper, it is reprinted at the end of the
Newsletter. From that exposure, our website received over 1,000 hits from people in the
community! It looks like we will be doing a lot of new pilot training this Spring. Build
your new planes now and be ready to fly in the Spring!
back to top
THE SAFETY CORNER
This month's topic speaks to the proper procedure of using the
frequency board and frequency pins. As the field rules state: "Never, Ever, turn on
your transmitter, or test equipment, at your vehicle, in the parking lot. Do not turn on
your transmitter unless you have placed your AMA membership card on the frequency
board." I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody of damage that can
occur to somebody's aircraft if you activate your transmitter when someone is already
flying on that frequency.
Proper technique is:
1. Impound your transmitter with the power off.
2. When you are ready to fly, check the frequency board to
insure no one is using your frequency.
3. Place your AMA card on the pin if the frequency is free, if
another card is attached; look around to see who is using that frequency. You can approach
that person when they finish flying to obtain the pin. Place your AMA card on the
frequency board (there are two pins for every frequency), and be sure that the previous
flyer has his transmitter turned off.
4. This is a good point to interject: How can you find the
other pilot if he isn't wearing his club badge?!?! Let's make a habit of wearing that
badge every time you go to the flying field. It's easier to identify you if someone needs
to locate you for any reason.
5. Remove the frequency pin from your transmitter when you
finish your flight, be courteous, don't keep the pin all day. Try to limit your use of the
frequency to 15 minutes or so. This gives everybody a chance to enjoy the hobby.
6. Fly from a marked pilot station, not from an opening. The
distance between stations has been measured to minimize radio interference with other
transmitters. The plane you save, could be your own.
That's it for this month. Remember, fly safely and enjoy this
back to top
WE NEED TO HAVE A COPY OF EVERYONE'S AMA CARD ON FILE FOR THE
YEAR 2000. PLEASE SEND ME A COPY IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY!
See Members-Only, Financial Pages
back to top
A JUNIOR'S PERSPECTIVE
BY ADAM SMITH
This month I will be focusing on good starter planes for kids
and beginners and also the benefits of being a "junior" member of the Wine
When choosing a good starter plane, you will have two major
choices: electric powered or gas powered models. The electric planes are initially cheaper
than gas planes because you will not need to buy field equipment (starter, glow plug
starter or even fuel). Advantages of electric planes are their size, their noise (almost
none) and there is no mess to clean up from oil coming out of the engine as in gas planes.
Because they are smaller, electrics can be flown in a near-by school yard or open field
(after you have mastered flying at the flying field, of course). If you would like to
start flying with an electric plane, I recommend Thunder Tiger's Skymaster RTF which .was
reviewed in the Product Review section of last month's Newsletter. But if electrics just
aren't your style and you have a little more money, you can look at gas planes. As I said
before, the gas planes will be more expensive in the beginning because along with the
plane and engine, you will need to buy a starter, glow plugs (similar to a spark plug),
fuel, a fuel pump, and a flight box. This can sometimes be over $100. Don't get me wrong.
I'm not trying to scare anyone away from gas. I'm just trying to tell you the whole story
before you buy a plane and not realize that you need to buy more stuff. If you are going
to buy a gas plane, I recommend a size .40 trainer (.40 stands the size of the engine)
like the SIG Kadet LT-40. This plane comes either as a kit which you can to build or as an
A.R.F.(Almost Ready to Fly) which is already built. The choice is yours. There are many
good trainer planes available. For more information on choosing a good trainer plane,
contact Dave at Hanger One. Dave will tell you everything you need to know and he can
supply you with everything you'll need to be flying with the "Big Boys."
Some of the advantages of being a Junior Member of W.C.F. is
that you will only be required to pay $30 a year dues instead of the normal $60 fee, and
there is no one-time initiation fee of $100 for the field fund. Also, if you are hesitant
about the part on the application requiring each member to help out at some of the events,
well, that doesn't apply to Junior Members either, although it is a lot of fun to get
involved and meet the other members of the Club. I have enjoyed helping out at the field
knowing that I can contribute something to the Club. All new members, but especially
Juniors, can receive free flight training from more experienced members of the Club who
are all willing to help. This program has been revised and now consists of working from a
training syllabus with check-off boxes for your instructor to sign off the skills you have
I hope I have made your decision to fly and to get involved
with our Club easier. I enjoy this hobby along with the other Club members. Happy flying!
back to top
BY JEFF COSTA
I decided to begin our Member Profile with the senior member of
Wine Country Flyers--Glen Ballard. Glen was born in 1911 in Laurel, Nebraska.
He and his wife. Garnet, have been married almost 70 years. They have two children, six
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Before he retired almost twenty years ago,
Glen was a nurseryman and owned a large wholesale nursery across from the Redwood Empire
Ice Arena on West Steele Lane. The nursery was on a 31/2 acre parcel and its customers
included Payless and K-Mart. Glen said the work was physically very hard and eventually he
sub-contracted out the labor.
Glen first started flying model airplanes about 10 years ago.
He joined the Redwood Modelers Club located at Ya-Ka-Ama, between Windsor and Santa Rosa.
He said that the field was very rocky and was murder on the planes and that repairs were
frequent. He buddy-boxed with fellow members Lou Sprague and Dennis Henderson. His first
plane was a low-wing Hobby Lobby plane called a Telemaster. Glen has owned about 20
airplanes (mostly scratch-built) during the time he has been in this hobby. His favorite
plane was another Hobby Lobby kit called a Funster-a 72" low-wing airplane. Glen's
most memorable experience in R/C flying was winning two or three Fun-Fly events in our
Glen has seen the hobby change since he first began. There are
many more exotic planes now that before and the quality of the ARF kits is much better
now, as well.
Glen's other hobbies include outdoor and wildlife painting. I
saw many of his painting while in his home and they are very good! He is also an amateur
ham radio operator. I enjoyed the time I spent with Glen and his wife. Garnet. They are
nice people who are very involved with their grandchildren. I encourage anyone who flies
during the week to meet Glen and his wife and I am sure you will find them a pleasure, as
I did. Nice to get to know you!
back to top
NAME THAT PLANE
Since we had the Fly2K Dinner Party in lieu of our last
meeting, this question will be in addition to last month's "Name That Plane"
question. There will be two drawings and two winners at the next Club Meeting.
It seems you guys have been doing your homework. More and more
people are getting my questions right, so here is a good one.
Canard aircraft have been around since the first successful
plane. Although not seen much in the mainstream, several of them have been designed and
built. Name two planes that were Canard fighters-one from the W.W.II era and one from post
Vietnam. HINT: Two were built by modern-day car manufacturers! Answers at the next
back to top
If you thought the Club's annual dinner party would be a drag
and you decided to stay home, well, you really goofed! There were 47 members and guests at
the dinner. Five members were unable to attend due to illness. What a turnout!
The food was wonderful! The buffet included salads, chicken
breast, roast beef, salmon, marinated mushrooms, vegetables, breads and great desserts!
The food was well-prepared and of unquestionable quality. Perhaps the best part of the
evening was the magician. Ken Garr, who fascinated and thrilled us with his illusions. His
magic was only exceeded by his humor, which kept us in stitches all night. Did the $10.00
bill ever reappear? Hope everyone enjoyed the evening and we all look forward to next
back to top
Do you ever wish you could get a little more performance out of
your Sunday flier? Need a little more vertical for your acrobatic ship? Want to be the
first one to get to Pylon #1? You may think that more nitro in the fuel, or a tuned
exhaust is what you need. These will work but they sound expensive right? 1'11 tell you a
little secret that will pep up ANY airplane's performance for usually less than $5! A
trick you ask? Nope. Magic? Well, maybe a little,...the answer is propeller selection. A
prop is basically a rotating wing. It has an airfoil, just like a wing. It has incidence,
called pitch, just like a wing and shares most of the same aerodynamic effects as a wing.
To select the right prop, first you must determine what you are
trying to accomplish. Is your plane a sport plane or an acrobatic ship. Is it a trainer or
do you want to bum holes in the sky? To keep it simple, if you want to go fast you want a
prop that will move a small amount of air quickly. If you want more vertical, you want a
prop that will move a large amount of air slowly. Most people just choose a prop according
to what the other guys are running or by a general rule of thumb (i.e., .40 gets a 10 x
6). This is fine and works quite well, but if you want to eek out some extra performance
here is what you must do.
Lets take a .40 powered semi-clean sport model. It has a good
running .46 ball bearing motor in it (this seems to be the most common .40 replacement
these days) and you look for a prop. Most guys will grab a 10 x 6 or 10 x 7 and fly away
when there is lots of "hidden" performance left. One particular weekend you want
to do the "go fast" thing. The smart way to go would be to get a more
performance-oriented prop like an APC. That alone will give you a boost. But try this: go
with a SMALLER diameter and MORE pitch, say a 9x 8. Pitch like diameter is measured in
inches. A prop with a 6" pitch means that if that prop was rotated through a solid
object it would move forward 6" for each revolution of the propeller. This plane will
accelerate a little more leisurely, but top end will be improved. Speed props will tend to
have a NARROWER blade than a standard one. This is like a narrow wing on a race plane and
it acts the same way. Low drag at high speed while producing big velocity. That one change
will more than likely add 5-10 mph to our example aircraft.
Ok, now lets go the opposite way with the same aircraft. Let's
say you are into trying to hover or you like to go straight up out of sight. Your motor
just doesn't quite have enough beans to do it. The answer here is LARGER diameter and
LOWER pitch, like a 11x4 or 11x5. This will give us more thrust at a lower speed. It's
like a lower gear in a car. It accelerates great but won't go very fast. Blade design here
plays a role too, we want to find one with a WIDER blade to move more air, like a Graupner
There are many more factors influencing your motor/prop combo,
but correct propeller selection is the key to good results. If you have a plane that is a
little on the heavy side for your motor, just add diameter and reduce pitch. This will
boost take off power and keep the airspeed down. If you want to turn and burn, reduce
diameter and increase pitch. One good rule of thumb is when changing prop sizes, keep the
proportions the same between diameter and pitch. If you go up 1" in diameter, reduce
pitch by 1". If you go down 1" in diameter, go up 1" in pitch. This will
keep the motor "load" roughly the same and won't lug it down or let it rev too
high. This opens up a whole new series of props for your engine to use. Also, watch the
blade design, narrow for speed, wide for
power. This is a general rule for 2-strokes. However, 4-strokes
seem to always like a standard-to-wide blade because of their lower rpm tendencies. You
may need to try several props to find the "correct" one to suit your plane and
flying style. One thing is for sure, it can only get better, and you will be amazed at
what a simple prop change can do for your plane. Feel free to ask questions. It is the
best way to learn!
back to top