Zirloi Spitfire Mk1 60cc
Sorted out engine cooling on a tail heavy model she is a beaut to fly. If love lead this could be the plane for you otherwise build a Mk V
Bumped into Tim Nolan at a VMAA State Field a few years ago. One subject of conversation that really struck a chord with me was "Leaving the hobby in a better place than when they found it". For me that equates to promotion. Whether it's a sausage sizzle at Bunnings or a flying display getting a prospective new member to a flying field that effort has done its job. You've sold the sizzle now its time to sell the steak.
This piece was written with progressive Club Presidents in mind. Grappling with the dilemma of how to attract and the time consumed teaching old men to fly RC? Two concepts need not be mutally exclusive. Flying aeroplanes in front of people is a tried and true answer for one. Electric powered foamy with three axis gyros is another.
On that point I have sympathy for aeromodellers who have purchased a plane to go air racing based on publicity generated by myself and RCM News. Associating what this masthead has stood for by sponsoring or conducting air racing events closed to the general public is of no interest. Here are a few events of interest to me whilst I go back to basics to knock out an interesting read and assemble a small team of like minded people to conduct an RC Airshow in Victoria in 2024.
Float plane flying at Baw Baw RC. Jereilderie Scale Aerotow. Christmas in July at Scale Aviators. Scale Aerobatic Nationals at Burley Field. (Click each pic to go to the club website)
Its official. Grahame Goodson's Bleriot has finally flown. The plan was to fly it across Port Phillip Bay to promote Sandown F1 Air Race 2015. Magazine deadline has been set for a Christmas in July edition. Which means generating interesting content for the final print edition. Got some interesting stuff already.
Found the Tattersalls banner at a lockup where some of my retired racing planes end up. Seeing that banner again reminds me of the self centred officious management style that exisited a few decades back when I towed that behind a 74 cc Decathlon to make a dollar. That stingy style of negative thinking left the VMAA a few years back but you can still find it on Saturdays at Burley Field.
When Joe McGuffin handed over the reigns of the Large Scale Racing Club of Australia Inc to Byron Simpson it was on the proiviso I was not to be on the committee. I took it as a NSW versus Victoria thing because Cobram Air Races was a better event than Cootamundra. We had two sets of lights with two way comms to a Chief Marshall at either end to sort out pylon issues on the spot. Four plane heats where everybody raced each other twice over eight rounds. We had a crowd and mini airshow. Which made a ten grand profit for the host club. Maybe it was because RCM News published proposed flying standards for F1 and F2 which everyone had to qualify. I don't know.
A decade has passed and no one has topped that event. Promoting aeromodelling and dealing with rusted on individuals in amatuer organisations is Hard Yakka. Getting the gig with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation took me one demo flight and two meetings. Sandown was just as easy. Actually Sandown was easier. Pay the money to hire the venue and obey the regulations. Air Racing events at club fields have proven to be very difficult. Dealing with club officials' agenda that differs from mine or seasoned competitors organising events playing loose with the entry level rules to suit their own competitive interests a problem.
NSW Pylon Association might be conducting an event in October. Enquiries should be directed to its President.
Northern Flying group wants racing events to be conducted by a Special Interest Group as per its charter with VMAA. I'm a memebr of this club and it can only generate sufficient volunteer support from its membership to look after the kitchen. Wyong Valley MAC (NSW) was supposed to be the entity to take over from Large Scale Racing Club of Australia Incorporated but the deal agreed upon early last year did not transpire into anything meaningful. Whether that entity intends conducting an event in Victoria this year is unknown. Enquires should be made to its President.
Websites speedweekend.com.au speedweekend.melbourne and speedweekend.sydney Remibursed by LRSCA, RCM News registered, constructed and published all three and kept them going the following year at its expense. These have now been cancelled.
Booking one of four VMAA state fields available for Specialist Interest Groups means gathering a few like minded people to start a Victorian SIG. Advise from VMAA about the requirements to set that up has provided a path forward to make use of those fields. Attracting enough pylon marshalls to operate two sets of lights remains difficult.
Flying traditional left hand circuits at Bendigo, Cootamundra and Nothern with one set of pylon lights the risk of scattering debris into the pits after a major failure or collision at Pylon 1 has been averted by good luck. I will no longer consider conducting an event at NFG with left hand circuits. On that point anyone who is unable to trim a plane to do tight ninety degree banked right hand turns should seek advice. Or give up.
At club level the best venue in Victoria for Air Racing Public Displays is Burley Field. There is no point bothering with two sets of lights becaase the flying field layout is unsuitable. Left hand course with one set of lights I laid out at Shepparton years back and also at Sandown made it more interesting for spectators and easier for marshalls.
To that end I have proposed to P&DARCS Futures Committee RCM News would pay a grand to hire the venue for one day. This location would provide the best return for sponsors committed to supporting an RCM News event. Which has always been about promoting competition flying and the hobby as a sport. I'm hoping the P&DARCS President will stand again at the next AGM. If he can get the committee focused on looking forwards not backwards my application to use the field for one day stands a chance of being treated professionally. Right hand circuits are required there.
Getting my ducks in a row with that lot will take time I have renewed my interest in display flying. Dad's Spitfire is now ready for a competition flight. The 8 kg Hirobo Bell 47G is thirty year old technology but still has a commanding presence in the air. That helicopter is a reminder of what's it's like being the son of an innovative change agent.
Flying with Brian. A few little bugs to sort out but Dad 's replica 1973 F3a World Champs Whistler design, his World Champs F5B hotliner and his quarter scale Cessna have flown. Climb peformance of the F5B isn't anything like what it was with 27 sub C nicads but the Multiplex Zeno 3s powerplant does a nice job. The the Whistler needs a bit more tinkering to get through the eight minute Classic Pattern schedule. Makes it just with nothing left in the battery packs. Fried one in the process.
A few interesting projects to be test flown. Now that Grahame Goodson's one quarter scale Bleriot has flown the heavily loaded V12 powered one fifth scale Mustang is next. It needs a bitumen runway and Damien Mould took me for a burn in his Eurofox around Central and North Eastern Victoria to check out a few private strips. finally ready to go. Damo has a most interesting high speed project almost good to go.
Spent a few days organising the Hangar. It's amazing what you accumulate. Culling pefectly good products which have become surplus to requirements only because something better came along. The onboard RX battery checker is one such product. My radio gear now downlinks that information to the transmitter.
A two day Air Racing event at Burley Field could put twenty grand into club coffers. Which could be usded to counter sniping in the newsletter about members not attending working bees. Members like me who work. That money could also payout a share when requested. Purchase equipment for the maintenance crew. Fix the defunct sprinkler system and water tanks which have been in disrepair for five years. Extra cash could contribute towards whatever it would cost to cut the runway grass shorter. Replace the shade cloth with steel roofing for when it rains. It could support club member aspirations to represent Australia at World Championships. Heaven's above we could even donate to a charity.
Pre COVID I offerred to hire the venue at $500 a day for three days. Quite a few years back G Tatti and Son offered to put in a bitumen strip. Both offers knocked back. During COIVID I asked Garry Tatti to quote on re-doing the main runway onto a base that wouldn't crack. For around fifty grand we could have been flying a world class runway by now. It's embarrassing. Dithering is such that a number of tradesman won't use their contacts to quote for this club. I won't waste any of my contacts time again.
Response to WG Gilderslag's videos was interesting. Their main aim was figuring out how to knock out a cheap production that works. Seagull Nemesis in Futaba livery attracted over 7,000 views whereas the purile nature of a few Old Fokker videos attracted a mere hundred or so. Just enough to highlight attitudes towards me from the chosen few. Thanks WG. Job done! Almost two years since a club member proposed we get a defibrillator and nothing has happened. Brian Green's issue/ suggestion with access gates still being investigated. Apart from holding the Secretary to account for not recording The Minutes correctly that takes care of reporting model aircraft club politics. Until the next AGM.
Stephen Green. AUS 5932 - January 15th 2023.
Four images directly above and many below are interactive. If it has an embedded caption just click and see.
At club level simple fun flying tasks at club level remain one of the best ways to generate enthusiasm. For example, having to carry your model on to the runway is regressive. Walking onto the active runway is not as safe as rolling on and off. Instead of banning it set up a taxiway and teach people how to taxi safely. Conducting an annual airshow and putting back into the locol community is a proven method to enhance club spirit and corporate citizenship.
Launched for the 1991 World Champs at Wangaratta this publication was unusual in at the founder had National Championship wins in Aerobatics, Pylon and Glider. Brian Green competed internationally in F3a, F5B F5D and F4c World Championships. Nine in total plus President of MARCS, VARCA, APA too plus Contest Director for the 1991 Wangarratta F3a, F3d and F4C World Champonships.
I grew up with some pretty big put up or shut up RC competition flying egos in F3a and F3D. Dad jumped at the chance whenever new technology was introduced. He taught me to understand the rules and push em if you dare. If it didn't pan practice more. If that didn't help buy better equipment and learn how to use it. Do that and come back with a better mousetrap. Best not to skulk in the naughty corner and blame the judges if you couldn't accept the knocks. Take up scale flying or display flying instead. Not as demanding.
When Dad got into aeromodelling the two biggest hobby shops in Melbourne were Hearns Hobbies and the Model Dockyard. Control line and Free Flight were king of the castle back then. Hearns lack of interest to support RC led to radio gear being sold by backyarders. Which is how Tony Farnan got started in the business. When Dad asked the man behind the jump at the Model Dockyard why RC was so expensive when he could by a transistor radio for a few pounds? He was told to piss off.
He bought a book on electronics and a few years later Digitaire Services was manufacturing and selling its own brand of proportional radio gear Command Air Control. Which later began servicing Kraft for Barry Angus.They later joined forces to form Kraft Systems Australia. Three years after moving to Geelong we returned to Melbourne to open FliteLine Models. The first hobby shop to feature carpet on the floor.
My Father's achievements and his insatiable appetite for taking on new technology and competition flying goes back to the late 60s when Digitaire for Speed held the Australian ten lap record time for Goodyear Pylon Racing. When Kavan released the Jet Ranger at the 93 F3a Worlds he came home with one. When it became apparent the learning curve to master rotary winged flight was very expensive the others dropped it after a few crashes. Not Dad. Ditto for gas turbines. When the KJ66 published in RCM news wouldn’t reliably put out its clamed 6kg of thrust Dad set about improving it. Airframe, engine and gas turbine aircraft maintenance engineering background aside he read Kurt Shreckling's book and off he went.
Power line stringing adventures with Dad were very exciting and satisfying to complete. Years later I honed that airwork into a single pilot operation with an expendable aircraft that could string 800 metres. Those .46 powered ARF trainers never failed to complete a job.
Another very satisfying flight was Dad's GT2000 jet engine in an Aussie manufactured Bolly Scorpion at Southern loop at the 1999 World Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Damien Mould, Giles HillI, Ian Bendle and yours truly entertained the punters with 1/3rd scale aeros. Booming then Tattersalls Sukhoi inverted under the bridge on Gardner Straight then zooming up was a piece of piss compared to power line stringing. Getting that gig further highlighted how people don't understand model aircraft. Wasn't a brochure or a slick video presentation that got it over the line. All it took was a quick five minute demo flying that model in front of the organisors at Albert Park. Engine started first go. Warmed it up ten minutes before the appointment.
Watching whoever flew that Piper Cub battle attrocious conditions in a tribute at John Mcgrane's funeral was another. Dropping my Brother's ashes into the sea was simple enough yet I was decidedly nervous.
The most nervewracking ever was test flying Dad's scratchbuilt folding wing homebuilt GT2000 gas turbine F4c Panther 2006 F4c scale world champs project.
Display Flying is different to competitive flying. Pushing to 80% is more than is enough to impress spectators. Airshowitis looms pushing above that level. You should should cop it on the schnouser if the person charged with running the show says so. I was grounded by Daryl Gunst at the first Avalon Airshow for busting the no fly zone with my Great Planes F14. Rather officcious Fokker the Gunzter was but when I needed some to help with the Shepparton Air Races he was the first to put his hand up.
Those commercial display flights at motorsport venues did their job promoting the hobby but the other part of the deal remained industry's biggest problem for decades. Plenty of people have had a good experience starting out but dwindling numbers represent opportunites lost by people who presented to a flying field for a poor experience.
Being able to consistently fly your RC model aeroplane in a 10 kph wind is who I rate what it is to call yourself a successful RC pilot. That benchmark was arrived at from my professional flying school days. Flying RC for commercial reward got up the nose of a few on club and association committees. Animosity and ambivelance towards me remains today but it is local not intratsate or national. They know who they are.
Being able to consistently fly your RC model aeroplane in a 10 kph wind is who I rate what it is to call yourself a successful RC pilot. That benchmark was arrived at from my professional flying school days. Flying RC for commercial reward got up the nose of a few on club and association committees. Animosity and ambivelance towards me remains today but it is localised not intratsate or national. They know who they are.
This term of endearment stuck ever since the air to air front cover pic (below left) was shot with a Canon T90 35mm SLR from my Graupner Heim helicopter. Some old Fokker complained loudly how dare I fly my helicopter so closely to Frank Curzons Fokker E111. It was a professional flight conducted under my own insurance. If only he had asked before shooting his mouth off.
Cobram Air Races and Temora Jets shown here are two examples on a much larger scale. Own goals by their respective committees who shot me down. Moira Model Aircraft Club didn't even extend me the courtesy of a phone call, email or letter it had knifed the annual Cobram Air Race event. That event tied up the club field for a mere six days and netted a 17 grand nett profit into club coffers. Yep its members benefited from that decision.
Temora Jets was different. The dummy newspaper article sent to the organsers on the QT stuck a nerve. NSW Jet Flyers Association complained to MAAA Secretary. Don't recall which jet modelling Dodd was serving at the time. A letter from Victorian Jet Aerosport Association arrived soon after. Banning me from its Victorian meetings. (It should be noted Ken Mollison of KMRC Jets and Shane Bartlett of Intairco Service were serving committee members. (Click the pic for correspondence in and out. Ed) Members and guests drive to fantastic Temora was diverted to West Wyalong. The press release stated members could not afford the $3000 cost to hire the venue. (One hundred entries couldn't cough up an extra $30? Bullshit. They were booted out. Ed)
In 1978 VMAA Secretary and LDMFA Club member Ken Battersby took umbridge to my novelty flight that won that category for DAC at the Futaba Trophy* in 1978. Novelty was banned after that. Kiljoy. *Now the VMAA Trophy. Top right; click the pic to read this atypical letter of my tenuous relationship with an organisation that continues today. When it was told the $20 grand bill for racetrack and grandstand hire was headed its way the Sandown Display Permit application was sorted quick smart.
Thinking the exprience of crowd reaction to the planes at major venues would be of value I took a gamble doing that 2015 event to assist the magazine business and hobby trade which started show signs of declining. Counting my losses stopped after a while. MAAA threw more at it but unfortunately VMAA does not see any value in conducting Airshows. Tthe Train and Hobby Show saw the value. It paid for the track and grandstand up from 2017 till 2020.
Founding DARCS member Ian Watts also competed in F3a and F3d. His early involvement with the DARCS was recreated when he moved the Shepparton. Simple fun fly club comps such as limbo, touch n goes to improve skills were held regularly. Racing is great fun and a wonderful spectacle. The DARCS 100 lap pylon with ten compulsory pitstops was fantastic fun. After a few attempts I came up with a better mousetrap and finally won it. Rules were dumbed down the following year. Which didn't Fokker me but it Fokkered a successful event with great tradition. Perhaps there might be someting to that for resurrecting the VMAA trophy. The NEC Three Hour Enduro was another successful interclub competition which inspired innovation.
In 1987 my flight plan to fly down the main street of Minyip for the Flying Doctors TV show was approved by CASA. INsurance cover provided for myself and others under my control for commercial model aircraft operations in Australia was subject to compliance with ANO 95.21. This flight was the day before my wedding in Benalla. It was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Director offered to put me up overnight but I declined. No probs. I flew a dozen more 16mm film POVs since
In 1999 I requested urgent assitance from MAAA Secretary Chris Greenwood for myself and three mates to fly under MAAA Insurance policy for the Qantas Australian World 500cc Motorcycle Grand Prix. The day before the event Australian Grand Prix Corporation lawyers found a Non Aviation disclosure in my recently purchased $3000 per annum policy. The previous broadform policy did not have that Aviation clause. Oops. The chance to present aeromodelling was too good to pass by.
It took a few phone calls and faxes and MAAA covered us on the proviso it was not a commercial operation. Job done.
Below are a few pics of a concept Dad and I always saw great value in
The inagural 2011 Cobram Air Races was a was a two day even in Country Victoria. It generated a nett profit of $7,000 for the club. The 2012 Cobram Air Races generated a $10,000 nett profit. The potential to double that in Melbourne will help the club pay its way and secure its future.
Sorted out engine cooling on a tail heavy model she is a beaut to fly. If love lead this could be the plane for you otherwise build a Mk V
Brian Green fires up the GT2000 home built engine and works through the trials and tribulations of a laser kit shortcomings
Grahame Goodson vowed to flinish before he embarks on another project
Damien Mould test flies the model and gets his aerobatic endorsement in his full size. DLE 220cc four cylinder in the little one. High compression Lycombing in the big
Do aeromodelling skills cross over into full size? Scott Matthews aims high to attain the Zenith. Cruzer that is. Aussie style
Sworn to secrecy but this thing will be quick
What's new in big models in Steve Richardson's hangar
Measuring a sedan or hatchback to fit the model inside has become less relevant
Peter Goff's Wirraway and more
After flying his exotic soarer at Jerildrie glider tow what's the next addition to Keith Quiggs fleet?
Surfing the net when drinking the impulse buy of this iconic machine does not disappoint
Remember the crash comics in aviation magazines? What went wrong and how we can do better next time
Staight out exhaust on a .60? Not happening. Engine is the real McCoy but what to do with it?
20cc float plane conversion after a whoopsy on land
Touched by the Ugly Stick the Editor goes a bit nuts after drilling in this COVID scratch built classic
Fly a foamy to improve flying skills before flying the big stuff. Have a ball and avoid the pitfalls too
Conducting a competition event is my way of putting back into the hobby. Proceeds from this issue will go towards prize money for Speed Weekend Melbourne next year April 29-30 2023
Another event of interest to me is scale. Congratulations to the Australian F4 Scale Team result at the World Championships in Norway.
Calling for my Father in the 2006 FAI F4c Scale World Champs was a real thrill. Two years later Dad replicated his vision for improving standards of F3a aerobatic flying in this country by bringing top overseas competitors down under
In 2008 Australian modellers got the opportunity to see Englishman Pete McDermott's Scale World Champs static judged winning Sopwith Snipe at the Sth Pacific Scale Masters. Three companies selling ARF's jumped at the chance to promote scale flying in scale features in this magazine. Thanks principal sponsors Model Engines, Tates Performance Hobbies and Hobby Headquarters that money was raised in a couple of days. There are plenty of world class scale models in Australia. Wouldn't it be great to get them all together?
Flying planes in front of people remains the best way of inspiring new and existing model fliers. As the hobby industry continues to shrink the local community airshow remains vital to promoting your model club. Pictured below are photographs of leading modellers previously published in the magazine
Where are our next aeromodellers going to come from?
5 time FAI World Champion's 350kph beat up along the main straight at Sandown 2015 emptied the exhibition hall in 30 seconds
Scratch built in foam for the Futaba Trophy in the 1970s by the best builder I've met it ended up in RCM News reader Richard Able's hangar
Fibre Classic kit transformed to electric power with a scale size four blade flying prop by our resident high power specialist
Debuted in 2006 you could have heard a pin drop at engine start for Damo's epic display flight at Sandown 2016
1st first place at Cobram Air Races and countless demo flights with the jaw dropping 300 kph snap roll
Absolutely pristine example of a Grasshopper turns to line up at Burley Field
On final into the pad at Melbourne RC Helicopter Club is one of this afficcionado's many scale machines
Mark Collins did the finishing touches to see Ken's scratch built dream take flight
The joy on Marie's face when she passed her Bronze Wings flight test time FAI World Champion's 350kph beat up along the main straight at Sandown 2015 emptied the exhibition hall in 30 seconds
The lawn mower gag remains a favourite. The Skycutter was an ARF. Possibly still available in kit form, click the pic for the website
Excellent club President of Greensborough Model Aircraft Club at the annual airshow that raised money for local charities
My first RC flight school customer, introduced me to a Mr John Walker. For excellent model aircraft stands click the pic for Teddy's website
Early pioneer of Giant Scale I spent a most interesting weekend at Grand Southern Cross Rally with Clive and Dr Ken Lawson
Beautiful example of scale art at Luskintrye Park it was a privilege to be offered a fly of Ken's giant Lysander
Putting his money where his mouth was the Grand Southern Cross Rally was a cracking event that raised funds for a special Rotary project
Lifting off for the RPAS flight test brilliant model builder Scott and professional RC flyer and built a full size RA Zenith Cruzer
Competing against five time winners of Adelaide Texan category Gary and Steve opitimises what competition flying is all about
This wonderful one fifth scale Yellow Aircraft kit was on the front cover of our best ever selling edition #97
His epic A-10 display flight at Sandown 2016 was something to see. Damien nutted out a fix for his Jetcat turboprop lube problem
One of my first RC Flight School customers we test flew his Paulo Severin J3 Cub off the beach adjacent the Great Ocean Road
Best President ever our hand shake deal to do a 2 day airshow / competition resulted in a $10,000 nett profit for his club
The Corporate Airshow went within a whisker of doing the Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park
Shit stirrer like his old man, lost my best friend recently but landing his combat wing into his Ute when he bet I couldn't was gold
Gas turbine folding wing Panther prior to detailing for the 2006 F4C World Champs. Dad is the most forward thinking RC mover and shaker I've ever met