Twenty twenty one is upon us. New airplanes are coming together for this year’s contest season around District VIII. Due to this past year with the pandemic shutting a lot of society down, and many of us spending a lot more time at home, balsa suppliers have seen high demand for contest grade balsa!
Mark Troutman sent me pictures of not one, not two, but four airplanes he put together with the extra time we’ve all had due to the pandemic. Mark put together a 1955 Stunt Wing, an original Demco Speed Wagon kit, a “Green Box” Nobler, and a British Nats-winning Japanese Tony from the RSM kit.
Mark reported about the Stunt Wing, “It started life as a BMJR kit and was modified to take a four ounce tank. I added some tail wheels on the fins so it could do the modern stunt pattern and not tear it up on landings. It’s a nice kit and a very unusual build as there is a full fuselage embedded in the wing so it builds like an I-beam wing. Power is a McCoy 35 which turns out to be just right on 57 ½ foot lines. It turns tight so I have to go with much smaller line spacing than normal but it flies well and easily does the Classic pattern.”
Mark put together the Hal deBolt-designed Speed Wagon using all the wood from the originalkit. Mark even straightened out the warped motor mounts that came in the kit.
Mark also had an EMT friend give him an original Green Box Nobler kit that was in the attic for 50 years. That kit also escaped a house fire, and the contents were still in good enough condition to build. Mark decided it was another good COVID project and put it together. Power is a Brodak 40 and he reports it’s a great flying Nobler and turned into a great save from an original kit baking in the attic for half a century and then escaping a house fire.
Mike Scott is working on a new electric Vulcan for classic. He also has a new Max Bee that I got to see fly recently. The Max Bee is looking like a winner, and knowing Mike, the Vulcan should be a winner as well!
I just completed my newest airplane for the 2021 contest season. It is my first original design, and it is powered by a PA 75. It came out to 67 ounces. I wanted an airplane with an aggressive, Formula 1-style racer look. It’s livery is loosely based off the 1977 Ferrari paint scheme, and is finished with Randolph dope and automotive clear on top.
Currently the weather is completely unlike Texas, and the state is under a blanket of snow, with more coming. The weather is thankfully supposed to improve in the next few days, and I think I can speak for everyone that we’re excited to get back to normal
Unfortunately the stunt community isn’t immune to COVID. We lost Don Cranfill and Al Rabe from the virus. Al was a legend in the stunt community with his development of the molded semi-scale planes, Nats wins, and trips to the world championships. Don was a legend in the combat community with many NATS wins. Don was quickly rising up the ranks in stunt too, a top level expert pilot, and a true gentleman. Hopefully this pandemic is nearing its conclusion and we won’t lose anyone else to the virus.
That’s about it for this issue. ‘Till next time!