The first float fly of the year went off with the full cooperation of Mother Nature! That is, if you are a duck! We had 22 flyers show up as well as no wind and very rainy skies.
Saturday April 16th dawned overcast with rain threatening. With high hopes the hardy band of water flyers assembled, tested and readied their boats, barges, deltas and of course the ubiquitous cubs. Living in Southern Oregon implies a certain carefree attitude in Spring weather and with wild abandon the guys set about having a good time.
This is Richard Pekarek's original design modeled after a Sea Fire prototype. It has a wingspan of 78" and is powered by a Thunder Tiger .46 .
One of the interesting things about this beautiful bird is that Richard not only scratch built it in 3 months 10 years ago but he also drew up his own plans.
Richard says that at 7 pounds it is a gentle flyer and will do basic aerobatics. The rain did not put him off as he was able to squeeze in 10 flights in 3 days.
Finally, he enjoyed the burger that Debbie cooked !
This is Mort Sullivan's customized Northstar.
Notice that Mort has beefed up the bottom with serious hardwood. He also added a set of 'water wings' to each wingtip to earn WATER SPRAYING champ of the day.
The color scheme helps a lot on a gray day and Mort's NorthStar maiden flights went off without a hitch. He even joined in on the free for all when the sky was filled with NorthStars.
Rick Lindsey showed up with an underpowered, heavy, old Goldberg Cub that barely managed to get airborne. In fact, Lindsey used up most of the lake on take-off with no success and by chance hit enough ripple to cause the airplane to break the suction. What followed was a masterful exhibition of "YIKES, it's gonna STALL" flying. Luckily, the landing was the first non-bouncer Rick has made with this bird. Lindsey was ready for lunch after his harrowing flight.
Speaking of LUNCH!!! The picture does not do this sandwich justice.
Debbie Starks was making hamburgers, hot dogs and this masterpiece to feed the hungry multitudes.
What you are looking at is a pulled pork sandwich freshly made to order. As always, the food was world class and much appreciated by all of the guys.
John Parks brought his helicopter and showed that he can fly anything off the water.
He was overheard muttering to himself about giving the club's "Snoopy's Doghouse" a try on floats next. We might have misunderstood (grin).
Calvin's venerable Four Star has been a float-fly favorite for four years. Try saying THAT four times in a row! This is a proven design that lasts and allows Calvin to make those beautiful landings he is famous for. It is powered by a Saito 100. It is interesting that this plane began life with wheels and was converted to floats by our very own water expert and choice CD, Larry Myers (with an assist by John Parks and Martin Sherman). Check out the matching Starburst on the wings and the floats... snazzy!
Try balancing a yardstick in one hand while tossing a ball in the other all while chewing gum and you get some idea of the skill needed to get this SINGLE float/sponsened converted Astro-Hog off the water. Ciff Sands manages it pretty regularly without too much drama. Cliff likes a challenge and this plane provides that and more with the 'Oregon gray sky' paint job that will turn transparent if you take your eye off it. Most of us would become grumpy if someone wanted to chat while he was flying this kind of bird, but not old 'Smiley'.
Larry Myers was able to take a few minutes off from CD-ing (thanks Bill Grove) to help his nephew launch and fly his cub. Corey Myers is the nephew and 'Crash' is his nickname. Actually, at 14 years old, Corey can already fly with the best of them; and, rumor has it, even flew a NorthStar at the float fly!
Lindsey's heavier than lead Cub sits proudly waiting for the rain to come back (it did). What you can't see is the attractive DUCK that pilots the plane. Thanks to Ben Musolf for this and other pictures.
Rod Elledge brought his Sunday flyer wearing a set of floats. Normally Rod flies the wings off this plane at our home field's asphalt runway. Being adventuresome, he decided to experiment with a great flying wheeled bird on floats. Rod reports mixed success and based on his judgment the floats are inadequate. The ESCAPADE did survive the weekend and was back on wheels Friday. Rod has had this airplane four months and reports it flies well with an OS .46 .