This event is often referred to by the name "Medford's Big Bird Fly-in". Of course, it is called that because this event has a minimum size limit on wingspan. A single wing airplane must have a wingspan of at least 80 inches (biplanes at least 60 inches) in order to participate. The effect of this is simply to have a time and place where big airplanes are welcomed and in fact the norm. IMAA events are non-competitive and are designed to be just a big friendly get together of flyers who like big airplanes.
Sixteen local and out of town pilots made up three days of beautiful flying without a single 'incident'. The weather was windy enough to be interesting while maintaining a very comfortable temperature. Debbie and Paul Starks did the food, Cliff Sands was our cordial CD while the rest of us flew our planes until our thumbs got tired.
Mild mannered Bob Campbell and his 310 Cessna Twin. Even though Bob lives in Sutherlin, he is a regular at our events. This trip he brought this Cessna as well as a cute 'little' Chipmunk. The Cessna is powered by two Saito 72's, has a wingspan of 84", weighs a robust 18 pounds, sports tricycle retracts, and flaps. He has had it for 4 years. Bob is very fond of the "Zulu Kamikaze Blitzkrieg Strafing Run" 6 feet off the deck and wows the spectators on a regular basis. The man has nerves of steel and R/C piloting skills to match.
Fred Sargent and his Ultimate. Fred is another quiet spoken man, but when he is on the sticks of this Ultimate you can see that he is still a racer at heart. This bird is very heavy, but with a Desert Air 100cc engine and sleek aerodynamics (for a biplane) this bird will blast by the length of our runway in the blink of an eye.
Two venerable 89" Chipmunks set up in Red, White and Blue. Rick Lindsey's is on the left and Alan Littlewood's is on the right. Rick's has a 30cc engine built by Martin Sherman from a weedwhacker of indeterminate origin while the lineage of Alan's engine is mostly parts collected from many sources. Both airplanes fly well. The crowd got to see an attempt at formation flying by the trio of Rick, Alan, and Bob Campbell. Yes, 'formation' is used here as a very loose description but their hearts were in the right place... even though maybe the airplanes weren't always where they should have been.
Ed Martin with his Cessna 182. This model has a generous wingspan of 94 inches, is powered by a Zenoah 26cc, weighs 17 pounds and flies like a trainer. Ed reports that he has had this airplane for 5 years and has had no crashes despite 3 dead sticks. This plane was purchased from Tower Hobbies and is complete with flaps. While it is a very robust model, Ed had to replace a wimpy nose gear.
Jay Strickland and his Ultimate. This is another of those 'Take No Prisoners' Ultimates. This one has a wingspan of 72.5", weighs 21 pounds, is powered by an MT 70cc twin and has 32 flights. Jay flies this very deftly and makes it look easy... a sign of a very accomplished flyer.
Calvin Emigh and his Fly Baby. This airplane was built by Martin Sherman and painted in Arizona State University colors to honor Calvin's favorite school.
Calvin Emigh with his Ultrasport 1000. This a pattern ship powered by an OS 160 that Calvin flies to perfection. It was one of the smoothest flying airplanes at the fly-in... this despite using JR radio gear (ahem). Seriously, Calvin is the "Go To" guy at the field when it comes to radio set-up and can usually get the best out of any radio gear. He prefers JR and should know what works.
It's Rick Lindsey's Fleet in the foreground and Martin Sherman's in the background. Both were built from kits by Concept and sport 84" wingspans. Rick's is powered by a First Place 40cc and Martin's uses a Saito 2.4 cubic inch gas conversion. Rick was quoted as saying that while his has a smoke system which is fun when maneuvers go right, it is also a dead give-away when they go wrong... pesky evidence.
Cliff Sands' beautiful new Super Cub. If this had been a scale contest, chances are that this Cub would have won 'Best in Show'. The level of detail is riveting and boggles the mind. This bird has a 132" wingspan, weighs 42 pounds, is powered by a G62, and has WORKING lights! Cliff relates that the build was started by Mort Sullivan in 2003 and eventually found its way into Cliff's shop where it was finished in 2011.
Cliff's Cub's Instruments. We apologize for the crummy picture but felt it had to be included. The interior looks like the real thing all the way down to rudder pedals, gas gauge, map light... I think there may even be a coffee cup holder in there someplace! It's beautiful!
Martin Sherman and Cliff Sands with their Sopwith Pups. Martin's Pup is 4 years old, has 55 flights on it, is powered by a 78cc 442 Zenoah, weighs 27 pounds and took him 6 months to build (in a shop measuring 25'x15' !) It is majestic in flight and Mr. Sherman reports that it is very easy to fly.
When asked how long his 'build' took, Cliff gave a very long sigh, then finally said, "All winter". Big airplanes that are as detailed as these require a time commitment as well as $$$. Our fearless CD reports that his Pup is powered by a G62 Zenoah with a 1.75 gear reduction drive swinging a 32"x10 at 5000 rpm, has a wingspan of 105" and weighs 27 pounds. Both are kitted by Balsa USA.