Winter Build Challenge, Maiden Flight Party - April 12, 2019

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There are two types of radio controlled models. One type is favored by model pilots who are in a hurry or have no place to build or think they lack the skill to construct a model from a kit. These are referred to as "ARF"s which stands for "Almost Ready to Fly". Over the years ARFs have improved to a point where they are reasonably competitive (and sometimes better!) with anything a flyer can build. They are light, well thought out, straight and usually fly right out of the box. This is a good thing.

The other type of model comes in a box which consists of plans, instructions and a very large pile of balsa in various stages of readiness to be glued together to create a flying model. These are the models that are flown in the Winter Build Challenge. They are the result of countless hours shaping, gluing, solving linkage problems and SANDING till your fingers bleed. The thrill of doing a "Maiden" on a plane you have built from a kit is indescribable. Especially if the flaming thing actually flies!

This year 32 projects were attempted, 22 were completed and 18 successfully made a maiden flight. Below are some of the people and planes that gave it a try. The list is incomplete because the photographer himself was dealing with his own airplane problems.

  • The first guy "Up" was Steve Bull flying a "Dallaire Sportster". The flight was classic with minor trim adjustments. Steve used an old 4-stroke OS that purred like a kitten and even had exposed rockers and pushrods!

  • Followed by Babe Caltabiano flying a VERY fast Coast Guard themed low wing Skylark.

  • Jess Wells brought an old-timer called a "Zipper" he built this Winter. It took three tries but he made it around the field!

  • Final adjustments to one of two planes brought by Larry Myers and John Parks. The take-off of the Ultimate Bipe was an emulation of a Saturn Five Rocket! Straight up and take no prisoners!

  • The leader of the pack, Bruce Tharpe is here caught directing traffic. Bruce started this event last year and initiated a building frenzy in the good old Rogue Eagle RC Club!

  • Rick Lindsey struggled with a fouled plug and a rich engine mixture. He tried twice with no success but the third time his Christen Husky lifted off with no drama.

  • Rick owes a big thank-you to Martin Sherman who pulled heavy mechanic duty getting the bird ready to go!

  • The airplane was one of the two biggest with an 105" wingspan and a 60cc twin DLE engine.

  • Scott Hudson always seems to like a challenge and this year showed up with this old design, an immaculately built and a well finished example example of a RAF FE2b. This was a WW1 era pusher airplane. Naturally there were no instructions!

  • Bruce Tharpe showed up with a real show stopper! This is an original design he calls "The Winter Wing". NO STABILIZER! Having only tiny landing gear, Bruce built a "dolly" to place the plane on to take–off. It worked beautifully and the airplane flew majestically.

  • Notice the two tiny wheels nestled on the fuselage. Bruce actually landed ON THOSE TWO WHEELS!

    He is a pretty good pilot. :)

  • Maiden flights are never guaranteed. Calvin Emigh did the honors for Larry Myers' "Peashooter" for this little low wing bird. Alas, the engine just refused to run long enough to get off the ground at first. They eventually had a successful maiden after lunch

  • Finally, Scott Hudson is helping Jay Strickland launch his go-fast racer known as a "Doddger". The thing flew so fast it was mostly just a blur.

  • Thanks to everyone who made this event so much fun and thanks to Jerry Stinson for cooking the hamburgers!