FAC Legend Gone West: Dennis Norman

Yesterday, many of us received word that FAC Hall of Famer, Dennis Norman passed away on the 22nd.  Dennis had been in deteriorating health for several years, but still wrote an article on Scale Free Flight for “Model Aviation” (AMA magazine) – you can read his AMA writer’s autobiography here.

From Dennis’ Obituary Page

I first met Dennis when I started out in Free Flight traveling from central Ohio to participate in the contests hosted by the (now defunct) Cleveland Free Flight Society – the Stork Squadron of the FAC.  Dennis was always very friendly and helpful and always interested in my young family.  Dennis pushed the boundaries of what Free Flight Scale could be by building many rubber-powered twins and multis, with a landmark construction article published in MAN in 1966 of his twin-propped single-rubber motor 24″ span Mosquito.  You can tell by reading the article that successful rubber-powered twins were virtually non-existent:  “Flights in calm or slightly breezy conditions average 40 yards or better with the model seldom rising higher than ten feet.”  (You can read the article and download the plan on Outerzone.)  His B-24, in 1990, has been immortalized by Tom Hallman’s video:

He also built and flew an Avro Lancaster.  Dennis’ work was surely the inspiration for Chris Starleaf and his multi-engined models, which took Free Flight Scale to new heights and which is now carried on my Wally Farrell, Tom Hallman, Vance Gilbert, and virtually anyone who dips their toes in the multi-engined rubber powered arena – Dennis dared to show what “could” be done.

Dennis was always developing something.  I remember in the early-90s he developed an early method for transferring markings to tissue.  If I recall, he used “Chart-Pak” artist’s markers.  He would put white tissue paper over an appropriately-sized 3-view of whatever model he was working on and then color the tissue with the Chart-Pak pen.  The solvent that carried the ink would dissolve the xeroxed markings and transfer then to the tissue.  This would require pens of many colors – and this was long before we could print on tissue paper.  For example, here is a photo (taken today) of his Peanut BF-109 that he gave to my son, Jack (Jack was in grade school at the time).  You can see how he would have to do each color of the camouflage – and even the blue under side was done the same way.

Dennis continued to innovate.  When I last saw him at the Toledo Show (about 3 years ago?) he was still selling pre-printed tissue for several models.  You could always find Dennis at Toledo paired up with Roger Wathen – this was mentioned in his last AMA article just a month or so ago.

One thing I observed about Dennis’ models – they always seemed to be built heavily.  The Peanut above is built with hard balsa and has a ton of clay on the nose and, because of all this, is powered by a loop of 3/16″ rubber.  Regardless, he built them and he flew them – and he was an inspiration to all of us.

Requiescat in pace, Dennis.

 

–george

 

New Provisional Event! – Comet’s Nickel Series!

Looking for a challenge?  GHQ has approved the Comet Nickel Series for Kanones!  Fly any of the qualifying 11 models in TOTF or Mass Launch, Indoors or Outdoors for lots of micro-fun!  These 10″ span models make the cutest subjects!

Read the Rules right HERE!

All plans are available for free download on the FAC Plans Page #1.

 

 

 

IT Guy Can Fly!

The FAC’s Information Technology (IT) Guru, Rick Pendzick was awarded the FAC Blue Max at the September Outdoor Contest at Pinkham Field in Connecticut.  Of course, Pinkham Filed is the birthplace of the modern-day Flying Aces Club and John Stott presented the medal to Rick.  These photos are by Tomm Nallen II and in a recent Facebook video posted by John Koptonak, the awardee was serenaded by Vance Gilbert and the rest of the Pinkham Field Irregulars with a chorus of “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines”.  Congratulations, Rick!

Curious about the FAC Blue Max award?  Read HERE.

Rick (on the right) with Phineas Pinkham

John Stott and Rick Pendzick

Bob Gourdon – Superior Props – Passes

Today I received news that Bob Gourdon, the long-time and second owner of Superior Props passed away in early September.

I didn’t know Bob well, but I had met him a couple of times when we purchased Superior Props from him in January of 2014.  He is in the kanone database with two kanones.  Here is a photo of Bob with my dad and me when we went to pick up the business in 2014.  Bob is on the right.

Here is a link to his obituary:  https://obits.nola.com/us/obituaries/nola/name/robert-gourdon-obituary?pid=200161094

Larry Kruse, Designer and Columnist


Don DeLoach reports that Larry Kruse, long-time writer for Flying Models, and AMA/NFFS/FAC Hall-of-Famer, has passed away after a short bout with cancer.

You can read Larry’s AMA autobiography HERE.

 

Blue Max Awarded at the AMA Outdoor Nats!

Dohrm Crawford from Georgia was awarded his Blue Max at Muncie.  He is currently at 20 wins.

Dorman-Congrats

Rick Pangel/AMA photograph

Pres Bruning in the News!

AMA Indoor Nats News!

EasyBuilt Models presents Pres Bruning with the FIRST Production kit of his famous Flying Fish!  Pres has been flying this model for several years.  We did not include the plan in the Free Pres Bruning plans that are online because we knew Dave was working on the kit.  This presentation was made as a surprise for Pres at the Indoor Nats last week in Pontiac.  His family brought him up and I think he was suitably surprised!  This is a fitting honor for Pres, whose plans have inspired so many around the world.  Here is the write-up by the AMA staff (the text was likely written by Mike Welshans):

July 22, 2021: Designer Receives First Production Kit at Indoor Free Flight Nats

(photo from the article)

East Coast Flyer Invades Bucolic Indiana and Stuns Locals!

Flying season (and contests) are back and people are itching to fly.  Wally and Julie Farrell traveled from Virginia to Muncie, Indiana to fly in the windy McCook Meet over the weekend.  He won 10 of 19 events, leaving everyone else to fight over the scraps.

Wally also made a deal with Hung and logged TWO Sierra Hotel JetCat flights (any official JetCat flight 60 seconds or more)!  Truly Impressive!

In all seriousness, it was great to get back out flying on big fields and with friends from far and wide (Dave and Ann Niedzielski from Alabama also came up to Muncie)!

 

–george

 

ATTENTION! – A Letter with News Regarding the Newsletter

From the CinC!

FAC NEWSLETTER UPDATE 4-19-21

We continue to have significant USPS mail delivery problems.

Following are the dates that each recent issue was presented to the USPS for delivery.

#316 (Nov-Dec 2020) — Nov. 3, 2020
#317 (Jan-Feb 2021) —Jan. 4, 2020
#318 (Mar-April 2021) —Mar. 2, 2021

Note that it some cases it is taking 4-6 months for delivery of issues!

The problem is NOT that we are late getting the newsletter published.

If you have not done so already, please let Rick Pendzick know if you are missing an issue. One notice is enough; Rick is maintaining a list.  We are asking you to allow a very long window for missing issues to be be delivered. Your patience is appreciated.  If you have FINALLY received a late issue, we would appreciate you letting Rick know.

DO NOT chew out Rick or any other FAC admin, either by e-mail or phone.
The main two (2) people who coordinate publication of the newsletter are even more unhappy than you are.  This mess has made a LOT of work for those few who bust their butts for the FAC out of love for the hobby.

The problem lies ENTIRELY with the USPS.
Please read the above sentence again.

Check back here for updates.

Cheers,

Dave Mitchell,
CinC, FAC

January Web Site Updates

  1. the 12 Comet “Nickel” plans are now available for download in the Library (on the bottom of Plans Page 1)!  These were smaller than the “Dime” plans, about 10″ or 11″ wingspan and even simpler in detail and construction.  Build ’em for fun!  Thanks to Doug Griggs for providing the files and the inspiration to post them.
  2. thanks to an FACer, I have reworked the Kanone List; Our friends who have gone west are no longer removed from the Kanone List.  The “Active Roster” is now the “All Time Roster” and will remain in descending kanone total order.   This will be a constant reminder of those that flew with us and their accomplishments.  We will still maintain a Memorial List in alphabetical order.  Gone, but not forgotten.
  3. here’s another reminder – if you are a local Contest Director, please submit your upcoming contests using the Contest Form.  The event will be added to the Contest Calendar and all FACers in your local area will receive an email reminder of your contest.

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