The D.C. Maxecuters report that Don Srull died yesterday. What I report today about Don is woefully incomplete, as I am sure that Don had significant contributions in his professional career and is clearly known as an outstanding designer, builder, and flyer of model airplanes.
Don was an inductee into the AMA, NFFS, and the FAC Halls of Fame. He was an early adopter of electric power for Free Flight Scale, starting the Hi-Line company.
Do you fly JetCat? How well do you fly it? Are you on the Sierra Hotel list?
JetCat is a fun event. Well maybe I should say “fun”. It is an easy event to fly, it doesn’t take much time to prepare, and you can generally fly it in a smaller space than many of our other events. But it is not easy to fly it well and it can be frustrating.
It is also a pretty simple event: choose any full-scale jet-powered aircraft you like, build it out of sheet wood, build it in profile, and make a hand-held rubber catapult and go fly! The sheet wood can be built up, if you like, and you can also do a full body, as opposed to profile.
Personally, I have spent more time on developing and adjusting JetCat plans and models than any other type of model. I often go through at least two, maybe three or more prototypes before I have a model that flies in a reasonable manner. I consider “success” to be a model that can fly at least twenty seconds regularly.
Don DeLoach set up an Unofficial FAC Recognition for great JetCat flights. What is a “great” JetCat flight? Any official flight over ONE MINUTE. In FAC circles, one minute (in our rubber categories) is probably a notable milestone for newbies. But in JetCat is it VERY difficult to hit one minute. I have been flying JetCat since about 2014 – that’s eight years – and I have hit 40+ seconds a handful of times, and my high time is 57 seconds, but never 1 minute or more. And I fly a lot – I have 69 recorded 1st, 2nd, or 3rd results in JetCat in those eight years.
Anyway – Sierra Hotel – it is a significant achievement. Last night, Don sent me the latest entry into the Sierra Hotel group: Rick Pangell. Most FAC’ers probably don’t know Rick; here’s what I know. He’s a long-time and dedicated Free Flighter. He is the editor of the Magnificent Mountain Men (Colorado) newsletter. And he has been the AMA Free Flight Nats photographer for many years. And he’s a nice guy, too!
Don sent along this photo of Rick with his P-59 (a popular JetCat subject) – which is a LARGE JetCat; Don says it has a 20″ wingspan, at least. He reports that it is a real floater. Being that large, it doesn’t get up super high, but floats “every bit as good as an AMA catapult glider”. Rick recorded a 63-second flight yesterday (16 Oct 2022). Welcome to the Sierra Hotel, Rick!
P.S. you can find the Sierra Hotel list HERE. Check out those flight times!!!
Rick Pangell and his Sierra Hotel P-59 JetCat (DeLoach photo)