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Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s hoping for a wonderful Day of Giving Thanks to all of our modelers and families!


Contest Calendar Updates


Contest announcements have been coming in all spring.  Don’t forget to check the calendar for events in your area.

One update/fix put in this morning:  If you are planning on going to the McCook meet in Muncie, I have added the stray and wayward event list.  Go to the calendar or find it right here:


Race Planes – Their Original Colors

Last month (December 2022), there was a discussion on Facebook regarding the Chambermaid.  The modeler was asking what color was acceptable for the Chambermaid.  Being the helpful sort (?), I piped in and said that the Chambermaid is often modeled with coloring ranging from white to cub yellow and that “records” state is was a cream color.

James Vliet (an authority on F1 racers) provided an image as proof of color – and we should likely accept it as gospel:

As we can see, this is more yellow than we traditionally think of “cream”.  James also showed a Berryloid color brochure that showed a light lemon yellow called “Diana Cream” – so we should expand our thoughts of cream color to include light yellow.  After all, butter used to be more yellow (not margarine) and cream probably was, too (since butter is made from cream).  In fact, more natural and organic egg yolks are much richer in color (orange) than the yellow that we are accustomed to.  Our mega-processing of food has changed things for us.

All of this talk of the Chambermaid and its original fabric swatch made me remember back in the dawn of the internet (1997), there had been an online discussion regarding the Pearson-Williams “Mr Smoothie” and “what color was it, really?”  I cannot recall the hows and whys of the discussion, but I dug around in my archives and found some details.  The discussion was on the old Free Flight Mailing List.  I saved the image and pertinent details and here they are:

Keep in mind that colors change in photographs, scanning, and reproduction on the web.

Lastly, not so much of a color definition (as this plane is not much in question), is a swatch I have in my personal collection that I obtained from the estate of an air racing historian:

These are photos, swatches, and the face of the fuel gauge from the crash of Johnny Livingston’s Cessna CR-3.  He bailed out of this plane somewhere near Columbus, Ohio in August 1933.  The plane was only six months old and had never lost a race (about half a dozen races).  He couldn’t fully extend the landing gear and jumped (who know why he didn’t land the plane – maybe the gear was partially extended and would have tripped a belly landing?)  Regardless, a life-saving decision was made and that was that.

So there you have it – three fabric swatches from long-gone racers.


Let’s Talk About JETS, Baby! – Sierra Hotel

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)


Simplified Power Scale – Update

For the PROVISIONAL FAC Event – Simplified Power Scale, the wingspan restrictions have been removed.

Rules are HERE.


Eric Clutton, Aircraft Designer and Modeler, Passes Away

Per the online community, Eric Clutton died yesterday after suffering a stroke last week.  He was 93.



If You Can See This Image…


Holiday Cheer

Get on your Bad Bleriot and Ride!

Thanks to Lyman Hatz (on Facebook)!


Sky Bunny WORLD-WIDE MASKED Launch – 07 June 2020

From Frank Scott and Michael Smith, McCook Squadron, Dayton, Ohio

OK Skysters, get your Bill Warner designed Sky Bunnies ready for the big memorial SKY BUNNY MASKed LAUNCH.  This is now OPEN TO EVERYONE as a world-wide Fun-Fly. Post your times, photos, videos, and tales of adventure (and mis-adventure!) online, try the McCook Facebook Page or the FAC-GHQ Facebook Page!

As you all know, we chose to cancel/postpone the upcoming June 6-7 McCook Field Aero Squadron contest at Muncie due to the threat and logistic complications arising from the Covid 19 infection. We intended the final activity at this contest to be a Mass Launch of Sky Bunnies in tribute to the memory of Bill Warner.

June 07, 2020 at Twin Towers Park between Fairborn and Yellow Springs Ohio. Please be on site and ready no later than 3:30 PM EDST for the actual launch at 4:00PM EDST.

No Kanones, No fees, Just Flying camaraderie.

Because of the ongoing Covid-19 threat we respectfully ask everyone present to observe all appropriate safety procedures.

NOTE:  You can get the Sky Bunny Kit from Peck Polymers click HERE.

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Durham Field, 14 June – CANCELLED

Ed Novak reports a decision to CANCEL the scheduled contest at Durham Field (CT) on 14 June.


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