Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Start Into Indoor Free Flight

Karl Gies Picture of Comet Firefly left and Phantom Flash right

Like many people I built a few free flight model airplanes as a kid but never had too much luck with it because I had no mentor. A kid in the neighborhood and I started flying Cox .049 control line airplanes at around 10 years old and went into radio control in our early teens.

                          These are Phantom Flash Models Enlarged the one at the end of video was Floyd's

Many years go by I had given up model aviation for awhile and when I started flying radio control again I would learn of Floyd Richards, an expert in indoor free flight. The first time I met Floyd he demonstrated some indoor flying and handed me a copy of plans for the Phantom Flash. He told me I needed to order the really light balsa and to purchase a book on indoor flying by Lew Gitlow.

Darcy Whyte Photo

I was flying a Sig Cub model pictured above at local RC field when a guy told me I needed to contact Floyd Richards. The Sig Cub was lost in a thermal at the field but it got me excited about free flight.

From the flying demonstration by Floyd I knew he knew what he was talking about and I did just what he said. I built the Phantom Flash and Floyd gave me a balsa propeller he built using a form with wet balsa wrapped to it and baked in the oven. He had a jig to get the blades perfectly aligned.

With Floyd's advice on adjusting the plane I would progress and I built other indoor models. He then talked me into going to indoor contests two hours away from Winona. I did not do well at first but I kept coming back. Within a few contests I was actually winning some events, I remember one win in particuliar in penny plane. My plane had a midair collision with another plane but then broke loose and flew for over 7 minutes to give me first place in that event.

Phantom Flash One Design Contest   Thanks for link Thayer!

Phantom Flash Plans  Thanks for link Gary!

Bill Kuhl

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