History - Sault Ste. Marie (Soo Modellers)

 
Note:
 
The first two features below (History of Aeromodelling & Capt. Beauregard) were written by the legendary aeromodeller Dr. Nino "Doc" Campana (Feb 1929 - Sept 2020).
 
Doc had a passion for model aircraft and built and flew models for seventy-two years. He was a founding member of the Sault Radio Controlled Model Airplane Club (Soo Modellers), as well as a mentor and great source of inspiration to many - including me! Doc was a dear personal friend, and left me with two vintage models before his passing. These include a beautifully finished RTP (tether) model built by Andrew Reynaert. <<< video here >>>.
 
The other model is - in fact - the very same Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 racer that Doc refers to in his article below! Now almost 25 years old, the model is in poor condition, but has the potential to be restored someday... So many models, so little time...
 
Christian Moes - October 2021.
 

 

History of Aeromodelling in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada 

 dedicated aeromodellers
Aircraft modellers come in two varieties: the dedicated and the dabbler. The latter leave no record of achievement. As one who started modeling at the age of nine in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the names of a few in organized competitions prior to the second world war come to mind. One was Andrew Reynaert, a wonderful craftsman in everything at which he ever worked; another was Bentley Saari of whom not much is known, but those with memories of him regard him with the awe worthy of a legend. While Reynaert built gas engine powered large free-flight models, Saari had a penchant for gliders, much like rather large hand-launched chuck gliders. He used large rubber bands strung between posts to launch his missiles. In time he cut the rubber from inner tubes from discarded tires. This was poor quality rubber, but the best available in
Depression times in the northern hinterland. When Saari flew, bystanders gave him a lot of room. The gliders tended to do high velocity loops, at times seeming to regard Saari's backside as a hangar. Saari learned early to high jump.

Four dedicated aircraft modellers at the 2014 Fun Fly
(l-r) Steve Daly, Dr. Nino Campana (author), Clarence Boyer, Rick (Clyde) O'Hara (photo by Peter Smith)

Reynaert was my good friend. When he joined the air force as an airframe mechanic, he left his models at home. With a pride most modelers' mothers show for their sons' art, when Reynaert went out the front door to hassle the Hun, his mother was giving away his carefully stacked wings, floats, engines, and empennages at the back door. When he came home seven years later, I returned to him the wings and other relics, which I had received. What I vividly recall was that the wings were planked with 3/32" balsa, which showed the score marks of the bad saw used to cut the sheets.
Modeling supplies were bought at the five and ten cent stores, and at hardware stores. Dope came in small glass tubes sealed with a cork, for a nickel a tube. Model kits ranged in price from a dime to a dollar and a half. If you were related to the Rockefellers, you could spend up to five dollars for a kit. The kits consisted of printed (NOT die-cut) sheet balsa, plus strip wood, a small plan sheet, two sheets of different coloured tissue, hardwood wheels, a piece of music wire, and a tubelet of glue opened with a pin in the nozzle. Often the contents had evaporated.
Mothers made faces when they smelled the glue. Now wives go home to mother when an expensive new kit arrives in the mail. The quality of balsa had improved, just before the war, but sometimes the balsa wood was very hard. The balsa was cut with half of a discarded razor blade. Much balsa was blood stained. There were no one-parent families then, apart from widows, and no woman ever admitted to the use of a razor, so only kids with fathers were able to model. Our first modeling club was called the Sault Aeronauts, and naturally this degenerated into Aeronuts. It arose during the first years of the war. As we slowly bought up the modeling supplies available from the usual outlets, we had to use substitute woods, and gift wrap tissue in lieu of silk or Silkspan or bamboo tissue. Bamboo tissue was a very tough skin, and it shrank tighter with every coat of dope applied. Four coats could turn a wing into a large propeller.
 
forster-29
Three young men, Sid, Lou, and Dave Kleiman opened a sporting goods store in the Sault in 1940 and also had a splendid stock of model treasures. Among these were Forster .29 (Class A) and .30 (Class B) engines, Super Cyclone .60s (Class C), (for $35.00, the pay for a 48 hour week at the time) Ohlsson .23s, 29s, and .60s. There was a Baby Cyclone too. It idled so slowly one might have reached through the arc of a prop to retrieve a pin behind the engine. There were also Torpedo .29s and Bullet .29s. If you wanted trash you had access to Canadian made Hurricane .24s for $24.95 during the earlier war years. For reasons than defy sanity, these paper weights (hard to start and underpowered paper weights, at that) have become collectors' items. The worst of all possible engines was a Yankee abomination called the GHQ. Heavy and impossible to start, let alone run, these cast iron clunkers were sold for $4.95 in the USA. Their ads proudly proclaimed "Thousands sold!". They neglected to say "But never flown". Some half century later, RCM magazine wrote the saga of one that after extended machining and modification was persuaded to run. But I don't recall mention of air time. There was a lovely little .30 called a Cannon. I saw one running that suddenly threw its propeller, but never stopped. Totally unloaded it just revved ever faster. There was no throttle control on those early treasures and there was a terrible fear of reaching for this Cannon's needle valve in case a phantom prop was still there, invisible to mortal eye, ready to shred a hand. When someone guessed it was turning 30,000 rpm (there were no tachometers then) and women started coming out of their houses to see the banshee in person, as shift workers and infants were waking up ahead of schedule, the engine's owner went behind the engine and jerked away the fuel line. Too late; the Cannon was by then fried, not to say shot.
 
There was a splendid kit of Carl Goldberg's Valkyrie, a 7' span pylon mounted elliptical wing wonder with individually built up ribs numbering in the thousands (or so it seemed when you had to build each undercambered rib). The kit came complete with bamboo paper, enough to cover a dozen lesser gassies for the duration of the war, plus three tins of desiccated coloured dope. The four ounce tins, filled with four ounces of homemade gun powder plus the remains of the nitrocellulose dope made wonderfully noisy bombs. Detonated in tree stumps at random locations around the Sault at five months intervals, they kept the police and the Militia diverted from more dangerous duties. Modelling has many faces.
 
During the war years, shortages included a lack of adequate transportation to the flying field. We almost always travelled on bicycles, carrying the fully assembled models under one arm, with fuel, starting batteries, tools, spare props (one flight = one busted prop), camera, and so on, in a carrier basket attached to the handle bars. All bikes had only one speed, and foot brakes. Like the Pied Piper, we were always trailed by kids. The field was at the Prince of Wales school in a remote subdivision. Parts of the roads were paved.
 
There was one tree on the field. The planes usually headed for that tree when in flight. Fuel was three parts of naphtha gasoline (available from dry cleaners - it was rationed for cars at gas stations) and one part SAE 70 oil. Every engine smelled like an outboard motor. Heady stuff. Free-flight gas and rubber were all we knew. Dethermalizers were rare, and engine runs were determined by the amount of fuel metered into the tank. Half the engines were impossible to start at any given contest. Planes whose engines started tended to stall, spin, dive, crash, or go OOS - out of sight. Some of us did a lot of running.
 
Scale models were rare, as were gliders. Rubber powered models lost popularity as rubber became ever more scarce. Even inner tubes became difficult to obtain, and mothers complained we ruined their scissors cutting the dense rubber of worn out tubes. Bicycle tubes had the thinnest and best rubber, but most bicycle tubes were studded with red patches over punctures. Who called them the Good Old Days? The Sault Aeronauts met at members' homes. Once. The Campanas, Nino and Edi, had a vacant garage lined on the outside with doped linen fabric taken from aircraft at the Provincial Air Service Aerodrome on the St. Mary's river. The man who covered the craft was Percival Hancock, and he could have all the discarded old flammable linen he wanted. And nitrate dope. He gave these to his neighbours, the Campanas. The linen was doped in yellow, or silver, with black lettering, CF-AAH, CF-LOK, and so on.
 
macchi castoldi-72Out of the sight and sound of mother Campana, the boys modelled in the garage, winter and summer, and held many meetings, and made bombs. The roll call included Roger Kelly, who went on to become a chemical engineer, Art Bondar - pharmacist, Art Robb - butcher, Bernard Basest - dentist, Lou Kleiman - merchant, then soldier, James Kendall - physicist, Nino Campana - chiropractor, Edi Campana - pharmaceuticals manufacturer, James Jarvis -Bell Canada, Dave Bertelsen - engineer, Andrew Lahaye - teacher, Lorne Lahaye - a steel company superintendent, Jack Mertes - supervisor of steel quality assurance, John Scherback - aero engineer for Piper Air Craft at Lock Haven. Terry Lund - a Queen's University graduate. One day Terry turned up with a copy of a 1934 Universal Model Airplane News. It featured a 21 1/2" model of a 1933 Italian Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 Schneider Trophy pontoon racer. The original had a 3000 hp engine and contra-rotating props. It flew at 441.7 mph, a record it still holds for a prop driven pontoon plane. The rubber powered model had contra-rotating props. Sixty-three years ago! And we had a few dabblers.
 
The Air Cadets tried to lure all of us to join their local unit. We knew aeroplanes, and could identify virtually any a/c capable of flight and we were potential aerial cannon fodder. The Air Cadets studied aircraft, sat in parked planes, and drilled a hell of a lot. Few of us joined, but it was nice being wanted.
 
Toward the end of the war we ventured into control line flying. Roger Kelly made the loveliest models. He knew how to put a fine finish on anything, from cabinets to models. His secret? Sixty-four hand-rubbed coats. Easy, if you were Methuselah. Art Bondar built superlative models and flew superbly well. His first was called a Tethered Trainer and it served him well. Art was an important influence not only on his own children, but also on his niece Roberta, who adopted two other of his hobbies: photography and piloting full size aircraft. Bobbie is Canada's first female astronaut. Edi Campana decided to build racing control liners. He designed his own. The fuselage was a spindle shaped piece of cedar turned on a lathe, then lovingly hollowed out to a wall thickness of 1/8 inch. The wing was built up and planked balsa. The engine was Nino Campana's $35.00 twin plugs Super Cyclone .60, 1/4 hp.
 
U-control was an American phenomenon. The world's speed record was 108 mph using an expensive McCoy .60, or Dooling .60 engine. No Canadian had ever hit 90 mph in 1947 (or 48). But Edi Campana, with Lou Kleiman, not long out of the army, took his tried and truly tested speedster to the Eaton's sponsored MAAC Nats in Toronto. Car tires had come a long way since the war. Lou's Nash had only eight flats en route. Ed's props were hand crafted 10 x 10s, made by Andrew Reynaert from gum wood. At 15 cents each, Edi bought three. In Toronto he discovered he'd left two at home. But 16 year old Ed flew his first flight and hit 100 mph on the nose! The rules called for three flights. Ed tried to track down a second and third prop, since the plane took off from a dolly and landed on a stopped prop. Only one fellow had spare props, an American U/C speed champ.  Yes, he'd be happy to sell Edi props, as he had just flown 92 mph himself. Edi said, "I just now clocked at 100!" The American's smile crumpled.  He was unable to find spare props; nor could anyone else. The American won with three flights, the top speed being 92.
 
The war had ended, and now that our generation of modellers had escaped the war, we also graduated from high school. Most of us went to college. Local modeling activity went into hibernation. Some of our degreed heroes returned home in 1952, married, started families, and a few resumed modeling. I looked around and discovered that there was a model airplane club in the Sault that flew only radio control. Roger Kelly and Art Bondar and I resumed free flight rubber and gas. But r/c was a lure.
 
stan-lyons
In Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan dwelt a son of an ex-Canadian, by name: Stanley Lyons. Stan was a jolly, rotund, little man. He and his wife Vieno operated The Pinnacle Paint and Wallpaper Shop at 104 East Portage Avenue. Stan was a modeller of outstanding merit. He owned and flew his own Taylorcraft until a high-revving Cox .049 glow engine lost half a nylon prop blade that buried itself in his left eye. Stan lost his licence to fly, and sold the T-Craft. Stan was very interested in r/c and might be said to be the father of the art in this part of North America. The Canadian Sault has always been larger than it's American twin. We had many new modelers, and they had few. I do not recall that Stan's son Danny was ever involved in aeromodelling, apart from plastic models, but today he's an astro-physicist in California's Jet Propulsion Laboratories, in charge of braking systems for interplanetary rockets. His sister Jeannie does build models and has taken over Stan's old store, in a new location. The Pinnacle Paint Shop became the source of our equipment and our growing knowledge and skill in the hobby.
 
The old Aeronauts were no more. The rising generation was the Soo Modellers Radio Control Club.The founders, in 1955, included Jack Mertes, Jim Elgie, Herman Thiffault, Art Denning, Barry Cooper, Bill Fleet, Ralph Fowler, Glen Bridge, Glen McIntyre, Glen Allen, and Lincoln Ray. Herman Thiffault lured me into the new club by swapping me his older (let's say primitive) radio gear for some of my built models. I was hooked. I brought Tom Atkinson into our Club, who in turn brought Paul Butcher. Keen eyed Paul is the best all around modeller we've ever had, and has created many splendid aircraft. He led the giant scale model movement in our area, and everything he ever built flew superbly no matter how difficult the subject aircraft turned out to be initially.

Stan Lyons Award 2014  (photo by Rino Zorzi)

 
jim-elgie
Jim Elgie became a member of MAAC earlier than any of the rest of us. He was followed by Thiffault, Campana, Bondar, then the rest of the Club voted to make MAAC membership a requisite for membership. Meetings took place in Jim Elgie's cellar workshop. Correspondence was read from other clubs. We received newsletters and were invited to send copies of ours. We had none. Glen Bridge volunteered me to edit one. We called it The Glitch. Being a lousy pilot I dedicated a lot of time to the Glitch. A source of much inside information was Stanley Lyons; as a dealer, he received all advance notices of new products. These he passed on to me. A cardinal rule of amateur newsletters is to mention as many members as possible, preferably in a favourable vein. If a member goofs up, turn it into a funny happening. Everyone enjoys humour; the only thing they prefer more is the sound or appearance of their own name. We mailed The Glitch to every club who had an address we could find, to every modeling publication for which we had an address and to every American model manufacturer, including engine and radio manufacturers.
 

The late Jim Elgie doing what he enjoyed best! - circa 1980
(photo by Christian Moes)

In return we got a few thank you notes, advance notices of new products, samples of new products from people like John Tatone, who sent a sample for each member in our Club. Best of all, some model mags reprinted stuff from the Glitch. Jerry Kleinburg of Radio Control Modeler was editor of a column he called Top Out, in which he skimmed material from all newsletters received and reprinted it for the information and delight of everyone. The Glitch was quoted more often than any other newsletter. This won our Club prizes from RCM. This in turn allowed us to ask Carl Goldberg, Heathkit, Tatone, and many another firm for donations as prizes for our Club's events. They sent many fine prizes. Our Club gained some renown which meant that modellers came to the Sault from Montreal, Toronto, Thunder Bay, and many places in between to participate in our contests and events. They came from Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota, and other states. We were popular. We had US National scale champion Bud Nosen, who flew a Skyraider that fired rockets at the field, missing the spectators. You've heard of Bud Nosen Giant Models. Walt Moucha, Jr. of Balsa USA flew with us for a number of years. Noted American modeller Albin Signorino, who created the first full size flying Snoopy's Doghouse came here to fly it. Jerry Kleinburg of RCM came from Texas to award prizes at our formerly renowned UGLY Meet. Local modellers swapped all manner of equipment and information with these splendid visitors.
 
paul doc
 
In 1967, having moved from our primitive first flying field to Sinclair Park, located in town, we were privileged to host the MAAC r/c Nationals. Eastern Canadians and their Western counterparts complained the Sault was lost out in nowhere, inaccessible to anything but bears, wolves, and moose. True, they do occasionally turn up to watch us, along with eagles and hawks, but Sault Ste. Marie is located only 33 miles east of the midpoint on the TransCanada Hwy. It was a very successful event.
 
Magazine editors and manufacturers read The Glitch for the humour and jokes. They replied to material they found erroneous or that they thought merited comment. We heard from Duke Fox, Carl Goldberg, Jerry Kleinburg, Ken Willard, and many others. In Italy, Modellistica exchanged its publication for RCM, latched on to the editor's Italian name in the Top Out column and wrote me to ask permission to reprint Glitch material in Italian. Sure. So did Aviamodelli, another magazine, who reprinted every issue in its entirety. This I learned thirty years after the event. An Italian modeller named Leopoldo Pergher wrote me about a fellow modeler named Paolo Zoppolato who had run afoul of the Roman bureaucrats who ran the Aero Club d'Italia, the Italian equivalent of MAAC and the FAI combined. They had rescinded his membership, so he couldn't fly models at any sanctioned event. With our local Club's approval, we issued him an honorary membership, with all rights appertaining thereunto, including flying in any sanctioned event anywhere as a Canadian modeller. The Aero Club d'Italia protested this extraterritorial intrusion. The issue was brought up in Italy's Parlamento, and the Aero Club d'Italia was censured, underwent a change in its Executive, and Paolo was restored his membership, with full rights. In one European r/c event, Paolo placed third, and was listed as the sole Canadian contestant. See what a little newsletter can do?
 
 
Eventually the Glitch took too much time away from more pressing needs, and publication lapsed. A new Club executive inadvertently slowed the momentum of our Club, and our importance in the hobby waned.
 
wally-batter
There was a brief resurgence when Wally Batter joined our Club, and he turned out to be one of the most outstanding modelers in Canadian history. A master craftsman and artist, Wally co-edited the Journal of WW 1 Aircraft, and turned it into a noted mag. For a time he edited MAAC's MAC magazine. Wally deserves a history of his own. Ill health brought on a painful and protracted death in 1993, just as his diabetes had killed the formidable Stanley Lyons in 1972. In his honour we from time to time award a silver mug created in Stan's memory. We call this Stanley Lyons Award the Stanley Cup. We remember him with fondness.
 
It is with happiness that I can say with the improvement of its new (third) field, our membership is again growing, with members who left decades ago returning to the sky, having lost none of their skills. Some even kept their hair and teeth. We have two members who come from Michigan and one from Elliot Lake to share our camaraderie and facilities. If you're in the neighbourhood, please drop by and visit us. The field (1997) was located on the Black road. Where one would turn left along the Second Line to continue on Hwy 17, there is a dead end rough road to the right. If you follow this trap rock road for 500 meters, you will encounter another rough road on your right, under the high tension lines. Follow it for 150 meters and to your left is our magnificently isolated flying field and the jolliest modellers in Canada.

The late Wally Batter - circa 1980 (photo by Christian Moes)

Our clubs have run through a long list of presidents. The most dedicated, and longest serving has been Craig Knight. Besides being a great pilot, the man is indefatigable. The man in charge is still Craig Knight.
 
Do you recall I mentioned a plan for a contraprop Macchi-Castoldi MC-72 racer from a 1934 magazine? A decade ago I enquired from Model Airplane News if they could provide me with a copy. They did by return mail, gratis. Typical modeling folks. Last week I initiated construction of this rubber f/f model, something I promised myself I'd do more than half a century ago, as a tribute to the ingenuity of the modellers who preceded us. Could this be the beginning of my second childhood? Or has my modeling come full circle?

 

Dr. Nino Campana - 1997
 

 

Sault Ste. Marie 1979 - How Capt. Beauregard got a new name and other short stories

wally paul

 
 
Wally Batter (with tx) was adept at flying Cox powered small gliders. I remember launching one of those with Paul Butcher (right) on the controls. Paul shouted at me to turn in the needle valve, commonly done from the rear of the engine. Somehow I managed to entangle my hand with the nylon prop tips as I reached over the engine from the front. Suddenly 21 shallow red lines appeared on the thenar eminence of my right pollex, also known as the fleshy part of the thumb. It did not stop the Cox so I launched and licked my 21 wounds. Salty. When the plane had landed Paul looked at my paw, and from the even spacing of the shallow slits estimated that the prop had been turning 10,850 rpm. Paul always had a keen eye in his youth.
 
The first three photos (below) are of Paul’s six foot span Fairchild Cornell as it was known in the RCAF,  and as the Ranger in the USAAF. It was used as a primary trainer so it was designated  the PT-19. Paul may have a built five PT-19s. The smallest spanned about three feet. The two of us went flying the small one one gray winter afternoon. I hand launched it. He flew it a while, then slowed it down and caught the wing tip with his gloved hand, turned 180 degrees and released it; he did this time and again, catch and release. When the Super Tigre .15 started to sputter he caught it again and the engine stopped. It was .getting dark after two more flights so we returned to our respective homes.
 
 
taylorcraft
This photo (left), and the next two photos below show Paul’s nine foot Taylorcraft he got from a guy in Blind River who bought and hoarded kits. Pre- and postwar ads appeared for a model company in US model mags for four 9‘ span kits, possibly Aristocraft. These kits were all balsa for Forster .99s or larger engines. The guy was offering everything for sale at less than half price. Someone told me about this and I told the guys at the field early on a weekend morning. An American Air Force Captain was at the field. He was stationed at Kincheloe AFB, married to a female  AF medic, just back from Germany with a Rolls Royce engine in a Daimler-Benz which he had at the field. I don’t remember his last name, but his first name was Beauregard.
 
Paul was instantly interested and started packing his gear into his station wagon to unload at home, and asked me to go with him to Blind River. Lunch was waiting for me at home, so I declined. Beauregard asked how far to Blind River, and being a friendly Canadian, I told him. He got into his wife’s car and purred off down HWY 17E. When Paul got to Blind River, the Yank had bought absolutely everything he could fit in the car, paid for in American cash. Paul managed to cadge the Taylorcraft kit from him for more than he’d paid for it. Paul was in a rage all the way home, partly directed to his friendly Canadian fellow modeller. Paul renamed the Yank Beauschitt.
 
Paul built the plane, and looked for an engine. He found a two-stroker displacing about 1.2 c.i. It was almost adequate. I can’t recall the engine’s make. Anyway Paul had to increase the tailplane incidence about 2 degrees to have it fly hands off. He did this with all his scale models, including the Cleveland kit of the Stinson Reliant (all built-up ribs) which I had bought and built, but had not yet covered. I had increased the incidence of the stab based on Paul’s dictum, but forgot to tell Paul. He raised it to 4 degrees. On the taxi test, the Reliant couldn’t get its nose up to take off. We eventually solved the issue and Paul so enjoyed its flying qualities he built a 12’ version he flew until its final crash. I don’t recall the fate of the Taylorcraft.
 
The last photo is my totally scale model BE-2e. The instruments are hand turned brass, with appropriate markings, all flying surfaces have hand stitched covering over the ribs, with extra close stitches in surfaces that came within the slip stream of the large laminated  four bladed prop. The fuselage covering had grommets at the edges of the covering and, as in the real plane the grommeted surfaces were laced together. On the real planes this permitted the ground crew to unlace and re-lace the covering after combat damage had been repaired.
 
The engine was obtained from OS for me by Bud Nosen when their first 4 stroke .60s were imported. Ugh! It  had almost  the power of a .40 2 stroke. So it dragged the bipe into the wind and because the undercambered stitched ribs covered a large area of flying surface it waddled slowly into the air. The control surfaces were huge so it responded nicely to command. I circled the field four times and almost clipped a post coming in from a maximum height of 30 or 40 feet. I tried other 4 strokers but the plane flew as sluggishly as the real plane did. “Naturally,” Paul said, with all those interplane struts, rigging wires, and camera you have a built-in headwind!”
 
It took two years to build; it’s been hanging in my garage for 36 more years.
 
Dr. Nino Campana - September 2016
 

Click on the photos below to enlarge and read the captions. These photos were taken at our flying site at "Strathclair" (corner 2nd line & Black Rd)

(photos by Dr. Nino Campana)

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://farvalley.ca/index.php/history/doc#sigProId397008a435


 

Sault Ste. Marie 1979 - The year that was...

 

This article was originally published in the SOO MODULATOR - December, 1979 

ugly badgeThis past year we had many events; most of which were well attended.
 
We started the year with a wine and cheese party at my residence. By the size of the crowd in my rec. room, shop, living room, and dining room...  it is safe to say the event was a success. The wine flowed, the cheese consumed, and everyone had a great time. Having the party in the dead of winter sure helped cure the winter blues.
 
We held our annual Frozen Finger Fun Fly in late February. We had the parking lot at the field cleared of snow and held the event at the field. This was one of the reasons that attendance was so high. In my opinion, most of the members felt safer flying at the field rather than at Bellevue Park. There were ten members entered in all.
 
May 26th and 27th saw one of the biggest Pattern and Stand Off Scale meets to be held locally. Close to 40 aircraft were entered in the various classes. It was one of the first contests that turned a profit worth mentioning. Our own flyers are becoming more and more competitive. Competitors came from Thunder Bay, Wawa, Sudbury, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
 
On the long weekend in August we had a picnic/BBQ over at Brimley. I don't know how it turned out as I had other commitments. I heard that everyone there had a good time though.
 
Later in the month, we had a summer fun fly. This was attended by about 12 competitors. It was an exciting event with some very tense moments. With the support of the local hobby shop (Leisure World), there were prizes for everyone. The prizes included a gallon of fuel, some props, a set of retracts, and lots of assorted parts. The prizes were handed out by drawing names out of a hat. It was ironic that Gary Verdonne, who placed last, got first choice of the prizes. I still don't know why everyone hid under the picnic table when I was flying though!
 
The club contest held in late September was the most well attended, hotly contested event I have ever seen with the club! The scale entries were beautiful, and the competition for the trophy was very keen. I for one, was glad to see these planes out and actively competing.
 
We tried something new in Pattern to make the competition more fun. We had everyone fly manoeuvres from their class, but eliminated the scoring on certain manoeuvres to keep the same number of scoreable manoeuvres the same (10). This way, even though one was flying novice, one competed against everyone. It worked out very well, those with experience came to the fore.
 
We tried to have another Fun Fly in October, but it was snowed out.
 
I would like to hear from the membership about what they expect for the coming season. Some have already expressed an interest in having several club level Pattern contests, others would like to try a Scale Meet ala Kitchener-Waterloo. If enough interest is generated, any type of meet can be held.
 
Craig Knight - December 1979
 

Click on the images below to enlarge and read the captions

(Photos by Cec Marshall & Christian Moes)

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://farvalley.ca/index.php/history/doc#sigProIdbfa9b1db08


 

Sault Ste. Marie & St. Joseph Island - Ringing in the 80s

(originally published in the Soo Modeller Monthly, February, 1980)

 
The Soo Modellers were well represented to mark the beginning of the flying year. Several members as outlined below were in attendance at various times of the day (January 1st, 1980) namely Jack Mertes, Cec Marshall, Lou Barreiro, Jim Elgie, J.P. Gendron, Russell Bateman, and myself. The weather was very mild with moderate winds which presented no problems for the aircraft we were flying. Each of us had at least two flights with no major crack-ups, although a number of minor problems were encountered.
 
ColdstartElgie flew his 15-500 with skis and had a good time of it until he encountered a number of irregular manoeuvres on his third flight which were not produced by the hand of man. Anyway, Jim managed to make a reasonably good landing in the boon docks to the relief of all present. Later in the day, Jim mentioned that after investigating the circumstances, he found a bad cell in the airborne pack.
 
J.P. seems to be up to his old tricks again of trying the near impossible - an inverted landing, as did Elgie in Wawa last summer. Anyway, J.P. apparently made a low inverted pass but found himself applying full down elevator with no more in reserve. Being at such a low altitude and unable to roll for fear of creaming the 15-500 all over the map, J.P. didn't have much choice but do the inverted landing bit. Fortunately, the snow was soft, and only minor damage to the tail assembly was incurred.
 
 

Glow engines of the day were not always willing to start in the cold.  brrr....

Mertes got away Scot free...  his tireless Kaos managed to stand up to several touch-and-goes on the field with skis on. Takeoffs were straight down the icy ditch, and then...  oh boy: hold your breath! All in all, Jack had a good time of it.
 
TomI would not say for sure, but probably Lou has a "first" in so far as takeoffs in the snow with wheels are concerned: yes, he really did it! His Smith Miniplane was the one that did the trick: down the runway, up and away. Lou also took a shot at the expert pattern and managed a breath taking eight point roll in the sequence, even if he started at 400 ft (120m) and came out at 100 ft (30m)! You'll never get the best crash award that way Lou (Ha! Ha!)
 
Cec flew his Kavalier: goes like a bat out of hell. Myself, I flew my Orion with the regular O.S.40 on it. Don't let the regular engine fool you Dave, it is also fast. On Cec's first flight, he just about had to put that pair of Pampers on, as the plane veered to one side so bad that he had to come down very shortly after takeoff. After checking things out and making adjustments to the rudder (which was the culprit) he put in a second flight with no  problems. I put in a total of four flights - did lose a stud out of the head of the engine on the last flight, but managed to complete ok.

        In those days, we put our MAAC# on our planes. Looks like this one belongs to Cec
                             (as launched by author Tom Bateman at Bellevue Park)

 

Russell flew our beat up 15-500 with the Fox .45 on it. He put the Quickie through four good flights and, finally, upon landing on that last one, either plunked it down hard or hit an icy area, because the whole nose section back to the leading edge of the wing fell off! It looked like a dead fish that he was carrying back across the field! It wasn't all that bad to repair, as we redid the weak area and it is now flyable once again.
barnstormer 
Honourable mention must go to the two gentlemen who also flew early in the New Year, but on St. Joseph Island. Chris Moes and Greg Farish came out of hibernation and flew off the ice of Hilton Lake. Although Greg put his own machine to rest in the fall, he did manage to log some flying time with Chris' O.S. Max .30 powered Barnstormer (photo right). Chris tells me the ice was completely free of snow. Neither of them had to worry about going off the end of the runway, that's for sure!
 
Our "presidante" and C.D. were both out of commission for the day as other matters were more pressing.
 
A very good time was had by all those who came out and I'm sure we can use this as an indicator to the possible successful up and coming flying season ahead. Tally-ho until next year.
 
Tom Bateman, Soo Modellers Secretary

(photos by Christian Moes)

 

Back to History - Far Valley MFC
Ahead to History - Northern Ontario Zone
Return to home page