2016 Club Events
2016 Annual Club Banquet
The SIRS Annual Banquet was held November 13th at the Covell Town Hall. Door prizes, including two excellent drone kits, were selected by members holding the top tickets. An auction of planes, tools, and parts -- including an extremely valuable single wheel attached to part of a wing -- raised several hundred dollars for the club's treasury.
Control line Fun-Fly, Sunday, October 2
9th Annual Worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon!
SIRS members enjoyed a day of control-line flying led by John Cralley. John provided several Ringmasters to join up the SIRS club with the 9th Annual Worldwide Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon. The club recorded dozens of flights on a beautiful Fall day at the club's field south of Bloomington-Normal. The field, maintained by Bob Stadsholt and his volunteers, was again in great shape for the event.
Pylon Racing - September 2016 Edition
Fast planes and high winds made for a wild race day on Saturday. Sunday's perfect weather just had the fast planes.
A Story with a lot of Foam
Earlier this summer, SIRS club member Greg Vertrees mentioned some videos about foam radio-controlled models he recently watched to his grandson, Ethan Jett. Not molded foam but a simple foam board cut and bent into an airplane shape. Vertrees saw the videos on the Makers channel on cable. To his surprise, Ethan had been watching the same videos on a you-tube channel. He knew they came from Flite Test, a company in Ohio featuring Josh Bixler and Josh Scott.
They both checked the Flite Test website and found hundreds of videos. Some of the videos are specific to the foam built planes they offer but others have subjects for all model plane enthusiasts (pre-flight checkouts, setting up transmitters, etc.). Plans for all of their models are available at no charge along with instructional videos to aid in building. They recommend a foam board from the R.L. Adams Plastic company. A water-resistant version is available from Flite Test. Locally, Dollar Tree sells white and black Adams foam board. Hobby Lobby also sells foam boards which are a little stronger and in a variety of fluorescent colors but, unfortunately, also heavier. All have been used successfully.
Vertrees ordered the Mini-Trainer kit which comes complete with just about everything needed to build and fly an electric-powered RC plane. The polyhedral wing and light weight of the foam give this trainer the best trainer attribute -- it's easy to fly. Another great feature: together, they built the plane in about 4 hours! Back the 1980's Vertrees spent a month building a Goldberg Electric Lady and about 30 seconds crashing it. Back to the workroom and a week of rebuilding. Several round-trips before he was able to complete a flight without adding rebuilding time to his flight time.
With the aid of Club President (and Chief Instructor) Jerry Worden, Ethan took to flying in just a few short flights. Within a month he was chasing swallows around the club field. They constructed another wing included with the plans (dihedral rather than polyhedral) for a faster bird with more acrobatic ability. The photo at right is Ethan and that first trainer. It still flies and is now known affectionally as "Old Red."
Within another month, Ethan built the Flite Test Speedster while his brother, Noah, built the Scout. Later, Ethan also built an excellent Flite Test Arrow. It's his first flying wing with elevon control surfaces rather than the usual rudder/elevator setup. Ethan was quickly doing loops, roles, knife-edge turns and inverted flight -- now the swallows are chasing him! All this from a plane using a glue gun and two foam boards.
Understanding his more limited flying abilities, Vertrees built another trainer. Several SIRS club members are now building the Flite Test Mini-Trainer and looking at some of the site's more advanced builds. Plans for all their models can be downloaded in PDF format either as tiled plans (which you scotch-tape together) or a one large sheet which you can load on a USB drive and take to FedEx/Kinkos to have printed. Foam board is available locally (Dollar Tree) or from Vertrees -- he purchased a box of 50 water-resistant sheets and will sell sheets at cost ($1.60/sheet) to any club member.
National Model Aviation Day
The SIRS club celebrated National Model Aviation Day by inviting the local Boy Scouts to an open house at the SIRS field Saturday, August 13, 2016.
Various SIRS members provided training and buddy-box help to allow the scouts to pilot radio-controlled airplanes. Each scout got one or two chances to take control of the training planes provided by the club.
Recent Club Events
Unbelievable planes and nationally ranked pilots racing at top speed at the SIRS field last June 25 and 26.