S.I.R.S.

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.

Jim Danforth
Jim Danforth has held every title in SIRS -- currently Treasurer. At great loss to the club, Jim is retiring and moving to Colorado next year. Thanks for all the good work and great flying. Nothing but soft landings in your future!
Orville Egli
A stalwart in the club in years past, Orville Egli received a well-earned lifetime membership from Jerry Worden. Jerry is remaining as our club President for another year.
Fred Logue
Next year's Secretary, Fred Logue served as the auctioneer. Fred was able to reproduce bottles of racing fuel right before our eyes and was even able to sell the "one wheel, wheel pant, and part of a wing." The guy could sell anything -- at least to a club having fun and raising funds.
Justin Worden
Exceptional flying ability was recognized with an award to Justin Worden for his excellence in winning this year's Thompson Cup Pylon Race.
Jim Danforth
Paul Bessler will continue as our Safety Officer. Paul contributed a lot of time and work for the safety of participants, workers and onlookers at the pylon races.
John Burrill
John Burrill, currently Secretary, will take over duties as Treasurer next year replacing the departing Jim Danforth.
Bob Stadsholt
One of the few known photos of Bob Stadsholt wearing long pants, Bob will continue his excellent work as Vice-president. Bob supervised the field improvements this year and, along with John Burrill and other club members, did an amazing job smoothing out the field and keeping it in great shape. Several of the pylon racers from out-of-state mentioned what a great field we had.
John Cralley
John Cralley was recognized for his excellent digital newsletter -- without a doubt one of the best around.
Greg Vertrees
President Worden gave recognition to Greg Vertrees and his grandson, Ethan Jett, for bringing attention to the possibilities of using foam boards to create trainers -- making it a little easier and cheaper to get into the radio-control hobby. Several club members have experimented with foam boards.
SIRS Crowd
Part of the nice crowd showing up for the SIRS Annual Dinner.

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.

Jason
Jason Cralley helping his daughter, Lindsey, start off the Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon.
Our Two Johns
John Burrill launching one of John Cralley's many Ringmaster flights.
Two Johns and a Jim
John Burrill, John Cralley, and Jim Danforth (left to right) conspiring to cure the ills of one of the electric Ringmasters having a slightly less than perfect landing.

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.

Lap Counters
James, Dylan, and Caitlyn from Troop 920 really helped SIRS out by serving as lap counters. Great job -- thank you.
Tom Melsheimer
Tom Melsheimer, Painesville, Ohio
Jim Nikodem
Jim Nikodem, Crystal Lake, Illinois
Larry Lisowski
Larry Lisowski, Brookfield, Illinois
Tony Seymore
Tony Seymore, Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Tim Speaks
Tim Speaks, Columbia, Missouri
Scott Farnsworth
Scott Farnsworth, Portage, Michigan
Bernie Vanderleest
Bernie Vanderleest, Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin

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.

EthanVertrees 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."

Ethan & GregWithin 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.

Flight Line
The flightline and club members setting up the club trainers while the scouts looked on.
Rocket Launch
Jerry Worden launched several rockets to the enjoyment of both club members and Scouts.
Mustang Flight
The hightlight of the day was the P-51 Mustang flight by Jerry Bessler. Spectacular display of piloting ability and a gorgeous plane complete with oohs & ahhs from the crowd. Low passes, loops, inverted flight -- we got to see it all!
Buddy Box Training
SIRS training instructors helping a Scout on his first flight. No crashes!
Control-line
Most of us got our start with control-line models and John Cralley never gave them up. Here's his newest -- the Bi-Slob!
Bessler AirLines
If Jerry Bessler's Ozark Air Lines DC-3 was any bigger, he could give the Scouts a ride!

Recent Club Events

Unbelievable planes and nationally ranked pilots racing at top speed at the SIRS field last June 25 and 26.

Racers discussing planes
Pylon racers came from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois to race in the "Nats Warm-up" at the SIRS course at Funk's Grove.
Planes ready to race
Planes prepped and ready for the flight-line.
Pylon racing
Planes flying around the pylon course at speeds over 100 mph.
Winners and SIRS volunteers
The winners holding their certificates and the SIRS volunteers who ran the race.
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