2017 Club Events

Annual Banquet Photos

John CralleyTruly deserving the club's appreciation, John Cralley received the Francis Ohm award for service to SIRS. Thanks, John, you put out an excellent newsletter.
Club LeadersThese members lead the SIRS club in 2017 which had a 33% jump in membership! From left, Jerry Worden, Paul Bessler, John Cralley, Fred Logue, John Burrill, and Bob Stadsholt.
Fred LogueFred Logue achieved his long-sought goal of membership in the Society for Aircraft Demolishers (SAD). There was a lot of competition this year with several of us showing the ability to turn perfectly good model airplanes into balsa dust. Appropriately, Fred has assumed the club's presidency for 2018.
Kris AkersAccepting the award for the incomparable Tip Stallman, Kris Akers receives the First Place Trophy for the Thompson Cup Race in October.
Tip StallmanAccepting the award for Kris Akers, Tip Stallman will deliver the "Most Improved Pilot Award" to Kris.
EverybodyEnjoying the comaraderie of the evening, Jerry Worden, Jerry Bessler, and Brandon Edmunds.
Steve Meyer and FamilySteve Meyer and his family of supporters, Randi and Allyson, enjoyed the banquet. Steve did much of the work installing our excellent new landing strip this year. Unfortunately, many pilots can no longer blame the grass for their nose-overs -- but those of us who fly electrics really appreciate the new strip.
John BurrillSIRS Treasurer, John Burrill, was happy to report the banquet netted the club over $500. John also received the Frozen Fingers Award for the first RC flight of 2017 on January 1.

New SIRS Officers

The following officers were elected for next year. They will take office at the annual banquet in November.

  • President: Fred Logue
  • Vice president: Bob Stadsholt
  • Secretary: Kris Akers
  • Treasurer: John Burrill
  • Communications Officer: John Cralley
  • Safety Officer: Ken Ausili

Thompson Cup Races October 14th

Kris Akers (aka Tip Stallman) took top honors with 60 laps around the pylons to capture the Thompson Cup for the SIRS club in 2017.

The basic rules are you must fly around the pylons for 20 minutes and have at least one pit stop (for refueling). The pilot with the most laps wins. Multiple heats if there are enough entries.

WinnersThis year’s contenders were (from left) Jerry Worden (54 laps), Robin Houchin (22 laps), Kris Akers (60 laps), Ken Ausili (previous winner awarding the trophy) and Steve Meyer (26 laps).
TrainerJerry's excellent PT-19 Trainer taking off.
Robin and Steve"He missed it by just thaaaaat much!" -- Robin explaining the situation to Steve.
Kris & JerryKris and Jerry concentrating during the first heat.

RingMaster Fly-A-Thon October 8

The forecast didn't pan out and the otherwise beautiful day was too windy for enough flights to satisfy the SIRS ringmaster, John Cralley. However, almost a dozen flights were recorded and the members who stopped by saw some of our better control-line flyers show how to fly in 15+ mph gusty winds.

Worldwide new records for the Ringmaster Fly-A-Thon in 2017: 4310 flights by 730 pilots!

John Cralley's flightlineSIRS Ringmaster, John Cralley, with his own Ringmaster flightline.
2015 RingmastersJason Cralley preparing to release another flight for his father, John. Good team with a lot of experience!
2015 RingmastersJohn shows a steady hand (and quick feet) to keep control of his Ringmaster on a windy day.

Pylon Racing Workshop

Larry Lisowski and Jim Nikodem presented an exciting pylon racing workshop for SIRS members at the club field on Saturday, September 9.

Exceptional pylon racers who have participated in several SIRS pylon races and many other races around the country, Jim and Larry gave us the benefit of their experience. Several SIRS members got excited about adding this to their flying abilities. The SIRS club is very appreciative of their visit and the workshop they presented. Our thanks to these gentlemen.

Larry & Jim
Larry and Jim showing SIRS member Kris Akers and others how they do their magic. All the cool guys wear bicycle helmets for safety. (Larry is showing the "transmitter down" technique while Jim is doing the opposite. Both obviously work very well for these two.)
A dozen SIRS members came to the workshop to learn the NMPRA (National Miniature Pylon Racing Association) requirements for the various race classes. Jim and Larry explained several techniques useful for pylon racing. Every flyer pays attention to differences between wind speed and direction. Exceptional pylon racers understand how it affects the first turn after take-off versus succeeding turns at full speed. They evaluate the attitude, altitude, and speed of their plane every second of the race.
Jim Nikodem
Jim Nikodem showing his EF1 racer to John Cralley and Ken Ausili.
Larry Lisowki
Larry Lisowski explaining some of the finer points to Kris Akers and John Burrill.
Jerry's Pylon Racer
Discussion, explanations, and demonstrations come to an end. Larry is fueling up Jerry Worden's pylon racer in preparation for Jerry's first flight around the pylons this afternoon.
SIRS knows how to provide lunchtime entertainment! Justin's daughters, Estella and Kenzie, presented a fun program reminding SIRS members how our muscles are suppose to work. Cartwheels, handstands, back-flips and forward rolls -- these girls are good.

New Runway!!

It's installed! Should be ready for use in about 10 days -- it takes this time for the grass to die and the fabric to stretch in the sunlight. Small planes and ducted fans should be able to launch from the runway much easier than the grass.

Congratulations to Kris Akers and Gary Lenhardt for planning the operation. It helps to have two very knowledgeable guys like Jeff Lenhardt and Steve Meyer. Thanks to everyone who helped.

Rolling Along
Early on Labor Day and after some debate, the guys decided the best way to move a fabric roll was some country line dancing. It wasn't pretty but it got the job done.
Steve Meyer, Jeff Lenhardt
Fortunately the club has a wide variety of skills available from the members. Steve Meyer and Jeff Lenhardt obviously knew what they were doing from the start.
Last Staple
Finally, the 822nd staple!
Runway Wizards
3 hours later and a very happy group. Front row: John Siebert, Steve Meyer and Dave Ashley. Back row: Justin Worden, Estella Worden, Kris Akers, Jerry Worden, Dave Houchin, Robin Houchin, John Burrill, John Cralley and Tony Cellini.

In Memoriam -- Saturday, August 12, 2017

Art Ausili

National Model Aviation Day Open House

SIRS Club member Robin Houchin prepping one of the several planes he brought to the Open House. Kris Akers and Steve Meyer are his pit crew.
Champaign Friends
Our friends from the Champaign club helped us celebrate our Open House and flew some really spectacular planes.
Our own King of the Control Lines, John Cralley, setting up his Bi-Slob to fly. Jim Swearingen and Tim Mullins are keeping watch on the proceedings.
Buddy Box
Justin Worden and Kris Akers giving instructions to Kris's niece, Savannah, as she makes her first flight.
Robin Houchin's very nice B-17.
One of the two T-28's flying at the open house. This one belongs to Gary Lenhardt.
Mercury Redstone
Caught at the moment of ignition, this is Greg Vertrees's model of Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury-Redstone rocket. It was America's second manned flight into space in 1961.
One of the first planes in the morning left a trail of smoke in the sky above the SIRS field. Another plane from Gary Lenhardt.

DLG -- Discus Launch Glider

Tony CelliniSIRS member Tony Cellini flies a glider from the field which is hand-launched similar to a discus throw. You really need to see this to believe how well it works. Tony flies most evenings when the winds are relatively calm so it's not hard to catch him at the field.

Tony suggests starting out with something akin to Hobby King's Raven 990. The plane has servos built in -- just add a receiver/transmitter combination. You can be ready to fly in 30 minutes. His more advanced current plane in these photos has a carbon-fiber covered foam wing and a carbon-fiber fuselage.

Tony is getting 5-7 minutes of flight time (remember this is a glider!) if he finds a thermal and about a minute in still air. Occasional "ridge lift" from the west side of club field at Funk's Grove can add to flight time when the wind comes up the small hill the field sits on. Tony's flying skills are such that he usually catches his glider in mid-air and quickly launches it again. Hand Launch #1

Hand Launch #2

Hand Launch Finale

NATS Warmup June 24 & 25

Racers and SIRS volunteers AMA Pylon racers from all over the Midwest and the local hosts, the Sentral Illinois Radio Society.

Pylon PrepThe NATS Warmup for pylon racing was held Saturday & Sunday, June 24 & 25, at the SIRS fields at Funk's Grove south of Bloomington.

Club President and Contest Director Jerry Worden worked with club members to prepare the field and safety equipment for the pylon races.

PilotsContest Director Jerry Worden giving the pilots and workers a pre-contest pep talk and discussing the safety rules. The windy conditions required the pilots to keep an especially close watch on their planes.

Take Off"If you build it, they will come" and over a dozen of the top pylon racers in the mid-west came to the SIRS NATS Warm-Up.

The SIRS field at Funk's Grove is in excellent condition under the leadership of Bob Stadsholt, Vice-president of the club.

RacersThese model planes are traveling at more than 100 mph going around 3 pylons in the course at SIRS field. Saturday, June 24th, was a beautiful day with cool temperatures but with wind gusts exceeding 20 mph.

The pilots had to keep exceptional control of their very nimble planes when they are only a few feet apart.

LandingLandings were sometimes more eventful than flying the race course as the wind gusts worked their magic with unpredictable results. The pilots and their helpers kept up their concentration throughout to bring their planes in safely.

GeeksThis is the definition of 2 computer geeks working together to run the computer keeping the stats for the pylon races or to take over the world. It's sometimes difficult to tell.

Lifetime SIRS member Jim Danforth (coming back from Colorado to help the club out!) and our newest member, Kris Akers, speaking in ones and zeros to get their strategy together.

LarryCrowd favorite (queue up chants of "Lar-ry, Lar-ry"), Larry Lisowski from Brookfield, Illinois, with his first place plaque in the 426 category after the Saturday races.

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