Modelers You'd Like to Know
November/December 1963 American Modeler
don't know whether this "Modelers You'd Like to Know" column became
a regular feature in American Modeler, but it is the first and only
I have seen so far. Here, a short biography is given of five noteworthy
modelers of the era. Howard McEntee is a familiar name to most people
who have been in the model airplane hobby since the 1970s, but the
others are not necessarily so well known. What qualifies each for
highlighting is not necessarily having achieved great fame and/or
fortune, but the story of their journey in the life of aeromodeling.
A good example is Pete Sotich. He and his brother, Charlie, were
well-known in the 1950s and 1960s for their contest activity. Pete
served as president of the AMA for a while. Interestingly, Pete
had his modeler career interrupted by being drafted into the Army
during WW II, whereupon he spent 14 months as a POW in Germany
after being captured at Anzio in February of 1944. It likely was
Hogan's Heroes experience.
a number of people, including many of his friends, may be considerably
surprised to learn that the first gasoline powered model (and first
R/C model) that Howard McEntee ever flew was flown in 1950. Considering
how far back Howard's history in both models and radio go this is
The young McEntee's introduction to flying
machines began when his father brought home aviation magazines during
the war - World War I, that is. Howard's first models were built
in high school during the early 1920's. These models, from kits
by Ideal, Wading River and White, were generally of hard wood strips
put together with small nails. The first model he had that flew
consisted of the wing and prop of a Japanese wire and silk model
and a stick fuselage and tail which Howard supplied.
lulls in college study (BS from the University of Maryland in 1928)
Howard continued building, mostly scale models. He remained an avid
scale builder after he left school. Most of his projects were based
on plane plans he found in aviation magazines and scaled up himself.
Howard's career in radio work goes back just about as far
as his modeling. This he began while still in high school. Ham radio
was still in its infancy and Howard remembers the spark coil and
crystal detector quite well.
While still a sophomore in
high school Howard had an encounter which was to have far reaching
consequences. He met the renowned Charles Hampson Grant at the summer
camp Grant was running for boys in Vermont at that time. Grant thought
so highly of the young McEntee that he hired him for one summer
to teach model building. And when Grant became the editor of Model
Airplane News Howard began his long association with that magazine,
first as contributor, then as editor. His early contributions included
many models such as the S.E.-5 (a particular favorite), a Cessna,
the Nieuport 28, the Boeing B-9 as well as a series of articles
on construction which, Howard recalls, "went on and on".
Howard became editor of Model Airplane News, a job he was to
hold for five years, at just about the time WW II ended. He started
going to the Nationals (Wichita, 1946) at about the same time and
has continued to do so with few exceptions ever since. He is usually
accompanied by his wife Elinor who, has shared a lot of her husband's
experience with models, modeling, radio and writing. Since well
before they were married (1935) she can remember encounters with
"the egg beater" as she calls it and many many happy flying days.
Elinor still goes to the Nationals with Howard every year where
she collects and tabulates the R/C data which appears ultimately
in the American Modeler Annual.
When Howard left M.A.N.
about 1950 he devoted himself full time to the freelance writing
at which he has earned his living for most of his life. In addition
to his considerable output for this model magazine with which most
of us are familiar he has also written extensively for "the Pops"
(Popular Science, Popular Mechanics) and "Boy's Life" as well as
for a number of radio magazines. Like any dedicated writer Howard
spends a lot of time reading. There are the model magazines, foreign
as well as domestic to go through, four or five monthly radio magazines
and piles of newsletters. This sort of load has helped him keep
TV at arms length (apparently without too much difficulty) and has
tended to cut into the time that he might have spent bowling or
playing tennis in years gone by.
Today that first R/C model
(a Berkeley Brigadier begun in 1945 and flown in 1950) is well behind
Howard and the McEntee name is closely associated in most minds
with radio flying. He does like to harken back to 1939 and what
may have been the first of all two-speed R/C engines. It was a Brown
with two sets of points and although the range between speeds wasn't
great there was enough of a variation, Howard insists, to call the
old Brown a dual range radio engine. Over the years his singleness
of purpose with two-speed engines has resulted in a remarkable proficiency.
Today he flips the prop once and heads for the transmitter. He rarely
has to go back and flip again.
What building he does these
days is on a large ping pong table in the rather cosy basement workshop
of the McEntee home in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Cases around the wall
are full of ham gear and models, some 15 or 20 years old and still
in flying condition, hang on the walls. Howard complains that it
takes him longer and longer to build a model these days and states
that he prefers to repair old models, even when the damage is extensive,
than to discard them and start new ones. He also wishes he could
build with a little more finesse but confesses that he is an inveterate
beefer-upper. His current project, a copy of the KD-3, has been
abuilding for about nine months and still has a way to go before
completion. The fact that he no longer stacks a pile of boogie-woogie
records on the player before he sits down to build as he once did
may have something to do with his more leisurely pace.
Howard McEntee is a satisfied man. His only rueful reflection comes
as a consequence of having earned his living all these years at
something he enjoyed doing. "I don't have a hobby any more," he
MODELER ON SPOT
- HOWARD McENTEE
"I think it's a good thing. Our fellows who went over there got
along wonderfully with the foreign builders. They make friends and
keep friends for a very long time. It's a real good thing. I just
hope the politicians keep their hands off the model builders. They
get along wonderfully by themselves."
FLOWN. "I once flew an electric U-control model that a
friend built. You carried a little battery under your arm and had
a rheostat in your hand to control the speed ... to slow it down
if it went too fast. It worked out very well."
BEEF. "I have a gripe against towns that do nothing for
modeling. Ridgewood (N.J.) has a ban on model flying throughout
the whole town. Of course engine noise is the complaint everybody
makes. About ten years ago a couple of active model builders approached
the village fathers about it but they never got to first base. Some
people fly down at the school grounds every now and then but as
soon as somebody hears the noise and calls (the police) they get
MOST MEMORABLE MODELING MOMENT.
"I guess that would be the flying at the '61 Nationals. I'd had
a bad time for two years. I took along everything for '61 ... a
box of tools, dope, silk - and everything went like clockwork, like
a dream. It wasn't only the winning, but everything went just right
FOR THE BEGINNER. "I've always
stressed starting simply. Older people especially tend to jump into
R/C with full-house and also a scale job. Start with a sturdy, simple,
reliable kit and reliable equipment."
those model builders who manage - despite the protests of the family
- to sneak in an occasional hour's building on a corner of the dining
room table Larry Scarinzi is going to seem a man to be envied above
all others. It is doubtful if anyone anywhere has his life so arranged
to accommodate his hobby as Larry has. Take the workroom for example.
Whereas most modelers fortunate enough to have a basement would
count themselves lucky to have a little clearing in the jungle of
furnace pipes, wash tubs, water lines and clothes dryers. Scarinzi
has settled for nothing less than a complete take-over. After all,
was the model builder made for the basement, or the basement for
the model builder?
Larry's answer to this question is a
large, well lit room in which one hardly notices anything but models.
They hang in clumps from the rafters a little the way bats hang
from the ceiling of a cavern and it's not difficult to count fifty
or sixty before giving it up. In one spot there's a row of Free
Flight models, in another a string of racy looking Proto Speedsters,
elsewhere a cluster of Giant Killers, the builder's favorite Combat
job. Sprinkled about, leaning against the walls, piled on tables,
stuck in slots, are boxes of balsa, rolled plans, kits, and half
constructed models in such array that you have to look hard to see
that there is, after all, such a thing as a furnace in the basement
too. And you're forced to the conclusion that the place is clearly
and unmistakably, first and foremost, the province of Larry Scarinzi,
Upstairs somewhat the same condition prevails
that one finds downstairs - only to a slightly lesser extent. In
any other living room the trophies might embellish the surroundings;
in Scarinzi's case the room is obviously there as a setting for
the trophies. Fortunately it's a good sized room. Let's see now,
anything more? Oh yes! Larry even has his own "airplane car" - a
Chevy station wagon used (almost) exclusively for carting models
to contests or over to Rich's Hobbytowne in nearby Parsippany where
he does a lot of his flying.
By now the table-corner modeler
is going to be wondering to himself: "Does this guy have a wife?"
Yes, in a rare moment, about 1951 he reckons it was, Larry put the
glue tube down long enough to go roller skating one night in Florian
Park, N.J., and there he met Ginger. She was passed on to the rank
of modeler's wife, Larry says half jokingly, "only after a very
careful screening process." This meant going to contests, filling
in as pit crew, launching models and helping to lug home the piles
of trophies that would one day brighten her living room. She even
underwent a mild sort of brainwashing during the years she was engaged
to Larry when he had her folks hang his very first gas model, a
.29 powered Misbehavior, over the head of her bed.
proved equal to all the tests and even went so far, after flying
one of the boss's Killers, as to build her own model, a .35 powered
Ringmaster. Despite some trouble she had stunting Larry was now
completely convinced and took her for better (she could get into
loops ... ) and for worse ( ... but couldn't get out) on the day
after he was graduated from Newark College.
With a house
and two young daughters to look after Ginger doesn't get out flying
as much as she did in the old days. But when the dishes are done
and the kids are put to bed she usually goes downstairs where Larry
spends a large proportion of his evenings working with intentions
on adding to the collection in the living room. She sits in an easy
chair that her husband keeps handy and reads, or knits, or holds
one end of the latest ukie while the Man at Work glues something
to the other. Few people are going to cavil when Larry Scarinzi
calls his wife the most patient, understanding and sympathetic one
a model builder ever had.
Part of what keeps Larry tied
to the work bench so much is the commercial model work he does.
During his years in the Air Force, which he spent at Langley Field,
Va., Larry found he had enough spare time to do articles for the
national magazines. Since his Greased Lightning appeared in print
in 1955 there have been many others such as the Gay Devil, the Werewolf,
Li'l Dynamite and the Gray Ghost. His Giant Killer has been kitted
by Consolidated and he is presently at work on a new model for the
Naturally all this building is accompanied by
a lot of flying. One or two things do manage to keep Larry Scarinzi
away from model building for at least a few hours during the week.
Like work for example. He is a development engineer on the Zeus
Project - sort of hush-hush - and although he is employed by Western
Electric he is currently assigned to the Bell Labs in Whippany,
N.J., the same town in which he lives. (One of his co-workers, incidentally,
is Ernie Babcock, the guy who won two real live Ercoupes at model
contests some years ago.)
There are, of course, no modeling
programs on TV, so Larry has not been lured too often to the idiot
box - except to watch "The Untouchables" which he says, with a sly
grin, "accurately reflects my past character." He has owned three
motorcycles (his father was a competition rider) but the cycling,
like the roller skating, is something he has no time for any more.
Too busy building models.
MODELER ON THE SPOT - LARRY SCARINZI
MOST ENJOYS. "I think I like best a fast,
tight turning Combat model ... one that can be flown in the wind.
And I really like to hear an engine wind up, so I do my own hop-up
ADDING EVENTS TO THE NATS. "The
two that would come to my mind are .35 Carrier and Rat Racing. The
Carrier event is pretty much controlled by .60's now - brute horsepower
- and the .35 is a much more popular motor."
FUNDS FOR FAI TEAMS? "They raised the dues in the AMA for
it. I'd gladly contribute my extra buck and a half or whatever it
is if only in order to be able to read about the American teams.
They have state sponsored everything over there. I think we should
help out a little bit too."
"Apparently the builder-of-the-model rule is much abused presently
by a lot of Stunt fliers. I don't know exactly what to do about
it but it seems unfair. I know a lot of Stunt fliers around here
who give models to Juniors and Seniors, nice kids ... and the kids
fly them. In one contest recently there were four kids with models
they didn't build. I never did that. Maybe I would've done better
if I had. Maybe we should disqualify them all some day. It might
mean disqualifying half the contestants in some contests but that
might help to stop it."
WORST MODELING MOMENT.
"That happened while I was painting the house ... the time the bugs
got into the basement. I was painting when I found some suspicious
holes in the shingles. I stripped them off and found holes in the
wood of the house. There were little piles of sawdust around. Then
I found one in a box of balsa and after that we rushed around picking
louse eggs off the balsa supply; we took out every piece of wood
in the house and shook it out. I called in the exterminator and
the place was sprayed and there's been no problem since then."
MODEL BUILDING IS KID STUFF! "That hurts
me. I don't think it's kid stuff ... to me it's an outlet for constructing
something. It's a chance to put some original thought into some
of your own work. My biggest. enjoyment is not necessarily contest
flying but the satisfaction of sitting down and building something
original from scratch, following my own ideas through ... see if
it works and hope that it's a little different than any other guy
has. Shortly after it's built I generally become a little tired
of it and then I build something else."
LIKE TO BE ON AN F.A.I. TEAM? "Yeah, if I could take the
time off to go to Europe. Stunt is what I would go for. For partners
the better the guys are the better. I don't have any close allies
like Red Reinhardt any more. I would be sure that a fellow like
McFarland or Silhavy would do quite well at it. This country should
have good Stunt fliers. I don't know what happened last year. Maybe
we were robbed, who knows? Maybe you have to do European horizontal
eights to win the contest."
ADVICE TO STUNT FLIERS.
"Build 'em light!"
HOW CAN WE HELP THE HOBBY?
"By encouraging new people to come in, Juniors particularly who
would grow into older fliers. I think the thing that would help
this is better dealers and distributors, retailers who would take
a personal interest in kids who are building models and also trying
to sell them modeling supplies that are good and that work. Not
junk! Some of them push the poorer plastic models on the kids from
the start, stuff that won't fly, or barely flies, and this is a
very bad start for a kid. The dealers don't want to train kids to
be model builders. They'd rather sell them a ten dollar item. They're
in business and we can't hate 'em for it but I think in the long
run it might help if they'd encourage model builders."
lot of people know that Bob Sifleet (sigh-fleet) won his second
National Championships in 1962. What very few people know is that
he did it with one arm literally tied behind his back. Bob was a
student at Chicago's Devry Technical Institute (studying to be an
electronic technician) and just didn't feel that it was worth while
to break stride completely at school for a mere Nationals. Consequently
he attended school every day of the Nats with the exception of Thursday.
This meant that it was almost two in the afternoon before he was
out of school and three or a little after before he got to Glenview
N.A.S. This gave him two hours at most each day to fly and not the
best hours of the day by any means. Despite this he managed to accumulate
more points than the fellows who were on the field by 6:00 AM and
had all day to get their officials in.
How does he do it?
At least part of Sifleet's extraordinary success can be attributed
to his strategy. He does not fly for firsts in the National Competition
but simply to amass points. This, he feels, necessitates flying
rather conservatively. As a matter of fact he has only won a single
first at the Nats in all his flying, that being in senior Wakefield
in 1959. One thing does bother Bob, however. This is the fact that
Woody Blanchard was absent both times he won the National crown.
The question lingers in his mind: Could he beat Woody? A comparison
of the total points each of them have accumulated in their respective
wins would seem to indicate that he could. But Bob realizes that
this is not the whole story by any means. In any event the two of
them better battle it out soon. Jimmy Skarzynski isn't getting any
Nobody should get the idea from his single Nats
first, however, that Bob Sifleet doesn't hanker after firsts. Anyone
with such a foolish idea would abandon it long before he finished
counting Bob's 200-plus trophies. From his first trophy (1953) Bob
has won them in all kinds of events. Besides the two National Championships
(1960 and '62) he won the King Orange Internationals twice (as a
senior in 1958 and Open in 1960) and was a member, with Jerry Ritz,
of the 1959 Nordic team. One of his latest firsts was with a Sailplane
(powered by an Anderson .65) at a recent old-timers contest at Bong
AFB near Chicago. He also found out that ignition flying could be
In collecting all the honors he has Bob has naturally
flown all manner of models. These include hand launch and tow-line
glider, rubber, Jetex, PAA-Load, all classes of gas, a little indoor,
stunt, speed, combat, Navy carrier, ukie scale and single-channel
R/C. It was radio, incidentally, that aroused his interest in electronics
and determined his future career. The fact that he has designed
and built his own stereo equipment gives an indication of how far
this interest has gone.
The source of all this energy and
activity began in Lynchburg, Va., 24 years ago and grew up in Toledo,
Ohio. When he was old enough to understand what model airplanes
were he set to building them - Comet 59-cent kits. (This was during
the war and Bob got more than his share of cutting cardboard - but
then a lot of us had a tough time.) Dad bought these first kits
but it wasn't long before the money stopped and Bob had to earn
all his own modeling money So from the time he was 11 until he was
15 he lugged an awful lot of golf bags around. At the time the parental
support stopped he was quite upset; but in later years Bob considered
his father's action much wiser than he'd thought at the time - if
for no other reason than the fact that the caddying developed a
very handy pair of legs for retrieving models.
For a number
of years Bob continued to build small and not-too-successful kit
models. Then in 1950 fate intervened by dropping an honest-to-goodness
contest model (a stray from a nearby contest) right into his back
yard. This augered well for his approaching career. By winter he
had his first engine, an .045 Spitfire, and when he'd flown a Firebaby
to shreds with it he put it in a Mini-Hogan and soon wore that out
along with the overused engine. By 1952 he was flying in contests
and when he won his first trophy the following year the die was
At present Bob is a member of the Weak Signals
of Toledo (and the Institute of Radio Engineers). Time, he's found,
has slowed him down. Gone are the days when he could build a Thunder-buggy
overnight (as he did at the 1958 Nats) and win second in Wakefield
the next day. Now his building has become slower and more precise.
In the future he hopes to further develop his designs and
feels that more math and physics would be a help. He would also
like to become more active in organizational work and to continue,
as he has in the past, giving help to youngsters just starting out
in model building. And if he runs out of other things to do there's
always Woody Blanchard's record as National Champion to shoot for.
And nobody would be surprised if he did.
MODELER ON THE SPOT - BOB SIFLEET
SUCCESS. "I think a weather sense is very
important in winning. We used to put little flags around the field
and sort of keep an eye on things. You get a weather sense this
way ... The model? Build and fly it till it falls apart. The secret
of success is to know your airplanes - what they'll do, how they
MOST MEMORABLE MODELING MOMENT. "Actually
there have been quite a few. But there was the 1960 Cleveland F.A.I.
meet. I did five straight maxes there ... for the first time. That
was in the space of about 45 to 50 minutes. I think that was really
spectacular. Everybody stood there with their mouths open. The model
was retrieved with a car. I think that was really outstanding."
DAY YOU WERE READY TO QUIT. "There've been
a lot of those ... but I can think of one that would stand out.
I remember I went to a contest about three weeks after I won the
National Championships-at the '60 Nats - and I don't think I made
a flight over a minute. Nothing flew that day. And of course everybody's
watching you at a time like that anyway. It was pretty awful."
TEAM. "I'd like to be on the power team most. Power has
always been my first choice as an event. For teammates? I've always
considered Larry Conover as one of the best power fliers in the
country. He'd make a good teammate. There's no doubt about it in
my mind. For another ... I'd choose Bob Hayes of Flint (Michigan).
I've competed against him for a number of years and I know his capabilities.
He's an excellent F.A.I. flier."
FOR THE BEGINNER.
"I've had a lot of experience here, in the shop and at the
field. I always try to get the kid started off right. I always feel
obliged to do this because of the help I got from hobby shops. I
try if I can - when they get interested-to start them out with something
simple like an all-balsa glider. It's hard to convince them because
they want an engine powered airplane right off. Some of them can
do it. It's most important not to try everything."
Pete Sotich & Charlie
drops have the Smith Bros. Beer has Bert and Harry Piel. Baseball
had Mrs. Dean's two crackpots, Dizzy and Daffy. The world of air
modeling has Pete and Charlie Sotich.
What causes some kids
to jump into a hobby with both feet while others never seem to work
up any interest for it is one of those questions with an element
of mystery about it. In the case of the Sotich (pronounce as so
fish) boys a good part of the reason can undoubtedly be attributed
to their father who was a machinist, a craftsman and a sometimes
model builder. If this weren't enough the house in which pop Sotich
brought up his boys was on Chicago's West 62nd Place, only a mile
from Midway Airport. The family moved into the place in 1927, the
year Lindbergh flew the Atlantic. Pete was five years old then.
In 1932, the year before Charlie was born, Pete got his
first kit, a Spirit of St. Louis. He remembers that the kit came
from the hardware store, cost a nickel, and that the glue and banana
oil were extra. For the next five years Pete plugged along, squeezing
glue out the wrong end of the tube and watching his baby brother
grow. Then in 1937 one Osborne Bergman, a neighborhood lad, appeared
on the scene with a Flying Quaker. This model, Pete says with characteristic
Sotich humor, caused him to get "somewhat hot and bothered."
came next is familiar to every model builder. Kit followed kit and
model followed model. Pete built gliders, rubber powered models
and presently his own first gas model, a Comet Clipper powered by
a Baby Cyclone. One of these many models was the first that young
brother Charlie, now old enough to toddle down the basement stairs
by himself, ever saw. By the time Pete joined the Illinois Model
Aero Club in the late Thirties Charlie was presumably beginning
to get a little hot and bothered himself. In any event Charles was
building his own first models within a few years, Comet scale kits.
But by that time his inspiration was gone. Pete had been drafted
into the Army.
Pete was slow in getting back to modeling
after the war, apparently having had his perspective changed by
the 14 months he spent as a POW in Germany after being captured
at Anzio during February 1944. Eventually he did get around to models
again, mostly HLG, gas, CO2
and Clipper Cargo. And like as not Charlie, who was building his
first flying models by this time, tagged along.
the enthusiasm Pete had worked up didn't last. "Charlie was developing
good about then," he explains, "and I was too lazy to chase." Then
with a smile he adds: "So I decided to become AMA President." From
that time on two distinctive and remarkable careers, both centered
on air modeling, took shape literally side by side. Pete of course
did eventually become AMA President, and one of the best we've had.
Charlie kept on developing and developing and developing until he
had accumulated a parcel of national records and a weight of trophies
that may someday sink the Sotich house, foundation and all, right
into the ground.
Neither the status of top notch administrator
nor that of consistent contest winner was achieved without a long
uphill climb. Pete at least didn't have any competition. ("Ever
hear of a contest for CD's?" he asks wryly.) He directed many a
meet, brought the trophies along, kept tabs on the results, published
newsletters and in general made himself useful handling those dozens
of details involved in running clubs and contests. When his AMA
duties were added to this, including his post on the National Meet
Executive Committee, the group responsible for running the Nationals,
Pete found he had less and less time to do more and more. Nonetheless
he did serve as Nationals Contest Manager twice, in 1958 and 1962.
Finally he managed to squeeze in a little time during the week to
earn a living. Pete works for the Crane Company, makers of valves,
and has been with the company for 22 years, 16 of them as a design
Modelers all over the world are familiar with
the large legible longhand of Pete Sotich. The hundreds of letters
he puts out each year come from a liberally cluttered desk in the
same basement where he began his model building over 30 years ago
and where his father's many tools still hang neatly in one corner.
It's a rare evening that Pete isn't at work at his desk for four
or five hours attending to model matters.
Pete's work area is the bench where brother Charlie spends upwards
of three hours a night, five nights a week putting together the
models that keep his name near the top of the winner's list in so
many contests. The younger Sotich is somewhat of a conservative
in his approach to the hobby, preferring gliders and rubber models
to other types. He has, on occasion, branched out as far as CO2
and Jetex and in a moment of folly once built a gas model, but was
so shocked by what he had done that he promptly burned it.
It was indoor flying, more than anything else, that took Charlie's
fancy. He attended his first indoor contest in 1948 and the second
one shortly thereafter. Everything considered his times were good
and his early successes were fuel for the smoldering flame. From
then on he went to all the contests he could, kept up a busy building
schedule, test flew on the week ends when there were no contests
and snuck in a BS and MS (in Engineering) from Illinois Tech along
the way. This prepared him for the job he now has with Western Electric
where he works on the development of capacitor winding machines
which, Charlie hastens to add, have nothing to do with condensor
Both the Sotiches are avid fans of the Chicago
Bears. They go to all the home games during the season and watch
the out-of-town games (but nothing else Pete insists) on TV. They
do, that is if Pete doesn't have a contest to direct or Charlie
one lined up waiting to be won.
MODELER ON THE SPOT PETE SOTICH
BUILDER OF THE MODEL RULE. "This is real
touch and go. For example in R/C at the Nats - no specific names.
In this category more than any other there are violators of the
rule. Of course they come back with the argument that they're not
judging the model at all but how well it's flown. I don't know if
it's a powder keg or not. We had a case at the Mid-Western States
Meet where dad wound junior's model. I feel that the juniors should
start the engine, tow the model or wind it. Dad can help all he
wants - as long as they comply with the rules. The builder-of-the-model
rule will probably affect R/C more than any other event. t's quite
a problem. I don't know how we can counteract it. How can you verify
something like that?"
WHITHER THE JUNIOR MODELER?
"I feel that there are too many distractions and diversions to prevent
the would-be modeler from becoming active - Scouts Little League
and so forth. In some cases it's a father and son deal. Because
of the father the son stays at it. But there are too many other
distractions and a kid's life is too regimented. If you check the
AMA files you find that at least half the membership is in the Open
INTERNATIONAL TEAMS. "I'm a
strong believer in F.A.I. competition. When funds are available
we'll support it, like we should. When not we'll act accordingly.
We don't have subsidy. We go out and raise our own funds. The American
way of life is to get our teams over there one way or another. We'd
accept charity but the first thing you know they'd tell you how
to do it. I've been overseas three times, closely associated with
it. It's here to stay. I'd like to see it come over here. By rights
we should serve as hosts."
ON BEING A CD.
"When you hear some good words it makes you feel pretty good ...
sometimes a letter. Nobody ever knows who the Contest Director is
- just chews him out. He's a necessary evil. You gotta have a CD."
MODELER ON THE
SPOT - CHARLIE SOTICH
"Try to keep the design simple and get all your flights in. It's
embarrassing to see that if you could have gotten your last flight
in you would have been up among the winners. Be careful about wood
selection. The models should be warp free during their life."
BUILDING HABITS. "I build super-slow. Usually
two or three times slower than anybody else. I spend a lot of time
trying to figure out a simple way of doing something. I waste a
lot of time that way."
MOST MISERABLE MODELING MOMENTS.
"This occurred at the 1960 Nationals in Dallas. I had made four
straight maxes in Nordic A/2. When I went to put in my filth flight
I found out that my watch was about 15 minutes slow and the flying
was over for the day. I finished in sixth place less than a minute
out of first."
SQUAWK BOX. "One gripe I
have is where they don't follow rules or do change rules or the
time schedule during a meet and someone is treated unfairly. Once
rules are set you should stick to them fairly closely and have a
tightly run contest."
ADVICE TO THE BEGINNER.
"Stick with simple models. I don't want to say don't go for high
performance but start with. a model that's easy to build, fly and
repair so you can learn as much about flying as is possible. If
he has a consistent performer the younger modeler will eventually
start winning contests. It's usually when trying to do something
too complicated that they get no flights in.
"Use a scale
or beam balance to check the weights of the parts of the model as
you build. Keep records of these weights for future reference. When
you build a plane from a kit or plans be sure to locate the center
of gravity as shown on the plans. Do not change the C.G. when making
flight adjustments. Don't be afraid to ask more experienced modelers
questions. They are almost always willing to help anyone who is
really interested in the hobby."
"I'd like to see more time given to Indoor at the Nats. They don't
try to run three F/F Gas events in one day. There's quite a bit
of pressure on you in one day in a new site and under new conditions
to fly several events."
F.A.I. TEAMS. "Most
modelers take pride in having their country's teams take part in
the international events, especially when we do pretty well in these
contests. I'm even interested to see how C/L and R/C come out although
ordinarily I don't have any feelings about them."
Posted March 10, 2013