A History of the beginning of RC Soaring

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Warsaw Contest, 1973
This photo courtesy of Ray Hayes of Skybench Aerotech

Warsaw, Indiana contest, Jerry Kay was CD. I need help on this photo. I think Jerry and his Warsaw Aero Modelers club hosted two contests starting in 1973. This flying site was the famous cow pasture fully equipped with live cows and all that comes with them. L to R, Ray Hayes, I'm about to launch my red Windfree, Bob Steele, two unidentifiable, Warren Tiahrt, Art Slagle, two unidentifiable, Warren Plohr, Barb and Bob Robinson, Gary Bussell, Bill Weisner, Jack Hiner. I remember flying my Gaupner Cirrus in one of these contests, but I'm not sure if two size classes were flown. Now it is Bob Steele's turn to help on this photo.

Canadian Nationals, 1977
This photo courtesy of Ray Hayes of Skybench Aerotech

L -R, Gordon Pearson and Ray Hayes at the two day 1977 Canadian Nationals. Gordon built and covered both models, Aquila XL and Oly II. This was a memorable trip that included the photographer, Eric Podzielinski and Gordon's highly entertaining pet raccoon. As usual, I was short on sailplanes to fly and had to borrow Gordon's Oly II. Gordon was first in Unlimited, Eric was third in Unlimited and Ray was first in Standard.

Flying Buddies at LOFT Weekend 1976 or 77
LOFT Weekend 1976 or 77

Ray Hayes (CD) handing out a contest prize to his long time flying buddy, Frank Wren.

Eric Podzielinski at LOFT 1977 meeting
LOFT 1977 Annual Meeting

When Eric Podzielinski talked about flying techniques, we listened. He is the only person I know of that could do a four point role with a Hobbie Hawk while flying a very fast F3B Speed Run.

Walt and Ted, Traverse City, 1986 Walt Hill, Traverse City, 1986
1986- Traverse City. L - R, Walt Hill and his long time flying buddy Ted Strohm. Walt and Ted traveled the contest circuit from Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. 1986, Traverse City, Michigan contest sponsored by LIFT. Walt Hill going to the flight line. Walt was the consummate contest pilot. I'm sure he attended more contest in the Michigan - Indiana area than anyone. He was very consistent and very hard to beat. I first met Walt at the 1973 Benton Harbor, Mi. contest.

Windrifter box
Windrifter box and instructions
Craft Air Windrifter SD100 sailplane
Featured plastic fuse with rolled plywood tail boom.

Mini Merlin
Soarcraft Mini - Merlin box

Centurion II
Soarcraft Centurion II box

Boxed Soarcraft model Magnum 12
Soarcraft Magnum 12 box

Boxed Soarcraft model Glasflugel 604
Boxed Soarcraft model Glasflugel 604
Glasfugel 604

Soarcraft made some really great scale kits with molded white gel coat fuselages. Diamant, Libelle, Magnum, Kestrel 19, Glasfugel 604. I built the Diamant and the Libelle. August 2011, I acquired a 604 kit and hope to have it flying in 2012.

RCM cover with Glasfugel 604

This photo was taken from Sig's December 2013 Newsletter. Sig was the Major player in Balsa Wood for kit builders. My high quality kit wood is supplied by Sig and Balsa USA, the oldest names in Kits and Wood suppliers.
Ray, Sky Bench, since 1993.

Copied from the SIG 2013 Newsletter (click to enlarge)

These photos courtesy of Ray Hayes of Skybench Aerotech


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Sky Bench Aerotech 

Ft. Wayne, Indiana 46804