Our R/C History
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1995
I'd been itching to get into R/C for years.  I told my son Ted, that when he turned 10, we'd get into it together. So, in the spring of 1995, I purchased my first kit, a Goldberg Eagle II, and we started to build. In the meantime, my good friend and R/C pilot Russ Kuhn, loaned me a 1 meter sailplane, a Drifter II, and taught me to fly at his field "Lone Oak" behind his home, west of Columbus.

Sailplane.jpg (18456 bytes)

It was powered by a little Cox .049, and it could barley fly with that power. It would only climb if there was a breeze to fly into! But, I did learn. 

Meanwhile, Ted and I worked on the Eagle and it was ready to fly by September.  The plane was named Ursa Minor (meaning Little Bear, A sort of nick-name for Ted). The nose art was actually the constellation Ursa Minor. Russ took her up for the first test flight, and aside from needing some down elevator trim, she flew great! I probably only had a half dozen or so flights on her before winter set in. 

ted-eagle.jpg (24926 bytes)

Eagle.jpg (16940 bytes)

ted-eagle3.jpg (15900 bytes)

1996
My first flight in 1996 became the near total destruction of Ursa Minor.  I was flying at Russ's and the Eagle got away from me. I let her get over behind where we flew and I was all over the place, I lost her behind a tree, and knowing that I was above houses, just pulled back the throttle and hoped she'd come from behind the trees.  hose of you who have put a plane in a tree can no doubt remember the sound. It's awful! We walked across the street, and back in a wooded area was what was left. Half of the wing was still in the tree. The fuse was broken behind the cabin, elevators and stab gone.  I was just happy that it hadn't hit anything important. 

Eagle Crash.jpg (22308 bytes) Here's what was left.....

The rest of the summer was spent rebuilding the Eagle II.  I was fortunate enough to be given and old trainer to fly by Jim Sachleben, and flew it the rest of the summer.  A new wing kit was ordered, and Ursa was rebuilt as a tail dragger. I don't remember for sure when I had her rebuilt by, It was late in the summer before she was ready to go again. 

Eagle Reborn.jpg (12124 bytes) Ursa Minor reborn.

Eagle II's are great trainers in my book, and it sure was fun to fly as tail dragger! Now I had to get Ted flying. He was upset when I crashed the Eagle that spring, and he had little interest in flying yet. He'd also witnessed a couple of other "losses" at the field, and I think he just wasn't ready to try yet.

1997
It took a while, but Ted started to get at ease  enough to take a shot  in flying. The fact that I was doing better (no more disasters fortunately), helped I'm sure.  By July he was ready to start. After maybe only 3-4 flights on the buddy box, I thought he was ready. Ted wasn't so sure. We had been going down the the field in Vernon, IN to fly some. Because it was a more open than Russ's, we decided to go down there for Ted's solo attempt. He did one take-off and landing on the buddy box, and then he was ready,  although it did take some...persuasion. His solo went off with-out a hitch!  It was a great day!


Ted's Solo- July 20, 1997

to be continued......

Ted's Wright Flyer project photos updated 5-2-03