History - The Eighties


Ringing in the 80s

(originally published in the Soo Modeller Monthly, February, 1980)

The Soo Modellers were well represented to mark the beginning of the flying year. Several members as outlined below were in attendance at various times of the day (January 1st, 1980) namely Jack Mertes, Cec Marshall, Lou Barreiro, Jim Elgie, J.P. Gendron, Russell Bateman, and myself. The weather was very mild with moderate winds which presented no problems for the aircraft we were flying. Each of us had at least two flights with no major crack-ups, although a number of minor problems were encountered.
ColdstartElgie flew his 15-500 with skis and had a good time of it until he encountered a number of irregular manoeuvres on his third flight which were not produced by the hand of man. Anyway, Jim managed to make a reasonably good landing in the boon docks to the relief of all present. Later in the day, Jim mentioned that after investigating the circumstances, he found a bad cell in the airborne pack.
J.P. seems to be up to his old tricks again of trying the near impossible - an inverted landing, as did Elgie in Wawa last summer. Anyway, J.P. apparently made a low inverted pass but found himself applying full down elevator with no more in reserve. Being at such a low altitude and unable to roll for fear of creaming the 15-500 all over the map, J.P. didn't have much choice but do the inverted landing bit. Fortunately, the snow was soft, and only minor damage to the tail assembly was incurred.

Glow engines of the day were not always willing to start in the cold.  brrr....

Mertes got away Scot free...  his tireless Kaos managed to stand up to several touch-and-goes on the field with skis on. Takeoffs were straight down the icy ditch, and then...  oh boy: hold your breath! All in all, Jack had a good time of it.
TomI would not say for sure, but probably Lou has a "first" in so far as takeoffs in the snow with wheels are concerned: yes, he really did it! His Smith Miniplane was the one that did the trick: down the runway, up and away. Lou also took a shot at the expert pattern and managed a breath taking eight point roll in the sequence, even if he started at 400 ft (120m) and came out at 100 ft (30m)! You'll never get the best crash award that way Lou (Ha! Ha!)
Cec flew his Kavalier: goes like a bat out of hell. Myself, I flew my Orion with the regular O.S.40 on it. Don't let the regular engine fool you Dave, it is also fast. On Cec's first flight, he just about had to put that pair of Pampers on, as the plane veered to one side so bad that he had to come down very shortly after takeoff. After checking things out and making adjustments to the rudder (which was the culprit) he put in a second flight with no  problems. I put in a total of four flights - did lose a stud out of the head of the engine on the last flight, but managed to complete okay.

        In those days, we put our MAAC# on our planes. Looks like this one belongs to Cec
                             (as launched by author Tom Bateman at Bellevue Park)


Russell flew our beat up 15-500 with the Fox .45 on it. He put the Quickie through four good flights and, finally, upon landing on that last one, either plunked it down hard or hit an icy area, because the whole nose section back to the leading edge of the wing fell off! It looked like a dead fish that he was carrying back across the field! It wasn't all that bad to repair, as we redid the weak area and it is now flyable once again.
Honourable mention must go to the two gentlemen who also flew early in the New Year, but on St. Joseph Island. Chris Moes and Greg Farish came out of hibernation and flew off the ice of Hilton Lake. Although Greg put his own machine to rest in the fall, he did manage to log some flying time with Chris' Barnstormer. Chris tells me the ice was completely free of snow. Neither of them had to worry about going off the end of the runway, that's for sure! Our "presidante" and C.D. were both out of commission for the day as other matters were more pressing.
A very good time was had by all those who came out and I'm sure we can use this as an indicator to the possible successful up and coming flying season ahead. Tally-ho until next year.
Tom Bateman, Secretary

(photos by Christian Moes)


Hot fun in the summertime... 1980

According to the June/July issue of the Soo Modeller Monthly:

The UGLY Meet was a success again this year. There were 27 entrants, of which only 9 were from the Soo club, and not much hardware stayed in town. Apparently, some retaliation was had the following weekend in Traverse City.

The SE5A seen in the photos below was one of the first 'large scale' models to appear in the area. It was a real show stopper, as reported in the Sault Star

PLANE SENSE - That's what it took Sudbury resident Bert Potvin to build this model in only two months. Mr. Potvin was one of 27 entries in the annual model airplane contest Saturday and Sunday held by the Soo Modellers Radio Control Club at Strathclair Farm. This First World War SE5A fighter biplane has a wingspan of nine feet and weighs only 35 pounds. Two chainsaw engines mounted one behind the other drive it at 40 km/h.

Here's Tom Bateman's report of the fun events that took place during the balance of the year - from the Soo Modeller Monthly - Nov. '80...

In mid-June a fun fly was held at Sudbury, Ont. for two days. In attendance were Doc Campana, Jim Elgie, Paul Butcher, Russ Bateman, Cec Marshall, and myself. In all I counted twenty plus competitors mostly from around the Northern Ontario area. Jim, Cec, and myself managed to bring home a few odds and ends that we had won from the various events. Examples of events held were the limbo, balloon bust, three minutes duration, and bomb drop. On Saturday evening a party was held over at Ron Daoust's residence and all in attendance had a good time. P.S. Cec managed to hit the limbo pole - no damage to the plane.
Community Day in Blind River during the month of July brought us a crowd of at least two hundred or more. Present were Jim Elgie, Jack Mertes, Dan & Sharon Nadeau, Russell Batemen and myself. The landing strip was in tight quarters; a crowd behind, river in front, left hand side a midway, and right hand side trees. All of us managed to take off and land with no damage or other problems. Using a megaphone we called out the manoeuvres being performed, informed the crowd of our club and the "wings" program. Questions were answered and discussed with the crowd - I thought we had a good rapport with the people and they seemed to enjoy the whole show.
In the morning, previous to our demonstration, Jim and I managed to get in a road race which was part of the community day festivities. Dan Nadeau had his control line "Cosmic Wind" with him and put on several hot flying displays. Nice going Dan! At the end of our flying session, Sharon, Jack, Dan, Jim, and myself went over to the outside wine garden (or whatever they call it???) and indulged in some liquid refreshment.
Wawa was the next point of de-embarkation. Jim Elgie, Cec Marshall, Russell Bateman, and myself took this one in. Being only a one day affair, it was more or less a get together. Everyone got through the day without any major mishaps. Cec did manage to do a bang up job, not once but twice to the limbo pole. That 15-500 must be made out of metal like the old Kougar seems to pull through. All in all we had a good day out of it - Gilbert Belair set up and hosted the affair - we'll be back again next year, Gilbert.
The club had been scheduled to fly for the Twin Sault Festival, I believe sometime in August ??? Not much came of it as the weather dampened all our spectators spirits. Even so, several of us did show up and made a few flights. Another event around this time period was the Civic Holiday Fun Fly. I myself did not attend but by the local grape-vine I hear the winners went something like this; First - Jack Mertes, Second - Lou Barreiro, Third - Jim Elgie, Fourth - Cec Marshall.
Near the end of August or early September, cannot remember the exact date, Terry Fox was making [missing text]... J.P. Gendron was approached by one of the organizers of a find raising campaign in Thessalon, Ont. to put on an air show. J.P. got together myself, himself, Ray Sleeman, Russell Bateman, Jim Murphy and Paul Murphy to go down. There were others who had intended to go but for various reasons could not attend. However, the event went over well even though we had to take-off and land on a gravel road.
Ray Sleeman stole the show with his 9 ft Dallaire Sportster; with those $20 - 4 1/2" wheels. J.P. was able to make three beautiful flights with it - the crowd that watched were delighted. J.P. made several loops and they were done very well under his expert hands. Near the latter part of the afternoon after the fesivities we all loaded up and spent the remainder of the time having a picnic on the beach on the Barbary Coast. Ray cooked a raft of corn on the cob while Paul went wild taking pictures. I didn't think Paul's camera could handle a picture of both J.P. and myself with our front teeth out. However, miracles do happen! 

Sadly... we were unable to locate this picture, but have several others from the summer of 1980 (or close enough) courtesy of Cec Marshall.

Click on the images to enlarge and read the captions...


Frozen Finger Fun Fly -1981

(originally published in the Soo Modeller Monthly, April, 1981)

As I sit here writing this column, I am watching the sun set on a perfect day. It's Sunday, March 22, 1981 and the Third Annual Frozen Finger Fun Fly is now past history. And..  Oh, what a time we had!
Jim 2
There were 13 contestants and as many or more spectators including wives, club members, and passing motorists. The weather was sunny and warm, and people walked around in light jackets and shirts.
With the number of contestants and time limits given to each event, we only had time to run 4 events. They were: Loops Galore, Balloon Bust, Spot Landing, and You Ain’t Just-A-Whistling. Loops Galore was won by Kevin Elgie (with a little help from "crazy thumbs" dad). The Balloon Bust was won by Greg Farish who broke one stick, and then on the return run, cleaned out two balloons and the stick for top points. "You Ain't Just-A-Whistling" was won by Jim Elgie whom; ate two crackers, whistled, ran twenty yards, started his plane, took off, did one loop, and landed...  all in one minute flat!

An unidentified 15-1500 makes an unsuccessful pass in the Balloon Bust event

The day wasn't without it's thrills though. Dan Waybrant, our associate member from across the ditch, thrilled us with a power glider that thought it was a pylon racer. Lou Barreiro encountered a carniverous evergreen, that lured his Smith Mini-plane into range, jumped out, and then knocked it to the ground. At least this is what Lou claims!
Jim 1There was a tie for fifth place between Tom Bateman and Jack Mertes. Would you beleive it, Tom challenged Jack to a foot-race as the tie breaker - My Gawd! All Jack could say to that was ?#%! if you know what I mean. 
The standings are as follows: 1. J.P. Gendron 2. Kevin Elgie 3. Dan Nadeau 4. Jim Elgie 5. Tom Bateman and Jack Mertes 6. Chris Moes 7. Greg Farish 8. Cec Marshall 9. Dan Waybrant 10. Lou Barriero 11. Dave Boyle 12. Craig Knight
With club participation like this, I can promise you we'll have more Fun Flies (this year). I'll do my best to keep things interesting.
Till Then -
Your C.D. (The Flying Fool)
Cecil Marshall

The late Jim Elgie returns from another fine flight. Nice pants!

(photos by Christian Moes)

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