LOFT 2012 Season Brochure Now Available

Hey Guys:

Just dropped off the 2012 season brochures for LOFT at Phil’s today. I have 12 more for handing out to the membership. The PDF file for the brochure is available by clicking the link below.

LOFT brocure 2012

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2011 LOFT Brochure Completed

I know it’s a bit late, but the new LOFT brochure for 2011 is now available!


Feel free to download and spread it around.  I’ll be printing up copies to take to Phil’s later.

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Flying for Fun, March 25, 2011

Challenger Launch

On the way home this afternoon from doing some shopping with my youngest daughter, she said “Dad, there’s a sailplane flying over at the LOFT field.”  I looked through the windshield and, sure enough, I caught sight of an oversized bird circling around the IVY Tech campus.

“That’s Ray’s Challenger.  It’s a big one.  Twelve foot wingspan.”



Erin made appreciative noises and kept heading for home.  As soon as she put the car into park in the driveway, though, I told her “Give me the keys.  I’m going flying.”

I threw four planes, three transmitters, and my camera into the car (I even remembered to grab my sunglasses) and then hot-footed out to the field to cadge a ride up Ray’s winch line for my Dove.

The lift was spotty at best and the temperatures weren’t very friendly, but the sun was warm and the winds were light.

Ray launched several more times after I arrived.  Each time the chute spiraled down practically on itself, leaving the winch line in little spirals on the ground.  The Challenger sure is smooth in the air and seems to linger in ground effect forever on approach.  Pretty bird.

I managed to balance the Dove a little better on one flight, although it doesn’t seem to like rudder turns and will drop its nose into a stall when I try.  I borked it a bit on landing and separated the fin skin from the bellcrank, so back to the shop to fix that.

I also managed flights on my Flipper (re-motored with a 2850 brushless and 1800 mAh LiPo pack, and a folding prop), my Push-E Cat V5 (fitted with a folding prop), and my new design flat-foam Positron II delta wing.  Neither of the folding props folded, which annoys me.  There seems to be an issue with enabling the brake circuits on both speed controls or something.  Ergo, neither one behaved like a proper sailplane.  The Positron II actually flew an entire flight.  The launch was a hairy affair and I figured out that I had the rudder reversed, but I actually got this sorted out until the very end when I lost orientation in the sun and “flopped” it into the grass with minimal damage.  I’m calling it a good first flight.

I didn’t take any pictures of my stuff, but I got several of Ray’s Challenger.  I’ve posted the link on the gallery page as usual.


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Your CD for LOFT 1, Ray Hayes

Well, folks, despite the weather an intrepid 9 people showed up and flew today.  Maybe not the smartest nine of the bunch, but we did fly. 😉

Our CD de jour was Ray Hayes, who kept things simple by flying open winch and three tasks of 5 minutes each with in/out landings worth 100 points for all classes.  Ray, Corky, Dave, John, Jack, and Darwin all started out flying 2M, but only Ray, Jack, and Corky finished.  Dave’s Gentle Lady showed an unhealthy attraction to pine sap that finally busted up the tail on the second go-round.  John’s Spirit popped its horizontal stab off the fuselage but remained functional enough to land safely.  My Dove proved to be not trimmed at all nicely and scared me into packing it in after the first round.

Gentle Lady of the Pines

GL's Love Pine Sap

Chet, Phil, and Dan started out to fly the Radian class.  Dan won by default after Chet chose discretion as the better part of valor and Phil trashed a prop on a weird take-off impact.

Unlimited saw Ray and Corky continuing on with their 2M Little Birds while Darwin broke out his Sapphire.  Phil came back in time to turn in three round with his repaired Radian along with Dan, although I didn’t see scores recorded for Dan on the card for unlimited.

All in all, it was a day of decent flying.  There were thermals although the wind made it challenging to center them.  One of the caveats for competition flying is learning how to fly in the wind and today was a great day for refreshing those skills.  We had a lot of fun despite the cold and wind and we were very grateful that the forecast rain held off a lot longer than the weather bug said it would.

Jack's Little Bird on approach

Lil' Birds Everywhere

There was also a lot of moaning on my part for missing yesterday’s fun with the guys.  Apparently Saturday was a “big air” day with killer boomers thermals and minimal winds.  Corky and Ray were sure rubbing our noses in it, let me tell you.

All in all an acceptable start to the new season.  Lots of folks dropped in to visit in addition the hardy few who jumped into the fray.

Ray also shared some words about the contest:

Glad you guys showed up to fly and hope you had a good time, I surly did.

Holzy, Hope all goes well Monday, it stayed chilly all day, you made a good decision to take it easy.

John Trim, Glad you stopped to say good bye. Hope all works out for you back in Ferndale, MI.

Till next time … Practice … Practice … Practice.


You’ll be able to check out the scores as soon as Denny puts ’em up.  I also uploaded all the pictures I took to my Picasso album on Google.  The link is on the Gallery page.

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Latest Updates

Picture from summers past

Some quick notes for folks:

  1. This is the new blog-style site that Darwin proposed before the 2011 meeting.  Please feel free to comment and send feedback.
  2. The 2011 schedule is up!  Check it out!
  3. We’re running four ALES contests this year in support of this emerging competitive scene.  Denny did a mass buy of CAM altitude limiter units but there’s no requirement for competitors to use only that brand.  Ray Hayes is sponsoring a Skybench trophy for the best overall woody ALES performance.
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