Helicopters

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Beemans Gum

 

I fell in love with Helicopters back in the early 70's. I loved anything mechanical, the more intricate the better. Helicopters where the ultimate machine in my eyes. All the links and gears, and then I saw my first model helicopter and I had to learn more about this hobby. It was not until the early 80's that I started my model helicopter endeavors. I saw my first Schluter demonstration and was offered one as a gift by the demonstrator shortly after. However after receiving this lavish gift I was told I was on my own. I was at a total lose as I had no idea which way to turn and every hobby shop I visited did not want to help unless I purchased the bird from them. I finally called Miniature Aircraft in Florida and spoke to Walt Schoonard. This man is a gem in the industry. He guided me along and gave me pointers that finally got me in the air. I struggled with home made training gear for about 4 months before I felt comfortable enough to leave the gear off.  A few more flights and I was ready to take it above my head... or so I thought. As soon as the bird went over about 10 feet I lost my orientation. In it went from about 20 feet totaling the head and bending the main frames. About 300 dollars and 2 month later I was back in the air. I finally learned forward flight and more important to bring the helicopter back in. I purchased 2 Superiors after the SX81 and Heli-star. A friend gave me a Mini-boy complete with Super Tigre 40H, he had picked from the top of a garbage can in his neighborhood. I resurrected it with a Heli-Star tail boom, GMP Cobra main blades and an Enya 50H. This setup flew very well and I found myself doing loops and rolls with this bird. The Superiors went into scale fuselages and later a Champion became my main bird. I was still in fear of crashing so never tried more than loops and an occasional roll or stall turn. Then in 1991 a friend of mine purchased a Shuttle Z and I was impressed by the flight characteristics. And it was cheap to fix too. With my new X347 and the shuttle in hand I learned 540's, flips and even some inverted flight. Fairly mundane by today's standards but back then we rocked!

My first Flight with the Shuttle Z in 1992 

Shortly after my daughter was born and we moved to South Florida. Then my son came along and modeling was put on hold. But, almost from birth my son would be looking to the sky every time he herd an airplane outside. My wife joked that it must be in the blood. Well at about 3 1/2 my son asked about the airplane hanging in the garage. I purchased an Aerostar 60 (big brother to the 40 I learned on) and a Saito 80 to power it. We set it up on my X347H and in no time he was flying. We had many problems with keeping fields in Florida. It seemed they where forever building a water park or golf coarse on the site and the clubs got kicked off. The closest Public field, Markham Park, was down right dangerous on a weekend. When we could fly he progressed fast but we kept loosing fields. Finally we moved to Georgia and found the CCRC club. Now he is an instructor at the field and this fall he got me back into helicopters. In just 2 dozen flights he has progressed further than I was at when I stopped flying helicopters 15 years ago. Now he is learning from some of the best including Matt Botos.