Keith Shaw’s 1905 Wright Flyer

More info from Keith Shaw who you’ll remember has done some extensive scale detailing to one of our kits. Keith is an AMA Hall of Fame member. He’s tuning and trimming his bird and offers the following.

Hi Dave,
Now have 8 more flights on the Wright. Two improvements have GREATLY helped the directional control.
1) I found that the aileron cross pushrod was buckling. Increased wire thickness to 1/16th, helped a little. Rolled masking tape around pushrod ends and middle to get it up to the ID of 1/8th aluminum tube. Coated the tape with 5 minute epoxy and slipped the tube on. Wing warping is now very solid and uniform over flight speed range.
2) Mine had the few hertz rudder oscillation like yours. Carefully flexed everything back there and found that the vertical wire was wobbling all over the place at the bottom. The rudder pushrod was very solid in comparison, so side loads on the fins cause large distortion of the bottom inch of wire. Drilled out the boom bearings and plywood fin cross braces to use a 3/32″ wire instead. Rudder control is nice and solid and the oscillation is gone. Might have been able to get away with 1/16″ wire, but went for the 3/23″. Besides, I needed to move the CG back. 🙂

Now flying with CG about 7/8″ behind leading edge, still need to do some small tweaks on the motor thrust line. The plane now has a very solid feeling, with only a slight pitch bobble when it hits some turbulence. Flew it twice yesterday at an airshow in Detroit in 10 mph breeze with some minor turbulence. No problems. Before the mods this would not have been wise.
BTW, the crowd at the airshow LOVED it. More photos taken and questions asked than any other plane there.

Take care,



Radical RC Shop Hours / Toledo 2013 Prep

This year as last year, we are shipping web orders, however the walk in store is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in order to prep for the Toledo Weak Signals Show. Toledo is a critical show on our schedule. We must arrive prepared. We will be shipping orders 5 days. Phones will be closed M-W so we can get our work completed. We apologize for any inconvenience in advance.


We will be shipping web orders Monday thru Friday.

Shop Walk In Hours Toledo Week:

Monday April 1: Closed
Tuesday April 2: Closed
Wednesday April 3: Closed
Thursday April 4: Open 9-5pm
Friday April 5: Open 9-5pm
Saturday April 6: Open 10-2pm

Phone Order Hours Toledo Week:

Monday April 1: Closed
Tuesday April 2: Closed
Wednesday April 3: Closed
Thursday April 4: Open 9-5pm
Friday April 5: Open 9-5pm
Saturday April 6: Open 10-2pm

Phone Technical Support Hours Toledo Week

Monday April 1: Closed
Tuesday April 2: Closed
Wednesday April 3: Closed
Thursday April 4: Open 9-5pm Phone-LIMITED* Live In Person At Toledo
Friday April 5: Open 9-5pm Phone- LIMITED* Live In Person At Toledo
Saturday April 6: Open 10-2pm Phone-LIMITED* Live In Person At Toledo

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Is what you say about “XYZ” item correct? YES, the description is correct.

Ok, there is a touch of humor in that, but only a touch. 😉

*3/4 of our technical support staff will be in the booth at Toledo. Richard will be working the solder bench and may not be able to take any/many calls. See us at Toledo; Isle E, booths 159-162. We see over 20k modelers from all over the world at Toledo.

Please understand: The shop is short handed Thursday and Friday of Toledo week. There isn’t enough time to be all things to all people. While we treasure all our customers and helping everyone get exactly what they need, our resources will be limited. Our priority is filling our actual live web orders in hand. Place your order online for quickest service.

Returns: FMA, Hitec, Great Planes, Futaba, Airtronics, Hobby People & etc. If there is a warranty center in the USA for your item, simply print a copy of your web order confirmation email. This will serve as your proof of purchase. Send it to the USA Service address for the respective company. As much as you may be tempted to mail me something so I can unpack it, read your letter, write a letter then I can repack it and resend it to the service center then receive it back so I can unpack it then repack it to you and make a 2nd trip to the post office to send it back to you, It’s an utterly silly waste of a whole lot of time. It’s simpler if you send it where it belongs, amazingly, they will send your warranty replacement directly back to you. It’s a miracle! 😉

Returns: Radical RC Goods: Anything that needs to be returned for checkout or etc. can be returned with a simple note. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to tie up 10 minutes on the phone discussing, verifying or rehashing our simple return policy. Simply put a note with your item and mail it to us. We’ll deal with it the first possible moment we can.

Crystal Exchanges: We will have our collection at Toledo. We will not be able to process any of those until after April 8th.

Happy Flying!


PS; See you at Toledo, SEFF then Joe Nall. After Nall, it’s a big sigh of relief, travel is complete for most of the summer. We can get some rest and get back fully to normal.


Holding A Swap Meet: Date Planning

The following advice is written with RC hobby swap meets in mind. However, the same logic and solid advice apply’s to any club event you are contemplating.

The largest reason for an event failing to take root and grow strong is often poor date planning.

Generally swaps are held during the winter months. In the Ohio and probably most northern states the season runs from October thru March. It might be different in your neck of the woods.

Here is how to do it:
Print out calenders for all the months you will be considering. Collect together the AMA magazine “Model Aviation” for the past year or two. Go through the non-flying events advertisement in the back. Write down every swap meet within 2-300 miles on the date it occurred. Look in the Flying Events section for things like indoor fly ins and other large open public events. Don’t worry specialized contests and such things that probably have 20 or fewer people attending. It’s not a bad idea to do this for a period reaching back 2 years. This will give you very good idea what what the flow of events looks like. Usually event planners will tend to repeat the same dates like the 1st Saturday of November or whatever. Why consider events so many miles away? You’ll find the closest event (within 150 miles) have the biggest impact and the furthest ones the least. However, if a major event like PERRY (worlds largest swap) is going on, you won’t get any professional or armature vendors and perhaps only a few swappers, they will all be at Perry or Toledo or Joe Nal, whatever the major is. Same advice goes for certain flying events. Don’t schedule over a major indoor flying event like the JR Indoor Fest or the Hobbico E-Fest.

Be realistic:
If you put yours on the same day as the regular ABC Dog Fighters meet 100 miles away, your likely to get exactly what you deserve for this sillyness, NO VENDORS AT ALL. And, 20% of the locals will be going to the ABC Meet. Additionally, all the people 1/2 way between you and there are going to choose the sure thing, not the new event. I’ve run into many event CD’s stuck in a prototype thinking mode. It goes something like this: “I’d never go 100 miles for a swap meet, how can that event possibly effect us?” Here is the fallacy of that kind of thinking, not everybody is like “you”, and in fact, who cares about “you”, your going to your own clubs event no mater what. Where the profit from these events comes is getting “others” to come. So, forget about “you” and think more openly about “others”. Additionally, leave all ego’s aside. You don’t have to beat the competition, you can simply put your event on a different date and be the only game around. It’s a simple formula.

Question: A club in the next town holds and event in January, when would be a good time for us?
I’ve found two clubs in the same region, county or town can have great results but one thing is important. Think of the new year as a dividing line. If one club holds an event on the last weekend in January and it’s close by, you don’t’ want to have yours in February. They’ve already consumed the bulk of the enthusiasm and energy for a swap meet. It takes time for that to build up again. Consider running your event on the opposite side of the calendar. Why not choose November or December? I’ve found two clubs can have meets even in the same town and they both work well as long as they are on opposite sides of the calendar. Putting your event a week or month in front of another one without the calendar year division is a somewhat unfriendly thing to do. There is room for everyone. Think cooperatively. Your members are going to the other event, you want them feeling good about showing up at yours.

The Sister Event or Opposite Day Strategy.
One really effective way to build a big meet fast is find another meet and sister with it. Lets say there is a decent event 150 miles away usually held on the 3rd Saturday of February. The following Sunday is open and would be a great day to host your event. Your far enough away that your not sharing “most” of the shoppers and those in between your events may just attend them both. Also, the regular swap vendors will see your event on the AMA schedule and even though it’s new, they are already packed up, they will come to yours also. Packing the goodies up and getting two shows in one road trip is an irresistible temptation. Snagging some good vendors really helps build credibility for your event. And, don’t think we’re just talking commercial venders. There are plenty of hobby swappers who just love trading and swapping that attend many events each year, you’ll snag some of these guys from the other event also. This strategy works well and really ends up helping lift up both events. Some new vendors might attend that never attended either event because travel and fuel costs of going to a single event was never worth it to them but as a pair of events it is a more cost effective trip. If your going to do this, be sure you verify the scheduled other event date with the CD. It’s also a great idea if you can catch somebody attending the other event to put a stack of fliers at the entrance of the Saturday event. Likewise, if there is a large Sunday some similar distance away, you can always stick yours on Saturday. Be sure to to contact the other club and do things out in the open. It benefits everyone. It’s always a nice gesture to stick the other clubs swap flier into your own club newsletter. Most newsletters are online today, it won’t cost you anything to be friendly. What goes around comes around.

Q: Saturday or Sunday, which is better? Most events are held on Saturday. Since few are in church that day, you have the largest pool of volunteers on Saturday. However, I’ve found over the years, there really is no difference in the size of an event on Saturday vs Sunday. You might get a few grumbles for planning on Sunday, just remind them they haven’t been to Sunday evening service in a long time. 😉

Q: We’ve been having a swap for years, but this year we have to pick a new date for reasons beyond our control. We are afraid nobody will come.
Let me put you at ease right now. Modelers are not lemmings. Nearly every event CD over estimates how “conditioned” the attending public is. Let me be clear, probably few if anybody remembers exactly what your regular date is. They are all going to look up the date every year to be “sure”. We’ve had to shift our event a weekend this way or that a couple times and our numbers at the gate were just fine. Don’t get stuck in a rut thinking you can never change your date. Do what you need to do for the health of the event.

Q: But we’ve always held it on X day?
Your still asking? I’m sorry, you just may be too hard headed to help.

Q: Ok, we’ve picked a date, now what?
Refer back to your calendar, call those event CD’s on and around your date. Double check they are actually planning to repeat on the dates you are expecting. Be as certain as possible before obligating the club treasury. There is almost nothing more important than a clear date.

OK, but there is a huge fun-fly a few hundered miles away. Is this really going to have an impact?
YES, pick another date! Even an event 300 miles distant will impact you. Where do the RC’rs in between go? If you miss 15 people at $5 a head and 5 tables at $12 each, your mistake cost you almost $130 and it means fewer people are there to spend money, fewer people will be there to offer items for sale. The impression you leave is less successful. Don’t be hard on yourself, pick another date. We are at this time considering moving our well established event for this very reason.

Closing Concepts:
The most important thing in your planning is how to maximize the event for your club and also for all those that attend. Think beyond the direct benefits your group is getting. What your doing is actually a benefit to many inside and outside your region. I always try to take a non-partisan, non-selfish approach to every decision. It’s not about any one thing other than the best possible health of “the event” and the greatest benefit to your modeling region. Taking actions with this attitude in mind will result in the greatest success over the long haul. Encourage whoever is heading up your event to think in this way.

Dave Thacker
CD Midwest Model RAMA


Health of Trade Shows & Skunk Wurks Project For Toledo!!!

Radical RC @ Toledo Expo
Radical RC @ Toledo Expo

I have a strong conviction; if we want strong trade shows, vendors need to make sure they show people something new at the show. In todays world of instant internet communication, the moment some new product becomes available, it’s announced and the word is spread instantly. Back in the day, there was an extra level of excitment when attending Toledo or any other big trade show. It was you chance to see the newest stuff, your chance to get out a couple months ahead of the magazines. Your chance to know what was going on in our hobby. If you didn’t go, you were left behind, perhaps to be stuck behind the news and technology curve for the entire season.

For a number of years, we’ve worked hard to do our part to show people something new at The Toledo Show. It’s every vendors responsibility to contribute to a healthy trade show future for all of us. Our hobby needs healty magazines, healthy suppliers, healthy hobby shops and certainly healthy trade shows.

If your a vendor at a trade show, I encourage you do the same. Are you really so desparate and hungry you can’t hold back on exiting item a few weeks to do your part to add excitment to your favorite show? Think about it.

A recent meeting with national parks officials sparked my enthusiasm to work on a highly requested project. Sorry, can’t tell you what the meeting was about…….. However, you will see it in the booth at Toledo and you’ll want one. I’m very excited to test it out myself. It is perhaps the coolest thing to come out of our shop.


2012 Midwest ModelRama Tables Sold Out!

The show tables are sold out. In 2011 we had 138 tables, in 2012 wel have 170 tables of goodies for you to wheel and deal for. And a wonderful auction. You never know what you’ll bag at the ModelRama. Standby reservations are being taken at this time. Usually there are a few no shows. Those tables are released at 8:30am sharp. We’ll do whatever is possible to work you into the show. This is the largest swap for 100’s of miles. The only larger swap meets that I am aware of are Perry Georgia and Hamburg Pennsylvania. This is the place to get your supplies and new models for the 2012 season and a great place to sell off unwanted models and goodies to fund your Toledo run. Be there! See Midwest ModelRama below for the show flyer and all information.


Midwest ModelRama

Models Models Everywhere!

Real Customers Browsing

Midwest ModelRama Details. It’s time to write it on you calendar and plan to attend the ModelRama. It’s held each year in Dayton Ohio and is the largest Swap/Auction in the Tri-State. As you can see from the 2011 images, it’s a show with plenty of shoppers and lots of tables loaded with goodies. Your sure to find new and used ready to flys. We always have a good selection of models from excellent to resto. Also lots of suppliers and goodie boxes galore to root through. Not only a good selection of of used but also new will be on hand. Bring a few extra bills, your sure to find something worth sneaking in the house here. If you’ve got some items you want to clear out, try our auction. We’ll turn that pile of once-loved goodies into cash so you can get what you really want.