The Flying Penguin Press
January 26, 1998
Dirt Cheap! It's Free!
This newsletter is, and always will be FREE! Why am I doing this? Probably because I need my head examined!
For the benefit of nameless parties (oh okay, I'll name them: park employees) I'm not selling anything. This is a free service I provide for my fellow fliers because the aforementioned nameless people have a problem with RC want-ads on the field's bulletin board (oh, but hanging posters for gun shows at the shooting range is okay, though... nice double standard).
As always, posting an ad in the Penguin is FREE, but if you'd like to show your appreciation for my efforts here, I will gladly accept a donation of two dollars. This donation is strictly voluntary, but if you want to show your support, it would be appreciated, (and you'll be helping support my bad habits). Make checks payable to Robert Osorio. Send your ads to:
c/o Robert Osorio
12555 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 832
North Miami, FL 33181-2597
892-9007 Fax: (305) 893-6221
Please include your name, city, and phone number. Ads can be for anything having to do with modeling: used items for sale, want-ads, building services, contests, event announcements, death threats, etc. Copies of The Flying Penguin are available at Markham Park (get 'em when you can, the Park police are stealing them again), Coral Springs Condors Field (courtesy Marv Grubb), Gulf Hobbies in Hollywood (954) 987-7500, and Orange Blossom Hobbies in Miami (305) 633-2521 (courtesy of Charles Rodriguez).
You can also read the Flying Penguin on-line at the Flying Penguin Web-Site of Love at:
If you'd like a subscription, send me a book of stamps and I'll mail you an issue each month. If you'd like me to Fax the Penguin to you each month (you must have a fax that answers automatically), contact me with your Fax number. REMEMBER, IT'S FREE!
Send me your drawings, cartoons, or photos to share with us. Editorials and articles will be reviewed for submission (and then promptly tossed in the trash).
The Flying Penguin
For those of you into computers, as am I, you might find the new Flight Unlimited 2 an interesting flight simulator. It looks and flies far better than Microsoft Flight Simulator and is very realistic. The drawback is that it runs best with a 3D card, even on a powerhouse of a computer.
Personally, I still prefer the original Flight Unlimited. Its the most realistic aerobatic aircraft simulation bar none. Since it came out nearly a year ago you can find it for as little as $15 in the bargain software section at CompUSA. Despite its age, though, the graphics are still state of the art, and the performance rivals that of the newer flight simulators - itll run just fine on an older computer.
Flying the Sukoi from the ground camera position is about as realistic a simulation of flying an aerobatic R/C Plane as youre ever going to find. The Sukoi in Flight Unlimited can do every maneuver in the book - even a flat spin.
Flight Unlimited and Flight Unlimited 2 by Looking Glass Software.Both require Windows 95.
Im going to cop-out again this month and recycle another Flying Penguins Coop column for you to read (hey! No comments from the peanut gallery! Ive got eight more of these to bore you with, so BACK OFF MAN!). I havent flown in months and so have had no inspiration to write. Hopefully Ill do some flying soon and have some grist for the proverbial mill to grind...
- by Robert Osorio, The Flying Penguin. Originally appeared in R/C Reports "Flying Penguins Coop" column 7/97
A reader wrote me the other day to ask what terrible incident had occurred in my past to inspire my onerous wrath against the humble Ugly Stick. My faithful readers (all six of ya) know that I miss few opportunities to vent my anger upon this lowly denizen of the flying field. Well, okay, I admit it, I hate Ugly Sticks. Ugly sticks are like cockroaches, and every once in a while, a roach needs to be stepped on...
I could claim that this irrational hatred stems from an ugly incident ('scuze the pun) during my childhood involving a model aircraft, a seeing-eye dog, an inebriated parent, and a skinhead group, while river rafting in the Grand Canyon on my fourteen birthday. I could... but the truth is, though, that I have developed this obsession over several years, during many aggravating afternoons spent at the flying field dealing with owners of these offensive creations. Let's just say that I feel that there are already enough ugly planes in the world without adding one that purposely tries to be one (and succeeds so well), and there are enough wackos in the world without adding a group that likes collecting a stable full of Ugly Sticks in the process.
Not that there's anything really wrong with an Ugly Stick, if kept in it's proper place (sit, stay!). Neither is there anything wrong with owning one.... one and only one. It's just that I can't, for the life of me, understand why anyone would want more than one of these things in their barn. Okay, so we all go through the Ugly Stick phase at some point in our flying education, and most of us leave it behind as we did with puberty (well, some of us have a problem there too, but let's not get into that right now...). It's just that some people insist on making an obsession out of building and owning Ugly Sticks. Why? A fetish? A cult obsession? Secret instructions from an orbiting alien space craft beamed over the subcarrier of Monday Night Football telecasts, promising salvation in the form of a comet shaped like an Ugly Stick?
The problem is that an Ugly Stick brings out the worst (not to mention the stupidest and the weirdest) in most people. Whenever some idiot nearly runs into one of my planes while taxiing in the pits, or nearly eats my ankles off with one of his plane's propellers, or breaks in his engine in the pits without a muffler, deafening all in the vicinity, said idiot is usually doing so with an Ugly Stick. In this respect, Ugly Sticks are very much like Cadillacs: they rot the owner's soul, and rob him of all sensibilities (Cadillacs more so than Ugly Sticks, but it's a close call...). I'm beginning to become convinced that Ugly Sticks represent a serious threat to world peace and the stabilization of world markets.... okay, I grant you, that's a leap in the dark. Hear me out, though....
Let me first clear the air and alleviate all confusion on your part by specifying exactly what qualifies as an Ugly Stick...
First of all, I want to point out, right now, that an Eindeker is not an Ugly Stick. An Eindeker is a scale model of a real aircraft, that grown men actually climbed into once in ancient pre-history and flew around in. I grant you, an Eindeker is ugly in the extreme, but even so, it's not an Ugly Stick. I will also grant you that too many people have an unreasoning love for Eindeckers, but at least there's some artistry involved in it's construction. Leave Eindecker lovers alone - they're a rare breed and left to themselves will generally go extinct on their own from in-breeding (ah, if only we could say the same for Ugly Stick fanatics...).
Quickie racers and other kits that are converted to look like an Ugly Stick don't count either. This is a separate type of dementia that, thankfully, is only limited to states south of the Mason-Dixon line. Aggressive extermination efforts by local authorities have already limited the spread of this rare form of obsession, and it's only a matter of time before it is totally eradicated.
No, I'm talking about real Ugly Sticks here kids. Real Ugly Sticks aren't biplanes, they aren't covered in cloth and they don't have scale features or retractable tail gear. Real Ugly Sticks are covered in red and white film and are never, ever painted! They must have the traditional obscenely bloated and rounded vertical tail fin, and out-swept wing and tail tips that serve absolutely no aerodynamic purpose what-so-ever, except to make it easier to crash into another plane while taxiing through the pits or during a close mid-air pass.
According to the fourteenth edition of the "The Ugly Stick Handbook" (available at seedier hobby stores everywhere), the requirements of an Ugly Stick design are as follows: Ideally, the tail surfaces of an Ugly Stick should be of solid sheet construction and of the highest density balsa possible, found only in the darkest, dankest recesses of the Brazilian rainforest (any hopes that ongoing rainforest destruction will spell the doom of Ugly Sticks are certain to be circumvented by misguided environmental groups with good intentions at heart). The high density balsa used in the tail directly leads to another distinctive feature of an Ugly Stick, which is the one pound blob of lead required in it's nose to get the Center of Gravity anywhere near the mark.
Ugly Stick tail surfaces are never framed up (framing involves work and a certain amount of artistry, which is the anti-thesis of the concept behind an Ugly Stick!). The wing, though, must be framed up, otherwise that much Styrofoam located in one place would distort the fabric of space-time and destabilize the spin axis of the planet. Ailerons must be designed in total contempt of modern aerodynamic knowledge with the widest section extending well beyond the wing-tip. As I understand it, this originally was an attempt on the part of the earliest Ugly Stick designers to figuratively extend their middle fingers at Murphy and his renown Laws (few people realize that Murphy himself owned an Ugly Stick, and wrote most of his laws while trying to get it trimmed properly). Any attempts at subsequently trying to correct the extreme control surface flutter induced by these mutant ailerons by reshaping or shortening them, is frowned upon as an affront to the spirit of the Ugly Stick's design.
An Ugly Stick's landing gear should be made of piano wire - the softest and cheapest possible to find. You know, the stuff hobby store owners keep behind the counter and sell to gullible beginners, because it's the only way they'll get rid of the stuff (most people don't realize that soft piano wire also grows in the Brazilian rainforest, another reason to put the torch to it as far as I'm concerned). If the plane doesn't do several bouncy oscillations and bend the landing gear way back to the tail on landing, it isn't a real Ugly Stick. Aluminum landing gear is way too big an expense for an Ugly Stick, and a waste of good aluminum as well. Anyone caught bolting an aluminum gear onto to one of those ugly monsters should be flogged to death with a nylon propeller, during a thunderstorm, while standing on his head over a fire-ant mound in the dead of night, during mosquito season. I'm not even going to mention the despicable kind of individual who would bolt a composite landing gear onto an Ugly Stick...
The tires used should either be those extremely cheap foam tires that most of us have a carton full of, lying around the shop, because we wouldn't dare put them on a decent plane. At worst, regular tires can be used as long as they're a used, mis-matched set left over from a plane crash - preferably bald, with broken plastic rims. The tires should not be the same size, but instead the gear should be bent in order to correct any dragging wing-tip problems. Anyone caught putting any kind of scale tire on an Ugly Stick, especially new ones with Piper Cub wheel covers, should be made to stand in the lobby of a hobby store, holding the plane in his hands, and wearing a sign hung around his head saying "dummy", until he dies of embarrassment.
The radio should be the cheapest radio possible, preferably an old wide-band job salvaged from a crash, with the battery cover missing from the back of the transmitter, and the batteries held in with duct tape. The battery meter should not be functional as you'll be flying on a wing and a prayer anyway, and the power switch should be removed and re-mounted upside-down to perplex the unwary. Either an AM or FM radio is just fine, but it should have no more than four channels (unless you want to include a self-destruct feature - I would). PCM radios are prohibited, and most have internal circuitry that prevents them from being used in Ugly Sticks anyway, so as to avoid embarrassing the manufacturer. The transmitter antenna should be bent at a 90 degree angle (greater, if you want to use it to brace the transmitter on the ground to relieve the strain on your arms), and the receiver antenna should be wrapped around the engine cylinder several times and tied with a knot.
The engine should, ideally, have survived a crash into pavement and have all of the mounting lugs torn open and a cracked cylinder head. If by some awful misfortune the engine is new, it should be a cheap Chinese built job, poorly assembled by child labor, with the mounting lugs broken open by hand if necessary (this is to increase the chance that the engine will fall off during flight, thus saving it the indignity of landing with the plane itself).
Now what is it with these guys who put a $500 computer radio in an Ugly Stick? Hey, are these guys expecting some of the class to rub off onto the plane or something? Then they add insult to injury and bolt a $400 four-stroke engine on to the nose of the thing! People, the rules are very simple: I don't wear anything around my neck worth more than my head, and you shouldn't be attaching anything to an Ugly Stick that costs more than the kit!
The servos should all be of the type that are so old and have such a large dead-band that you normally would only put them in a decent plane as a throttle servo, and certainly not in your favorite plane at all. Pilot busts are frowned upon, but if you must, it should be one of those ugly Troll dolls that have become so popular lately (if anything deserves to go on an Ugly Stick, it's one of those detestable Troll dolls...).
Only the cheapest adhesives, left sitting on a hot window sill, and exposed to the sun for at least a full month, should be used to assemble an Ugly Stick. Epoxy should be used liberally in all areas that receive the minimum of stress. In high stress areas, of course, you should use white glue in thin applications. The use of dihedral braces are frowned upon (this is why most Ugly Stick ARF's don't have them). If a dihedral brace is used, it should be made from balsa with the grain running vertically. Reinforcing the wing joiner with fiberglass or nylon is considered excessive and exhibiting a lack of faith, although duct tape works great, especially when applied over the film covering.
Now, despite all of the above, an Ugly Stick is, of course, the logical second plane for most beginners. Your average Ugly Stick is a well behaved, good flying aircraft that's easy to fly, but is a mite more aerobatic than your average trainer. Ugly Sticks, by their very nature, are planes so hideous that you just can't get too upset about their crashing. This relieves the pressure on the beginner and allows him to concentrate on his flying skills without worrying too much about the fate of his plane. For this reason, there is a growing number of people who believe that an Ugly Stick should be used as a first plane for most beginners. Let's face it, even the homeliest 40 size ARF trainer, with a tacky plastic covering job, is still far too fine a plane to crash during a beginner's learning period. An Ugly Stick, now, was made for the job.
Ugly Sticks aren't just for beginners either. You know, everyone needs one plane that they won't cry over if it crashes (at my field, some of us more than others I'm afraid). The venerable Ugly Stick almost begs for the job. Like an ugly and dumb terrier mutt, it's ears will perk up and happily wag it's tail in eager anticipation of adventure, even as you're tying a hundred pound rock around it's neck and getting ready to toss it off a cliff. It's the test pilot of model airplanes. You can have a lot of fun with a plane when your heart and soul are not directly attached to it (even more fun when most of it's major components aren't directly attached to it).
I'll let you all in on a secret, I've actually owned a few Ugly Sticks myself. All of them were ugly in the extreme, and all of them were destroyed for experimental purposes. I abused these planes with the same malevolence expressed by the nasty kid next door in the movie "Toy Story". Doctor Frankenstein, eat your heart out! There was one that I cut open to install tubing in the wing for a wing-tip smoke system. It looked great in flight, but the wings soaked up so much oil from exhaust leakage that the thing eventually fell apart in midair.
Another was sacrificed in an abortive attempt, on my part, to experiment with night flying. Of course things might have gone a little differently if I hadn't painted the thing all black and elected not to use light sticks (it was actually more of a stealth technology demonstrator).
All kidding aside, I'd just like to wrap this up by saying that Ugly Stick obsession is a serious disorder that we all need to take seriously. If your loved one suffers from this disease, I urge you to please, please seek help for them immediately. Or better yet, use his Ugly Sticks for fireplace kindling come next winter. Believe me, he'll thank you for it someday...
Robert Osorio - editor
- Top Flite F4U Corsair Kit, w/retracts. $150
- Byrons F-16, Eng, retracts, electronics, minus radio & rcvr. $650
- Kyosho Inferno R/C Car, OS Max 21, 9301 servos, like new. $375
Frank - (305) 649-3721 (Miami, FL)
- Rapier, new, never flown, HB 40 engine, Monokote finish. Comes with old Kraft radio. Just add your radio & fuel. $195 or Make Offer
- Cox Sailboat, excellent condition. $75
Jim - Days: (954) 983-7519 Eves: (954) 434-7471 Pager: (305) 399-3270 (Broward, FL)
- MVVS 1.20 Twin, ran only once on test stand. $300
- Super Tiger 3250, 6 month old $195
- Set of Robarts P-51 Retracts, for 1/4 Scale Nosen, Siroli or similar kit. New in box. $195
Charles - (954) 920-4441 (Pembroke Pines, FL), E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR SALE- Left Hobby need to liquidate!
- King Kobra, OS 61 FSR ABC w/type 7M carb, Spring Air Retracts, Futaba 8 ch PCM w/5 FPS130 servos. $500
- Kougar, OS 45 FSR ABC, JR Century VII w/4 servos. $350
- Seamaster, OS 45 FSR ABC, 4 servos (no radio). $250
All first class construction and finish.
- Pica Rapier, wing, fuse & tail 80% finished. $50
- Top Flight P-51, 70% finished. $65
- Miss Ft. Worth, kit by Cunningham. $60
- Flight Box, custom Woodcraft, power panel, 12V Bat & starter $100
- Misc: servos, 2 Futaba AM 6 ch radios, Battery Cycler, chargers, wheels, covering, tools, tanks, & enough small parts to open a hobby store!. Will sell everything in bulk - MAKE AN OFFER!
Jim - (954) 929-4828 or (954) 925-1112 (Hollywood, FL)
- F-14 Tamecat, 2 seperate wings: one straight & one swept, fly with either one. Covered & looks just like the advertised photo, w/.45 engine . $130
Sal - (954) 752-6106 (Coral Springs, FL)
- Great Planes Starfire, ASP 45, flaperons, all servos & rcvr. 1 month old with 15 flights, no crashes. $280
- Great Planes Patriot, OS 46FX, tuned pipe, DOES 120 MPH EASY!, flaperons, retracts, radio, servos. 10 flights, perfect cond $420
Andre - Days: (954) 283-3570, Eves: (954) 724-3561 (Broward, FL)
- Ace 30% Extra 230, smoker, spring starter, quality BB servos, RTF $1,200
- Futaba Super 7, transmitter & receiver. $200
- Ace Seamaster 120, plane only. EXCELLENT CONDITION! $225
TRADE ANY OF ABOVE FOR NEW IN BOX G-62 OR LABOR FOR BUILDING & REPAIRS
- Direct Connections F20 Tigershark, retracts, Rossi .45 w/tuned pipe RTF $400
Jeff - (954) 562-3504 (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Citabria, OS .70 Surpass 4 cyl, radio. $450
- Champion Shuler 60 Heli, complete w/radio. $575
- Hirobo Shuttle .30 Heli, w/radio. $450
- Ace 4-40, $130
- Sig Cobra, w/OS .45. $125
- Great Planes PT-60, w/ servos $180
- OS .60 FS, run 3 times, almost new, $89
- Rossi .60, side exhaust, new in box, $99
- Rossi .90, new in box, $249
- Rossi Pipes, Header, carbs, plugs & other parts - new & used for .60's
- Lanier P-51, new , $59
- Lanier Invader, $49
- Magnum Pro .45 & GP .40, new.
- Cox .049, .051, .09, new in box. Many other items. SELL * BUY * TRADE
Isaac - (305) 672-8610 Sun - Fri 9am - 10pm (Miami, FL)
4-Cycle Engines, Will swap 35mm Cameras, 12 G Shotgun, or Color TVs.
Jacob - (954) 455-0043 (Broward, FL)
- Carden Extra 300 35%, plane only: $800. w/5.8 Sachs: $1,300. w/servos: $1,600
- Scratch-built 72" Trainer, set-up as tail-dragger or float plane. w/4 servos: $100, w/floats, $140.
Byron fan and pipe
Keith - (954) 987-3435 (Hollywood, FL)
- Pica 1/5 Scale P-51, 89" span, G62, fiberglass/imron finish, Robard retracts, all servos heavy duty. $1,495 O.B.O.
- Sig 1/3 Scale Spacewalker, 104" span, G38, fiberglashh/imron finish, all servos heavy duty. Ready-2-Fly! $1,000
- Lanier 1/3 Scale 300S, 102" span, Zenoah 445 w/sping starter, all servos heavy duty, with our without engine. Call!
Alan - (954) 428-4161 days (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Hirobo SST Heli, w/OS61 & Gyro, no radio. $850
- Kyosho SRT Heli, w/radio & all upgrades. Custom body OS 32 $750
- Super Sportster 60, new. $175 OBO
- Super Sportster 40, unfinished. $75
- Super Sportster 60, unfinished. $75
WANTED: Jet Model, finished or unfinished, to trade or for cash.
Gary - (954) 791-9592 eves. (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Canopy & tailboom for Schlueter Champion .60 Heli. Need for crash parts.
Raul - (305) 471-7973 (work) (305) 220-6399 (home) (Miami, FL)
- Global Hobbies Raven 60, assembled & test flown. Hot plane. Less engine & radio: $150
- Goldberg Tiger 60, w/ ASP 60. 4 flights. $225.
Brian - (954) 979-8718 (Margate, FL)
Broken/crashed Hobbico trainers or parts.
David - (954) 522-8363 (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- HB .40 PDP Engine, w/muffler
Eddie - (954) 389-5212 (Weston)
- Kyosho Concept SRX 30 Heli, all servos, all upgrades. $550
Jerry - (954) 489-1432 (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
- Cardinal, 55" span, OS 60, new Futaba FP-T6NFK FM Xmitter, training cord, Futaba FP-T4NBF Xmitter & chargers. Flight box, power panel, fuel caddy, elec pump, batt, starter, ESV, parts, fuel & 24 issues of Model Airplane. $350
Lloyd - (954) 791-6008 (Davie, FL)
New R/C kits, engines, and accessories for sale below mail order prices. For complete list contact Jimmy Jemail via Compuserve 102203,2601 or call (954) 753-0650 (Pompano, FL)
- Precision Eagle 4.2 Engine, TOC Glow version, exc. cond., complete w/ lightweight Dern quiet muffler. Incredibly powerful and smooth. Little time since purchase (used) from Bob Geofrey in 96. $350 OBO
Barry - (714)-693-9236 (Califormia) or E-mail: email@example.com
- Morris Hobbies Profile Hots, OS Max 32 SF ABC, tuned pipe, Futaba 148 servos, battery, less radio. RTF $225 OBO
- Goldberg Ultimate, new Webra 120 w/articulating pump, $600 OBO.
- DAD Mixer, for Flaperons. $25 OBO
MUST SELL! ALL PRICES NEGOTIABLE!
Jeff - (305) 595-2762 (Miami, FL) - Leave message