Some of the fliers with their planes at Oregon Flying Fun No. 1 in Portland on Jan. 1. Barbara White photo.

Portland fliers get 2015 off to a flying start

Jim Walker Memorial Control-Line Flying Field, Portland, Ore., Dec. 31, 2014-Jan. 1, 2015

By Barbara White

On the first day of the year, the paved circle at the Jim Walker Memorial Control-Line Flying Field, located at Delta Park in north Portland, welcomed a hardy group of a dozen flyers.  Weather was excellent for winter flying and picnicking (dry, reasonably calm, sunny).

The first group of flyers arrived at 8:45 a.m.; the last group was still there when this writer left for home at 2:45 p.m.  As with all winter get-togethers, this one started with hot coffee and pastries.

Tom Brightbill put up the first flight in his white and red Sig Kamakazi Chipmunk, so named for its leap for freedom on the maiden flight, over a car and into a boulder.  Since rebuilt, and with a new engine, it flew several times.

Second flight of the day was put up by Dave Royer, El Presidente of the Northwest Fireballs.  He brought his Humongous, an old-school balsa, plywood, tissue and dope 1949 Ted Snow design he built from plans acquired at a distant past Vintage Stunt Championships in Tucson.  After hundreds of flights, it is still his favorite to fly of anything he has right now.

Jim Cameron's entry was an old friend, a red and black biplane.  Doug Powers was the next up, with an oft-patched Sig Skyray kit.  Built long ago and crashed at least four times, this is the first plane he owned that wasn't a 1/2A.  Richard Entwhistle brought a couple of racers, a Clown and a Super Fly.  The Super Fly was timed at 72 mph (its best time to date was 83 mph).

Test Pig #3 was Tim Wescott's contribution.  Designed as a test bed for Tim's Universal Timer, it required lots of clear space on the fuselage to mount electronics, leading to a Cessna C-37, Phil Cartier wings assembly.  As Tim says, it gets though the pattern well enough to be a test bed, but still has a few flying quirks to work out (so, much better than Test Pig #1 and Test Pig #2, both of which died horrible deaths, one from a software bug and two from a mechanical failure in the control system).

Mike Hazel was the sole out-of-town flyer on either of the Delta Park flying circles.  Over the pavement, he made several flights with his throttle-controlled Cro-Magnon Airforce One.

A pot-luck lunch of soups, sliced ham and home-baked cornbread muffins rounded out the day.  All said, the group on the paved circle put up just short of 20 flights. Six members of the Northwest Fireballs have now satisfied their January requirement for a 2015 AMA All Season Flyer patch.

There also was the traditional midnight "first flight of the year" flying session as New Year's Eve turned into New Year's Day.

Oregon Flying Fun No. 1 photo gallery

Jim Cameron prepares his biplane for a flight as Dave Royer (center) and Tom Brightbill watch. Barbara White photo.

Two racing planes by Richard Entwhistle, a Super Fly (top) and Flying Clown. Barbara White photo.

Dave Royer's Humongous. Barbara White photo.

Doug Power's Skyray. Barbara White photo.

Tim Wescott's Test Pig #3. Barbara White photo.

This photo is not from the fun fly but from an earlier session at Milo McIver Park, showing how Wescott uses his laptop to program a timer that he is testing for use with models. Robin Wescott photo.

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This page was upated Jan. 15, 2015