by Jb Nisley
Winter Solstice Aëromodelling Poem
May the year’s SHORTEST day and alas—LONGEST NIGHT
bring solace and comfort to Aëromodellers—amidst all the light
of their MESSY workstations—which some may say might
be a bit undersized and somewhat too TIGHT.
It’s the stated goal of this MODELER, at the end of this night
to successfully complete the work needed—with all of my MIGHT
to FINISH THIS MODEL PROJECT—long overdue
And by all means, CERTAINLY, to get it done right.
Now—where is my GLUE?
Yes—having to work in such a LIMITED SPACE,
of disorganized, cramped and spewed about space
brings tears to some modelers and others FRUSTRATION.
But it’s this lack of some tools—and disorganization,
plus lackluster placement in a questionable location
that really calls out for—I’m sorry to say—intense SCRUTINIZATION.
For just about any olé casual OBSERVER
would obviously make the case with intense fervor
The simple act of viewing my modeler’s workspace
would understandingly and knowingly—PEG IT A DISGRACE!
So to you—I must PARAPHRASE
to further my case . . .
“May the year’s longest night bring hope to all modelers
amidst the dim LIGHT
of messy workstations in the short RACE
to finish their models in spite
of their MEAGER cramped space.
—Oh what a calamitous SIGHT!”
But what may come of a few hours TONIGHT
may turn out to be
for a great many to SEE . . .
a thoughtful made object
that MAY SOME DAY TAKE FLIGHT!
My patched together model AËROPLANE
won’t stand up to any Flight Contest Judge’s standards for models they EXPLORE.
Among the myriad ailments it’s got is two cracked ribs, torn & missing tissue,
plus MIS-ALIGN-MENTS GA-LORE!
With a touch of sadness—I have to admit,
More than likely it’s rotten, at least to the CORE.
It can be quite TELLING, gazing on it right NOW . . .
that a feature article of a future Aëromodeller’s magazine—even partially based on THIS . . .
would be turned down quietly with an editors’ VOTE TO DISMISS,
and as for the rest of the STAFF it’s for certain —they wouldn’t ALLOW.
So alas there’s much to do before it’s the SPRING.
Clear the SPACE to Re-join the RACE . . .
to enter this year’s Flight Contests—I’m making my case.
There’s TOOLS to sharpen, RULERS to line up, blades to cut with & glue bottles to UNCAP—
(This all must happen before I dose off—in a much needed NAP!)
Propellers to carve & rubber to TIE—much to be mended and . . . . “My—Oh my Gosh—MY!”
Awaiting the anticipated Spring Season—only short months away
would be CRUNCH TIME for the all important “Tall Grass Trimming Step”—COME WHAT MAY.
For those of us who may not have a CLUE—this would be the process to get it perfectly aligned and quite TRUE!
The reason for “TRIMMING” is simply because
after it takes off and flies on it’s own
as with all Free Flight Models they’re out there ALONE.
There’s no onboard TINY PILOT to silently correct,
any flight issues with air turbulence, low visibility or to choose it’s own PATH,
it must deal with everything—including down-drafts,
plus a long list of items courtesy of Mother Nature’s stern WRATH
so all of its defenses must be built in advance,
to help turning radius’s, steady climb rate—all the time at a glance.
There’s something called CG we refer to as Center of Gravity,
fussing with this by all accounts absolutely . . . . is a noteworthy activity.
Its’ adjusting down & right thrust to force it to turn right—plus eliminating the stalls,
a lot goes into this but this is not all . . .
You must look at wing and stab incidence—so all of this is no coincidence—to get it to fly.
Again I must say what I said earlier . . . . “My—Oh my Gosh—MY!”
And last of all its considering the ideal motor size & fixing prop pitch
And let’s also not forget . . . figuring excess weight you’re forced regrettably—to ditch!
We trim them to fly in circles to come down in our fields,
but failing to happen—small motor bikes proceed,
in search of our lost aircraft— but never guaranteed.
We spend thousands to track them to help in the cause,
because employing bird dogs are useless this day
as aëroplane models are certainly not prey.
So if one would think about that for a moment
to which Flight Directors & Contestants should certainly give pause . . .
to think only about flying their planes in low winds
which would invariably delay—
and as a result a slight postponement !!!
But if this was the norm we would never have fun,
because here in the Midwest it’s always a bit breezy
which never can be totally out-done!
But once TRIMMING is finished with a little help from your PEERS,
your fledgling new BIRD should take flight
among your crowd’s loud CHEERS.
So finally Spring arrives—but it’s still a tad COLD.
Nevertheless I’m taking her flying.
Should I be so BOLD?
So off in the dark of the we hours to my duffel bag I wander
to retrieve my precious trusted (must I say expensive?) RUBBER WINDER.
I reflect now in darkened silence this SOLSTICE reminder,
and know that the following days will exponentially grow LONGER. Hurrah!
So amazingly enough just about then
when the horizon becomes bright
with the early morning’s sun’s light,
it occurs to me that I must ponder,
just how many turns must I wind for the rubber
to accomplish my goal of setting my creation
into the illustrious wide blue yonder—for my observation?
As it awaits its winding atop my Winding Station in the early dawn
I can’t help but being explicitly drawn,
to thoughts of earlier modelers having similar tasks
but they had no road-map or directions to follow,
all their efforts were mostly gleaned from experience
which for us current day Aëromodellers it’s almost impossible to grasp.
In addition my newly conceived model aëroplane . . . . reminds me of the way
all YESTERYEAR PIONEER FREE FLIGHT AËROMODELLER must have encountered,
all the JOY & MIRACLE of UNAIDED FLIGHT in their day.
No remote control doodads for me.
No batteries to charge.
No flight control gimmicks or even slight worries.
It’s basically a rubber motor I rely on—as I wind peacefully away
in the warm morning sunlight and absolutely no hurries
with little or no flurries, on this glorious day.
I take in the beauty of what’s surrounds me—the Land and the Sky
in its simplicity. Oh the scenery—what a sight!
Back to counting. I settle on a number close to half a grand.
It seems to be enough for the first time—as she’s leaving my hand,
YES—five hundred winds—turns out just about RIGHT
for her long-time-a-coming RATHER MODEST “Maiden Flight.”
As we look ahead at our growing Aëromodelling Hobby,
for ‘23 . . .
there seems to be plenty
of World Wide Newcomers ALREADY.
As while these numbers increase—there’s something I’d like to say PUBLICLY.
There’s UNQUESTIONABLY no harm in controlling all ASPECTS
of your model in mid-flight.
—In fact there are ADVANTAGES.—
But for me it’s the EARLY AËROMODELLING PIONEERS
that have proven to me and others of all LANGUAGES,
that for all of these years since the DAWN of unaided Model Aëroplane Flight
it has been RUBBER POWERED MODELS that have gotten it RIGHT.
Happy December Northern Hemisphere Solstice and may the
2023 Aëromodelling year begin on a Peaceful note for the World
and may all your Model Aëroplane Flights be successful this year.
Looking forward to longer days & more “flight time.” 🙂
And for those in the Southern Hemisphere—relish your Summer!
Jeffrey B. (Jb) Nisley — Webmaster for KCFreeFlight.org