WHAM (Wichita Historical Aircraft Modelers) May Contest write up.

The Spring Opener for the Wichita Historical Modelers (WHAM) Free Flight Club turned out to be a great weekend contest, even though it was a windy affair. Everyone that attended had a great time, and was “up” for two days of contest flying and camaraderie. All of the modelers having spent a winter of isolated model building. Flying over the weekend happened on both days, and more or less followed the planned schedule.

Many of the modelers actually arrived Friday, with time to test fly in the early afternoon and into the evening. The winds at that point we’re probably about eight to ten miles per hour, and quite reasonable. Friday afternoon we were treated to a WW2 era Harvard AT-6 flyby while we were test flying our models at Baxter Field Airport. The several passes made for some great photo ops. After flight trimming, we headed to get set up for the night.

We managed to have cocktails at 5pm at the Country Inn Motel with Bill and Marilyn Schmidt, Dana Field and Robert Dunham, along with myself. The social hour was a great time! I always learn a lot about engines and airplanes with that group. The group ended up eating at the Town and Country Café in nearby Florence both nights.  That food was really good! The 11 mile drive down to Florence did not really take that long so it was well worth it. Dana and I had pie both nights, along with roast beef and country fried steaks. We ate quite well! Definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

On Friday afternoon I presented a new twin pusher stooge built by, Jeff Nisley, to Linda Powell. Jeff Nisley built this stooge as a gift to acknowledge Chuck and Linda’s help last at the HAFFA contest year. Jeff had ordered the old rubber powered design “Competitor” kit from England, and needed help trimming his new creation. Chuck dropped everything, and helped Jeff get his airplane trimmed to fly properly. This was one of Jeff’s first rubber powered airplanes. Jeff was so impressed and appreciative with Chuck s assistance to get the plane flying, he said he would never forget Chuck and Linda being so kind and helpful. This is what free flight guys do. They are good people. Jeff added some design touches to the stooge for Linda that she noticed right away, some bird feathers on lanyards with colorful anchor cables.

Jeff Nisley is in the final stages of putting the plans for the twin pusher stooge on line. This will let everyone that wants to make one their own. All this will be explained further in two articles, written by Nisley, that present both the twin pusher and the standard stooge. The article, complete with drawings and a material list, will explain how to make both of them. These articles will appear on the KCFreeFlight.org website this spring or early summer.

Contest flying started at 8am both days. There were no problems with the field conditions, as the field was dry.  We flew from the south end of the airport with wind blowing towards the northeast both days. Contestants came from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas City and Wichita, and all The “Usual Suspects” showed up to fly. Chuck, Linda and Jim O’Reilly did a bang-up job putting on the contest. Jim’s son Dave made the trip as well, and provided support, tracking and chasing models.

The power flyers were careful to set their DT timers their planes. Otherwise, with the wind, they would have been off the field. George Avila had an overrun on a timer when his fuel cut off failed on one of his big planes, which wound up landing in a tree north of the airport. Chuck & Linda’s son, Aaron, along with Mike Fedor, was able to get it down out of the tree. Mike Fedor had brought a very long extension pole but Aaron still had to climb up and use the pole in order to get the thing down.

Tim Pivonka made it down to Marion with a van full of scale jobs, such as his Halberstadt CL II, for the FAC events, along with some new catapult launch gliders from “Humming Bird Models”.

Marty Klein brought his “Sterling” Piper Cub to fly scale. He explained it had placed well out at Westfac couple years ago. It was a gorgeous model that flew quite well considering the wind!

O’Reilly, Chuck and Renz flew in the twin pusher event.  It was amazing to watch those things fly in the windy conditions! They were quite stable considering the conditions.

Sunday, one of the events, “the “Sport of Kings”, Jet Cat, was quite interesting, considering the weather conditions. Flights were quite amazing! Those little scale jobs seem to hold up pretty well.

Suman Saripalli made the trip on Sunday.  Thank goodness for Suman, because Chuck had 11 boxes of magazines full of Flying Aces and Air trails that he donated to our club.  Chuck had originally received the collection from a Beech Craft CEO, who collected airplane memorabilia. We very much appreciate this kind act. These magazines appear to be in really great condition!  It was very difficult not to crack the boxes open and just start reading on the spot! Anyway, thanks Chuck!

I would like to thank Aaron Powell and his wife Karla for making a lunch pizza run on Saturday. We had plenty! They ordered just the right amount, and no one went hungry.  Also, Karla made pancakes for breakfast on Sunday. This was fantastic considering all I originally had was a granola bar. That was a very kind gesture! 

Jeff Renz (click on photo link below) 150 photos.


PF – Burt Madison — Historic B-24 Crew Member has passed

Burton Madison Obituary – Kansas City, MO (dignitymemorial.com)

In 2019 our club had the fortune opportunity to have Burt as our guest speaker at our monthly business meeting. I would like to thank Jeff Nisley and Roie for putting this together through our friends at the Olathe CAF (Commemorative Air Force).

Burton Madison was a turret gunner on B-24 Liberators, flying clandestine missions over occupied Europe dropping supplies, equipment, and key personnel to the French resistance. Burt had brought his original “bomber jacket” and photos. He was so humble and was so full of life! I found a 12 minute video on his service in WW2. I will never forget meeting this fellow!


Burt at our club meeting with Mike Basta and Jeff Nisley


I have decided to call off the indoor flying session tomorrow…due to predicted bad weather with snow fall centered directly on our  flying site…Osawatomie!
 I just saw the weather prediction at noon today …with the topic being about slick roads in that region where we would be driving and it did not look good.
Since we are not having a contest and tracking flying points for our intra-club contest I do not think it is worth the risk. Of course I am disappointed!..I have a new P18 ready to go….
I have called the city of Osawatomie and we are working out when we can reschedule our flying date…..they just called me back this afternoon….we are working out the details to reschedule.  We might double up with a couple flying sessions later in the month or in March.

Remember next weekend ….Sunday is Valentines day…I know better than to reschedule for that day!


Pre-Shrink Tissue Covering Tip

This is a tip from John Pakiz of the Nebraska Free Flighters Club

I have known John Pakiz for well over a decade now and have attended many of the Nebraska clubs indoor flying sessions held in the Beatrice Nebraska city auditorium. Flying in this venue is always a a real treat. Over the years John has sent me tons of info on topics such as trimming and flying technics as well as construction tips. Over the next few months I plan to share this info with the rest of the world. (Thanks John!) …..J. Renz

John getting his NOCAL Pilatus adjusted at Beatrice auditorium

From John: I’m an advocate of pre-shrinking Japanese tissue.  The more shrink we can get out ahead of time the less stress on our structures. To do this we need a frame to support the tissue during the shrinking process.  Traditionally I’ve made my frames from 1/4″ hardwood but I have discovered an alternative method.  Two layers of corrugated card board work just as well.  The card board can be either glued or taped together.  I choose the tape method as it’s faster and it doesn’t require any drying time.
The traditional wood frames all have straight square corner edges. So no matter the shape of the wing tip, vertical fin, stabilizer you would also be stuck with having to build a square wood frame the much larger than needed to get the correct size and waste tissue.  However Cardboard frames can be square, rectangular or trapezoidal. The nice thing about the cardboard frames is you can make a custom frame according to the shape you are considering.  The stab and tail on my Golden Age Reproductions Tony are all curves for the most part.  A wood frame to cover the entire area would generate a lot of wasted tissue.  The shrinking frames I made for them adhere closely to the actual outlines, of course leaving enough margin for ease of handling when putting the
tissue on the structures.
I made two card board frames for my 7 gram Bostonian rebuild.  One frame for the top and bottom of the fuselage and the other for the fuselage sides.  I’ve found if you carefully lay out the dimensions of the frame, then the tissue waste is greatly minimized. Works for me.  Thought I’d just pass this along.

Easily constructed frame (low cost ) with taped edges (handy can comes together quickly)
Close up with “full shrink” on the tissue
This vertical fin just shown as a scale mockup. Easily trimmed from the frame set-up.
Now that is some tight tissue! (Beautiful job John!)

If you are new to tissue covering for free flight models….you should know among modelers there are many techniques used to address cosmetic and practical applications of tissue applied to indoor and outdoor flying model airplanes. I will be posting more info in the future. Check out the NFFS website and scour the web….I am sure there is tons of info out there on the topic.

Again I would like to thank John Pakiz for sharing is knowledge!

Jeff Renz

Now the January Indoor Flying Session has been shut down!

I did get another Official call from the City of Osawatomie Friday at 330pm.  Kim….the person that coordinates the use / rental of the auditorium said she had to call me and everyone else who had rented Osawatomie event space…. because Miami County operations relative to public event spaces are being shut down through Jan 30……that is why she called….she said if we need to we can get our money back she said they could get us a check…or transfer our Jan. date into June. I will keep you posted. Paul Morgenroth, III might have a lead on another flying location. Thanks Jeff Renz

HAFFA December Indoor Flying Session Canceled (Covid19 issues)

I just called city of Osawatomie today. The HAFFA indoor flying session in December is now cancelled. This indoor flying event would have been up and coming in 2 weeks…it will not happen now…. I moved it to May 1st, 2021.
I talked to Kim who coordinates the Auditorium rental/schedule and explained I had concerns over the spike in cases in the KC area and that it is not worth the risk. I will keep you all posted.


Jeff Renz

2020 Marion Kansas Contest Summary…one for books!

The 19th Annual HAFFA Outdoor 2020 Contest / NFFS National Cup Meet is one for the books!  Thank goodness it even happened during this year of the Covid19 crisis which threw our club a real curve ball. We had to modify our approach to how we conducted this contest relative to Covid19. 

 No rain this year!  However the winds were hitting 18 mph and higher around noon and most flyer opted to wait it out.   Sunday flying turned out great with plenty of thermals and mild breezes.

I would like to congratulate Don Deloach of Colorado Springs for his 2020 Marion Cup win! Chuck Powell put up a good fight for the Marion cup….but due to plenty thermal activity….and a fly off in P30….and no mercy in the coin toss with Marty Kline for the P30 1st place.. forcing the issue….Chuck could not quite catch Don.

This year at the end of September with Marion Contest fast approaching the week before the contest we had a Covid19 Exposure within our club.  This resulted in a 14 day quarantine for several of our members.  Meaning our CDs could not participate along with some of our members.  Had some contestants wound up sick…..as a result of my presence…..the thought of having to call up everyone with the news they were exposed to Covid19 was prohibitive.

Prior to the Marion contest Mike Basta had encouraged me to read the inside cover of this months NFFS article relative to Covid19.  Reading the article stimulated the safety and survival skills part of my feeble brain….versus the passionate urge to just fly and  forget about everything else. The contest was almost canceled however Chuck P. and Don D. threw out a lifeline to our club to run the Marion contest and they made it happen. They really stepped up to the plate for us.

I have heard there was plenty of thermal activity on sunday.  Some flyers had planes sucked up in thermals….just gone like Tim Pivonka….and others chasing planes for a couple miles like Chuck Powell and his P30 flying over 2 miles up to the old Pizza Hut building on highway 56.  He found his P30 but had to flip coin with Marty Kline over 1st place….for the event.

Here are some comments I captured from our contestants emails:

 Comments from Chuck Powell:  I think a good time was had by all !! Dave wiebe did great at his first contest ! 


Comments from Suman Saripalli: It was great to see everyone at Marion ! I had a great day of flying and camaraderie ! The funniest comment I heard yesterday, by the gentleman flying Power, as his plane came apart in the air and the shredded wing half was fluttering down: “I’m going to HAVE to fix that dihedral now ! “

Comments from Deloach:

Jeff, Thank you for your hard work in managing the contest! You were definitely missed! It was a great success, almost entirely due to the efforts of Chuck and Linda Powell. They did about 95% of the work including shopping for food and arranging an outstanding cookout on Saturday night!  point. 

Comments from Tim Pivonka: My P-30 maxed and flew OOS on the first flight.  My HLG got run  over by a chase bike.  My  Cessna CR-32 flew great, but lost to Chuck (by 4 seconds) and lost to Deloach by a lot.

Gretchen  provided lunch both days. We would like to thank her for doing this for us. Thanks Gretchen!

 I would truly like to thanks to everyone who competed and signed the flight safety declaration: Jeff Englert, Bill Schmidt, Bob Hanford, Chuck Powell, Linda Powell, Don Deloach, Skilly Deloach, George Avila,  Gerald Brown, Jim O’Reilly, Marty Kline, Mike Fedor, Robert Dunham, Suman Saripalli, Tim Pivonka, Tom Bell, Paul Meganroth III, Dave Wiebe.

 I would like to thank Chuck P. ,  Don D. , Jeff Englert, Bob H.  for coordinating all this with me over the days before the event and as I have said before… “throwing out a lifeline to run the Marion contest for our club”.  We can put this year 2020 behind us and look towards 2021. Believe me….I really missed you all!

Jeff Renz


I have added a link below


October 27, 2020 HAFFA Club Updates from Renz

2 things: Club Elections are up and coming and group airplane design project for our club.

I know it has been a long time since we have had a HAFFA club meeting. Our last meeting was in February. We had intended to have one in March but we had to cancel it due to the start of Covid19!

It has been rough eight months relative to dealing with covid-19. I want everyone to know I am thinking about you all. Our indoor flying season has started. Our outdoor summer flying sessions were a success. We even gained two new club members. I think our club members had a lot of fun being able to just show up and fly on warm Tuesday Evenings this last summer.

I would like to get some feedback from you all to come up with some ideas relative to how to keep our club together over the next few months while the various vaccine’s come to fruition and we can get back to normal.

One thing that seems to work at present… is that indoor model flying season has started and we have plenty of space in the gym…. to stay apart (social distance)…. when we are flying our airplanes. I know it is somewhat of a drive to Osawatomie but it gets you out of the house for a while. We did have to raise the price to $15 to cover the losses incurred last year. It costs us about $70 per session at Osawatomie Auditorium. (basically $500 per year)

At the same time…during this indoor flying opportunity… I do not want anyone to take this covid-19 lightly… as the latest statistics show the rate of infection has been increasing in the KC area. If you are flying in the auditorium building wear a mask!

We have an indoor session coming up this weekend on Sunday November 1st. (this is our chance to get together) I know it will probably be a while before we can conduct a normal business meeting at a library and even if we had the chance it would be a little bit unnerving to be inside an enclosed room all wearing our masks and trying to stay apart.

At some point I think this meeting could possibly happen though…. and perhaps we could get together. If we have a nice day…. possibly coming up in the next couple weeks we could even meet outdoors at the new park facility at 91st and Nall during the mid-afternoon outdoors. This new park has large brand new outdoor picnic table systems with large overhead protection….easy to park your car and walk to….. I know it is absolutely freezing today as I write this on October 27th.. but I am guessing we will get a few 60 or 70 degrees… yet days before the end of the year. Here is a link to that park.


Meadowbrook Park is large enough with some clear space we might even be able to do a little outdoor hand launch glider. Anyway I’m just thinking out loud I would appreciate any members comments.

There where several highlights for me this summer: The Sky Bunny contest….. it was more or less held on the spur of the moment on a Sunday last summer as part of a national contest. I enjoyed seeing Scott and his son Alex flying the Sky bunny together… they had built two of them. The other highlight that day was watching Mike Basta’s Sky Bunny hook a thermal and Fly Away. Also I enjoyed the picnic this year at Suman’s place. Lots of airplanes were flown that day. Dennis Baker launching his Jetstream glider at Suman’s place with a bungee was one of the best textbook examples of tow line glider should fly….. there were some perfect launches and Dennis had some excellent conditions for flying. I was glad just to see this Jetstream thing fly along with his E36 airplanes. Paul brought his huge electric RC Korda…Charlie Taylor brought CL, FF and RC stuff to fly. I regret not getting over to the control line circle with Dana, Suman and Charlie.

Also I noticed lots of people have been doing some building/flying this summer. I saw Jack Vetter had built the embryo class airplane from Volare models called the “GO DEVIL”. Jerry White had built and flew a PECK PRAIRE Bird that turned out beautiful. Charley Taylor had built one of the PECK PRAIRE Birds as well. I managed to get my Mr. Smoothie built. Dana ordered a supply of the new P1B Sky Voyager… our club members built a few of these as well. These P1B planes fly great. Suman built his P1B at the field….it flew really well…..so well it flew over the school building and was lost on the first flight….. Roie….Renz….and Field need to get their P1Bs tuned up for next spring. I am sure I missed other members build projects….let me know if I missed yours.

As we head into the end of the year I know our club will have elections coming up soon… we will need to establish who is running for officers. We will have to appoint a non-officer who is a club member to come up with a slate of potential officers in order to vote in December. So keep this in mind.

I am looking forward to some feedback from all of you. Some projects to keep our club together might be things like…. a group airplane design effort for a HAFFA Embryo….or HAFFA Bostonian…other club design….we could all sketch up some ideas and Mike Basta could draw it up for us. Another idea for 2021/2022 would be a HAFFA historical exhibit at the Linda Hall Library. This would be a project that would have to be professionally assembled in concert with the Linda Hall library staff and might take a lot of work…but might yield some great exposure to the general public to show the rich history of model airplanes in Kansas City over the last 80 years. If you have ever seen some of the exhibits at that library you will know what I am talking about.

Thanks Jeff renz

KC Free Flight Visitors — There’s a New Video on our “MEMBERS’ MOVIES” web page — Check it Out!

If you haven’t visited our MEMBERS’ MOVIES web page in a while now is a good time. It goes to the very heart of what Free Flight is all about with an over 5 minute flight of an Hodek HK-101. Click the MEMBERS MOVIES link below:


NEWS FLASH! — It’s the TOP one!

Be sure to view all the video’s you haven’t seen yet and if you have an idea or and actual YouTube video send it our way through the comments at the bottom of the page.