By Jeff Nisley — 9/4/2020
A new word or or acronym to be precise, has been coined this 5th day of September, 2020.
The new word or acronym is GEECma.
According to Quora, the notion of a coined word is one that is struck up as it seems useful, in other words created/used at the time it seems apt.
GEECma stands for
Ground Endurance Electric Control for model aircraft
The proposed new Sub-Catagory under the “Electric Assist” umbrella is
The phrase “Old-timer GEECma” has also been coined, and denotes an Old-Timer plane that has gone through this GEECma type of restoration and describes what the plane is all about now. I believe that GEECma is a logical subset of “Electric Assist” because not all electric assisted model airplanes are built for the sole purpose of maximizing endurance or trying to get maximum flight times. There are different levels of “maximizing” and this is where the “GEEC” nature of the aeromodeler takes over—especially in a competition setting.
It is the intent of this web page to clarify existing terms and phrases—and to add new ones to be used in this rapidly expanding aspect of the Free Flight community.
If you have any questions or comments about this page, or GEECma in general, please leave a comment below in the LEAVE A REPLY box below.
The case for the Old-timer GEECma Designation
In a nutshell, GEECma is the acronym or name given to the sport of taking an Old-timer Stick and Tissue Free Flight model aircraft, and adding just enough Electronics, GEEK power and Know-How to be able to CONTROL it from the ground and to guide it safely gently back to earth.
The beauty is that you choose the landing spot— rather than having to hop on a motor scooter to track it down way off in the next guy’s field.
The word “Endurance” in the acronym is important because these birds are designed to “endure” in the air and can have long flight times—in some cases over an hour! Rather than zooming around in a fast RC plane, and or as Suman puts it “drilling holes in the atmosphere with a drone”, the idea is to relax and enjoy the majestic flight of one of the old classics. Often if you set it in a circle pattern, you can set the controller down and just watch. In many cases you’ll find you will have more “flight” time than you ever did with RC.
Suman Saripalli is shown at left getting ready to fly his Old-timer GEECma Easy Built Models Wakefield.
This photo was taken in 2014. Yes—in fact I believe this designation can be retroactive.
The first E in GEECma
stands for Endurance.
You accomplish the “Endurance” aspect of the restoration by building in everything possible to increase the time your plane can possibly stay in the air BEFORE your high-tech battery runs out of “JUICE”. That’s the real trick here. You do this by analyzing and choosing the most efficient electronic technology (making the plane Electric Assist) both in terms of efficiency and effectiveness balanced by what the component weighs. We are talking about state-of the-art electric motors and batteries of high capacity (long battery life). This is where it helps to be a geek! (Or in the case of the author of this page, asking politely for your Geeky friends help!) We are considering fractions of grams in making decisions here. At the same time you should consider taking extraordinary steps to ensure that the plane is as light as possible without sacrificing strength. For example, taking off a legacy fuse DT that is not needed now is well worth the time it takes to lessen the final weight of the plane. And as Paul Morganroth, III points out, “The Lighter the weight the longer the flight times.”
Shown at right is Paul Morgenroth, III with his recently restored (June 19, 2020) Old-timer GEECma Altimeter Hybrid, which was originally built by Carl Perkins. Paul regularly gets over one hour flight times in calm air with this plane, which he clains is his favorite plane. Click the link to a web page on this site devoted to this restoration.
Thus as a result of a successful customized restoration, you more than likely will produce a plane that is worthy of competing with other likewise restorations of stick and tissue Old-timers. If a number of Aeromodelers find that this pursuit is worth it—it follows that at a future AMA sanctioned event, a sub-catagory will be added to the event list with the name Old-timer GEECma. All the bragging rights for the longest flight times certainly apply here, which has been a mainstay for AMA competitions from the beginning.
By definition a GEECma’ed Wakefield has been restored with the intent to make it into an endurance model capable of long duration lights. An aeromodeler like myself may fall short on the “endurance” part of the definition, however just the effort to try to build in the “endurance factor” would completely place the plane in this category. In other words, the endurance requirement is rather loose so IMO a great many electric assist planes can now be realistically be described as Old-timer GEECma models.
Another Phrase associated with this aspect of Free Flight yet to be considered and accepted by the Free Flight Community would be the name given to people that have taken up this passion. That would be GEECma Aeromod’lers.
You could argue that an Old-timer GEECma’ed aircraft by it’s nature is technically not in the realm of FREE FLIGHT because now it is not allowed to fly around “Free”. Nevertheless it is our opinion that a plane’s original Spirit of its FREE FLIGHT Characteristics has not been altered to the point that it ceases to be a FREE FLIGHT model and now is categorized as RC or Remote Control. It is with this in mind that Old-timer GEECma’ed aircraft belong in the Family of Free Flight and should be enthusiastically welcomed under the time honored “FREE FLIGHT BANNER”.
An Old-timer model aircraft is said to be GEECma’ed to fly electric and to land at the controller’s feet, which in most instances with Free Flight isn’t the case.
Again, a rather good example of a GEECma’ed Old-timer is Paul Morgenroth, III’s Altimeter-Hybrid Old-timer that is showcased on this website.
Notice that there is no RC or Remote Control in the acronym. We feel that RC is a distant cousin of GEECma’ed Old-timers.
This is by design. We’ve switched over to a better sounding phrase that better describes what is taking place which is “Ground Control”. Possibly this was inspired by the lyrics “Ground Control to Major Tom“ made famous by the song “Space Oddity” by David Bowie.
So one could say that this proposed acronym has a funny or weird sound to it.
Take the word Scuba for example.
The acronym S.C.U.B.A stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, and was coined by Dr Christian Lambertsen in 1954. (See Scuba Guide for more on this.)
I’m quite sure that a lot of head scratching resulted in accepting a word like SCUBA we take for granted today. It just takes time.
GEECma is no different.
Let me relate a story on how I came up with the acronym GEECma.
So the mother asks her son the question “What are you doing?”
His reply. “I’m GEECma-ing an old model airplane.”
Then the dreaded second question.
“Why can’t you be like your brother?”
He responds “I’m a GEEC. Ma.”