2017-04-13 UteRC Meeting & Stories From The Past

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First, here's a UteRC story from over 40 years ago.

Formula 1 Model Pylon Racing in the Mid-70's

The thin-winged "Tony" pylon racer.

In the days of 1973-74, Formula 1 pylon racing was popular in the Ute and Ogden clubs. The Salt Lake pylon racing events were at the old Morton Salt field. The Formula 1 aircraft were usually constructed with a fiber-glass (old style glass and resin) fuselage, 1/8" or 3/32" solid empennage and very thin foam wing cores planked with 1/16" balsa sheeting. Most of us flew with only one aileron, the outboard or right aileron to decrease drag and positively compensate with yaw to the sky. They were to weigh no more than five pounds and be powered with no more than a 40 size glow engine.

My first year of racing I used a stock K&B Torpedo 40 rear intake racing engine with a very large carburetor orifice and a dykes piston ring. The throttle was unique. There was no throttle, and no muffler. The run was full on or shut off by means of a lever to pinch the fuel line with a small servo serving the action. Every race that first year I'd come in last.

So I called the famous engine guru Clarence Lee. He told me he would do the hop-up job ($26 + S&H), I could supply a new K&B Torp 40 or he could supply one for me ($25). I sent one to him. It came back with a note: "Call me when you receive this." I called him and he said cantankerously (paraphrasing), "Okay Hyde! You need to know that you will be lucky if this engine lasts one year! Go get a couple of pylon racing props, a 9 1/2 X 8 and a 9 1/2 X 9. Balance them tru. Ya' know how to balance 'em don't ya? Install the 9 pitch first. Use 25-30% Nitro Methane and 18% Castor Oil for fuel, 20% Castor to be safe.

Start 'er up with needle 4 turns out and let'er warm up. Ya have a tachometer don't ya!?!? Slowly turn the needle in to a point just a hair below max RPM. Take your tach and read the prop RPM FROM THE REAR!! It should read close to 21,000 RPM. If it doesn't, install the 9 1/2 X 8 prop. By the time you're in the air she'll hit 22,500 RPM and that's what wins the race."

I told some of the guys what I had done and they told me I was crazy to spend that kind of money on Clarence's modifications. It was a good chunk-O-change for a 35 year old guy in those days. But then.....WE RACED!

Well, the Tony ran away from EVERYONE including the Ogden guys that year! Someone said they radar clocked the Tony at 150-160 MPH.

The Tony & its trophy's.

Jan Hyde and his trophy winning Tony.

Needless to say, everyone was attempting redoes on their Torp 40s the next year. The Formula 1 model aircraft craze faded out around 1980 with the Quickie 500 coming around at much less cost.

Clarence Lee was correct in everything including the Torp 40 not lasting a year. The kind of rpm, heat and stress on the Torpedoes with that set up was payment for the speed. I had Clarence do another one for me the next year.

That year was when the Tony met its demise. I turned him 90 degrees on one of my far pylon passes with lots of elevator to negotiate the turn and witnessed the quickest high speed stall I have ever seen! An eye blink would have missed it. With help I was able to retrieve all of the pieces.

Engine guru, Clarence F. Lee.


The Tony model was scaled to regulation R/C Formula 1 racing size from a full size version Cosmic Wind racer designed by Tony Le Vier, Lockheed's chief test pilot in 1947. His first full-sized version was smaller than later examples. He called it The Minnow with the nick-name Little Tony. Manufacturers of the model kit Formula 1 racer stuck with the name Tony. Some of us may remember a control line slab construction airplane called the Cosmic Wind. There were other control line aircraft with history similar to the Cosmic Wind, Art Williams' Stinger, Carl and Vincent Ast's Shoestring and others.

Manufactures of the R/C Formula 1 racing model were somewhat exclusive as I recall. World Engines was the only source I recall of my Tony.

For those who may be interested in a more elaborate history of Tony Le Vier's Cosmic Wind see:


Pictures from the April 13, 2017, UteRC Meeting

President Aaron Greer leads a good turnout for the evening.

Robert Reiner's model of the Iron Maiden band's new "Ed Force One", an ex Air France Boeing 747, for their Book of Souls World Tour.

Reg Welles' Grumman F9F Panther EDF.

Dean Allen's RiteWing Mini Drak Flying Wing

Aaron Greer shows the new wind-velocity calibrated windsock for the Modelport.

Scott Davis proudly displays his latest Tee shirt logo.

Dean Allen describes some features of his new RiteWing Mini Drak forward-swept flying wing with spacious fuselage bay for ease of CG adjustment that he modified by adding canard surfaces on the nose and phaser cannons in the wings.

Reg Welles shows off his Grumman F9F Panther EDF scale mode of the famous Navy fighter plane, complete with retracts and flaps.

With the help of Dave Roberts from Davis County, Reg shows off the electric ducted fan in the rear of the Panther.

Robert Reiner tells how he kit bashed a Boeing 777 into a creditable model of the Iron Maiden band's new 747 and how he is happy to learn of the new Modelport with its smooth runway from which to fly the plane with its small wheels.

James Baer shows how he modified his tiny Blade Inductrix quad by adding a 4.5 gram Hyperion Mini Cam 600tvl video camera and 5.8 GHz Tx, then upgraded the quad with bigger motors and a larger battery so the quad could carry all the gear. It then flew so well that he had to add a guard over the Tx antenna to protect it from bumping into the ceiling when he flew it.

Close-up of James Baer's Inductrix quad with the tiny mini camera mounted aboard.

Aaron Greer shows off a half wing for his Balsa USA Smoothie XL monoplane that he is building in what minimal spare time he has available with his new baby, building a workshop addition to his house, and taking care of all the UteRC business.

Go to http://shop.balsausa.com/product_p/435.htm if you'd like to see what the finished plane will look like.