Remote Bi-PlaneControl


Model Aircraft Flying

One of my favorite hobbies is flying Remote Control (R/C) model airplanes. I usually fly aircraft that range in size from a 36" wingspan to around at most 5 feet. I cannot fly anything wider than that since I cannot fit it into my car!

The RC Scale Masters was held here at Lenhart's field (outside Hubbard / Aurora) Oregon in September 21-23 2001.

Here is a sample image of three planes that was there:

Three Fokker D-7s on the flightline at Lenhart's airfield. These are from the Proctor kit line.

Here is a page showing more images that I took during the three day Scale Master contest.

For information on my club write to:

The Oregon Barnstormers Logo
Portland Barnstormers R/C Club
13620 SW Beef Bend Road
Tigard, Oregon 97224

or visit the Portland Barnstormers R/C Club web site for more information.

We meet at our club field in Butteville along the Willamette River 4 miles from the full scale airport at Aurora, Oregon. We meet at the field June thru September.

The Barnstormers R/C Club. The club's field is located in Butteville Oregon, about 25 miles south of Portland. Our runway is 400 x 30. The club has been in existence since 1985.

The club field was created by using excess dryer felt that we got from the wood mills and is 550' long by 50' wide with another 50 feet of grass overrun at each end.

The fall of 2004 one of our club members created a new flying / work bench so that people in wheelchairs can have a work table that is designed for their height when in a wheelchair.

Club Field History

Our field is NOW named named for Van Camp. Van started flying a/c back in the early 1930s. In 2004 it was voted to rename the field to Barnstormers Memorial Field to honor all past members of the club then voted to honor Van who was with the club since its inception.

Previously it was named in honor of Bob Watkins who was a Dauntless dive bomber pilot. He was the #2 man in the attack on the Akagi during the Battle of Midway. He got the first hit on it since the leader's bomb hung up and did not release. He spent the whole war in the Pacific. We have a good tape of him talking about his exploits.

R/C Museum in McMinnville

South of the Portland area in McMinnville there is a great R/C Museum. It is not easy to find but it is well worth the trip to see it. It is co-located with MITI - Martin Innovative Technology Inc.

3182 NE Rivergate Street; McMinnville, Oregon 97128.

Always phone ahead to ensure that it is open at: 503-434-9265. Fax: 503-435-0287.

It is normally open every day but Tuesday from 9 to 6.

RC Plane Tips

I moved all the tips on props, engine sizes etc onto the Remote Control Aircraft TIPs page.

How to Start Flying RC Planes

I got started in R/C by being told about Tower Hobbies by my good friend Bob Dalton while living in Anchorage, Alaska. BTW, Tower Hobbies maintains a good list of RC sites at their web site. Supporting the local hobby shops is a must - - if you want to get supplies quickly and have a good selection you must spend locally. Mail-order is especially great for those people out west who live only 150 to 300 miles from the nearest hobby store! Also, not all hobby stores can stock everything - - but they can order it! Give them a chance first to order it. Most will do at a competitive price and they may even get better shipping rates.

Batteries are always needed and one online battery site, does carry RC battery packs for aircraft and cars including the new NiMH type. However their pre-made packs have plugs for Airtronics and HiTec but do not come with Futuba ends. You can get packs with the tabs on them so you can solder on your own leads. This site is useful for those who cannot easily get to a local hobby store to purchase batteries.

I had flown Control Line (CL) planes since the mid 60's but I never went into R/C since I thought R/C was too expensive. Tower Hobbies proved that not to be the case. I got my radios from them and then got all the rest of the gear from the local hobby shops.

After learning how to fly using radios instead of wire I have flown around 6 different types planes ranging from a Great Planes PT-20 (PT= Primary Trainer), a Sure-Flite P-39 Air Cobra, a Lanier Dart, a self designed twin-tailed trainer, a "Wild Thing" combat plane and current am flying the Great Planes Spitfire.

The reason I am not flying anything but the Wild Thing and Spitfire currently is that the rest have all been destroyed. The Lanier lasted four years, the P-39 lasted seven. If you fly them they will eventually crash due to mechanical, pilot, or other error. Most of the time they are repairable but sometimes they are not. The engines and electronics are 99% of the time reusable so only the cost of a kit is the loss - besides the EDF (emotional debt factor).

Local Portland Area Hobby Stores

Online Hobby Stores

There are MANY online stores to purchase RC equipment. If you live hundreds of miles away from a hobby shop it often becomes your only option. East / West coast people or Mississippi river people can usually drive no more than an hour to get to a hobby shop - longer than that the cost / benefit to visiting the "local" shops starts to decline - especially for small needs.

Overseas Hobby Shops

The RC Hobby is very international. This means there are shops all over the world - but what they fly and thus the materials vary widely. I've been into a few shops in the UK while on holiday, and the UK people tend to go large scale with lots of WW I and WWII a/c.

People in the US seldom buy routine items from overseas firms just due to the exchange rate issues and the cost of shipping. Some items, like certain makes / models of engines and kits can ONLY be purchased from international web sites since there is no importer for that item into the US.

Model Aircraft Web Sites is the root URL to many other RC links by the same firm., etc. There are about 9 related sites.

Pat McCurry, who writes for zines, has his own web site like most people who are dedicated to working in the RC industry. He has a kit for an Bf 109. is a program that will help you fly RC planes. There are others too: Dave Brown's, Great Plane's (carried by Tower Hobbies) as well as local hobby shops both have RC Flight Simulators to help you learn. They really do help too!

If you are into building scale aircraft then asides from the above links a good source for both information and purchasing scale planes and items is Frank Tiano Enterprises out of Florida.

Shopping on the internet has helped RC people find new kits. is a German firm that sells RC kits online. There are many others that you can find that you would never have located before even in magazines.

Want to fly your plane from its cockpit? Install an onboard video system! One site that sells kits to accomplish this is Wireless Video Cameras.

If you live in the UK a general purpose site, not dedicated solely to RC is It is UK centric but there are links to RC clubs and support firms. Mostly it is a good managed index (supported by ads and selling of photo packs for model building) site to use as a jump off to finding things in the United Kingdom of Britain, Wales and Scotland.

A site in the UK that is just for RC planes is called RC Buzz. Very new, just getting items onto it. Does have a forum.

A general purpose RC site for beginners is RC Plane Guide. For those new to the hobby it gives good general info on what you need to get started and covers every variety of RC categories (even subs!). It is a commercial site so it embeds items for sell directly related to the topic inline with that information. Talking about a trainer RC plane it offers up a good brand name starting plane to get.

AMA: The US Model Aircraft Organization

If you want general information on R/C activities you can go to the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) site. AMA is the organization that got the FCC to allocate part of the radio spectrum to R/C (land and air) use. AMA membership costs $40 a year. This provides insurance coverage and also gets you a monthly magazine from the AMA. You can get an application inside Model Aviation magazine and also in other magazines.

Academy of Model Aeronautics Logo

AMA's address is:
5151 East Memorial Drive
Muncie, Indiana 47302-9252
800.462.2995 or 540.434.0350

AMA Online Magazine

It is called Sport Aviator.

Getting Started in RC - The Costs

The total all up cost, with a good plane, radio, fuel, tools, AMA dues and local club due etcetera to get started into R/C is around $600. Considering that once the initial investment is done the total cost of the hobby averages around $200 a year.

Club dues, AMA dues, fuel costs and, sigh, repair costs are those re-occurring annual costs. You can always spend more, but the average "sport flying" costs come out to around that.

Visit your local hobby shop today and find out what clubs are in your area. Join a club and learn!


At some point you may want to take your plane and compete in either "fun" events or more serious fun competitions.

AMA Class Name Common Name
511 Sport Scale Sportsman
512 Sport Scale Expert
515 Designer Scale
522 Designer Team Scale

Go to the AMA web site at to see the official rules before going to any competition. There are also other competition rules from other organizations so be careful!

AMA does the Annual National competition and you can always find out the schedule by going to: and checking or to follow it.

I am always impressed with the scale a/c builders in the UK. At Duxford in 1997 I saw 4 ME-110s, 5 Spitfires, 3 Hurricanes, Stukas, B-25s and a few crashes one weekend - and the smallest was 6 foot in wingspan. By now the workmanship is even higher due to better materials to build a/c with.

Model Aircraft Rights

As a modeler you are never be sure that where you fly today will be there tomorrow. Like full scale airports, people will move next to an existing field and then try and shut it down. Even if you prove that that model aircraft make less noise than cars on the road they can still get a field shut down.

Shutting down of full scale airports is done by many people. Local people due it for "noise" and "quality of life" and airports are shut down by politicians who want to get more tax money from the land than they can get from an airport.

The motive of some people in government is to use pubic land that benefits the highest number of people - nobel but sometimes a flawed view. Thus, if a 20 acre site is being used by modelers in the middle of a city, they will likely convert it to baseball, soccer (very popular), or other mass public use which gives good TV news spot to them regardless of who is currently using the site. 75 model aircraft flyers do not have as much voice as 500 soccer moms. This has happened many times.

Once an aircraft field is gone -- R/C or full scale -- it will never return.