Ring Masters Flying Club


                         OUR TRIP TO BRODAK

Myron Firmin and I started our journey on Sunday June 8th, 2014 at 7 AM New Orleans time.   The first day was spent on the road smoking the interstate, talking and listening to the radio.   Our first day ended in Bristol Va.


Early Monday we started after a breakfast at the motel continuing to Carmichaels Penn.  We arrived about noon and went straight to the Brodak Café.   When we arrived we were surprised to find that the café was located inside the Shop-N-Save grocery store.   They have a deli counter that sells complete meals for $5.99.   This included a meat and two sides with the drink extra.   There is a section that has seats and booths where we could eat.   Myron ordered hamburger steak (2) with potatoes and corn while I ordered two pieces of fried chicken and double mac and cheese. 


Finishing the delicious lunch we learned that the hobby shop was located in the same building.   When we entered the shop I thought that I died and went to heaven.   There was Brodak models hanging from the ceiling and kits for sale from here to there.   Each model was more beautiful that the other one.   Every shelf was filled with kits or parts.   There was everything from engine parts to canopies.  


I immediately grabbed six cans of dope.   I had orders for two cans and I needed four cans for my own projects.   We also had the pleasure of meeting Patti and Cheryl.   They are the people who answer the phone, take our orders and fill them.   They also helped me to some Fox engine parts that I needed.


After bending my credit card we left the hobby shop and followed the well marked signs to the Brodak Flying Field.   The area was on two rolling hills with four circles on one hill and two circles on another.   The area between the hills was the parking area.   Brodak’s house was located in front of the big hill on the left.   The left hill had four circles and the right had two.


 After parking the car Myron and I walked the left hill that had the stunt and combat areas.   Between the two hills there was a large area of canopies in rows that formed an L.  

All four circles were filled with pilots practicing the stunt pattern.   We found out that the two other circles were dedicated for Carrier and Scale.   The Carrier section had a carrier deck and the Scale circle had cement about 12 feet wide and went full circle,   We walked the left area and met John Brodak and his friend Pete Klipsic riding around in a golf cart.   When Pete saw my Ring Masters Club shirt from New Orleans he stopped and we were introduced to Mr.Brodak.   He is a very friendly man that has had a recent bout with cancer.   He informed us that he is presently cancer free but is scheduling the closing of the Fly In in two years.   That will be the 20thanniversary of the Fly In and he hopes that he will be able to have someone take it over from him.  He said that the program is very taxing on him.  After talking to these two we continued on to the carrier circle.


There we met a group from Maryland called the Sky Lancers, Washington DC.  The group consisted of Timothy and Kathleen Le Nore, George Maronkla, and Shirley and Bub Reese.   They are avid carrier and scale flyers and we stayed around them most of the time.   Because I am a scale nut I did not have a problem staying in this area.   Myron had never seen a carrier event and he found this fascinating.   While hanging around the carrier I met Joe Eiben.   He was working on his AT-6 Texan profile.   He also had a beautiful Wildcat .   Each one was rigged with electronic controls that operated both wheels and flaps.   He told me that he wrote an article about the system in the January 2008 issue of Control Line World (page 72) about the system and said that the e-mail address of the designer was on Page 71.   The designer is Will Hubin in Kent Oh.   His e-mail address is whubin@kent.edu.   I wrote Will the minute I got home he answered the next day.   When I mentioned that I spoke to Joe at the Fly In he said that he was there too covering the event for Flying Models.   I got to see the rig work on Joe’s plane and ordered my own set of controls.   I also sent the e-mail to our club members and Ed Shearer ordered a complete set.


Timothy & Kathleen were newly weds and Kathleen was really interested in flying.   So much so that she bought a profile stunt from someone.   Tim immediately rigged the model with an engine and tank so that she could take to the air.   Kathleen proved to be a quick learner and soon was turning the circle with the best of them.   After the contest she and Tim and George were in the circle at the same time.


The second day, Tuesday, we arrived early and watched the stunt contest.   I did not get a schedule or entry blank so I can not tell you if we were watching a contest or practice.   I can say that while maybe watching rookies or experts all of them flew better than me.   The best thing that happened to me Tuesday was lunch.   There was a lunch trailer on the side next to a large tent that had the sound system.   They sold either “naked” or “dressed” hot dogs.   The naked dog was plain on a bun while the dressed dog had sauerkraut added.   All for $.50….Fifty Cents!!   I always bought two.   That’s not the best thing that happened.   When I walked to the trailer one of the preparers looked at me and shouted that she wanted to give me a hug.   Then she ran from the trailer and hugged me before I could get the cameras from my chest.   I said that I appreciated the greetings and I did not know who she thought I was but please be happy that you got hugged back by a ‘coon ass from New Orleans”   and she immediately replied back “New Orleeens well welcome to Penn”.   And you said that Yankees are not friendly.   After that I always felt that I got extra sauerkraut on my dog.


Back to the contest.  The only contest we did not concentrate on was combat.   They were too noisy and too fast to try to photo although I did try video.


Wednesday was more of the same.   We watched Stunt after Carrier was over and walked around the fields looking at all the beautiful models.   Wednesday afternoon was the static judging for Scale.   This was in Brodak’s garage.   To my hearts delight there were two

B-17’s.   There was also a lot of ½ A scale models on display for judging.   Again I say that we did not know the rules and we saw a lot of profile models.   Mike Kottemann would have done well at this contest.   Right behind the garage was John Brodak’s  work shop.  


After viewing the scale models Myron and I visited the Brodak factory and we were amazed to see their operation.   We met Jan, chief cook and bottle washer of the factory.   I took a lot of pictures and we were treated as important guests everywhere we went.


Since the factory is around the corner from the hobby shop we were forced to visit it again.   This time Myron bought a 38 Special Bi-wing.   He said that he always wanted a bi-wing and by doing this here he saved the freight, plus got a 10% discount.   Smart move.   I also called Ed Shearer and he wanted me to bring him some plastic canopies (6) thus saving the freight plus the discount.


Thursday was the scale flying that continued on Friday morning.   I got some really good shots of the flying especially the two B-17’s.   One 17 was owned by George Marenka and he said that he would not win because his model was old and looked bad.   Compared to his model my B-17 looks like it has had 87 missions over Germany.   I did see Joe Eilen’s AT-6 fly with the retractable wheels and flaps.   Another treat was they flew a Dyna jet powered stunt model.   I thought the combat contestants were load.   The Dyna Jet powered ship was able to fly the stunt pattern with the pilot holding on for dear life.


Friday morning John held a beautiful memorial service at the flag pole.   There are plaques naming those who have passed.   He said that he has to get another plaque because more people have passed than he has space for.


Friday evening they put on a bar-b-que for all attending.   They served a delicious pulled pork sandwich, Potato and macaroni salad and cups of veggies.   Just when I thought it was over it got better.  They started the Junk Yard Wars.   Now  the Junk Yard Wars consisted of groups of flyers who used scrap wood and a staple gun to fashion a model and fly it for 10 laps.   After the laps they can do anything that they want for extra points   I took a lot of still pictures because the video was too far away in the car.  The video would have been wonderful but the still camera came out great.   I did try to take video on my still camera but it is too hard to hold without a tri pod.


After the race we said our goodbyes to our new friends and went back to the hotel.   We got up early ate breakfast and drove to the AMA Museum in Muncie, Indiana.   I will not bore you with this part of the trip.   All that I will say is the Museum was great but we should have stayed in Carmichaels for the award ceremony.


I know that this is a long dissertation but it only shows the we had a great time and hope to make the trip before the contest closes in two years.   I can also kick myself for not doing it sooner.

For some live action go to Junk Yard Wars 2 at U-Tube



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