‘Speaks’ magazine & indices


Our April cover: Production-line building for the new C/L Speed/Stunt competition!

Chairman Ian starts us off with the good new that Trevor Tennant will be taking over the Control Line column ‘Wind in the Wires’ following Mike May and team’s retirement after eight years at the handle. He reports that the Vintage Power flying Whatsapp group is flourishing and suggest that further members can join by contacting Andy Brough. Editor Colin is making good progress with the next SAM35 Yearbook, but more material is always welcome!

In the Rubber Column, Andrew Longhurst complains about the need for struts in scale modelling (simple answer – build jets?) as he tells us about his latest build of an enlarged Veron Comper Swift and his fight to install a dethermaliser and removable wing – those struts made it difficult to trim but persistence prevailed in the end. He also recommends the BMK Free Flight Store for Radio DT systems and other goodies.

Radio Days from Mike Goulette remembers the late Martin Simons, whose books ‘Model Aircraft Aerodynamics’ and ‘Slingsby Sailplanes’ were great early influences upon him. We look at the KK and Veron kit versions of the Slingsby Prefect and an up-scaled Veron version is considered as a possible contender in the new SAM35 scale bungee-launch glider competition.  Mike expands upon exotic aerofoil sections but unsurprisingly returns to our old friend, the Clark Y, as an all-round good’un. However, the 1990s Apogee HLG is, Mike declares the one for you if you like weighing every piece of balsa, building from scratch incredibly accurately and need world-class performance! For those less inclined to tax their skills and brain-cells, he reviews the Bubble-dancer, Slipstream and Texan power model designs.

Mark Harper tells us more about how he caught the Indoor rubber model bug, kick-started by a yen to fly one inside the gloomy cavern of a Cardington airship shed. He realised this ambition by building then flying an EZB type model there, then tells us about his deep dive into every book and article he could find on indoor flight, returning after the usual kids-break to fly at Cardington again with Delta Darts, Living-Room sticks and others. He especially recommends the IKARA Butterfly for anyone wanting to try out this fascinating branch of our sport.

Wind in the Wires makes its final appearance under the control and guidance of the Quality Inspector, ably hampered by his apprentice Wally and his hapless boss Mike May. They round off their tenure with an explanation of why they’re bowing out, a bumper eBuys section in glorious colour for the first and (probably last!) time. For those looking for something to fly, David Brown’s building spree (Orcrist and others) is documented, Clan Weird Corner shows our brilliant magazine editor Colin’s own-design mini-control-liner, Andrew Robertson has a Firebird-driven attack of nostalgia while David Catlow ponders ways of encouraging new and returning C/L fliers into our sport. Finally, Wally presents an album of the retiring team’s wackier and/or more interesting models built, flown and crashed over the past eight years.

The Power Struggle features the vintage designs of John Coxall with a nice pic of his Cameron 23-powered Jenny, and equally vintage pages from the Aeromodeller describing the way competitions were back in that sunny summer of 1939. In complete contrast, we are introduced to the present government’s ‘Future Flight Challenge’ which seems to focus upon allocating wodges of airspace to autonomous delivery and spy drones, probably at the expense of free-flight  modellers! The Strugglers’ Whatsapp group is expanding rapidly, and a selection of their models is shown, although paradoxically they’re all gliders – well, I suppose the struggle has been successful if they haven’t got any power!

Roger Simmonds returns again from his (very) recent retirement as Jetex columnist with ‘Jetophilia’, to ruminate upon small jet aeroplane models. He sets the scene with an Eezebilt Spitfire from his youth, but this was a disappointment flying-wise (Spitfires aren’t an ideal starter design!) Roger fast-forwards to the present where he decides to recreate the jet-outline Rapier from the same range of kits eschewing the rubber band power supplied with it and instead installing a Jetex motor as authorised by the designer, Albert Hatfull. Due to the rarity of these kits now, he craftily recreates the print-wood using a CAD-competent pal, and now eagerly awaits suitable weather for  its first flight.

Voetsak Tribute racing is reported upon by  the South Bristol MAC – although their Berkeley site was very soggy, nonetheless good fun was had by all.

Finally, our anonymous contributor ‘Taleplane’ reminisces upon the way things were in 1958 when he built his first control line models (Phantom Mite and Ranger Mk1) followed by the obligatory Champ which was, like the others, also retired lapless. Success of a sort came when his Grandad replicated said Champ in plywood – it flew (just) – and so followed a tale of many kits, many engines and many flights, including a KK Talon and a Rivers Silver Streak – ah, the memories, the memories!

With an expanded Classified Section an a handy Event Diary to conclude, this was truly a classic issue of Sam Speaks – thank you Colin the Editor and his merry band of contributors!

Our cover this month is a close-up of Dave Cowburn’s epic Hawker Typhoon C/L stunt-racer – we hear that a fleet of these is under construction for potential competitors to try out! Our Chairman reports on growing interest in the new Hi-start bungee-launch glider class, as well as the new, more sport-model-friendly Vintage Power Duration competition rules, while our Editor waxes lyrical over a vintage tin of Model Technics diesel fuel!

Andrew Longhurst’s Rubber Column revisits the November 1958 Aeromodeller magazine, in which a free plan for the tail-less ‘Vector Delta’ appeared. Like many a vintage plan it needed some gentle updating so the resulting model might stand a chance of actually flying, but in the end the model aviated very nicely.

Mike Goulette’s Radio Days laments the take-over of indoor flying sessions by ‘shockie’ models but perseveres in building an electrically-powered version of the classic indoor ‘Hangar Rat’ dubbed the ‘E-Ratta’. He also introduces us to Norm Rosenstock’s book ‘Tales of an Ancient Modeller’ and looks at Norm’s ‘Electron’ and ‘Eclipse’ designs.

Richard’s Ramblings visits (by air of course!) film director Guy Ritchie’s Compton Abbas airfield, then puts an exploratory toe into the wet world of water-planes by giving his ‘Drake’ model a first flight, while indoors his Aerographics ‘Speck’ takes to the air successfully after necessary tweaks to prop and rigging.

‘The Worst Engine in the World’Mark Robinson tests out his recently-acquired 1930s GHQ .517ci sparkie, hoping that it doesn’t live up to its poor reputation – he’s startled to find that it actually runs rather well!

David Lovegrove pays homage to our Editor’s Clan Weird fixation with a 1930s French tandem-wing canard free-flight model called the Cekoadon, an utterly whacky but surprisingly effective flier with a Cox .020 providing the push. It’s joined by Pete  Holland’s Wombat and Bill Dean’s ‘Duo Monoplane’ which both teeter on the boundary of weirdness too – lovely stuff!

The Power Struggle with Wesley Denton features contributor Andy Brough’s  Christmas present to himself, a splendid book entitled ‘Old Timers’ Gas Models’ by Cesare de Robertis, an Italian modeller of repute who Andy has met  in person several times. A plan for the 1951 ‘Provincial’ design that netted Andy a VPD trophy is also included. Wesley takes over again to look at fun with small gliders and risks the Wrath of SAM by reporting on Brian Spencer’s CAD-drawn and partly 3D-printed 50” span Waco Hadrian glider – where WITW leads, others follow, says Wally! The column concludes with eleven excellent model photos to inspire the Strugglers to even greater efforts.

Wind in the Wires from Mike May, the QI and Wally; the team tries to think of a way to select a new WITW columnist to take over from them in the May 2024 edition of Speaks – Wally decides that the  Artificial Intelligence app (Chat GPT) would do an excellent job rather than a human, after setting it some key questions! The column features stills from a 1970s episode of ‘The Man from UNCLE’ that was actually based upon control-line flying (yes, unbelievable, I know), plus weird wing designs from the 1950s intended to make C/L easier but didn’t. Dave Cowburn looks forward to competitions at Old Warden and Buckminster, while the QI considers whether the position of the bellcrank in your model makes any difference to its flight characteristics (spoiler – it doesn’t!)

Our anonymous contributor ‘Taleplane’ advises on winning designs for the C/L Stunt Racing event (Peacemakers and Mini-Slows get his vote), and urges the membership to consider taking on one of the several vacant committee posts to prevent the Club from folding – come on, step forward, don’t be shy!

February 2024’s cover features one of Andrew Longhurst’s gorgeous A1 gliders – superb!

Ian Lever’s Chairman’s update introduces a potential new class for bungee-launched scale gliders, to be organised by Wesley Denton. For two-channel R/C control (or less!) any sized glider can be entered, as long as you can provide a photo of the full-sized version. Ian reports Mike May’s imminent departure as C/L Secretary and Wind in the Wires columnist, and appeals for volunteer to replace him, along with a new Club Secretary, Public Relations Officer and Free-Flight secretary – goodness me, they’re all abandoning the good airship SAM35!

Letters to the Editor reminisce about flying boats on Lake Windermere, the art of the red-hot procrastinator in finding reasons NOT to complete a new project, and the fun to be had from CO2-powered models. John Johnson provides a misty-eyed look back at one of the first UK control-line books published in 1944. Proving that nothing is new around and above the circle, the author covers throttle and undercarriage control via a third line or down-the-wires electric switching, aerobatics and is very nearly up-to-date in most respects – except for the emphasis upon clock-wise rotation and engine pods retained by elastic bands for crash-worthiness!

Andrew Longhurst’s ’Rubber Column’ introduces us to US model(l)er Dan Bunch, a talented F/F designer and flier in the 1930s, as well as the name behind ‘Bunch’ I/C engines. Some of his models were kitted, and he had influence upon Phil Smith of Veron fame in the UK. Andrew compares a couple of Bunch and Veron rubber designs, then looks at the ‘Wattie’, a model designed, built and flown by a Battle of Britain Hurricane pilot on the airfield between operations, and very successful it was too!

Mike Stuart’s ‘Scale Spot’ features his Blackburn Dart biplane build. Although he agrees that its beauty may not be in the eye of every beholder, its rugged charm and docile flying characteristics should recommend it to those who enjoy traditional stick and tissue construction.

Bill Longley champions Vintage Power Duration contests for 2024, sets out the classes of powerplant permitted and advises us upon what to look for in terms of wing construction and model size if we want to win, but cautions members that the plan or kit upon which a model is based must predate 1961. There are six centralised events at which VPD will be run plus a season-long Wednesday evening decentralised competition – see the SAM35 event calendar – there are some nice trophies to be won!

Wesley Denton’s ‘Power Struggle’ column welcomes Andy Brough to explain the attraction of those large, stately US petrol-powered F/F – he was seduced by 1980s editions of this magazine that featured Buccaneers, Privateers and others with Brown Junior motors up front. Conceding that fitting a diesel or glow motor would simplify matters, Andy succeeded in realising his dream of having large models puttering around him – heaven! Ian Lever joins in the fun with a George Fuller Zoot Suit and describes its conversion to electric power. Add to this a lovely set of colour pictures of models built over the winter by other Power Struggles, and it’s easy to see what makes this an expanding group!

‘Wind in the Wires’ includes its usual mix of eBay C/L buying opportunities, an explanation of the Personal Handicap Speed event (new in 2024), tempts builders with some wacky small models (Douglass Skyrocket and a Jetex-assisted Viking Navy air-defence plane, but understandably majors on the rapidly approaching retirement of its columnist Mike May and his feline Quality Team – the April column will be their last one due to personal circumstances. Those eight years at the handle have simply flown past!

Mark Harper reports on a fun event featuring the BMFA’s Delta Dart indoor rubber-powered design. Winner of the year-long contest was Chris Hutchinson with a best three-flight aggregate of 1m 47.6s – well done!

Jetex Jim returns (despite having claimed to have retired permanently only a month or two ago!) with an extensive review of the latest fizzle-motors from TSP, how to build ignition systems using batteries rather that naked flames (oh, all right, wicks!}, and explains the art of recreating printwood profile models such as the FROG Flash from vintage 1950s sales catalogue sketches – new technology meets very old technology!

Cardington Airship hangars feature again, with Mark Harper recommending a book by Geoffrey Chamberlain while adding his own recollections of being employed to perform maintenance on these gigantic memorials to the airships of the 1930s. He also recounts how he got involved in indoor duration flying, but alas not at Cardington!

Finally our anonymous contributor ‘C of G’ explores the attractions of making and flying CO2 –powered models, and provides an extensive list of possible designs that could be retro-fitted with a tank filled from your uncle’s 1960s Sparklets or Sodastream siphon!

With the usual calendar to complete this edition on the back page, you’ll have 52 pages of real aeromodelling goodness to enjoy…

January 2024’s cover shows member Andy Green giving an expert shove to his ‘Ace’ rubber model

 SAM35 Speaks – January 2024 Summary

This month Chairman Ian Lever explores the perils of building a rubber-powered Auster indoor kit while suffering from man-flu, advises members that yet another CAA model-flying consultation paper is doing the rounds, possibly leading to all C/L models weighing over 250g having to fit a positional transponder – how crazy would that be! He also celebrates the launch of the SAM35 Facebook page CLICK HERE!

Rubber is clearly an expanding topic this month with a plan for the 6” span disk-wing Space Scooter (elastic band launched) to terrorise r/c indoor fliers, and Roger Simmonds talks us through his re-creation of the FROG hand/rubber launch Aero Scout slot-together from the 1950s. If this still fails to satisfy the rubber-fanciers amongst you, John Ashmole has several pages in glorious colour devoted to the rubber Bowden event with Scirroco, Skokie, Ace and Sky Trekker models whirring skyward, followed by Andrew Longhurst with a flight comparison between the Comet Sparky and the KK Competitor – all lovely traditional stick and tissue builds.

Meanwhile, vintage R/C fans are not forgotten by Mike Goulette, who suggests that Fred Reese’s Pocket Rocket high-wing trainer from 1992 or maybe Juan Domenech’s ’ 1983 ‘Pulga’ (Spanish for ‘Flea’) would make a good trainer model. If you’re into gliders, then his elegant 110” span Multiplex Alpha is also featured – what a lovely-looking thing that is!

Wesley Denton continues the Power Struggle with a retrospective on how SAM35 was accepted as a Special Interest Group by the BMFA and thereby gained regular access to the national flying centre at Buckminster, which of course we still enjoy. Wesley also explores spray-painting his Cambrian kit Spitfire with airbrush and Polyvine paints; it’s powered by a Thunder Tiger .28. For those of you who keep an eye on modern youth culture, Wesley suggests that the discarded one-use vape tubes scattered around your local park can (upon disassembly) provide a useful 1S 400MaH rechargeable battery for use in lightweight electric models – who said that nothing good ever came out of the mouth of teenagers?

Wind in the Wires sees Mike May trying out the local sports hall as an indoor venue for his small electrically-powered C/L models – a great idea in theory, but not very satisfying in practise due to flat batteries, too-far-aft CGs and feeble motors – the Quality Inspector was NOT amused! His plans section features a 12” span CO2-powered indoor model and (at the other extreme) the plan for building a monstrous 83” span C124 Globemaster – better buy shares in a balsa plantation if you want to build one of these!

Finally, the anonymous ‘Taleplane’ promotes the new ‘Speed+Stunt event to be held at Old Warden and Buckminster this year (a Peacemaker could be a winner in this). However, he regrets offering to provide a finished body for his tether-car team’s 1949 BRM F1 model, finding that he’s in far deeper water than he expected – but never fear,, help is at hand!

With classified ads, readers’ letters and an event calendar, the January 2024 Speaks is yet another informative and inspirational 52-page read!

December ’23s cover features an incredibly detailed and beautifully-finished model of an Avro 504N by George Kandylakis – absolutely fabulous!

Inside the magazine Jetex Jim ruminates upon scale-ish rocket-powered models, including the Jasco Sabre, a stick and tissue Yak 23and a neverwazza jet-engined Spitfire – sacrilege! He also waltzes off-piste with tales of rocket-propelled sledges and Austrian rocket pioneer Max Valler’s cars and aircraft. Jim also bids us goodbye after more than 200 columns – can he be replaced? Our thanks go out to him!

Andrew Longhust’s Rubber column (wobbly?!) looks at the use of silk to cover elegant models – no sir, he means aircraft! The question of getting the silk to adhere to a balsa framework, and how to apply dope, has exercised Andrew muchly – in the end using silk on sheet sides and tissue on the wings seemed a good compromise for his new-build Airyda Monitor model from Ron Calvert, designed in the 1940s.

Free-flight scale focusses upon indoor flying during these wet and windy months, with emphasis upon the models and flying at the 11th International Indoor Fly in Holland. The challenge of building successful multi-engined models is clear from photos of Richard Crossley’s 53″ span Short Shetland with four electric motors, but weighing in at just 190gm -wow!

Wesley Denton continues the Power Struggle by reporting upon Eric Bulmer’s latest cardboard flat-plate model, cut from a Flymo box – how appropriate! Mark Harper seeks guidance on building a Barry Hood Vintage Class A Power Duration design (Y-Bar), while at the opposite end of the spectrum Andy Brough ponders upon the rock-bottom prices for vintage spark-ignition engines (£50-75). The old problems of radio interference shouldn’t faze modern 2.4Ghz kit, but nonetheless there’s good info about where to locate the sparky’s battery and coil to minimise cross-talk.

In Radio Days, Mike Goulette recommends a break from building mega-models by trying a winter, quickie-build, two or three channel sport model such as Czech designer Pipak’s ‘Aviette’ – very cute! Other possibilities could include the Japanese OK company’s ‘Baby’, or Robbe’s ‘Chip’ – all nice traditional designs.

Brian Lever introduces a new C/L competition for 2024 – Stunt Racing! Using non-Schnuerle diesel or glow motors up to 2.5cc, the aim is to spice up one-off racing by adding a requirement to perform three loops, bunts and inverted flight in the middle of the timed flight. What are you waiting for?!

Wind in the Wires serves up its usual Control-Line pot-pourri of vintage and/or weird plans, reports on sport and competition events and what’s being sold on eBay, all book-ended by columnist Mike May’s unfortunate ability to crash models, offset by his feline Quality Team’s best efforts to assist him to repair, improve or reduce-to-produce the unlucky airframes. There’s also a look at using glass-fibre in the repair process – is this heresy?

Indoor flying gets another endorsement from a new correspondent who recalls a past visit to that high cathedral of the art, the airship hangars at Cardington – is 26 million cubic feet of space enough for you? Alas, it’s now back in use for full-sized dirigibles, so it’s unlikely to become a SAM35 venue. ‘Taleplane’ takes up the indoor story in a Christmas finale (well, it is the December issue!) with a report on indoor events at a venue near Peterborough and sets us a puzzle – to name eight unique indoor rubber-powered models for an interesting prize – a kit of a rubber-powered Ornithopter!

Add in the usual letters from members and the Sales and Wants item and you have a full-fat 56-page seasonal cracker! If you’re not a member yet, now’s the time to join – click here!

November 23’s cover is for rubber fanciers – in his column, Andrew Longhurst compares the wartime Redbreast with the later KK Competitor – which is the winner? We also feature Mike Goulette’s column ‘Radio Days’ focussing on the 60s phenomenon of Galloping Ghost proportional rudder control, Andy Brough describes the BMFA Model Makers’ show and the SAM35 Oktoberfest weekend at Buckminster, Jetex Jim (Roger Simmonds) looks at the fizzle-fizzle-whooshery of free-flight mini-jets (especially the Canberra this month), while Mike May keeps control-line flying twirling (despite several epic crashes of his own!) with the help of his feline Quality Team (the QI and Wally). Finally, Richard Preston describes the thrills and spills of winter indoor flying, while Mystery Contributor ‘C of G’ wraps up the edition with a look at the Frog ready-to-fly rubber-powered models he began with back in the 50s, supplied in a winding box – ah, the memories! With a Sales and Wants section and a calendar for forthcoming meetings, SAM35 SPEAKS should be an unmissable addition to your bookshelf every month!

If you’re not a member already, here are some links to other articles that have appeared in Speaks recently to whet your appetite for a subscription!

The SAM35 SPEAKS magazine index has been compiled by Peter Michel from March 1982 up to and including December 2015. It would not be feasible, for instance, to list every contest success by every modeller. Nevertheless, it is hoped that a fair selection of activities and personalities has been listed. Please contact Peter if any significant entry has been omitted.


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