RC pilots Ken
the CL handle)
and Dale Womack
are having some
CL flying fun at
Ralph Bradley’s 39-inch
wingspan Sol Mite was built
in 2004 for direct solar power.
Below: Mounting the solar cells
beneath the transparent covering
on the Sol Mite did not hinder the
If it’s June, it’s time
for SMALL 2015
It’s hard to believe that we are already halfway through 2015. Time seems to slip by far too fast. This also means that it is time for the annual gathering of the Small Model Aircraft Lovers
League (SMALL) near Little Rock, Arkansas. This all-for-fun
event will take place June 4-7, 2015.
As has been the case in recent years, SMALL 2015 will be
hosted by the Fraternal Association of Radio Control Modelers
(FARM) club. The members do a great job of hosting this event
and have a terrific flying site. RC, Control Line, Free Flight (FF),
and indoor models are all flown, so there is something for nearly
every model aviation interest.
Although the event’s name is SMALL, you will find model
aircraft ranging in size from tiny to fairly large. The only
restriction is the size of the powerplant—basically an upper limit
of a glow . 26 or the electric power equivalent. Rubber power can
be anything. Multiple powerplants are allowed as long as they do
not individually exceed the . 26 glow equivalent in size.
If you have an opportunity to travel to the greater Little Rock
area in early June, consider attending SMALL. Information about
the site location and contacts can be found on the FARM Club
website. Please see the “Sources” listing.
(Editor’s note: Look for full coverage of SMALL in an upcoming
issue of Model Aviation.)
Summer Is Upon Us
Summer means the sun is out and we have warm flying weather.
What about the possibility of harnessing
those sunrays to power our models?
In 2004 my brother, Ralph, worked on
solar-powered RC model development.
Although he was successful, there were
some lessons learned. Ralph’s work was
applied to developing a direct solar-powered model. That meant no onboard
batteries of any kind.
model has an interesting set of challenges.
When you eliminate the batteries,
challenges become even more interesting.
The baseline problem is the power
available from solar cells. They are
relatively inefficient at converting solar
energy to electric power. Cells used on
consumer are less efficient.
When Ralph took on the challenge
87 Model Aviation JUNE 2015 www.ModelAviation.com