Photo by Dave Gee
JS: How did you get involved with model
DB: Back when I was seven years old in
1938, a neighbor boy whom I went to
school with and I started building models
and it has continued all along.
JS: How has model aviation impacted your
life and/or career?
DB: I’m an aeronautical engineer graduate,
but worked as a mechanical engineer. It
pointed me toward model and full-scale
airplanes. I started flying Control Line
in 1944. I attended the second and third
Plymouth Internats in Detroit in 1947 and
I joined the Air Force and later worked
for Northrop and then North American
Aviation in engineering. I continued
building models throughout that time and
got involved with RC. I retired in 1995 and
started flying Indoor and rubber-powered
Free Flight. I joined the Black Sheep
Squadron and have been involved with
JS: What disciplines of modeling do you
currently participate in?
DB: Mainly indoor rubber and electrics,
outdoor electrics, and CO2. All Free Flight.
I haven’t flown Control Line in a while
because I have hip issues and getting down
on your hands and knees to crank the
engine doesn’t work too well.
JS: What are your other hobbies?
DB: Other hobbies? I bowled for a number
of years, but haven’t done that for a while.
It’s mainly airplanes.
JS: Who (or what) has influenced you most?
DB: I had some very good friends in school
and they were my biggest influence before I
went into the Air Force.
JS: What advice would you give someone
looking to get started in Free Flight?
DB: Start with a Delta Dart and work
up from there. The Delta Dart is more
informative than the Sky Streak because
you actually have to put the covering down.
Depending on how much, if any, model
building you’ve done before, start simple
and learn the basics and move up from
there. This will help keep you from getting
164 Model Aviation MARCH 2014
Don Butman Black Sheep Squadron member and Free Flight modeler