Allen Brickhaus was fiercely
dedicated to serving the CL
community and to teaching
new modelers how to build
and fly. He knew no strangers
and was a friend to all
who ever met him. Here he
displays his version of Louis
Van Den Hout’s Olympus.
Photo by Gene Martine.
A void that can never be filled
by Bob Hunt
I’m saddened to start this column with the news of the passing of Allen Brickhaus in late December 2013.
Allen’s achievements in and service
to the field of CL flying are legendary,
and his passing leaves a void that can
never be filled. He was an accomplished
designer, builder, flier, writer, and
competitor, but most will remember
him for his contributions to beginners in
Allen was a selfless, humble, and
tireless teacher who was always looking
for opportunities to share his vast
knowledge with those who wanted to
learn. A complete listing of Allen’s work
within our sport would fill a book.
I’ll remember him as a courteous,
kind, and giving man who was a friend to
every person he ever met.
Geometry Class 101
In my last column, I discussed some
“spring training” techniques that I hope
helped you “chip the rust” off your
winter-corroded reflexes and improve
your piloting skills and timing.
Knowing how to fly more proficiently
goes together with knowing what to fly.
Our CL Precision Aerobatics pattern is
made up of 15 separate maneuvers. Most
of these are aerobatic maneuvers that are
made up of round, square, and triangle-based shapes. The takeoff and landing
maneuvers rarely (thankfully!) display
any of these features.
The objective is to scribe a path in
the sky with my model that appears to
the judges to be the exact shape that is
depicted in the AMA rule book for each
maneuver. Sounds simple, eh? Well, it is
and it isn’t.
The first question you need to answer
in order to achieve this goal is, “What do
circles, squares, and triangles look like?”
Be honest. When was the last time that
you studied a circle, square, or triangle? If
you are relying on your memory
from high school geometry
class, perhaps it’s time for a
Find a way
3 feet in
large square and
large triangle onto
separate sheets of
paper. Position these
shapes on a wall one
at a time, move back
several paces, and then
stare at each of them for
Focus hard on the shape
in question and try to
memorize it, then close
your eyes and think
of it. Quickly open
your eyes and refocus
on the shape. You might be surprised to
find that you need to repeat the process
many times to make your mind’s eye
agree with the actual shape in question.
Next, try tracing the shape of the
maneuver with your hand as if you were
holding a flying handle. Let’s start with
the circle shape and try tracing an inside
loop. It’s not important to simulate the
required control input at this point.
Simply try to follow the shape perfectly
with your hand.
When you have that perfected,
try following the shape in the other
direction as if to simulate an outside
loop. It’s not as easy as it sounds, is it?
Your body is not a perfectly
symmetrical device, and there will be
points at which you will feel muscles
stretching and contracting as you
attempt to scribe the maneuver shapes.
You must be able to anticipate and train
your body to continue scribing the exact
shape desired with your arm as the
muscles stretch and contract.
I once read about a concert violinist
who made a study of human anatomy
in order to find the stance and proper
arm geometry to allow him to hold the
instrument and move the bow with the
least amount of muscle interference.
I’m not suggesting that you sign up for
an anatomy course in order to learn to
fly Stunt more proficiently; I’m simply
suggesting that you become aware of
some of the intangibles that may hinder
your ability to consistently scribe the
desired shapes with your airplane.
This is compounded when you
start to do double maneuvers such as
Figure Eights or the Hourglass, which
require much more arm stretch. I’ll
125 Model Aviation MAY 2014