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Member Stories
Percy Ford-Smith

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from Percy For-Smith: Wilf with his "Thermalist". I never did see it covered.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: Wilf with Frank Randall. Frank was an instructor and we worked well together. Both Frank and Wilf were newly married and money was scarce, to say the least, for both of them. Frank had the habit of getting a brush-cut only once a year. He also had a habit of buying a coke and emptying a small bag of peanuts in the bottle and proceeded to drink and chew the peanuts all at once.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: Frank ( Mohawk haircut ) on the right, myself holding the prop and Tymen with the club logo. I have on idea who is on the left. Tymen's father donated the prop to the club. His father George Edelkoort, owned a Piper Tripacer and for many years I thought the prop was off that plane, but I now think it is too big for that plane.


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from Percy Ford-Smith:it is hard to believe that that whole hill (seen in pic 8 and 9) between the clubhouse and what used to be the town dump, has been trucked away. We used to hand launch our planes from that hill. I once launched a 72" glider called a "Passat" from that hill and had a fire cracker attached to the tow hook. It was tied in such a way that dethermalizer fuse burned for about a minute, then the fire cracker fuse burned so that it released the firecracker. I was able to get to release in the vicinity of the baseball diamond when a game was going on.
from Rob McKenzie: having lived adjacent to this hill (we called it the "big hill") i recall it measured about 1000' long by 300' wide aligned north-south, by up to about 80' high at its highest point. It had about 350,000 cubic yards of volume or more. It was built by glacial debris from the last ice age. All composed of sand, and rock and gravel. I remember some attempts had been made in the 50's to remove it but they only managed to make cliff edges on the east and west sides. The sand swallows just loved these cliffs as a place to burrow holes in the cliffs to nest in. My very first attempt at hang gliding was with a home built rogallo wing and from the cliff on the west slope in 1974. The attempt failed because I was running off a 30' sheer drop (not very high) with almost no headwind. But it was a cushioned crash allowing lots of cheers ands jeers from spectators.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: about left and center, this shows the red wing tip of my "Passat".


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from Percy Ford-Smith: this is me holding my first powered model called "V Girl" since it had a V stabilizer. You can see my MAAC # 2603 on the wing. On my maiden flight, I lost it just east of the club clubhouse. While climbing a tree to get a better look, I hit my head on it. After that I gave it some blue trim to contrast with the yellow covering. With the V tail, it was extremely hard to keep trimmed properly.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: This was another talented A2 glider modeller, but his name escapes me.
from Rob McKenzie: could this be Kit Wallace? Anyone able to confirm this? I remember Wilf always talking about Kit winning several major competitions. I only met him a couple of times during my years (1964 thru 1969) but was impressed with his ability to make true, strong and light weight models and trim them perfectly. My vague memory of him has me recalling he looked a bit like the person here. And if this IS him, I suspect that he is holding the flying washboard not because he built it but more in some amazement and disgust since Kit was truly a seeker of gliding performance in his modelling work.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: shows 5 Golden Wings ready to cover.


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from Rob McKenzie: a group of new modellers in late 1963 or early 1964. We all have our "Wega" models and are posing at the start of a local competition. The Wega is a simple covered model that Wilf had all modellers start out with as their first covered A1 model. I (Rob McKenzie) am the short kid at left in front. Age 9. This was probably my first competition. Monica Weisensee, Wilf's daughter is at far right, age 7.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: I am the one with a sailor's hat on, next to Frank. The notations show 2 A Westermanns, so I think that's Fred standing and Klaus lying on the ground.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: I recognize myself and Pete Spencer. I was going to say that Pete was the one in the plaid shirt, but it appears that we all have some sort of plaid on.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: Tymen Edelkoort and myself holding my second model. It's an A1 glider called a Hatchetman. I remember that the fuselage was just a profile and called for some hardwood in the nose. Wilf told us that if we went to the local hardware store, that they would give us (free of charge) a yardstick. This was exactly what we needed and the price was right.


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from Percy Ford-Smith: seems to be a display of all of Wilf's planes. They bear his MAAC # 2200


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