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2008
December

ShredAir Arrives in South America

January 3rd, 2009 — Happy New Year's greetings from Bogotá, Colombia!

After eight countries, 81 days, and 8200 miles, we have driven to South America in our trusty slope vehicle. For details about ShredAir's journey visit our blog. http://shredair.blogspot.com/

After we left Tegucigalpa, we did not stop to fly anywhere until we arrived in Bogotá. Part of that was that we wanted to get there before Christmas, and it turns out we just made it on December 23.
Since our arrival, we have gone slope’n with our friends Roberto and Paul. Roberto’s elder son Juan Camilo is now also flying, and the younger Nicolas is not far behind.

chocotan slope flying

Have I mentioned how good the potatoes are in Colombia? Now I know one reason why: some of them at least are grown at 10000 feet with a lot of TLC and very little (if any) chemicals.
Soon, we’re off to Medellín, our final destination for a while.

potato crops in Bogota

December 13th — Power and Slope Flying in Honduras

Since our last update, we went flying at a military base near Tegucigalpa in Honduras. We enjoyed the warm hospitality of Emilio Canahuati and the local “Club de Aeromodelismo de Honduras.” The club has a very nice field there for flying power planes.
What most club members hadn’t realized is what a great slope site they have right down-wind from the field! In fact, the slope lift tends to affect the final approach of the power planes.
Of course, I spent quite a bit of time up at that slope, flying “Barbie,” the white/pink CR Climmax Pro. After seeing me fly, at least one club pilot has started to fly there since.

tamara field
aeromodelismo honduras
flying field

November 18th — On the way to Honduras

Are we there yet? Not quite... Unfortunately, we did not meet with any RC clubs in Mexico; we were in touch with a few, but our quickly-changing route prevented a visit. We did however meet with Club ACME in Guatemala and a small band of slope pilots in El Salvador. To both we extend our gratitude for their exceptional hopitality. Now, we're heading toward Tegucigalpa in Honduras, where an interesting weekend of camping and flying awaits us with the Club de Aeromodelismo de Honduras.

For more detail on this trip, please see our blog. http://shredair.blogspot.com/

guatemala

el salvador

October 24th — On the Road

We've been traveling for three weeks now, two of which through Mexico. We've flown only the electric-powered glider, even though there were excellent slopes, in Chihuahua in particular. However, there are very few places to park the car off the road, let alone ways to drive up the slopes. We're heading toward Oaxaca now, so please continue following us along on the blog. Keep your messages and comments coming.

ShredAir's Travel Blog: http://shredair.blogspot.com/

journey

September 29th — Back in Oregon

ShredAir's Travel Blog: http://shredair.blogspot.com/

While in Germany, we managed to set up our travel blog. Please have a look at it and feel free to participate. The tri-lingual blog (English, German, Spanish) serves three purposes:

  • it allows anyone to follow along with us as we travel,
  • it lets people post comments and ask questions, and
  • it encourages students to participate and interact with others around the world.

September —Update from Germany

We’ve been here a month. This may sound like a long time, but it’s been a blur, and we still have quite an agenda and only two weeks left. We’re almost ready to publish the blog for our travel and move to Colombia. This effort is taking longer than expected because for us internet access exist only at the local hotel.

August —We are heading to Germany first, then to South America

The last few months of preparation for our move to Colombia have been an interesting experience, often stressful, and in hindsight we would have done a few things differently. Now we’re almost ready and present this last update from our old home base.
We had our estate sale, sold many items on craigslist, managed to sell the nice little fiberglass RV, and found a loving home for Marcela’s ’70 bug. Many thought (and still think) we’re crazy, but we indeed are pulling this off.

Already, we are eagerly awaited in Colombia. Plans are in the works now for the annual ShredAir Soar Andes events. We can’t be 100% certain yet, but it looks like the first one will happen pretty darn soon next year.

Next week (August 11th, 2008) we’ll fly to Germany for 6 weeks, where hopefully we have time to present further website updates and start our blog. We’ll be back briefly in late September and early October, and then we start our trek south in our trusty old camper which is as solid as it looks ratty.

truck & map

July —So, just what are we up to?

For years, ShredAir has been the place to find specialized RC products, but they no longer are available on our website. With the idea of continuing the promotion of the hobby, we are extending our services to facilitate the enjoyment of flying model airplanes in new and wonderful places.

This fall, Marcela and I will move to Medellín, Colombia, South America. This is a deliberate move. We have been working toward this objective, and we're ready.

Our main objective is to set-up and run a vacation destination in the Andes aimed primarily at RC-flying tourism. This facility will be similar to existing ones in the European Alps with the main difference of ours being open all year; the year-round good weather, especially also in "winter," makes this possible. Of course it helps that Colombia's economy has been emerging and is growing rapidly, especially also in the tourism sector, and that safety has been improving dramatically in recent years.

Note that ShredAir’s phone, 541/954-6842, is disconnected. You can reach us by e-mail.

November

Open International F3A 2008 Colombia

Seven countries (Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela and USA) participated in this event; Jason Shulman was represneting the US. Details are at the Aeromodelismo Colombia website: First International F3A Contest in Colombia

F3A colombia


September/October

ShredAir's Travel Blog: http://shredair.blogspot.com/

While in Germany, we managed to set up our travel blog. Please have a look at it and feel free to participate. The tri-lingual blog (English, German, Spanish) serves three purposes:

  • it allows anyone to follow along with us as we travel,
  • it lets people post comments and ask questions, and
  • it encourages students to participate and interact with others around the world.

shredair blog


F5B and F5D World Championships

We’re back from Germany, where unusually wet and cold weather marked the last 10 days of our stay. This unseasonal weather was due to a tenacious low-pressure system sitting over the Ukraine right where the F5B/D world championships were being held. As a result, the event almost was rained out, but not quite: only 3 rounds in F5B were completed, with most pilots flying in a steady rain. More discussion on the event is on RCGroups.


Open International F3A 2008 Colombia

Our friends in Bogota are organizing the First International F3A Contest in Colombia in October. One Bogotá pilot, Roberto Martinez Segura, is chief instigator and a competitor and has attended last year’s world championship in Argentina.The event is attracting participants form both American continents and Europe.

F3A colombia

Colombian Innovation: the TransMilenio

Speaking of Colombia, the German rail ssytem's information magazine “Mobil” published an article "Wege aus dem Chaos" (Ways out of chaos) about innovative ways big cities use to reduce traffic congestion. Bogotá’s TransMilenio is a bus system which travels on dedicated lanes along major routes throughout the city. Using existing traffic corridors, the system is efficient and inexpensive to build and is a vast improvement of public transportation in this city of about 8 million.

transmilenio


July/August

ShredAir's New Direction

Change is coming to ShredAir, and we're heading in a new direction

For years, ShredAir has been the place to find specialized RC products, but they no longer are available on our website. With the idea of continuing the promotion of the hobby, we are extending our services to facilitate the enjoyment of flying model airplanes in new and wonderful places.

flying in the andesSo, just what are we up to?

This fall, Marcela and I will move to Medellín, Colombia, South America. This is a deliberate move. We have talked about it for a while, and a year ago decided that this is the time to do it. Since then, we have been working toward this objective, and we're getting close now.

Our main objective is to set-up and run a vacation destination in the Andes aimed primarily at RC-flying tourism. This facility will be similar to existing ones in the European Alps with the main difference of ours being open all year; the year-round good weather, especially also in "winter," makes this possible. Of course it helps that Colombia's economy has been emerging and is growing rapidly, especially also in the tourism sector, and that safety has been improving dramatically in recent years.

What's next?

Between now and August, we'll keep updating these pages with information about the move. Keep checking here, and if you're interested in something specific, please feel free to e-mail or call.
We are working on setting up a way to keep you informed of our progress after August 1st.
Starting in November, look for regular updates, including the announcement of ShredAir's first Soar-the-Andes RC-soaring event in 2009.

What about the products we used to sell?

Most of our products — including the ChPS charge-plug switches — are available through SoaringUSA and their manufacturers.

The electric ducted fan units (EDF) and BAE Hawk jet are available at Schübeler's.

You still may contact us with requests for advice; information; referrals about manufactures, particularly from Europe; or just to chat about planes.


FAI F3J World Championships

f3j world championshipFrom June 27th to July 6th the Turkish Aeronautical Association (NAC) and Istanbul Model Glider Club "Soarist" will be hosting the FAI F3J World Championships in Akyaz, Catalkopru, located 195 km east of Istanbul, Turkey.

25 countries are participating, including the USA F3J Team.

The USA F3J team has three models: the Samba Pike PERFECT, the Experience Pro Xtail, and the SUPRA as prizes for their Saturday, July 12th raffle. Tickets can be ordered online.


F5B and F5D World Championships

f5b f5d world championshipsEvery even year, there are FAI world championships for RC soaring and electric soaring disciplines.

We are particularly interested in the Electric competitions of the F5B and F5D categories, which will be held in Kyiv in the Ukraine.

So far, 12 countries and 32 pilots are registered for F5B and 20 pilots from 7 countries in F5D.

The US teams are Lenny Keer, Jeff Keesaman, and Steve Neu for F5B; and Travis Flynn, Dan Kane, and Troy Peterson for F5D; alternates are Eric Wierman (F5B) and Gray Freeman (F5D). We wish them and all competitors smooth flying, no cuts, and 30-point landings.

USA hosted the F5B and F5d World Championships in 2000.


Spring 2008 at Eagle Butte

eagle butte

Several times each spring, groups of pilots gather at this premium slope'n site. Marcela and I managed to go on one cold April weekend.


January/June

Aufwind's South America Adventure

After returning from Colombia last February, I decided to write an article about slope soaring in the Colombian Andes for the German "Aufwind" magazine. I finally finished and submitted this article this fall, and it just appeared in the 2/2008 edition of Aufwind.

aufwind magazin

Thank you, Aufwind, for allowing us to publish this article in Spanish, English, and German on our website. Along with our photo album, we have now posted these three version in PDF format, which can be downloaded for free.


The German "Aufwind" is the best model-glider-related magazine available, hands down. For those who read German, it is an excellent source for technical information, contest reports, honest reviews, build descriptions, news and entertainment.


slope'n colombia2007 Slope'n Colombia

A year ago, we traveled to Colombia to visit Marcela's family and to go slope'n with our Colombian friends; and finally, we are presenting the photo album of this wonderful trip. If you know Colombia only from the news, you have been given a rather one-sided perspective; kind of like if you heard about the Grand Canyon only what a formidable obstacle this humongous ditch is to surface travel.


With our album, we want to offer a different perspective. This was our third visit to the country in as many years. And despite this short time, the progress the country has been making is noticable everywhere; one can almost hear the collective sigh of relief in the general population, as Colombia clearly is emerging from the morass of the decades-long civil and drug wars.

Please enjoy the photos and feel free to e-mail us with any questions and comments, particularly if you'd be interested in experiencing Colombia's beauty and hospitality for yourself. We can't wait to go back and already are planning our next trip.


slope gliders

Heavy Gliders at the Slope Edge

November storms signal the advent of the winter slope soaring season in western Oregon.

I like slope'n efficient gliders flying at a relatively high weight and wing loading. In recent years, I've noticed that adding high-powered (and heavy) electric drive systems to molded sail planes usually makes them glide better; granted one has to let them glide and circle at a higher speed. I fly these "heavies" mostly on in-land slopes where slope lift often is mixed with thermals. There, an experienced pilot can let an efficient glider cruise out over a valley and find lift away from the slope edge, even when there is only intermittend lift along the slope edge.

I have several gliders suited for these conditions, and here are three no-excuse slope planes, all with relatively high wing loading:

srtlThe T-tailed one is the German-made SRTL. This molded plane has a 95" wingspan and weighs 5.5 lbs unballasted; but I usually leave in the wing ballast and fly it at 7 lbs. At that weight, this plane still flies well in a 15 mph wind at our local Peterson Butte flying site. I have flown this plane at over 8 lbs, at which point the wing loading is around 30 oz/sqft.

The yellow cross-tailed one is the Czech-made 3x-carbon Cappuccino. This molded plane has a 102" wingspan and weighs 6.6 lbs unballasted but with the factory-supplied solid-steel joiner. It still flies in even lighter air than the SRTL. I have documented the Cappuccino assembly on RCGroups, and I have ballasted it to 9.5 lbs, which it really likes in 25-mph wind or higher.

Last but not least, the wooden one is a prototype of the US-made 100" Thorn. The wing and the fuselage are machined from solid poplar. I have documented the Thorn assembly which weighs 11 lbs ready-to-fly. There is no provision (or need) for additional ballast. Of course, this one requires a little more lift than the SRTL, but it is surprisingly nimble and efficient. With the experience gained from this prototype, Andreas Mergner of Plane Insane Models, the manufacturer of the Thorn, has found ways to shave 2 lbs off the flying weight and to add dihedral to the wing. This can only increase the plane's mainstream appeal, but Andreas is not yet manufacturing this 100" model.

thornOf course, these gliders come alive as the wind increases, and pilots new to the slope, and even some who have been slope'n for a while, tend to be amazed at the performance of these planes when they first see them fly. I love to have them pick one up and watch their initial reaction, which typically includes muttering "holy...!" If reading this gives you new appreciation for slope soaring, please feel free to contact us.

In case you're wondering how I became such plain insane slope head, I can blame it all on my Dad's parenting. Recently, I revisited my upbringing, when Reed Sherman interviewed me for his website. It was fun to dig and gather up all the old memories. Thank you Reed!

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