A History of the beginning of RC Soaring

Articles Scrap Book

WHIRLWINDS

OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN

JUNE 1973

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Early morning pit area. Windfrees, Astro Jeffs, Olympic 99, Cirrus, Cumulus and more were dominant sailplanes of the time. Any good pilot can still win contests today with some of these models.
 
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TOP ROW, UNLIMITED SIZE CLASS WINNERS, L - R:
1ST ARTHUR SLAGLE
2ND RAY VANDIERDONCK
3RD OTTO HEITHECKER
4TH BARRY KILLICK
5TH JACK JOSAITIS
BOTTOM ROW, STANDARD SIZE CLASS WINNERS, L - R:
1ST ANDY HARTSUFF
2ND WALT HILL (NOT IN PHOTO)
3RD RAY HAYES
4TH WARREN TIAHRT
5TH DON LIBKE

by Ray Hayes

I'm not sure if this was the Whirlwind's first contest, it was the first time I placed high enough to receive a trophy. Look at those smiling faces, the photo explains why we go to contests, it simply is enjoyable.

The Whirlwinds are no longer active in sailplanes. The spark plugs of the club were Buck Zehr (now deceased) and Bill Rohring (moved out of the area), but for some, the memories are still strong and clear. To the best of my knowledge, only Art Slagle and myself are still attending sailplane contests. Otto keeps saying he is going to show up at a contest, but finds other things to do, like building a new home in Tennessee.

This contest was three rounds of ten minute duration with a landing task consisting of a three point level bulls eye. Landing in the small middle ring was required to receive the maximum points. The Benton Harbor boys ran this annual contest for several years, never had very good equipment, but contestants came from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio to take on the challenge of the brisk winds off the shores of Lake Michigan. This contest had 57 people competing for top honors.


 


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