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Hobbyist looks to the sky

September 5, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Canfield hobbyist and Mahoning County Model Club member Butch Myers enjoys talking about his hobby of radio-controlled airplanes. He took part in a special display at the Canfield Fair and is getting ready for his club's big fly-in event next weekend.

Myers said he has always loved model airplanes. His father Al Myers served as a pilot in World War II and Myers himself has a pilot's license. He did say the scale models are much different from the real thing.

"I am a full-scale pilot," he said. "I can say that the transition from real to scale flying is a big difference. In the model aircraft, you can't feel what the airplane is doing."

Article Photos

Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Butch Myers of Canfield, shows off his OV-10 Bronco radio-controlled airplane during the Canfield Fair. His club, the Mahoning County Model Club, was invited to display the member’s airplanes this year.

He has adjusted though and enjoys the best of both worlds. As for his hobby, he also gets the joy of building the airplanes he flies by remote control.

Myers has a collection of a dozen model airplanes of various scales and sizes. He said the models can range in size from an eight-inch wingspan up to 75-percent scale with wing spans of close to 20 feet.

One of the model planes that Myers chose to display at the fair is an OV-10 Bronco, a model of a U.S. Navy aircraft that took him close to a year to complete. The model is powered by two electric motors that give him close to 10 minutes of flight time on a battery charge. The motors power the plane to 90 real miles per hour.

"Electric motors are coming on strong in this hobby," Myers said. "Some gas models use a 50:1 gas-oil mix, using the same gas you put in your car. Others use glo-fuel, which is currently selling between $15 to $25 per gallon."

He said the electric motors available today have the same power as the gas counterparts and can easily power the models. He did say the hobbyist has to regulate flight time though. He has a timer on his flight controller that sends a warning after eight minutes. He said he knows he can get 10 minutes flight time on a charge, so when the warning sounds, he has two minutes to land the plane under power.

The details in the models are also an important factor for the hobbyist. The proper paint scheme and decals are important, and so is the interior detailing. For Myers OV-10, the cockpit is well detailed with scale size instrument panels and pilots.

"The cockpit kit cost $125 and the scale pilots were $50 each," he said.

Like most modelers in the club, Myers is always building something new to fly. He is presently working on an L-19 Army surveillance model plane. While that one may take months to finish, he will be using some of his completed models like the OV-10 or one of his model sports planes during the club's fly-in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16 at Shaker Woods Fields in Columbiana. The event is free and open to the public. It will feature a number of local and regional clubs bringing in a variety of model aircraft including helicopters.

Myers currently serves as the Mahoning County Model Club secretary. He said the club is 50 years old, almost as many years as Myers has been building model airplanes.



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