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Bob’s column appears bi-monthly in Model Aviation, in February, April, June, August, October, and December. His email address is samrcflier@verizon.net.
Hi, I’m Bob Angel. I live in Santa Maria, California. I’ve have been a modeler forever, and am currently having fun flying my SAM (Society of Antique Modelers) aircraft. During the latter part of World War II, I joined most of my grade school buddies in building rubber-powered scale warbirds. We knew nothing of balance or trim, so many of those ended up set afire and tossed out a third story window. Later, hand-launched balsa gliders taught me a few rudiments of balance and trim.

CL dominated for a long period immediately after the war, mostly due to greater availability of flying sites suitable for CL, but not FF models. I flew both kit-built models and some of my own designs, but never published any of them. About the only mark I left on CL was the invention and naming of Uniflow fuel tanks.

I guess I’m slow to change, as I was one of the last in my area to move over to the RC part of the hobby. I competed in AMA RC Sailplane events for awhile. Along the way I discovered MECA (Model Engine Collectors Association) and engine collecting. That in turn led me to SAM flying as the best way to enjoy some of those old engines in action. I also fly a few other kinds of RC ships besides SAM competition types.

I’m a registered professional engineer and retired out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where I was a part of the Space Shuttle program. We were just three months from the initial scheduled Shuttle launch from Vandenberg, when the Challenger disaster caused cancellation of the program. After that I moved over to the Space Defense Initiative (SDI) program, sometimes known as “Star Wars.”

In the action photo I’m steering my 1937 Brown Junior-powered Kloud Queen away from the photographer on takeoff. But Doug Klassen is a professional photographer, and was at a safe distance away using a strong telephoto lens.