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Don's column is published quarterly in the January, April, July, and October issues. His email is
I was born and raised in Ohio, attended Ohio State University and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering with emphasis in aerodynamics and fluid dynamics. I currently live in Willoughby, Ohio, and I am a senior design engineer for a local company, designing custom hydraulic valves and components.

I come from a family of aviation enthusiasts. My father is a pioneer in the Ultralight aircraft industry and is the designer of the CGS Hawk aircraft. Consequently, my brothers and I all have developed an interest in just about anything that can fly. Model airplanes were quite common when I was growing up. Model rockets, kites, gliders, CL, even paper airplanes. If it flew, we liked it.

My interest in Indoor FF came about when I found a few of my father’s old Indoor model airplanes in some boxes in the attic when I was about 12 years old. I was immediately drawn into the world of Indoor flying. During my high school years I set many Junior and Senior Indoor AMA records, some of which still stand today. My father and I have traveled all over the US going to Indoor contests and we have flown at many interesting flying sites such as blimp hangars, auditoriums, hotel atriums, and convention centers.

Throughout the years I have flown every Indoor FF class that has come along. Something about building such lightweight models and then watching your creation fly is quite fascinating and satisfying. I especially like events with minimal restrictions such as Hand-Launched Stick, Intermediate Stick, and ROG (rise-off-ground) Cabin. I also enjoy digging into the theoretical aspect of flight and how it applies to Indoor models.

My interest in model aviation is not only limited to Indoor FF. I also fly electric-powered RC airplanes, from small indoor electric RC to 16-pound, 80-inch-span twin-engine electric warbirds. My main RC interest has been in smaller, electric ducted-fan jets, and a few years ago I developed the DonsRC Wicked series of EDF motors.

So, one day I am flying rubber-powered Indoor models that weight 1 gram and fly at 2 mph, then the next day I am flying a 900-gram, 120 mph electric jet!