Gene Smith

Gene’s “FF Sport” column appears bi-monthly in the January, March, May, July, September, and November issues of Model Aviation. His email address is [email protected].
I was born and raised in Oklahoma. I am a graduate of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine and completed an Ophthalmology residency at the Dean McGee Eye Institute in 1973. Now retired, I live in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
My airplane modeling began at an early age. I am sure the fact that my father was a pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War II had everything to do with that interest. Beginning with solid wood model kits, I moved on to A.J. Hornets, Monogram Speedee-Bilts and Jigtime models. My first flying model was a Cox U-Control trainer powered by a Baby Bee I still own.
I built and flew many U-Control models during my teens. Bob Palmer’s Hurricane and Thunderbird, as well as Walt Pyron’s P-39 were among my favorites. In my 20s, I transitioned to RC. Since moving to Stillwater, I have been president or treasurer of the Stillwater RC Flyers for more than 30 years. My RC flying years included Pylon Racing and RC Combat, both of which I enjoyed immensely.
The last 20 years or so I have made another transition, this time back into FF, both Duration and Scale. Being able to build and fly the models I read about in the magazines and dreamed about during my childhood has been a real pleasure. Ramrods, Zeros, Vikings, and Satellites are all in my stable of aircraft.
I am a member of the advisory council of the Flying Aces Club (FAC), an organization dedicated to Rubber-Powered Scale and simple Duration models. My stick-and-tissue failures of childhood have become stick-and-tissue flyers.
There is something about watching a model circling high overhead that still brings a smile to my face. I hope to continue FF modeling as long as I can kick-start my trusty Honda Trail 110.
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