Indoor No-Cal Flying

Indoor No-Cal Flying

Indoor No-Cal Flying

Free Flight Sport

By Don DeLoach | [email protected]

Volaré Products’ Fairy Barracuda is a terrific, easyto-trim, midwing No-Cal model.

Volaré Products’ Fairy Barracuda is a terrific, easyto-trim, midwing No-Cal model.

FALL HAS ARRIVED as I write this, and with it, increased indoor flying. Many AMA clubs offer indoor flying during the cold part of the year, usually in small gyms at churches or schools. This is a terrific way to enjoy Free Flight (FF), regardless of the weather outside. See the current list of Indoor FF opportunities by state at the end of this column.

Most Indoor FF flying is geared toward a casual sport flier, with occasional laid-back competitions featured. A handful of major competitions are held at very high-ceiling flying venues. Fortunately, scores of kits and supplies are available for FF Sport flying indoors.

One of the most popular classes of Indoor models is No-Cal Scale. These are rubber-powered profile, semiscale models with a 16-inch wingspan. They’re ideal for indoor flying because they can be built extremely lightweight while still featuring a scalelike appearance. Single-surface covering is popular, as is laser-printed tissue. Models typically weigh 7 grams or less, enabling them to fly approximately 2 minutes in a typical 25-foot ceiling gym.

Flying Aces Club No-Cal Scale Rules

An event for recognizable profile, semiscale models.

A. Design considerations:

  1. Wingspan: 16 inches maximum.
  2. Aircraft with fixed landing gear must have each landing gear represented as per the original subject.
  3. All wing struts must be on the model.
  4. Motor sticks shall not exceed the fuselage length; however, the propeller may be positioned at the tip of a scale profile spinner if the fullscale aircraft featured one.
  5. Surfaces may be single covered.
  6. Canopies and windows may be represented with tissue or paper; clear material is not required.
  7. The model must be in the correct color scheme and have control outlines, registration numbers, etc.
  8. Have proof of scale. Judges’ decisions are final.

B. Official flight: 20 second minimum—no max!

C. Scoring: Total of three flights.

One of the best sources for No-Cal kits is Volaré Products. The company has approximately a dozen short kits, including plans, for only $12 each. The website includes tissue-printing files. Volaré is also one of the best sources for rubber and other FF supplies.

Other No-Cal sources are Aero Aces and Paul and Ralph Bradley’s Model Airplane Hangout website. Aero Aces has plenty of plans for sale. Paul and Ralph have plans for download, tissue-printing files, and building and flying articles.

For those who wish to push the envelope of No-Cal performance, go to the National Free Flight Society (NFFS) website to download David Aronstein’s Mr. Smoothie No-Cal plans. Dave is probably the world’s best Indoor No-Cal flier, having pioneered many innovative ideas for increasing performance. His 7-inch, carved propeller design is probably the biggest reason for his success.

 the Cassutt Boo-Ray and Mike Carroll’s Signal Sea Fury.

Two of the nifty No-Cal racers that are offered by Aero Aces: the Cassutt Boo-Ray and Mike Carroll’s Signal Sea Fury.

Indoor Flying Opportunities

  • Eagar, Arizona: An annual indoor meet is held each April at the 99-foot Round Valley Dome. Contact: Tom Gaylor; email: [email protected].
  • Burbank, California: Monthly indoor flying in the Luther Burbank Middle School gym on the second Friday, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Contact: David Gee; email: [email protected].
  • San Diego, California: The San Diego Orbiteers and Scale Staffel host indoor flying at Grossmont College, 8800 Grossmont College Dr., El Cajon CA 92020. No flying is scheduled for fall 2022, but they anticipate regaining access in 2023. Contact: John Hutchison; (619) 303-0758; email: [email protected].
  • Ontario, Canada: Indoor model building (Squirrels—a great beginner’s model) and flying events are roughly once a week on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at the Atomic Rooster Pub, 303 Bank St., Ottawa, Ontario. More information is available at Contact: Darcy Whyte; email: [email protected].
  • Manitou Springs, Colorado: Monthly flying sessions at the Manitou Springs High School gym (23-foot ceiling) in Manitou Springs. Contact: Darold Jones; email: [email protected].
  • Denver, Colorado: Various Friday evenings at Beth Eden Baptist Church gym, 2600 Wadsworth Blvd., in Denver. Contact: John Christensen; email: [email protected].
  • Glastonbury, Connecticut: The Glastonbury Aero Modelers host indoor flying sessions under a 34-foot ceiling in the Glastonbury High School gym. The 2022 and 2023 flying dates are October 23, November 20, December 18, January 8, February 12, March 5, and April 16. Contact: John Koptonak; email: [email protected].
  • Cocoa, Florida: Coastal Community Church, 5795 Falcon Blvd., in Cocoa. Contact: Scott Bauman: email: [email protected].
  • Macon, Georgia: Christ Chapel Soccer Facility, 170 Starcadia Cir., in Macon, with 25-foot and 30-foot ceiling gyms. Visit Contact: Bill Gowen; email: [email protected].
  • Moscow, Idaho: The Kibbie Dome Annual high-ceiling meet is usually held in June. Contact: Jake Palmer; email: [email protected].
  • Hudson, Iowa: Hudson High School gym on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It’s nothing fancy—there are no contests—just come on out and fly. Contact: Bob Nelson; (319) 233-4771; email: [email protected].
  • Chicagoland, Illinois: Trinity Lutheran School, 11503 German Church Rd., Burr Ridge, Illinois. A 23-foot ceiling with a 75 × 150 flying area. Thursday nights, starting September 29, 2022, at 7 p.m. Rubber power only—no RC. Contact: Phil Binter: (630) 852-5831; email: [email protected].
  • West Baden, Indiana: At the West Baden Springs Hotel in the world-class, high-ceiling hotel rotunda. The Jim Richmond Open contest is held every March. Contact: David Lindley; email: [email protected].
  • Kansas City, Kansas: Heart of America Free Flight Association in the Osawatomie Auditorium, 439 Main St., Osawatomie, Kansas. The 2022 to 2023 flying dates are October 8, November 5, December 31, January 7, February 4, March 4, and April 1. Contact: Jeff Renz; email: [email protected] or
  • Pontiac, Michigan: The Detroit Cloudbusters host indoor flying at Reimagine Recreation. Contact: Mike Welshans; email: [email protected].
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Exchange Avenue Baptist Church, 1312 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City. The site is a 100 × 60 x 25-foot high gym. The entrance is on the south side of the gym on South Sulzberger Sttreet. The event is free, but a donation is requested. Held the first and third Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. (but usually ends by 2 p.m.). Contact: Tom Solinski; (405) 414-6947; email: [email protected].
  • Albany, Oregon: South Albany High School gym. Contact: George Gilbert; (541) 971-9549; email: [email protected].
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Second Tuesday of the month at the Bridesburg Recreation Center. Second Saturday of the month at the Triangle Building at Abington Friends School. Contacts: Herb Shallcross; email: [email protected] or Alan Mkitarian; email: [email protected].
  • Langley, Virginia: The Brainbuster FF Club has a site in Highland Springs, Virginia. Contact: Dean Giacopassi; email: [email protected].
  • Racine, Wisconsin: Racine Memorial Hall (43-foot ceiling), 72 Seventh St., on Racine’s lakefront. Entry is on the east side (lakefront) of the building. Flying takes place the first Wednesday of the month from October through May. Website/contact information:
  • Oshkosh, Wisconsin: Winnebago County RC Flyers combine indoor RC and FF flying at the Carl Traeger Middle School in Oshkosh on Sundays. Contact: Dave Hable; (920) 267-1920; email: [email protected]. Website information:

David Aronstein’s Mr. Smoothie is one of the highest-performing No-Cals of all time. It once flew more than 10 minutes at the 165-foot Kibbie Dome in Idaho.

David Aronstein’s Mr. Smoothie is one of the highest-performing No-Cals of all time. It once flew more than 10 minutes at the 165-foot Kibbie Dome in Idaho.


Volaré Products

(269) 339-9795

Paul and Ralph Bradley’s Model Airplane Hangout

J&H Aerospace

Indoor Free Flight Supply

[email protected]

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