Sunday, February 21, 2010

YouTube "Star Trek: Beam me up, Hottie!"

Lets cheer things up around here shall we? This put a smile on my face - a good Star Trek parody.

Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Radio Control Model Airfields

For the first time in 8 or 9 months, I was finally able to attend a WINGS Miniature Aircraft Society club meeting. Currently, I am not a member of that club due to my current finical status, but I got to touch base with some old friends and to find out what is going on.

The subject of how to attract new members came up and by extension, a discussion on trying to get another field here in Lubbock, Texas, set up. Currently, WINGS MAS has an agreement with Abernathy, Texas; to operate off of that town's small airport runway. The club has put in taxiways and a ramp west of the north-south runway. By the way, the flying site is approximately 4 miles East of the city of Abernathy, Texas on FM2060 at the Abernathy Municipal Airport.

Also, Abernathy is still a functional airport, but with low useage. The few pilots who park their full-scale aircraft out there don't even live in the city of Abernathy.

Link below is to the WINGS MAS website and more information can be gained there.

Lubbock, Texas has another flying site out near Reese Technology Center locally known as the "FM-179" site since its right off Farm Market Road 179. Officially, its a city party of Lubbock named after Col. Davis who was a pilot in the Korean war.

What I took away from that discussion was the need for a small flying site - visible to the public - but not in such a way that can cause a safety issue. FM 179 is just hanging on life support right now since alot of new homes have be built out there. As soon as the cotton field to the north of the airstrip is purchased, that pretty much kills off that site for radio control flight for the nitro/gas power models. Model Helicopters can still fly out there and of course electric models. There is also a grass area that is set up for control line model flying.

On You Tube, I came across this video of a Hangar 9 B-25 Maiden Flight that was filmed at Scobee Field in Houston,Texas. (see embedded video with this article). This size and set up our club would love to have here in Lubbock (or Lubbock County). In fact, I think ten years ago - we as a club were hoping to make FM179 into such a flying site when the opportunity to fly off of Reese Technology Center came up and FM179 improvement plans were set aside when that happened.

The drive to Abernathy take an extra ten minutes than a drive out to FM 179 (or to Reese Technology Center when we were able to fly off that former airbase runways). That extra ten minute drive appears to be some straw that is breaking a lot of club members' backs. I personally have to plan trips out there as if I was taking a cross country trip due to the current cost of fuel. And when I go out, I do not have a plane to fly once I do get out there. That's just makes me a watcher.

That extra ten minute drive means that its harder to plan on having a quick evening flight after putting in a hard day at work. I for one do not know the answer to these questions. Nationally, there is a problem I'm told of attracting new people into the hobby. Why join the AMA and pay club dues when I can fly my super cheap Wal-Mart special out in the park?

Well, I think that the AMA and Radio Control model clubs are for those individuals who want to "go beyond" the Wal-Mart specials. To go on to something like flying a big pattern airplane. To fly a scale model and go to Top Gun. To get into actual turbine jet models.

UPDATE: I posted this blog early this morning. I now have had all day at work to think back over it some. With 20/20 hindsight, I think I can say that Reese Technology Center was the best thing that ever happened to this club - and the worst.

Nothing can compare to a two mile long, 150 foot wide strip of concrete to play with. Lubbock (as of 2 years ago) has no piece of land that (WINGS MAS could use in my opinion), isn't flawed in a major way that will hamper flight operations. There is land to the east of the city, but that puts it near the feedlots (good strong east wind can ruin a picnic), plus it would be under the flight path to Lubbock International Airport to the north, or Town and Country Airport to the south of the city. Both airports are east of the Interstate.

Land west of the interstate the further away one gets just gets even more expensive. Even if the club had a rich sugar daddy and momma to buy a section of land with protected land for our models to fly over, housing developments just keeps on growing southwest of the city. The town of Wolfforth, Texas is a true suburb of Lubbock now. The city limits of Lubbock extend right up to the city limits of Wolfforth. Good land there - just cannot afford to buy it as individual citizens.

So - we have the old rock and a hard place. Like I stated above, I do not have the answers to this problem. But I hope that some can come up with one.

Ref. WINGS (
Picture of rc model of F-4 Phantom II from websearch.

Monday, February 8, 2010

UFO to Reboot in 2011!

I'm late with this news, but it seems that a lot of effort is taking place to do a major motion picture of the 1969 sci-fi British tv program UFO by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

This amazing team created many famous tv programs known as Supermarionation such as Fireball XL-5, Stringray, Captain Scarlet, etc. (mostally they were puppet-based, but UFO was the first Live action program that they came up with). UFO ran for 26 episodes. That was followed by the more famous Space: 1999 that ran for two seasons.

UFO is NOT for children. IT a a dark and sometimes frightening view of the then future 1980s (my god, that was 30 years ago now!). The basic premise of the program was that invading aliens are bent on kidnapping humans for body parts and taking Earth's natural resources back to their own dying world.

Earth is protected by the secret organization known as SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization). Its commander is one Commander Edward Straker. SHADO has a fully equipped moonbase with fighter interceptors, here on Earth, a fleet of submarines that can seperate into two parts - one remains submerged and the other is a flying interceptor. Finally, if a UFO manages to reach the surface, there are land-based APCs known as Mobiles to try and capture or destroy the invaders.

Plus the main characters were quite human - never quite living up 100% of the time as heroic. They had to wrestle with morality and ethics all the time. Commander Straker's personal sacrifices were some of the most moving of the series.

The ladies of the moonbase wore sexy silver suits with purple wigs for some reason. Why the guys didn't purple wigs - well, you have to guess. They had to wear the Nehru-style suits. But - there is always the lovely Lt. Gay Ellis!

Fans of the show would not let it die. When the internet came around, websites such as and others kept the show alive for those who thought to look it up.

Now, it is the 21st century. And one Matthew Gratzner(director) seems to have picked up the baton to make UFO into a movie. So far, actors Joshua Jackson and Ali Larter have been picked to play Paul Foster and Virginia Lake respectively. There is even talk so far that this could turn into a trilogy of films. Scriptwriting duties by Ryan Gaudet and Joseph Kanarek have been taksed to revamp and update the concept. But they are keeping in mind the original tv fans of the show and is expected to do a better job than what JJ Abrams did with the latest telling of the Star Trek francise.

Principal photography is to begin in 2010 with a release n 2011.

The movie poster is pretty faithful to what the original moonbase interceptors looked like. In this poster version, there does appear to be a slight difference in the front missile. It may very well be a missile pod instead of the entire front end being just a nuclear tip missile.

As for sci-fi and adventure/spy films in general, this appears to be a very god year. Spacecruiser Yamato wil be a live action picture. Matt Helm will be coming back to the big screen and now this. I am a very happy camper now!

UPDATE: Found some additional websites including this one that has some concept artwork for this movie (

Ref. (
Matthew Gratzner interview (