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"Cox Tee Dee .051 RC Marine"



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Post  Kim Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:23 am

This past week, I lost yet another great friend, and fellow model airplane fanatic.  Through the 1980's and 90's Neal Needham and our band of miniature aviators religiously met at the airport in Cairo, Illinois, raising all kinds of havoc from a dead-end ramp, and entertaining the Sunday Flyers with our assorted antics.

Neal died this past Thursday, after a 6-month battle with lung cancer.  He'd been sick for a while before, but wrote it off as bronchitis.  I knew nothing about this deal 'till my brother called with the news that he had passed.  So, another great guy is taken from us.

Neal flew from both ends of the scale, and might show up with anything, from his "Relax Plane" a Cox Sportavia, to a ducted fan F-16 monster that was the wildest thing in our little groups' inventory.  He'd fly his F-16...then fly the Sportavia  to "settle down" afterward.

In between, there were dozens of pre-built planes and those Neal built himself, all widely and wildly varying in size and purpose.

His  last project is a yet-to-be finished FW-190D ARF, of which, I don't yet have much info...other than the fact that it's "Big".  His son Eric, who doesn't build, has given me the task of finishing Neal's plane, which I've accepted.  At this point, I don't know the actual size, or brand of engine, other than it's a "5 hp something".

This project is now a priority, and I want to get it finished and ready for the first nice flying day that our schedule allows.  My sole experience with large planes is limited to my beloved Mud Duck...a slow floater, not at all in a league with Neal's Wulf.  So, I may be needing help from some of you to get this big dog going.

I know there are other forums that might cover this subject, but I don't want to sift through egos and braggadocio I always seem encounter everywhere but here...I need the real stuff.  I'll be checking in again shortly, with more facts about Neal's plane, and will appreciate any thoughts and advice on making this project go.  I'm surely over-thinking the whole deal, but that's just my programming.

Thanks Guys !!!


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Not a very good photo, but indicative of our adventures back in the day:  Neal would call me up,  "Hey Kim, I got us a great place to fly...over close to Cache River!"  Off we'd go, spending an hour stomping down the bean stobbs and stalks to help save our wings' covering.  Here, we're working on one of Neal's planes, with his always-present son and best-buddy, Eric closely monitoring.
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Neal preps his Byrons F-16...a ritual that took about 45 minutes...
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The 16 turns final
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Me, Neal, and Eric...back in the day:
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Post  duke.johnson Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:38 am

Kim-So sorry to hear of you're loss.
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Post  Kim Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:00 am

Thanks Duke...yet another reminder to try our best to stay in touch with our great friends.
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Post  duke.johnson Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:10 am

I hear you, I was on the phone for over an hour with two old timer flying buddies last night. I just felt like I should call them and get caught up. One had been in the shop all day working on RC and Cl planes and the other worked on a free flight and searched the NET for plane stuff. They can really motivate me to build, so I can keep up.
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Post  RknRusty Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:31 am

Kim I have a friend in my RC club that builds large scale. Hopefully I can tap him for tips and answers to questions about the big ones. Keep us posted and hopefully we all can collaborate to get this built in honor of your buddy.
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Post  Kim Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:37 am

Thanks Rusty!

I'll be posting photos and such on this thread as the project goes along. I simply can't allow myself to lose momentum on this project, and will also be copying this to Eric's (Neal's son) Facebook Page, as Neal had quite a broad group of friends.

My first thing will to be going to Neal's shop...an emotional deal in itself...to take video and photos and gather some of the literature on the plane and it's engine.

Greatly appreciate my friends here and all your assistance !!!

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Post  WingingIt74 Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:25 am

Sorry to hear that Kim...
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Post  roddie Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:42 am

Kim, What can I say...? You have my most sincere condolences, in the wake of your losing two great friends within weeks of each other. God Bless you man.

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