Oakland Cloud Dusters
Free Flight from the San Francisco Bay Area and Beyond


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  • December 17, 2021 5:49 AM | Web Master (Administrator)

    Telegraph, Orville Wright to Bishop Milton Wright, Kitty Hawk, December 17, 1903

    Success four flights Thursday morning all against twenty-one mile wind started from level with engine power alone average speed through air thirty-one miles longest fifty-seven seconds inform press home Christmas.

    Telegrapher typo, the longest flight was actually 59 seconds.

    1903 Wright Flyer

    • Span 40' 4"
    • Length 21' 1"
    • Height 9'
    • Chord 6' 6"
    • Gap 6' 6"
    • Camber 1/20
    • Wing area 510 sq ft
    • Weight 605 lb
    • Power 12 hp, 170 lb, 4-cyl Wright

    (via Gary Hinze)

  • December 10, 2021 12:47 AM | Web Master (Administrator)

    Honorary club member Sherman Gillespie was posthumously inducted into the AMA Hall Of Fame in 2021. His nephew Lloyd traveled to Muncie to receive the award for the family.

    Congratulations Sherman!

  • August 19, 2021 10:59 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    Legendary Oakland Cloud Dusters member Hank Cole turns 100 today (August 19th)!

    We had the honor of seeing Hank at regular Cloud Duster lunch meetings in Redwood City along with his " Show and Tell" discussions of his long, extensive aeromodelling background.

    Here are a couple videos featuring Hank.



  • July 03, 2021 12:02 AM | Web Master (Administrator)

    Please see below a proposal from Paul Masterman for those windy days where Free Flight activities are grounded, but you're still itching to fly! It is a 2M RES (Rudder, Elevator, Spoiler) RC glider event. RC gliders are as close as radio controlled models can get to Free Flight models.


    at trying to interest Club members in a new event

    F3 RES

    A couple of meetings ago, I mentioned an event (relatively new, but now worldwide in acceptance) which is an attempt to enlist the community in a lowkey, fun ‘competition’ which fits a smaller group, such as ourselves, rather than the ‘Mega’ groups involved with high-pressure contests.

    F3 RES is international – since it’s classified under the FAI (FEDERATION AERONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE)  Model Aircraft designation (F) then radio-controlled (3), then ‘RES’ - Rudder, Elevator and SPOILER models.  These are lowkey airplanes (I nearly said aeroplanes) limited to two metres maximum span wings and using ‘conventional’ construction – balsa and spruce for example, but allowed to use modern materials for major components such as wing spars and tail booms of carbon composite construction).  It’s a contest related to flight duration, but with a window of time and an additional requirement to land the aircraft on a pre-designated spot, which gives the flyer bonus points.  A group of flyers fly in a round and their recorded scores are a ratio of the times recorded, with the leader scoring 100 and those further down the list scoring appropriately.  All aircraft are launched via ‘bungee’ system – and together.

    This is an overview.  As a free-flighter, I’d like to add this type of aircraft to my fleet and then come over to the ‘dark side’ and join you IF we can find enough interest from members.  However, I’m still seriously considering buying, building and flying one of these aircraft types since it sounds like a really fun thing to do – and when the breeze is a bit marginal for free flight – it’s a chance to get in some flying when I’d normally be stuck on the ground - PSM

  • July 02, 2021 11:38 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of Oakland Cloud Dusters Honorary Member Lou Young. A message we received from his daughter Becky follows.

    Hi all:

    My dad Lou died on Tuesday evening. He had been struggling for a
    number of years with Alzheimer's, so this was not unexpected. The end,
    however, came quickly and peacefully. He'd stopped being able to eat
    and drink just the Saturday before. Hospice called me on Tuesday and
    me and my daughter and son, Halley and Ben, dropped everything to come hang out with him and my mom. Two little grandkids, aged 1 and almost 4, were around, too. The next day, my son Noah drove down from Bellingham and my brother Tim drove up from California. So my dad and mom were surrounded by people up till the end. As I write this, my mom, grandson Thorin and Tim are watching Paddington.

    My mother is doing okay sometimes, not as well other times. July 4
    would have been my parents 67th wedding anniversary. She enjoys
    getting mail, so if anyone is inspired to send a card or note – maybe
    with some memories of my dad, I'm certain those would be appreciated.

    I don't know yet about donations. There won't be a service – my
    parents' choice. The funeral home is Edwards Mortuary in University
    Place, Washington. We'll post an obituary on their site this coming
    week and possibly in the San Jose Mercury News. **

    Jean Young
    1301 N. Highland Parkway #441
    Tacoma, WA 98406

    Best regards,

  • May 04, 2021 8:37 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    31st Northern California Free Flight Championship was held at the Waegell Field in Rancho Cordova. We had good attendance, with many flyers  from Oregon and Southern California joining the action.

    We enjoyed good weather on Friday and on Saturday when most of the flying was done. Those two flying days ended with a happy hour, including live music by Mark Sexton, with Ken Bauer joining him on Saturday, and with Guy Menano in vocals.

    There were few flyers early on Sunday, and flying was cut short due to increasing winds in mid-morning.

    Here are some pictures for your enjoyment, from the Saturday session, courtesy of Bill Lundgren.


  • January 17, 2021 11:54 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    In this relatively quiet free-flight period due to the pandemic there is still some activity going on. Here are a couple videos from the San Valeers Annual 2020 contest held at Lost Hills FFMA in late October 2020 and some photos of OCD member Ates Gurcan flying his Tsh-3 Russian ground attack plane (photo credits Tom Faith).

    Dakota time target (video)

    Late Sunday activity (video)

    Ates' test flights for his Tsh-3 (photos)

  • October 19, 2020 10:50 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Dick Douglas passed away on Friday, October 9th after suffering major health issues over the past year.

    As many of you know, Dick was responsible for volunteering his expertise in maintaining our annual contest points schedule for both the Oakland Cloud Dusters and the Northern California Free Flight Council, and making sure that the trophies were maintained and presented at each annual awards banquet.

    In later years, he enjoyed competing in the Hand Held, Catapult and the large, OCD Catapult glider events.

    He held virtually every position within the club, including taking over as "Sgt-at-Arms" for each monthly meeting from founding member Carl Rambo.

    He will be greatly missed,

    Fred Terzian

    Oakland Cloud Dusters President

    Dick helping youth at Moreland 2008

    Dick with Rocco Ferraro in 2011
    (L-R) Bill Vanderbeek, Fred Terzian, Dick Douglas
    at Waegell Norcal-2018

    Dick at Waegell Norcal-2018

  • May 16, 2020 8:10 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    Since there are plans for a June 6th contest at Waegell Field, we thought it was appropriate to include Andrew Barron's suggestion for how to prepare and run a contest in this Covid-19 atmosphere. Read below:

    Dear Free flight friends,

    Some of you have already received notice of the upcoming contest at Barron Field in Wawayanda from Tom Juel, Alan Abriss or Aram Schlosberg.  This note is to expand the distribution somewhat, in case we have missed someone who is interested, and to discuss the field use constraints.

    The meet will be held on Sunday May 17 with a start time and end time designed to allow as many as possible to come without requiring an overnight stay in the area.  I have been to the field to practice several times in the past few weeks. It is in good condition for our flying.  

    Social distancing is important.  Park your cars farther from each other than usual. For your flights, have your timer be at least 2 or 3 meters away.  Please state the result for the contest director or assistant to record (you can maintain a flight card but don't put it in someone else's hand). 

    If you are a towline flyer.  Place your model on the ground and start to string out so that you can keep sensible distance.  Your launcher can then comfortably pick up the model to assist you.

    Please have cleaning wipes (ideally disinfecting wipes) with you and clean the steering wheel and any part of the golf carts your hands have touched after each use.  Be understanding that offering rides is problematic

    Likewise clean appropriate parts of the portable toilet after each use.

    Masks are needed anytime you are in the general vicinity of others.  What I have been doing is wearing a bandana around the neck.  It is down off my face when I am towing or retrieving far from others.  But when I am in the vicinity of others I raise the bandana over my mouth and nose.

    I suggest bringing your own food and being gassed up before you start your drive.  This way you don't need to stop at any stores on the way to the field or on your way home.

    Some may wonder about holding the contest in New York while the coronavirus is still a concern in the state.  Please understand that the number of participants at these Barron Field meets have not been very large in recent years.  15 to 25 participants is typical.  These moderate numbers make it possible to keep the appropriate social distancing.  New York and other states are wisely encouraging people to get outside and get healthy air and healthy exercise, subject to the now familiar constraints I have here discussed.



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Check out the Upcoming Events page, for a listing of meetings and contests.  Please register for the event in order to receive a timely email reminder.  The reminder email will also contain any last minute information which may be helpful.

The site also manages the membership.  With your paid membership, you can access the members-only section.  As a member, you will be able to:

  • View & update your member information
  • View the names and contact information of other members
  • View club contest scores and overall standings
  • Purchase free-flight items at-cost (Badge Timers and FAI rubber)
  • Access members-only plans

The cost of membership is $15 for 12 months.  Individuals under the age of 19 (AMA Juniors and Seniors) are free, subject to verification.

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