Hi—I’m Jeff Nisley—the webmaster for this site and the author of our first Post.
I must admit that for a number of years as an observer of two of our HAFFA Club Members—Suman Saripalli and Paul Morgenroth, III, I didn’t quite catch on immediately to exactly what they were up to.
Nor did I understand their phenomenal enthusiasm.
As someone relatively new to Free Flight in general I would watch Suman and Paul hard at work fixing what appeared to be a model airplane that was of the free flight type, but these had all kinds of exotic electronic gizmos that Suman and Paul were most happy to explain to me as to how they worked. (I had no clue.) Then before you knew it, they took their prize a few steps forward and Paul, with his transmitter (with several joysticks) in hand, and Suman balancing the plane with one hand and pointing it toward the wind, gently launched it while Paul made certain it had a successful take off. Then we watched. Off it went—then it banked.
What was different that I couldn’t put my finger on is that it didn’t seem at all like the RC Planes that I was accustomed to. No sound blasting noise. This plane stayed up much longer, went slower, responded to all their commands, and really reminded me of the Free Flight planes competing at our annual contest at Marion KS. But with a HUGE difference. These guys were skilled enough to land the plane with seemingly little effort literally at their feet. We then walked a few feet over to see close-up the plane that had just made a perfect landing.
A couple of years later—I now know exactly the sport that they have taken upon themselves to embrace—taking regular free flight older models and converting them to electric battery power. These planes that they enjoy flying now seem extra special. I now get it. Having worked with these guys for a while, I have gained the insight they have enjoyed all along.
So—for all intents and purposes—there doesn’t seem to be
a universal name given to Suman and Paul’s Passion—
Suman and I have come up with a Moniker we think we can give to this subcategory of Aeromodeling—but it will take some getting used to.
It’s common knowledge for some time that older stick and tissue model airplanes have been converted to electric power A.K.A Electric-Assist. That’s not new. What is new is what Suman and especially Paul have deemed important and that is to not only convert the plane to Electric-Assist but in the process trim off all the excess weight and try like the dickens to get the born again bird to fly the longest time on one battery charge. It’s almost a religion for these guys.
So if you haven’t guessed it already—the universal new name or “Moniker” we are giving transformed Old-timer Model Airplanes in this unique style is:
PHEONIX / As Electric-Assist
or PHEONIX / AEA
PHOENIX stands for REBIRTH or Regenerated / AEA stands for As Electric-Assist A.k.A. Electric Power. (And coincidentally AEA also stands for our association’s name—the Aerial Experimental Association. More about this is on our HOME web page.)
Not all older model airplanes that have been converted to Electric-Assist will be worthy of having the the surname of PHOENIX. More about this subject can be found at this web page: PHOENIX / AEA EXPLAINED.
So there you have it. The sole purpose of this website is to rally around a common goal and to provide terminology to something that has existed a while but had no Moniker.
If you would like to leave a comment or question use the LEAVE a REPLY box at the bottom of this post. Thanks. —Jeff—