2nd Annual Float Fly

A review of the 2008 float fly at the Di Pasquale cottage on Cayuga Lake.
Sunday started out looking like a bust. Cloudy and light rain early. I figured it was going to be canceled. No....the rain stopped and I called Greg to see if it was still on. He said Harry, Doc M., and Bob Babcock were there with others on their way….and that he hoped for the best. I got there around 11:00AM, followed by Jim Rundle, Ray Coolbaugh, Dave and Bud Woolley. A friend of Greg’s who races boats was also there. The biggest surprise was Jim Rundle arriving on his bike. Yes…..he rode all the way from his house to Greg’s. At least ten miles or more through some now and then drizzle. I guess warming up for the “Ride for Life” tour around the lake the following weekend.

The lake was calm most of the day. Harry had his LT-40 with floats, Doc a 90 size fueled Heli and my .60 Magnum powered Alpha. Ray flew his tiny light-weight indoor flyer around the yard. Greg gave his small orange colored electric racer a successful ride near the shore....very fast and nimble. We coaxed him to bring out his gas powered, a recent 2nd place winner in Elmira. Congrats to Greg!! Harry flew his LT inverted and put it into spins that we all thought would end up in the drink. No such luck....he made all the maneuvers look easy. After many pulls on the starter cord, Greg finally got his gas boat going. This baby really flies! He raced around and around leaving wakes similar in pattern to the Indy 500. But…..his last high-speed pass ended up with the prop in the bottom of Cayuga. The boat fortunately floated back to shore. Greg had his Cub with floats out, but the wind was a bit too strong to fly again…..for anyone.

Then there was Harry, trying to start a glow-fueled engine, maybe .25 in size that was made by Bud Woolley. Harry had done some work on it also. The effort put forth by Harry was a blast. Harry got so greasy; he looked like a mechanic from your local car dealer after pulling a transmission out and never wiping his hands. The wooden prop also turned aluminum gray from all the metal coming out of the exhaust. He did finally start it….all in honor of Bud. We all cheered when he got it running. The engine turns a pusher prop in reverse of what we are used to in a typical glow engine. The starter leads are also reversed for cranking. (This is an engine of .42 cubic inch displacement that was designed and built by Bud Woolley back around 1928! He never finished the motor, though, and Dave gave it to me back in June. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that it could be made to run with a little work. It needed a prop driver, a cylinder head, a bypass cover, some work done on the piston, and a way to mount it and admit fuel and air – I made a reed valve induction system for that. I used a glow plug for simplicity, though Bud would have used spark ignition if he had finished it. My goal was to leave Bud’s work alone as much as possible and do just what was necessary to get it to run. It was very tight and was nowhere near broken in, which is why the aluminum mentioned by Dan was coming out of it- Harry )

Now some tales of Doc’s flights. His effort to get the chopper off the water did not work very well. A wake from a passing boat turned the Heli on its side. Before Doc cut the throttle, it looked like a fish flopping around after being snagged by a nasty barbed hook. Doc dried it out and took off from land....this time successfully. But trying to land it in the water near shore proved that small and narrow set floats can’t hold a large Heli upright. Yep.....dry out time once again!

Everyone brought a dish to pass. Lot’s of variety in salads, fruit bowls, watermelon, many other goodies, and of course burgers and dogs. Greg even had the rolls to match the meats this year. A good time once again was had by all. Thanks to Greg for providing a place to fly. Looking forward to another Greg D Float Fly next year!

Written by Dan Stomka