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A Brief History of the EMFSO
By Stan Shaw

In the spring of 1985, at the suggestion of Vic Walpole, who was actively promoting electric- powered model flying, a meeting was organized at Doug Forrester's home. Stan Shaw, Bud Wallace and Jack Linghorne also attended. After discussions of the need for an electric flyers group and the need for an executive, the group decided on Stan Shaw as President, Doug Forrester as Vice-President, Jack Linghorne as Treasurer and Vic Walpole as Secretary. Vic also appointed Steve Lentzer as Editor. The membership fee was set at ten dollars and the group was to be called the "Electric Model Flyers of Southern Ontario".

There was so much to learn about electric motors, speed controllers and batteries that we decided to publish a newsletter to keep members up to date on what was happening in electric flying and to promote electric flight.

In the summer of 1985 the group held their first Electric Fun-fly on June 22-23 thanks to the hospitality of the Southern Ontario Glider Group Inc. and the efforts of Bud Wallace and Stan Shaw who were on the executive of SOGGI. Their field was just outside of Rockton, Ontario. It attracted eleven flyers with sixteen models on display, five of which were flown in high winds. Doug Forrester of Richmond Hill ran an ongoing clinic on both days answering a lot of questions and generally being very busy. Jack, Bud and Stan helped with the event but Vic did most of the registrations in spite of the poor weather. Because of the event being "blown and rained" out, a second Fun-fly was scheduled on October 27, again at the SOGGI field.

The lack of a permanent flying site would be an on going problem but the club was able to utilize a number of flying sites thanks to the hospitality and interest of the respective clubs. The clubs saw these special events as an opportunity to raise additional funds and thus continued to offer their fields for the funflys.

To give you an idea of how busy Vic was that year, he visited Steve Lentzer in Sarnia during July. During the visit Vic brought his "Electricus" model that he flew and after he got it to normal launch height for a glider he gave the transmitter over to Steve who put in a forty minute flight! He also mentioned Fred Freeman from Hamilton who was flying an "OHM BRU" and Walter Bek who was flying a "Sky Knight" It seemed that Vic, Doug, Bud, Stan, Walter and Ernie Houslander from down Grimsby way were going to attend the KRC meet in the USA.

Early in September, Vic went to the K/W Scale Fun-fly and saw Steve Gray fly his Beaver on floats. Steve had the design featured as a construction article in Model Builder magazine. On the Labour Day weekend, Vic went to the Oshawa R/C club glider sod farm to witness Doug Forrrester's first flight of his new 112 inch span glider "Electric Circus". Vic flew his Sagitta with a Keller 50/24 cobalt motor with a Geist 13x6 prop on 14 sub-c cells.

Later in October the Second Electric Fun Fly was a success with about 30 pilots showing up in spite of the cool and windy weather. Later in November the club attended the Fall Hobby Show at the International Center and put on a great display of electric powered models that attracted a lot on interest and encouraged more future flyers to try electrics. A lot of credit goes to Vic Walpole and Doug Forrester for organizing and looking after the display along with the executive and several members.

During the first year Bud Wallace had built an Electricus and an Ultra Mk IV for Stan Shaw. Both models utilized Astro 05 Geared motors on seven cells. Jack Linghorne had converted an Olympic II with an geared motor for the funflys.

The second issue of the Electric Model Flyer was a sixteen page issue put out by Vic, Doug and Steve. It showed a membership list of 32 members as of January 1,1986. That was an amazing growth rate considering the club was in existence less than a year. It also announced the first Electric Flight Symposium to be held on March 15th, 1986. The idea of holding the Symposium was Doug's and it turned out to be a major success. Doug and Vic were the speakers at that first meeting. It also marked our first annual general that would be held at the Albion Public library, Rexdale, Ontario, for the next thirteen years! The Symposium would be the highlight of the year along with our annual funfly. Attendance grew to over sixty members and guests by the second year. The second issue of the Electric Model Flyer also displayed a new logo designed by Vic Walpole. It showed a front view of an airplane head-on with a lightning bolt as a propeller. The radial motor consisted of five battery cells showing + and - at each end. The whole design was enclosed by a egg shaped circumference that bordered the words "Electric Model Flyers of Southern Ontario" Later the design would be made into a decal showing a red lightning bolt and motor, dark blue plane and dark blue border and letters. A very attractive design that members enthusiastically displayed on their models and field boxes, etc. During 1986 submissions were made to the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada to start a new committee to represent the electric flyers. Bud Wallace was appointed Committee Chairman in 1987 and together with Stan Shaw proceeded to develop new rules for electric competition as well as promote trials for F.A.I. F3E World Championship contest. Vic Walpole had attended the first W/C in 86' and he was actively promoting interest in the category with limited success. The high cost of the models and electric motors together with the demanding practice required for the tasks limited the appeal for the general members. It was amazing to see how quickly F3E had developed in Europe and the USA. Bud Wallace served as Electric Committee Chairman until 1992 when Stuart Pierce took over the chairman's position.

By 1987 Vic Walpole had managed to get Fred Freeman and Albert Fund to act as regional editors. Vic continued writing the newsletter on his trusty computer. He had changed over from his electronic typewriter to make his life easier! What he didn't plan on was being driven crazy by a erratic disk drive for over two months!

I believe that by 1988 Vic Walpole had taken over as editor and secretary of EMFSO. Steve Lentzner became a regional reporter along with Art Lane of London and Barry Fletcher and Al Cordy of Oshawa. Steve Gray was the Vice-President that year. That year saw the first attempt to hold a Canadian Nationals Electric Championship at the Beverly Community Centre, near Rockton, Ontario. Only four people showed up to fly so the executive decided to have a funfly instead ! On the other hand the annual EMFSO funfly at the Beverly Community Center, near Rockton, Ontario attracted twenty seven pilots that registered 50 planes. Again the wind picked up to stop flying by 2 pm., when Stan passed out the goodies. A number of Americans attended; Ken Myers, Keith Shaw and Jack Laird came from Michigan. Ken Myers wrote in his UFO newsletter about the event :" Even though it was winded out, we all had a great time with some super people. I know that I am planning on returning next year. Why don't more of you join us. It's not far. It's great fun. It's near some nice attractions and would be fun for the whole family."

Vic Walpole also visited the Clarence Soaring Society's electric funfly in Clarence, NY. The Heroine R/C Club sponsored an electric funfly CD'd by Stuart Pierce who had three planes on deck, all of which he flew much better than could Vic that day! There were about twenty-five planes at that event. Jack, Doug, Bud and Stan attended as well as a number of guests. Vic managed to get to the W/C in St.Louis, USA, along with KRC and an Old Timers funfly. It was a very busy year for all the electric flyers, especially for the executive of EMFSO. Art Lane held the second annual Snow Fly in London, Ontario on Feb.14,1988. There were some ten pilots including Keith Walker, Vic Walpole, Bud Wallace and Stan Shaw who braved the cool winds to show the gassies what good electrics could do even better in the cold weather!

Barry Fletcher started "Our Neck of the Woods" series featuring a Monocupe 110 and the DH Beaver in the second issue of the "Electric Model Flyer". He described the Easybuilt kit of the Beaver as a " very pleasant and scale-like (flyer) with a wide speed range and S.T.O.L. performance. This kit is excellent for a builder with a little imagination". Sharing reviews of kits and scratch built models would become one of the most attractive feature of the EMFSO newsletter.

Many thanks to the keen and enthusiastic author-modellers who contributed to the wonderful success of the newsletter with their news, views and reviews over the past sixteen years. Many thanks to the editors, Vic Walpole, Steve Lentzner, Doug Forrester, Rob Campbell, Keith Walker and Al MacDonald who have done a marvelous job maintaining the standard of the newsletter over the past years and contributing to the continued success of the "Electric Model Flyer" newsletter.

Enjoy the building weather and I hope to see you at some of the Fun Flys!