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


April 26, 2024 8:00 AM • Waegell Field
May 04, 2024 8:00 AM • Alameda Naval Air Museum
May 06, 2024 11:00 AM • Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City
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  • June 30, 2023 8:07 AM | Web Master (Administrator)

    The OCD club meeting which regularly takes place on the first Monday of each month is moved to July 10, 2023, since the first Monday falls within the 4-day 4th of July weekend this year. 

  • January 17, 2023 10:18 PM | Ates Gurcan (Administrator)

    Sad news from the San Francisco Bay Area. Legendary Free Flight Sportsman Henry "Hank" Cole passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 12th at the age of 101 and 5 months.

    Just before his 100th birthday in August of 2021, he contracted a rare form of Shingles that hospitalized him for over six months. He was released to his constant daughter's care at his home in Los Altos, California and was mending as time progressed. Ultimately diagnosed with cancer as well, he finally succumbed.

    Most sportsmen knew that he was a Hall of Fame member with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the National Free Flight Society and Society of Antique Modelers. Some are not aware that he also contributed to the success of landing Astronauts on the moon in 1969. May You Rest in Peace my longtime friend.

    Fred Terzian

  • December 11, 2022 2:25 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

  • September 02, 2022 4:13 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    We are informing all with a heavy heart that we have lost Roger Gregory, he passed away on August 31.

    A master builder, draftsman and flyer for the many years. He will be missed, and we were fortunate to have seen him during our April/May Nor-Cal contest earlier this year.

    Oakland Cloud Dusters 

  • May 29, 2022 9:01 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    (Event pictures here)

    The theme of the 32nd Annual Nor Cal is in honor of legendary Oakland Cloud Duster member Hank Cole who will turn 101 this year. As most of you know He is a Hall of Fame member of the National Free Flight Society (NFFS), Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), and possibly Society of Antique Modelers (SAM). What you may not know is that he was also instrumental in the success of landing Neil Armstrong on the surface of the moon back in 1969 while working for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) most recently at Ames at Moffett Field in Mountain View. His daughter has recently created a Facebook page for him and is listed under "Hank Cole" Please contribute and request him as a friend if you are into social media.

    I did not arrive there until about 4:45 pm Friday, getting a late start and hitting all of the commuter eastbound traffic out of the Bay Area. Presumably going home or planning early getaways to the Sierra mountains.

    Wind was predicted the whole weekend, which probably discouraged many not to make the trip, along with rising gas prices and travel distance.

    Bill V, cancelled the flying events Friday and rescheduled Vintage FAI gas to Saturday, which turned out to be one of the best days ever to fly there. Early plans were to move the headquarters registration table to the top of one of the Southeast hills, which meant my Cadillac DTS would remain near the Porta Potties as it probably would have gotten stuck in a water channel ravine!

    The F1B Wakefield contingent (about four of them) decided to set up their stooges on flat land rather than on the hill. A good choice and easier to access with vehicles.

    Flying conditions ran smoothly with the wind pattern heading slightly Northwest towards Sunrise Blvd. It later changed to a Northeast direction, which also gave us the best drift and chase pattern. Most flights aided by strong thermals went almost directly overhead before drifting with the gusts to locations not too far to retrieve on foot or by motorcycle.

    Monday was predicted to have strong winds again by noon, so most present began flying early starting at 8 am. When we broke for a barbecue lunch at about 12, those who participated had to hold onto their paper plates with either polish sausages or hamburgers, all prepared by Bill's brother Loren. The shade canopies threatened to become unstaked but held their ground. Official flying was finished before 1pm and it was decided to have the awards ceremony quickly so that all present could get an early start home.

    Tradition has been to have five $100 bills given out between a series of awards presentations, with each contestant getting a ticket when registering. Bill's purpose was to encourage contestants to remain for the prize ceremonies. Would you believe that the first four names drawn had already left the field?!!! This really increased (improved) the chances of those present to win one of those bills. The outright winners of $300 went to the Oregon guys: Glenn and Bruce Grell plus Bob Stalick. Paul Masterman also won, but was asleep when his name was called! Maybe he should have been disqualified. ;-) !!!

    Despite the marginal attendance, I believe everyone had a good time, especially with socializing and taking advantage of picking up a lot of modeling merchandise that I was donating to the Tangent gang and offering to those present for support of the NFFS Junior program. A coffee can netted $175 for the juniors and many items were offered for free, including many Tatone/KSB clockwork timers, engines, ten free flight kits, Tan II rubber, FAI black/grey rubber (good for Catapult Glider launchers), and balsa sheets, plus hardwood and accessories.

    The field was pretty well cleared by 2:30 and those that remained were Bill and Loren pulling their trailers, and me and my Cadillac. We were out of the main gate at 3:30 after slowly moving forward through all of the livestock that were being herded into large cargo trailers by six cowboys on horseback and trailed by herding sheep dogs. I will have to add that there was also an absolutely gorgeous young lady on horseback with the same type of Western attire. I gave her a thumbs up out of the Cadillac's window, along with a wide grin. She responded in the same way! Still wondering if she was the daughter of the livestock owner, or possibly the owner herself!

    On the FAI side, those who duked it out were in the F1B class (Walt Ghio, Mike Davis tied for a later flyoff and Jerry Fitch). Ken Bauer represented F1A with spectacular launches but in many cases, tough air picking results. No matter, he won first place! No F1C. Some we expected were no shows (Mennanos). F1Q was represented by Ben Tarcher and Jack Murphy, traveling all the way from Utah. He also flew F1S, E-36, Electric A and Electric B. Almost every class of Electric events. Most popular event was F1S with Jack Murphy winning, Paul Masterman, Larry Norvall and Ben Tarcher placing in that order.

    Fred Terzian - OCD President

  • May 04, 2022 3:02 PM | Web Master (Administrator)

    We are attempting to restart our club lunch meetings again this month, with hopes of honoring Hank Cole with a large, signed Hallmark card. It was passed around at the OCD sponsored Nor Cal Free Flight Champs this past weekend. We would like to include those individuals (You!) who were not able to attend the three-day event at Waegell Field.

    We will meet at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City, near El Camino Real and Woodside Rd. Grab some lunch, and let's talk and share models, ideas and stories. Please plan to be there around 11 am, so you can order your food before the regular lunch time crowd and be settled in to enjoy your meal. Hopefully we could use the larger separate room for our group to avoid noise and other patrons. In any event, we have a better chance of gathering by showing up early when they first open. We will then determine the actual start time of the meeting agenda plus show and tell projects before or afterwards.

    If you are planning to attend, please let us know ahead of time by taking one of the following actions:

    Hope to see you at Harry's!

    Directions from Highway 101
    • From 101 North or South, take the Woodside Rd West Exit
    • Proceed on Woodside Rd to El Camino Real North Exit
    • At end of off-ramp turn left onto Main Street even though the sign says El Camino Real North. Do not turn right
    • Harry's parking lot will be on your right

    Harry's Hofbrau
    1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94063

    Click here to view the location on Google maps.

  • 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

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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.

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