DiscoverNot There YetChampion of Something
Champion of Something

Champion of Something

Update: 2019-07-25
Share

Description

Dad did his fair share of dreaming big. Particularly when it came to his kids.



On a whim in the summer of 1976—no doubt in part because he wanted to drive his shiny silver Alfa Romeo on the twisty and dangerous road through the mountains—my father suggested I have a stab at the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada National Championships held that year in Calgary, Alberta. This was on the strength of some spotty success at similar local model airplane competitions. Dad did his fair share of dreaming big. Particularly when it came to his kids.



For my part, I thought it was a perfectly fine idea, and duly registered to compete in the ‘Standard Sailplane’ category. These were models of around eight foot wingspan, without any sort of motor, controlled by the pilots located safely on the ground and connected to their plane by radio link. The gliders were towed aloft by a winch which spooled up the towline and the small, graceful aircraft rose into the sky like a kite...



*     *     *


Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was published contemporaneously. They key image for this episode Barron Shurn preparing to launch his model sailplane at a Seattle Area Soaring Society contest in June of 2008. This would have been very similar to the competition described in the essay. (photo credit: Bill Kuhlman / RC Soaring Digest)

Comments 
In Channel
Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

2019-08-0929:43

Champion of Something

Champion of Something

2019-07-2517:26

Twitter+

Twitter+

2019-06-2618:40

Framing John DeLorean

Framing John DeLorean

2019-06-1323:32

RV-6

RV-6

2019-05-0228:55

The Comet

The Comet

2019-03-2120:20

'F' for Freddie

'F' for Freddie

2019-03-0724:01

The Arrow

The Arrow

2019-01-2324:20

Fat Kid with a Cello

Fat Kid with a Cello

2019-01-0916:22

Legalization

Legalization

2018-12-1716:57

X-15

X-15

2018-11-2122:43

loading
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store
00:00
00:00
x

0.5x

0.8x

1.0x

1.25x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

Sleep Timer

Off

End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Champion of Something

Champion of Something

Terence C. Gannon