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I know absolutely nothing about helicopters, but I enjoy watching them fly, especially the scale ones that don't fly upside down or do hot-dog aerobatics. I've always been curious about how they can hook up an electric starter and get the engine going without the rotors turning. I mean, the engine's connected to he main shaft, isn't it? So how can the engine start without turning the rotors?

Well, my curiosity finally got the better of me, so I asked one of them. He said it was possible because of a "centrifugal clutch." I didn't want to advertise my ignorance, so I didn't ask him, but what in the world is a centrifugal clutch?
-Baffled in Beaumont, TX

Dear Baffled:
Yosef Centrifugal was the 7-foot 3-inch center of the 1972 Romanian Olympic basketball team. In the semifinal round against Puerto Rico, he found himself on the foul line with no time remaining and his team trailing by one point. He had only to make one free throw to tie and two to win. Shooting underhand a la Wilt Chamberlain, Yosef's first shot went clear over the back- board and struck a soft pretzel vendor. Changing his style and jump shooting his second attempt, the ball struck an exposed bolt on the backboard superstructure and deflated explosively. So Puerto Rico won this now famous game which ended with the Centrifugal Clutch.


I am a Christian Scientist. When my Enya .60 became hard to start and idled irregularly, I prayed for it to return to its original working order. It now runs and starts as wel1 as ever. When my retractable landing gear system began to not lock reliably in the down position, I prayed for the elimination of this troubling malady. The landing gear now functions flawlessly.

When seven-channel digital RC system started experiencing intermittent signal dropouts, I prayed for a cure of its electronic ills. But on the very next flight, a longer duration dropout

Advice for the Propworn
-By Jake

occurred and my cherished aircraft plummeted into a stand of trees. My faith has been sorely tested by this experience. Do you have any insight for me?
-Marion in Mayrair, MA

Dear Marion:
Two out of three ain't bad!

What's the difference between a two BIT digital array processor and a four BIT microprocessor memory mapper?
Paul Shrenk from PA

Dear Paul:
Twenty-five cents.

Hi, it's me, Tommy Smith. How are you and your family! My little brother's skin graft is healing nicely, but we had to throw his catcher's mask away.

I have a question about those things called debonders. Do they really work? Like if our cat's front paws accidentally got glued to his scratching post, would that debonder stuff get him loose? Or how about if Nancy Papanak's lunch box won't open, would debonder help get the lid off? One more thing, is it safe to use on hair?

These are all hypopotical questions. I hope you understand. It's not that I would ever have to use this debonder stuff. I was just curious.

-Your friend, Tommy Smith
P S. Did you know that ear wax and super-glue make smoke?

Dear Tommy:
Debonders really do work. In fact, if you had some, you could have removed the piece of pizza that was stuck to the envelope before you mailed your letter to me.
- jake

If you're through with the nonsense in this month's column, could we get on to something serious?

We are losing far too many flying fields and something has to he done about it. So far, you've done nothing to help. Isn't it about time you got off your duff?
-Outraged in Oneonta, NY

Dear Outraged:
Hey, if you can't remember where you put your flying field, don't blame me. I haven't lost anything since 1963, if you don't count my ex-wife Gloria, so l just can't relate to you absent-minded types who'd lose your hats if they weren't nailed down. Try dropping bread crumbs next time you leave the field, and maybe you'll be able to find your way back.
- jake

DEAR Horse's Hind Quarters:
Several issues ago, I told you that I had lost the wing of my Byron F-86 ducted fan aircraft and asked you where I could get a replacement. You said not to bother, and that I could just use the fuselage as a leaf blower.

Sounded okay to me, so I tried it. Actually worked pretty well, if the truth be known. But my courteous neighbors and our local police authorities have informed me that I have violated several noise ordinances, and that my fine will exceed $500.

I oughta take it right out of your hide.
-Clyde in Goshen, MI

Dear Clyde:
Sorry, I can't hear you. Some jerk next door is cleaning his driveway with an F-16.
- jake

Reprinted From MODEL BUILDER Magazine February 1991
Click here to go to the DEAR JAKE archives.

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