I just thought one of those one quarter size R/C car chassis with
a chain saw motor. My buddy and I were talking about what would
be a good body to go on it. We agreed on the Barracuda. How would
I go about scaling down a Barracuda to the right size?
-Rodder in Redwood, California
I'm a fresh water fisherman myself, but I'm sure the same procedures
woud apply. Hold your barracuda by the tail, scrape the scales from
the tail toward the head and keep scraping until all the scales
are gone. If that's not small enough, just keep scraping, I guess.
I see you call yourself a rodder. Do you prefer spinning
tackle or bait casting?
What's a butterfly carburetor?
Joe in Jonestown, New York
It's a fuel/air mixture device on a Harley Lepidoptera.
A year and a half ago we bought the kids an adorable little puppy.
That adorable little puppy now weighs 115 pounds and is required
to sound a warning beeper whenever it backs up.
My parents, God bless 'em, treat the pup like another grandchild
and shower him with presents. Last month they sent a little rubber
toy shaped like an airplane. It had one of those squeakers in it
and emitted an annoying squeal whenever the pup chewed on it.
It seemed harmless enough, until today at the flying field. The
pup apparently spotted a resemblance between his toy and my airplane
because he trotted over and bit through the fuselage. Having done
that, he got a puzzled, disappointed look on his face and walked
As much as I hate having to repair the plane, I think I can at
least understand what happened. Having gotten used to chewing on
a rubber airplane, the pup just thought he was doing the same thing
on a larger scale. I do kind of wonder why he reacted like he did,
George in Crove City, Ohio
He probably couldn't figure out why it didn't squeak.
Low-wing and high-wing I can understand. They're pretty
much self-explanatory, right? But what's the difference between
mid-wing and shoulder-wing?
Fran in Frederick, Maryland
for the Propworn
Picture the fuselage as a human body. A high-wing is up by
the hat. A low-wing is down by the shoes. A mid-wing would
be at the belt line. A shoulder-wing, narurally enough, would
be up near the shoulder. The only one you left out would be
mounted above the knee. This is the little known three-quarter
My name is Gerald Smith. I am Tommy Smith's uncle. I am writing
on behalf of the entire Smith family to urge you to stop encouraging
Tommy by publishing his letters. We have tried to steer Tommy
out of modeling, away from super glues, and into a safer pastime
such as stamp collecting or antfarming.
Tommy cites you as an example and his idol, and insists on
continuing his exploits with wood, plastic, and instant adhesives.
Consequently, no insurance company will carry us, and there
isn't a domestic animal in the neighborhood without at least
one bald spot.
No family member is immune. I myself have been wearing a
toupee continuously for over four years now because it won't
come off. Aunt Harriet had to have the paramedics remove a
telephone receiver from her grip, and Cousin Irene's spandex
toreador pants had to be shaved off by a surgeon. (That one
may not have been Tommy's fault. Irene has put on a few pounds
Please reweigh the entertainment value to your readers of
Tommy's adventures versus the potential damage to life on
this planet as we know it. I urge you to either cease publishing
Tommy's letters, or better yet, warn him in print of the danger
Thank you, Gerald Smith
I always felt Tommy's imagination added a flair to his
stories that embellished considerably upon reality. Apparently
not. I will do what I can.
WARNING! Do not. . . I repeat. . . Do not loan your hat to
Uncle Gerald. His toupee must be absolutely moldy by now.
What's the hardest thing for a novice R/C flier to learn?
Hank in Handley, New Mexico
Some would say it's to learn to reverse right and left
when flying toward yourself. I would say it's learning to
keep your temper when the crowd at the crash scene starts
chanting, "Pilot error . . . Pilot error . . . Pilot error."
How's your book coming along? What did you decide to call
Reader in Reading, Pennsylvania
We've decided to call it "Not Necessarily the Worst of
Dear Jake" because the publisher thought "The Best of Dear
Jake" was an oxymoron. You remember what oxymorons are, don't
you? They're self-contradictory terms like "jumbo shrimp,"
"pretty ugly," "military intelligence," and "The Nixon Library."
The book is not going too well because nobody outside
fhe modeling hobby understands any of the material. Come to
think of it, most people in the modeling hobby don't understand
any of the material.
All is not lost, however. The book needs to sell about
a million copies in order to be a profitable undertaking for
the publisher. Since we have a few hundred thousand modelers
in the States, that means the project will be a go if each
one of you promises to buy five copies.
So, send in your pledges, I'll forward them to the publisher,
and we'll get this sucker off the ground.