One of the four tantalizing clues that Dad left behind. (image: Dr. R. Patrick Gannon)

Never miss an opportunity to ask your folks a question.

My father was an institutional physician, which is to say that while our family never lacked for any necessity, we were in no way wealthy. Dad prized time with his family above all else and he was going to be damned if some high paying, private practice position was going to keep him from that. He made professional choices in the 1950s which would look positively modern in the 2020s. …

An exciting launch into big air at an F3F event in Taiwan in September of 2008. (image: ©2008 Yusr Wang, all rights reserved, used with permission.)

Our modest role in making the world a better place.

An essential element of the re-launch of the NEW R/C Soaring Digest was to clearly articulate, through our Community and Social Media Policy statements, the ground rules for interaction with the RCSD readership and the aspirations for how the readership would interact with each other when using any of RCSD’s platforms. In doing this, I more-or-less assumed there would be some push back of some sort at some point. The truth is, there has been virtually none. In fact, the opposite: feedback has been much more on the supportive side of the ledger. …

Jim Walker shows off one of his experimental Sonic Control Gliders in Oregon in the 1940s.

Thoughts on the collision between the old world and the new.

One of my earliest memories — I must have been five or six at the time — was when my father decided it was time to pass along his lifelong love of all things that fly, and bought us a Guillow’s Javelin. My brother and I were absolutely not capable of assembling the delicate balsa wood frame, not to mention attaching the diaphanous green and yellow tissue. So really it was more of an exercise in Dad building, and us watching, but the smell of the dope on the tissue was intoxicating. …

“le pilote s’appelait Gaston et c’est grâce à lui que nous avons découvert le modelisme il y a 20 ans…Il nous a aidé à régler nos premiers modeles…une bien belle aventure, les premiers pas sont toujours plein de doute” — words and image by Régis Geledan, Gez-ez-Angles, Hautes-Pyrénées, France.

Spring is finally here. And so is Fall.

For those of us in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere — the part where it gets cold and snowy mid-November and stays that way until the end of March — there’s nothing quite like feeling the first warming rays of the sun in Spring and watching the last sad remnants of dirty snow drip away. The world is once again full of possibility and we think of summer days to come and the new chapter in our flying journal we’re going to write.

Having grown up in a time when you simply accepted what the science teacher said…

Getting ready to launch a Dream-Flight Alula at Beachside, Oregon in late summer of 2015. (image: Michelle Klement)

That was fun, can we do it again?

Welcome to the February, 2021 issue of the NEW R/C Soaring Digest. In last month’s column, my first In The Air, I introduced myself and talked a little bit about RCSD’s history, where things stand today and where I hope to take it in the future — with your help — as each new issue is published.

The time since the January issue was published has been filled with all sorts of exciting developments, some significant challenges and, yes, a few surprises I wasn’t expecting. But mostly, I look back on the past month and my thoughts are about the…

Barron Shurn prepares 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. (image: Bill Kuhlman / RC Soaring Digest)

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

This article from 2019 originally appeared in The Selected Curve and is reprinted here with the permission of the author. It includes new material not found in the original article.

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…

The original R/C Soaring Digest masthead designed by its Founder, Editor and Publisher Jim Gray, which appeared in Volume 1 Number 1 back in January of 1984. The beautiful contemporary update is by Editors Emeritus Bill and Bunny Kuhlman.

Welcome back. We really missed you.

In his first monthly editorial, Terence C. Gannon, the recently appointed Managing Editor of the NEW R/C Soaring Digest, pays tribute to the past and talks about the future of the publication.

I am both humbled and honoured — and a little nervous — to bring you the very first issue of the NEW R/C Soaring Digest. Officially, this is Volume 36, Number 1 which means that RCSD published for an unbroken run of over 400 issues sweeping across 35 years concluding in December of 2018. Most recently, it was very ably published by Bill and Bunny Kuhlman. My first…

left: David Falconer via US National Archives. | middle: US Department of Defense via Wikimedia. | right: Bethany Lindley via Facebook.

First hand observations from times I thought the world would stop turning.

My mother and I took Wardair to the UK in late 1973 to visit my still hail and hearty grandparents. The same could not be said for the UK itself which was suffering high inflation, pervasive labour unrest and a growing malignant malaise which would beset the nation for years. None of that had any effect whatsoever on a 12 year old living it up in the Pythonesque, quirky home of his ancestors while having the unalloyed attention of his doting grandparents and mother.

I spent my days ‘working’ at my grandparents clothing factory on London Road in Manchester. Getting…

Passengers on a Trans-Canada Airlines DC-8 have pre-dinner drinks in the lounge. (image/caption:

Getting back on a plane may look more like the past than the future.

If I was an airline executive — I’m not even remotely close — I would spend all of my waking hours thinking about what my airline is going to do to ensure every passenger who gets on every one of my flights is as 100% COVID-free as humanly possible. Pre-flight blood tests, nasal swabs, quarantines, COVID contact tracking apps or whatever other newly invented magic is available are all on the table. Whatever it takes. I absolutely would not be waiting for new regulatory requirements to come down the pipe. They may well be in the ‘risk reduction’ realm as…

An image of a real NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets. The digital crowd is courtesy of Visual Concepts’ NBA 2K20 video game.

A modest proposal for rebooting spectator sports in the COVID era.

Before I go any further let me clearly state that not being able to watch sports on TV is a concern not even remotely close to the trials routinely faced by health care and other essential workers in the time of COVID-19. We already owe them a debt we cannot hope to repay. Also, it almost goes without saying it’s not even in the same universe as those who have already lost loved ones to the diabolical virus or may be suffering with the disease itself. Compared to these things, not getting the see how the Raptors’ season turns out…

Terence C. Gannon

Not There Yet.

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