Wright Stuff


Chao He (2008)

What can I say about RAY HARLAN? Oh yea, I already did say a lot about him, last year (keep reading). NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Ray Harlan knows what he's doing when it comes to Wright Stuff. If 5th place at Nationals last year was Exhibit A, then this year in Washington DC was Exhibit 1A.


We used the plane that was broken last year at Nationals. He fixed it up to new, gladly gave us this awesome 4/01 rubber that was about 10 percent better than anyone else's, and we just went there, went first, and got second place. And second place at Nationals isn't for noobs. You've got to know your stuff. I got an okay flight the first flight, 2:45 in 23 ft ceiling. Then the second time, it hit the ceiling and dropped about 10 ft, but then climbed back up and that boosted time to 3:09, good for second place behind two girls that got 3:27

Ray will be able to better explain the actual technical details of this event, but pretty much, use his design first of all because that's a proven design. Cut different lengths of rubber because you'll never know what the ceiling height is, and different ceiling heights call for different diameter rubber. Make a torque meter (unless ours miraculously survived) and measue the launch torque. Generally, you'll want to wind up to about .7 ft-lbs and then back it off to about .4, which will ensure you have enough turns in it but won't hit the ceiling and get the plane stuck. Make sure your CG is about near the trailing edge of the wing. And in general, protect your model like it is your life. Because they are fragile and will break, and you don't want to miss out on a Nationals medal because of something like that

Chao He (2007):

RAY HARLAN. I repeat, RAY HARLAN. 508-358-4013. 15 Happy Hollow Road, Wayland MA. He’s a world renowned GURU at this stuff, and he is VERY HAPPY to help us compete at Nationals. We went to him with absolutely no knowledge of flying models, and he helped us win a medal at Nationals. Top 5 in the Nation. In 2003, he helped Jonny and Julia Kalow win 4th place at National. The advice for this event is CALL RAY HARLAN. Just say you won states, and are going to “Nats”. As you will find out, he has been flying model airplanes forever (since the Jurassic Era) and knows everything there is to know about model airplanes, and then some. The judges there immediately respected us a whole lot more (more like “Bring it on, Ray’s students”) when we mentioned his name.

About actually flying, he will tell you everything you need to know, and much of what you don’t really need to know. But on our side of the ledger, there’s also stuff you need to do. 1) Call him the night after you win States- you’ll need the time 2) Make sure you protect the model like your life. They are fragile and WILL break. At Nationals, we took 5th place, but were only 20 seconds behind the winner. The better model we had had gotten broken in the morning by some &^%f*&% who decided it would be fun to grab our plane out of the air. So next time someone comes within 3 feet of your plane, just remember- a Nationals medal could be at stake. You gotta be there. 3) About actually flying, use common sense, and memorize whatever Ray says about launch torque, launch turns (i.e. not overdoing it and getting a model stuck), releasing, etc.


  • 2008: National Silver Medal
  • 2007: 5th at Nationals.
  • 2003: 4th at Nationals.
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