DEAF Officers
Frank Korman

Vice President Ron Romeo
Treasurer Chris Vanderbilt
Ralph Snow

Safety Officer
Frank Korman
Newsletter Editor
Webmaster Ron Romeo



Officer Bio's

Frank Korman   DEAF President and Safety OfficerServing Since DEAF Started!  Thank you for keeping us going!

Frank, after 50+ years residence, is a "naturalized" Texan (transplant from  the Lower East Side of New York City).   As a kid he fooled around with control  line and solid wood display models.  He returned to the hobby by way of R/C  sailplanes, but soon migrated to electric power where his interest has focused  for over 20 years. (He builds and tries to fly the occasional free flight  rubber ship.).  Frank is retired from time in business and education. Backpacking, volunteering, reading, and listening to music occupy him when he's  not fooling with "toy" planes.  He lives with wife Sally and Mitts the cat in a  neighborhood of older homes and tall trees. He believes that fun at the flying  field is enhanced by safe, sane behavior.


Chris Vanderbilt   DEAF Treasurer
Serving Since 2003

Like a lot of people, I started my journey through model aviation with free flight models.  I was too late for the "dime scale" scene, but did build a number of rubber scale models, and even got a handful to fly.

My RC escapades started in junior high school with a Hobby Lobby Recruit trainer with a Cox Golden Bee .049.  Since I lived in a small town in the middle of Kansas, I didn't get any help on the first flight. Result: the flight lasted 2.356 seconds before total destruction. 

So, I saved up more money and tried again with an Ace Wizard powered by the same Golden Bee.  Result: flight lasted 10.24 seconds before total destruction.  Next victim was a Goldberg Gentle Lady glider.  This was better.  I learned to fly by chucking it around the high school football field.  It managed to survive the ordeal, but with many, many repairs.

After graduating from Kansas State University, I moved to Dallas and started flying sailplanes again.  I flew hand-launched gliders at Eastfield with SLNT for a few years.

My first electric model was a sailplane named the Electra-Lite.  Boy was it heavy!  It was the classic 6-cell, underpowered, overweight sailplane and could barely climb. Next was a Great Planes Electra Cub, built in 1993. While flying the Electra Cub at Eastfield, Frank Korman introduced himself to me and invited me to a DEAF meeting.   I think I still have that first DEAF Notes newsletter somewhere (okay, so I'm a pack rat). The Electra Cub has progressed from the marginally performing stock configuration through several power system iterations.  It now flies well with long flights and better power than a real Cub.

In 1997, I attended the E-Nationals at Muncie. What a great time to see some really great modelers in action.  I managed to finish comfortably in the middle of the pack in the events I entered. Since the trip to Muncie,  I have been flying sailplanes much less and small sport and scale models much more. I've managed to open the hobby up to several friends since moving to Dallas in 1989.  Currently, a group of friends get's together every Monday to go flying (during daylight saving time) and work on models (during standard time)  The clean, easy operation of e-models has turned  on these people to the RC hobby.  Okay, the near indestructability of EPP foam planes (like the Push-E-Cat and Zagi ) hasn't hurt either.

So, what's in the future? Well, I'd like to model a WWII warbird or two in a larger size, and learn to fly aerobatics better.  My wife has been learning to fly and has moved up to an aileron equipped sailplane (she'll be free from the buddy box soon).

As for the non-modeling world, I work as a software engineer for a large defense contractor.  I earned my private pilots certificate about 10 years ago, but family events caused me to stop flying and I discovered that I liked flying models as much as flying the real ones.  My wife and I are overrun with a beagle, a bassett hound, and two cats.


Ron Romeo   DEAF Vice  President
Serving Since 2010

I got started



with the Strombecker solid wood models.  They were shaped, but you had to work on the wood to get all the curves in and get them ready for paint.  Progressed to Monogram's where I learned to apply covering.  They were rubber powered, but I never had luck with that.  Did some Comet as well, then got into control line about the 6th grade.  Tried a little freeflight including a Berkley 1/2 A heli, but wasn't my thing.  Likewise for Tow Line, etc.  Unfortunately, I lived 3 blocks from a good hobby shop which was also on my way home from school.  Plus, I went to school with one of the kids, another was a grade behind and the oldest 2 grades ahead so I spent many hours there and we built all types of things including an indoor microfilm that we tried flying in the shop.  If flew, but barely.  From flying a little CL stunt and combat, I was introduced to control line speed.  Since I was a motor head at heart, this looked like my thing and I was helped by a pair of Open members from Baton Rouge, B. Shelton and B. Harris.  These folks were top speed flyers at the time and taught me a lot.  Fortunately, my folks liked them and let me travel to contests with them, from New Orleans to Dallas and Houston including the '56 Nats at NAS Dallas (many memories from that event).

Found out in '57 that I needed glasses and could not qualify for military aviation and dropped out of all aviation activity, including the Civil Air Patrol.  So, switched to cars and after my short activity duty period in the Army via the reserves, I started LSU with the goal of a degree in electrical engineering.  During this time, my interest moved more to sports cars and joined the BR Club.  Worked numerous races as flagman, tech inspection or pitted for a friend.  Also helped a friend build his first Corvette powered sports racer.  Also met my future wife during this time.

Linda and I got marred in '61.  In Feb. '64 when I finally finished LSU (had some medical loss time in there and a baby), we moved to St. Louis to work for Mc Donnel Aircraft.  By then I was getting back into models, but it was slot cars.  Didn't like the St. Louis situation so we moved to Linda's home town of New Orleans (suburbs, not the city) in Nov. '65.  Kind of floundered for a while on the model front while we got our new home set up, but got the urge to get back into models via RC.  Built a Heath 5 channel in 68 and a MidWest Sky Squire for a trainer.  Got some powered sailplane stick time while learning, but a 12 footer with rudder and elevator was just too slugish for me and ended up just working with the Sky Squire.  Was a member of the Crescent City R/C (CCRC) during this time.  Went through a multitide of models from Lanier to Top Flight and thried a little novice pattern and quickie 500 racing.  Not very good at either.  Between '82 and '85, I backed off from models and spent a lot of my hobby time on learning IBM PC applications.  Just before Katrina hit, I had purchased an E-Flite Blade CP to get back into it.  Did not do anything with it as Katrina kind of put things on the back burner while we sold our house and purchased one in Dallas.  Officially became Dallas residents on Feb. 12th, 2006 when they delivered what was left of out furniture and our STUFF.  We had a house, but no kitchen and did not get it completed till the end of June.  I joined DEAF at the end of 2005, but did not do any flying.



More to come 6/10/2010


Ralph Snow   DEAF Secretary

Serving Since 2003

I was about 10 when I started to build model airplanes, rubber powered, hand launch gliders and tow-line gliders. The kits were Comet, Joe Ott, Peerless, Megow, and Cleveland, and were sold in all the department stores, ten-cent stores and even hardware stores. I belonged to a club that met in the basement of the neighborhood hardware store. One year when I was in Junior High the manager of the W.T.Grant store downtown  [similar to present day K-Mart] called my school and asked the principal to suggest someone to demonstrate model building in the store on Saturdays. That was my first job in aviation. It didn’t last long because when I returned from summer vacation there was a new manager who didn’t think much of the idea.
During the war the models didn’t perform very well, due to cardboard ribs and formers and hardwood strip wood, but building was fun anyway. A neighbor who went into the Navy gave me a half finished Berkeley Buccaneer free flight and a Synchro B-30 engine.  I finished the model but could never get the engine to run.

At about the age of eleven or twelve I had a chance to go up for my first plane ride in Clarence Chamberlain’s Curtis Condor.  But, I had looked at all those struts and wires and decided it didn’t look safe to me, so I said “no thank you”. About a year later I got another chance, this time in a Stinson  SR-7, which was much more my idea of a modern airplane.

After High School I entered M.I.T. to study aeronautical engineering. While there I belonged to the Tech Model Aircrafters [still in existence] and the Glider Club. Many of the members such as Walt Mooney and Dick Baxter belonged to both clubs. We flew control line outdoors and rubber power indoors. Mooney was always dreaming up new indoor events; models which fit in a cigar box or a cigarette carton when disassembled, etc. This later lead to peanut scale.  The Glider Club owned a war surplus Schweitzer 2-22 training glider and a winch for launching it. We kept the glider and winch at a small airfield on Cape Cod and flew when the weather permitted. A flight consisted of a tow up to about 1100 ft. altitude followed by a circle of the field and a sideslip in to land as close as possible to the end of the field. I logged about 100 of those flights. There was never any soaring possible there but we did take the glider and winch to Harris Hill at Elmira, NY one summer after school was over and tried to soar in the slope lift, with not much success.

After getting my B.S. in 1950 I went to work for what was then Convair Aircraft in Fort Worth. I worked on the B-36, YB-60, and B-58 programs until 1957, when I transferred to the Astronautics Division in San Diego. At Astronautics I worked on the Atlas Launch Vehicle program and met my wife Marian. In 1968 the future wasn’t looking too good at Astronautics so I transferred back to the Aircraft Division and we moved with our two kids back to Fort Worth. I worked for two years in Preliminary Design, on proposals, which Convair didn’t win and was laid off in 1970. I then joined what was then Menasco Manufacturing in Euless, where I worked on aircraft landing gear design programs until I retired in 1997.

I got involved with radio control models sometime around 1954, with rubber powered escapements and tube radios. Later came pulse proportional [galloping ghost] systems. My modeling activity was pretty much confined to periods when there was a lull in the design activity at work, with the result that I never flew enough to gain any proficiency. About the time I retired I became interested in electric power and joined the DEAF club. I’ve been having a ball ever since!




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