Author Archive for Steve Neill


Not so great again…

Here’s the letter I got last night from the AMA as you can see the deadline to be a so called legal operator or pilot is February 25th. This was signed into law a few months ago by our not so great again so called leader.

Sorry to be political, I hate politics but this one has crossed the thin red line. And get this, this applies to all outdoor model aircraft not just RC, free flight rubber band powered models too. Ridiculous.

You’re receiving this email because of your affiliation with the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
AMA Flight School | AMA Foundation | AMA Safety Guide | 1-800-IFLYAMA

The largest model aviation association in the world!
Dear members,

We’re writing to let you know the FAA issued an Interim Final Rule today that will require drone pilots and model aircraft pilots to display their FAA-issued registration number on the outside surface of their aircraft. The rule will take effect on Monday, February 25, which means the markings must be in place for any outdoor flight beginning on that date.

Although most AMA members already have their FAA registration number posted on the outside of their aircraft, AMA will be submitting comments to the FAA requesting a waiver process for those who might be burdened by external markings, such as members who fly scale replica model aircraft. Most importantly, this rule does not change the original acceptable methods of external marking, nor does it specify a particular external surface on which the registration number must be placed. The requirement is simply that the registration number must be seen upon visual inspection of the aircraft’s exterior.

As you know, the registration requirement is not new. Congress reinstated this requirement in December 2017 with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. Although this rule was flexible and allowed the registration marking to be placed in an enclosed compartment, law enforcement officials and FAA partners have expressed concerns about the safety risks a concealed explosive device could pose to first responders when opening a compartment to find a registration number.

If you would like to submit your own comment on the Interim Final Rule, simply visit and search for “RIN 2120-AL32.” You can also visit to learn more. The deadline for public comment ends on March 15, 2019.

If you are uncertain if you have a valid FAA registration, you can access your FAA account at This site will allow you to view your personal FAA registration number and expiration date. We strongly advise you to avoid registering your model aircraft anywhere other than the official FAA website. If you register under Section 336, there is a $5 fee for a three-year registration, and hobbyists receive one identification number for all of their aircraft. Please be aware of unofficial registration websites that charge exorbitant fees or require separate registration fees for each recreational aircraft.

We continue to work closely with the FAA to determine the best path forward regarding recreational UAS operating requirements. As always, thank you for your continued support, and please reach out with any questions.

Thank you,
AMA Government AffairsMODELAIRCRAFT.ORGHomepage | Academy of Model AeronauticsThis three-day expo provides a world-class display of the latest and greatest products for the modeling enthusiast and fun activities the whole family can…


These are not toy airplanes…really

#section336 So as it turns out it’s only drones that have to register every drone they own. Under section 336 model aircraft for recreational use only have to register every 3 years but you do have to place your FAA number on the tail of every model aircraft you plan to fly.

The rules say all model aircraft to be flown outdoors. Which means Free Flight is not exempt as far as I can tell.

This of course is all ridiculous and we have the drone problems to thank for it. Model airplanes are not drones!

Lastly the next person that says, “oh you fly toy airplanes?” will get blocked. 😉 Toy airplanes don’t have to have FAA tail numbers and the flyer carry an FAA card and here’s the damn proof:


Fokker DVIII build

I have always loved the WW1 airplane designs. There just something about them. The history, the simple design and the era.

One of my favorites was the DVIII or Fokker D-9.

When I discovered this site: I was amazed at all the WW1 free flight model airplane kits they had to offer. I wrote to Dave Cowell and he responded quickly to my inquiry about getting his 16 inch span D-9. He told me he would be glad to make me up a kit and send it along.

I ordered the kit on Monday and it arrived on thursday. When I got the kit I was pleased. It was obvious on first sight that a lot of love and care went into developing the kit. The attention to details is superb. There is nothing like a kit made by a builder for builders.

It came with a parts identification sheet, two sheets of plans, and excellent selection of wood and a CD that covers every single aspect of free flight modeling from construction to the science behind it. It is a huge library of articles, pictures, calculators for the physics flight and more. Not to mention
Lozenge camouflage image files.

Today I started building I could wait. In about 5 hours or less I had the fuselage framed up and the cowl built. I was so much fun to build and I can’t wait to do more tomorrow. The fuse came out quite straight and true. No banna fuselage on this build.

Here are some pictures of the build so far and I will make a video of the plane flying when done.

If you have ever wanted to build a WW1 model airplane you need to check out DCP models Aero Werkes they are just excellent.


Building a “Darn Good Airplane”

That is actually the name of this plane. It was a late thirties airplane, the Howard DGA-9.

This is a very small dime scale kit from Easy Built models and yes it will actually fly and fly very well. This is the smallest model plane I have built to date and I must say it has been quite challenging.

It will be tissue and dope covered. And it is contest legal for FAC AMA events I plan to enter in the future.

The cowl I made on the wood lathe is a mod over what they had designed into the build that will improve it’s looks to appear more like the actual airplane.

Actual full sized airplane

Here are some progress pictures of the build thus far.


So where is all the creatures and starship models?

Good question. Nothing is coming in as of present and our studio has a clean slate.

I am working on a lot of paintings and sculptures for a Steve Neill upcoming art show later this year. I can’t show you the progress because it won’t be revealed until the show somewhere between May and June of this year.

I don’t have any model builds besides the airplane as of present but if something doesn’t come through soon I’ll build something from my stash.

I like models best that actually function. Fly, sail, and or submerge. Slot cars too and I have a few scratch builds planned where I’ll make everything from the body to tires and wheels from scratch.

We also have Mary’s fantastic art and soon paper mache sculpture coming to the mix. Our friend and fellow SNG Studio member Dr. Chris Landon will be creating such art as well.

I plan a full sized grey in paper mache among other things.

You’ll get to see all this stuff in pictures and posts and once in awhile we’ll have a video on the studio and the goings on to entertain you.

That’s the status at SNG. It will be interesting and a mixed bag of making things this year. We at SNG hope you will enjoy it all!


DGA-9 or Darn good airplane

Yes another build but this time it’s super small. It’ peanut scale and these little gems fly very well. Not too easy to build at this size but I have a few planed. I want to try and attend the NATS in Edgar Arizona in May. It’s a huge indoor national free flight invent in the football field dome. So I need a few scale birds by then so here we go.

This plane was from Easy Built models and I also have a Fokker DVIII on the way from that is a real true scale 16 inch span WW1 plane and one of my favorites.

Back to the DGA-9 here are some pictures of the build so far. I just have to comment on the quality and easy build (literally) from this 82 year old company. It’s my 4th built to date and they have all been good.

The plane will look like this when finished although I might pick a different paint scheme.


These are not toy airplanes!

Let me get this straight one last time. A toy airplane is something you wind up and it rolls across the floor. A model airplane is something totally different.

Without model planes there wouldn’t be full sized planes. In fact there would have never been manned powered or gliders flight at all.

Every time you fly safely to your destination on an airplane or jet you did because of the, “Model Airplane”.

OK. Now you have an education. It’s not nice to discount the importance of model flight, the hobby, or the men and women who have the passion for flight.

February 2019
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