The Origin of Sled
Sled was started on a whim. The goal was to draw up a couple cartoons to compliment the monthly club meeting minutes and poke fun at myself, my flying buddies, and our hobby. Well, that’s how I remember it anyway.
It quickly evolved into a therapeutic break for me. Each comic strip is a small design project or puzzle in its own right…with an idea to express.
A couple turned into ten. Ten turned into 50. Now there are more than 60 comic strips and counting with a couple dozen more ideas in the queue. There is seemingly no end in site as there is plenty of material out there…a target rich environment.
Sled is at his core a good guy. He tries hard, he is an optimist, he doesn’t always succeed but is undaunted by his setbacks.
My favorite complement came from the wife of another club member. When we were introduced her husband told her that I was the guy who draws the cartoons. She said, “Thank you, they explain my husband to me!”.
David Engleson, Sled the Book, 03/18/2019
This photo was taken at the Perkins parking lot in Mankato after our breakfast gathering. We would meet here to form up a caravan, then head for the soaring hills. The first year or two Ed would lead us out. He protected the slope locations like a fisherman guarding a good lake! Loading rack inspection was a popular pastime. How do they pack so many planes into a trip? Emil and David inspect the cargo while Mike Martindale wonders if we could have fit in a few more planes. A few notable models include David’s massive C-5A glider with storage space inside the fuselage, his legendary A-6 Intruder and Larry’s F-104 Starfighter. There are a number of tough foam models to stoke the fires of dynamic soaring. These would also be flyable in winds in excess of 50 mph (which we did see!). Who knows how many would come back in need of fixing. We do know it was a carload of fun!Larry Sorenson
David and I shared a hotel room and car space on many trips out to South Dakota to fly. The strong winds, wide open spaces, and high bluffs above the Missouri River make some great flying. There are frequently days with strong winds that make it possible to fly very large or oddly shaped sailplanes.
I drove on one of our trips in 2011. Arriving at David’s house with a car that was already quite full of airplanes and support gear. David had a huge glider to somehow fit in the car. We made it fit, but the tail was between the driver and passenger so we couldn’t really see each other. The car was stuffed full. The driver couldn’t see out the right side of the car so you had to rely on the passenger to look and tell you when it was ok to move right.
The trip was cold so we were bundled up all weekend. We also had a unique room at the Bel-Aire motel. The bathroom was in between the two beds. See frame three of the strip. So we joked that the whole trip we never really saw each other and talked through a barrier all weekend.Rich Ness
#23 is from a photo taken of all my multi colored crocs at my front door one winter evening when I hosted a “shop nite” at my house. All the guys came in with snowy boots and shoes and I had all my crocs out so they would have warm, dry shoes to wear in my house and into my basement. One of my guests that nite, Emil, said to me: Where did you get all these different colored crocs? ” I told him where, and he said: “Didn’t they have any more mens crocs available?” That’s Emil… I forgot to mention that I almost always wore my Green Crocs to the field when we flew.Kevin Kavaney
Okay, I’ll say it. The pursuit of RC model gliders has never been a top contender in the list of courting rituals. We may as well blend into the woodwork if we think otherwise. The best we can hope for is understanding from our significant others for the hobby we enjoy. The real enjoyment is the friends we share it with and the memories we make.Larry Sorenson
Dave had a nice scale model of a Swift. In jest, asked him if he was going to give it nose art to commemorate/honor a certain pop singer. His expression said more than “probably not”. I never got near the plane with a marker but in his mind the moniker was as indelible as ever.Larry Sorenson
The “Opus” was and is one of the best high-performance slope glider to have in a fleet. It’s such a good flyer that it makes the rest of the models not so impressive. It’s no denying that the also-rans make up the steps to the pinnacle of an Opus!Larry Sorenson
This is about Dad and I. We owned this airplane. 4759J. We would often fly out to our slope site with RC planes loaded in the back of the “real” plane. I was honored David featured us in this.Mark Robbins
David drew Sled #56 using my new car as a model. It doesn’t fit any gliders inside, but I’m not drilling any holes in it. I attached a picture.Rich Ness