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            When you think of Radio Controlled model airplanes, what is the first thing that comes to mind? They’re small, electric powered toys you could get at a RadioShack.  While that is part of the realm of model airplanes, that is the tip of the iceberg for the universe of model aviation.  There are many airplanes being built today that are 10 feet long, weigh 40 pounds and have engines in them that can develop twice that amount of thrust. Many of the aerobatic RC planes today can perform maneuvers that would not be possible with a human inside it because of the violence of them.

 Image           Radio control model airplanes originally evolved from free flight airplanes, when people sought to control those airplanes on the way up.  Eventually, the government set aside certain radio frequencies for model aircraft pilots to use.  The downfall with this was that only one radio was allowed to be on the same frequency at the same time. If another pilot turned his/her radio on when another one was in use, the airplanes would suffer interference and could result in crashing.  Now thanks to technology advances, radios now transmit under 2.4 GHz frequencies.  This allows virtually an unlimited amount of airplanes to be flying at the same time, and doesn’t interfere with other planes in flight.Image

            Over the years, with the introduction of more powerful engines, and servos, the aerobatic side of model aircraft has been able to perform maneuvers full size airplanes can only dream of performing.  Many airplanes are able to hover inches above the ground and climb vertically out of the hover.  They can also roll at a dizzying rate such that even the highest performing airplanes can’t reach.  These same airplanes are also able to just twist, spin and tumble within their own axis depending on the skill of the pilot in control of that airplane.

            Scale aircraft of today can be built to look just like their full scale counterparts.  In fact, in the movie, The Aviator, many of the flying scenes were shot using giant-scale models of Howard Hughes’ airplanes.  The reason being is that even model airplanes look more realistic compared to computer generated animation.Image

            There are a variety of different quality powerplants to choose from when flying R/C.  The standard choice is the nitro powered engines. These engines are internal combustion engines and the fuel is typically a mix of nitromethane, oil and methanol. They can range in size from .10 cubic inch to 2.00 cubic inches. There’s also gas powered engines.  These are very similar to the type of engine you find in chainsaws and weedwackers, just built and timed differently.  These engines can range in size from 10cc all the way up to 200+cc with multiple cylinders.  Another increasingly popular form of propulsion is electric.  They work exactly how they sound, through batteries and electricity.  ImageThose can range from the smallest toys all the way up to the giant scale airplanes.  The final method of propulsion is also the most expensive, jet engines.  These jet work the same way as the full size jet engines, run on JetA fuel and are very expensive.

            Radio Controlled model airplanes are a very exciting and rewarding hobby. You can get performance today that even exceeds today’s full sized airplanes, and can learn how to fly them very quickly.

 

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

St. Albans, VT

            Chevy just recently announced more details about the SS set to hit showroom floors Imagethis fall.  For the first time in almost 20 years, Chevy is returning to the rear wheel drive performance sedan.  The SS will be powered by a 415hp, 6.2L V-8.  Performance with that motor and car will put 0-60 in the five second range.  The transmission will only be an automatic, but it can be shifted thanks to shifting paddles on the steering wheel. Chevy does promise near 50/50 weight distribution so driving the new car should be a lot of fun and handle well.  The SS will be available in five colors, Mystic Green, Silver Ice Metallic, Red Hot 2, Phantom Black Metallic, and Heron White and the interior will only be offered in jet black.

            Only one model of the SS will be offered but it will come standard with features such Imageas MyLink, touch screen panel, a Bose premium audio system with satellite radio, a color head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats, a rearview camera with rear-park assist, blind-spot alert and lane-departure warning, and keyless entry with push-button start. The only two options that will be available for the car is a power sunroof for $900 and a full-size spare tire for $500.

            What will the Chevy SS cost with the big motor in it, and all the features that come with it? A modest $44,470.

 

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

St. Albans, VT

            During the fuel and energy crisis in the 1970s and 80s, automakers began introducing diesel powered cars. Diesel engines are more efficient than cars that run on regular 87 octane gasoline.  Part of this that is because diesel engines have a much higher compression ratio than a typical gasoline powered engine.  With the higher compression, diesel engines don’t need spark plugs to ignite the fuel/air mixture; it is done on its own.  Since diesel is a more efficient way to run an engine, why hasn’t it caught on with the American public?Image

            Back in the 1980s, diesel engines were rushed into public to provide a more efficient alternative to regular gasoline. However, these cars were noisy, smelled weird and were unreliable. Those cars also tended to shake due to the vibration of the diesel engine.  This left a bad taste in the public’s mouth and diesel powered cars soon began disappearing from the streets. 

            Thanks to technological advances, the diesel engine is beginning to make a comeback and this is evident with Chevrolet introducing a diesel version of the popular Cruze.  This is not the old diesel from the 1980s, this is an all new animal based on its much larger cousin, the Duramax diesel.  Chevy is using a steel crankshaft with aluminum pistons and aluminum heads.  All of this brings in a compression ratio of 16.5:1; compared to the standard 1.8L I4’s 10.5:1.

           Image Diesel engines run at lower RPM than their gasoline engine counterparts, so they’ll make more torque than horsepower.  The Cruze diesel makes an impressive 264 ft-lbs of torque compared to 125 for the 1.8L. The diesel can make up to 280 ft-lbs of overboost torque for a maximum of 10 seconds.

            The real eye opener with the Cruze diesel is the fuel economy.  Car and Driver reported at 55mph, a fuel economy of 58.4mpg. The EPA rated the fuel economy at 46mpg highway and 27mpg city.  This is better than the Cruze diesel’s competitor, the Volkswagen Jetta.  The Jetta is rated at 42mpg highway.  The Cruze also makes more horsepower at 151 compared to the Jetta’s 140.  Torque also goes to the Cruze at 264 ft-lbs compared to Imagethe Jetta’s 236. The Cruze also has a better warranty at five years/100,000 miles.  The Jetta is five year/60,000 miles.

            It’s clear that Chevy is developing a formidable diesel automobile, and changing the public’s opinion on diesel engines from their bad experiences in the 1980s.

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

            Jimmie Johnson has essentially owned the Dover Motor Speedway in recent years, winning four of the last nine races at the Monster Mile.  It looked like Jimmie was going to have a chance at winning his fifth race in the past four years, but a late race penalty would cost him at his chance to win.

   Image         Jimmie started the race in the 24th spot.  He was fighting an ill handling race car and would eventually fall a lap down to Kyle Busch.  Johnson would eventually get his lap back and begin a charge to the front.  He was able to work his way up to 6th when arguably the strongest car of the day, Matt Kenseth blew his engine and brought out the caution.  Johnson took the lead when the green flag dropped again.  At that point, the five-time champion began to run away from the rest of the pack, and a win seemed inevitable.

            At that point, Denny Hamlin blew a right front tire and brought out the caution.  Juan Pablo-Montoya took two tires on his pit stop, which would put him in the lead at the restart.  Johnson would restart 2nd.  At the restart, Montoya delayed the start, but Johnson didn’t. Johnson flew by Montoya and broke the rule saying he couldn’t pass the leader on the restart.  Johnson tried to give the position back to Montoya, but after a half a lap, he just kept on racing.  NASCAR black flagged him and made him go through a drive thru penalty.

            This put Montoya in the lead with laps beginning to wind down. However, he was Imagebattling a loose race car which slowed him down.  Tony Stewart in the number 14 Chevrolet passed him with less than four laps to go. Stewart would go on to win the 48th race of his career with Montoya finishing 2nd.

            This was another good weekend for Chevy.  At Dover the top three drove a Chevy.  Finishing in 4th was the first Toyota, Kyle Busch.  The first Ford was Brad Keselowski finishing right behind Kyle.

 

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

            After the introduction of the all-new 2013 Chevy Malibu, Chevrolet sought out to try and improve on the car for the 2014 model year.  The new car was unveiled at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix late last week. 

Image           The styling of the car was changed slightly with more aggressive headlights and grille.  There was nothing wrong with the 2013 styling, but GM just sought out to refine the looks a little bit.  The bigger improvements were made in the interior and under the hood of the car.

             Customers will enjoy the increase in legroom over the 2013 Malibu.  GM designers were able to squeeze out an additional 1.25” of legroom to sitting in the back a little easier on the knees.  While it doesn’t sound like much, 1.25” is enough to keep your legs from hitting the seat in front of you and give you just a little more room to stretch out. The interior was also improved in the center Imageconsole area of the car.  Chevy replaced the storage area with cup holders and cell phone bins. The Malibu will also come with Chevy’s version of infotainment, MyLink.

             Under the hood, Malibu customers will have a choice of either the naturally aspirated 2.5L Direct Injected four-cylinder, or the 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder engine. Engineers were able to squeeze out more performance with the engines that are available in the Malibu.  The 2.5L features variable valve timing and Intake Valve Lift Control, which is said to enhance low end torque. However, with the new technology, the engine loses one horsepower to 196 and also loses five ft-lbs of torque to 186.  If people want an increase in performance, the turbocharged 2.0L saw a boost in power.  The horsepower rating stays the same at 259, but torque went up an impressive 35 ft-lbs to 295.  Fuel economy improved slightly to 35mpg highway.

             With the small tweaks made to an already fine motor vehicle, The Malibu should sell even better than it did in 2012.

 

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

            It is now May 30th; the Yankees have played 52 games so far this year and are currently in 2nd place, one game behind the Boston Red Sox.  Here are some surprises so far this year.  The Toronto Blue Jays, after purchasing essentially the Marlins entire starting lineup of all stars are in last place in the AL east.  Many people, including myself thought Toronto was going to be the team to beat this year with their offseason moves. Image 
 
Another surprise is the Los Angeles Dodgers are in last place in the NL west.  Matt Kemp has been struggling immensely at the plate along with some of the other players the Dodgers have.  Their manager, Don Mattingly has been under tough scrutiny lately as people try to look for a reason why the team is performing poorly.  It is not Mattingly’s fault, he is trying to put together a winning ball club on the field and his all stars are not performing like they have in the past.
 
One of the biggest questions many people have is how in the world are the New York Yankees not in last place in the AL east.  Their entire lineup has been decimated with injuries, and manager Joe Giradi has been calling up people from the AAA club to fill in for the newly open spots on the team.  The list of people on the DL would make for a nice starting lineup.  This is a list of people that include, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Andy Pettitte, Mark Texiera, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Francisco Cervelli, Eduardo Nunez, Michael Pineda, and Cesar Cabral. Manager Joe Girardi should be a frontrunner for manager of the year while dealing with all of his stars going down for one reason or another.  Sadly they just came off a sweep to the New York Mets, but could rebound this weekend playing against the Red Sox.
 
 
ImageThe Baltimore Orioles have proven this year that making the playoffs last year was no fluke. Currently they are 2.5 games behind the first place Boston Red Sox and .5 games back of the Yankees.  First baseman, Chris Davis has been unstoppable at the plate for the O’s and going stride for stride with 2012 triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Davis’ teammates, Manny Machado, Nate Mclouth, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones have all been batting above .300 making the Baltimore lineup a tough one for pitchers.
 

 

Will Matt Kemp and the Dodgers bounce back later this season for a playoff berth?  Will the Yankees continue to win games and be in contention for an AL east win, or will the Red Sox or Orioles take that away from them.  What do you think will be the end result to the 2013 MLB season?
 
 
Matthew Colan
Handy Chevrolet

Image            The NHL playoffs are now down to the final round before the Stanley Cup finals. Of the four teams that remain in the playoffs, all four of them have won a Stanley Cup in the past four years.  Those teams are the Chicago Blackhawks, LA Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Boston Bruins.  The Hawks will be taking on the Kings in the Western Conference finals.  The Penguins and Bruins face off in the Eastern Conference finals.  Chicago just pulled off nothing short of a miracle run being down 3 games to 1 heading in to game 5.  The Blackhawks brought it all the way to game 7, and ended up winning in Overtime.  In the round previous to the one just played, Chicago took care of the Minnesota Wild without much of a problem.

            The LA Kings went 6 games against the St. Louis Blues in the first round and a full 7 against the San Jose Sharks.  The Penguins played the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs.  Pittsburgh and New York were tied up at 2 games apiece before the Pens took care of the next two games and went on to face the Ottawa Senators.  Pittsburgh won that series in five games.  Boston in the first round of the NHL playoffs had a tough time against the Toronto Maple Leafs but ended up victorious in 7 games.  They took care of the New York Rangers in 5 in the next round.

            So there are now 4 teams left, only two will move on.  Will it be Chicago defeating defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings? Or will the Kings take down the Blackhawks.  Will Pittsburgh be able to fend off the Bruins, or will Boston pull off the upset and head back to the Stanley Cup?

 

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

ImageImage            The Stingray became synonymous with the Chevrolet Corvette when it entered production in 1963.  This was a car that Car and Driver described as, “At long last America has a formidable weapon to challenge Europe’s fastest grand touring cars on their home ground.”  The Stingray Corvette stayed in production until 1968 when the next year the C3 was debuted.  Since then, the Stingray nameplate on the Corvette has laid dormant until the all new C7 Corvette debuted at the Detroit auto show. At the reveal, it was announced that they were bringing back the Stingray with the new Corvette.

            The base engine in the 1963 Corvette produced only 250 horsepower.  On May Image28th, Chevrolet released some of the performance numbers for the 2014 Corvette. The base engine in the new Stingray makes heart pumping 455 horsepower. This makes the new Corvette the most powerful base model ever. Back in the 1960s, such options like power steering, air conditioning, and electric window cranks were an option. All of these features will be standard equipment in the new 2014 Stingray.  Such engine features like direct fuel injection and active fuel Imagemanagement weren’t a thought in 1963 with the first generation Stingray.  The new Corvette will have both features in their small block V-8. Direct fuel injection means that the fuel is directly injected into the combustion chamber of each cylinder, which makes the engine more fuel efficient since there is now a more precise amount of fuel being injected into each cylinder.  Active fuel management meansImage that when the driver isn’t demanding a huge amount of power from the engine, it will deactivate four cylinders to be more fuel efficient. When power is required again, the engine will reactivate those cylinders and bring the 455 horsepower V-8 to life.

            Now the question has to be asked, which Corvette do you think is the best ever? The original Stingray, built from 1963-1967 that many consider the best Corvette ever, or the brand new 7th generation Corvette Stingray beginning production this year.

Matthew Colan

Handy Chevrolet

ImageThis past weekend the 97th Indy 500 was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With over 68 lead changes, a new record, it is considered to be one of the most competitive Indy 500’s in the colorful history of the race. The victor, Tony Kanaan, continued the tradition of drinking milk choosing 2 percent in his first Indy 500 win of his career. The milk tradition dates all the way back to 1936 when Victor Louis Meyer drank buttermilk after a victory because his mother had told him it was good for hot days. The tradition has been broken 1 time in the race history; in 1993 Emmerson Fitzpaldi chose orange juice over the beloved Indy milk. Every driver is asked a Milk preference before the race, this year 2 percent was the overall favorite among drivers with 16 choosing it as there choice. If you were a driver what would be your celebratory milk choice?

 
Colt Smelstor
handycars.com
St. Albans, VT 05478
 

INDYMemorial Day weekend is a weekend all race fans look forward to.  That is because three big races occur on the same day.  The day of races starts off in Europe with the Grand Prix at Monaco. Then at noontime begins the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500.  In the evening, the longest race in NASCAR starts, the Coca-Cola 600.  Chevrolet got victories in the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 taking two out of the three Memorial Day races. There were no Chevy entries in the Grand Prix, so naturally a win in that race wouldn’t occur.

The grand prix at Monaco would go to Mercedes driver, Nico Rosburg.Image  Rosburg got the pole position to start the race and would go on to lead all 78 laps and score a victory for Mercedes.  Sebastian Vettel of team Red Bull would finish second, almost four seconds behind Rosburg.  Mark Webber finished third six seconds behind the leader.  Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil would round out the top five.

The 97th annual Indianapolis 500 began with Ed Carpenter on the pole.  This race smashed previous records of the race.  There were 68 total lead changes, breaking the previous record of 34 set in 2012. 14 different drivers would go on to lead the race, which broke the record set in 1993 with 12 different leaders. This year also had the most cars finishing the race than any other previous Indy 500.  27 cars were running at the finish, breaking the record of 26 that was set all the way back in 1911. This was also the fastest Indianapolis 500 ever run with an average speed of 187.433mph.Image

The winner of the 500 would go to Chevy driver Tony Kanaan.  This was TK’s 12th try and winning the biggest Indy car race of the year and he finally was able to do so.  Rookie Carlos Munoz finished 2nd, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Justin Wilson to finish up the top 5. Chevrolets took seven of the top 10 spots at Indianapolis.

Once the Indianapolis 500 was over, it was time to get ready for the Coca-Cola 600, the longest NASCAR race of the year.  Denny Hamlin, in the number 11 Toyota was the pole sitter for the race, who would later go on to finish 4th. The first half of the race was run mostly under green with Matt Kenseth becoming the guy to beat.  After a miscommunication with his team and pitting early, the caution came out and that set him back in the pack.  This would prove costly as a Jimmie Johnson spin would get Matt hit from the back, and that would end his hopes at winning the 600.

Cautions continued to wave for subsequent wrecks and debris.  The most spectacular would p

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robably be when Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Aric Almirola went three wide, down the front stretch.  Mark went a little low and touched the right rear of Almirola’s car sending him towards Jeff Gordon and causing a six car wreck.

After that, the race went under green for awhile with Kasey Kahne in the number five Chevy taking the lead by a large margin.  However a debris caution would come out with 14 laps to go.  Everybody elected to pit except Kahne.  This would be Kasey’s downfall as Kevin Harvick on fresh tires passed him on the restart and would continue on to win the race. Kasey Kahne finished second and Kurt Busch finished third.  The first Toyota was Denny Hamlin finishing fourth.  Joey Logano was the first Ford in the finishing order at fifth.

It was a great weekend for race fans and for Chevrolet.  Now we have to wait another year until the next set of Memorial Day races.

Matthew Colan
Handy Chevrolet
St. Albans, VT 05478