October 1962 American ModelerTable of Contents
Aeromodeling has seen significant changes over the decades both in technology and preferences. Magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, and Air Trails were the best venues for capturing snapshots of the status quo of the day. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Website visitor Bob B. wrote to ask that I scan and post this "Ornithopter Flapper" from the October 1962 version of American Modeler. There was no accompanying construction article, but it looks pretty simple. Based on the statement that the included plans are half-size, the wingspan works out to about 4-7/8". The AMA Plans Service does offer an ornithopter with a 16" wingspan, so that is not this one. If you want a larger ornithopter, $4 isn't much to pay for a bona fide copy. I always advocate purchasing plans from the AMA Plans Service as a means of supporting the organization.
Our 'we'd-like-you-to-meet' subject this month provided drawings for "flapper" below.
Ever have one of those wonderful days ... like when your plane dethermalizes over the middle of the woods - only it comes down in a tiny clearing? That's free flight. It can happen when you write about free flight, too.
Couple of issues ago we ran comments from Alex Konopacki. Alex, you may recall, lamented that his 14 1/2 year old son refused to anchor a big Unlimited Class rubber job for him. Also Alex wondered how he could get into the ornithopters-wing flappers. We passed that on to the readers.
We received our first answer to that initial letter. And it was postmarked before our local newsstand had the issue! The communication not only listed references to articles on model flappers - which we passed along to Alex - it even included detailed plans for a fun-type flapper and a sketch for a rubber model anchoring device so Alex can fly while his boy watches. Both drawings reproduced herewith.
F/F'er You Ought to Meet. So who was the letter from? Why, Parnell Schoenky - one of the top free flighters we'd like you to know. At 41, Par's been building no-strings-type flying machines for the past 31 years. And we mean flying machines; - not necessarily airplanes. Ornithopters, helicopters and gyroplanes rank high on his list of favorite models, along with indoor and outdoor rubber jobs, towline gliders, Clipper Cargo ships and "ordinary" gassies.
There's no doubt that Par is qualified to answer questions about experimental types. He set three outdoor ornithopter marks that held the AMA record for 15 years until they were nullified by a rules change. Add to that some AMA records in helicopter and autogyro classes. And he won the Hiller Helicopter Trophy at the Nats seven times!
Ornithopter Flapper Plans
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
Posted February 1, 2015