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R/C at the Nationals
November 1953 Air Trails

November 1953 Air Trails
November 1953 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Radio controlled aircraft were really still in their infancy in 1953. Many R/C transmitters, receivers - all vacuum tube circuits - were beginning to appear in hobby magazines, but other than operating in FCC-designated frequency bands, there was not much in the way of standardization in modulation schemes. Therefore, intercompatibility between brands - or even between model types within a brand - was not guaranteed. The names you see mentioned here - Hal deBolt, Walt Good, Howard McEntee, Claude McCullough - were for a long time the most prominent figures in the field of radio control. They were truly the pioneers who took the arrows for those of us who enjoy nearly interference-free and failure-free radio systems with which to confidently guide our masterpieces skyward and back again to terra firma.

R/C at the Nationals

Air Trails Radio Control Models

R/C at the Nationals, November 1953 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets

The rains came and how the wind did blow - last day at the National R/C event. Walt Good, left, with "Wag"; McEntee in cap, slicker.

"This just proves what I've been telling the boys," said director deBolt at the conclusion of the R/C competition at Willow Grove. "If you know what you're doing you can still win with rudder control only." His words were backed up by the performances of 1st placer Port who racked up the highest score on the stunt pattern - 70 points, and Richard C. Allen of Dayton, Ohio, 3rd place flyer with rudder only who made the greatest number of precision pattern points - 57. Allen tied with "Doc" Good who used a single channel tone control rig operating only the rudder.

In spectator interest among both casual visitors to the Naval base and other contestants radio outdrew all other categories. The number of autos present equaled those at the combined free flight sites; this was the case day after day. Entries numbered 141, with 40 piling in during the final week end. About 10 multi-channel systems were present, the remainder being rudder only or rudder plus one other control on one channel.

Harold deBolt would whip out a Live Wire - Airplanes and Rockets

When activity lagged, event director Harold deBolt would whip out a Live Wire and stir things up a bit. Pop deBolt at right assisted.

Dark Horse Jack Port from Fairborn, Ohio - Airplanes and Rockets

Dark Horse Jack Port from Fairborn, Ohio, with his original-design ship which won with "rudder only," 7 points ahead. of Harold Bonner.

Claude McCullough with his "Wizard of Ah's - Airplanes and Rockets

Claude McCullough with his "Wizard of Ah's," drastically changed from last year. Farmer Mac hadn't flown ship since 1952 Los Alamitos meet.

 

 

Posted December , 2017

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Kirt Blattenberger
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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...
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