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Sketchbook - Model Building Tips
March 1955 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

March 1955 Air Trails

March 1955 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

Some things never grow old. 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. I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes. Back in the 1950s, invention was the necessity of modelers who were either on a tight budget, did not have access to the plethora of gadgets and devices available these days, or both. I really enjoy reading about some of the ideas devised by modelers for use on their airplanes. While doing something like splitting balsa sticks lengthwise to facilitate bending around tight curves - similar to laminating individual pieces, but on a local level - might seems obvious to a seasoned builder, there are always new people entering the realm or even old hands exploring a new area of aeromodeling who need to learn new methods. I actually had an idea printed once in Model Aviation where I suggested saving the small hypodermic dispensers (the ones with the skinny nozzles) from tooth whitening applicators for use in injecting epoxy into hinge slots.


auto gear box furnishes 8:1 escapement rubber winder - Airplanes and Rockets
Toy "wind-up" auto gear box furnishes 8:1 escapement rubber winder reports Richard Stephens, Bronx, N.Y.C.

Sketchbook, March 1955 Air Trails for Young Men - Airplanes and Rockets
Have you developed something new in construction, control, or flying? Send a rough sketch - we'll redraw it and pay $10 for each accepted. Ideas should be original; sorry, no correspondence on submissions.

Longerons may be curved easily if split, cemented in position - Airplanes and Rockets

Longerons, leading edges, etc., may be curved easily if split, cemented in position says Ed Hecker, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Beam-mounted engine is easily adapted for radial mounting - Airplanes and Rockets
Beam-mounted engine is easily adapted for radial mounting suggests Carl Dodge, East Cleveland, Ohio
Realistic "flaps down" position at rest - Airplanes and Rockets
Realistic "flaps down" position at rest, on take-off and at landing for control model or freeflight scale is feature of gadget built by David Froba, Lousiville, Ky.
 - Airplanes and Rockets

quick increase or reduction of fin tab movement - Airplanes and Rockets
R/C model tab adjustment, designed by Eugene Englehardt, Cranston, R.I., permits quick increase or reduction of fin tab movement.

Unique system of making realistic dashboard for scale models - Airplanes and Rockets
Rex DeSilets, Drexel Hill, Penna., devised unique system of making realistic dashboard for scale models.

Sketchbook, March 1955 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets
Sketchbook page scan

Sketchbook Editions
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Back when the Sketchbook, Gadgetry, Powerless Pointers, and Engine Info columns were run, there were very few pre-built models, and there simply was not as much available in the way of hardware and specialized modeling tools. We were still a nation of designers and builders. The workforce was full of people who worked on production lines, built houses and buildings with hand tools, and did not have distractions like Nintendos and X-Boxes. Remember that plastics were not common material until the early 1950s and the transistor wasn't invented until late 1947. Enjoy the tips. Some of you will no doubt wax nostalgic over the methods, since you can remember the days when you did the exact same thing!





Posted October 5, 2013

About Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
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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. There is a lot of good information and there are lot of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around 1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server space ...

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