Old Timers Free Flight Brings out Yesteryear
American Modeler Article
Timer" is a relative term, as evidenced by this 1963 article in
American Modeler. Participants in the 2nd Old Timers Meet held by
the Northern California Free Flight Council probably never thought
that nearly 60 years later people would consider their "modern"
models to be old timers. Many of the designs and engines found at
the event were from the dawn of model aviation.
Old Timers Free Flight Brings Out Yesteryear Favorites
By Dick Everett
Fast flying "Strata-Streak" by Allen Schultz lives up to its name.
Left: Bert Heliot gives his Dennymite powered Playby
Sr a critical eye. (Old Timer pix by G. Pond.)
Meet by the Northern California Free Flight Council was a tremendous
success. Sponsored by the Stockton Gas Model Association, contestants
traveled as far as 550 miles for this one-day battle.
considerable number of "new" old-timer designs included some beautifully
constructed "New Ruler" types, realistic cockpit jobs. Ken Freese's
flew excellently and placed high. Not so lucky was a "Record Hound"
by Tom Prothoroe of Santa Barbara. Also noted: Ocie Randall with
a "Strato-Spear," Mrs. Randall and her "Thermal Magnet." This time
their son, Carl, showed them with a Sailplane how to take a prize.
rubber events drew fairly well. The stick event, a last-minute addition,
was most popular. A large 350 sq. in. enclosed Lanzo design by Barnett
Kernoff proved best by a wide margin. Roger Gregory won the cabin
event with a Struck "Flying Cloud" although a fine-flying Korda
Wakefield by Bill Thompson of San Diego almost beat him. Bill suffered
the tough luck of losing his on its first maximum flight.
Ohlsson .23 in Cavalier 60.
Bill Thompson won beauty event with Ohlsson .23 in Cavalier
60 (see in flight above).
Jim Medsker with new Buzzard Bombshell adjusted at meet; Super
Larry Boyer cranks on Brown Junior engine in his Comet Clipper.
"Record Hound" in hair-raising takeoff was entered by Tom Protheroe.
Takeoff of fine flying Bassett-designed "Miss Philadelphia VI"
by Jerry Power-Rudy Thomas team; Ohlsson .60 close.
Firing up the winner of Class II: Jack Ritner, Playboy Sr.,
New Ruler by Gus Sundberg is one of Henry Struck's best remembered
free flight designs.
Bob Fizer releases his "So-Long" cabin job.
Sam Kadelcik's "Thermal Thumber" ran into bad luck on 2nd flight.
Ah, what is better than an honest-to-goodness takeoff like this
by Clark Hahn's Shulman "Wedgie" with .049 Thermal Hopper; good
Valley Flyers annual: Clarence Lee's Stormer, front. From left,
Mashiro Kato, Yuri Oki, Howard Bonner, Bob Elliott, Ray Downs,
Jack Sparks and his modified Viscount. Had double rudder area,
fuselage made deeper to permit receiver to be set on end. Kraft
switcher incorporated. Clean job.
Otherwise, the rubber events were dominated by such Wally Simmers
designs as "Gollywock" and "Jabberwock" which are still available
as kits from some hobby dealers. Rubber thread was the main problem;
the varying quality of Perilli made many wish for some old Goldberg
MRL rubber. Those using Dunlop rubber suffered even worse luck -
the rubber sometimes breaking with less than 50 percent of the turns
"So-Long" jobs were almost a "must" to win in
cabin; these hot flying little jewels proved their last year's wins
were no flukes. Al Schaefer (a real old timer) showed how it was
done. Except for Jack Bowen's beautiful gliding Rocketeer A, cabin
could have been designated the "So-Long" event.
showed the same one-model domination. Playboy Sr. design took most
places in Ignition and Class II. An exception was Bill Thompson's
Ohlsson .23 powered Interceptor, easily the best of the ignition
The contest had all the earmarks of a good class
union. It appeared to break-down into five categories: those flying,
those who visited to compare notes, engine collectors who gathered
to make profitable trades, a multitude of photographers, and spectators
who crowded around takeoff areas and pits.
Weather was good
and the only factor preventing good thermal flights was the takeoff
location. These sites were in a "sink" hole on the downwind side
of a down slope. Only the very high climbing jobs were able to obtain
enough altitude to drift into the next swale some distance downwind.
Beauty event again was the most popular. No less than twelve
qualified. Rules stated that at least one official flight had to
be posted by 12 noon to be eligible. W. H. Thompson of San Diego
won with an Ohlsson .23 powered Berkeley Cavalier 60. Fortunately
for the judges, a considerable number of other gorgeous ships failed
Class I was almost over before it started. Early
in the morning Allen Schultz put up his Louis Garami "Strato-Streak"
for almost three maxes. With only 220 sq. in. of wing area and a
hot Hornet .049, this combo had a fantastic climb rate. In twenty
seconds from an R.O.G. position, the general feeling was that this
baby would have no trouble competing against modern free flights.
Great credit for this unusual meet goes to the Stockton
GMA, a charter member of NCFFC. Plans are underway for 1963's Old
Timer annual. As the battle grows in popularity, events will be
expanded. Look for an old-time glider category, either hand-launch
Up Rather Late! Just how long
can a free flight model fly? During a day-night contest at Taft,
California, Al Vela posted 3 max's, then a 4th flight of 10:30.
What is so wonderful about that you ask? Well, these all were in
the after-dark portion of the contest and that 10:30 was AFTER MIDNIGHT-with
lights fastened to the model, that's what! With his A.M.-featured
Mexi-Boy, Torp 35 series 61 powered.
Regs. Southern California Control-line Association's Combat
and Rat Race Committees have new rules for their group representatives
to submit to the clubs. If a majority approves, clubs will use only
these rules after January 1. While any standard set of rules may
not make everybody happy, when we go to a contest everyone will
know what rules are to be flown. If successful in operation these
regs will be presented to the AMA. At least someone is trying to
do something about the rules.
At the Association's last
speed contest the NWST (Nelson-White Speed Team) was first in C
and Proto, 3rd in B. Bill Wisniewski (as usual) topped A; R. Theobald
George Weeks is secretary of S.C.S.A.; interested
modelers can contact him at 20029 Hawthorne Avenue, Torrence, Calif.,
for copies of the rules and issues of the group's newsletter.
Making False Ends Meet. A warning to R/C'ers
using flashlight cells and other dry batteries. Most manufacturers
make them today with false negative bottoms. The end which you see
is not the end of the cell but is just a plate which must be pushed
against the cell under a strong spring load to make contact. This
was again brought to our attention when a beautiful multi bird was
totaled. It was found that although the batteries had been soldered
together and the solder job was expertly done, internal contact
between this end plate and the cell had opened in flight. These
false ends can be removed and the connection made directly to the
cell. It is our understanding that these "falsies" were developed
to make the cells "leakproof."
Cells. Another piece of advice concerns nickel-cadmium
rechargeable cells. Do not leave the cells connected between flying
sessions so that they can run down completely. One or more cells
may reverse their polarity if this is allowed to take place. Apparently
one cell is always weaker and will reverse polarity due to its drawing
juice from other cells. When this happens and a charge is then put
on them, so much internal heat is generated the cells can blow their
lid and rupture. Always keep some charge, no matter how little,
in the cells.
Radio Ramblings. Los Angeles
Radio Kontrollers door prize is now a $20 merchandise certificate
that the winner can present to any model shop. Nate Rambo headed
up the nominating committee, even volunteered for the job.
Larks' Editor Bill Butler requests the big bad multi boys to
give the pore little single channel boys a break. Too many multi
flyers make flights up to fifteen minutes, one after the other.
Bill says that tiny .010 escapement job deserves as much consideration
as a big ten-channel affair.
Southern California Radio Club
of West Covina has its own field with some very sensible rules governing
flyers and spectators. Mainly ... flying is for insured SCRC members
and their insured guests. Parking must be in. the designated lot;
spectators must remain in parking lot or in picnic area, Transmitters
must have color coded frequency flags.
R/C Club has its new emblem. Real slick with a modern R/C job sporting
engine and swept rudder. Slim Ingalls made a 11,460 mile trip this
past summer contacting R/C flyers and clubs from coast to coast
and from New England to Florida.
... Aerial Robots' paper had a report on the last Turlock contest
which we reprint ... and you'll see why ...
"Again by special
request we bring you Gomer J. Gafsnaffle Robot reporter.
"Yas sir, it shore was one real fine day, this heer Sunday.
Jus cool enuf so as a short snort of White Mule felt plum warm.
An never did I see so many Radio Control aeroships in all my born
days! And gyes from all over heck they was. Portland, Las Angles,
Costa Masa, Santa Ana, Oakland, Frisco, Arizona and other-places
I never heard about before. National Champeen Jerry Nelson (this
ol boy used to be a Aerial Robot and that how come he got so good)
he just flew and flew and don't ever miss a trick! And talk about
flying, that feller Ted Comerinsky has got him a delta what can
do everything cep talk. Dum thing did growl at me once. Any body
ever tell you a pilon racer won't do the pattern just aint seen
"One ol boy named Dale Root is out there all
ready and me, I'm breaking my neck looking all over at once, when
I seen this Rootang blast off. And right then I swallowed a plum
new cud of tobacca! Right while I'm looking this
ain't got no wheels at all. Now nothing makes me feel any worse
than seeing a swell plane get all ground up so I takes another good
belt from the jug and holds my breath. (Can't get it for a while
anyway after a gulp of that stuff.) An pretty soon after a real
nice flight he coms in and I shut my eyes cus I can't stand a crash.
Next thing I knows there he comes, taxying in just pretty as can
be with three wheels back. Right then I decided to change my brand,
soon as this keg is gone.
"Well, friends, I don't usually
make no mistakes, but I just found that something happened to all
the rest of my notes. I left them right on the role, circular file
I think they calls it, and some durn guy must have stole them. So
we all will see you all next year for sure down at ol Ballico Airport,
the home of the Aerial Robots, in Turlock, Calif."
Radio Control League Turnout. Lloyd Sager received
an award from the RCL for his contributions to the club while President
during '61-'62. The trophy depicted the "Blip" (their paper) mast-head
complete with orange, transmitter and airplane. This was Lloyd's
night. No sooner was he seated that they made the door prize drawing
for the gallon of K&B 100 and you know who won-Lloyd!
Bob Doell, Nats R/C scale winner, exhibited his A-26 and gave
a talk on the contest. Modelers kept Bob answering questions till
the lights were turned off.
Don Mathes and Doug Sprang had their "Digecon" proportional system
outfit at this Radio Control League affair. The transmitter has
two separate sticks. Rudder is on left side of box, knob on it is
for motor control. Aileron and elevator on the right. System is
set up for rapid travel from neutral to full throw like reeds. Four
trim controls with serrated edges protrude thru front panel so they
can be thumbed if necessary. Receiver is quite small since servos
mount separately. It is of modular construction of 5 PC boards connected
to a 6th distribution board. As the name implies it is designed
along the digital system.
Days For B.C.? Vancouver Gas Model Club's "Hot Head," Frank
Boden, reports that the Richmond Park Board is interested in developing
within one of its large parks an area for model aircraft flying.
This park already has a swimming pool and washroom facilities. The
area is surrounded by crops, highways and houses - but this is the
same thing as the modelers have been flying off for years. The area
is large enough for 6 U-control circles and a free flight field
larger than the whole Pacific National Exhibition grounds. (This
sounds even better than the Los Angeles Model Airport - Sepulveda
Basin - where a bunch of modelers of mixed interests operate from
a swell flying field ... VGMC: better get it while the gettin's
Chuck Hayes with his fine looking original
figures may touch off a new design trend: midwing,
side mounted Veco 45, flaps coupled to elevator.
Posted October 7, 2012
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
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