Radio Circus Real Laugh Riot
December 1957 American Modeler
hard to imagine a time when radio control was such a novelty that
contests included events where models were steered around on the
ground around obstacles. We've come a long way, baby.
Western Modeling by Dick Everett
Radio Circus Real Laugh Riot
Kenney's No-it's-not-a-Smog-Hog (left) sprays spectators with perfume
at LARKS' radio control circus.
R/C circuit was an outstanding success. The largest crowd to witness
a model meet in California this year was treated to a "show" that
was better than many others which they could have plunked down a
five spot to see.
Activity was continuous with 28 possible
radio control stunts listed for points plus special trophies for
the most novel stunts. Most points you could garner in anyone stunt
was for skywriting or for a carrier-arrester landing, neither of
which anyone managed. Some of the contestants attempted the "carrier"
all griped about the small deck. It was, too; models looked like
B-36's while on the deck!
Demerits. On the debit side, if one pulled a "Kenney
Flounder" (whatever that was) he lost 10 points and for soft-soaping
(or "Bonnerizing") the judges from 0 to minus 50. We didn't see
any attempted inverted landings or inverted takeoffs but they were
worth 30 points if one made it.
The Calypso Kid (Dean Kenney) turned out in red & white
costume, including shoes! Note balloons on judge's hat.
Ray Down navigates the obstacle course; markers were set a mere
10 feet apart. This required some real good piloting and a very
Fiberglass cowl on Bob Hunter's huge Class C free flight; Styrofoam
body. (See October A.M.) Italian engine.
Small handful is Deltron's all-transistor receiver. Four x-istors
are tone modulated 800 to 1000 cycles.
Fred Dunn with his low-wing Smog-Hog. Everett reports model
very neatly constructed, has perfect take-off and landing pattern,
is smooth flyer.
Entrants tried everything
from drop-the-hankie, bomb drops, parachute drops, glider drops,
combat, airmail to point delivery and return - just about everything
you could name.
The airmail point-to-point delivery and
return saw a lot of activity and some difficulties since the landing
point was some 200 yards away. Landings that far followed by a "taxi"
to the person the mail was addressed to was a little tough. Return
flight to the judges was awaited eagerly since the questions and
answers were quite funny. Dean Kenney's answer to "What is your
name?" of "Lover Boy" brought loud laughs from everyone. "Win" Biscay's
answer to the question "How old are you?" ("Guess") still has them
Close Race. Pylon racing found
a lot of guys trying this for the first time. Bob Dunham and Ray
Downs flew a spectacular race. Ray led most of the way and at times
was as much as a half a lap ahead but Bob put on a spectacular burst
of speed coupled with some tight flying to gain all this back in
the last lap and nose Ray out by 2.5 tenths of a second. Their planes
were less than ten feet apart when they crossed the finish line.
Dunham tried this course a second time, managed to clip
almost 25 seconds off his first mark, turning the 5 laps at an average
speed of 23.71 mph. This was the same "Smog Hog" with which he won
first at the Nats. Biscay and Bill Williams tried the course with
rudder-only but ran out of time before they could finish.
Mad Le Mans. A "Le Mans" start had the most
contestants. Models were lined up with the pit crews 50 feet from
the flyers and planes. After a couple of false starts when some
of the mechanics got a little too eager, they ran to their models
and started the engines. Engines had to stay running while they
dashed back to the starting line and picked up a spare prop. Then
back to their R/C jobs, stop the engines, change props, re-start
engines, run back to the starting line.
This event was a
real mad house; the false starts were only the beginning. Some engines
didn't start so easily, some stopped with the contestants half way
back to the starting line, some fellows even forgot to drill out
their props, some had the wrong wrenches! All in all, the spectators
got a big laugh and the entrants had more fun than ever before.
Ray Downs was the Le Mans winner with Fred Dunn a very close second.
Beautiful Hog. Concourse D'Elegance was
won by Fred Dunn with - now hold on to your hats - a low-wing Smog
Hog. Fred had finished the ship the morning of the contest, the
receiver and transmitter being "Orbits" were checked out by Dunham,
the servos being Bonner's were "Bonnerized" by the ole man hisself.
First test flight found everyone anxiously crowded around
watching. With Bonner at the controls the LWSH made a super-smooth
takeoff for maximum points and then up in what was a beautiful flight.
Bonner rolled the ship, looped it everything but the one stunt Dean
Kenney wanted - an outside loop. Landing was perfection. Only trim
adjustment made to the ship was a little down-trim in the elevator
and a bit of right thrust. Fred Dunn is one of those real neat builders
who manages to always have the slick models which everyone admires
and his "Smog-under-Hog" is no exception.
At Once. Trophies for the most novel stunts in rudder-only
and "multi" had the gang trying everything. Bill Williams topped
the rudder-only group by flying two R/C jobs at one time. He tried
3 but couldn't quite keep the 3rd one airborne. Want to do something
difficult, then try this - it gets a little grim when one model
is behind you and one in front.
In multi, Dean Kenney borrowed
a page from the latest brush fire fighting technique and sprayed
the crowd with a perfumed water solution.
There was a futile
attempt made to bar Bonner from flying unless he put on his South
African shorts - this didn't get far sorry to relate.
winners named after all the fun was over were "Pappy" Biscay in
rudder-only, Dean Kenney in multi. Most humorous flight costume
worn by Bill Luss. You can bet there will be more of these contests
by the Larks. Since it goes over big why doesn't your club try one?
Nelson's New Rigs. We had a
quick peek at Vic Nelson's all transistorized tone modulated receiver
and his new transmitter. Both look real good. Compactness of receiver
has lead him to build a 32" semi-scale job for the new Cox engine.
All-up weight of the receiver and battery can be as low as 2.5 ounces;
complete with relay it measures 3/4 x 1 1/4 x 2 1/8" and with a
regular 22 1/2 volt battery weighs 3 ounces (with a 1/2 size battery
weight is further reduced). This package includes the relay; case
is rugged .025 aluminum. Etched circuit uses Philco A01 and A02
transistors, 4 in all; super regen, tone modulation is 800 to 1000
cycles; idles at less than 1 ma; jumps to more than 4 ma on signal.
The transmitter is also a printed circuit using two tubes,
modulated to match the receiver and in a well arranged package.
As with the earlier Deltron transmitter, antenna is coil-loaded
for peak output. Vic claims this circuit is stable thru 115 degrees.
Price is $29.95 for the receiver, $24.95 for the transmitter.
Multi Shakes. Colby Evett is a monster
from outer space as far as we are concerned. He put the 5 channel
transmitter for his "Big Moe" in our trusting little hands recently
while the ship was high in the air. Never having flown a multi ship
before you can well imagine the feeling we had with a real hot ship
on our hands. After some anxious moments and some wrong control
we managed to take a deep breath and enjoy ourselves. Now the only
difficulty is - we have a lap R/C "Over-the-Rainbow" plane almost
finished, we have a 5 channel CG receiver which we had intended
to use for rudder, breaks and motor but - Evett should be banned
from flying. Colby, in spite of what you did to us, the model will
be finished as started so there!
Qualifications. FAI: what difference does the rule changes
make? - we could not see much. Out of 16 entries at Los Angeles,
9 qualified with minimum times, the models climbed just about as
high, glided just about as good.
In gas there were only
two new airplanes, most fellows being content to pile on lead. Harry
Gould added 12 ounces 3/16 incidence. Dick Sladek's 520 wing and
250 tail were leaded up to 35 ounces but it didn't seem to matter
a great deal. The equalizer was the hand launch. It takes a good
hand launch glider arm to get these models started. One difference
is more damage to models when obstacles are hit. Bob Wiehle sheared
his wing in two on a water sprinkler and was out. Erv Rodensky dethermalized
on a tree stump and shattered his covering. That kinetic force is
Twenty-four entered Wakefield and contrary
to other events the 20% limit qualified the last member. For the
first time in history no TT'er qualified. Frank Newquist's winning
839 seconds was very good time. Some tried to fly on only 8 strands
of rubber and had a 2 minute plus prop run - but no altitude.
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.
Try my Scale Calculator for Model Airplane Plans.
Posted May 20, 2012
(Seize the Day!)
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
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