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The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating
1955 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men Annual Edition

Annual Edition 1955 Air Trails
Annual Edition 1955 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

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

If you like looking at pictures of competition-quality model boats of all sorts, then this is the article for you. The 1995 Annual edition of Air Trails published this piece to demonstrate the huge variety of model boats that we built and sailed in the day, with loads of talent crammed into each pixel. America was filled with craftsmen who had built and operated the equipment that resulted to victory in World War II. Their skills were on ample display in the form of hand-built steam engines and internal combustion engines, rubber-powered submarines some of which were 5 feet long, radio controlled tug boats and even speed boats sporting not just one but two - count 'em, two - Dyna-Jet engines! Can you imagine the racket those babies made when fired up?!!! That's not to say there are not many exceptionally talented craftsmen today, just that as a percentage of the population they are much less represented.

The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating

The Wonderful World of Model Power Boating from 1955 Annual Edition of Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsBob Crab's 6-foot all-hardwood runabout - Airplanes and RocketsBob Crab's 6-foot all-hardwood runabout with 5-channel surplus drone R/C unit converted to rudder-throttle control; 2 1/2 hp Johnson outboard engine modified for inboard installation. Built in '29 by Al Woods.




Model Power Boat Records

Officially Recognized by the International Model Power Boat Association - Airplanes and Rockets

Officially Recognized by the International Model Power Boat Association


Radio controlled steam-powered tugboat - Airplanes and Rockets H. C. Free and Ed DeGear - Airplanes and Rockets Steam engine - Airplanes and Rockets

Radio controlled steam-powered tugboat model "Consultor II," is owned by H. C. Free and Ed DeGear. Clockwise in photos by Dick Everett.Mr. Free preparing to fire up steam engine after removing superstructure: escape valve blows off steam while operator adjusts blow torch which provides heat for the boiler - see steam whistle at top of stack: looking forward along starboard side - tug took nearly 2 years in building; 135 pounds of miniature tugboat gets underway - whistle is radio controlled; close-up of 2-cylinder engine, uses water from lake; Rockwood 5-channel receiver installed in upper deck which hooks into hull through one electrical plug - milliammeter in pilot house, switch turns off radio. Model is 6 feet long. Its owners belong to San Francisco Model Yacht Club.

Rockwood 5-channel receiver - Airplanes and Rockets Model is 6 feet long - Airplanes and Rockets San Francisco Model Yacht Club - Airplanes and Rockets


rancis X. Gruber, Albany, N. Y - Airplanes and Rockets

Twin Dyna-Jets power - Airplanes and Rockets

"Nottinss Special" - Airplanes and Rockets

Dyan-Jet power model boats - Airplanes and Rockets

They're not cool, man - they're hot! Francis X. Gruber, Albany, N. Y. (386 2nd St.) designed and built these awesome affairs. Light-colored one is powered by a single Dyna-Jet; the other has two D·J's! Called "Nottinss Special," 4' long, 22" wide and 14" high at the fin. Weight is 20 pounds. We're awaiting the running. reports.


Salvage Tub - Airplanes and Rockets

Excellent craftsmanship and perfect realism are shown in these two photos of 58" model of a Salvage Tub built by Lowell Lamb of Southern California Model Power Boat & Yacht Association. Powered by steam, boat is controlled by radio. (These photos by Bill Baughman) "Anna I" and Chris-Craft Catalina shots by Dick Everett, author of ATH's well-known Western Roundup column.)

Lowell Lamb of Southern California Model Power Boat & Yacht Association - Airplanes and Rockets

Art Ellsworth's Chris-Craft - Airplanes and Rockets

Art Ellsworth's Chris-Craft from Sterling kit; 22 coats of Dulux hand rubbed; exhaust port scavenges water from cooling system; plastic tubing (rt. side) is from water pickup which circulates through copper tubing wound around Mac .19; MacNabb 27 receiver; ED clockwork escapement. "Own" fittings.

Sterling Models kit - Airplanes and Rockets

MacNabb 27 receiver - Airplanes and Rockets


Virgil Gustoyino - Airplanes and Rockets

Virgil Gustoyino and his "Anna I". Cedar PT hull design, original mahogany superstructure. Forster "99" power, water cooled, homemade R/C. The overall length of this craft is 52 inches.

Forster "99" power - Airplanes and Rockets

Charles Hering, West Los Angeles - Airplanes and Rockets

Charles Hering, West Los Angeles, built this model of 125 foot diesel engine powered yacht. Recently completed, this 31 inch miniature is powered by 7-pole permanent magnet motor which runs off wet cell batteries. Could be mistaken for the real thing.



Bill Baughman of Los Angeles - Airplanes and Rockets

Here's a convenient way to start small boats submitted by the versatile Bill Baughman of Los Angeles. If you're tired of trying to hold the boat yourself, or getting someone else to do so when you start the engine, build up a holder similar to this one. Protected with an old inner tube, boat is held snug while the starting cord is used. Boxes shown, war surplus ammo cases, work fine.

Walt Mac Williams, Philadelphia - Airplanes and Rockets

Class C (15 c.c.) 30 1/4" racing boat built by Walt Mac Williams, Philadelphia. MPBC. Engine is rebuilt oversize glow-plugged Dooling with homemade piston, bored-out cylinder liner. World's record holder at 81.44. Beam, 10 1/4" across sponsoons.



Max Biederman of New York - Airplanes and Rockets

Max Biederman of New York. Model Knights owns world record Class A which set mark of 69.23 mph. boat and engine both by Max. Motor is 2-cycle, disc rotary valve, glow plug ignition.



Ralph Richards of Philadelphia - Airplanes and Rockets

Class E (10 c.c.) by Ralph Richards of Philadelphia. Power is stock McCoy, .60, glow plug. Same hull design-size as MacWilliams', laid out by Harry Traband. Holds record at 84.50.


James Stribling - Airplanes and Rockets

James Stribling prepares to launch his boat at the start of a "marathon race." Idea is to "free run" your boat around basin or lake while you, the contestant, attempt to keep up on foot with craft. Boats usually win; Jim was victor this time.

Working subs by Eugene V. Bunnell - Airplanes and Rockets    Rubber powered submarines - Airplanes and Rockets

Working subs by Eugene V. Bunnell, Vallejo, Calif., are both rubber powered (5' long, .dives 5', travels for 300', 40 lbs.) and electric powered R/C (7'4" long, 4 1/2" wide, 6" high, 65 lbs.). 1/20 hp motor works two 4" bronze props at 80 rpm, 12 knots.

Two 4" bronze props - Airplanes and Rockets    Model submarine surfaces - Airplanes and Rockets


Charles Watkins, Chicago - Airplanes and Rockets

Charles Watkins, Chicago, with Class E entry at Toronto. Horizontal mounted motor. All speed pix hero by Bob Graham.

Cameron Clan's retrieving system - Airplanes and Rockets

Cameron Clan's retrieving system: younger brother Butch, fishing rod & reel, small cloth bag with rubber ball for weight.



Les Stormer of Southern California Model Power Boat & Yacht Association - Airplanes and Rockets

Les Stormer of Southern California Model Power Boat & Yacht Association. adjusting gas powered R/C cruiser for run at Alondra Park Lake, Los Angeles. Very complete in detail, operates well; uses underwater scoop for water-cooling engine.

Lowell Lamb of SCMPB&YA - Airplanes and Rockets

No, it's not a full-sized freighter traveling along on a calm sea - it's a beautiful 30 inch model of a small freighter built by Lowell Lamb of SCMPB&YA. Job is free running type; detail is very complete; power is steam engine which blows steam out the miniature stack giving illusion of real smoke (which can be seen faintly in the photo here by Bill Baughman).



Posted September 27, 2014

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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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