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Wild Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers
September/October 1963 American Modeler

Sep/Oct 1963 American Modeler
 - 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.

Harold Netzenband hit a home run with this month's Control Line Capers column in the September / October 1963 edition of American Modeler. It is chock full of good stuff ranging from some incredible multi-engined models (a B-17 Flying Fortress, a P-38 Lightning, and a Grummann S2F-1 Tracker) to sleek control line stunt jobs (Elasic's Impala and Harold Price's retractable landing gear Valkyrie). He also covers a lot of newly introduced modeling accessories. 


Wild Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers

Carl Preissler's B-17G in flight - Airplanes and Rockets(Editor's note: With William F. "Wild Bill" Netzeband now working in Buffalo and residing in Lancaster, N. Y., we are faced with question of whether to continue to label him "Wild Bill", or change that to "Buffalo Bill". ["Wild Buffalo Bill" seems a bit lengthy.] Maybe the readers have a suggestion in this case ...? Incidentally, special observations, gripes, developments and news for Control Line Capers can be sent directly to W. F. Netzeband, Jr; 431 Lake Ave., Lancaster, N.Y.)

It was a busy 60 days, but we're finally in a fine basement shop with 4 discreet work centers, plenty of wiring, shelves, tool storage space and etc. No models to store but working on that too. Back yard (if neighbors are willing) large enough to fly ... after we get some grass on it. Oh, yes, there's a house on top of the shop for the family. Hope to confine conflagration to the fireplace. Been up to Toronto, over to Ithaca, and around the general hereabouts area. Located the flyers in Lancaster (or vice versa) so have some buddies. Doesn't seem to be any hard top areas, so back to big wheels.

Carl Preissler's B-17G - Airplanes and Rockets

Impressive winner in C/L Scale at Westchester (NY) Flying Fair was Carl Preissler's B-17G (in flight at top): four Veco 19's started, plane taxiing within 90 sec.; retracting gear; on ground all controls can be moved from cabin; ailerons locked before flight, inner down, outer up; spans 77 3/4": from Cleveland plans. Gal friend Jane Standen is mechanic. Boeing-builder Preissler, incidentally, hails from Westfield, Massachusetts.

OK you Western, Mid-Western, and Southern types, start writing your news and mail it in. In the meantime the manufacturers are now issuing all of their new goodies, so we have many reviews here. Enough flummery, on to the meat of CLC. Hope you like hamburger.

Balsa Beavers 100 Mile Marathon. Since we were practically there, took the family up to see Canada and the races. We found out how these guys stand up under the physical strain of walking 17 miles on one leg. We got sunburned, but wore a heavy sweater all day! It is simply cooler up here, hence pilots don't melt down under rigorous exertion. I don't think 100 mile stuff will get popular in the Sooth.

Modelwise, they fly a lot of Fox powerplants, 40BB and 35 NB. A Super Tigre 40 won the race with a Fox 35 NB two minutes behind. Most ships had reliable very clever shut-offs, used pressure tanks and flew 'tween 80 and 95. Bill Pirkle of the Rochester team flew 100-plus with Fox 40BB but blew shaft after 770 odd laps. He had a ball against a 75 and a 68-mph set of opponents. Rules allow 2 models with replacement only after complete demise of first ship. First and 2nd place teams used one ship all-the-way and Bill Bohn used the same plug, an OK.

Winners were the Balsa Beavers Team #2, Bob Sherman owner and flyer, Ross Melhuish and ole what's-his-name (Sorry, but names escape me faster than little boys after supper) in 83-plus minutes. Bill Bohn, owner and pilot, Leno Sanvido (left-handed prop artist) and Tony Lockyer came in a close second as the Guelph, Ont., team with 85.6 minutes. Consistency in the pits and no mechanical trouble made the winners. Bill Bell of John Easton's BB #1 team broke a bone in his foot Half way thru the race, but kept on pitting.

All in all, a fine day. These Canadians seem to have more fun than us Yanks. More proper attitude toward the sport perhaps? Hardware included a perpetual team plaque, silver beverage mugs and several special awards including Sportsmanship, Rough luck, plus etc.

Sr. Stunt champ Elasick & Impala - Airplanes and Rockets

Sr. Stunt champ Elasick & "Impala"



Harold Price's Valkyrie stunter  - Airplanes and Rockets

Harold Price (see his Introduction to "Impala", pg. 24) built this retract gear Valkyrie stunter.



  - Airplanes and Rockets

Harold Price's Valkyrie (underside).



Valkyrie engine compartment details - Airplanes and Rockets

Harold Price's Valkyrie (engine compartment details).



Dick McCusker's P-38 Lightning  - Airplanes and Rockets

Other outstanding C/L Stunt entries at East's big Westchester flying Fair Included Dick McCusker's P-38 Lightning. Hez from York Town Heights, N.Y.



"Yippee" spans 58", has two Fox 35s  - Airplanes and Rockets

"Yippee" spans 58", has two Fox 35s



Earl Matt of Wilmington, Delaware, turned up with magnificent 72 1/2" span Grummann S2F-1 Tracker - Airplanes and Rockets

Earl Matt of Wilmington, Delaware, turned up with magnificent 72 1/2" span Grummann S2F-1 Tracker which featured electrically operated wing folding mechanism and windshield wipers (this last item really gets 'em!).



Grummann S2F-1 Tracker - Airplanes and Rockets

Two Johnson 36's; scale is 1 1/4" to the foot.



Jean Pailet, East Meadow. N.Y., original Zephyr - Airplanes and Rockets

More from Westchester: Jean Pailet, East Meadow. N.Y., original Zephyr stunt; 50"; Fox 35.



an Gaydos, East Peterson, N.J., and his 52 1/2- Sperry Messenger - Airplanes and Rockets

Dan Gaydos, East Peterson, N.J., and his 52 1/2- Sperry Messenger; McCoy 60; scaled 2 1/2" to foot.

Uncle Sam's Post Strikes Again. When did you last get a 3 foot box in an 18 inch bundle? Got one recently with a Texas post mark. Riley Wooten is kitting his "Sneeker", you remember, the guy with 3 Open National Combat Championships. Anyhoo, what was left of the parts showed good work, but had to ask for another try. Incidentally, any 8x10 pictures you send to me, make sure they cannot be folded. We got a rural mail box. Stiff upper flap and all that rot.

Folding Gear Yet. We drove over to Ithaca to observe the MAAWNY contest (Western New York Clubs). Ran into several Eastern N.Y. and N.J. stunt types such as Harold (Valkyrie) Price and John (Falcon) D'Ottavio, besides other nice people whose name are upstairs in my cluttered belfry. Got there after noon (got a family, you understand) and left early, but there was a lot of action. Two or 3 grass circles and a hard top parking lot. Sat and watched stunt; long-ranged the combat, R/R and proto.

Anyhoo, to get to the goodies. Harold, whose Valkyrie is one of the prettiest stunt ships around, unfortunately requires a jig to build properly, had a new one trimmed and decorated unto the F8U Crusader series. The living end was his retracting gear mechanism. A TD.010 was rebuilt into a pump and a special backplate with disk power take-off made for the 35. Feeding pressure thru an air-loaded valve, the gear was pumped up and held. Down-lock was snubber type plus spring load. Pictures may clarify things a bit. The high precision machine work around the engine and pump was fantastic and Harold is the first to admit it's a lot of work to be different. The gear works very neatly, and model reportedly picks up 3 to 4-mph with gear up. Harold flew a standard Valkyrie due to gusty wind and having only 12 flights on the "Crusader" then. It's a refreshing thing to see designers reaching out for better hardware.

Nats R/R On and On. John Barr informed us a mite too late for last issue that a request for an experimental R/R event had been made, sponsored by the Valley Circle Burners, run by them in the evenings and data gathered to make it official with reasonable rules next year. Plans are good. At least someone is doing something positive.


Feller You Should Know. John Davis, Indianapolis (approx.) is a just-turned Senior with a long record of wins. A modeler's modeler he specializes in winning Stunt Hardware, but manages top 3 places in A & C speed, R/R, Combat Scale and Scale-Stunt locally. John was HIAA Indiana State Champ in 1960, winning the endurance event in HIAA at the '60 Nats. HIAA Champ at K.O.I. meet in '60 as well as King Orange Stunt Champ in '60 and '61, 2nd in '62 and 2nd in Scale-Stunt '61 and '62.

First Scale-Stunt at Mid-American Stunt Championships at Lexington, Ky. Also good at Beauty awards all over. John's collection was ninety-one 1, 2 or 3 places before this season. Man behind the winner is Bill Davis, the father who provides incentive transport anywhere within 500 miles for contests and who generally encourages John. Bill doesn't fly models, just big ones. Bill and John have a hobby, tho. They have a collection of 50 famous stunt ships! How's that for a small room. 91 plus trophies, 50 stunt ships and a group of working models, too.

Fox Mfg. Co. New Products. 1. Three spinner nuts; a 1" dia. to fit 1/4-28 shafts (most 19, 29, 35 & 59 engines); an 11/16 dia. with 10-32 threads for 15's and a small one with 8-32 threads for 1/2 A's. Just ~e thing to dress up that naked prop shaft.

2. New glo plug - Full report when our charts are revised, but the price is right - 3 for $1.25 and they run any engine. #24 short reach and #25 long reach.

3. 2 sizes soft rubber fuel line - 3/64 1DX 0.040 wall for 1/2 A. thru 0.10 (also 59 lower needle) and 3/32 1DX 0.050 wall for the rest. Large tubing can make 1/4" bend radius without kinking, while small bends about 3/16" R ditto.

Got some samples of new rubber strand for RC escapements, rubber power units etc. You interested, buy some. Good specs.

Dale Kirn Now. With 1/2A Proto - also working with Cox Mfg. in Calif. He sent a snapshot of his 1/2A proto, Monoline, natch. States that the little sweety with 45 sq. in. wing, gear, 18" span, 12" fuse, stock TD 049 and stock TD fuel turns 94 plus on 42' line. Not bad at all. The ship handles like a summer nite's dream and flys every time.

Dale sent copy of proposed rules for 1/2A Proto which are sound and clear. Timing 1/2 mile (10 laps), other specs as above and models must be one of 4 colors (Red, Orange, Yellow, White) or combos thereof for visibility. Simple, yet the models will be more flyable than flat out 1/2A speed.

Realistically he proposes that their rules be tried for 2 years under close scrutiny for growth. If none, then drop 1/2A speed completely. Rules have been presented to AMA thru the Calif. representative, so should be action from D.C. You like? Tell them. I like. Dale's address?ยท 141 N. Sunningdale Circle, Orange, Calif.

"Kansas Duster" Ain't. Bill's Miniature Engine is making kits of the "Kansas Twister". How could anyone mix that up? They have the B ship out now. These ships all have the same wing area, including the "C". Works very well

Tatone Still Mobiling. Their hidden hinges work quite well. These are tempered brass piano type with sufficient barbs to stay where installed. Packaged in sets of two for 29c. Also received a set of 7/16 dia. scale instruments. Now there's a clever item. Kit contains 20 photographically reduced dial faces (white numbers on matte black background), 6 chromed instrument rings, 6 cardboard backs, 6 glass covers and black matte paper for instrument panel if desired. Installation is simple, but end result is a very professional panel. Beats 96% of hand made jobs. Made in 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16 and 1/2 inch diameter priced at $1.75. Only trouble; now everyone (even R/R?) can have a neat instrument panel! Such is progress. Have samples of their 1/2A and A pan and they are as complete and good-looking as the B pan reviewed last time. No more excuse not to build that speed job, kids.

Plywood Control Horns. A number of kits have diecut plywood horns. It is our opinion that they are inadequate if you intend a lot of hard maneuvering, so you should use a good metal or nylon horn. However, for sport flying the wood horn is adequate. In making the hole for the push rod try this technique. Using an ice pick or finely tapered punch, gradually force the hole to proper size. Enlarge the hole working from each side of the horn alternately. The end hole should fit tightly around the push rod. As it wears in, wear will stop as the fit becomes correct. IF you put an oversize, loose-fitting hole in the horn, it will wear into a large sloppy hole in one or two flights. Be certain to double cement horn-elevator joint and reinforce with several coats of cement fillet. Under the above conditions wood horns can work quite well.

Grish Bros. Roll On. These fellows have been right on top of the propeller business since 1948 or thereabouts. The Scamper prop was the first good plastic. Then the Tornado wood speed props. After that they developed urea-molded wood Plasticote's which covered the entire range with light weight, efficient props. When they went to Nylon precision-molded props a revolution started. Since the first line of Nylon they have progressed thru improved Zytel Nylon and finally Delrin, the latest Dupont material with physical characteristics equal to aluminum. Also they have 6 left-hand props in sizes equal to standard RH. Three half A and an 8-6, a 9-6 and a 10-6.

Their latest Zytel Yellow props with superior stiffness are high performance and their new 3-bladers really fill a gap for large engine, small diameter props. We have been flying 45, 35 and 29 ships with their 9-6 and it has a moment of inertia equal to an 11-6 as well as equal thrust. Just received sample of their 8-8 three blader which opens a field for 35's particularly in Navy Carrier since it will supply enough flywheel for throttle operation with reduced diameter. Well balanced, out-of-the-box, the blades are stiff and the prop does not display blade flutter during rpm changes which have been characteristic of Nylon props to date.

Tony Grish tells me they plan 8-6, 7-8, 9-4, 10-4 and 10-6 in the 3 blade line. Also received sample of entirely new 8-8 for Rat Race 40's and 35. It features a 7/8" dia. hub large enough to prevent pinching in Fox Thrust washers and the first inch of blade is wider. It turns nicely, providing that extra fly wheel effect to kick thru on a hot start. Finally, for 15 Mouse Racers, Goodyear types and FAI T/R a neat Zytel 7-8 with the same blade area as the Plasticote prop. In Goodyear we found a 7-8 ideal for TD-15's, and all diesel power plants. Last note from Tony indicated slow delivery on the five new 3-bladers since it was their busy season. 8-8 available now. Keep an eye open for them all.

Veco New Items. 1. Been running several quarts of the new Veco #1 Power Fuel for evaluation. It lubricates well, is consistent from one pint to the next, and has an apparent-Nitro content between KB 100 and Fox Missile Mist (for comparison only). It displays an extra economy factor of some 4% in Rat Racing indicating use of some synthetic lube of the volatile variety. This is a guess. It runs all engines well, being about top nitro for the Johnson J-BB & CS on warm days. Advertised as a Sport fuel it is useful in Stunt, R/R, Combat and Navy Carrier and works where mild brew is too cold and medium brew is too hot.

2. The External Control Horn Large is added to their already wide line of control accessories. An L shaped horn for single piece or off-center-powered split elevators it is formed from 1/32" steel and cadmium plated. Push-rod holes are spaced @ 5/16-7/16 and 11/16. Kit contains two 4-40 x 3/8 screws, two nuts and a metal backup plate. Whole package (Cat. #343) is complete and ready to install.

3. Sample Big Iron kit designed by lil ole Carl Berryman. Ship has been developed over several years by the originator of the stabilator combat rig. Modelwise it's among the best, and I've seen Carl fly every direction but straight with his. Now that we're out of ships will build and report flight character. Kitwise, it's all there from clear plans to parts check list. This new wrinkle by Veco can save you some time if anything is missing. Die-cutting is good, construction is straight-forward with the different procedures well-explained. Good hard beam mounts, hard 1/4" sheet for load carrying members, medium wood where needed etc. Carl went to a few extra pieces with leading edge planking to save weight, improve structural stiffness and aerodynamic drag. Should be a no-sweat nite's work for most. The structure around the tank may appear Mickey Mouse, but the ship, when test flown with airfoil 1-1/2 thick didn't hack the corners. So she's thinned down to best fighting thickness.

4. Finally, the Hurricane was ready to cover just before the fire. Immediately after it was 60% burnt, so had to abandon her. Really hated to, since Bob's stunt ships invariably fly beautifully. Sorry, Veco and all you sport fans out here.

Goldberg "Cosmic Wind". Been seeing a lot of the "Buster" and "Shoestring" stunters around, flying well and built nicely by youngsters. When Carl released the "Cosmic Wind" we asked for one. Opening the box we were impressed by the amount of material for the $3.95 price. Carl Goldberg Model's die-cutting has become the standard of the industry and F. C. McVickar's layout genius enables them to get more excellent parts out of a piece of wood. This allows them to price as they do. As we coasted through construction were continually amazed at the precise fit of all parts. Not very many people will attempt to align a wing by die-cutting center planking with jig points, etc. Everything turned out to be within 1/64" which is beautiful. Here is what makes the inexperienced builder's kit plane. Spars press lightly into accurate notches, ribs fit correctly with no strain assembly. Bell crank mount is beefed up in the CW. An outstanding feature is the interlocked lower engine mount and wing joint. This carry-thru stiffens the weakest link in the profile model, effectively increasing the useful life.

The ship is ready to cover and we'll report flight tests next time. We anticipate no problems, however, since area and moment arms assure nothing more than minor CG trim to achieve a good flying ship. Finally, the instructions are clear and accurate, with no problems if followed religiously. Like we said a while back, "The beginner is getting more expert attention than ever; before".

AYSC To Try One More Time. Received new program from Art Laneau (Ambroid Co.). Several innovations in attempt to break through the apathy which depressed previous programs. This time they will reward not only State Champs, but the CD's of the boy's local meet, as well as the National Champ and his CD. Both will, get Nats trips and Nats winner and his CD will get a cruise on a Carrier (real). The clubs will be encouraged to develop new modelers with cash prizes for the club with most new members. Hobby dealers also to be leaned on. Overall program is designed to encourage the clubs, hobby shops and Contest Directors to work directly for recognition along with developing new modelers. Really, the whole being of the AYSC is to bolster our hobby with new blood. Oh, the CD of a State meet will be the CD of the local meet which had the greatest number of contestants. Local meets minimum 10 entries to be official. With this buddy system the HIAA hopes to get more positive action.

Rules-wise some good changes. Age limit increased to 16. Profile type model mandatory, 2 ounce tanks, 52-1/2' x 0.014 dia. lines. Events are changed. Stunt event remains the same. Beauty event reduced to 10 points, mostly due to bitter arguments over outside help in finishing. Then an "Endurance and Capsule Pick-up" event. Take off from "Carrier" and fly for endurance, during which a 1/4" balsa block will be snatched from pickup gear (36" high stakes with cord looped over). Tricky, but entirely feasible. Finally a combined speed and carrier landing event. Run like Navy Carrier, clocked 8 laps from T.O. They will allow an elevator actuated shut-off or you simply dead stick into a 35' long carrier area with suitable arresting gear.

With a stunt type model, no real sweat, but again it will require skill. Also, the model of a Navy plane or simply painted blue with Navy insignia will gain a very slight (2-1/2 %) advantage in points. The program is slanted toward Navy interest, since the Navy is obviously cooperating with the site and Carrier Cruise

This reporter feels that this program should receive the best combined efforts of all active modelers, since it is in our best interests that it perform its function. We really do have a grass roots problem, and after (if) we stop, who's to keep it going? Timetable will start the above program in 1964. This year ('63) the HIAA invited all former AYSC winners to the Nats, where they paid entry fees, food, etc. OK gang, they are trying to help, what are we doing?

TFTM's. Most objects that endure well grow from the bottom and from the inside. Like trees, when growth ceases, they die.



Posted February 28, 2015

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