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January 1952 Air Trails

January 1952 Air Trails
January 1952 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and Rockets Table 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.

Creativity and ingenuity was needed more often by aircraft modelers back when various aspects of the hobby were in the development stages and access to a prefabricated device was not as ready as today. If you need a special-purpose product or method nowadays, a Google search will usually turn up a solution in the form of an off-the-shelf item and/or instructions on how to do it yourself - sometimes even with a video to show you how to do it. In the middle of the last century, if you wanted a component or gizmo other than common things like wheels, propellers, and bell cranks, you had to make them yourself from on-hand materials or do without. I often am amazed at the ideas presented in these Sketch Book installments. Check out the device designed by Mr. Mustafa K. Artam, of Istanbul, Turkey, for checking relative thrust of carved free flight propeller blades. This month's entries also come from Bristol, England, and Victoria, Australia.


Sketchbook, January 1952 Air Trails - Airplanes and RocketsHave you developed something new in construction, control, or flying that might interest other modelers?

Send a rough sketch - we'll redraw it and pay $5 for each one accepted. Sorry, we cannot acknowledge or send back submissions.

Improvements on spring-type clothes pin make it triple-acting modelers' clamp ... Glenn Graham, Los Gatos, California.


C.H. Beiger, Chicago, Illinois, devised slotted dorsal fin for guide and "stop" of dethermalizer ... made of plywood or balsa sheets.



This useful soldering torch is hard to beat for light work reports Ivan Ortiz, New York, N.Y.



Trimming covering tissue, says Ward Morris, Brevard, N.C., is more easily done with emery board than razor blade.



Mustafa K. Artam, Istanbul, Turkey, devised simple apparatus for checking relative thrust of propeller blades.


Clever device by Ernie Shailor, Detroit, Michigan, permits easy external winding of radio model's escapement rubber motor. No dismantling or winder necessary.


Rubber model prop-folding improvements by George Woolls, Bristol, England, assure flush folding, durability and increased efficiency - (Conventional tensioner)



Australian Norman Bell, Victoria, submits simple idea to pressurize racing engines via hollow rear crankcase cover screw ... (Does not affect rotor)



Sketchbook Editions

| Sep 49 | Jan 52 | Jul 54 | Aug 54 | Sep 54 | Dec 54 | Mar 55 | Jan 57 | Feb 57 | Mar 57 | Apr 57 | May 57 | Jun 57 | Jul 57 | Sep 57 | Oct 57 | Nov 57 | Dec 57 | Oct 58 | Mar 59 | Jul 59 | Aug 59 |Nov 59 | Dec 59 | Jan 61 | Feb 61 | Mar 61 | Apr 61 | Jun 61 | Jul 61 | Aug 61 | Dec 61 | Mar 62 | Jan 62 |Feb 62 | Jun 62 | Jul 62 | Oct 62 | Sep 62 | Dec 62 | Jan/Feb 63 | Mar/Apr 63 | May/Jun 63 |Jul/Aug 63 | Sep/Oct 63 | Nov/Dec 63 | Mar 67 | Oct 67 | Feb 68 | Apr 68 | May 68 | Jun 68 | Jul 68 | Sep 68 |

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 50s and the transistor wasn't invented until late 47. 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 June 30, 2018

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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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