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Old 10-03-2003, 11:21 AM
Randy W.
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Santa Ana Heights, CA
Posts: 72
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Default RE: Cox R/C Aircraft Collection

Heres a little history on the EZ-Bee...

I worked at Cox in Customer Service in 1984. I got tired of seeing the piles of returned Centurians from J.C.Penny, Sears, and the other major chains we sold to.

I built the first EZ-Bee prototype on my lunch break using an Eagle II wing, Sportavia horizontal tail, and a Centurian fuselage. The model used rudder only control with a kick-up elevator, inspired by Kevin Kline, a fellow employee. After work I went to Mile Square Park for the test flight. It was very windy, but after launch the model climbed rock steady to about 400 feet. When the engine quit, it sat still for an instant then began an almost vertical dive! By pulsing the rudder back and fourth I was able to get the thing out of the dive and made a fair landing. It took 3/8" of incidence in the wing to get the model to glide well.

The original name picked for it was "The R/C Sure Flier". John Elliot and I brain stormed the EZ-Bee name and convinved Bill Selzer the president at the time that our name had more sales appeal.

The demand was so great in 1984 Cox set up two assembly lines, side by side and ran 2 shifts to meet the orders. Pace sold the model with engine and radio, for $44.00! A starter kit cost an additional $9.95. If memory serves me we sold 3.8 million dollars worth of EZ-Bees the first year.

Here in Southern California the school yards and vacant lots were filled with them! I once stopped by Anaheim Stadium and there were at least a dozen people there with them, trying to get the "modelers" to teach them to fly. I would offer to help. First I checked the model to be sure it was set up okay. Then start the engine, pull out the transmitter antenna and set the transmitter on the ground. Then with the dad or child beside me I would launch the model and watch it begin a gentle climb to the left. Only then would we go back and pick up the transmitter! At one point we had 7 in the air at once!

There was a lot of bad press in the model magazines. Many felt the model flew better with elevator control. It did, but thousands flew quite well with just rudder only and the kick up elevator. In fact some of our testing was done by handing the model to a "modeler" and not telling them it had no elevator. Most were astounded after landing the model and seeing there was no separtate elevator control!

In the years that followed, the model was modified into many forms. electric, and even free flight with a camera! The return rate was smaller in percentage, but larger in volume because we sold so many!
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