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highflyinguy 10-30-2004 08:23 PM

Rat Racing Plane kits
 
I have a friend I used to fly with back 45 years ago in highschool who has a Dooling .29 and he was wondering if there are any rat racer kits on the market. He would like to give it a try even though he mostly flys R/C.
I'll get him converted back to C/L or versa visa.
He has built a Thunderbird made and ready to go, but yet to fly it, do to lack of C/L flying sites and flyers in his area, mama won't launch. Mama dont low no C/L flyin there.
Appreciate any info, Jerry

William Robison 10-30-2004 10:35 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jerry:

To start, a Dooling 29 is not an ideal rat racing engine. On a bet I did build a rat with a Dooling back around 1960, but I had to use a pen bladder tank to get it to run reliably.

I don't know of any kits available, but if you can find an old Testor's "Freshman 29" it can be cut down to make a pretty good one, or the old Harter's "Royal Rodent" or "Student Prince" were good also.

Picture is my antique (45 year old) Student Prince cut down for rat racing. OS Max I 0.35 engine. The spinner had to be taken off for legal racing, of course.

Bill.

Jim Thomerson 10-30-2004 11:29 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Harter's Royal Rodent was designed for a Dooling 29. Those kits come up on ebay every once in a while. Rat Race as we knew it is no longer around. I think they are flying 15-size rat now. Check the new AMA rule book when it comes out or go to the NCLRA website. There is an event called Quickie Rat with profiles flown mostly with K&B baffle piston 40's that is becoming popular. Rules are on the NCLRA website.

Jim

William Robison 10-30-2004 11:50 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jim:

Harters used ti same magnesium pan for the Student Prince, the Royal Rodent, and the Regal Raider, a kit for a "Proto Speed" plane. There was also a combat design using the same pan, but I don't remember the name they had on that one.

The pan, being used on all four planes, was designed to accept all the 0.29 - 0.35 engines of the time, not specifically the Dooling. My last Regal Raider had a Super Tigre 0.29 in it The plane I showed in the picture has an OS, it also had a Fox 0.40 for a short time, and an OS Max III 0.35. The OS Max I was fastest. And it still runs very well.

Bill.

PS: Two more pictures. wr.

Jim Thomerson 10-31-2004 09:04 AM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
That group of airplanes, and the Harters pan, were designed by the late Clarence Idoux, whom you can read about in Charles Mackey's history of control line book. The Royal Rodent plans show a Dooling 29. I havn't seen plans for the others. The combat airplane was the Count Clipper, as I recall. Clarence passed away about 7 or 8 years ago after 52 years in the hobbyshop business. He had a shop in East St. Louis and then, later, West Side Hobbies in Belleville, IL. Harters is in Belleville, now mostly a train and plastics shop. Clarence was one of the several inventors of the uniflow tank. I think he set a protospeed record with the Regal Raider.

My first Royal Rodent had an Enya 29 on crankcase pressure. The problem was that the tank was set too low to get a good run with a front intake engine. I later built several more Rats on Harter pans with a deeper body to raise the tanks. These were flown with big-case Johnson 35 and 1961 Fox Combat Special. On the Fox airplane, I notched the wing into the pan and mounted the tank on top of the wing. I won 3rd at 105 MPH in a "C speed" contest in New Orleans with it. It was my first and only time to fly off a pylon. I was all over the sky and eventually crashed, breaking the pan into three pieces.

Jim

highflyinguy 10-31-2004 04:44 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Thanks for the education on rat racing, I will forward the information on to my friend. He can surf Ebay, of which he is a regular customer. That is were he got the Dooling.
I don't think he want's to be competitive, just fly one for grins. I told him to fly the T-Bird first to get rid of the dizzies, that racer will screw his mind up. I went from flying a .40 size stunt plane on a regular basis and flew a friends 1/2A combat ship, that messed with my mind, untill he had it flying way slow for me.
Jerry

William Robison 10-31-2004 09:42 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Jim:

Quite right, the combat job was the "Count Clipper." It was the unsuccessful one of the four, built up way too heavy.

I didn't know Clarence Idoux, and it's been so long since I've seen any of the Harter's plans I have no idea what engine might have been shown. But the Dooling still wasn't a good rat engine. On the Regal Raider it might have done well, but proto wanted the higher torque engine for the initial acceleration. With the ST 29 I was running 135-140 mph.

I never had any problem running any engine with crank case pressure, don't know why you did. See the picture of the tank - ran perfectly, and it couldn't have been any lower.

I rather suspect your entry into C speed with your Rodent was just to have a third entrant. Even in '61 we were running around 160 mph with the McCoy 60 engines.

The first thing I had to learn about flying speed was to give the plane full down the moment the nose went up. If you waited until it started back down to give it up elevator you were going to crash. And I ruined my first B plane just for that reason. The engine stopped about 250 yards away from the circle, and the biggest part of the plane was too small for a match stick. Well, that might be a slight overstatement, but it wasn't something I could repair. Replaced the crank shaft in the engine, still have that old Mac 29. Maybe I was a fast learner, but that was my first flight with u/c speed, and it was my first and last crash with a u/c speed plane. That is, of course, if we don't count bouncing out of the dolly and wiping the prop blades off.

Memories. Haven't flown u/c speed for 40 years, now.

Bill.

Jim Thomerson 11-01-2004 09:30 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
The C Speed event was a local event for rat racers. I flew my Johnson 35 rat that day in Rat Race and blew a head gasket at about 10 laps. That was my last contest until in the mid 70's when I got back into modeling.

Jim

dennis 11-02-2004 03:49 AM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: Jim Thomerson

The C Speed event was a local event for rat racers. I flew my Johnson 35 rat that day in Rat Race and blew a head gasket at about 10 laps. That was my last contest until in the mid 70's when I got back into modeling.

Jim

Yes Jim, The Johnson didn't really need much of a reason to blow that miserable fibre gasket at the slightest provication, We had aluminum gaskets for it and that ended the problem. Dennis
Dennis

William Robison 11-02-2004 04:02 AM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Dennis/Jim:

The bad one was the old four-bolt headed Fox 35. You took more head gaskets to fly than props. Flip the engine a couple times, it would pop with an odd noise. Change the head gasket and flip it some more.

Bill.

highiron999 06-07-2010 08:22 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Rat Racing kits were few in the 60's, but the fun was massive. Goldberg made one with motor mounts that ran the length of the plane for strength, but way too heavy. I cut my teeth with that and then quickly built a racer around the Harter speed pans.

I remember the Johnson Combat Special was the best engine except we blew the engine head off at the exhaust port on two motors (need more than a gasket to fix that!) They ran like the dickens AND restarted fast until they blew. Could it be the high nitro we ran? We settled on the K&B .35 for Rat Racing because they started hot!

Dooling .29 was a speed mortor that had piston rings and although it ran very fast (set some records) it would not restart hot! Had a Fox .29X in my proto speed on a monoline that took second place at a Kankakee, Il. meet. Put it in a 'B' speed plane but never got a good run. Once it did not release from the dolly and the result was the end of that plane. We flew mostly combat with the needle bearing Fox Combat Special, K&B .35 or the Johnson (till it blew). Nelson engines dominated speed. Back to Rat Racing

Picture four flyers in a 60ft. circle with .29 to .36 engined planes capable of 115mph plus in a 140 lap race with two pit stops required. That was REAL fun and plenty dangerous! There were the alert and the hurt, with no end to the exciting stories told on the way home after a meet. Burns, cuts and fuel in open wounds was standard, including the fuel-in-the-grass fires that were invisible on a hot day.

Now it is so civilized. Two planes in a "race" or simply time trials that are called a rat race. I know the 'rat racers' in 1980 could exceed 160mph, what I do not know is what happened that tamed the event SOOOO much?

Want to build one; try basswood wing, metal pan, an engine that runs like the dickens and starts HOT with one flip and a fuel tank that gets 50 to 60 laps.

Now tell me how out of date my thinking is. We REALLY had fun.

Leonard Evans-Chicago in the 60's and highiron999 in Ca. today a train nut!

DaveSR71 06-08-2010 06:00 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
1 Attachment(s)
Many years ago...
No
A long time ago in a far away place.....
No thats not correct.

Well I know I was waddling around in diapers teething on a top flight 10X6 nylon when Mom and Dad flew Rat.
She was pilot and he was crew.
They flew a modified Ringmaster Jr. with hoped up K&B green head .35 in Rat.
Mom also flew the protos with Dad flying the "B" and the "D" s.

Quicky Rat is what is flown now with spec type engines with the ringed K&B .40 seems to be the best choice.
Will try to find and post pic of old quicky that is current legal type airplane.

Jim
Did you fly in other Louisiana contest?
Have film of combat, stunt and scale from various contest in 50s, 60s & 70s.

Highiron in the early 70s we were reducing the number of pilots in a race as the speeds went ever higher.
By 75 our 6.5 was turning laps right at 170mph and we were now down to 2 pilots and even big guys like Stubblefield needed to hang onto the other pilot to last a race. This is the year I quit.

Pic of some remains from 50s

During the early 70s this is the type Rats we flew.(Silver airplane)
K&B 6.5 was my favorite power plant.

David


highiron999 06-08-2010 06:51 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
David;

Thanks for your reply. Quickie Rat sounds very good for me. It is good to know that the event has survived the increases in speed. Reminds me of a profile rat racer we had years ago, sort of a starter racer that you could abuse to learn, but could only win if everyone else crashed!

The Midwest rat racer kit would be good today speed wise, yet it would not qualify as it is not a profile body.

Thanks for jogging my memory about Stubblefield and why they were two at a time. Good to know folks still are flying and I still plan to rejoin you guys in the not too distant future.

Leonard Evans/Highiron999

Jim Thomerson 06-08-2010 06:54 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
That one Louisiana contest was probably in 1962. I dropped out of modeling right after that because I just didn't have the time to pursue it like I like. Got back in about 1975 in Illinois. I was CL racing director at the 1983 nats. There were maybe four pilots for fast rat, so we took some 15 minute breaks while pilots recuperated. I think flying a 170 MPH fast rat for a 10 mile race is probably the most physically difficult event in model aviation.

BtnFlyGuy 06-08-2010 07:18 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Oh Lordy! a Rat Racer and an Uno player! What other bad habits do you possess?
When Iwas a kid growin up in the 60's Ithought racers were just about the coolest looking thing in the world. Still do except for the feminine form.

DaveSR71 06-21-2010 10:31 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
1 Attachment(s)
Jim
Yeah, Rat was out of hand.
At 135lbs soaking wet I built engines and pitted. 5-6 lap test flights and then the shut off was about all I felt Ok doing. Heck a slip or trip and I might wind up lost in the next county.
In the 60s George Cleveland tried to get me to fly one as a jr at State Champs one year. Took an entire day to convince him that at lap 6 I was going to hit the shut off.
We would have won as the airplane had about 20mph on the other jrs. I'm chicken.

highiron
Here is a pic of some sort of Quicky type Rat built in the 80s by a friend after I quit flying. I think they were using combat engines then.
Strange engine rules for current Quicky Rat.
The K&B 40 is engine of choice from whats legal. As they slowly blow up others will replace it.
Notice external controls. I think this is a requirement.

Sounds like you knew some of the old bunch.
Stub and Buckstaff are 2 that come to mind as they were my main competition and one of us 3 usually had first place.-there were others. Great guys and good times.
Stub and 4-5 of the others still fly combat!!
Buck is gone.

David



highiron999 06-22-2010 12:48 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Supertiga;

Thanks for the pics, gives me a good idea about what is happening today. You are right that I was flying when those guys were racing and winning. There was Riley Wooten from Texas with his combat planes. You pegged it!

Highiron999<br type="_moz"/>

gcb 06-22-2010 12:52 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
David,

How well did those Fox .29R's you show above run? Man those McCoys look GOOD!

George

DaveSR71 06-22-2010 02:43 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
highiron
Make sure you get the rules, my comments are based on hearsay in discussions.
Combat is what I was referring to but results were similar in rat.
Riley had mostly stopped flying when I started, he was more from Dads time period.
G.A. was still doing engine work and I believe did it up to almost the end.

Riley has Lone Star Balsa up and running again.


George
The Speed engines were from Mom and dads time period.
The 2 plug .29R was given to Mom by Duke for her never finished new Proto and has never been run.
The single plug .29R origins are not remembered.
Not a clue as to how they ran but have heard they were not great.

The McCoy .60 won a few trophies and .29 is un run.
Most of Dads .29 for speed were based on the Fox X.29.

Also have their old Hornet .60s and K&B .29 speed engines and more.

David

DaveSR71 06-22-2010 02:55 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Forgot to mention that the .40 sized pan rats are currently legal for F40 speed event.
That's what the silver one was built for......need pilot.

David

Kiwi 06-23-2010 06:44 AM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: highiron999

Supertiga;

Thanks for the pics, gives me a good idea about what is happening today. You are right that I was flying when those guys were racing and winning. There was Riley Wooten from Texas with his combat planes. You pegged it!

Highiron999<br type=''_moz''/>
Speaking of Riley and the Lone Star balsa fire disaster, before that happened, Riley was making a kit for the "Texas Rat" model, a stubby little thing that meets the rules for the nostalgia event. I have a couple of the old sidewinder rat kits - one is a "Scat Rat", as I recall . . if I decided to enter a contest, I even have a couple of the rear rotor K&B 40s that were used at the tail end of the 3-plane heat racing (and in fact one or the other probably was used that way 45 years or so ago).

P. S. I've visited the Lone Star Balsa web site since writing the message above, and if they are selling any kits of any kind now, they must be listed only in the downloaded catalog file.



Lou Melancon 06-24-2010 02:04 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Reading these posts about Rat Racing in Louisiana and Texas in the 60's brings back a lot of memories. In those years contests were a couple of weeks apart and they were held in Longview, Texas, Houston, Dallas, Lake Jackson, Shreveport, Louisiana, Alexandria, New Orleans, and other places, but those are the areas we went too. I was a teenager and built my combat planes and rat racers. My dad set up the engines. We mixed our own fuel in those days and used chemicals that today are known carcinogens (nitro benzine). If I remember correctly we ran 40% nitromethane, UCONN synthetic oil, and 8X9 Top Flite Power Props.

The airplanes in the early sixties were based on the Harter's speed pan but a profile design out of Houston used by Ron Eastman and John Locke pretty much took over in 64 or 65. We used variations on that design for a couple of years before returning to pan based racers and cowling the engines.

We used Super Tigre G-21 35s in combat and ringed 40s in Rat Race. The ringed engine would re-start much better than the lapped engines. I can remember going to contest in an un-airconditioned car with 4 others, 2 in the front, three in the back in the middle of night trying to get to the contest a just about day break. One of the guys in the back was usually doping a combat plane or doing repairs.

In Houston we flew against John and Ron, plus Dickie Ritch, Sherwood Buckstaff, all three of the Stubbefiels, Monica Garrison, Pat Willcox, Bill Estill and many others. In Baton Rouge we had my dad, Jim Bethea, Brian Froisy, Howard Williams, and Bill Stevens active in racing for several years.

The speeds of the racers, their line pull and the physical demands of racing led to a shortage of able pilots. Sometines a pilot would fly his own plane and that of several others in a day. There were times when the finalists could fly off because they were using the same pilot.

Those years, contests, airplanes, and people were very important to me growing up and I treasure the memories.



Kiwi 06-24-2010 02:59 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
Quote:

ORIGINAL: Lou Melancon

Reading these posts about Rat Racing in Louisiana and Texas in the 60's brings back a lot of memories. In those years contests were a couple of weeks apart and they were held in Longview, Texas, Houston, Dallas, Lake Jackson, Shreveport, Louisiana, Alexandria, New Orleans, and other places, but those are the areas we went too. I was a teenager and built my combat planes and rat racers. My dad set up the engines. We mixed our own fuel in those days and used chemicals that today are known carcinogens (nitro benzine). If I remember correctly we ran 40% nitromethane, UCONN synthetic oil, and 8X9 Top Flite Power Props.

The airplanes in the early sixties were based on the Harter's speed pan but a profile design out of Houston used by Ron Eastman and John Locke pretty much took over in 64 or 65. We used variations on that design for a couple of years before returning to pan based racers and cowling the engines.

We used Super Tigre G-21 35s in combat and ringed 40s in Rat Race. The ringed engine would re-start much better than the lapped engines. I can remember going to contest in an un-airconditioned car with 4 others, 2 in the front, three in the back in the middle of night trying to get to the contest a just about day break. One of the guys in the back was usually doping a combat plane or doing repairs.


1964 was the last year I didn't have an air conditioned car. I was driving a 1960 Thunderbird that needed a compressor, but required some special (Japanese, perhaps?) one that cost a fortune. I bought a (used) Dodge that had a so-so A/C system, and had that part overhauled, making it good enough to freeze everyone inside rapidly on the hottest days. There were just club members only contests in San Antonio when I lived there (here, now), and some inter-club events between an Austin club and San Antonio.

I traveled to Lake Jackson, Longview, Houston, Lake Charles, and I think Baton Rouge. I may have been in Shreveport once. Dallas was a place my friends and I almost always had terrible luck competing at. Far too often in the early 60s, I would draw Riley or (damn, who designed the Big Iron?) another very tall, very good combat flier, but from Oklahoma, first round (OK, in edit, it was Carl berryman). If it wasn't me, it was one of the others with me. But for financial reasons, I only attended about half of the contests that were more or less "in range". We didn't include motel stays as part of what we expected to do to compete.

Quote:

In Houston we flew against John and Ron, plus Dickie Ritch, Sherwood Buckstaff, all three of the Stubbefiels, Monica Garrison, Pat Willcox, Bill Estill and many others. In Baton Rouge we had my dad, Jim Bethea, Brian Froisy, Howard Williams, and Bill Stevens active in racing for several years.

The speeds of the racers, their line pull and the physical demands of racing led to a shortage of able pilots. Sometines a pilot would fly his own plane and that of several others in a day. There were times when the finalists could fly off because they were using the same pilot.

Those years, contests, airplanes, and people were very important to me growing up and I treasure the memories.
Quote:


I was 24 in 1964, and was married, with a little baby at home, so I had responsibilities there, with only a moderate income with which to budget necessities plus hobbies. A couple of years later, I was divorced, and the sole parent to one toddler, and one infant. That limited my contest-going options, although I'd moved to Houston and had a much better job there, which put Lake Jackson and Houston contests in my back yard, so to speak, and my San Antonio model friends could come the afternoon before contests, and camp out in my living room (my job wasn't good enough, yet, to buy a house, so there was no guest room in my apartment for them to use).



highiron999 06-24-2010 04:49 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
And I thought I was all alone!

We rode to contests early in the AM back in 60 and 61 to midwest events AND doped planes and made last minute repairs or adjustments as we rode (not driving). We got there early sometimes to run in a new engine before the day's events began. What a great hobby, as I remember being in the LAST combat round and NO airplane! Not to worry, my opponent offered me a plane to fly! Where is that kind of sportsmanship today? Having opponents offer fuel or props when needed was commonplace and winning at any cost was not the most important thing.

My parents were always nervous about me at 14 and 15 riding with 'strangers' on holiday wekends to contests. They said if I maintained good grades though, I could go where I liked. Not true as in "if anything happened to you, your _______ will never forgive me", they renegged! Very disappointing, but the contests I did go to, including the NATS will never be forgotten.

We learned from Earl Alexis, a cousin of a friend, who grew up flying models in New Orleans and saw us trying to fly with a half-A trainer (cessna 172). He said "that's no model airplane. Have you heard of combat?" He then took us to the hobby shop (he was over 16 and driving, going to electronic school at night and working for Belltone fixing hearing aids). He was fired up at the idea of flying again and bought a Ringmaster, motor, etc., built it in a day or two showing us how and took us to the park to fly it.

At first, with no wheels, the idea that you would hand lauch a plane seemed like he was kidding us, plus he wanted us to hold this HUGE thing while it was trying to tear itself out of our hands? After one of us stepped forward and the plane was airborne, he had each of us into the center and put his hand over ours in the control handle, so we could FEEL this real model airplane pull!

That did it! No more fear of mildly windy days and soon we all had Ringmasters. Next was combat and then the first CRASH. Pieces were retrieved in a shopping bag and depression set in. Earl said, 'come with me and we will make her fly again. IMPOSSIBLE, too many pieces, too much destruction, yet she was airborne 2 days later. Next, kit combat and then scratch built combat, mixing our fuel, rat racers, stunt for Earl and another veteran we discovered in the area that built speed planes and still another into early radio planes.

Wonderful, helpful people in a great hobby.
I feel so fortunate to have lived at that time, because with the chemistry and electrical experiments, my own rifle, my casting and finishing a working black powder ships cannon lethal at 500 yards(.38 cal. 9 inches long), rockets and other things I was allowed to do (won the sciene fair several times), my parents would be put in jail today! Yes, we were very fortunate.

Leonard Evans/highiron999

DaveSR71 06-24-2010 05:13 PM

RE: Rat Racing Plane kits
 
HI Lou!
I remember you and thanks for some names I couldn't remember.!
Darrel said he talked to you at an R/C combat meet year or 2 ago.

{Those years, contests, airplanes, and people were very important to me growing up and I treasure the memories.}
Yes indeed. Best times of my life!


Flew against you and your Dad at Alex in Bobby and mine first Fast Rat event.
Ya'll had a new ST .40 RR and we were running an old K&B .40 FI on a Quicky.
Memory says that the ST was new and hard to hot start and the old K&B was one flip hot(mostly)
We beat you in the pits but you certainly had the speed! Early 70s I think.
Later we got our hands on a K&B 6.5WHAT AN ENGINE!!!

Got to fly with your Dad at B.R. 3 or so years ago. Enjoyed visiting with him. He will be missed.

One year in 60s George C. CDed a contest at LSU stadium if I remember correctly.
One of the young ones pitting a Fast Rat was hit in the chest by another teams Rat during a pit stop.
Poked a hole in his chest and knocked him down.
Who was that person?


Carl Berryman designed the Big Iron.

Kiwi
I do not think that the K&B R.R. is legal for current. The F.I. dykes ring engine is whats needed.
Do you have a 6.5 K&B? Kinda lookin for one.


highiron
Those were good times in to me a better world.

Well off to practice the stunt pattern.

David
rehabilitated combat junky!


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