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1959 Berkeley Impulse Single Channel Pylon Racer Build

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1959 Berkeley Impulse Single Channel Pylon Racer Build

Old 03-11-2014, 12:09 PM
  #51  
MJD
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The Hornet we had when I was a young 'un was FF with a Babe Bee.. a wee bit overpowered so it was.. my big bro on pit and launch duties while I hid for safety.
Old 03-11-2014, 02:12 PM
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GallopingGhostler
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Yup, for FF that'd be a tad too much power. Might have been okay for an OK Cub though with prop on backwards. I think the .049 power was for CL, then would have been a better match.
Old 03-11-2014, 03:24 PM
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Yes it was definitely only for C/L use. As I recall the firewall has punchmarks for Babe Bee and Pee Wee backplates, haven't peeked in a while.
Old 03-13-2014, 07:23 AM
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I believe you are right on that, MJD. I'd have to open the box, but yes, I recall those dimpled engine mount hole locations for both. With an .020 Pee Wee with 5x3 prop on backwards, would have probably been a good competitor to Joe Wagner's Dakota Bipe of similar size. The Pee Wee was a decently powerful engine, capable of hauling my 27" span Top Flite RC Schoolboy and Ace single channel RC gear. The .049 Babe Bee was revolutionary at the time, too, putting out as much power as some of the vintage .09's.

Leroy Cox was competition at its best. He didn't have to defame other manufactures, like some of the mud slinging more recent (for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_u...inty_and_doubt ). He simply provided the best product at the lowest cost. Some wonder about the inferior wood in kits 40 to 60 years ago. Then, the kit industry was so competitive, that to be able to shave off costs by printing plans with less paper (instructions instead of full sized plans), (selection of wood that would work in a kit but not necessarily the best performance, wood too soft, too hard, odd grain direction, etc.) Kits were affordable then. Balsa stock was affordable, too, so one could if necessary buy a few extra sheets and clone parts for a few pieces in the kit that didn't come out quite right.

Kits nowadays are deluxe compared with yesteryear, but in retrospect I still enjoy those kits even with their so called inferiority for reasons stated. That includes this Berkeley Impulse build.
Old 03-15-2014, 07:02 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by GallopingGhostler View Post
Leroy Cox was competition at its best. He didn't have to defame other manufactures, like some of the mud slinging more recent. He simply provided the best product at the lowest cost.
Indeed!

Some wonder about the inferior wood in kits 40 to 60 years ago. Then, the kit industry was so competitive, that to be able to shave off costs by printing plans with less paper (instructions instead of full sized plans), (selection of wood that would work in a kit but not necessarily the best performance, wood too soft, too hard, odd grain direction, etc.) Kits were affordable then. Balsa stock was affordable, too, so one could if necessary buy a few extra sheets and clone parts for a few pieces in the kit that didn't come out quite right.
I thought the plans thing was to encourage you to buy another kit rather than scratch one from the plans. Never considered it might be printing costs.
A lot of balsa was going into making liners for oil tankers among other things so it got a bit scarce. Some balsa harvesters set aside light balsa for models...perhaps it was too light to be used for other things. In addition to using whatever balsa was available some manufacturers ran too many kits before sharpening the dies and I believe that is where the term die-crunching came from.
I remember a Ringmaster Jr. costing me $1.50, and a sheet of 1/16"x3"x36" balsa costing $0.12. That was early fifties (year, not age ).

George
Old 03-15-2014, 10:13 AM
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George, there was a discussion where I think it was may be Joe Wagner chimed in about printing costs on kits and why if they kept the info down to that necessary to construct the kit, could reduce printing costs. Profit margins then on kits were low those days.

I heard that during WW2, balsa was also used in life rafts. Even fighter airplanes used balsa in control surfaces. This was before the lightweight honeycomb structures we have today.

Back in the 1960's, I remember Scientific half-A control line kits retailing as low as $0.69, which were certainly affordable.
Old 03-15-2014, 11:22 AM
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I think even NASA used vertical grain balsa on some of their probes. But that is the extent of my memory

Ken
Old 03-23-2014, 03:26 AM
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That could be, Ken. One thing I have to say about the kits of the era, were the costs were very reasonable due to heavy competition and the popularity of model airplane kits. One could easily find them in department stores. I remember back in the mid 1960's going to the Cornet Variety Store several blocks from where we lived, seeing several rows of hundreds of kits, these being Comet rubber powered models of all types and sizes, from their beginner series on up. Even though they were priced at retail, they were still very affordable. The local grocery store, I think it was an A&P had balsa gliders, rubber powered ROGs and even an unassembled 1/2-A CL ARF (Jimmy Allen?) in clear plastic cellophane hanging on a rack.

Hobby stores were always nearby. Even the military bases had hobby stores, which were in a separate building. Then in the mid 1970's, hobby stores started disappearing.

Even though the wood in this Berkeley kit isn't the greatest, it is still light enough and usable enough (except for a few pieces like the rudder) to successfully build a flying model.
Old 03-23-2014, 04:03 AM
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I remember gliders and rubber band powered sheet wood planes for a few cents (10 15 maybe 25???) on a rack by checkout. Hold lots of fun with them. Modded them very early on. Turned some into sling shot launch. Those had some real scoot and distance, although not a lot of air time.

Had a hobby shop nearby that I found when I was maybe in 7 -9 th grade. That is when I started scratch building. I did not have any one to teach me till a neighbor cam home from Nam and took an interest in me.

Ken
Old 03-23-2014, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingagin View Post
I remember gliders and rubber band powered sheet wood planes for a few cents (10 15 maybe 25???) on a rack by checkout. Hold lots of fun with them. Modded them very early on. Turned some into sling shot launch. Those had some real scoot and distance, although not a lot of air time.
Ken
I can't imagine the number of Sleek Streeks, Skeeters and Star Flyers I burned through as a kid. It was real special if I got the Star Flyer.

Old 03-23-2014, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MJD View Post
I can't imagine the number of Sleek Streeks, Skeeters and Star Flyers I burned through as a kid. It was real special if I got the Star Flyer.

YEP! Those!

Not very much memories from child hood, But for sure those.

Ken

Ken
Old 03-23-2014, 06:47 AM
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Thanks for sharing that, MJD. especially the photo, I haven't seen that in ages. Yes, I remember the North Pacific Sleek Streek, those were $0.25 back in the mid 1960's. The Skeeter without landing gear was $0.15, and the glider $0.10. They also made kites, the standard diamond shaped ones that required a tail. They were $0.10, then went up to $0.15. A McDonald's hamburger was $0.15, fries $0.10 then.

When the rubber band would break, we'd take small stationary rubber bands, chain them together and make a replacement. They worked just as well.
Old 03-25-2014, 08:11 AM
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Yeah, unlike the Guillows Jetstream (garbage) and others, you could get some decent flights out of these guys. If they were out of Sleek Streeks, I'd get a Skeeter usually, and the rare Star Flyer. And yeah, into the junk drawer for new rubber bands all the time. If all we had were #63 or #64's from produce and other things and the like, then they'd be short fast bursts. And the hooks would cut through them in no time. Never knew about stretch winding when I was a young lad, but boy could I hand wind fast at the time.
Old 03-26-2014, 02:22 PM
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On one of those Sleek Streeks (SS), I could put about 150 winds on them. I knew nothing about stretch winding either, nor rubber motor lubrication. In high school I bought green soap and glycerin from the drugstore, was kind of messy. Nowadays, folks use STP Son-of-a-Gun, rub it into the motor and let it dry, much cleaner. If I couldn't afford the SS or they were ought, I'd do similar and buy the Skeeter, and salvage the SS landing gear, put it on the Skeeter. Then I had the best of both worlds. With the newer RC micro motors and RC gear, one could convert an SS to RC.
Old 03-26-2014, 04:48 PM
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That just might be real neat George. A rubber powered RC.

Ken
Old 03-26-2014, 06:42 PM
  #66  
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I was referring to a small electric motor, like a CD-rom motor to power a Sleek Streek. Rubber power doesn't have decent enough flight duration for radio control.
Old 03-26-2014, 06:47 PM
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re read your post Yep I missed that, was heading out and rushed. But it would still be neat, for a few seconds, maybe a minute?

Ken
Old 03-26-2014, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for the Sleek Streek pic MJD! Kinda funny, because as I was reading down through the posts on pg. 3, I was remembering all the fun I had with my Skeeters, and Sleek Streeks...and then up pops a pic of one!!! Flashback
Old 03-27-2014, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingagin View Post
re read your post Yep I missed that, was heading out and rushed. But it would still be neat, for a few seconds, maybe a minute? Ken
Estes Cox sometime back brought out a short lived electric RC plane that used similar to hearing aid batteries (no rechargeables). Reason why I say similar is that the cheaper HA batteries didn't have enough duration. Flights on that was short lived and expensive due to the unusual batteries required. It was a bad marketing concept. With flights of less than a minute duration, it was no fun. I'd think the same for rubber powered RC flight, unless one snagged some thermaling activity.

The single channel RC planes that I had in the 1970's were fun and duration on Cox .020 Pee Wees with Top Flite nylon 5.25x3 props were about 2.5 minutes. That is about the shortest duration for RC fun I'd consider acceptable.

Last edited by GallopingGhostler; 03-28-2014 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Correct prop specs.
Old 03-27-2014, 12:28 PM
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For small FF I think a tiny motor connected to a supercap is a way cool way to go. That's what these are: http://www.poweruptoys.com/pages/pow...paper-airplane

I tore one of these apart (I bought 3 for Xmas gifts) and will use the motor and cap separately. Has enough power for a 10" span 2mm Depron delta, not much more. Maybe a lightweight Sleek Streek?

A broken micro quad is probably a good source for tiny motors and props as well.

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