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-   -   old timers look here must be 50+ years only (https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/clubhouse-190/11607413-old-timers-look-here-must-50-years-only.html)

donnyman 12-02-2014 07:44 AM

old timers look here must be 50+ years only
I see places for beginners and such but us old buzzards need a place to roost I hope this thread becomes that place

let me begin by saying our hobby has advanced remarkably but we need to remember our roots.

I go back to the 1940's glue for me was horsehide type until I was introduced to celulose type that came in a bottle with a cork and cost 10 cents and nothing you built flew. If you are newer than epoxy your too young.

I had nothing but lawn darts. with exceptions that other people built and they didn't fly all that good either. The best I eventually got was the chuck gliders for 5 cents and thought I was better than Buck Rogers or Flash Gorden. do you remember Don winslow of the coast guard or sky King?

Controline was at the top of the heap and rc was mystical, a good radio set weighed more than most planes of today Gas tubes were the norm, Helicopters, jets, 5 minute flight times?? forget it.

Take a sit down and put your memories of the 30's 40's 50's and 60's here and let's have some good times.

FlyerInOKC 12-02-2014 09:01 AM

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OK I'll sign up for the Old Fossil's page! To get things rolling what was the first project that got you interested in model aviation? Here is what mine looked like:


I wonder how much that first $1 cost me over the years?


donnyman 12-02-2014 09:35 AM

I was too young to build anything. my dad built me a spitfire when I was in the third grade or so. that was my first plane. been hooked ever since.

raptureboy 12-02-2014 09:45 AM

I think your title is a little misleading in that it sounds like you want people 50 and over to participate rather than those who have been modeling for 50+ years. I'm only 58 but stil remember some of the good old days before CA and monokote.

donnyman 12-02-2014 09:57 AM


I don't intend to be strict about it but those that are 50+ years old will remember more of the old time stuff. you are more than qualified ...welcome aboard got any pictures? I am digging through my album.

FlyerInOKC 12-02-2014 10:07 AM

I'm two years behind you Raptureboy! I still remember my first Monokote covered airplane a Midwest Sweet Stik. Red with black & White Checkerboard and black pinstripes. I thought the Maltese crosses were over done at the time. I seem to think the Monokote was priced like a full size airplane at least it felt that way. I remember the LHS let me put the OS/Graupner Wankel Rotary engine I powerd it with in layaway so I could pay on it over time. Cool engine but it bled fuel all over the place. I bought a first generation OS 4 cycle the same way. Sold it to finance my return to the hobby in 2004. It was the only thing I saved when I left the hobby.

MajorTomski 12-02-2014 10:38 AM

Born in 1955, grew up in Akron Ohio, son of an Aero engineer who worked for Goodyear on blimps and other things (SUBROC) I started building plastic models in the early 60's. Flew lots and lots of Sleek Streaks. I always used just one of the two rubber bands. Then Dad put both of them in one one day and I was shocked at the performance. My first "build" was putting T pins in the side of the biggest sleek streak so it could drop off the little nickle priced glider at the top of the climb. I glued landing gear on my WW-i profile gliders and added tricycle gear and an arrester hook on a 'Jetfire' so it could make carrier landings in our driveway.

My real live actual build was a guillows Fokker Dr-1 with ambroid and real dope on the tissue in the late 60's. It 'flew' about 20 feet, tore out the landing gear and then was consigned to hang from the ceiling for the rest of its life. I did finally get a "Gone Goose" by Tern Aero to fly while I was in college.

If you're still into free flight we fly indoor FF in OKC on the third Saturday of each month at the Exchange AVe Baptist Church.

GallopingGhostler 12-02-2014 10:40 AM

A year older than you, I flew a lot of North Pacific Sleek Streaks and Skeeters, plus some larger Guillows rubber powered ROG's (except Skeeters had no landing gear. They were $0.15 in 1964, I used donor landing gear from a trashed Sleek Streak ($0.25 then) to convert the Skeeter to ROG.

My first Monokote job was in 1973, a 37" (940mm) wingspan Goldberg Junior Falcon on Ace Pulse Commander rudder only with Adams magnetic Stomper Actuator. Color was orange with white Monokote trim. Frequency was Brown (26.995).

Back in 1965, my largest rubber power job was the 32" (813mm) Comet Sparky cabin. I think I paid $1.25 for the kit from Cornet department store in Biloxi, MS. I covered it with the black tissue that came with the kit. For a 5th grader, this plane was huge. It came with a rough carved balsa prop, which I finished to close what the plans showed. Best flying kit was the 18" (457mm) Comet P-51A Mustang. It had a light weight frame, I could successfully trim it and actually flew! Would do ROG's off my parent's rental house porch.

FlyerInOKC 12-02-2014 11:03 AM

Moving to something a little closer to now, does anyone besides me remember when author Tom Clancy let the cat out of the bag on the Armour during the first Gulf War? It's back in the news: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ed-noises.html

donnyman 12-02-2014 11:32 AM

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Wow I am feeling like and old man...none the less what you guy's have said is music to my ears?/eyes? I remember using Ambroid glue tube which was a revelation to me compared to the cork bottle, but the same glue. not sure I know the sleek streak can you show a pic? The mod's you did were cool Major, You jogged my memory with tissue covering which I did a lot of and got pretty good at. sticking it on with dope got me higher than a kite on more than one occasion. (Lousy feeling) until my folks warned me about the fumes....ignorance is bliss..... to me monokote is still expensive but properly done can make for a fine finish, the new stuff isn't as good as the original type.

Does anyone remember the reed type radio sets? I had a eight channel orbit I bought in Phoenix Arizona in the mid sixties in a astro hog. Big gas tube transmitter, huge receiver and servo's on 26.995 a frequency I never got hit on even on my heathkit set.

Here is some pics of some of my memory stuff that is still useable. anybody familiar with them?

a70eliminator 12-02-2014 11:38 AM

Mom's stocking leg streched nicely over a wing panel and after 3 coats of dope worked rather well for my shoestring budget, highlight of the week was dad comming home from work with a tube of ambroid! We flew control line, RC was never in the cards, dad had eight of us to feed and mom didn't work.
Remeber making model rockets from tampons lol, the kind with telescopic sections and even had string for shute and wadding in mid section A engine fit nicely. Yea I grew up with sisters, funny things a 7 yr old boy will do!

GallopingGhostler 12-02-2014 11:53 AM

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Donnyman, you mean this engine? :)


Testors McCoy .35 Red Head. recent flights on my Sterling S-1 Ringmaster.

a70eliminator 12-02-2014 12:01 PM

Wow that's a tank full! Seems like a mccoy .35 would go for 1/2 hr on 4 oz of fuel, yours looks like at least a 6?

donnyman 12-02-2014 12:13 PM

I used some nylons to cover my birds back in the day but never tampons to make rockets ..............Cool! show us how!

Ghost I must have built at least ten ringmasters, p-51's, yaks and shoestrings by sterling back in the late 1950's. I had to work at the hobbyshop to afford it. my first was a berklely p-40 stunt for christmas all powered by the mighty mc coy 35 red head I got bent out of shape when the price increased to $7.50 from $5 bucks in 58 or 9.

Hey Major............ I was 14 in 1955

DavidAgar 12-02-2014 12:52 PM

I am just heading out to the garage to wind up the rubber bands on my Escapment. My first Proportional radio was an MRC Mark 5 which I still have on Red and White. I am a self taught pilot and I learned on a Carl Goldberg Falcon 56, which was repaired many times using good old wood glue. It was covered in tissue and dope. I think it had an Enya Engine on it with the flapper in the exhaust port and I was using a Dubro strap on muffler extension to try and get the castor oil residue to miss the fuselage. Ah yes the good old days.....

FlyerInOKC 12-02-2014 12:53 PM

I love the smell of burning castor oil!

AMA 74894 12-02-2014 12:57 PM

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Old fart (52 :D ) Checking in... first pic are my beloved late Brothers Pat and Mike, Circa 1963 (I was 4 months old :) ) In that first pic, the guy WITHOUT Glasses is none other than Minn Flyer (he'd kill me if he knew I posted this pic!) scream forward to ~ 1974 I had been flying RC for 8 years in that second photo. I narrowly missed out having to deal with reeds and escapements, but before I got a driver's license I had a pretty serious number of ukie's under my belt :D

popargr 12-02-2014 01:02 PM

I'm 69 started with rubber band powered built up models . Got my 1st engine at 8 yrs old -a ok cub 049 with a little red tank . ambroid was the glue of choice or testers. used to cover wings with old kerchiefs and clear dope always wanted a u-reely .never had real tools used to make mounting hole by using a nail wiggling it to the right size.dry cell and alligator clips to start engines nylon props still have a wen-mac 1/2a engine 1st rc planes i saw some guy was looking for a control line contest but was in the wrong part of the park it was being held in. my parents and i were at the wrong place too anyway he had a royal rudderbug and a breezy jr and he flew both. the breezy got stuck in a tree we left before he got it down

popargr 12-02-2014 01:06 PM

i wont be 69 until Feb. its not good to rush time

RCKen 12-02-2014 01:22 PM

Well I just barely qualify for this group as I just turned 50 two days ago. I've been flying RC since 1996, however I've been dealing with building models and flying control line since I was 8 years old. So I've got quite a bit of experience on all aspects of the hobby.


jtotten 12-02-2014 02:03 PM

I will turn 75 next march, and for over 50 of those years I have been active (or semi-active) in RC. My first kit was a Gillow B25 kit my parents got me at age 13. I built up the fuse, never got around to building the wing. The fuse became my "rocket ship" . Interest rekindled in 1964 when I got a couple of .049 control liners -no one to help me, and they quickly suffered terminal figure 9's. Back to hobby shop, where I spotted some R/C mags. I devoured them. The LHS owner pointed me to a local club, where I quickly fell in love with field location (a ridge clearing in an 600 A. Woods, and with the planes. I must have seemed a bit more knowledgeable that I really was, for the local expert invited me to try a little stock time on his Taurus, which had one of the new-fangled proportional radios. I staggerd around a turn, and straightened out over the woods. As the plane drifted lower, the owner said "Give it up" - so I promply shoved the right stick to the top of the box. When we found the plane, it was because there were tiny scraps of balsa fluttering from a half dozen trees. I was mortified, but the owner was rolling on the ground laughing.
After that,I settled in with a used Esquire on Reeds, then went to a deBolt cub (still have the disintegrating plans somewhere. Tried Galloping ghost for a bit, then the RCM Digitrio plans came out and several of us did the Trio (later upgraded to Quad) as a club project. Still have that Rig somewhere - In fact I still have every rig I ever had except for the Reed and Mule S/C first ones. I still have a weakness for those early planes , and I buy old kits or do rescues of shabby old planes at swap shops. My shop now includes the followinhg items - Kwik Fly III, Super Kaos, Falcon 56, Skylark single, and 2 Skylark twins, Stirling PT 17 (1 built, 1 kit), Stirling P39, Phoenis 5, Phoenix 6, Mach 1, Doc Brook Crusader, Mark 8 , Striker, Thermic 100 Glider, Rivets Formula 1 racer, ,Andrews Sportmaster, and a couple of more 40 sized plans built trainers from that era. Also many newer planes, but a combo of slowing reflexes and dimming eyesight is forcing me to think of thinning the herd. Spending a lot of time with 8 and 12 ft Telemasters, a Butterfly Trainer convertedto Electric, a Minnie Mambo on electric, and a couple of 5 ft gliders from the 70;s that are converted to electric. Pretty much have to do my glow flying and larger electrics on buddy box, as its a little too easy to lose orientation, particularly on cloudy days,
For the last year or so , I pretty much resolved not to start any new airplanes, but to focus on reparing older planes, or finishing the partially started planes . Had a big hiatus in flying between ages 40 to 60 between raising kids and a demanding job, but always belonged to AMA and a local club, and always kept an active building project. There's nothing like seeing a functioning aircraft progress from a box of sheet and strips to a functioning aircraft!!

jwrich 12-02-2014 02:29 PM

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My first RC airplane was the Sterling Fokker D VII, powered a OS Gold Head 61, with one of the first proportional Futaba 4 channel radio, the servos were very large. I was stationed Taiwan in 1968 when I was flying C-130s, I built the kit and I local Chinese hobby shop owner was going fly it for its maiden flight and teach me to fly. It never got to fly, we were flying a lot in-country, that was a hot couple years. When I was transferred the Alabama, the D VII was shipped but it was total destroyed. I joined a local club, learned fly RC, over the years I wore out the OS Gold Head (still have it). A few years ago, a guy was selling his RC equipment, he had an OS Gold head 61 still in the box, never run. I ask him what he wanted for it, he how about $65.00, I have it packed away. I'll find it and post a picture of it. Our hobby has changed a lot over the years, I think for the better. Just think about it, now we have friends from all over the world because of the web and sites like this. Being in the military 26 yrs, I have been in several countries around the world and I must say, I have never met a RC Modeler who was not a good guy. Good times


madboutrc 12-02-2014 02:31 PM

Just turned 50 this year but my first plane at 6 years of age was the lil satan, many of hours spent gluing down tissue paper and covering with Aerogloss Dope. THOSE WERE THE DAYS. No landing gear either.

wnewbury 12-02-2014 03:16 PM

69 years. AJ Hornet and especially AJ Interceptor sure flew well. Clear dope had a STRONG banana smell. Picked Ambroid off my fingers for days after using it. Remember putting out burning dry bermuda grass set on fire by an open exhaust port Fox 35 on a UC profile?

Free Bird 12-02-2014 04:01 PM

Wow! This thread really took off (pun intended!) I'm 58 and remember building a Sterling Mambo Special, covering it with silk and dope and flying it with a Orbit reeds system. That was around 1963 or 64, and I learned to fly on that setup. I've built many free flight rubber powered, tow line and control line planes as a young'n. Comet, Guillow's, Jetco and Sterling were the main kits available to kid with a very limited income. The bug has never left me, while like most these days I assemble ARFs, but I still build kits and search for kits that my dad and I built and flew pattern with. Because we competed, we got to meet a lot of the big names in the hobby - Kraft, Kirkland, Grier, Bonetti, Jim Martin were just some we talked to and watched them fly. I have a nice collection of classic pattern and vintage kits for when I retire. Sure are some great memories!


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