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Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

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Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Old 07-04-2006, 07:42 AM
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Default Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

I was a freshman in high school when my father was temporarily posted to Castle AFB in Atwater, CA. Dale Root's construction article about his ‘Ascender’ had recently been published in American Modeler magazine in August 1957. I loved the looks of the Ascender immediately and read every word of the article many times. RC for boys was just a dream, completely out of the question at that time; not only because of the cost, but also for someone like me who had to pack and move on a regular basis. I generally flew control line and free flight, but was allowed only a shoe-box sized personal gear container at moving time. I packed my model magazines and my few engines and had to give all my carefully-built models away. The time in Atwater was only for a few months (B-52 school for my father), so I was limited to hand launched gliders there, albeit nice flying ones from Jetco.

My parents announced an upcoming weekend visit to Oakland/San Francisco, and I immediately began pressuring my mother to allow me a quick visit to ‘Root’s Hobby Hut’ as Dale called his hobby shop. My father the cold-warrior didn’t care at all for my incessant model building, and would have never have made such a stop except for my mother’s influence. As we approached Oakland he finally agreed to make a quick detour to the shop. It was Sunday morning, and so the store was closed, but I had roughly a minute to stand outside and look through the windows before he began barking at me from the car that we had wasted enough time there. What a great place it was too. Dale’s fabulous Ascender hung right in that front window, and I believed it to be a masterpiece.

Forty nine years have passed since that minute at the shop, but I still dream of the visit occasionally. Invariably, I walk back and forth along the storefront, but have difficulty finding the door. When I do, I somehow find it impossible to approach closer than a few feet.

I continued building models non-stop until I left for college, and my father *****ed and moaned continually about what a waste of time it was. I knew better though. It was one of the few ways I had to cope with the kind of lonely and transient life I led, and it was powerful medicine too. I went to sixteen schools, and modeling kept me out of trouble and focused on aviation the whole time. Then too, I always found an instant pal the moment I met another model builder.

I just received the Ascender plans from the AMA plans service, but sure would like to have that entire issue of American Modeler, or even just a copy of Dale's article. Any help from you guys would sure be appreciated.

Bill
Old 07-04-2006, 04:50 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Hi Bill;
Greetings to you from Thong Beach Florida.....Oh Wow!, Is this July 4th weekend ever yeidling up a smorgusboard of Thongs, & for an ole'guy going to be 62 next Monday, it's almost too much for sure.

I really enjoyed your letter, kind of saw myself there so long ago, although I did not move around too much, just the lonely part, and my folks thinking my modelling activities being a total waste of time. I remember back in late '57, I purchased my first model mag AAM, my Mom was very upset with my wasting money on model airplane magazines.....I still have that mag in mint, but well read condition, + every other model mag I ever purchased. I have the Ascender mag you need in my archives located in Phoenix, [I'm in Florida until mid Sept.], & if'n you can wait, I can copy the article for you, email to me your snail mail address.

Well, I'd better close, and get back down to da'beach, there are probably a few Thongs that I mite'a'missed, ah yes, thongs & our hobby, life is great, best regards from Florida's beautiful Gulf Coast beaches,

Joe Nagy.
Old 07-05-2006, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Well Joe, it's a small world indeed. We moved to Tennessee only three weeks ago from St. Petersburg Beach, and so were just North of you. As a result, I'm very familiar with those thongs you mention. You also said...

my Mom was very upset with my wasting money on model airplane magazines.....I still have that mag in mint, but well read condition, + every other model mag I ever purchased.
When we left California for Westover AFB in Massachusetts, my father demanded I leave my small collection of model magazines behind. I pretended to discard them, then hid them underneath his seat in the car for the trip. I sure enjoyed telling him about that incident years later.

I certainly appreciate your offer to copy the article for me. I've sent you an e-mail with my mailing address. One other curious thing. The plans from AMA Headquarters identify the airplane as the Ascender II. Near as I can tell, it looks like that Ascender of long ago, but perhaps there there was an Ascender I published earlier as well. A look through your (slightly) older American Modelers when you get a chance might answer that question.

Bill Parker
Old 07-05-2006, 02:50 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Hi Bill;
Hmmmm, re A. II plans from AMA...? I don't know if I have a set of plans for the Ascender; will have to wait until I get back to AZ. But, one thing for sure, you have to hand it to these fellow modellers llike Dale Root, Hal deBolt, Ken Willard, Bill Northrop, Chuck Holinger, and so many others; they were so far ahead of the curve and pioneered exactly what we take for granted today, The Ascender was one of those milestone designs for sure. Best regards from Florida,

Joe N.
Old 07-05-2006, 09:48 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Ask the AMA Library if they have that copy of the magazine. They provide quality photocopies of articles for a reasonable price.
Old 09-16-2006, 08:33 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

[X(]

Greetings from Idaho:

I am now picking up my jaw from the floor!!

My dad flew an Ascender for most of the time that I remember him flying R/C in an older club-the Pioneer R/C Club in Sunnyvale, CA. That is what is getting me BACK into the hobby now. It was a great plane. When I get the garage cleaned out from our move (translation=movers from hades) and a workbench installed then I may get up the gumption to actually get plans and try to build one. I even plan to see if I can paint it the origional colors. We have family picures of my dad, Jerry Nelson and Dale at a fly in
in Turlock, CA. My dad bought his first radio fro Dale's Hobby Hut. He also flew the Little ? Which was a 1/2 A shoulder wing.

If you get any leads or pictures, give me a jingle.

Thanks,
Don Moore
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[email protected]
Old 09-17-2006, 07:57 AM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Don,

It was great seeing your posting about Dale Root and the Ascender. As reported, I got the plans from AMA, and although they are not-too-great photocopies, they're OK to build from. I've not heard back from Joe Nagy about the story In American Modeler yet, but it's about time for him to get back to Arizona and find that issue. Dave Segal mentioned that I should ask AMA about that issue as well, and I had forgotten that might be possible until I re-read everything after seeing your posting. May try it tomorrow.

So you father was a modeler too? What a Lucky Boy you are! And to have photos of him, Jerry and Dale at Turlock is too much. I've only seen a very small photo of Dale in another magazine, so if you ever scan yours I would sure appreciate a copy. Meanwhile, the moment I get my hands on a copy of the Ascender story I'll be sure to alert you.

Bill Parker
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Old 09-26-2006, 10:28 AM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

[:-]

Greetings:

I finally remembered the name of the other Dale Root plane that my dad flew: The Little Freak. It was smaller (049) and a shoulder wing also. It was set for rudder, elevator and engine only (3 channel?). ANOTHER great flying plane and design.
Donald Moore
Old 09-26-2006, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Anybody remember the Root Low Ender? Many might guess it was an Astrohog from it's appearance. The unique feature was spoilers to decrease lift for landing, that were controlled by escapement. The plans were presented in the March '59 issue of American Modeler. A picture in the article show him, the plane, and an Orbit 8 channel radio with an EBRC flag (East Bay RC). I belonged to both clubs during my time in California, but think the Pioneers came apart many years ago when they lost their last field in the heart of Santa Clara.
Old 09-27-2006, 07:47 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

WOW, you guys sure bring back the memories... I remember seeing the article about Dale Roots Ascender shoulder airplane. I have always liked the looks of that plane. I thought it had the spoiler's in the wing to kill the lift...but maybe it was the Low Ender...it has been a day or two.

My young life was about like Bill's as far as my much older parents and their views of toy airplane building. I flew a lot of free flight and tow-line glider (Ghost & Thermic 50) and others. Still have the scars on my arm when I tryed to run through a barb wire fence while looking back towing a glider.

I use to have Ken Willard's airplane the Traveler. That would fold up into a small suitcase with Cox 049.
Old 10-03-2006, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Greetings:

Who knows, if you were flying in the ealy 60's and stopped by the Pioneer field you may have seen my dad. Anyway, from what I remember their field was in Sunnyvale, CA at the Baylands. Two-thirds was for the Pioneers and 1/3 was for the 1/4 midget racers. I didn't know that the Baylands was gone until shortly before my dad was gone. Small world.
mightyhorn
Old 07-01-2007, 02:33 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Hello:
How is the Ascender doing? If you have pics please post on forum or send me an e-mail: [email protected]

Thanks,
Don Moore
Old 04-01-2012, 12:33 PM
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Default RE: Need a little help with Dale Root's Ascender and American Modeler mag

Hello
My dad wasn't in the Pic with Jerry Nelson at Turlock- he took the pic.
Now that we're dumping our boat we'll (I'll) have more time for the good stuff.
Still looking for the picture.....we relocated to more southern ID due to sortages of Ed Funding and
needing a full time gig.
Don
Old 01-30-2023, 10:04 PM
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Now that I am retired- I will be starting my trainer this spring. It is a Hobbico 40. Once I fly that for a while, I have a contact that can make a kit out of the Ascender plans. I plan to ask to lighten the dihedral a little.
Once I get good enough with the Ascender......I'll take a shot at the Sultan.
Don Moore
Old 03-20-2023, 07:33 PM
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Hello:
Finally got the plans for the Ascender. I also have a guy to kit the plans. When I get good enough with my trainer, I'll start building the Ascender.
Since I now moved to Vancouver, WA there is one AMA field 10 minutes away and another 30 minutes away in OR.
Many life/health issues came about, including my late wife's passing.
Keep the posts coming!!
Don Moore
"mightyhorn" (Trumpet player!!)

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