Vintage Viewpoint: RC In February 1972

Vintage Viewpoint

Watch video footage of the 1972 Glenview RC Pattern Nationals

AS I COMPOSE THIS, we are again in the middle of winter, and I am writing about RC in February 1972. Some of you are building a new model for the upcoming flying season and others are simply doing preventative maintenance on their trusty fleet.

American Aircraft Modeler (AAM) had a construction article for the Big Flapper by Dave Boddington. The article begins with the following disclaimer: "This airplane won’t do the AMA or FAI pattern, it won’t take retract, it isn’t fast, and it is not quick to build, but here is the plane for the quiet Sunday flying craftsman who wants a big relaxing model for three or four channels." It had a 70-inch wingspan and flew on a .49 to .61 cu. in. engine.

Howard McEntee had a great article on "Getting Started in RC," with the subtitle, "Stunting with Rudder-Only." Howard started out by mentioning that a large number of RC fliers had never seen a rudder-only airplane in action and couldn’t imagine doing stunts with less than four proportional controls.

The airplane to beat in full-scale Formula 1 racing in the early 1970s was Bill Falck’s Rivets. Although the article was about a full-scale airplane, it didn’t take long for several modelers to build models of the famous racer. The growing interest in RC Pylon Racing was sure to lead to several Rivets showing up at contests.

A construction article for the Cardinal, by Dan Santich, started out with, "What this country needs is a good FAI Pattern Ship." Dan observed that the airplanes that were being flown in FAI RC Aerobatics (Pattern) by the European pilots looked quite a bit different from the airplanes that were being flown in the US. The notable difference was the fuselage design with no canopy and the smooth lines of the airplane’s nose.

I had the same thoughts when I designed my Yankee, after seeing the beautiful aircraft flown at international competitions in Europe. The Yankee was published in the September 1974 issue of AAM.

"Make Your Own Retracts, Part II," by Bob Root, was a detailed article explaining how to build grass-field, rugged nose gear that was cable steered and easily made.

The "AMA News" section started out with the following headline: "Scare Headlines Call for National Safety Program." There was a near collision at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York between a model and a jetliner within the landing approach zone. This prompted a meeting between AMA and government officials.

andrews aeromaster takes
The author’s Andrews Aeromaster takes off at the Aeroguidance Society Model Airport. An O.S. .80 four-stroke engine provides the power. The round cowling gives it a more scalelike look.
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this photo of an fb100 by air capital models
This photo of an FB100 by Air Capital Models was sent to the author by Larry DeBoer of Lake Barton MN. He got the airplane from a friend who built it in approximately 1982. It was an ARF that was complete with all of the linkages—the pilot just had to add servos, a receiver, and a battery and go flying. The cost was $149.95.

Flying Models magazine had an article by Jack Sheeks and Jerry Caldwell about their latest design that they named D.D.T. R/C. The article stated, "All sorts of sophisticated designs were the Kwik-Fli, Flea-Fly, Bar-Fly, Titsi-Fly, and Garbage-Fli. Frankly, what the industry obviously needed was some sort of pesticide to control the aerial hordes. We had to get rid of the ‘flies’ somehow and so, the D.D.T. was born."

The Nesmith Cougar I, by Stan Hines, was a Stand-Off Scale model of a classic homebuilt airplane by Bob Nesmith. The Cougar I was powered by a Webra.40 engine, used the new MRC 710 system, and had a 45-inch wingspan.

Lanier’s latest ARF, the Colt, was reviewed by Bob Caplan. The article stated, "Royal’s Classic ’70 radio brains and Lanier Industries exotic ‘Colt’ makes a first-rate machine. Spirited with a Veco.50, drives to the moon with an HP .61. A frisky pattern-eating animal."

Dave Gierke, who is known for his beautiful airplanes, had an article titled, "A Place for Lace." Dave’s step-by-step photo sequence introduced you to lace painting and a world of special effects.

Model Airplane News had an article by Harry Apoian about his Waco PG-2 Power glider. It was a scale model of the powered World War II cargo- and troop-carrying glider. It was 1/10 scale and was powered by two .29 cu. in. engines, weighing approximately 7 pounds.

Brad Shepherd had a construction article for his L’il Pogo. The article started out with, "Quarter Midgets are rapidly grabbing pylon racing headlines, and this latest entry will do much to continue their popularity." Brad chose an O.S. .15 engine for power.

Field and Bench had a review of the Hobby Enterprises KAOS by Herman Stroup. He powered his KAOS with a K&B Veco .61 engine and used a Kraft system.

The 1972 AMA Nationals were held at the Glenview Naval Air Station near Chicago. I was there competing in RC Pattern and was fortunate enough to qualify in the top 20 for the finals. Unfortunately, I received a phone call from my mother that my father had passed away and I immediately headed for Allentown, Pennsylvania. A few days after I returned home to Vestal, New York, I received a very special sympathy card.

The card contained 50 signatures from fellow contestants and AMA Headquarters staff. I still have that card. There is a great YouTube video of the 1972 Glenview RC Pattern Nats. You will love the music! This Nats was the showcase for sleek, fast Pattern airplanes with retracts. Jim Martin’s Banshee was by far the fastest one. Fred Hanstrom’s Thunderball featured a coupled stabilizer and flaps. Bob Smith’s airplane had coupled flaps with ailerons.

There were a few things of importance at this Nats. Probably most important was that this was to be the last Nats sponsored by the U.S. Navy. This was the first Nats in years that was held without "Goldie" Goldclank, the ever-popular "Clown of RC Pattern." This Nats was also known for the extremely high wind that blew across the runway and the driving rain that some pilots had to endure.

Some of the new products that were advertised 50 years ago included:

  • Royal Products Speed airplane for .60 engines; $44.95
  • Sheler Hobby Products Styrofoam cutter; $24.95
  • Upstart 1/2A racer by ACE R/C; $10.95
  • Bridi RC Trainer for .40 to.60 engines; $44.95
  • Midwest Sailplane EZ Juan; $29.95
  • Silkspun Coverite
  • Banner-EZ-ON Wheels; no price was mentioned
  • Heath five-channel system with submini servos; $224.95
  • Nelson Model Products’ HP .40; $56.95, including the muffler

Remember to introduce your fellow club members to the enjoyment and satisfaction of building with balsa! I’ll be back in two months.

this beautiful b 36 is an outstanding
This beautiful B-36 is an outstanding example of the competition in RC Scale at the Nats. Major improvements in RC system reliability allowed the effort that was required to compete.


1972 Glenview RC Pattern Nationals

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