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National Model Meet Under Way
November 1948 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

November 1948 Air Trails
November 1948 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Once again, I think about all the young lads and men I see in these middle of the last century articles and wonder whether their lives went well and are they still around today, engaged in aeromodeling? Most probably have kids and grandkids who would love to run across one of these photos that probably nobody in the family even knows exists. What about the models, too? How many are sitting in an attic or garage somewhere, and will be discarded by disinterested kin or estate buyers? No doubt many (not just those shown here) met their demise while being flown, transported to or from a flying field, in a house fire, during a flood, in a tornado or hurricane. Unlike a large portion of today's models that have been purchased in fully flight-ready or nearly flight-ready condition, each of these were built, finished, and trimmed for flight by their owners. They are a disappearing breed.

National Model Meet Under Way

National Model Meet Under Way, November 1948 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets

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Two Navy boys amend the warning sign slightly to indicate that model planes have taken over runways at Naval Air Station.

The most perfect National meet in the history of American aeromodeling, the 17th National Championship Model Airplane Contest, was held on August 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, under the sponsorship of the Olathe, Kan., Chamber of Commerce and the Olathe Earl Collier Post 153, American Legion.

Actively cooperating was the U.S. Naval Air Station at Olathe, where all the outdoor flying events were held. Indoor events were held in the Municipal Auditorium at Kansas City, Mo.

Tom Poor, Olathe Chamber at Commerce, presents Exchange Club Notional Champ trophy to Bob Holland of Sunland, Calif.

The contest was highlighted with a visit by Rear Admiral Richard F. Whitehead, Chief of Naval Air Reserve Training. Capt. Campbell Keene, Commanding Officer of the Olathe Naval Air Station, gave his full support to the meet as did all the men based at the huge Navy field.

National Championship honors went to handsome Bob Holland, 33, of Sunland, Calif. Ace-flyer Holland racked up an impressive number of wins: 2nd in indoor stick, open; a place on the 1948 American Wakefield team; 3rd in rubber-powered flying scale; 1st in R.O.VV. models, plus other lesser places.

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Team of Yates and Palmer took gas-powered flying scale event with 380 points. Here, J. C. Yates starts PT-17 Searman as Palmer watches. Model flew inverted, did consecutive loops.

Top place in the club competition was taken by the Oakland, Calif., Cloud Dusters whose 7-'''man'' team consisted of Pete and Mike Demos, Joe Bilgri, Dick Schumacher, Manuel Andrade and "Pop" and "Mom" (H.S.) Robbers.

The age-category champs were as follows: Bob Holland, first in open class; Charles Sotich, Chicago, Illinois, first in junior division; and Jack Norris, Lakewood, Ohio, first in senior competition.

Several new national records were set. A complete breakdown of winners, including the types of models they flew will appear in subsequent issues of Air Trails. An enlarged "Sketchbook at the Nationals" will be presented in December.

Paul Gilliam, Glendale, Calif., won rubber-powered flying scale event. This is his Stinson L-5 in flight (inset at right).

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Fred Megow Champion Club trophy (l. ctr.) won by Oakland Cloud Dusters.

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Harry Rice, Irv Ohlsson, Jack Noris, Bill Fox & Norval Hale - O&R winners.

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Jet job by Harold deBolt, Williamsville, N. Y., won 1st place with 133.3 mph.

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Charles Sotich, right, was Jr. champ; Larry Erickson, Omaha, Neb., runner-up.

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Larry Queisert, Kansas City, Mo., took first in Junior with his Piper Skysedan.

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Marvelously detailed twin-engine Black Widow by Fred Sage. Motors gave trouble.

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Chet Lanzo's Moraine 677 with Arden power. Yates flew ship in qualifying run.

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Piper Skycycle (Comet kit) by Alfred Schultz, Regent, N. D., 3rd in sr. class.

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Air Trails Trophy speed winners; Parker Hubert, senior D; Wallick & Thomas, open D.

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Navy helps: Olathe sailor holds H. deBolt's (himself an ex-gob) 1st place Speedwagon.

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Don Newberger (1st in Class C speed, open) and Lew Mahiew's Class C Invader speed ship.

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Jerry Brofman, Hicksville, N. Y., 1st. in class D free-flight event with his Cosmic Rave.

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Highly detailed, fine finished Douglas Observation by L. A. Morey, Sr., was high-stepping flyer.

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With a Monogram Piper Cub Special, Dale Kirn, Soloman, Kan., took 1st in senior with 301 points.

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Ray Mayes, Berkeley, Calif., made second highest score of 327 with highly maneuverable Buster.

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Built from a Capitol kit, this Beechcraft by Harold R. Ferguson was one of many striking entries.

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Rear Adm. R. F. Whitehead, left, inspects Steve Jordon's record Cl. B ship.

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The Army wuz there, too: Msgt H. G. Ponder of Keesler Field Mod. Plane Club.

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Herb Kothe, Omaha, Neb., took first ($500) in PAA's weight lifting contest.

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Jim Walker, 1st in r-c, given U-control "Stupidity Award" by Peggy Roddy.

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Third place, open, won b Murray Hamilton, Topeka, Kan., with Curtiss P6E.

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One of several Pipers entered. These and Monocoupes were popular ships.

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Mark Altman from Keesler Field was 2nd in senior with this No. Amer. P-51.

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Tom Ryan entered this nicely finished Cessna 190. Balky engine gave trouble.

Flying Scale models eclipse all others in spectator interest at National Meet

By far the most spectacular, crowd-pleasing event at the 17th annual National competition was that in which detailed scale models of full size aircraft competed in the rubber-powered and gas-engine-powered categories.

Unfortunately the free flying rubber-powered scale ships had to be flown at an open site which was away from the crowds. The gas jobs, tethered as they were by conventional U-control lines, were able to make all qualifying flights on the apron in front of the Navy's main hangar, attracting the largest crowd of the meet.

It was obvious to most experienced onlookers that the control-line flying scale models will soon be as popular as the well-established stunt and precision flying craft.



Posted March 21, 2015

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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

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