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Where the Action Is: Control Line
January 1972 American Aircraft Modeler

January 1972 American Aircraft Modeler

January 1972 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets Table 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.

Website visitor Barb H. wrote to ask that I provide her with a copy of the page in the January 1972 issue of American Aircraft Modeler that her brother, David Downey, had a suggestion of his printed. It appeared in the "Where the Action Is: Control Line" column. John Blum wrote the "Carrier and Stunt" section and mentions David's idea of using a section of neoprene tubing around the outside of the elevator pushrod in order to minimize flexing under load. The tubing is to be glued to the fuselage structure in three inch or less interval along its length. Interestingly, Mr. Downey submitted his entry from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, which today is the seventh largest city in Brazil. The column also has a report which is funny in retrospect, but was potentially very dangerous at the time. It is in the Speed and Racing section and involves a situation that resulted in the unplanned disrobing of a pilot as his model rocketed around the circle at 200 mph. If a camera-equipped cellphone had been on-hand then as would have been the case today, the video would certainly have been a YouTube sensation! It would also probably have appeared in Dave Gee's "Safety Comes First" column in the AMA's current publication Model Aviation.

Where the Action Is: Control Line

Ed Dunstan's Short Sterling WW II bomber - Airplanes and Rockets

Operating bomb bay doors, bomb release, revolving turrets, moveable guns - Airplanes and Rockets

Super detail on Ed Dunstan's Short Sterling WW II bomber includes operating bomb bay doors, bomb release, revolving turrets, moveable guns and flight-operated flaps and throttle on the four growling 19's. Weighs only 13 lbs.

Bill Boss

Sport and Scale

Tips For Successful Rat Racing: Howard Shahan, an experienced Rat Race flier of San Diego, Calif., has some advice for beginners in the event. While his remarks are aimed specifically at Rat Racing, they can also be applied to other types of CL flying.

A most important first step is to structure the plane and its control system so it is strong enough to withstand the rigors of the event and repeated pull-testing. Good flying wires and strong line connectors are a must. Howard makes up line connectors that will withstand 100·lb. pulls by taking the sliding lock from '''Perfect'' line connectors and replacing the connector with those formed of .045 music wire.

Balance of the plane is next. Add wing tip weight of 1/2 oz. on Scale racers (Goodyear) and a 1-oz. weight on rats of average spans. Trim the plane for a slight nose-heavy condition without making the plane sluggish. The balance point should be in the area from the leading edge of the wing to about 3/8" back from the leading edge. A little experimentation will find the best point. Another item to be considered when balancing the plane is the placement of the landing gear on a single-wheel equipped plane. Be sure to mount the gear just inside the centerline on the inboard side of the ship. Putting the gear too far outboard can neutralize the effect of the wing tip weight.

Sensitivity of the control system should be kept to a minimum. With the high speeds of these planes large tail surfaces are not required. When installing the control system a 2" bellcrank should suffice. Install pushrod and leadouts in the holes closest to the bell-crank center pivot point. Push rod should be entered in a hole of the elevator control horn about 3/8" to 1/2" from the surface of the elevator. Elevators of 10 to 20 sq. in. should be adequate.

The last item for consideration is the angle of attack for takeoff. Keep the angle at approximately 15 degrees for straight smooth takeoffs. Add a tail skid if necessary to achieve the proper angle. Low, smooth take-offs will keep you from making jack-rabbit starts that put you right in the path of planes already flying in the circle. Following these basic technical tips should get the beginner off to a good start. Even the more experienced fliers might find them helpful.

Kenny Stevens, age 11, Lew McFarland, Bill Richardson and Ralph Wenzel - Airplanes and Rockets

Lexington, Kentucky, Nats entries are Kenny Stevens, age 11, Lew McFarland, Bill Richardson and Ralph Wenzel.

Pushrod idea by David Downey - Airplanes and Rockets

Pushrod idea by David Downey.

Sanding block idea by Bill Noyes - Airplanes and Rockets

Sanding block idea by Bill Noyes.

Mauler and Panther for Carrier and Stunt - Airplanes and Rockets

Mauler and Panther for Carrier and Stunt in Navy colors and K&B 35's, both throttled are by Joe Averitt.

Scale Tech Tip: A quick and easy way for a beginning scale modeler to make turnbuckles for early aircraft is to use 1/16" OD brass tubing and soft florists wire. The procedure is simple. Cut brass tubing to desired length, make small loop on one end of a piece of the wire, insert wire through tubing, make small loop on other end and cut off excess wire, paint desired color and PRESTO - a simulated turnbuckle. Tom Fluker, originator of this item, also points out that elastic thread can be used for the wire rigging. The thread gives a taut-looking rigging and is easily made.

John Blum

Carrier and Stunt

What's In A Handle: UC mayor may not be demanding on the type of control handle used. Basically, it's whatever the pilot is comfortable with. In stunt, every shape and size known to man has been used. The same holds true in Sport flying. The serious stunt fliers usually prefer a smaller sized handle, such as the small E-Z-JUST, or one that permits adjustment between the line connectors at the handle. These features reduce the possibility of over-control of the aircraft. The larger control handles, such as the larger E-Z-JUST, induce an extreme amount of control with the lines far apart, which is not desirable for stunt.

Another factor is the novice that over-controls on "down" maneuvers, but not on "up." This situation may be induced by the setting of the control handle for neutral elevator position. If the handle position for neutral is perpendicular to the ground, the wrist movement will permit more "down" than "up." With the handle held vertically, adjust the lines to permit the top of the handle to tilt forward about five degrees for neutral elevator. When one's arm is fully extended, with hand firmly clasped about the control handle, the wrist should assume an in-line relationship with the arm. In this position, one will note that the center of the grip is not perpendicular to the ground and represents the proper position for neutral elevator. Aircraft control is more comfortable when this phenomena is realized and permits more equal "up" and "down" handle travel. For example, a pistol grip is tilted forward because that is the comfortable, proper way to hold and fire it. The control handle should assume this natural position.

Pushrod Stiffness: Sketch depicts a method used by David Downey (Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil). Neoprene tubing is placed over the pushrod. This push rod is a size which permits it to move freely through the tubing. The tubing must be secured at every three inches of its length, with the secured ends within one inch of the horns. David relates that the system can be used with or without the wing flaps.

Sanding Fillets: Bill Noyes (Valinda, Calif.) presents the idea in the sketch of a fillet sanding block. Sizes can vary from that shown in the sketch, depending on the job to be done. Use different size dowels for different size fillets. Glue the desired grit sandpaper over two-thirds of the dowel and go to work.

John Smith

Speed and Racing

FAI Finals: Labor Day weekend found the top FAI fliers in Cleveland battling for a place on the U.S. FAI team. For Speed the top three are: Carl Dodge with a 15.43 average time (two best flights); Bob Spahr, 15.595; Chuck Schuette at 15.825. Carl used a Dodge-TWA engine while Bob and Chuck both ran Rossi power. In T.R. the top dogs are: Roger Theobald-John Barr, running a 4:34.7; Jim Dunkin-Bill Wright at 4:44.85 and J.E. Albritton-John Marvin with a 4:44.9. Competition was great and the teams picked, with a little bit of luck, should be able to take all the marbles next summer. We still have to get them over there so send your money for your AMA FAI shirt patch and decals. Specify which you want. They are representing you, so don't let them down.

Almost A Nasty Accident: While trying for the C record the Frye-Roselle team, which came out of "retirement" for the Dayton, Ohio Buzzin' Buzzards Meet, Sept. 11-12, washed out their record-holding C model. As Jerry went for the pylon, he was pulled through it and while trying to get in again his trousers hooked on the pylon adjusting bolt. Meanwhile the model, turning at 200-plus mph, got ahead of him. When Jerry tried to catch up, he ended up flying almost in the all-together. His pants were completely ripped off but luckily he didn't get hurt. The model went in and was destroyed. The extent of engine damage is unknown and Jerry, due to the quick-thinking gang in the pits, can still face his friends. He sure looked cute in those blue denim "hot pants" someone brought him.

Jerry Farr's nice ST pulled Swee Pea racer - Airplanes and Rockets

Jerry Farr's nice ST pulled Swee Pea racer.

Paint Drying Tip: When you are ready to paint a model, park your car in the sun. Put the finished painted model in the trunk and lower the lid. In a couple of hours you'll have the nicest dust-free, baked-on finish you could ask for. Try it. It works.

Howard Rush


FAI Combat: Combat may become an official event in the CL World Championships. The subject will be raised at the CIAM meeting in Europe this winter. Although FAI rules are frozen for five years, it may be possible to add the Combat event, for which rules already exist. Laird Jackson, USA CL Program Administrator, reports that chances for Combat as an official event in the 1974 World Championships are doubtful, but he will investigate the possibility.

Copies of the FAI Combat rules can be found at AMA headquarters. Briefly, rules are as follows: Maximum engine displacement is 2.5 cc (.15 cu. in.); lines are 0.012" diameter, 52'3" long (monoline not permitted). Two planes and two sets of lines may be used per match. Streamers are 1.2" wide crepe paper ten feet long with a 6'7" string leader.

Combat design has not changed too much in FAI - Airplanes and Rockets

Combat design has not changed too much in FAI meets since '63. They are not identical in features to our AMA 35-powered planes.

Prior to the match is a 30-second engine warming period, then 30 more seconds until the engine starting signal. The scoring period begins with the engine starting signal and lasts four minutes. During this period, each contestant gets one point for each second his plane is in the air and 100 points per cut. There are no kills as in AMA Combat and no points are given for cutting the string leader. Combat begins at a signal from the judge when both planes have completed two level laps and are separated by at least a quarter lap. A pilot can be disqualified for intentionally leaving the ten-foot radius center circle and is penalized 50 points when he accidentally steps outside the center circle. Although not clearly stated, it appears that-a mid-air collision does not end the match. No fuel restrictions are mentioned.

Combat Abroad: 15-size Combat has been flown in England for several years and it is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. Down Under in Australia they fly both 15 and 35 classes, although the smaller class is becoming the standard contest event. Combat has been a side event at past FAI World Championships and the Russians have been winning. Keep us informed of FAI Combat activity by writing Howard Rush in care of AAM.

On Safety: AMA rules provide for circle markings and procedures to avoid planes hitting pit crews. Follow these rules in both Fast and Slow Combat. Slow Combat planes are generally heavy, so they can hit hard. Circles can be easily marked with hydrated lime available from garden shops.



Posted January 8, 2020

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