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Wild Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers
November/December 1963 American Modeler

Nov/Dec 1963 American Modeler
November/December 1963 American Modeler 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.

There are a lot of very high quality and interesting control line airplane models in this month's "Wild Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers" column. There's also a control line racing car model! Overall, this is a very extensive article that covers a lot of ground concerning models, contests, and new equipment. Sadly, Bill also reports on his home workshop burning down (up?) and losing not just his personal modeling stuff, but photos and notes from the Aeromodeling Nationals control line events. Fortunately, he was able to collect some materials from others who attended.

Control Line Capers: Jul 61 | Jan 62 | Feb 62 | Oct 62 | Feb 63 | Aug 63 | Oct 63 | Dec 63

Wild Bill Netzeband's Control Line Capers

One problem after you've burned down (up?) your shop for "publicity." What do you do for an encore?

Aftermath Of Mopping Up. You find that you are trading hardware between models since suddenly you've got no wheels or tanks in stock. You open drawers and the stench rolls out. Papers you should have are missing, and material you know you had isn't there. Anyone wondering how come no usual '62 Nats report from us? Simple, notes, pictures, negatives and most of the write-up were destroyed. Sorry.

Nats' Junior Combat champ Marty Klimaitis, Realto, California, had Mike Nelson, Sniper designer, as mechanic. Johnson Combat Special power.

For this issue we've obtained construction and flight data on four ships, kit contents on three more and several new items. Also an interesting basic idea for your keen imagination to expand upon - A Control-line Car! Plus a quick rundown on '63 Nats.

"15" Goodyear racer Info. Have had requests for plans and/or racing regulations, indicating many of you are interested but haven't seen details. Dig out your July 1961 and January-February 1963 American Modeler. Each issue has plans for 3 models and the racing rules. Hobby Helpers has the full size plans in its Group Plan #761 and #263. The 263 set has an additional sheet with 3 views of 24 of the little ships, suitable for scaling up to 1 1/2" to 1'.

There are several commercial tanks of the right size: Perfect #22 (1.33-oz); Veco T-23A (1.25-oz); Acme B-2 (1.5-oz ) and World Engines Profile Stunt 1.5-oz. We found in Tulsa Glue Dobbers flying that a decrease to one (1) ounce tanks would be a good idea, since diesels make over 80 laps per tank and even glo types can be stretched to 70 laps. Try it and let us know. Be certain to use the LeMans Cold Start.

To my recollection we've tried each of the 17 available 15's and they all work out fairly well. While the TD 15 Special, Oliver Tigre and Super Tiger 15 diesel proved outstanding, races were won with milder OS 35 Max II's and Fox 15X's. Depends on what you want to pay for a power plant. These ships are tough and easy to fly, so have a ball.

Easy Planking Butt Joints. Sid Axelrod showed me a technique which Top Flite describes in some of their kits. When joining narrow sheets to make a wide sheet, first true the edges with a sanding block so that no cracks exist. Then lay them together on a flat table and stretch short pieces of masking tape across the dry joint. Turn this assembly over, allow joint to hinge open, then run a glue bead down the exposed edges. Lay assembly on board glued side up and stretch matching pieces of masking tape on second side. Let her set up and you have a perfectly flat wide sheet. Incidentally masking tape is excellent for holding strip planking, leading edge sheet planking and dozens of other joints. Try it.

Top Flite Props. You've all used these props as well as Power Props and Top Flite Nylons. Wonder if you'll be as surprised as I was to discover how many props they make. There are 50 different sizes based on diameter and pitch from the 4 1/2-3 to the 14-6. There are 34 Top Flites, 35 Power Props and 14 Nylons. Some of the sizes are exclusive such as the 14" dia (3, 4 & 6 pitch); the 13-15 1/2; 12-8; 12-3; 9-9 & 9-10 1/2; 8-5; 7-3; 5 1/4-5 & 6; 4 1/2-3, 4, 5 & 6; 10-5 & 8 and 11-8.

When we stopped by their plant they showed us the manufacturing process. First the blanks are drilled, then milled to front profile from stock of proper thickness. The rear blade face is milled on a special machine that feeds the blade in from the tip and twists it for proper angular change to obtain design pitch at each radial station. Comes next a similar operation for the front face with a contoured cutter. Rough props are then hand-sanded and balanced, each one getting individual attention. The finish is a special material developed for tumble application and gloss drying. The props are placed in a tumbler cylinder along with a measured amount of finish and maplewood balls about 1/4" dia; these assure that the finish is applied evenly. Wet props are laid out on racks to dry in a dust free container. Finally they are graded, inspected, stamped and packaged.

The amount of work, tooling and material to produce some 83 different props is very impressive. I have spent 4 hours carving a single prop and can appreciate the convenience of paying from 15¢ to 40¢ for a finished product. And it takes less than 10 minutes of hand sanding to bring one of these commercial wood props to perfect balance; many of them don't even need this.

Snapped at NATS

Don Thomson, 15, San Jose, California, 1st Jr. Scale, Bearcat from Berkeley kit; Fox 15RC.

Rick Stice, Arcadia, California, A.M. plans, 2nd Jr. Scale, Roland C-2, Fox 35; she'll stunt!

Linton Keith, San Jose, California, 2nd Open scale, Dornier 215B-4, 44" span, 4 1/2 lb, Fox 15RC's.

Jerry Thomas flew unusual jet on maiden flight; looks promising.

First, Jr. B, Stephen Mueller, Phoenix, Ariz.; Stinger engine made by Poppa George; .29 cid.

Phil Garrard, Costa Mesa, Cal., 5th Open scale; 71 1/2" span, 14-lb DC-7; Johnson 29's, electric throttles.

Venezuela Heard From. Louis De Santis took typewriter in hand to relate a fire story (it's catching on everywhere!) involving two friends, Juan Eman and Fernando Figueredo. They lost a cabinet filled with engines, parts and electronic gear valued at $800. Cause probably spontaneous combustion of solvent-soaked rags (another point in your cleanup campaign). Luckily the several cans of fuel popped their tops and didn't explode. They melted some crankcases, ending with a 1 foot square pile of blackened junk. Since some of the engines were collectors items, emotional loss was even greater than the cash. Louis had other interesting thoughts. Let him tell it:

"I have noted that if the actual design trend of the stunt planes continues growing, in 1966 we'll have models of 9-foot span, with motorcycle engines, fuselages narrower than a fishing rod, with their moment arms three to four times the length of the wingspan; the wheels will be directly recessed in the wing TIPS. As the engines will use 30" props, the planes must V.T.O. for to clear the prop from the ground (the rules state that the models must make realistic T.O., so why not realistic VTO?)

"Seriously, some stunt planes are becoming so clean and sophisticated that they begin to be ugly. Yes, for us modelers, they're beautiful, but they're seen with our eyes, but in the eyes of some other non-stunt person, they are no more than 'disproportioned' models."

Any rebuttal?

Detroit Combat Bash #2. This year the handpicked 25 wore out 70 ships in 60 flights, not bad when you consider that 4 could be used per match. Percentage is then 29%. John Kilsdonk reports top 4 places went to Detroit boys: Howard Mickle - 1st; Lew Rolston - 2nd; Jerry Rolston - 3rd, John Jo - 4th. Fifth taken by Bill Allen, Troy, Ohio. Since they are very proud of their rules, let's look them over.

Assuming their match system not applicable to large contests, the flight rules include: 60 points per cut; 1 point per second (300 second match). Kill ends match and points added to determine winner. Their streamer is 1 1/2" wide, cut from Dennison Flame-Proof Crepe paper, 10-ft long tied to a 4-ft long, 8-lb test string leader. No card is used. (We've personally used this particular crepe and it is good stuff). I can only assume that the "killer" is not the automatic winner of a match, as they accumulate points. If these would be adopted into AMA use, the book would be much shorter.

On the other side we've found that low flying and inverted flying restrictions will always be included in AMA rules since we must cover all experience levels. The AMA has: eliminated the safety zone, confused the collision judgment and generally altered the combat rules. We'll see what conclusions can be drawn from the '63 Nats. The simpler a workable set of rules can be made, the better we'll be. Discussion is on the floor.

Veco's Big Iron. Assembly was simple and quick with this kit. We adjusted the CG to plan location, installed the Veco #343 horn and measured control motion. Getting 11° each way. Veco 35C engine, Veco T21C tank, paper covered, weight 18 1/2 ounces (with nylon prop) and 2/3-oz of weight bolted through streamer hole. First flights were made without tail weight and she was wide on turns (CG at 1 5/8").

Tail weight fixed this and she grooves well, turns well and holds speed nicely. We then tried more stab travel and she went into bucking high-speed stalls. This is natural, so shoot for the recommended CG and stab travel. We were happily hacking around when we were brutally and without provocation attacked by an R/C ship, de-papering two panels and knocking the attacker down. Luckily little damage was incurred to the "Schoolboy" and the "Big Iron" can be driven anywhere you want her, right now. Good ship and good kit.

More On Vari-Speed Throttles. In July-Aug CLC we mentioned that Harold Leopold was installing these exhaust slides. Latest information indicates you order them from the J. Roberts Model Mfg. Co., Box 128, Baker, Oregon.

Carrier "Bits". (1) St. Louis area running 2 classes of Navy Carrier at all meets. The "Bulletin" reports good attendance without killing the '60 models.

(2) Testors has announced another run of Big Mac's.

(3) Michigan Modelers to have a "Captain's Trophy" for high scoring N.C. flyer of the year. You get points in each carrier meet for first thru fifth. These are sent to "Michigan Model Navy Carrier Committee" for tabulation. Friend George Overby is Chairman, Don Kanady Sec-Tres. Contact Don at 1375 Riverbank, Lincoln Parts, Mich., or George at 1551 O'Conner, Lincoln Park, Mich. Now here's an idea that any red-blooded group can expedite and it's encouraging to see such "positive thinking" put into "active action." Good shoe!

(4) The Glue Dobbers ran two classes in Carrier at their Annual meet and apparently the Guardians cleaned up with good attendance. The 40 class is growing and plenty of room on the wagon. One request - Write to the AMA about your successes in running 2 classes.

(5) The KB 35 series 61 with the case turned around, bearings bonded with "Locktite C," a Johnson throttle and no pressure makes a real corker of a carrier engine, We're experimenting with a 324 sq inch delta and knocking down 80 top and 12.2 low with three .15-dia lines, yet. Trying to get the Navy to build a real one for their carriers so's we can get the bonus points!

Flite-Line "Sneeker". Comes the 1962 Champion model in kit form. A different approach to structure with split trailing edge, 2 main spars and 3/8" sq leading edge using false ribs to support L.E. covering. A tapered trailing edge and rounded tips give the different look. Otherwise about standard area. Riley has compacted the span to 35", construction is the simplest we've seen, die cutting is good, most pieces are installed while she's pinned down. First ship we've built requiring no anti-warp trim.

We went the same control route as on the Big Iron working right to plan dimensions. Anyhoo our silk-covered, 19 ounce, factory hop-up JBB-powered ship flew like a dream. We took the 1/2 ounce tail weight off after first flight, push rod in outside hole on horn and second flight she was "in." We then tried more stabilator travel and she displayed the characteristic bucking stall.

It is apparent after much work with stabilator ships that altitude (yours) has a pronounced effect on CG trim and stab action. If you're flying at altitudes like 2,000 feet and above, you'll probably find your best CG is more aft and you're using more stab travel. Each model must be flown and adjusted to best performance. So figure to make several flights just adjusting.

Any of the 10 kit jobs or numerous club designs can be made to fly well by CG trim and stab ,travel adjustment. I know I mentioned it 6 times already yet, but it is the secret of performance on any model. Back to the "Sneeker" ... at $2.89 it's a complete kit, well engineered and turns out to be a top-notch combat rig.

Flite-Line Products at Box 5157, Lubbock, Texas also just sent sample of their "Quickie Rat." A profile, mono-wheel, solid wood rat racer with several interesting features. Hardwood motor beams run full length, wing leading edge is 1 3/4, wide hardwood with tapered balsa trailing edge. Designed for the "overnite builder" it should be a fine ship. Will build and test.

Flite Line is packaging maple motor mounts in 6 sizes and lengths, 4 sizes of aircraft pinking tape, alligator clips and a "Wren House" (this for real birds).

Concordia, Kansas, Success. We announced the meet in our May-June column. John Mason sent results. They had 29 contestants, 18 combat and 11 speed with the speed men in several events, natch. Some prizes went begging, especially in Jr., but next year it'll be better. John will furnish any club info on "How to run a good contest for $25 or less!" Address: 611 W. 9th, Concordia, Kansas. They got certificates printed and merchandise from 23 manufacturers (total retail about $160).

Highlights of the meet: Bob Campbell "Tester's Best Finish Award," Mike Desilet "Worst Crackup." Gill Chitty was given the pitch by John six weeks before the meet. He (Gil) bought a "Kansas Twister," a TD 15, and the rest of the works. Never flown Mono-Line before so John let him practice with his trainer. He then picked up the ball and won A speed. We need more like him (and John).

I'd suggest some of you smaller outfits with a flying site contact John and throw a contest for your area. They did it with 3 people!

Minneapolis' Howard G. Evanson came up with this control line car. When equipped with 3·ft high flag mast and streamer it makes a dandy moving ground target for combat planes. Details in column. Sounds like a good fun-type thing to wake up spectators, to say nothing of sleepy C/line contestants.

Ukie "Car"? When Howard Evanson sent sketch and pies of his car, "it" rather caught my fancy, so let's see what it does for you. Howie said, among other things, that with a 3' high flag mast and a paper streamer it makes a dandy target for an airplane! It runs about 40-mph with Stunt Fox 35.

Since it was a prototype for a more sophisticated "car" not many details are left, but building around the basic ideas (see sketches) you can come up with some real exotic bombs. The throttle and brakes are important innovations here. The body is about 4" x 20" from 5/8" thick pine. CG should be right on BC center for proper tracking and from there it's "Katy barred the door." Howard used an intake clopper, but all the throttle mills nowadays would be ideal.

When you get yours going, send us a picture. This winter try skis.

Looking For A Quick Finish? Since most of my ships are test models or prototypes I don't go in for mirror-like finishes, Besides plenty of dope (joke) has been published on the subject. But since I've been asked, I get a good shine and seal like this: Sand smooth with 240, then 400 Wet-or-dry paper; one coat of Pactra Balsa Fillercoat; sand with 320 paper; 4 brush coats of Aero-Gloss Clear, sanding each with 320 paper, the last coat with 400. Then spray on 2 coats of color and a coat of clear. My spray gun is a 12 year old Spray Chief now selling $20 approx. Could be a club project. I use a 4-oz bottle on the gun and thin out the Aero-Gloss 50-50. The finish goes on in 2 days and gives you a nice looking model without a lot of work. Incidentally, the Fillercoat makes the clear flow out very nicely.

Live people in real cars - dig this crazy Model Motoring! No table-top raceway, this engineer is at control panel of test track for Ford's "Magic Skyway." At 1964 New York World's Fair you'll ride electric- powered cars in and out of Ford pavilion.

Goldberg "Cosmic Wind." You remember in the last episode we didn't anticipate any trouble flying the ship. Well, sir, not only that, but it's a real flying machine. We wanted a hot model for horsing around, so installed the Supertigre Combat 35 plain bearing, without pressure fuel and a 4 ounce World Engines profile stunt tank. This combo flies like wow! Solid throughout, she turns tightly and smoothly, well enough for a hot precision pattern, but would show up well in Combat or Balloon Busting events. It does the 120 degree corners beautifully and stops turning precisely on command. If you want the fastest "slow Combat" rig around, try this combo (75-mph, KB 100 and Tornado 10-6 prop). After 20 flights (about 2 hours flight time) no cracks have shown in the usual profile places. Besides all that excellent performance it is a pretty ship.

Marathon Rat Races. (1) The California groups flew a 1400 in conjunction with the Canadian Balsa Beavers meet last May. The Ken Dunlavy and Jim Jolly Team from the Orange County Thunder Bugs romped home a 76:33 time to be overall winners. Equipment included a Firebird II, Veco 35C engine, Veco Trophy Mix fuel, Johnson plug and 8x8 prop. By the way, the guy on the Balsa Beavers winning team whose name I had lost is Jim Bisson who managed a fine win in Rat Racing at the Toronto District championships (among other things). Five L.A. teams completed the run in less than 105 minutes.

(2) Woodstock, Ill., May 30 saw James Deleany (pilot), Norman Turner and Tom Lauerman turn the 100 miles in 76-min 38-sec with a Supertigre 40 and an original model called "Ixion 6."

(3) Back in L.A., winners of 500 lap RR in 24-min 26-sec were Danny Jones (pilot) and Bernie Tautz. Bernie, incidentally helped Jack Garcia win AMA Team Racing in Chicago last year and hez on a lot of winning TR, RR and FAI/TR teams. (4) Tulsa Glue Dobbers, May 26. The gang tells me it was windy, but 11 guys flew. Herb Brown, Ponca City, Okla., won it (time not given to the wire services!). They are going to run another 500 lapper next year.

Note - When sending in results, try to give when, where, what, who, and some equipment (model, engine, fuel prop, etc.). These are what seem to interest other readers. Oke?

The long races are catching fire around the country. Have fun.

Change In Plans. Bill's Miniature Engines reports that right angle monoline handle of a while back turned out too expensive to produce and sell. They'll be coming up with a straight unit soon. Their A (FAI) and B "Twisters" are out. Samples examined and appear excellent. Good pans, polished ready to tap. Nize wood throughout, clear plans, everything necessary for a "flying" speed job. A ship is $6.95; B - $7.95; C (out soon) - $8.95. Pans only: A - $2.95; B - $3.50; C - $3.95. Bill also does fine engine re-work. No, we're not related.

Thanks A Heap. For all of the club newsletters which we read and file, thus keeping in touch with the rest of the country. Now and then an item of interest is of national import, but in general the new is mostly local. But keep them coming, they keep us smelling the grass roots.

Casburn's Big Tex Trainer. This welcome addition to Johnnie's kit line provides a rugged, simple primary trainer which·is stout, capable of loops and mild other-type maneuvers. The fuselage is glued up at the factory, wing is milled to airfoil contour, the entire thing slaps together in a few hours. Hardwood motor beams run full length, so she'll be hard to get rid of. Plans, while clear, assume some basic knowledge of construction. About all you need buy are engine, tank, bellcrank, leadouts and wheels, the rest is in the box.

When we checked the balance with Stunt Fox 35 and 2-oz World Engines tank the CG was at 31% (1 7/8 ") which shook us a bit. However, a lifting airfoil can be balanced back to 35% before any trouble starts (in contrast to 25% on a symmetrical). Flying is a snap, although we couldn't use the 12 x 8 prop recommended for slowing it down, due to short ground clearance. The 210 sq inch wing nicely flies the 29 ounce model and she moves about in the proper manner for a trainer. Turned it over to our chief trainer test pilot (Bob N.) and he flew it easily. I think I've lost a beginner tho, he's getting too good. Manufacturer is Johnnie Casburn Model Engineering Co., 6508 Normandy Rd., Fort Worth, Texas. Priced @ $5.95. Also Little Tex for 15's at $3.95 which the Texas boys have latched onto, beefed up and use in Rat Racing. Johnnie's such a conscientious chap, we hope he sells a million ... of each.

'63 Nats. Bob Gialdini phoned (at my request) to give me a rundown. Seems he finally cleaned up Open Stunt with his new Merco-powered "Sting Ray" (that's the proper name) and took home the Walker Trophy to boot. Couldn't happen to a nicer nervous wreck. Guess Bob finally remembered the pattern sequence. We'll have his model (39 appearance points) for you later.

Bill Werwage was a shade off the pace with a big Ares (45 power). John Havel brought home the Testor's Best Finish Award with a beautiful Folkerts Racer type stunt ship. John works closely with the Cipras (Gerry won Junior in a walk this year, too) and their models are all immaculately finished. Other events - Big Bill Wisniewski won Open A, B and C, a new C record of 178.8 was set by, we believe, Bradshaw. Navy Carrier scores were 442 in Junior/Senior with Jerry Carpenter winning Open at 451. John Barr and Norsiskan won FAI Team race and our old buddie Bill "Termite" James took a third in Combat. Detailed details on everything perusual in A.M. Annual. It must have been a good Nats all around from all reports.

A lot of people had trouble with smoggy-foggy "heavy air" at the 35 foot elevation at Los A1. I recall we did in '55 ... couldn't set a needle valve to save ourselves.

TFTM's. When all is said and done, more is said than done.

Some have asked how I manage to do research, build models, be a father, write letters, hold a regular job, sleep a little and accomplish anything else. It's simple. I DON'T.



Posted February 27, 2016

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