Ben Buckle Kits' "Flying Quaker"
Quaker Flash Magazine Advertisement.
Shep says in the broadcast that his Flying Quaker has a 5½-foot wingspan,
but the Flying Quaker had a 7-foot wingspan. I wonder whether he actually built
the Quaker Flash, which did have a 5½-foot wingspan?
Jean "Shep" Shepherd,
most recently known for the movie "A Christmas Story," spawned by
his book entitled "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash," was widely
known in the 1950s through 70s for his ad hoc story telling on AM radio stations
like WOR in NY City. Shep was an avid amateur radio enthusiast his entire life,
and told anecdotes about it often while on the air. He was also an airplane modeler
in his younger days. This May 3, 1973
Model Airplanes broadcast
by Shep recounts the time he and his friend Schwartz (a real guy and one of The
Christmas Story" characters), as teenagers, pooled their paper route money to buy
and build Flying Quaker R/C airplane from plans, with a
Brown engine and home-built radio gear (they
were both Hams with electronics skills). It was nearly a year-long project for them.
On the Flying Quaker's maiden flight, it got caught up in a strong thermal. Listen
to his story to learn how it turned out.
Shep also talks in the broadcast about attending indoor free flight contents,
and has news about a disturbing trend in Great Britain where dirtbags were hijacking
of R/C airplanes in flight and then making off with them (begins at around the 8
minute point, then continues later). Interestingly, a Mazda car commercial touting
Wankel rotary engine can be heard. At about the 22 minute point
he starts talking about a friend of his who set and indoor free flight endurance
record. Finally, at around 32 minutes into the broadcast he tells the story of the
Flying Quaker. Note the venue for that flight was the Calumet Aero Club, which must
have been in Indiana since that is where he lived at the time.
I like this quote from Shep during the show, "Technically minded kids have the
greatest ups and downs." He says it is because the passion, time, and money invested
in projects can trigger extreme emotions of success and failure when the moment
comes to test the thing for the first time.
Posted May 11, 2019