Melanie and I were watching an episode of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (season 1, episode 18, "The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair") when what to my wondering eye should appear but a scene where a Buccaneer B Special was being used as a terrorist weapon delivery system. The model was launched in a park a little ways from U.N.C.L.E. headquarters (cleverly hidden below Del Floria's Tailor Shop in New York City), and then flown on a "suicide mission" to blow up Napoleon Solo, Illya Kuryakin, and their fellow fighters for truth, justice, and the American way (or was that Superman's shtick?). Anyway, there was no indication that the controller used by the pilot (who played the part of Uncle Max in The Sound of Music) utilized any sort of First Person View (FPV) system during the out-of-sight portion of the sortie, but I'm guessing that the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) would take a pretty dim view of a fine vintage model airplane being used in such a manner. Comically, a huge Motorola logo appears on the back of the R/C transmitter which (see video below), by the way, must have been ahead of its time since it apparently used dual arbitrating antennas for signal integrity. Does anyone recognize what that Motorola transmitter chassis really belonged to?
Buccaneer B Special Appeared in "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
The following was received from website visitor Doug B: "I was just watching the same Man from UNCLE episode and several things got me digging on the web (where I found your entry). The 'wreckage' on the roof certainly shows 'Buccaneer B Special' in close-up, but the model grass-launched from the Park is a smaller biplane. As an SF fan I was interested to see that the 'Laser Beam' defense deployed was actually a two-handed 'blaster rifle' originally seen in 'Forbidden Planet' and now mounted upside-down. The Motorola device - I'm still trying to identify - seems to have a wider box stuck on the front. This double antenna unit also appears in 'The Deadly Toys Affair' (controlling an explosive sportster model!)."
See also "The Deadly Toys Affair" that featured control line airplanes at a boys' school in Switzerland.
Posted August 3, 2014