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January 1961 American Modeler

January 1961 American Modeler
January 1961 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.

Competitive model boating was a popular sport in the 1960's as radio control systems became more affordable and reliable. Of course if you have a glitch in your radio with a boat, the consequences are usually much less that with an airplane. This report in a 1962 edition of American Modeler magazine tells of one California model boating club that lost its "field" (a park lake) due to "excessive and unnecessary noise." Yep, it was happening way back then. On the other hand, it also reports on a club in New Jersey where the parks department constructed a pier for them to use. As usual, your fortunes depend on the preferences and sentiments of government bureaucrats. Many people these days are using brushless motor setups in their R/C model boats to mitigate the noise problems. Have you ever seen a video of one of those electric-powered boats? They're awesome and can probably outrun any glow fuel powered boat.

Boats - Speed, Scale, Radio Control

Another very successful meet was conducted by the Argonauts M.B.C. of San Diego. Bill Baughman (5728 Deane Ave., Los Angeles 43) was on hand for the fun. There were 47 entries for three events; 37 boats were run during the day. Windy weather made it a bit rough on the smaller boats. A really tough course had been set up for the Precision runs.

An innovation was two classes for Speed, one for boats with engines of .45 cu. in. displacement and above, another for all those below this size. Winners were Speed A (.45 and over) - 1) Lloyd Allen (Pirates) 71.32 sec.; 2) Bob Plumley (Pirates) 71.74 sec.; 3) John Hawes (Argonauts) 80.05 sec. Speed B (under .45) - 1) Al Wood, 83.39 sec.; 2) Carl Leno (Pirates) 84.78 sec.; 3) Dick Carey (Pirates) 96.56. All these times are for two laps around a two-buoy course.

Precision (gas and electric boats ran together - top two placers being electric) 1) James Henry (Argonauts) 275 points; 2) Leonard Gross (Pirates) 275; 3) Lloyd Allen, 250; 4) Harry Ashton, 250; 5) Warren Frey (Argonauts) 200. Top points possible over the tough course were 300. The boatmen had hoped that some of the modelers from points north 10 would be on hand for the fun; they didn't show up, however, and were definitely missed.

Recent meetings of the Pirates club have, according to Bill, been taken up with discussion of obtaining a decent place to run. They have even been evicted from one spot near Riverside due to their boats making "loud and unnecessary noise" - a possible reference to the twin McCoy .60 cat operated by Bob Gregory! Looks as though there might be a need for mufflers on some of the bigger and noisier craft! (The English speed boatmen have been using mufflers on all their craft for some time, and still manage to hit very good speeds.)

Special wave-making machine can duplicate in miniature all conditions encountered by real craft - Airplanes and Rockets

Test engineer at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N. J., runs off towing tank check for naval architect Philip Rhodes. Special wave-making machine can duplicate in miniature all conditions encountered by real craft.

Red Barrows has traded his Gannet 4-cycle engine for a home-made twin, which is now running in his C.G. Picket boat. Harry Ashton has his own version of this same boat, which he is finishing as a L.A. Sheriff Department Marine Division patrol boat. Bill mourns  that the Gold Cup Races were to be held at distant Lake Mead; not many modelers could afford to take a whole week off to watch these races.

According to Baughman, O&R may soon cease manufacture of their line of marine fittings; modelers who need a few extra props and such parts had better stock up soon. Bill expresses a wish that some manufacturer do the hobby a good turn by marketing some really efficient props for the type of boats being run today - any of you manufacturers listenin'?

Railroaded Again. So says Helene Avery (4728 4th Ave., NE, Seattle 51) who had hoped to "retire" so she could get working on her own R/C boat and other vital matters. But she says she was again railroaded into the Sec-Treas job; we didn't think the boys would allow such a willing worker to get away from them!

Park Department Cooperation. The Union County (N. J.) Park Commission has generally followed recommendations put forth by the Central Jersey RCC (Marine Division) in setting up a program for R/C boat operation in local parks. Running will be allowed on Sundays from 1 PM to dark, except for possible special events. There is no limit on size of electric boats, but gas boats are limited to maximum length of 60" and may be powered with engines up to lawnmower size. A 7' dock will be installed at the lake in Cedar Brook Park for R/C boat uses. The boatmen have been forced by early sunsets to give up their regular Friday evening fun running sessions at this park; many times the flyboys of the club have been on hand to kibitz over their shoulders - especially so since the club lost its flying field early in the season.

Member Jan Mock spent several weeks in the St. Louis area, while there ran his boats with the local boys; he also sank two boats there, so is tied with Lou Coon in this sort of endeavor! This club has very active groups in both R/C boats and planes; recent issue of their club bulletin notes that at future meetings the President will ask that the center aisle in their meeting room be eliminated - so that the difference between the "birds" and the "ducks" will not be so noticeable!

Fair Boating. According to West Coast Model News there will be lots of model boating activity in the northern California area. One of the big events of the summer was a meet held at the Placerville County Fair late in August; this affair was such a success that Fair Officials are considering the addition of R/C boats as main attraction next year.

The Precision Course was basically to W.A.M. specs, but an extra buoy had been added at each corner, only 4' from the normal corner buoy. There was no pace boat, but the fastest boat was awarded a bonus of 50 points, and boats within 50 seconds of the best time were awarded points in a graduating scale. This was not found to work too well, as there was still a tie to run off, settled by second run scores.

Spectators were asked to pick their favorites among operative and Non-operative boats, with the craft of Ray Thieme (San Francisco) most popular in the former class, and that of Tony Vinelli tops in the latter.

Results of Precision were: Gas 1) Ed DeGear, (350 points; 2) Ernie Jaboneta, 275; 3) Tony Vinelli, 270. Electric 1) Bob Gannon; 2) Bob Thompson, 300 points; 3) Bob Griffin.

Bob Gannon brought along his model oil barge, which measures 6' long by 30" wide, and draws 1-1/2" of water; a young lady was picked from among the spectators to have the honor of the first ride on this barge. She was settled aboard, and Gannon steered his L.D.3 tug with the barge in tow out on the lake - quite a sight. Report was that the barge passenger thoroughly enjoyed the journey; after this no one can question the pulling power of a Pittman D.C. 100, the motor which powers this tug.



Posted May 5, 2018

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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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