Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic
Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Rocket Kits + Accessories - Airplanes and Rockets

Cunningham on R/C: Edsel Murphy's Law
March 1970 RC Modeler

March 1970 R/C Modeler

March 1970 R/C Modeler - 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.

One of the monthly columns in R/C Modeler magazine, written by Chuck Cunningham, entitled "Cunningham on R/C," that reported on the current state of radio control, which had only fairly recently evolved into fully solid state, proportional control systems. Anyone involved in electronics is painfully familiar with the weird kinds of issues that crop up in complex circuits that operate in hostile environments. The March 1970 issue contained part of an article authored by D. L. Klipstein, Director of Engineering, Measurement Control Devices, entitled, "Murphy's Law: The Contributions of Edsel Murphy to the Understanding of the Behaviour of Inanimate Objects.*" Only a few of the items were printed in Cunningham's column, but I managed to locate a copy of the full article on the website. He must have selected those which he figured were most applicable to radio control systems.

* E.E.E. Magazine (Electronic Equipment Engineering, merged with EDN), Vol. 15, No. 8, August, 1967, pp. 91,92

Edsel Murphy's Law (Cunningham on R/C excerpt"

Cunningham on R/C: Edsel Murphy's Law, March 1972 R/C Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsThe other day I was having a hard time obtaining a special part that I had purchased for my company. Production of a large contract had been stopped because the supplier had shipped the wrong part. All of the paper work was correct, but the guy in the shipping department had put the wrong size part in the box. The correct parts had to be air freighted in and, even so, the project was held up for four days. A friend of mine in the suppliers office mailed me an article clipped from an Electrical Engineering magazine. It was titled, "Edsel Murphy's Law Governing Inanimate Objects." Perhaps some of you have been exposed to Edsel Murphy's Law, or know what it is. Simply stated it means, "What ever can go wrong, will." Or, expressed mathematically 1 + 1 ~ 2, where the symbol ~ means "seldom ever." The article went on to point our many applications of Murphy's law as it related to electrical engineering. These seemed to be related to the sport of R/C. I've included some of Murphy's laws as shown below:

  • All warranty and guarantee clauses become void upon payment of invoice.
  • The necessity of making major design changes increases as the fabrication of the model approaches completion.
  • Original drawings will be lost in the mail.
  • Any error that can creep in, will. It will be in the direction that will do the most damage.
  • Any wire cut to length will be too short. (The same goes for a piece of balsa wood.)
  • Identical units tested under identical conditions will not be identical in the field.
  • The availability of an item is inversely proportional to the need for that item.
  • A dropped tool will land where it can do the most damage. (Also known as the law of selective gravitation.
  • A device selected at random from a group having 99% reliability, will be a member of the 1% group.
  • The probability of a dimension being omitted from a plan or drawing is directly proportional to its importance.
  • Interchangeable parts won't.
  • If a prototype functions perfectly, subsequent production units will malfunction.
  • Components that must not and cannot be assembled improperly will be.
  • If a circuit cannot fail, it will.
  • The most delicate component will drop.
  • A fail-safe circuit will destroy others.
  • A transistor protected by a fast-acting fuse will protect the fuse by blowing.
  • A failure will not appear until a unit has passed final inspection.
  • If an obviously defective component is replaced in an instrument with an intermittent fault, the fault will reappear after the instrument is returned to service.
  • After an instrument has been fully assembled, extra components will be found on the bench.

My thanks to "D. L. Klipstein" who authored this article. in the first place. If you can't find a bunch of parallel situations in our hobby, be it in construction aircraft, or repair of radio sets, then you'd better get back to work, and skip all of this reading jazz.

Good luck, and good flying. When the snow melts, that is!



Posted May 15, 2019

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

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 ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.


Kirt Blattenberger


Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg