Saturday, 13 May 2017

Flying model airplanes in the 1970s

The beginning of life happened some time before

but in the 1970s it really took off for me .

I could walk and talk in the 1960s and listen

in the 1970s I heard and seen enough to start

to do it the way I found best, and liked most,

 living my life .

I had my teens in the 1970s I feel its almost a privileged thing to have had them

in those years.  The amazing 70s with its boundless freedom and creativity

all the freedom gained in the 60s was there to be explored I would almost say

so much freedom that in later years much was taken back 

This blog in not a nostalgia thing , but an energy of youth

thing, an energy that can be lost , but regained too

an energy that can always be real and makes every thing

amazing .

I did a lot of building in the 1970s from kits ,

why ? plans could not be obtained by me

it took me a while to find how and where to get plans

to build from .

I liked Veron kits a lot ,some how the design and feel of them attracted me

they all dated from long before the 70s  , I did lots of the small scale

Veron Tru Flite kits did any of them really fly ?  sure not following the

plan as is , no adjustable nose block for down trust , no good rubber .

they did a prop rattling descent , perhaps to convince you to go do some thing

else but I just kept building them among anything I could get my hands on

like this Veron Coronette , one of the few photos I have from those days

Took the glider to the beach on a winters day ,why ? I am not sure 

this photo is a scan from an 126 film negative those are 4 x 4 cm 

here is an other nice one of my Coronette , I remember having 

a few moments trying hard to get an action shot with that 126 camera !

I build a new Veron Coronette a few years back  to see if all that 

excitement from long ago still lived in me , and it did , why

would I have done it otherwise :-)

here is a video I made of flying it the old way 

flying  it of a hill top

An other thing I liked in those days was to go flying on my birthday

this involved willing parents to take me to a flying site 

I had my mind on , luckily they liked the place too 

here are two photos from such an occasion 

a few random family members and me and two gliders 

both German , my luck , they tended to be the heavy, fast flying 

as preferred by the German designers


Its hard to see , but I know which are on the photos  

a Graupner Der Kleine UHU and a Carrera Wesp

They flew but never as I envisioned, that would 

have been a slow glide . for some reason I loved 

open wood build up structure , years later I would build those

gliders .

a Veron Phoenix I build two times . fun to build 

not so good with kit wood .

made a photo of one of them , the first one I did.

I will build one again some day .

This glider I liked a lot , the Revell Pat , yes the same Revell

that does the plastic kits ,here seen in a Hegi branded box.

This to is marked a build again some day :-)

there is no hurry ,  

Here a photo of me and the Revell Pat glider in 1979

and here a Photo of  my Veron Wagtail 

bought the kit in the 70s had started it  but

finished it while in Spain in 1993 made this photo

in Spain too

at one point Humbrol decided to go in to balsa wood 

and make a series of 5 kits to teach you how to build and fly 

we just wanted the airplanes and have fun . 

I went for the Dragonfly , did two of those , had lots of fun with them 

they went so well .  

my kit  box too survived and the sticker set + plan

The Dragonfly got build again a few years ago 

so much fun to build it , and fly too.

at the time a friend did the Humbrol Hornet 

that did not do much with the rubber motor set up

so later we changed it , I fitted my Cox Pee Wee

result one amazing OOS flight , how much fuel

did you put in the tank ? 

Build the Hornet again, now electric 

Found a kit on ebay , not complete so that was good , keeps the collectors away

I needed the plan , and to copy the parts , even copied the sticker as I had 

done with the Dragonfly . 

now My Hornet flew so well trained , I still got it :-)

here it flies on a warm summer evening with almost no wind 

a flight as in my dreams became real !  

lol it only took about 40 years.

I am still very keen to build the Humrol Firefly glider , but who's got the

plan of one ? put a wanted request on the outerzone lets hope for the best .

I had Electric free flight in the 70s too.

this German ready made , Günther  Electroflug Whisper

It had a Mabuchi that was quite standard

but its power source was some things else , plastic open

single use batteries you activated by pouring a supplied liquid in them

this liquid was the electrolyte that started the battery soon as

you poured it in , and it died at the end of the flight

could try a second time but than flight time was  minimal.

The thing flew well and was fun till you run out of batteries and got bored

with having to buy new all the time .

My Humbrol Hornet now is not that dissimilar , just uses

Nimh cells  and runs much longer , see some pics of it


an adjustable nose block for down thrust and side trust settings

other wise quite a standard  Humbrol Hornet .

Humbrol was for sale here and in most toy shops too

I got a Humbrol Co2 Engine , and a Kit with one

The Famous Red Baron , how ever this would not fly , the engine had

almost no power . The Red Baron did fly later on , I had removed the engine

and added a weight and a hook on the wing centre section at the CG

and attached it to my kite messenger much like the ones I still use

today as can be seen here .

The Red Baron caught a thermal  and was never seen again

it went off that far , not surprising thinking of how high the

release altitude would have been  .

In the 70s I build lots of small gliders

starting off with this Danish DMI Bongo

and there is an original photo

I kept most plans and scanned some to send to the  Outerzone

Bongo - Towline glider from DMI.

who would think that  46 years later the whole world can

down load My Bongo plan from1971 , can if they wish

who would have cared in 1971 ? I sure didn't  was spending

time having fun and doing what I liked .

not mentioning what others thought was good for you

that took years to to  grasp , but Oh Boy did I grasp that     .

but that was other learning .

its fun that paints the world in cool colours,  does not

matter what you paint with that light , it all shines bright.

as the painter is unconditional and loves you to be free as he is.

An other small glider I had in the early 70s was this

Czechoslovakian IGRA Ray , that plan survived too


It flew like a brick , heavy and fast but in a straight line

most was spruce , but a cool glider it was and fun to build.

in those days IGRA kits could be found in toy shops

I also bought this boat kit , which allowed for 3 options

to build , a trimaran and 2 different catamarans .

but I found a 4the option , don't build anything , just save the kit

for decades , as I still have the kit now :-)

Well the real reason I kept it as is all those years is the way it looks

and the feel it has about it , when I found it at the time it felt amazing

as from an other age going trough the contents , such an hand made

organic feel to it, the wood a bit rougher , the way the plan was done

I was used to get these slick kits that had a 'spewed out of a machine'

feel to it , eradicating any human touch in to mechanized perfection

a perfection that was to be part of my enjoyment  in using it ?

This was not a ready made package at all. it had a warm feel about it .

here is an update , build a katamaran kit I found on a sale
it was already started , made some photos in style with a
70s camera to get the warm feeling in it of the softer images
 that are much fun to make like this

and a video of a testing the Katamaran I knew it would not work well since
its more decorational than working with a sail set up like this but always had wanted to try it in the water so now I did

the IGRA  as I always imagined it sailing in some amazing, dream like pond .

as I said it had a  it had a warm feel about it .

as did many Veron kits if not all :-)  a feeling from an other age .

an age of a slower pace, and wonder and a caring feel to what you did.

the late 1940s , since so I found out later that's when most Veron kits

where designed and plans drawn.

some of a later age like this Veron Dominette

Again I picked up an old kit and had to do one again

it was so much fun building this , and flying it too

just look at it go on the video of its first flight ever .

an other Veron I build in the 70s was this Classic Glider , it was amazing to build

such a strange design , unusual looking in every way .

a video of the Veron Classic glider build again

I wonder why at the  time the modelling shops  I visited had no

Keil Kraft kits at all,  I had never seen one in the 70s

but lots of other stuff could be found , like these German Carrera kits

I found a part build one not long ago which I plan to restore and finish

and fly too , when all is done .

Lots of kits from former Czechoslovakia could be found

like this little IGRA kit

That one too is on the build list , I will just copy the parts and leave

kit untouched , I have not build it yet ,need a suitable electric motor

We also had these kits from Belgium , the Svenson series

Like this all sheet Cessna Bird Dog ,

I loved the Bird Dog a lot , a rare bird I saw one for real to at the time

in France when out there with my parents on Holiday

I walked to it and asked the soldier who guarded it  if

making a photo would be o.k.  it was fine to do that

Here is a scan of the French Cessna Bird Dog taken in La Cavalerie

one has a problem in the original negative that's why the red  

On those summer holiday trips I bought a few kits 

like this control line kit  made by  Precisia , never seen before 

or in Spain I got this Modelhob Opel Rak 1 glider

The box top and plan survived , no photo of the glider it self

I scanned the plan for my 'imaginary friends'  all around the world lol :-)

if you are one you can down load it here 

an other kit I bought in France was the Tern Aero Drifty Primary Glider 

not only did I buy the kit but build and flew it there too,

I had bought the kit in a model airplan shop in  Annecy

and not long after flew it as can be seen here on the 

Plateau des Glières  in 1977 , not surprising I have an feel to fly in 

pleasing places as I had that to in those days 

The plan did not survive but some one was kind enough 

to share his plan on the outerzone 

I have build one again and it was fun to build , still needs a bit of work 

and than see how it flies again .


Its flight tests can be seen in this video 

So what about using engines ?  That was problematic in the 70s

for me , oh I sure tried , build this Veron Colt 

Don't  think it ever flew all I can remember is trying, trying to get 

the engine to run . it had a Cox 0.49 Baby bee on it . 

Why ? in my country you could not buy diesel engines 

in the mid 70s . so the guy in the shop sold me a Cox

to use on this one , problem with Cox like that is when new 

they start immediately and run just fine . than you put it away for a week , a month,

and the left over fuel in the engine dries up and sticks the reed valve to the engine .

now go and try run it ! You need to know this , clean the engine .

so no diesel , or no other small engines , where was the Enya 0.49 ? or 06 even.

they should have had that ? but the shop was no Enya dealer but things like 

O.S.  ,Webra , and HP.  glow for radio control .

free flight and c.l was a thing of the past , now superseded by r.c.

such was their mind set  some how . But why ? when a shop all that matters is

selling stuff costumers like , sure I was one .  o.k. I get it a person has his own 

belief system and that needs to be true , and limits freedom to think other wise .

The stuff you can learn from flying and building model airplanes.

I was free , not in any club to follow the 'feel ' or 'atmosphere' of what was right and 

'the thing' to do, and so created my own thing, simply out of feelings I liked best .

The Veron kits of the past had a feeling to it that made them worth a lot .

sure in those days people did not walk in a shop and bought anything they fancied .

just after the war all was expensive, so seen as very valuable . and taken good care of

they paid  much for it  . and it all meant so much too.

in comparison  to average weekly payment a lot of it was an investment. 

I did do a few r.c. models , like the Svenson Sunny glider 

Which I later build again , the kit in the blue box was part build 

well someone made a start I finished it and its nice to fly on the slope

I liked the strange German Simprop SSM Contest

Build this strange kit too ,The True Line Corsair junior trainer

Which I never flew at the time , I was a free flighter .

Thought ., How is this heavy thing ever going to take off 

and come down in one piece ? I sensed it potential high 

impact speed  with the weight it had .

so it survived to this day engine and all

later , much later I learned to enjoy it 

as can be seen here

By now its what is called Vintage Radio,  sure lol adding a label changes

what it is for some reason.  All I do is now , in my now I am in.

is there much  difference between old as a day old a week a year , or 30 years ?

much difference in the now I am in ?  for some there must be I reckon ?

sure a ,practical difference is  , the shops no longer have them.

What realities others might have taken upon them selves to share in relation

to what feelings, is there own concern and not part of my freedom to be me.

I have a lingering awareness of 'them' far away but find no practical application for it

as yet in my reality , who knows I am still young, the day might come I wonder

if it will be a new day filled with the energies of youth I like so much .

The 70s end with 1979 which is a well know fact lol :-)

than the 1980s arrived

in those years I spend time on  having a serous interest in Home Build

full size aircraft,  in Collecting and restoring classic cars . in Photography

and the Arts both professional and any other way . I got my self lots of

Education and ended up Travelling to amazing places .

after that as makes sense the 1990s arrived  by that time  I had gotten rid

of most classic cars I owned and combined all I had done and learned

in me to be one and just do as I did   and I got back in building and flying

model airplanes too , I must have seen the light :-)   in the later 70s

I had a friend who was in to model airplane history we reacquainted

our selves , back than he had already told me all useful things he knew

and now I went to build lots of those Genuine Vintage aircraft among

all other along side them . years passed each time announcing them selves

in  more exotic ways , grotesque even terms as 'new millennium' where thrown in,

in an even stronger effort to age earth inhabitants to what ever kind of maturity.

I took no part in it and let it all be  , and have meaning to those who can use that

in some way or other :-)

if you wonder what this blog is all about ?  don't know really . you know

you wake up see the world you wake up in , a familiar place hopefully

your own bedroom perhaps lol , and find you have hands and feet , thoughts

and memories  , tools and capabilities a computer and internet , photos made

and much more and sure go play with that , why not why even think about it ?

no further intention simply than what is, diary notes perhaps of some sort

Trying to understand why 1990 is considered long ago by some  , why

is it long ago did I store my memories of it further away ? No I did did not .

same goes for the 80s and 70s , like templates certain energies just sit there

to be activated and emerged in the now I am in now ,a Now  that has no past

in its reality  at all . just me being the me I always was and will be ,

 that plays around  in his world and creates a reality and is conscious of it.

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