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Author Topic: No pain learning to fly.  (Read 2441 times)

Online John Rist

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No pain learning to fly.
« on: November 06, 2013, 02:30:23 PM »
My love of airplanes dates back to 1948 through 1953, age 8 to 13.  I lived in Jacksonville Florida and my father was a shop supervisor at the Jacksonville Naval Air Base.  We lived across from the air base. To see the airbase all I had to do was look across the St John's river.  I would spend hours watching the Navy aircraft land and take off.  Jack's was an O&R center and whole aircraft carrier loads of planes would fly in for repair.

Anyway during this time I was the proud owner of quite a few of the AJ Walker models. Hand launch glider and of course the rubber powered AJ Hornet was the best!  Never did see or get into any of the control-line stuff at this time.

Around 1953 Pop moved us to Huntsville Alabama because space travel was about to start. Huntsville is known as the space capital of the world.  Quite a few of the men that worked in father's shop also moved up to Huntsville.  One in particular was a man called Ed Stone.  Ed was big into U-control.  He had a house full of trophies.  He only kept the big ones from the nationals in the house. the rest were stored in shipping drums.

So one Saturday we drove over to Decatur Alabama (Ed's home 20 miles or so) and watched some control line flying.  I was hooked!!!  At that time I had a paper route making me the rich kid on the block.  Pop said that if I bought the plane and built it he would buy the engine.  At that time Huntsville really didn't have much of a hobby shop. However Ed ran a hobby shop out of his home.  For a princely sum of $3 Ed sold me a Ringmaster.

I proceeded to build the Ringmaster and buy a set of lines, starter battery, and fuel.  I bought a quart of clear dope from the repair shop at the Huntsville airport.  Mother provided the quart jar with a lid.  All was ready and Pop brought home a brand new in the box K&B 29.

We went to Decatur the next Saturday and Ed taught me how to fly.  So I got into the Control line hobby without the usual learning pains.  In fact my first crash was several weeks later. I had taken off with a line clip folded back on itself.  When the clip straightened out the Ringmaster went into a loop.  However I turned the loop into a figure 9.  All that happened was the outboard wing came out (all in one piece.)  With this airplane I learned loops wing overs and figure 8s.  My paper route soon provided me with more Ringmasters and a Fox 35.  Those were truly the good old days.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 10:21:01 PM by John Rist »
John Rist
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Offline Mike Gretz

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Re: No pain learning to fly.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 05:43:35 AM »
Made my morning John.  Great story.  Thanks

Offline James C. Martin

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Re: No pain learning to fly.
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 07:42:43 PM »
still flying a ringmaster with a fox  35  and still like flying this plane

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