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  • July 27, 2017, 02:40:49 AM

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Author Topic: The year was 1957  (Read 5052 times)

Offline Tommy Swonke

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The year was 1957
« on: January 10, 2017, 08:48:59 AM »
It was 1957, I was 10 yrs. old.  I got a Cox ready-to-fly plane for Christmas that year. I don't recall the name of the thing, I just remember it was almost too big for the .049 engine. It would just barely stay airborne but it was slow enough to let me get the feel for the handle. For the next 4 years I must have gone through 8 or 10 of those RTF's from Cox.  Then I met a neighborhood boy my age and he told me he knew of an older guy that had started a flying club near to where we lived.  So a short bus ride later we found ourselves at this guy's house. As we walked into his open garage my eyes got wide because his garage was a fully stocked c/l shop.  On one side of the garage was a large display case about 10 ft. long with a wide array of engines and a complete line of accessories. On the other wall was shelves stocked with many different types and sizes of kits. So we decided right there to join the "Flying Fiends" c/l club. This older guy, maybe 20 yrs. old (I don't remember his name) was the president of the club. He was a great guy with an interest in helping kids with the hobby. He supplied us with everything we needed. The first plane I bought from him was, of course, a Ringmaster. I got pretty good with it doing the basics and stayed with it until I laid my eyes on the Voodoo kit on his shelf. Once I built that kit and put a Fox 35 on it with crank pressure, which was a new way, at least around our area, of feeding the 35 back then.  I started flying combat at age 15 and got pretty good at it. We would travel around to the different flying fields around Houston, competing against other clubs in the Houston area. Then one time the president of our club entered us in a big event in Longview Tx (about a 4 hr. drive from Houston). I entered the combat division, scared to death from all the horror stories that I would hear about the caliber of some of the guys I would have to compete against. As it turned out I got 1st runner up and was so proud of myself. Of the five guys that represented our club I was the only one to get a trophy. I continued flying to age 17 and that was about the time girls came along and, well, that, so they say, was that. So, in 1965 I left the hobby behind and never picked it back up, until now.


Offline john e. holliday

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Re: The year was 1957
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 09:34:50 AM »
Another great story. 
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Offline Terrence Durrill

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Re: The year was 1957
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 11:30:50 AM »
It was 1957, I was 10 yrs. old.  I got a Cox ready-to-fly plane for Christmas that year. I don't recall the name of the thing, I just remember it was almost too big for the .049 engine. It would just barely stay airborne but it was slow enough to let me get the feel for the handle. For the next 4 years I must have gone through 8 or 10 of those RTF's from Cox.  Then I met a neighborhood boy my age and he told me he knew of an older guy that had started a flying club near to where we lived.  So a short bus ride later we found ourselves at this guy's house. As we walked into his open garage my eyes got wide because his garage was a fully stocked c/l shop.  On one side of the garage was a large display case about 10 ft. long with a wide array of engines and a complete line of accessories. On the other wall was shelves stocked with many different types and sizes of kits. So we decided right there to join the "Flying Fiends" c/l club. This older guy, maybe 20 yrs. old (I don't remember his name) was the president of the club. He was a great guy with an interest in helping kids with the hobby. He supplied us with everything we needed. The first plane I bought from him was, of course, a Ringmaster. I got pretty good with it doing the basics and stayed with it until I laid my eyes on the Voodoo kit on his shelf. Once I built that kit and put a Fox 35 on it with crank pressure, which was a new way, at least around our area, of feeding the 35 back then.  I started flying combat at age 15 and got pretty good at it. We would travel around to the different flying fields around Houston, competing against other clubs in the Houston area. Then one time the president of our club entered us in a big event in Longview Tx (about a 4 hr. drive from Houston). I entered the combat division, scared to death from all the horror stories that I would hear about the caliber of some of the guys I would have to compete against. As it turned out I got 1st runner up and was so proud of myself. Of the five guys that represented our club I was the only one to get a trophy. I continued flying to age 17 and that was about the time girls came along and, well, that, so they say, was that. So, in 1965 I left the hobby behind and never picked it back up, until now.


            Welcome back............it's still a great hobby.     D>K      H^^

Offline Joe Otto

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Re: The year was 1957
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 04:29:42 PM »
I'm new to Stunthangar and just posted (first post) in another thread, 'How I got started'.  I just read Tommy Swonke's 1957 which brought back good/bad memories. Tried a Cox Corsair, incredibly underpowered and the stretchy string lines sure didn't help control very much. Upgraded to built up flying wing with an .049 (great trainer airplane!!!). Mastered the figure 9 from the hand launch and that had to be due to the strings lines. Met Jim Silhavy who suggested we save our nickels and get a Ringmaster and Fox 35. Did so and swapped out the Fox needle valve with an OS needle assembly and like was good. More similarity here was the Voodoo. Riley Wooten was my new rockstar. Flew Magicians, Noblers and a scratch built or two but always had a Voodo or Flifgstreak for pure fun all the while I was in the service.   Out of the service and pursued full scale as a career. Later, got into RC but recently back to control line. I had the chance to fly Silhavy's original Magician in the late '50's so now have a Magician and a Flightstreak ready. Brodak 40 on the Magician and an OS 35 on the Flightstreak. Hopefully, first CL flight in more than 45 years next Sunday. Well, 8 days from now.

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: The year was 1957
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 03:47:36 PM »
Well welcome back.  Forgot to say that on other post. H^^
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530


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