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Old Jun 01, 2012, 09:51 PM
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eastern pa
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Bill Northrup 1922-2012

Bill Northrup, editor of Model Builder magazine, along with a full career in Model Aviation, passed away.

M U N C I E Ė One of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and aeromodeling legends has passed away. Bill Northrop, 89, was a champion free flight and radio control competitor, columnist, publisher and model builder in an aeromodeling career that began in 1936, the same year AMA was founded, when he was 14 years old.
Northrop was honored for his lifetime achievements with an induction into the Academyís Hall of Fame in 1988.
One of his notable accomplishments was in the World Radio Control Record Trials in 1965 at the Dahlgren, Virginia, Naval Weapons Lab. He set a record of 16,610 feet, considered a world record for all model aircraft, previously held by a Russian free flight model at slightly more than 14,000 feet.
While working as an architectural engineer for Hercules, Bill was a regular contributor to Model Airplane News and Air Trails, including contest reports and construction articles. He became the radio control editor for four years for Model Airplane News in the mid-late 1960s. In 1971 he established Model Builder magazine, which was published for the next 25 years. He also owned and operated Bill Northropís Plans Service, which featured the plans from Model Builder.
Northrop and his wife, Anita, founded the International Modeler Show, which began at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 1978. They moved the annual exposition to Pasadena where it was held for the next 20 years. In 1998, the Northrops sold the show to the AMA. The Academy continues to hold the West Coast exposition to this day, convening at the Ontario CA Convention Center every January.
Northropís aeromodeling career spanned the full organizational life of the AMA and has left an indelible mark on the evolution of the hobby and sport now pursued by more than 143,000 AMA members across the nation.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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Old Jun 02, 2012, 10:25 PM
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My hero. How sad it is to hear of his passing...
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Old Jun 03, 2012, 11:27 PM
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I met and chatted with Bill at one of the North West Model Expos when it was held in Puyallup. He was quiet and very unassuming. Yet he gifted this hobby with so much.

Model Builder Magazine was pretty much is last hurrah from a public standpoint. We never heard or saw much from him in any of the periodicals after that. Seemed like a sad way to end a great run.

Thermals and clear skies to you Bill.
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Old Jun 04, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Bill was quite active selling range of Model Builder plans, for years after MB closed down, so he was known to be around. Can't comment about his more recent activities, but does that quaify as a "harrah", last or otherwise?
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Old Jun 04, 2012, 12:34 PM
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I am very sad to hear this news. I corresponded with Bill and later talked with him by phone about model plans -- most notably reprinting some of the old American Modeler plans while he was editor of Model Builder and I sent him copies of the Evarts DE and the Jersey Coast Dragger.

More recently we talked about the Francis Smith Tug, which is on my "to do" list.

Pete G.
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Old Jun 04, 2012, 08:12 PM
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Hope his wife keeps the plans service going. Hate to see AMA buy it, but that would be better that it closing down.
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Old Jun 05, 2012, 09:53 PM
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Another legend lost

I started flying rubber powered free flight scale in the early 70's and "Model Builder" was the bible. He assembled a great staff of contributors to free flight scale and some of my fondest memories are the free flight contests in and near Dallas. I got to meet Bill when he came to a hobby show in Dallas. He was also an early contributor to the success of electric r/c flight. I went that way in the early 80's and he was kind enough to publish two of my designs.
Thanks for the memories.
Swilson50
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swilson50 View Post
..........he was kind enough to publish two of my designs..........
Do you have any pictures?
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Old Dec 01, 2012, 10:38 AM
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Rockport, Texas
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Model Aviation Magazine has a great tribute to Bill Northrop on page 11 of the December 2012 edition. What is the name of the plane on the cover of the May 1974 Model Builder magazine that is shown with the tribute to Bill Northrop?
Ted
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Old Dec 01, 2012, 04:20 PM
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teebone,

If I recall correctly Mr. and Mrs. Northrop are holding a Sal Taibi designed Powerhouse. My Dad and I built and flew one of these circa 1980 with R/C. It was lots of fun to fly and was the type of plane where you could throttle back the engine and pass the transmitter to interested bystanders. Thermalled nicely as well.
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Old Dec 01, 2012, 06:32 PM
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Mordecai,
Your description of the Powerhouse describes my kind of plane. Thanks for the info. You can be sure I am going to be looking for the plans (maybe a short kit too) for the Powerhouse.
Ted
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Old Dec 01, 2012, 10:34 PM
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Teebone, the Powerhouse plans and semi kit are shown on the second page of options found at;

http://www.bhplans.com/GMPg1.html

But don't pass by the rest without considering them. ANY of the big cabin style gas old timers fly in the same manner as described by Mordecai Murphy. It's built in when you make one of these old timers and manage to keep the overall weight close to the old spark powered originals.
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Rockport, Texas
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Bruce,
Thanks for sharing the web-site. It certainly wets my craving for every old timer plane/kit/plan I see. I am an old timer in age but fairly new to model planes. Building models is as enjoyable to me as flying them. My idea of a great plane is one that floats around in the sky with the buzzards and I can stay in the air for long periods of time. As you have said, most old timers are probably my type of plane: however, do you have any favorites with about a 50" WS, easily converted to electric motors, dihedral rather than polyhedral wings (personal preference) that you would recommend? Thanks again for the web-site and your thoughts.
Ted
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 06:57 PM
groundlooped
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebone View Post
Bruce,
Thanks for sharing the web-site. It certainly wets my craving for every old timer plane/kit/plan I see. I am an old timer in age but fairly new to model planes. Building models is as enjoyable to me as flying them. My idea of a great plane is one that floats around in the sky with the buzzards and I can stay in the air for long periods of time. As you have said, most old timers are probably my type of plane: however, do you have any favorites with about a 50" WS, easily converted to electric motors, dihedral rather than polyhedral wings (personal preference) that you would recommend? Thanks again for the web-site and your thoughts.
Ted
G'day Ted,you can find many old timer plans at www.outerzone.co.uk and at www.hippocketaeronautics.com you'll have to register to access the plan pages.
Cheers Col
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Old Dec 02, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Rockport, Texas
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Col,
Thanks for the web-site links. I have added to my favorites list.
Ted
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