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Old Sep 27, 2005, 07:16 PM
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Remembering the Cox PT-19 U-Control Model ...

In the early 1960's a huge number of ready-to-fly U-Control models appeared on the market. Nearly all were powered by .049 glow engines and came with the hand grip and control strings. All that was needed was some nitro fuel (a quart lasted a long time) and a hefty 1.5V ignition battery. The models were sold in drug stores, major dept stores, and toy shops. Even Blue Chip stamps carried them.

I went through a number of these early on. My first few were AMF or Wen Mac brands. They were made of brittle heavy plastic, and the engines were finicky to start. They often had insufficient power to stay airborne. But, the desire to fly kept me at it. I mowed dozens of lawns each month to fund it all (at best, I got 50 cents a cut; sometimes less). Most trips to the schoolyard's flying field quickly resulted in a pile of broken plastic pieces. So, I mowed a lot of lawns.

Then the local stores started to carry Cox brand U-Control models and my luck changed. These models were lighter and the improved plastic had a better chance of surviving mishaps. Most were equipped with the popular Baby Bee .049 motors. They quickly started and had good power. Instead of coming home with handfuls of broken plastic, my friends and I began to actually fly them with good success. And if a model was destroyed, the Baby Bee .049 was a great engine to install on profile balsa U-Control models (I built dozens of those).

The model that was perhaps the most helpful in training us kids was the Cox PT-19 Flight Trainer. This model was very stable and it was held together with rubber bands. It would deliberately pop apart on minor impacts; new rubber bands would put us back in the air. A number of neighborhood kids learned on this resilient model.

Recently I was fortunate enough to stumble across one that needed a home. Unlike the usual offerings you see on eBay, this one is really old. It is from the 1960-1964 production years! This is in contrast to the nearly new ones that are normally sold as "vintage." After a good cleaning it looks pretty darn good for a ~40 year old model. No doubt there are some other baby boomer rc-groups members that trained on the PT-19. If so, this photo is for you:
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Last edited by Mr.RC-CAM; Sep 28, 2005 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Added production year comment.
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 09:41 PM
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United States, TX, Fort Worth
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The old Cox PT-19 was bt far the best of the plastic ready to fly C/L trainers.

Believe it or not, myself and the kids I flew C/L with the late 1960s in Shreveport, LA could actually make the PT-19 fly as a free flight...we would lock the elevator and break the rudder free and set it straight and take out the side thrust. It was a little tough to trim, but it could be done.. It had a fast steep glide, but in grass, it rarely hurt itself.

I have an evil plan to convert one to R/C...and even more evilly, to electric as well.

Not a vintage one..a new one..

I always hated that Cox molded a lot of them backwards to scale...the fuse and fin should always be BLUE and the wings should always be yellow, darn it!
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Old Sep 27, 2005, 09:50 PM
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I converted several profile U-control balsa models to free flight. Motor of choice was the Cox .020. It was possible to get a couple of minutes of flight. Never lost one doing that, but looking back it was very dangerous considering their high speed and maniac flight paths. Good times.

An R/C PT-19 conversion would be interesting, especially if it was electric.
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.RC-CAM
I converted several profile U-control balsa models to free flight. Motor of choice was the Cox .020. It was possible to get a couple of minutes of flight. Never lost one doing that, but looking back it was very dangerous considering their high speed and maniac flight paths. Good times.

An R/C PT-19 conversion would be interesting, especially if it was electric.
Actually after a few unsuccessful models, I bought the 020 powered pitts stype biplane from a friend at school.

That was the first really successful plane I flew on engine power. It wasn;t GREAT but it flew.

The motor went on to power quite a few other things, the most amusing being a sheet profile FF DRI triplane.

I think there is a new untouched one of these on UK ebay at the moment. Or was a week ago or so.

I was tempted...
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 08:54 AM
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Another good cox UC flyer was the Super Sport Trainer.. it was a pinkish colored pylon type racer.. want to see pics of the old Cox, WenMac, Testors etc planes? Go to:
http://members.aol.com/skylane42c/cox.html
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
I bought the 020 powered pitts style biplane from a friend at school. That was the first really successful plane I flew on engine power. It wasn't GREAT but it flew.
That was a fun little model (and it was small). Perhaps my first introduction to Cox's smaller .020 engine.

Quote:
... to see pics of the old Cox, WenMac, Testors etc planes? Go to ...
The U/C models on your website bring back a lot of memories. Many I owned, but some I have never ever seen. I sort of lost track of what Cox and Wenmac/Testors was producing when I moved over to balsa built U/C models (loved the Sterling Ringmaster). So the ready made plastic U/C aircraft, that came out in the 1970's and beyond, are uncharted territory to me. Thanks for the photos!
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Old Sep 28, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Back in the 1960s, I remember owning and flying the following pastic .049 models:

Cox PT-19: flew great!
Cox Piper Cub: flew ok, but not the best
Cox Stuka: flew great, really.
Cox P-51: flew ok, but was small and heavy
Cox Pitts: Flew, more or less
Wenmac Hovercraft: Was fun to chase down the street.
Wemac P-63 Kingcobra: for the first few engine runs, it flew great. You could launch spring loaded rockets from under the wing and make the pilot bail out, as I recall. The Wen Mac motors tended to wear out quickly. The metalurgy was never close to as good as Cox motors.

After these, I started building stuff, such as the CG Lil Wizard, Stuntman 23, etc.
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 01:27 PM
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I had the Cox Sopwith Camel in the early 70's. My dad sliced open a few fingers trying to start the engine. When it finally started, it barely rolled, never did fly. It seemed pretty heavy for it's size. Anybody ever get one of these things off the ground? Here's a picture I was happy to find on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Cox-plan...ayphotohosting
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Old Sep 30, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
When it finally started, it barely rolled, never did fly...
I never had much luck with ROG takeoffs on the various plastic models. We hand released them, which worked very well. The trick, as I eventually learned, was to fly over the schoolyard lawn areas rather than on the asphalt. The parts didn't bounce nearly as far when you dorked in. For sure, ROG's were not possible from the grass, and it was no lost cause because of the limited success we had with it.
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Old Oct 01, 2005, 01:38 AM
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Alot of the guys I know blame the demise of control line on these little plastic jobs! They feel it was too much of a toy & made that branch of the hobby appear childish. Personally I don't agree, I believe the advances in technology & afordability of RC killed control line. They still have a few for sale here in shops around Capetown, not the PT but the later 'extra'. A kid came to the field with one a year or so ago.It flew quite well then he left it on the backseat of the car... you can guess the rest, it was all melted and really was a mess.I had a baby Ringmaster bipe (by scientific?).It flew ok but for the top wing coming off on every landing!
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Old Oct 03, 2005, 10:05 PM
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United States, IA, Tabor
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Had the PT-19 and flew the wings off of it. I occasionally see some of these plastic CLs pop up at the local RC auctions, I would not fly them but am tempted (I would have trouble explaining to my "too young to remember them" wife why I bought it and would not fly it). I also had the DR1 and the Camel but crashed them, they flew but were very touchy to say the least. I had a few others too but the long ago of it has mixed up the ones I had and the ones I just remember. Most of those old cox engines went on to power balsa CL and FF planes I had, a couple of those my own designs too. Thanks for the memories!
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Old Oct 04, 2005, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snorks
Alot of the guys I know blame the demise of control line on these little plastic jobs! They feel it was too much of a toy & made that branch of the hobby appear childish. Personally I don't agree, I believe the advances in technology & afordability of RC killed control line. They still have a few for sale here in shops around Capetown, not the PT but the later 'extra'. A kid came to the field with one a year or so ago.It flew quite well then he left it on the backseat of the car... you can guess the rest, it was all melted and really was a mess.I had a baby Ringmaster bipe (by scientific?).It flew ok but for the top wing coming off on every landing!
Totally agree - started on that little cox biplane, and moved on to fly PAW19 combat wings...man we loved flying that one. Had an AMCO 35 powerd stunter too..

But R/C was what we really wanted to do.
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Old Oct 04, 2005, 12:08 PM
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perhaps u will be surprised that today when Rc dominated, there is still someone started to learn flying by a cox PT 19. my friends and I went down to the local park and tried to fly it. we managed to take off but a harsh landing ( although we understood al lthe instruction enclosed and the fact that we are ALL engineering graduates! haha).if the cox ( later surestart 049 type) has a good muffler then i will ahve more chance to fly it.
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Old Oct 20, 2005, 03:01 AM
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Lansing, Michigan
Joined Oct 2003
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Used a lot of Cox engines, but only one of their planes. There was a contest to build a plastic model Wright Flyer, which I won. The prize was a Super Sabre jet with an 020, and three bladed prop. It was incapable of flight...I used about 8 feet of fishing lines for the control, so it really was whip flown, with a noise maker on the front. The engine went into a tiny biplane. Cant remember the name, but the plans were in a mag., and it had a pumpkin seed shaped body that connected the built up wings. Flew that one on 15' lines, doing aerobatics until the engine wore out. Seems most of my modeling budget using Cox engines was in new glow heads and reed valves.
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Old Oct 20, 2005, 10:15 PM
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The middle of Kansas
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Hi Guys; If you were in Tucson in march you would be surprised to see that C/L is not dead. I know it is not as big as R/C by a big margin, but there were way over a 100 flyers at this years Vintage Stunt Champs. We fly Old Time, up to Dec. 52, and Classic, up to Dec. 69. Also have an event for spark ign. which is really fun. It is almost like going back in time to see and fly all those oldies. Contest lasts for 4 days, but the flying starts several days before. I flew R/C pattern for 25 years but never had as much fun as I have at the VSC. It is the big event of the year for me. Jim Kraft
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