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Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jan 05, 2021 @ 10:22 AM | 2,157 Views
Been spending some time converting old video and movie film footage...and if my old program dumps my work one more time, I may go get myself a new computer and converter solely dedicated to this silly stuff.

Back in the day, even though I'd bought one of those monstrous VHS camera/recorder combos (with an equally monstrous price tag), I STILL liked packing a Super 8 film camera around because, well, I thought it was cool.

In the purest example of "You just had to be there.", here's an un-cut, unedited strip of film of the 1994 Brodhead Piet Reunion, complete with the sound of my clackety projector:

Super 8 Footage of the 1994 Pietenpol Reunion at Brodhead, Wisconsin (3 min 33 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jan 02, 2021 @ 05:28 PM | 5,151 Views
"Rusty's Medallion"

We've lost several friends from our little circle of flyers this past year, making me redouble my efforts at having a good life and appreciating it at the same time. The clock is ticking folks...get out and do stuff.

My friend, Rusty Knowlton passed away a few months ago, and was a walking example of squeezing all the living possible from one's existence.

We met in person one time three years ago, but were constantly in touch, before and after, through the Cox Engine Collector Forum, and his weekly/bi-weekly live forum, "At the Bench", over on the Stunt Hangar site.

A memorial has been organized by the C.E.F. in honor of Rusty...a "Traveling Engine Event"...with three engines mailed between members who will run, fly, or display them for posting on the Forum, along with any thoughts or memories they may have about our ole bud.

I was recently honored and somewhat shocked to receive a package of Rusty's gear from Will Davis, a mutual friend. One of the items was a Cox "Medallion" .049 engine, and it was instantly assigned duty in the nose of my "Scout" project. With as few changes as possible, it'll be bolted to the little plane, with some sort of notation on the model's side.

The "Medallion" series of Cox engines are considered (by me at least), to be the "Gentler Tee Dee's"...not as powerful---though close--but easier to start and a little less picky about their...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 21, 2020 @ 11:05 PM | 6,957 Views
Back in the day (anymore, seems like all my stories start that way), there was a monthly aviation auction held at Cape Girardeau, Missouri's airport. I think it spanned three decades from the 1960's through the 80's, though I first encountered it in 1974.

Anyone could bring their plane to sell, but buyers had to be established dealers. Airplanes...big and small...rough and pristine...would migrate to our little airport with an urgency I wouldn't experience again until my first arrival in Oshkosh.

Line Guys were charged with parking the airplanes on the north a big loop that the auction truck would slowly traverse during the bidding. The airport was totally socked with these planes, and those of buyers who'd come to check out what was for sale, along with our regular Ozark and Air Illinois airlines, and transient flights who just happened on the fun.

These were wild times, and while fairly stressful, a Line Guy could often make a week's wages in one day as the High Rollers threw 20 dollar tips around in attempts to get as close to the head of the line as possible. Many brought along young ladies, sporting the legendary "Mile High Club" pin on their halter tops, to "negotiate" the placement of their boss's airplane (and yes, it worked).

This was also a time of Great Life Lessons for me. I'll admit to being wildly naive about the essence of being a pilot and I can only blame the Sky King TV series which I still carried in the way I...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 16, 2020 @ 02:30 PM | 8,798 Views
Flash-Back to Winter 1975...or so.

This Piper Navajo suffered a complete power loss in it's right engine (note the feathered prop), with the left engine not able to keep the plane in the air.

Flying south, toward Cape Girardeau, Missouri's airport, and more or less lined up with runway 20, it came up short less than a mile out.

Successfully landing in the southbound lanes of I-55, the plane immediately rolled onto the Diversion Channel Bridge, where it's left engine---still running---hit the bridge's guard rail, turning the plane into the rail.

The propeller broke off and flew into the field or channel below, while the plane's left wheel was shoved against the concrete lip of the roadbed, and it's radome against the guardrail.

In the photo, the Navajo has been dragged from the bridge (not sure HOW that was done), and parked directly across from the airport entrance on Nash Road. It's waiting for us to scrounge some parts for it's left wheel strut so it can be towed on into the airport.

After a few months, it was repaired and turned back to it's company.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 09, 2020 @ 05:59 PM | 8,514 Views
65 and the paint is flying.

With these temps, it was an ideal chance to throw some color. Tom Tom's paint was still somewhere on the road, so I turned to a back-burner project, a design that's almost as old: Walt Musciano's Scientific Model Company "Zipper", another 1/2A control liner.

As usual, this is another flash-back model, having built one back in '69, and literally flying the wings off the thing.

This new one was painted white, but this was also to be it's base color coat, and was waiting for me to try to copy it's red white and blue box art.

After spending a bunch of time masking it off with tape and paper, it got it's red trim. Everything turned out well by my standards, with very little color creeping under the masking. It will now get it's blue trim, a canopy, and final assembly before it makes some racket.

I intended to take a break and maybe even wrap things up when I discovered that my stealthy Fed Ex guy had dropped off my Brodak order while I was painting Zipper.

So...the air compressor was cranked up again, and my Badger paint gun was loaded up with what looked like egg nog. This too turned out nicely, with just the standard blemishes to keep me humble.

Now I got two planes curing up in the shop...which DEFINITELY smells like "Model Airplane"....Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Dec 07, 2020 @ 01:03 PM | 4,798 Views
Had a Big Time with the SEMO R/C Flyers' Fun Fly at their field just north of Sikeston, Missouri.

Due to severe laziness, I didn't fly my planes, but instead, sent the Mavic drone out snooping around when the air wasn't choked-full of hovering airplanes.

Fellow flyer Allen put in a bunch of control line flights in a make-shift circle on the south end of the field, somewhat uncomfortably close to some heavy power lines.

We even had an Erickson Air-Crane fly by on it's way to some job somewhere, along with a few errant boomerangs to dodge.

Gonna go back tomorrow and do my best to sling some castor.

The second day of the SEMO R/C Flyers' "Chili Fun Fly" was a little more raw (rawer?) than the day before.

After being too lazy to drag my gear from the van on the day before, I immediately began setting up shop when I arrived at the Flyers' field on Sunday. In a building breeze, I got the Jetco "Shark 15" stooged up, fired up, and launched on the circle the Flyer's had set up for us on the south end of the flight line. At least I could claim one flight flown.

Allen showed up, but wasn't sure about logging any flights as the cold wind was now getting reinforcement from a cloud layer blocking the sun. We lined up our planes by the fence for display, but eventually put them away to keep the breeze from turning them into tumble weeds.

The chili and...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 28, 2020 @ 10:54 AM | 9,638 Views
So, we pulled it off!

Once again, Larry McKenzie's brain child---"Black Fly Day" took place on Breezy Hill!

Lots of sunshine, but with cold wind and turbulence breaking over Breezy Hill. Still, that didn't stop the Flyers from using the WHOLE day on "Black Fly Day".

Our one "casualty" was Billy's new Piper Cub which either had a radio problem, or got caught in one of the many rotors that were rolling across the field.

The Control Liners stood their ground in the wind, and the Flite Streaks and Shoestrings...and one lonely Bi-Slob...kept on flying when not taking breaks to allow the R/C's a turn. At this point, the Crop Circle is intersected by the R/C runway, but plans are underway to move it toward the east a bit to give everybody some elbow room.

I had my Sig Kadet Senior Sport out among the Electron Herders, making sure the R/C runway got a good dose of castor oil. The "Big Bunny", Stan Fronabarger's stunt-flapped Flite Streak, got some flying time, though we're gonna have to try it again when things are calmer.

Special Guest, Allen Bagg, drove the 60 miles or so from down south with his collection of Flite Streaks, and had a big time smoking the Crop Circle.

Flyer Brian had his Control Line Shoestring, whose aft CG gave him some considerable entertainment in the rough air.

A great time, and full day, as confirmed this morning by my aching feet and stiff back!

2020 Black Fly Day (9 min 41 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 23, 2020 @ 12:28 AM | 5,611 Views
Continued Crazyness Out In the Shop:

The Little Tom Tom is pretty much through it's construction phase...just getting clear coats 'till it's masked off for color.

So now, it's sibling "The Scout" is up for the bench, and getting it's parts punched out and trimmed.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 19, 2020 @ 10:39 AM | 7,590 Views
Don't know if my retro controliner is gonna be ready for Breezy Hill's "Black Fly Day" on the 27th but, if not, it may be up there as a "Show-&-Tell" static display. The Flyers appreciate the work and time it takes for this special kind of silliness.

After a bunch of carving and sanding, it's time to start the finishing process, which often takes longer than the building process. The paints used---Brodak Dope in this case---must be allowed curing time between coats, along with a light sanding before each new coat is applied.

Since I can't keep the shop heated all the time, Little Tom Tom will be brought inside between each painting session to help set the finish. So, the house will be filled with the special aroma that used to get me banished to the front porch.

It's wing frame will get a brushed-on clear coat to adhere it's silkspan covering. Then more over-all layers 'till it starts to shine, when the paint gun comes out and a thin white coat is applied for a base color. This is followed by scheme color and trim, and a floor littered with bits of masking tape.

As a friend of mine might say, "It's looking mighty airplaney!"
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Nov 17, 2020 @ 10:19 AM | 4,784 Views
So, this little kit popped up on Ebay, and I stalked it for a few days before a last-minute pounce netted me another project in my crowded shop.

This is yet another "Snubbing My Nose at the Past" affair, having built a Little Tom Tom when I was 13 or so, and ending up with WAY-less-than-nice results. The build went well, but I was strapped for money to buy the incredibly expensive bottles of Aerogloss dope to finish it.

My youthful impatience took charge and, instead of waiting and working to get the funds, I decided to try finishing the model with spray paint from some cans I'd found in our old coal shed. As I said, the results were WAY less than nice, with Little Tom Tom's fuel-soaked gooey finish being impossible to clean, or even handle without it leaving it's traces on your fingers.

Like many others, it's life ended in a "Viking Funeral", and another early Life Lesson learned.

This one will be different. It's gonna get a finish of similarly expensive Brodak Dope on silkspan (from my precious stash of that macho tissue), with a base color of cream, red trim, and copying the scheme from it's box photo.

The kit's die-cutting and balsa are actually pretty nice, and I had few problems getting the parts loose from their sheets. I'd assumed, because of it's similarity to the other 1/2A VECO kits that it was designed by the legendary Joe Wagner, but a fellow named "J.E. Barr" is listed instead. The plane is very close in size to my...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Sep 25, 2020 @ 02:47 PM | 3,898 Views
So, there I was, MINDING my own business, when one of those vagabond visions of days long-gone slides through my tired brain.

In the mid-1970's, a couple years before getting my first reliable radio control system, we were still cranking out a fair number of control line model airplanes. Sunday flydays weren't what they'd been just a few years earlier, with girls and motorcycles having taken the lead interest, but we still managed to get some flying done.

Midwest Model Co. had released several profile control line model kits featuring (as I remember): a P-51 Mustang, P-63 Kingcobra, BF-109, and my AD-1 Skyraider. All were scaled to about the same physical size, with the intent of clubs and individual flyers staging aerial combat matches.

I sorta wanted the Kingcobra, but the Skyraider was sitting on a shelf in the hobby store, so that was it. My budget was WAY too tight to risk a plane like this to combat flying, though I think I may have flown it in the same circle with Kevin's Midwest P-51 a few times.

I built it on an overturned dresser drawer in my tiny apartment on North Park Street in Cape. So if you happen to purchase some antique furniture, and find glue blobs, pencil marks, and X-ACTO scrapings on the underside of a drawer, CONGRATULATIONS!'ve also purchased an antique control line building board!

The Skyraider was a large model for my well-worn .35, but still flew OK, with scale-like loops and horizontal 8's, AND, with the lower speed allowing me...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Aug 13, 2020 @ 07:22 PM | 6,899 Views
My Ringmaster liked my new stooge so much that it took one of it's cushions for a ride.

No issues other than I was afraid to pull any maneuvers for fear of flinging the foam tube out in the rain-soaked soybeans, and not seeing where it landed. I was NOT in a mood to go searching out there.

So, I just flew out it's 12-minute+ fuel supply---circle---after circle---after circle---think there's a spot worn smooth in the asphalt...

Finally, all the Sig 10% burned up and the Ringer glided to a landing, with it's bit of ballast rolling up behind it.
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jul 29, 2020 @ 09:47 AM | 8,620 Views
The pressure to fly finally built up to the point that my buds and I just HAD to sling some castor and turn some circles.

That's all fine and good, but this heat can make things a little dicey, and I'm at the age where all I got to do is look a little disoriented and people want to put me in a hospital.

Our solution was to crank up around 7am, and bail before lunch time...a "Sunday Morning Fun-Fly".

So, around 5:45am, I headed the van for Breezy Hill. It turned out to be a mostly Control Line day, with the exception of Billy's wing-folding A.J. Interceptor and my Mavic Drone buzzing around. We had us a big day, and scattered around 11:30.

Sunday Morning Fun-Fly with the Breezy Hill Flyers (9 min 45 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Jun 22, 2020 @ 08:26 AM | 10,683 Views
After letting multiple calm days pass by with not a single R/C plane circling the hill, today, the Q-Tee got a work-out.

Cox/Sanwa "Q-Tee" and It's Engines (6 min 32 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | May 21, 2020 @ 09:02 PM | 10,324 Views
Still got some work to do to convince it to fly upside-down!

Kingpin's First Flights (2 min 1 sec)

Posted by Cox PT-19 | May 03, 2020 @ 04:14 PM | 8,668 Views
Had some fun out in the pasture before the thunderstorms rolled through.

The Q-Tee is flying well, and having no trouble packing along it's little cameras.

Cox Sanwa "Q-Tee" gets some Flights after Restoration (5 min 21 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Apr 08, 2020 @ 08:35 AM | 8,991 Views
Got all these projects various degrees of storage ranging from "Cold", to "Warm", to "Hot" status.

So naturally, the smart and prudent thing to do is---start ANOTHER project!

Back to the past yet Scientific Model Airplane Company's "Zipper" building notes from the Cox Engine Forum:

So, Bob's one little, though enthusiastic, comment about his fondness for Walt Musciano's 1/2A "Zipper" was just enough to push me over the edge into starting one. Went to bed thinking about it...drank coffee this morning thinking about it, so what the heck...

I built the original Scientific kit back in 1969 or so, powering it with the Babe Bee from my PT-19 QZ. A couple decades ago, I got a copy of the plan sheet, along with a nice note from the Man himself, Mr. Musciano. Been talking about building it since then.

Now, in the midst of a shop totally cluttered with tapes, dope cans, and spray equipment, I've started cutting templates from the 10% enlarged copies I made from the original plan sheet. I wanted this Zipper to be a bit larger, as I remembered the original to be better suited for a healthy .020, instead of the Babe Bee that took it around the circle like a combat wing.

Anyway, we'll see how this goes along. So far, the whole "Social Distancing" thing has turned the shop and front yard into a booming model airplane flying, dope spraying, resurrection of stalled projects, and engine test-running affair.

Everybody take care and stay healthy,
Dopey Hermit Kim
Posted by Cox PT-19 | Apr 07, 2020 @ 08:43 PM | 9,649 Views
And the Madness Continues...

The 1960's Scientific Model Company's "Thunderbird" gets more paint...and check out that purple thumbnail!...Continue Reading