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May 24, 2009, 03:30 PM
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Monza Red's Avatar
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Famous people who built and flew model aircraft in their spare time.

By this I mean people who were famous for doing something else but who also enjoyed our hobby.

Let me start you off.

Roahl Dahl: Welsh writer of Norwegian extraction, particularly famous for writing children's stories.

Nelson Picquet: Brazilian racing driver, Formula 1 World Champion when he died in a racing accident. He liked to fly pattern ships.

Sir Alex Issigonis: born in what is now Turkey in 1906, Alex's parents were Greeks who had British nationality. He is famous for designing the Morris Minor and the BMC Mini motor cars.

John Travolta: American film star, probably best remembered for his role in the film "Grease."

Heddle Nash: English tenor whose professional career spanned the years 1925 to 1961. Free flight gliders.

Could any other respondents please put the nationality of the person in their replies and what he or she is famous for. This is because someone could be very famous in one country but unknown elsewhere.
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May 24, 2009, 03:32 PM
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vintage1's Avatar
Keith Laumer, Sci Fi Writer
Mike Oldfield, Rock composer.
Several aeronauticists..whose name escapes me!

Oh and Nelson Piquet (no 'C' ) is still alive as is his son of the same name.
Maybe you are thinking of Ayrton Senna..he flew models.
Last edited by vintage1; May 24, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
May 24, 2009, 03:40 PM
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Monza Red's Avatar
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Quite right Vintage, I'd got the names mixed up (Not very interested in motor racing.)
May 24, 2009, 03:42 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
And now for the rest of the story.... Good Day!

Paul Harvey famouse radio personality
May 24, 2009, 06:54 PM
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faif2d's Avatar
The Rutan brothers.
May 24, 2009, 07:43 PM
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Laurel and Hardy .. who before becoming film-famous flew models and had a mobile hobby shop at prewar contests

Reginald Denny
May 24, 2009, 08:26 PM
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California Condor's Avatar
Roschestrer (sp) on the Jack Benny show.

Micky Rooney
May 24, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda built model aircraft together at least before they became too busy. They were pretty famous movie stars that hung out together at one time.

Stewart flew missions over germany as a squadron command pilot during the second world war and went on to become a general eventually. He demanded that his participation in the war go unrecognized in publicity usage by the studios.
May 25, 2009, 02:41 AM
Mmmm...balsa dust!
vintagemxr's Avatar
Originally Posted by faif2d
The Rutan brothers.
I believe Burt Rutan won an AMA National Championship event as a youngster.

Long time R/C sailplane flyer Hank Schorz was a member of the rock group "Steam" who put put the late '60s classic "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" that lives on today on oldies radio stations across America.

Col. Bob Thacker who once held the Honolulu to NYC piston enginer aircraft speed record and has numerous WWII adventures to his credit was an avid scale flyer for many years.
May 25, 2009, 03:22 AM
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It was indeed Ayrton Senna, I saw a picture of him unloading a large scale Pitts somewhere
May 25, 2009, 05:43 AM
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Kiwi's Avatar
Not quite model aircraft but Rod Stewart is right into model trains and takes a layout in his jet when he goes on tour.
May 25, 2009, 06:11 AM
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Ojimy's Avatar
Most boys who came of age during Aviation's "Golden Age" built models at some time or another. It's just "what kids did" in the era before television and video games. A couple of noteworthy people who pursued modeling in their adult life were;

Rod Serling - Writer, creator of "The Twilight Zone" TV series.

Robert J. Serling - Rod's brother, also a gifted aviation writer.

Bill Cushenberry - Noted California car builder and customizer.

Larry Hilblom - The "H" in DHL Worldwide Express
May 25, 2009, 06:24 AM
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Airboatflyingshp's Avatar
Paul Daniels, small magician /entertainer flies RC models.

Frank Whittle and Barns Wallis as lads?
May 25, 2009, 06:49 AM
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Trisquire's Avatar
Bruce Jenner flies helis, and uses RealFlight simulator.
May 25, 2009, 07:15 AM
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VinceHaworth's Avatar
Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe began his aeronautical career with building model aircraft.
He made a model for a competition offered by Lord Northcliffe of the Daily Mail. Edwin won the prize of £150 for a flight of more than 50ft. Later on he founded the AVRO company, famous for the 504k, Manchester, Lancaster and Vulcan.
Last edited by VinceHaworth; May 25, 2009 at 07:24 AM.

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