R.I.P. Randy Randolph - RC Groups
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May 15, 2005, 06:28 PM
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R.I.P. Randy Randolph

Wow, dunno what to say..

I picked up my copy of Flying Models today, found out that Randy passed away on April 8th. It really hit home today because I was going flying with my Dad for what might be the last time for a while as I am looking ot move out of state soon. Randy Randolph designed the first airplane I built. It was a plans built airplane from the Model Airplane News pullout series. While my Dad was there for advice he left the building part to me and helped with radio installation and taught me how to start it, tune it, etc.. This was a formative time with my Dad and I as I had just moved to Detroit from Seattle and didn't know my father yet at age 18. I didn't quite make it through the first flight, but the beauty of the airplane and how shockingly well it flew inspired me to stay interested in R/C to today.

The lasting gift that Randy's designs left on modelling were showing a culture of modellers how to build simple and light-and not compromise on performance. Most of Randy's designs hailed from a time where radios were heavy, engines unpowerful and unreliable, and most airfoils were strictly a French Curve affair. Randy designed simple box fuselage airplanes with a minimalist flair, yet had class and panache. The completed airplanes always looked characature-ish, fun and light-hearted-as if to remind us that no matter how serious our level of involvement in the hobby, they are afterall, toys. Toys to be played with and enjoyed! Sometimes in the high-tech fringes of modelling that we consume ourselves with it's hard to remember that we do this for fun.

I never met Randy, but did enjoy a brief email corespondance a few years ago. He came off as a really-down-to-earth, yet colorful gentleman. Seemed like a very wise man.

I think I'll go order reprints for some of his designs that I missed out on.. After building the Bee-Tween, few things in modelling look as good as an open structure 1/2A with transparent wings and a feisty Cox cylinder poking out the front!

Calm skies and short grass whereever you are, Randy!

C. David Campbell
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May 15, 2005, 08:05 PM
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The name sounds familiar, sort of like Owen Kamfen or Ziroli and I recall it but I can't put a specific kit with it, what all did he design.
May 15, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Bipe Flier's Avatar
Maybe you've read some of Randy's articles. Here's a link to a listing of his articles.

Last edited by Bipe Flier; May 15, 2005 at 11:49 PM.
May 16, 2005, 12:46 AM
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oh,... he's done about 350 published designs, no idea how many were kitted.
May 18, 2005, 10:32 PM
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r/cdawg's Avatar
Randy had a knack of designing planes that are simple, yet excellent flying models. This evening I was asked to test fly a club members Weekender. This is a design that was published in the November 1985 issue of Model Aviation magazineand was designed for the then new O.S. .20 4-stroke. The one I test flew this evening had an O.S. 30 4-stroke on it. Even with 15 to 20 mph winds at a 90 degree angle to the runway didn't seem to bother it as it lifted of easily, was very agile in the air and the landing was no sweat. In short it flew very well! This will be the third Weekender to be currently flying at our field.

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