From the Archives

From the Archives

Here we are then in 1963, the year of JFK, the first woman in space, the great train robbery, and the premiere of 007’s From Russia with Love adventure in UK cinemas.

Model flying continued to develop and RCM&E had an article in the January issue accompaniedby a February cover shot of David Walker with his Miles Monitor – the first multi-engined scale R/C model flown in Britain. The model was 1/9th scale which gave a wingspan of 72″ and a weight of 10.5lbs. The model had two Merco 35’s although these were replaced with larger engines that caused the model to ‘torque’ into the ground – an untimely end.

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Technical articles abounded in the magazine pointing to the harsh reality that if flyers wanted something, the chances were that they could only afford to make it themselves. This variable frequency oscillator article being a case in point from the January issue.

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The new product pages were starting to look like those to which we’re now accustomed. An early foamie model, the Graupner Consul (top of page) was featured in April. Made from expanded polystyrene the 41″ span Cessna look-alike was a single-channel design for motors of up to 1.5cc. The classic lines of the Graupner Carravell (middle of page) are still attractive today, Graupner must think so if their 2008 ARTF release of the Kwik Fly is anything to go by.

The May issue cover model was an early example of the RCM&E free plan. The Gemini. was designed by D.Tafler, the tiny 22″ span model was for single channel.

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The British nationals of 1963 were held at Barkston and saw blue skies but 30mph winds. Nine models turned up for the R/C scale event, the winner being Dennis Bryant’s 63″ span Macchi 202. The model weighed 7.5lbs and was powered by a Veco 45.

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The SMAE Cup for multi aerobatic was contested by 17 entrants, the winner being F.Van Den Berg with his Skydancer, Harry Brooks came second with his Soraco design. All the models were 60-70″ span, the favourite engine amongst competitors being the Merco 49.

The delta on the October cover was designed by Jack Bone, Victoria, Australia. The model had a 66″ span, weighed 12lbs and was powered by two K&B 45’s.

The Digicon Proportional transmitter inside the September issue was one of the first transmitters I could find that shared the design traits of those we use today. This was a digital proportional system made in the USA by Doug Spreng and Don Mathes. It had four proportional controls and four closed-loop system servos. Note the trim sliders too. It cost £250 which would set you back a cool £3000 in 2008.

Despite the cost, things were slowly coming together and the language used in this Ripmax advert in October would be familiar to flyers today. The little Graupner Consul we saw earlier was £4.12.0 or about £60 today, the two-channel Grundig transmitter at £19.10.0 would be over £250 in 2008.

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