Any old timers out there?

I don't know why, but I woke up with nostalgia. Remembering my first RC
model, a Livewire, back in 1955, and learning to change from free-flight to
an escapement driven mishmash of springs and clicks... I'm trying to
remember how we made a loop using the escapement mechanism and it eludes me.
Can anybody help?
For those of you too young to have experienced the escapement.... It all
started with the PanAm contests and rubber powered models, then the
Wakefield, and then the first spark plug condenser capacitor timed firing of
model airplane engines... God! How many broken fingers? To keep the
freeflights from flying away in that forever sought-after-thermal, we put
dethermalizers on them. A hinged arrangement where the whole empennage would
flip up at a 45 degree angle and make the model flat spin to earth. The
timer was a simple salt coated and dried string which we lit with a
cigarette. It was cool to smoke in those days! So the first radios were a
kind of replacement for the dethermalizers. The radio was big and bulky,
vacuum tubes if you will! And we connected the rudder to a rotating device
which responded to the radio. One click, one quarter movement of the
controlling wheel pushing and pulling the rudder. Two clicks back to
neutral, straight flight. Third click to port, fourth click neutral, fifth
click starboard, and so on. You could do it fast or slow. Like the old Camel
engine of WWI - no throttle, just power on or power off that old rotary
And by golly, we got good at flying those old square boxes with heavy duty 9
or less cord wings. Anybody have a picture? I'm posting my last RC plane at and
just for fun. It's the 'famous' Antique. (A Bleriot look alike).
Do you have any pictures of the old Livewire laying around? Please share
For more fun in the wind see
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Reply to
Wayne Lundberg
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I flew C/L until I went in the Air Force in 1958 and started R/C in 1963. I flew a Live Wire Champ on single channel for awhile before going to the 10 channel Reed radios. The way to loop a single channel was to get altitude and then hold left rudder until it got wound up good and then hold right rudder until it straightened out and over it would go if you did everything right.
Reply to
Dave Carr
My Elmic Commander had one oush fie right, two pushes for left and three oushes for up.
Never managed a loop tho. Too much downthrust :)
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
Rudder only loops are pretty simple. Full left or right rudder to go into a spiral to pick up speed, neutralise the rudder and over you go. It is best if you can time it so that it is facing into the wind when it stops turning. Helps to get it over the top.
BTW, my 1st RC 'plane in 1956 or 7 was one that was supposedly carried in a suitcase by the designer so he could take it with him on business trips. The plan was in a magazine. The wing was nothing more than 2 pcs of 36" X 3 and 4" edge glued together and glued over the ribs. No bottom. Lots of dihedral. Both the horz. and vertical stabs were simply cut from 1/8" sheet. Nothing fancy. Flew great. Maybe someone out there remembers it. Gord Schindler Maac 6694
Reply to
Gord Schindler
What I did was hold the rudder hard over till I'd get a real fast spiral, neutralize the rudder and *sometimes* the extra speed would produce an L-shaped loop. Just about as oftin you'd get a hammerhead sort of stall, which you'd claim was what you had in mind all along :) SN bang-bang rubber band escapement, FM (kit)1 tube rx, Cox .049 Baby Bee, and those Eveready 1.5V dry cell starting batteries that died whenever it got below 40 degrees. Had to walk three miles to the flying field, up-hill (both ways), in the snow, not much to eat, and we were GLAD to have it....... Ahh, the glories of a misspent youth :)
Reply to
"Gord Schindler" writes, in part:
suitcase by the designer so he could take it with him on business trips. The plan was in a magazine. The wing was nothing more than 2 pcs of 36" X 3 and 4" edge glued together and glued over the ribs. No bottom. Lots of dihedral. Both the horz. and vertical stabs were simply cut from 1/8" sheet. Nothing fancy. Flew great. Maybe someone out there remembers it."
Reply to
Wayne --
Rather hard to send you a photo without a valid address.
Cheers -- \__________Lyman Slack_________/ \______AMA6430 IMAA1564___/ \____Flying Gators R/C______/ \__Gainesville FL _________/ Visit my Web Site at:
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Reply to
Lyman Slack
Might have been...It would be nice to build it again and use it to demo early RC single channel. As I recall, it was so simple that the airframe only took a day or two to put together and that was with Ambroid cement! I think I will send a note to the MAAC archives and see if they have the copy of the mag. now that I have an idea of the name etc. Thanks for the response! Gord Schindler MAAC6694
Flew great. Maybe someone out there remembers it."
Reply to
Gord Schindler
Want someone to call you a WAAAmbulance?
I think maybe what he meant was share with ALL of us rather than e-mail a single picture to him. there ARE AT LEAST two common places to post pictures where we can all see them
Reply to
Bob Cowell
I was hoping you could post them at where everybody could have access.
Take a look at my Antique there.
Reply to
Wayne Lundberg
Thanks one and all! What great memories you help bring back. One thing for sure, everybody seems to have the same formula for looping with rudder only on a wind-up escapement. Love the hammerhead illusion "That's what I wanted to do"...
I personaly liked Testors even if it smelled like ether. And yes, we did mix ether with fuel in those days didn't we? I think we were the lucky ones - bo be able to listen to Gunsmoke on the radio without having to stare at the boob-tube while making fabulous models and crashing on Sunday, the rest of the week, when not doing homework, radio and model... Now our youth want everything pre-packaged and ready to go. Soon they will be ordering their hamburgers intravenously to avoid chewing and digesting. (sitting on the toilet all day I guess).
Thank you all for taking the time to be nostalgic.
Wayne For fun in the wind see my son's innovation
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Reply to
Wayne Lundberg
How about the old "Veco" Dakota, with an 049. and single channel escapement. Oh those days ???
Denis Winters
Reply to
Denis Winters
Hi, I remember papers in the early 60es (i just started U control in these times...) talking about so-named "galopin' ghost" system : from a single channel RC, it allowed to control both rudder and elevator thanks to a rotating device (controlling the cycle ratio gave a dominant effect on one of them, but with a galoping effect. Of course, only valid for slow models with good inertia.... Does someone reminds this historic trick and the way it worked ? Pierre
"Dave Carr" a écrit dans le message news:
Reply to
Galloping ghost?
Sure. You stick a geraed motor on teh end ofa long torque rod and put a spring to bias it to neutral.
At teh other end of teh torque rod were two sliding yokes, one for teh rudder one for teh eleavtor..
Confused? It gets worse
Then youbuilt a varuable mark space varuable pulse width modulator for yoyr single channel receiver.
And fed the output of your receiver to drive the motor one way on 'ON' pulse and the other way on 'OFF'
This meant that your rudder and elevator flapped around a mean position, but changing the mark space ratio flapped the rudder a bit more one side than the other (and added some up elevator as well often as not).. slowing the pulse rate down meant the elevatior spent more time at 'each end' of the cycle, and generally gave you some UP. faster pulses gave you DOWN.
In use - and I never saw one work - the model 'galloped' along with wildly fluttering control surfaces. And a stick or more likely two pots gave you a crude form of propryional control
A reinvention of some of the basic principles is now used for ultra light actuators in indoor flight.
Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
I still have an old Galloping Ghost outfit here..
Controlaire TX with the twin Rand Actuators and the rete decoder. Before the rate decoder I would change the short pulse position to the "up" command (and the long pulse length to "down") ...hardly ever used much down... :)
Fun to remember...
Reply to
Yup. Someone else told how it worked already, but I built my first one out of an old '58 or '59 Popular Electronics mag; still got the magazine, in the closet behind me. Had it in a Sterling Minnie Mambo with a wore out Enya .09. Single tube receiver, 3 "controls", with a really crude throttle setup, but it was fun _and_ irritating to fly.
The Minnie Mambo flew a lot better with a Golden Bee .049 and a later Cox 2-channel radio. Short flights, tho.
J.D. to e-mail, pull the post
Reply to
free-flight to
Not quite that old but I was introduced to R/C (and C/L) while residing = overseas at Clark AB Republic of the Philippines in '65. After soloing = on C/L (the venerable Sterling Ringmaster and a McCoy .35 redhead) I got = a 1/2A Minnie Mambo with single channel escapement. The radio was some = unknown Japanese make - it had all discrete components, weighed a ton = and had a speaker built in so you could hear when you had the button = depressed. SuperRegen relay receiver and an OS Minitron escapement.
The popular setup those days was the Esquire using single channel rudder = and engine. The "pros" used the Top Flite Taurus either the new Enya = .60 or an ST .56 and Controlaire 10 channel reed radios.
Reply to
Old Garb
Hold right rudder until it picked up enough speed in a spiral dive, then hold left rudder and she would loop - sometimes - almost. Later some put in a much larger engine- lots of upthrust, ran it half throttle for normal flight, for loops hit high throttle.
Red S.
Reply to
Red Scholefield

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