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 engine.
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 alt.binaries.pictures.radio.control.models and alt.binaries.radio-control 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 them!
Wayne For more fun in the wind see