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Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

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Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  xplaneguy on Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:21 pm

My daughter Evelyn and I spent the morning at the Valley Circle Burners Control Line Contest in Van Nuys, CA. At the event, we met Larry Renger, former Cox Director of Engineering and Quality Control from 1973-78 & 1992-97. Larry designed the Cox ME-109, Super Chipmunk, Texan, Bearcat, Katydid and Scorpion. His engine designs include the Black Widow, QRC, Killer Bee, Tee Dee .05 R/C, .09 R/C and Venom. Larry was inducted in the AMA Hall of Fame in 2010. It was an honor to spend time with Larry and the Valley Circle Burners.

Looking forward to the next contest and hopefully another Cox history lesson from Larry.

More contest photos:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?2923707-Valley-Circle-Burners-Control-Line-Contest




Last edited by xplaneguy on Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  MauricioB on Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:51 pm

Tony, thanks for sharing this experience with CEF, from this place it is very good to know who is responsible for some of the COX designs, it is something that excites a lot ... now I was the creator of some of my engines that both I value and appreciate.
Thumb up friend for you! a hug. Very Happy Thumbs Up
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  xplaneguy on Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:27 pm

Thank you my friend! I always enjoy your inspirational projects. Smile

Keep'em flying,
Tony
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  MauricioB on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:26 am

xplaneguy wrote:Thank you my friend! I always enjoy your inspirational projects. Smile

Keep'em flying,
Tony

Thanks Tony, I really appreciate your salutations and comments that you leave in the videos. Thank you! Beer Cheers
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  balogh on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:01 pm

xplaneguy wrote:My daughter Evelyn and I spent the morning at the Valley Circle Burners Control Line Contest in Van Nuys, CA. At the event, we met Larry Renger, former Cox Director of Engineering and Quality Control from 1973-78 & 1992-97. Larry designed the Cox ME-109, Super Chipmunk, Texan, Bearcat, Katydid and Scorpion. His engine designs include the Black Widow, QRC, Killer Bee, Tee Dee .05 R/C, .09 R/C and Venom. Larry was inducted in the AMA Hall of Fame .....

My goodness such a legend...do you think he knows CEF and would be willing to make a few threads about anything related to his time with COX? I would definitely be interested in anything he may want to share with us about the heyday of COX..
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  roddie on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:59 pm

This made me smile Tony. I don't know how old Larry is.. or his current state of health.. but it must have been a thrill to meet and talk with the man. We recently lost a great mentor, designer, past AMA CLPA NATS-Judge and all-around great-guy. "Dave Cook" from Norfolk, MA; long-time member of N.E.S.T (New England Stunt Team) originally known as "NEST-500" that was comprised of members who'd scored 500 points in AMA CLPA competition. I lived in Norfolk and was a NEST member for a few short years in the early 1990's. Meetings were often held at Dave's house usually on a Sunday afternoon. He'd stick an airplane-fuse in the mailbox with tail-feathers sticking-out when there was a meeting. I was fortunate to attend Dave's induction into the PAMPA "Hall of Fame" two years ago.





Dave passed away in April 2016 at the age of 86.
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  getback on Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:02 am

Evelyn and you were very fortunate to get to hang with someone that prestige in the Cox world, i am sure he had some interesting things to share . That would bee very cool if he would tell us of some his adventures in the business of Fun here on CEF , Andres . I remember reading about Dave Cook passing , very intresting man of time . Shoot Roddie you had it going on back in the 90s !! Not that you don't now I see you're getting everything ready for a exciting day of flying ! Babe Bee .049 Airplane bounce
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  jmendoza on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:48 pm

Glad you had the time to be with Larry, he's a great guy. Larry taught my kids how to fly control line at the last time they let us use the blimp hangers in Tustin. I occasionally get to fly with him at the local Church Gym, which is by invitation only. Randy puts it on, he and I, and Larry all worked at Cox, so it's like old home week every time I go. How often do you work at a place where some 40 years later, you still hang out with you co-workers? Well, Larry and Randy are those once in a lifetime type people, God bless them for all they do, and have done.

Hey Larry, if you are reading this, we went last Sunday to Glen Yermo elementary here in Mission Viejo and flew controline with the Cox 1/2A PT-19, the last version. Using 42 foot Spectra lines, and 25%, it took off the grass, and even did some loops. We followed that up with a predictably wild flight with the Cox Apache helicopter, it gyrated all over and actually appeared to be making gunnery runs on an imaginary target, what a hoot!

Jay
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  balogh on Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:54 am

Hello Jay welcome - a very special one - to CEF. We need more members like you who are probably the most authentic speakers here about COX history, technology, stories and stuff that many of us are looking for.

I gather that most of you former COX employees still fly COX planes. I suppose this was like that back during the hayday of COX as well? Your workplace must have been something like a combination with a sports club where people came to enjoy as a hobby what they had as their duty too?

40+ years ago when you were COX employees I was just dreaming in highschool in Budapest that once I will visit your place in Santa Ana ....just like the encouraging advertisment on the COX catalogue said so.

Here I am 40 years later standing in front of 1505 East Warner Avenue ...


(Sorry I did not want to write this post about myself but about you former COX employees who in my eyes had the privilage to work in Heaven.. Laughing )

Have you been there recently? The employee at the reception still remembers this building was a "...former toy factory...."

Please tell as anything you consider worth talking about.

Thank you, András.

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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  xplaneguy on Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:35 am

jmendoza wrote:Glad you had the time to be with Larry, he's a great guy. Larry taught my kids how to fly control line at the last time they let us use the blimp hangers in Tustin.    I occasionally get to fly with him at the local Church Gym, which is by invitation only. Randy puts it on, he and I, and Larry all worked at Cox, so it's like old home week every time I go. How often do you work at a place where some 40 years later, you still hang out with you co-workers? Well, Larry and Randy are those once in a lifetime type people, God bless them for all they do, and have done.

Hey Larry, if you are reading this, we went last Sunday to Glen Yermo elementary here in Mission Viejo and flew  controline with the Cox 1/2A PT-19, the last version. Using 42 foot Spectra lines, and 25%, it took off the grass, and even did some loops. We followed that up with a predictably wild flight with the Cox Apache helicopter, it gyrated all over and actually appeared to be making gunnery runs on an imaginary target, what a hoot!  

Jay
Welcome Jay, Truly an honor to have you on CEF. I hope my daughter and I get the opportunity to meet you someday, possibly at a Valley Circle Burners gathering. I'm currently working with the club to organize a 1/2A Fun Fly event for mid-Oct and will share the specifics here. It would be great to have you and Larry attend.

Best regards,
Tony
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  jmendoza on Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:46 pm

Wow, the old 1505 building, brings back memories for sure. In the picture you posted, to the right of the doors was a covered parking area. Big John Eliot and I would park our motorcycles there next to the wall, John had a BMW R70 and I had a 1974 Suzuki GT380 triple 2-stroke.

Behind the building and warehouse were strawberry fields, Leroy leased them to some Japanese farmers. There was a large open parking lot along the warehouse next to the fields which had a couple control line flying circles surrounded by low 5 foot hurricane fencing. Here, we would test planes and more often, teach customers to fly. If a kid came in with a broken control line plane, and we had the time, we would take them out back and give them a flying lesson so they could go home and be successful and enjoy their Cox product. This was one of the best parts of working there, especially when you saw the kids smile.

Cox used to do tours, and they would walk you through the plant and let you see each stage of the engine and plane/car manufacturing operations. The tour guide would stop at each station and pick up a completed piece of an .049 Baby Bee. When they took you to customer service, the tour guide gave the Baby Bee parts to the service tech who would assemble them and fire up the engine, on it's first flip! This was done to show off the high level of control Cox had over tolerances.

I used to have to get to work about 15 minutes early because when the graveyard shift left in the morning, you had to wait around for them to clear out before you could get to the time clock to punch in.

There were rows of Acme screw machines that turned cylinders, rods, cranks and pistons from long round stock, they looked like Gatling guns. Across from them were the Davenports which made the tanks and crankcases. The Cox-O-Matics pre dated CNC machines and were rotary tables with multiple stations that each performed a different operation of the boring and porting of the cylinders. They rotated like a carousel, and were fed by a chute, such that each time a part went on them, a finished part came off. These machines were a marvel to watch in operation. Everywhere around the plant, and along side each machine were yellow, blue, or red plastic parts bins, full of thousands of parts. I can still remember the smell of the cutting oil in the first operation area, and the smell of the styrene in the injection molding area.
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  Ken Cook on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:26 pm

A few years back Larry came to the Philadelphia area where he came to a Philly Fliers meeting. While most were into the larger planes, I was ecstatic . Larry just finished building his Sky Sport pictured above. We went to our local hobby shop which had a lot of great stuff in it which I miss now that it's no longer opened. Digging through some stuff, Larry found a new in the box PT-19 which he bought right up, I thought that was great. He even thought that was a cherished find. I know he was using them to teach kids to fly and some of the trainers he had were pretty broken up. It was good to know that one was going to get use. He then gave me the plans for the Sky Sport and the Flying Models article. Everything mentioned in this post is true to him, great guy and neat person to talk to. Ken
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  balogh on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:22 pm

Thanks Jay for your memories on the COX factory. When I visited 1505 East Warner 4 years ago I also parked my rented GM SUV in front of the building where there is the parking lot even today.The area otherwise is built up and no strawberry fields are there anymore...I wish I had had the chance to take a guided tour there but those days it was impossible for a kid from Hungary to just go and see across the Iron Curtain and the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1974 I wrote a letter in my broken English to COX and just wanted to get some catalogues...COX products then (and even now) were unavailable in my part of the world unless you were lucky to have someone bring you an engine or a plane from the West (I was among those very few lucky ones)...and surprise surprise COX replied and sent me colored brochures..I still have them and the yellow airmail envelop...unfortunately the cover letter was lost but I remember it gave me some consoling words that maybe one day COX products will come to Hungary...well yes they come if you buy them on ebay...it would be good to know who signed that letter maybe you Jay happened to know this very kind individual...perhaps someone from Public Relations, or Sales? Too bad I lost that COX letterhead paper with the neatly typed message of someone who took the time to respond to a totally non-potential customer living a world away (let alone, in a then Russian block country) from the COX markets...you would see very rarely nowadays such a business approach, though...
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  xplaneguy on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:15 pm

jmendoza wrote:Wow, the old 1505 building, brings back memories for sure. In the picture you posted, to the right of the doors was a covered parking area. Big John Eliot and I would park our motorcycles there next to the wall, John had a BMW R70 and I had a 1974 Suzuki GT380 triple 2-stroke.

Behind the building and warehouse were strawberry fields, Leroy leased them to some Japanese farmers. There was a large open parking lot along the warehouse next to the fields which had a couple control line flying circles surrounded by low 5 foot hurricane fencing. Here, we would test planes and more often, teach customers to fly. If a kid came in with a broken control line plane, and we had the time, we would take them out back and give them a flying lesson so they could go home and be successful and enjoy their Cox product. This was one of the best parts of working there, especially when you saw the kids smile.

Cox used to do tours, and they would walk you through the plant and let you see each stage of the engine and plane/car manufacturing operations. The tour guide would stop at each station and pick up a completed piece of an .049 Baby Bee. When they took you to customer service, the tour guide gave the Baby Bee parts to the service tech who would assemble them and fire up the engine, on it's first flip!  This was done to show off the high level of control Cox had over tolerances.

I used to have to get to work about 15 minutes early because when the graveyard shift left in the morning, you had to wait around for them to clear out before you could get to the time clock to punch in.

There were rows of Acme screw machines that turned cylinders, rods, cranks and pistons from long round stock, they looked like Gatling guns. Across from them were the Davenports which made the tanks and crankcases. The Cox-O-Matics  pre dated CNC machines and were rotary tables with multiple stations that each performed a different operation of the boring and porting of the cylinders. They rotated like a carousel, and were fed by a chute, such that each time a part went on them, a finished part came off. These machines were a marvel to watch in operation.  Everywhere around the plant, and along side each machine were yellow, blue, or red plastic parts bins, full of thousands of parts. I can still remember the smell of the cutting oil in the first operation area, and the smell of the styrene in the injection molding area.
Very, very cool!!!

If I had the opportunity to visit back then, I'd ask Jay, "Is this heaven? His reply, No.....it's COX!!! Wink
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Post  jmendoza on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:16 pm

Ian (Kit) McNorgan remembers your letter, I just spoke with him on the phone. Don Hatcher was head of customer service.

I must say I was really excited when I walked in and applied because immediately they called Jim Burlile to come over from the radio service are to talk with me and I got my Cox Employee badge within an hour and stated working right away! I filled out my application the next morning so they could pay me. I used to purposely take the long way around through the front doors, on to the manufacturing areas to the time clocks for the regular employees just to watch the and see what was going on that day, and every day was different. The best job I ever had by far.
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  balogh on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:30 pm

jmendoza wrote:Ian (Kit) McNorgan remembers your letter, I just spoke with him on the phone. Don Hatcher was head of customer service. ...........

My goodness I would not have expected that..
Please give them my best regards and let them know that even if their letter 43 years ago could not get COX a new customer then, but at least it was instrumental in turning a kid - a big boy by know - into an eternal COX fan ..bless their hearts
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  Admin on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:13 am

This is a great thread!

Welcome to the forum Jay. I agree, it is an absolute honor to have you here. The stories are great. I wish I could've seen the place when it still existed. Really nice that you guys keep in touch after all these years. I hope you stick around the forum, I can already tell you're a wealth of information.

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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  getback on Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:49 am

I will second that Jacob , Welcome to the Forum Jay !! I am enjoying the stories of the time you worked at Cox , even with the stress of work and deadlines there was always time to play and plenty to play with Small Cox Logo Babe Bee .049 Small Cox Logo I Love This Forum!
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  jmendoza on Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:17 pm

Thanks for the welcome guys. Last week we took out the PT-19 for some CL flying at a local schoolyard and had a ball. I'm using 25% Glow-Boy, mainly 'cause that's all I got, and also 42 foot lines made from Spectra fishing line, much lower drag. Got the PT-19 to ROG off the grass and managed a few loops. It's been at least 6 years of more since I've fired up a Cox engine.

I spoke with Larry the other night and mentioned this post to him. I also told him I found a left hand Medallion .049 crankshaft in my goodie box that Dale Kirn gave me at Cox, and of course, he wanted it, so I told him he could have it.

Remember the Cox Cessna Centurions, came with a Silver Bee .049? They came from Kyosho, and one shipment got damaged by a Tsunami coming across the Pacific. We had to weed through them and tossed most of the bad ones, but Dave Duncan managed to save a pick-up bed full of them for the Skynauts club fun fly. We called them the Salt Water Cessnas, and one of the fun fly events was seeing who could dive one into a 55 gallon drum!
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  xplaneguy on Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:05 pm

Very cool gift for Larry...good on ya!

I taught myself how to fly RC with the Centurion. It's a great flying 1/2A aircraft and a cherished part of my childhood.
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  getback on Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:36 pm

lol! lol! O O Rusty Nail would enjoy hearing this , he flys C/L competitively and has talked of i think it was a Nobler POS that had been abandoned and brought back to somewhat life and was wanting to do the same when fling . Shucks let me see if i can conjure him up !! Very Happy
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  Mudhen on Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:39 pm

jmendoza wrote:...Cox used to do tours, and they would walk you through the plant...
Although my post is a partial highjack, I wanted to include two early memories from Cox. When I was ten my dad and I took a tour of the factory.
As we passed the mold department I saw my cousin working the P-51 injection mold machine. We gave her a wave and moved on.
Twenty years later I’m in Bill Selzer’s beautiful house in Santa Ana interviewing him about his past and recollections of Roy Cox.
During lunch I mentioned that my cousin used to work at Cox. He asked her name and I said, “Cynthia.”
“Oh sure,” he said, “Cindy Burger…she used to work in the mold department.” My jaw dropped. He nailed her last name…and where she worked. I was very impressed.
Bill could be difficult at times. But when he sold the factory and retired, it was as if the weight of the world was lifted from his shoulders. He was one of the most gracious people I ever met.

P.S. I also met Larry during the trade show in Pasadena. It was just prior to the release of the T-6, (a model he designed.)
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  RknRusty on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:33 am

getback wrote:lol! lol! O O Rusty Nail would enjoy hearing this , he flys C/L competitively and has talked of i think it was a Nobler POS that had been abandoned and brought back to somewhat life and was wanting to do the same when fling . Shucks let me see if i can conjure him up !! Very Happy
Hey, thanks, Eric. I'll read the thread this weekend. I've been terribly busy and haven't been keeping up with my forums. When I saw it tonight, it was a few minutes before I had to start my live(twice weekly) Stunthangar video show on YouTube. and I'm going flying in North Carolina Saturday morning. IIf the footing looks good enough, I'll be flying my Twister for the first time since I fixed it.

The only contact I've had with Mr. Renger is when he got angry with me for beginning a thread with, "I haven't done this but..." He registered here at CEF years ago, but never posted.
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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  roddie on Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:29 pm

jmendoza wrote:Thanks for the welcome guys.  Last week we took out the PT-19 for some CL flying at a local schoolyard and had a ball. I'm using 25% Glow-Boy, mainly 'cause that's all I got, and also 42 foot lines made from Spectra fishing line, much lower drag. Got the PT-19 to ROG off the grass and managed a few loops.   It's been at least 6 years of more since I've fired up a Cox engine.


Hey Jay, It's great to have you here! I haven't flown in a very long time.. but I'm gearing up. I flew Cox/Cox-powered models when I did fly. (all 1/2A C/L stuff)

I have some synthetic-braid 15# "SPIDERWIRE" EZbraid (Dyneema) and am still struggling with tying a good uni-knot.. and getting two equal-length lines. I have a set of 42's that I made for our CEF Reed-Speed Contest (1/2A scale-profile) a few years ago.. but never got a flight in. I want to try that line.. because I continue to hear good things about it.

It made me smile when I read the above post on your recent PT19 flight. I have a PT-19.. and we (CEF) have an annual PT-19 flyathon that I'm counting on being a part of this year. I'm curious.. (a couple of questions..) When you recently flew, did your PT-19 have a stock product-engine? Was it running the 6 x 2 L/H prop? Mine came stock with that prop.. and I'll have mine set-up that way. When I used to fly it I had the engine thrust-line set to neutral (expert) and used the max-throw hole on the elevator-horn. My lines were Dacron.. and considerably less length than 42 feet.. (actually.. less than 30..) I never attempted any loops with it. I ran Cox SuperFuel and occasionally Cox Racing-Fuel when those were still available in the early 1990's. I later ran "Sig" Champion 25 and 35 which ran quite well. The Sig Champion "35" is comparable to the old Cox Racing-Fuel. Those fuels are still available in pints/quarts/gallons directly from Sig Manufacturing.

Did you use a single 84 foot-line threaded-through a Cox handle? My PT-19's bellcrank has a 3" lead-out spacing. Maybe they all did.. but there were at least two different bellcranks offered. My PT-19 was a later (1987) version.

Thank You Jay.. and again.. "Welcome" to the Cox Engine Forum.

I hope that Tony doesn't take offense to my posts here in this thread. My first post was definitely "off-base" and I apologize. It was meant to acknowledge the influential "elders" of our hobby.. of which there are/were so many. Those that are still with us; I regard as "Grandparents".. for their vast life experience in the hobby that we all continue to love so much.



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Re: Hangin' with Larry Renger - Cox Legend

Post  Cribbs74 on Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:09 pm

Welcome J, thanks for posting and giving us a little piece of life at Cox. What a fun job that must have been. You are a lucky guy! I for one wish you could get Larry to post here. He is pretty active on Stunthangar, but he would be most welcome here as well.



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