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Post  fredvon4 Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:07 pm

Caution long post with not much about Cox until the end

I fussed for a few days on what area to post this long ago memory

Ramblings of an old guy who got into model aircraft like most post WWII, Korea kids.

My dad was young Army Lt in the mid late 50s stationed at Ft Bliss but worked as Nike Hercules range Officer. In 1959 before the camp moved to Fort Bliss McGregor range complex, a young Fred (me) got to go to Red Canyon Range Camp ( far northern area on White Sands Missile Range) to see a Nike Hercules Launch. They shot the missiles at ARCATs (Army Radio Controlled Aerial Target)

Born July 55 and this in 59, I must have been 3 ½ ~4 years old and remember the day vividly. Really stoked by the RED, wood and metal, no landing gear airplane screaming around a race track on a dolly until it got fast enough to lift off then head down range to be shot at.

Later our group of civilians and families huddled in a bunker and watched the Nike launch though periscope binoculars. Of course we never did see the strike or impact, but the crew who shot it got the word they got a kill!

I remember those sad sack soldiers were so happy. (retrospect thought--- this meant they could leave the arm pit of the world and go set up a Nike site near some city with real women and cold beer to complete their two year hitch.

What the hell does this have to do with model aircraft?

My Second most memorable day in my childhood

My young dad also thought the ARCAT was very cool so he built a CL airplane powered by a Red head McCoy 29 that had points and a micro champion spark plug

After building the balsa, silk, and dope model … the day came to fire the bird up and fly it. New to the game dad and eldest son (my brother was 1 year old) headed out to the front yard of our El Paso temporary home and laid out the control lines to a big black reel handle. (Jim Walker U-Reele, which I eventually wore out) We set up the starting area. Dad told me I was going to launch the beast so pay attention cuz the propeller was going to be dangerous.

Hours of flipping later ( seemed like to a little kid) the motor started and dad twisted the needle and the sucker screamed to a pitch that hurt my ears and gained the attention of my mom who was tending my baby brother who was no longer napping by the tone of her snapping at my dad. (How’s that for a long sentence?)

With the plane running, my dad showed me how to hold it and not let go until he waved at me…no way I could have heard him over the motor noise (also spewing hot fuel on my gloved hands)

Remember I am 4, my mom is not pleased, my dad is juiced on adrenalin (I doubt he ever flew any model airplane before this day)

Holding the U-Reele control he tests the lines, making the elevator go up and down then back at center then waves me to let her go!

Did I mention he was an Army junior grade officer living in temporary housing in the 50s? This means the front yard was (this is retrospect cuz a little boy had no concept of size then) maybe 60 foot from front of house to the street. So his circle is maybe 25~30 foot.

The McCoy 29 did its job and propelled the plane straight to the ground as my dad backed and backed and tried desperately to keep it aloft---- I do believe he was trying to fling it around the circle the way he was dancing.

Mom shouting, me awestruck, the damned thing gained altitude and speed then dad figured he had screwed up and needed to be back near the center of our circle.

My dad really was a very intelligent man, he managed to fly it over head in tight circles while trying to get back to our yard…Most of you know the obvious. 30’ was way too short and flying over head made the circle smaller and revolutions even faster. By the time my dad got near the center of our yard the dizzy set in and he fell down.

I saw him look to see where I was and the panic set in as he realized I was still standing exactly where I launched the plane from.

On his butt, he flew to plane over head one more lap and dove it for the ground opposite from me. This resulted in the most spectacular crash that rendered the balsa, glue, and silk into their original molecular beginnings --one with the earth.

Dead silence as the McCoy was an easy foot into the sod and dirt. Mom yelling in terror, dad saw me safe, looked at the balsa pile with small waft of smoke, and started one of those maniacal laughing fits that seemed to just make my mom even more determined to harp and snap at him.

As I approached the crash site, my dad stopped laughing and crawled over to it, and we both just stared at the piled up airplane. Then we both started to laugh very hard…not the funny laugh… the sheer terror “I survived this event” laughing….

The McCoy 29, fuel tank, bell crank, and Jim Walker U-Reele survived.

Later at dinner, dad and I both started the recounting of the “first flight”…Mom not pleased to hear we were going to El Paso the next day to get a new balsa kit (Dad bought a Sterling Ring Master kit)

In Part two I will tie this all in to my love for the Cox 049s
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Post  microflitedude Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:28 pm

Awesome, thanks for sharing. Very Happy
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Post  Admin Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:32 pm

yeah, great story!
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Post  nitroairplane Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:36 am

Just think how great it would be if modern kids could experience things like this I have had this sort of thing happen with ff models that chased
Me around the field but that one did not end up re kitting itself lol.
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Post  RknRusty Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:46 am

Great story, Fredvon, thanks.
You can post your stories in the main discussion forums. No matter if the plane didn't have a Cox engine on it.
I look forward to tour next installment.

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Post  fredvon4 Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:45 pm

bump cuz this was very hard for me to find
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Post  Cribbs74 Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:00 pm

Glad you did, I didn’t catch it the first time made me laugh out loud. Good times and good memories.
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:16 pm

Got to admit, I was smiling through the grimace. I have been there, right down to the dizzies.

Thanks for sharing Fred, and can't wait to read part two.

Bob
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