Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cox Tee Dee .010 and Nostalgia Thoughts

Jokingly I sometimes tell people I started my second childhood early; that is why I play with model airplanes. Besides reliving my childhood I try to experience the good times in the past that other people enjoyed with model airplanes that I missed out on, mainly free flight model airplanes. I have built some of the older free flight planes and acquired older glow engines as well CO2 engines. 

In free flight I prefer the smaller glow powered planes and there are events that require a Cox TeeDee .020 engine that is no longer being manufactured. I have been having a great time flying a Cox PeeWee .020 powered PeeWee 30 free flight model, so thought I might try .020 Replica or Payload event. I have two Cox .020 TeeDees on the way and also two Cox .010 TeeDees. From my childhood I can remember gazing at a Cox TeeDee .010 in hobby shop display case but it was just too expensive for a kid.

PeeWee .020 Powered Free Flight

Last year I started flying an electric powered control line model but after crashing on the first flight because of the wind and too long of lines, I decided to build ½ A model powered with Cox Babe Bee. This was my first real start in model aviation at 10 years old. Like almost everyone says remembering the fun with model aviation in their childhood, these were great memories. Last week I flew my ½ A Dewey Bird for the first time but I had used too heavy metal lines that were maybe too long also.  As an adult, I want to take this a little more serious and get details dialed in closer to the optimum.

Dewey Bird 1/2 A Control Line

There appears to be a good amount of interest by many people in acquiring items from the past, I read this article from Forbes and quoted this explanation:

“As such many people have looked back to simpler times and been attracted to products from that past that remind them of when life wasn’t so complicated.

This interest continues with more new “old” products where people just want something that is straightforward, basic, and tangible in a way that modern technology just can’t offer.”


I watched this video about flying some old plastic ½ A control lines and found the comments very interesting. The theme that was repeated was how great the memories were and many of the kids that did this did well in later life.

Antique Cox Control Line Plane's History and flights by NightFlyyer  

Sample of Comments:

“Everyone I know who flew these as a kid, grew up to be decent, hard working people.  Great memories.”

“You know what ? you are so correct i am an engineer repairing photo copiers, like all my friends who i used to fly with we are all engineers owning our own homes all worked hard all our lives so true.”

“ After reading your comment, I did a quick mental role call, and 6 out of 7 of my friends that flew these, were and are successful. 2 became airline pilots, one worked at JPL and all were successful and respected in their given fields.”

 Bill Kuhl


Friday, September 7, 2018

Witch Hawk Repair & RDT

I was reading an exchange on Facebook recently that started out with someone giving a negative opinion of the use of Remote DT in free flight competition. This is not the first time I have heard comments like this and I can understand why people feel that way. Some people didn’t even like the idea of trackers but I think for the majority of the free flight population trackers are essential equipment. 

Witch Hawk 500 Repaired

The longer I fly free flight airplanes the more I appreciate the challenge of making a model airplane fly with no control from the ground. It can be a lot harder than it looks to get a model adjusted to fly consistently without control. At times it is frustrating not to be able to save the model from a spiral into the ground that results in more repairs. The rational for not liking RDT was the model was not truly flying free if you could bring it down at will; they also liked the thrill of the complete chase of the model. Another comment that came up was a dislike for auto surfaces, something I doubt I will get to that level in model complexity to use.

RC Install Underway

In my Witch Hawk 500 that broke the wing in half at 2018 Nats I am installing RC for DT and to cut the engine. When I feel the plane is trimmed I will attach an electronic timer to the engine cut off servo. The largest field I fly from in local area is 44 acres and the field has trees and powerline around the edges. Flying at the Minnesota contest field there are trees on one side that I really want to stay out of.

I was checking on eBay for mechanical timers and did not see a single Texas Timers timer, really not much of anything. Also looking for a Cox TeeDee .020 and have gotten my bid up way higher than I wanted too.

Dewey Bird and Stooge

Last evening I did fly the Dewey Bird ½ A control line model. I made a really crude stooge to release it with but it worked okay. The lines I had .012 were too heavy and maybe too long at 35’, tension was not great but then it is a small model. With my free flight experience I am getting more concerned with details, finding out the hard way details matter.

Bill Kuhl