Download Vintage Universal Model Airplane News · 1932 1933 1934 1935

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine

My recent interest in building old fashioned balsa wood and tissue model airplanes inspired me to visit a local estate sale featuring model building and model train supplies. I immediately focused my attention of a few stacks of magazines of all sorts. Lucky for me I found twelve issues of Universal Model Airplane News spanning from 1932 to 1935.

The magazines are in “less than ideal” condition. Several of the magazines crumbled into pieces during the process of flatbed scanning their contents. Also, these magazines were owned by someone who enjoyed scrap-booking, resulting with square holes of missing information and photos. With that said, plenty of useful information and plans remain in these little gems. Each magazine has regular columns such as: The Aerodynamic Design of the Model Plane (by Charles Hampson Grant), Aviation Advisory Board, Model Kinx (by J. G. Marinac), “Whats” and What Nots” of Model Plane Building (by Howard G. McEntee) and Air Ways – Here and There.

With that said, I am currently scanning these magazines and eventually all twelve will be available for download here. Even if you’re not interested in model airplanes, you should download them and give them a read – for history’s sake!

1932 September Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
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  • The Landing Field Goes To Sea
    by Lieut. (j.g.) H. B. Miller
  • Georges Madon of France
    by F. Conde Ott
  • How Well Do You Know Your Airplanes?
    Junkers and the Armored Plane
    by Robert Fencl
  • The Lockheed Orion (Modern 3 View)
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • The Lockheed Orion To Test Your Skill
    by Robert Morrison
  • Endurance – “And How”
    by Carl Goldberg
  • The Pfalz Scout (War Time 3 View)
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • Building the Boeing Bomber
    by Howard McEntee

1933 April Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • Bail Out!
    by H. Latane Lewis II
  • The Aeronca Collegian (Detail 3 View)
    by Orville H. Kneen
  • Blaze Air Trails With This Howard Pete
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • Maneuver Contest
  • Foreign Model Plane Activities
  • Modern Fighters of the U. S. Navy and the
    British Army (3 Views)
    by James W Hawkins, Jr.
  • The Voisin L.A.S. (3 View)
    by E. Tabio
  • A miniature F.9 C.2 Fighter
    by Joseph Battaglia
  • Machine Guns For Your Scale Model
    by Joseph F. Morris

1933 May Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • The Siemens-Halske D4 Pursuit
    by Willis L. Nye
  • New Wings For Our Airplanes
    by Fletcher Pratt
  • Helpful Hints for the Model Builder
    by Alan D. Booton
  • Fighting Wings
    by Orville H. Kneen
  • Build This World Record Fuselage Model
    by Gordon S. Light
  • Who Developed the Airplane?
    by Alan R. Moulton
  • The Fokker F-10-A
    by Robert L. Anderson
  • Let the Glide Improve Your Flights
    by Gene F. Rose
  • 1933 Official National Championship Model Airplane Meet
  • A Twin Tractor That Amazed Experts
    by Charles H. Grant
  • The New Curtiss-Wright Condor and The Beechcraft (3 View)
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • Airplane Maneuver Contest

1933 June Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • Flying Boats vs. The Atlantic
    by Alexander Klemin
  • The Hall-Springfield Racer
    by Howard F. Schmidt
  • Fighting Wings (Part 4)
    by Orville H. Kneen
  • Building A Flying Stinson “R”
    by C. L. Bristol
  • The New Waco Cabin Plane (3 View)
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • The Barrel Sprouts Wings
    by Richard Rioux
  • The German L.V.G. – C5 (3 View)
    by E. Tabio
  • The National Model Airplane Championships
  • An All-Weather Twin Pusher
    by Stockton Ferris, Jr.
  • Airplane Maneuver Contest
  • National Aeronautic Association Model Airplane
    Definitions and Competition Rules

1933 November Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • Wings of the Navy
    by H. Latane Lewis II
  • The Pfalz Scout D.12
    by Barnett Feinberg
  • The Development of the Fokker Fighters
    by Robert C. Hare
  • Keeping Pace with Model Science
    by Carl Goldberg
  • Build A Flying Scale Model of Wiley Posts’s Lockheed Vega
    by J. D. Bunch
  • Model News from Other Countries
  • New N.A.A. Model Plane Records
  • Helpful Hints for the Model Builder
    by Alan D. Boonton
  • Maneuver Contest Winners
  • The U.S. Army X-B1A (3 View)
    by Willis L. Nye
  • How You Can Build A Solid Scale Douglas Dolphin Amphibian
    by Burton Kemp
  • The I.A.A.P.E. On Parade
  • The British Short “Singapore II”
    by John I. Roe

1934 May Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • Sky Fighters of the Rising Sun
    by Fletcher Pratt
  • Fundamentals of Model Airplane Building
    by Edwin T. Hamilton
  • On the Frontiers of Aviation
  • Including Plans to Build Solid Scale Models of:
    – The Lockheed Electra
    The B/J Mail Plane
    by Robert C. Morrison
  • Build the Kawasaki Fighter
    by Elmer Pilzer
  • How the Aeroplane Was Created (Part 5)
    by David Cooper
  • The Eastern States Outdoor Contest
  • How You Can Make Hydrogen
    by Herbert Greenberg
  • N.A.A. Junior Membership News
  • Including Plans for a World’s Record of:
    – Outdoor Fuselage Model

1935 March Universal Model Airplane News:

Vintage Model Airplane News Magazine
Click to download PDF
  • New Developments in Blind Flying
    by H. Latane Lewis II
  • The Development of the Fokker Fighters
    by Robert C. Hare
  • Building the Famous Udet Flamingo
    by William Winter and Walter McBride
  • On the Frontiers of Aviation Including:
    How to Build Scale Models of the G.A.38 Transport
    and the Boeing XF7B-1
    by Robert C. Morrison
  • How to Build a Smoke Screen Model
    by Marshall Mulvany
  • Slipstreams
  • N.A.A. Junior Membership News

Check back soon, there’s more on the way!

2017 Summer Update – I know I haven’t posted in a while!

The summer of 2017 is flying by! Pun intended. I’ve been busy building free-flight rubber powered Peanut Scale airplanes (and some other styles as well). Sadly I haven’t been spending much time flying them – it’s either windy or dark outside when I find time for actually flying! For relaxation and inspiration I took a long weekend road trip to the AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) Museum in Muncie, Indiana, the National Museum of the USAF as well as the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio. I highly recommend all of these destinations!

The Labor Day 2017 weekend bring the Long’s Park Art Festival  in Lancaster, PA. I don’t present any of my work at the festival, but I always look forward to seeing the various crafts on display. My favorite, without a doubt, is the great stuff Lohr Woodworking Studio showcases! For the past few years they’ve been kind enough to allow me to help pack up their trailer at the end of the show. It’s my once-a-year workout.

Speaking of the awesome folks at Lohr Woodworking, I’ve been invited (okay, I invited myself) to be a teacher’s assistant during the Sold Out Sept 18-23, 2017 Practical Woodworking Course. The kind hearts of Jeff, Larissa, Rob and Eoin provide me a relaxing getaway, to be surrounded by big power tools and reeling minds excited about learning the craft of furniture making. For the most part I catch up on my woodcarving projects quietly in the corner.

The plan was to attend the Barron Field Air Races in Wawayanda, NY Oct 22-23. I was going to try my hand at entering a few of my peanut planes into some friendly Flying Aces Club contests for the very first time. However, on one recent evening as I nodded off to sleep I was thinking “October. October… When is the…?” Instead of racing planes I’ll in Wayne, NJ at the North Jersey Woodcarvers Woodcarving & Art Show Oct 22-23 2017. It’s been a few years since I’ve had a table at the show – and I really miss the gang from the club and the American Woodcarving School.

Attending the show will give me an excuse to complete some of the carvings I started with enthusiasm several years ago. I guess I’ll be putting the planes on hold until November. I have a lot of carving to do if I stand a chance at finishing two or three of those carving projects!

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted on the blog. I have been keeping my status up to date on Instagram if you’re interested. Until next time!

Sterling Models Peanut Scale Monocoupe – Vintage Rubber Powered Free Flight Model Plane

jchismar Sterling Models Kit P-2

Canarsie Courier and Canarsie Canary
The Canarsie Courier (top) and Canary (bottom) From the Don Ross book.

I’ve been busy making good old fashioned balsa stick and tissue rubber powered free flight planes. As I likely mentioned in an earlier post I’ve decided to take some time from woodworking and carving to relax and explore the hobby of flying model planes. My focus is primarily on Peanut Scale fliers, but instead of jumping right in I wanted to do it right and take some time to learn the nuts and bolts of making planes that fly. I’ve worked my way (mostly) through Don Ross’s book on rubber powered planes, with some success with building and flying these airborne works of art.

stick and tissue model airplane
The complete SIG AMA Racer

I assembled and flew a few of the SIG Models beginner planes: AMA Cub, AMA Racer, etc and had fun flying these sticks with wings. These projects helped me gain an understanding of how to trim (adjust) model planes for flight. Because these planes are so light their flight times are long and magical! I moved onto building and flying my own (no longer produced) SIG Uncle Sam plane which flew well until I accidentally locked it in the hot car too long and warped the stabilizer and rudder.

After completing the prior projects I decided I was ready to assemble my first Peanut Scale plane, which is the whole reason why I started on this journey. I was a busy boy online snatching up vintage Peanut Scale kits. For whatever reason Sterling kits (manufactured in Philadelphia, PA) captured my interest. My plan is to complete all six kits, twelve planes in all. I started the process with Kit #2: Monocoupe – Citabria. I laid out the plans for both on my building board and got to work.

stick and tissue rubber powered
Sterling Models Monocoupe in progress

I completed the Monocoupe first. At first I wasn’t interested in decorating the planes, I was simply going to apply white tissue and call it done. As the Monocoupe was taking shape, something clicked in my psyche and suddenly I was interested in applying all the details.  Because of this they project took about twice as long as expected (a few weekends).

I’ve had an opportunity to take the complete Monocoupe out for a few test flights. To my surprise, it flew straight as an arrow. There are a few adjustments I’d like to make to balance the model better and improve the performance of the propeller. However, I think I’m going to hold off on any ambitious changes until I get more experience building and flying these wonderful Peanut Scale marvels.

Canarsie Canary Rubber Powered Free Flight Airplane Part 2

The Canarsie Canary In Flight

The video above is of the Canarsie Canary I built using the plans from the Don Ross book Rubber Powered Model Airplanes. My previous post shared some of the construction of this model. I mentioned the first few flights were encouraging, but subsequent flights continued to get worse. This was because the propeller bracket was slowly tipping downward with each winding of the rubber band. I shimmed the bracket and the plane flies great!

Moving on to the next plane in the book. The Canarsie Courier. My model of this plane still isn’t flying as it should. I’m pretty sure I need to add weight to the nose, even though the weight of the plane is balanced as it should be. In the meantime I will share a little of my experience working through the book Rubber Powered Model Airplanes.

My Introduction to Building Balsa Airplanes

When I recently made the decision to start the hobby of building model airplanes I started with research. Despite how long this pastime has been around I quickly learned there isn’t a thorough Beginner’s Guide available for the novice. There is a wealth of information online but it assumes the reader has building experience and an understanding of the terminology. Because I am most interested in free flight rubber powered airplanes I’ve started with the aptly titled book Rubber Powered Model Airplanes by the late Don Ross.

The book is a fantastic introduction to the hobby and shares a wealth of tips and information for every newcomer. It isn’t, however, without shortcomings. The book instructs the reader to read the text multiple times and to have a complete understand of the plans before building the projects. There are many disparities throughout the text and illustrations which directly contradict each other. According to the author the plans are drawn in various scales to improve the reader’s competency with model plans. However, the plans don’t match.

Canarsie Courier Pylon Don Ross
Canarsie Courier pylon from plans

The plans for this pylon are taken directly from the Canarsie Courier plans. Here the pylon illustration on the right is reduced to match the illustration on the left. It’s not hard to notice the illustrated height is different between the two, also no height measurement is provided in the plans or the text. Another inconsistent example is the length of the  motor stick. The plan stipulates a length of eighteen inches; if the plans are properly enlarged they motor stick is actually drawn to a length of seventeen inches.

I assume the plane will fly, to some degree, regardless of the length chosen by the modeler. However, this is a book for beginners. I’ve already learned enough to know these planes are tricky to build and fly with meticulous effort. It’s easy to become frustrated when inconsistencies such as these are discovered.

Therefore I’m taking a break from working through this book and exploring a few other options on building free flight planes.

Canarsie Canary Rubber Powered Free Flight Airplane Part 1

Don Ross Canarsie Canary Free Flight

The Canarsie Canary

I mentioned in an earlier post at the summer of 2017 is time for me to learn the ins and outs of rubber powered free flight model planes. To do so I’m starting from square one – the fabulous book by Don Ross titled Rubber Powered Model Airplanes. The first project in the book is the Canarsie Canary, a basic balsa wood design. All that is needed is some balsa wood, a propeller with mount and a loop of airplane rubber.

I purchased the balsa wood from my local hobby shop, the propeller and rubber was ordered from SIG, a popular model plane manufacturer. While I waited for the parts to arrive (and they came within a few days) I started building the balsa wood parts. As you can see it’s not a very complicated design, basically a stick with wings, rudder and stabilizer. The most complicated aspect of the build is setting the wing dihedral, bending the wing tips upward – this adds flight stability.

Rubber Powered Canarsie Canary
Setting the Wing Dihedral

I followed the instructions somewhat diligently. Scotch tape is applied on the top of the wing where the bend will occur. The wing is flipped over and lightly scored to allow the wood to bend, but not break. The wing tips must be folded upward 1 1/4″ and the gap is filled with glue. For precision sake the wings were supported on two stacks of plywood scraps (each stack is a piece of 1/2″ and 3/4″ plywood) 1 1/4″ tall. I used tape to hold everything in place while everything set.

When the remaining parts arrived I assembled the entire plane and gave it a test flight. To my surprise it flew straight and smooth. A few hours later I headed to the local park with plenty of room to give the plane a true test. Before the Canarie Canary can take flight two small rectangles of paper are taped on the wing and rudder. This forces the plane into a gentle left turn.

I’ll be honest, the plane had about ten flights, three of them were somewhat graceful and responded as it should. At times there was a breeze, and some of the adjustments of the plane were not ideal. Suddenly some of the advise that is shared in the book became quite clear. So I’ll be trying out a few modifications and returning to the park soon. I’ll report with more information when it comes to fruition.

2017 The Summer of Free Flight Rubber Powered Model Airplanes

Free Flight Rubber Powered Model Plane

Rubber Powered Free Flight Model Airplanes

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to the blog, not because I’ve been a slacker – but because I haven’t completed any noteworthy projects recently. Preparing for the Maker Faire required a lot energy and time. With the event behind me I’m ready to take on my summer. You may be thinking, “So you’re going to complete some of your carvings or other ambitious projects?” The answer is, “No.” I’ve decided it’s time to take a break and relax.

How do I relax? Well, by starting another project! Way back in the day I enjoyed assembling scale models and balsa wood planes. I’ll admit my planes looked nice, but never flew as they should. This summer is a chance to redeem myself and earn my wings. I picked up a few balsa and tissue kits at an estate sale on the cheap. These kits are currently being assembled as practice projects. Maybe they’ll fly – it won’t be the end of the world if they don’t.

Concurrently, I’m working through the great book by the late Don Ross titled Rubber Powered Model Airplanes. You can expect a few posts regarding the projects from the book in the near future. I’m waiting for a few necessary parts to be shipped and I can complete assembly and start to learn the ins and outs of trimming (tuning) model airplanes for free flight.

Free flight?

What’s that? I’ll let my friend Wiki answer that for you:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Free Flight is the segment of model aviation involving aircraft with no active external control after launch. Free Flight is the original form of hobby aeromodeling, with the competitive objective being to build and launch a self controlling aircraft that will achieve the longest flight duration, within various class parameters.

That’s right! Airplanes are built and flown with no control once it’s in the air. If built correctly, and the flight conditions cooperate, the plane doesn’t fly away to a distant back yard. It’s recommended to write your contact info on the plane, just in case.

I’ve rambled enough for this post (which is only the tip of the iceberg of ramblings my wife’s been kind enough to endure lately) so for now I’ll leave it at that. Stay tuned for what will surely be entertaining (and possibly educational) updates on my progress.