Early Radio Control
This page is dedicated to very early radio control items of interest.

(under construction)

Through the kindness of Mr. Jack Albrecht, here is a rare color film of early RC flying.  It was taken by a member of the San Francisco Mustangs RC club in the years 1950 to 1952.  The original 8mm films were thoughtfully preserved and expertly narrated by Mr. Albrecht in 1987.  The film is in four parts that total 1 hour and 9 minutes.  Worth watching.  Click the icon in the lower right hand corner of the media player for FULL SCREEN viewing and press escape (ESC) to exit.  Enjoy!

Radio Control related articles published in Model Airplane News from 1937 to 1955
(added as time and ambition permits)
click on the magazine covers to access the articles


from October 1937:
"Radio Control" by Leo Weiss
Describes an 8 channel audio tone reed system for model airplane radio control under development.
from January 1938:
"How to Control Your Plane By Radio" by Clinton B. DeSoto
Describes a large radio controled sailplane.
from August 1938:
"A Radio Control Powered Soarer" by Clinton B. DeSoto
Describes a large powered radio controled sailplane.
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from May 1939:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 1 by Howard G. McEntee
Outline of practical RC equipment and how to use it.
#5
from June 1939:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 2 by Howard G. McEntee
More suggestions for RC equipment.
#6
from July 1939:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 3 by Howard G. McEntee
Radio control for motor speed.
The multi channel system developed by Ed Rockwood and presented in the August 1949 issue of Model Airplane News was the first commercial venture for an audio frequency modulated reed radio.  Perhaps inspired by the work of Mr. Leo Weiss who described such a system in the MAN's October 1937 issue(?), Mr. Rockwood's design was successfully flown in model airplanes of "reasonable" size.  Click on the MAN cover for the Rockwood article.  A link for the Weiss article is presented below on this page.
The ROCKWOOD Multi-Channel Reed Radio
This ad  appearred  with the August 1949 MAN article.
SF Mustangs film - PART 1
SF Mustangs film - PART 2
SF Mustangs film - PART 3
SF Mustangs film - PART 4
The SCHMIDT Multi-Channel Reed Radio
Frank Schmidt made and sold a complete 5 channel reed set in 1953 based on the Rockwood design, but smaller and less weight.  His was the first successful commercial multi channel reed system made in the U.S.  Unlike most RC radios sold until the 1960's, this was a "ready to go" set;  already wired with connectors - just add batteries.  Click on the picture to see more pictures of a Schmidt radio restored to working condition in early 2016.
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from September 1940:
"Uncle SAM Buys a Model Plane" by Douglas J. Ingells
Radio control target drone.
from September 1940:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 4 by Howard G. McEntee
Making a sensitive relay and a midget transmitter.
from December 1940:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 5 by Howard G. McEntee
Transmitting antennas.
#10
from April 1941:
"A Radio Control for Gas Jobs" by Thracy Pertrides and Leon Hillman
Early multi-function single channel.
#11
from June 1941:
"Elements of Model Plane Radio Control" part 6 by Howard G. McEntee
Early multi-function single channel.
#12
from September 1941:
"Remote Radio Control" by Leon Hillman
Single channel transmitter controller for multiple functions.
#13
from July 1942:
"Remote Radio Control" by Leon Hillman
Transmitter construction details.
#14
from October 1942:
" "Air Condition" Your Radio Control" by James & Thomas Custin
Elementary details for radio equipment reliability.
#15
from June 1944:
"Fundamentals of Radio control" by Bill & Walter Good
A short general article.
This ad appearred in the August 1947 issue of MAN.
Click on the ads for a larger picture
Schmidt ad from December 1953 issue of MAN

Click on the ad for a larger picture
#16
from July 1946:
"Radio Control Escapements" by E. J. Lorenz
Construction of RC escapements
#17
from September 1946:
"Radio Control Relay" by E. J. Lorenz
Construction of a lightweight sensitive relay and beginning of a lightweight receiver build
#18
from October 1946:
"Radio Control System" by E. J. Lorenz
Construction of lightweight transmitter and continuation of a receiver started in September
#19
from November 1946:
"Radio Control Parts" by E. J. Lorenz
Parts and materials available for RC radio construction
#20
from March 1947
"Radio Control Notes" by Claude McCullough
Experiences with a large gas model and 3 channel control
#21
from June 1947
"Pulse Rate Control" by George G. Trammell
Simple method for dual function over single RF channel --- general data
#22
from July 1947
"Simplified Radio Control" by William A. Rhodes
Simple system using tubeless receiver for rudder & elevator control
#23
from August 1947
"Cockpit Radio Control - Part 1" by James R. Custin
Avanced system for multi-control with single RF channel
#24
from September 1947
"Cockpit Radio Control - Part 2" by James R. Custin
Avanced system for multi-control with single RF channel (continued)
#25
from January 1948
"Batteries for Radio Control" by E. J. Lorenz
List and description of all batteries useful for RC work
#26
from March 1948
"Radio Control Can Be Simple" by The Good Brothers
The Goods tell how to get real results with simple equipment
#27
from April 1948
"Meet the Rudevator" by H. H. Owbridge
A new type of control unit for rudder and elevator
#28
from June 1948
"Freecon" by Dick Everett
A free flight contest model using radio control to find thermals
#29
from June 1948
"Rudder Operating Device for Radio Control" by W. H. Butler
Operating a rudder by electric motor without gears
#30
from July 1948
"Control That Shipl" by H. H. Owbridge
Improved and more versatile rudevator - also general hints on RC work
#31
from September 1948
"RC Kinks" by E. J. Lorenz
General hints to aid the uninitiated
#32
from January 1949
"Basic Radio Control" by E. J. Lorenz
General comments on R.C. problems
#33
from March 1949
"Summary on R.C." by E. J. Lorenz
Descriptions of present commercial equipment, new developments in
experimental equipment, and more FCC rules
#34
from April 1949
"Championship Radio Control" by H. H. Owbridge
Observations of a contestant at "48 Nations; suggestions for future meets
#35
from May 1949
"Rudder Bug Part I" by Walter A. Good
A model plane expressly designed for R.C. flying
#36
from June 1949
"Rudder Bug Part II" by Walter A. Good
Installation of R.C. equipment in the Rudder Bug
#37
from July 1949
"Simple Pulse Control" by E. Paul Johnson
Obtaining selective left or right rudder using a standard escapement
#38
from August 1949
"Audio Tone R. C." by E. L. Rockwood
Simultaneous operation of from 3 to 5 controls on a single
radio channel
#39
from August 1949
"Radio Control "Deluxe"" by Robert McLarren
Using a giant scale R. C. model for full scale aircraft development testing
#40
from October 1949
"Radio Control Reliability" by H. H. Owbridge
A discussion of techniques to improve RC flying reliability
#41
from November 1949
"Crystal R.C. Receiver" by Rufus P. Turner
An R.C. receiver using a crystal diode for the detector
#42
from December 1949
"Power Control" - part 1 by H. H. Owbridge
Advanced engine control
#43
from January 1950
"Power Control" - part 2 by H. H. Owbridge
Avanced engine control
#44
from January 1950
"Radio Control for All" by Vernon C. MacNabb
The FCC releases 465MHz for "License-Free" RC operation
#45
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from February 1950
"Reliable Escapements" - part 1 by J. S. Luck
Design features needed for a reliable escapement.
from February 1950
"The Citizen" - part 1 by William Winter
Construction article for a compact RC airplane using the new 465 MHz radio
#47
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from March 1950
"The Citizen" - part 2 by William Winter
Construction article for a compact RC airplane using the new 465 MHz radio
from March 1950
"Reliable Escapements" - part 2 by J. S. Luck
Construction article of a reliable escapement.
#49
from May 1950
"Improved Pulse system" by E. Paul Johnson
Adding engine speed control to pulse RC
#50
from June 1950
"Improved R. C. Recever" by E. L. Safford, Jr.
Improved Good Brothers Recever to allow use of less sensitive relays
#51
from September 1950
"Super Rudevator" by H. H. Owbridge
Improved Rudevator has better engine control
#52
from November 1950
"Simple Proportional Control - part 1" by George E. Trammell
Construction of rotory and linear magnetic actuators for pulse proportional operation
#53
from December 1950
"Simple Proportional Control - part 2" by George E. Trammell
Construction of a pulser unit for pulse proportional operation
#54
from January 1951
"Radio Control Planes" by Dick Schumacher
A discussion of newly available smaller and lighter equipment
#55
from March 1951
"Radio Control Ideas" by Fred C. Ulrich
Ideas and tips for RC airplanes and equipment installation
#56
from May 1951
"Simple Motor Control" by Norman Briskman
Using escapment neutral positions for engine speed
#57
from May 1951
"Controller Box" by E. J. Brown
Control without need to remember escapement sequence position
#58
from July 1951
"for the R. C. fan" by Norman Rosenstock
Discussion of smaller and lighter radio equipment for smaller model airplanes
#59
from September 1951
"Exit the Beep Box" by Don Grout
Modified electrical switch and escapement for improved rudder control
#60
from June 1952
"Compound Escapements" by Howard Bonner & Herb Owbridge
Escapements with only one neutral position for easier control of elevator / motor
#61
from July 1952
"Flip-Flap Control" by Norman S. Briskman
Magnetic pulse proportional actuator construction
#62
from August 1952
"R. C. Review Today" by Ed Lorenz
A preview of articles for radio control newcomers
#63
from August 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Transmitters" by Ed Lorenz
Transmitter information for newcomers to RC


#64
from August 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Receivers" by Ed Lorenz
Receiver information for newcomers to RC


#65
from August 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Actuators" by Ed Lorenz
Actuator information for newcomers to RC


#66
from August 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Glossary" by Ed Lorenz
General information for newcomers to RC


#67
from September 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Tricks of the Trade" by Ed Lorenz
Solutions generally used by RC hobbyists



from September 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Batteries" by Ed Lorenz
Batteries in use by RC hobbyists


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from September 1952
"R. C. Review Today - Relays" by Ed Lorenz
Relays in current use and the importance of proper adjustments


#70
from October 1952
"For the R.C. Fan - Two Speed Motors" by E. J. Brown
A description of a system for engine speed control with a single one channel receiver



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from December 1952
"We Test the Live Wire" by Model Airplane News staff
A review of DMECO's Live Wire Trainer