Vintage model aircraft in 1950

A friend lent me 20 Air Trails magazine aeromodelists from 1949 and 1950. All items are in excellent condition, although all are very yellow and had to be careful to turn the pages. They were very fragile and broke easily. Yes, I wonder what to sell on eBay!

I am in quarantine, so that all these magazines have always precede me. It was a real eye opening paging through them. Much has changed in the hobby since.

Articles of manufacture

Two types of domino magazine articles. The first type was building articles. It would not be half a dozen or more in each issue. They have changed surprisingly little in recent years. The plans are printed in the magazine and a relatively long section describes the construction of the model. Photos of models partially filled are relatively rare. Most tables in these articles are to build the complete model.

I guess the construction skills to strike the reader the magazine were a little average much better than they are today. There is a surprising lack of specifications in the construction elements. No modern box specifications can be found. Information on weight and size engine flying recommended are often absent. I found it all very strange.

Aviation full size

The other common type of article is on board aircraft in full size. To my surprise, many of these items have nothing to do with models. Several ads in the magazine are to study aeronautical engineering at the university. Much of the coverage of airliners, military aircraft and supersonic aircraft.

Kit Reviews

A common feature of the Ways of air is called the model of the month. At first I thought it was just another article of the construction. I was very surprised when I realized it was long after the revisions to the kit model airplane!

They do not look like a modern revision. How much space is devoted to articles of the manufacturer and the designer and the plan itself. There was little mention of flight characteristics, other than what was quoted by the designer. No information box containing the manufacturer’s name, address and telephone number. Instead of a review of the game, what seemed like a story of how the team came to be.

One of these revisions to the kit manufacturer said the kit prefabricated so there was almost nothing for the playmaker to do. I looked at the photo includes the kit, and I could see was a blank stack of balsa. Funny.

Power plants

Many engine manufacturers. Few ignition, but if you look closely you can see some “Glo” engines too. I saw some compression diesel engines, Jetex, CO2, and even pulsejets. A brand that survives to this day is K & B.

I saw a couple of engine items per month. They were very similar in nature to the production model of the month.

An engine that has been giving close attention to the time the boy was K & B. Glow engines do not require batteries or coils on the plane, so that K & B designed the displacement of 0020 babies glow for small models. Only five dollars!

Most engines are less than fifteen dollars. Often called engine classes A, B, C, D and E. After some research I came to the conclusion that their typical movements were 0.20, 0.30, 0.35, 0.61, 1.0 cc, respectively. The relatively new mid-displacement class was 0050. For a given displacement, a modern glow engine produces about seven times the power of these central ignition. Technology has come a long way!


Like today, the ads were for the most games of aircraft, engines, and vendors by mail. I saw the aircraft models for sale for more than ten dollars. Typical price was two to three dollars.

The command line that seems to rule the day. I even saw the control line of boats. Small low-cost models gliding are popular.

American Hobby Specialties, a manufacturer of model kits of aircraft and propellers, announced a name change from Top Flite. The name of the person who appears to be the president of the company? Carl Goldberg.

System manufacturers that still survive today also include Guillow, hobbies, Polk, and in the Midwest.

Changes in technology

Radio control systems of engines of the jet were modeled today: expensive and only for the sophisticated technique. Radio systems cost about $ 40. Servos instead of using releases that were driven by a rubber band wound. These are the systems of a single channel only controls the rudder. Forget proportional control. Oh, and you need to learn Morse code to get a license so you can fly. I’m not kidding.

The only type of glue used is called concrete model. I wonder if it was the same as we use today to build static plastic models. Several brands are advertised in each issue, which said the cement company was very competitive.

The heat of plastic covering the revolution was to cut a few years. I do not think the foam of the word appears once in every magazine, I looked. Batteries are often mentioned, but no power to the aircraft.

Looking back

It seemed that most of the same products that were announced during the two years since I looked. There were also fewer different models of today. My conclusion is that the model aircraft market is much larger.

Improvements in technology over the last sixty years are enormous. There are very few things in common now with the way the aircraft model used to be constructed, equipped and controlled. At the same time, watching the construction plans of many, all models can be built today and fly fine. Now I know that your call to the SAM (Society of Modellers years) crowd.

I am saddened by how some of the companies that advertise in the magazine are still active. In addition, the magazine itself is a thing of the past. Despite the many drawbacks of the time, I have a lot of nostalgia, while flipping through magazines. They had a great time of flight models.

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