HE VERY FIRST example of radio control was demonstrated in New York City in 1898. Its inventor -Nikola Tesla- was a 43-year-old immigrant who was duly awarded U.S. Patent no. 613,809 on November 8, 1898. It was only one of 113 U.S. patents that this prolific genius received during his lifetime. Many electrical engineers and historians regard his basic inventions as the foundation of the 20th century as we know it. In the decades that followed, the military and its suppliers attempted to implement Tesla's work in various R/C projects-including boats and aircraft- without very much fanfare.
By the middle of the 1930s, miniature airplanes were just beginning to be powered by very small gasoline engines. An R/C contest event was even scheduled for the 1936 model aircraft Nationals in Detroit. It was a little premature; not one entrant showed up! The following year must be regarded as the true beginning of R/C.

This is Nikola
Tesla- the
father of R/C
and much
of today's

Reprinted from Model Airplane News January 1994
Copyright © 1994, by Air Age, Inc.
Main Page-|-Page 1-|-Page 2-|-Page 3-|-Page 4
Click here to go to the Feature Articles archives.
Comments? Questions? Email the Webmaster