With the advent of the transistor and the integrated microcircuits, today's R/C builder hardly has any of the frustrations of the early pioneers.

This is the rudder actuating control in the Good brother's model.

Walter Good was the only contestant who attempted a controlled flight in the face of the 20mph winds. Even though it ended in a crack-up, Walt was awarded first place. A truly convincing demonstration of R/C flight by a powered miniature aircraft would have to wait until the following year.
Eleven R/C fliers showed up at the 1939 Nationals at the Detroit Wayne County airport. For the first time, a 100-point system was adopted by the judges. Points were given for craftsmanship, actual R/C operation in a static preflight mode on the ground and a variety of flight maneuvers.

That was a rewarding year for Walter and William Good, 23- year-old twins from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bill was a licensed ham-radio operator with the call letters W91FD.
Their aircraft, named K-G, was a slightly modified, high-wing monoplane. (See the K-G story in the January '91 issue of Model Airplane News.) This first stable gas model was designed by a former editor of Model Airplane News- Charles Hampson Grant.
Their radio and control mechanisms were the essence of simplicity. At a time when all of their competitor's planes carried receivers with 3- and 4-tube circuits, the Good brothers' radio receiver was a one-tube affair with a minimum of electrical components. Their homemade relay was so sensitive that it could be activated by a current change of 1/2 milliamp!


They also designed and made their 1-ounce, rubber-band-powered escapement mechanism. Before going to the Nationals in 1939, the two brothers had accumulated over 60 controlled flights in southern Michigan. Their diligent efforts paid off with a first-place score of 89 points; the second-place winner scored only 11 points. The Good brothers repeated their first place win in the 1940 Nationals and once more after the end of WW II, in 1947.

Walter Good launches Guff at the 1947 Nationals. Bill is at the controls; his feet are behind Walt.

Here's Joe Raspante with his R/C Super Buccaneer at the NY Mirro Meet. Note the car trunk that's full of transmitter equipment (circa 1946).

Reprinted from Model Airplane News January 1994
Copyright © 1994, by Air Age, Inc.
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