Gosh, I was a happy kid! And who wouldn't be with all these model airplanes around. This .049-powered Minnie Mambo, built by my dad, was most likely intended to be a free flight model. However, it became our first radio controlled model airplane. The radio was a single channel (rudder only) Controlaire transmitter and receiver. The mechanism that controlled the rudder was called an escapement and was powered by a rubber band that had to be hand-wound before each flight. The transmitter had a single push-button for control. Each time the button was pressed and released, the escapement would make one complete revolution, causing the rudder to go right, then left, then back to neutral. To go right, you had to press and hold the button. When released the rudder would momentarily go left then back to neutral. To go left, you had to quickly press, release, then press and hold the button. This caused the rudder to cycle through right, then hold in the left position. When released, the rudder went back to neutral. I remember how excited I was when this little plane was actually flying around in the air under my control, AND it didn't even crash! Upon landing, however, it did run into a baseball backstop, but suffered no damage (whew).


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