Newly Discovered Wright Film

Yes, Yes, I have seen one of our Wright Sticks on two different occasions being flown on electric ducted fans. We see out intrepid modeler tying the past to the future each year at the NEAT Fair.


Keith Shaw’s Radical RC 1905 Wright Flyer Project Part 1

This series of posts created from email correspondence between Keith and I. He’s really done a lot of neat things to this kit. Expect a new report every Thursday for at least 5 weeks. Keith is in the AMA Hall of Fame. He is one of the fathers of modern day electric flight, a superb scale builder and solid modeler in many ways. Read more on the AMA website: Autobiography of KEITH SHAW

You can meet Keith every year at the Mid-America Flies electric fly in where he and Ken Myers of the EFO club host the longest running electric power meet in the country if not the world. Both are AMA Hall Of Fame members. Lots of scale modelers attend this event. Your sure to see many very nice hand built models here. The event is usually held in June and is always announced in the Ampeer Newsletter.

On to the first installment of Keith’s 1905 Wright Flyer Project:

Scale 1905 Wright Engine/Coil

First up is the dummy engine and magneto. Engine is made from foamboard, card stock, bits of lite-ply, dowel, and the chain is a section from a cheap necklace. Magneto is carved from pink foam.

Scale 1905 Wright Engine/Coil
Scale 1905 Wright Engine/Coil
Toy Fireman taylor’d into 1905 gentleman.

Pilot is from Toys R Us, a “True Heros Fire Rescue, Robert Portman”. Very close to 1/7th scale. Had to use heat gun and some carving to pose him onto the necessary prone pilot position. Figure comes with boots and a bright yellow suit with day-go emergency strips. Fortunately the strips were sewed on, so easily removed. The uniform required some tailoring to make it look more like a 1900’s suit. The collar, tie and cuffs are all thin painted card stock. Toughest thing was trying to dye the bright yellow cloth to look right. The fabric is polyester and not easy to color. Tried RIT, then some aniline dyes without luck. Finally took a black magic marker apart, diluted the liquid, ad soaked the fabric overnight. It came out a black-green, and looks acceptable. I still have to make a cap for Orville, looking for better photos of that type of “Duster” cap he always wore.



Can you think out of the block?

I love all things interesting mechanically or engineering wise. Check out this engine project. Great engineering and thought whet into this. You can tell by how simple it is. Any dummy can engineer a solution with great complexity. Genius is in working out simple solutions. Notice carefully how few parts he made or modified. While not a new idea, it’s well executed.


Hear Wright Engine #20 Run

Fantastic video shared with us from the The Wright Experience”.

Described by YouTube’s “N104f” as follows:

On special occasions The Wright Experience starts this engine … the engine (Wright Bros No. 20) was built under the direct supervision of Mr. Charles E. Taylor. Mr. Taylor also built the 1903 engine which powered the world’s first heavier-than-air flight on December 17, 1903 to the Wright’s specifications. This 1910 engine was started on June 17, 2000 for the first time after being in storage for more than 80 years. At that time No. 20 was the only Wright artifact “doing work” and is considered a “National Treasure” by those associated with it.

Present at this start … October 30, 2007 … were ArthurF, SalG, AntonioQ, BobB and JimD. GregC, master “engine mechanician” was in charge of the operation. Ray, a long time, The Wright Experience, associate, can be seen looking on in the background. Those of us familiar with this engine and its importance to our aviation heritage are drawn to its sound like moths to a lamp. Note: Those present at a start up are asked to sign the engine’s log. This engine powered aeroplanes as they accomplished many of aviation’s firsts. It powered the flight when New York City was first filmed from the air and many other such activities too numerous to mention here. The large galvanized tank adjacent to the engine is there to provide water for engine cooling … the aircraft radiator is not used for demonstrations. Suspended above the engine is a small gas tank used for demonstrations. The “fan” or “club” replaces the propeller and is reproduced here exactly like the one used by Mr. Taylor and the Brothers.

For further information go to a”.


Hear the Voice of Charles E. Tayor

Photo from United Aircraft Corporation film, property of United Technologies
One of my favorite podcasts is “The Naked Scientists” produced in the UK. The July 22, 2012 podcast just released is entirely about the history of aviation. Charlie Taylor built the early Wright engines including the first one to fly in 1903. He is honored as the worlds first Aviation Mechanic. Much of the podcast covers the development of engines for flight. Lots of cool information on jet engines. Early in the podcast a surpise; a short clip of Charles Tayor speaking.

Home website of “The Naked Scientists” with many excellent science and engineering podcasts.

Home of the Wright Experience where you can hear and see 85 year old Charlie Taylor.