Today I Was Thinking Of The F-104

I’ve often thought of a bucketlist project of making a slow indoor flyer out of the worlds most improbable subjet, the F-104 Starfighter. There is this problem of driving past one every day on the way into Radical RC.

Capt. Joseph B. Jordan, flying a Lockheed F-104C Starfighter set a new altitude record when he reached 103,395.5 ft over the Edwards AFB. Flight Test Center California. During this flight, Capt. Jordan reached 98,424 ft 930,000 m) in only 15 minutes 4.92 seconds. This was the first aircraft taking off on its own power to reach the 30,000 m and 100,000 ft altitudes.

Great Planes Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Sounds Of The F-104 Starfighter

The Vikings” F 104G Starfighter German Navy’s Demo Team

Starfighter Start Up


Another Bill Becker Masterpiece!

Bill Becker's Miss Tiny
Bill Becker's Miss Tiny

Miss Tiny, Built from plans of a 1940’s Modelcraft kit. The original (built by Paul Kugler) is in the Smithsonian. The model is covered in Japanese tissue aquired from Shorty’s Basement. Bill reports the tissue from Shortys is absolutely the best, even going over compound curves nicely. The wheels look like Trexlers but are actually made from balsa. Check out the little fill tubes made from a section of black wire insulation. Powered by a GWS IPS drive system. They’ve been out of stock lately so he built the motor system from broken bits in the spares box. Originally a 46″ x 6″ cord free flight model designed for a Ohlsson “23”, Phantom or Trojan.  Reduced to 36″ for the drive system.

Bill Becker's Miss Tiny
Bill Becker's Miss Tiny

The plans where hard to find, paid dearly, a friend of a friend had them. Had to meet them in London Ohio, piched in $20 for fuel, bought the man a huge $15 breakfast at Bob Evans, reduced them at Kinko’s, ($5) and returned the original. Model is 3 channels, IPS-A drive with 8-6 prop. It’s probably only pulling 10 watts with that small prop! Flys on a 2S Kypom 450, Berg 4L RX. Flying weight is 7.4 ounces. Airfoil is slightly undercambered. Model was framed up with electronics installed in about 15 hours. About 2.5 hours to cover. Bill says CA lets him really move fast. Although Bill seldom builds models larger than this, he likes how this model flys so well he’s planning on building the full size version.

Bill Becker's Miss Tiny
Builders are Happy people!

Bill got inspired after seeing a picture in a book book about models in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum he purchased for only $2. The museum model was Yellow with black trim. All the wood, electronics came from Radical RC. Built by Bill Becker of the Springfield Model Airplane club. This guy knows how to glue two sticks together!

Book, On Miniature Wings: Smithsonian Book Store


National Museum of the US Airforce

Dolittle Raiders

Museum Hours
Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
FREE admission!

Museum Location
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(937) 255-3286

Website: National Museum of the US Air Force
USAFM Event Calendar: Events
Photo: Photo Collection

If your on your way to Dayton, odds are your visiting the Airforce Museum. I can’t tell you more than the official website, however I can offer that that you will need more than a day to enjoy the museum properly. Plan on 1.5 to 2 days to really take it all in and not be rushed. The IMAX movies are lots of fun and very reasonable in cost. It’s a great way to rest your feet in the middle of the day.

Look to plan your trip during special activities or perhaps when a significant modeling activity is underway in the Miami Valley. The museum holds many special events each year. You can meet great hero’s like living Doolittle Raiders and others. There are often special tours behind the scenes or in resoration facilities. Wings & Things Guest Lectures are given on aviation history and technology.

Tung-Sheng Liu (third from right in white jacket) stands with the crew of Lt. Travis Hoover. He helped these men escape capture following the Doolittle Raid. He later immigrated to the United States and was one of four individuals names as honorary Doolittle Raiders. (U.S. Air Force photo

Spend some time on the site to see what’s going on and be sure to check out my list of significant modeling events in the area. Plan time to visit some local hobby shops. You never know what you might find hanging from the ceiling or perhaps you’ll see a project underway that will light fire under your enthusiasm.


Visiting Dayton? Airplane Activities

Be sure to check out the sub-categories open under “Visiting Dayton Aviation”.  You’ll find information about the Airforce Museum, local hobby shops, model airports, important local events and aviation attractions you can visit both nearby and a short drive outside the area.   Regardless if your in town for a visit or on business, if you’ve got some extra time to look around Dayton, there is plenty to do.  

This area of Ohio has some of the country’s best flying fields and several clubs over 100 members.  Aviation both full scale and model is strong here.  If you “Speak Model Airplane”, you’ll agree, Dayton is heaven.


About The Area Around Radical RC

Fred from Cary, NC asks:

Hi, just for fun, I googled your address (Google Maps View), and see some very interesting things near you.
You are across from Wright Field (Wiki). That could be fun. Do they let you fly RC stuff over there?
And behind you….looks like a park with lots of long slender ponds. Is it a park, or why did they make all that water? At first the satellite view made it look like a golf course, until I zoomed in, and realized it was water.

Thanks for your help…. Fred

I fly & test small field models in the field out in front of the shop. Every kit we manufacture has been flown there many times. You can’t fly on the museum grounds (across Springfield St inside the museum fence). Behind the Air Force Museum (official website) is a large runway and towards the north end of it there is a club, you must be active or retired military to fly there and join the club. Each year on labor day weekend they hold a large fly in called “DOGS”. Where anybody can fly there. Occiasionally there are other events there like last summer the World Jet Masters were held there. I’ve seen kite contests out in front of the museum also. In fact they used to hold the Dawn Patrol out front. This was great as we’d see nearly full scale replica’s flying over the shop and landing in the field out in front of the museum. However, that event has moved out back on the runway. But, if you stick up an electric model, the ask you to shut it down. Which is sad in a way. What a nice thing it would be for visitors to see people poking around in the sky as your walking into the Airforce Museum.

We get modelers in all the time that are in town visiting the Air Force Museum. Almost every modeler in the USA or Canada if given a chance will visit it at some time in their lives. It’s a great location from an aviation point of view for sure.

The lakes you see directly behind (west of) the shop and north are part of the well fields. There is an Eagles nest (or maybe 2 now) and people with long range lenses in Eastwood Lake park are photographing them all the time. Eastwood is open to the public and the lake south west of Wright Brothers Parkway (Harsman Rd, Woodman Drive).

Here is a virtual tour of the US Airforce Museum.

Dave, Radical RC


Virtual Tour Of USAFM

Thanks to Ken Eubanks for forwarding a fantastic link. Most RC’rs will make the journey to Dayton at least one time to vist the United States Airforce Museum. Maybe your at a great distance or life’s circumstances has kept you from visting as of yet. Here is something to toss in your bucket list.

National USAF Museum Virtual Tour