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Written by Richard Kaufman
Memories of days gone by
Viewfinder
As seen in the May 2017 issue of
Model Aviation.


Richard Kaufman (mk9spitfire@cox.net) remembers all of the airplanes he and his twin brother, Robert, flew as though it was yesterday. That includes the airplane in this photo taken six days after their seventh birthdays on March 18, 1951. Richard wrote:

“The girl is Linda Stevens. She lived directly across the street from us. My twin brother and I were crazy about her. Robert is holding the airplane and I am behind the plane to the left.

“The airplane is a Carl Goldberg-designed ‘Cumulus.’ It had a sleek, streamlined appearance with graceful curves. The wing was 54 inches with 454 square inches of wing area.

“Initially the model had an Arden .19 glow engine and flew beautifully. Despite using the dethermalizer, the plane was almost lost every time we flew it because of its terrific speed and 80°-plus climb angle, as well as its fabulous glide due to the elliptical wing design with undercamber. [Dad] later downsized the engine to an Arden .09 glow.

“After over 100 flights using the ‘sportier’ Arden .09, Robb and I got bored with it, so we urged Dad to ‘pick it up a bit.’ He obliged by putting in a Cub .14. The angle of climb was a graceful, smooth 45° that satisfied us. The plane was never lost and we retired it in 1975.





“The most interesting part of the photo was our fabulous flying site. The flying site where we are standing is just about right in the middle of 25,000 people living in Paradise Valley [Arizona] today.

“The flying site in the early 1950s was considered the ‘premier Free Flight flying field in the entire United States.’ Every kind of contest was held there, such as the local Phoenix Model Airplane Club, Southwest Regionals, as well as contests on the national level. We flew there from 1949-1959.

“We left in 1959 because there was a new subdivision halfway between Shea and Cactus, just west of 32nd Street. We began flying at an excellent crop duster field on 55th Avenue and Thunderbird. We had about 160 acres of flat, hard dirt with some grass surrounded by farmland in every direction. That field lasted until 1966.

“No memories could be grander than our original phenomenal field. We flew over 40 different kinds of Free Flight models there. Lost many, but memories of the beauty, serenity, clean, clear air with unlimited visibility, will last forever.”

Do you have a high-quality/high-resolution airplane, helicopter, or multirotor photo that you are proud of, or a model aviation-related photo with a great story behind it? Email your “Viewfinder” photo and a description about it to jennifer@modelaircraft.org, or submit your photo here.






2 comments

What a cool story and great Photo!!! So????? Which one of you two brothers Married Linda?? skybill AMA-87838

This photo was in the July 2014 issue of Model Aviation. Thanks for featuring it. Perhaps the best nostalgia photo I've ever seen. The vanished flying site, the kids, the model, the father's shadow in the picture really make it perfect.

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