The Free Flight Gas Model Big Crate III

Carl V. Carlson was an early pioneer in gas-powered Free Flight models.  From 1993-1996 Carl worked with a group of family and friends to reproduce his Big Crate III.  In 1934, the original Big Crate III set a national record for gas-powered FF planes in the open division with a time of 6:48.5.

This black and white image shows a young Carl V. Carlson posing with the original Big Crate 3.  The 11 foot wingspan towers over him.
Carl V. Carlson posing with the original Big Crate III, c. 1933-1934.
The uncovered framework.
The uncovered framework of the reproduction Big Crate III

 

A good view of the engine mounted onto the uncovered framework of the Big Crate III.
The “oil” engine mounted onto the uncovered framework of the reproduction Big Crate III

 

In this color picture, an older Carl V. Carlson poses with the uncovered framework of the Big Crate III. The 11 foot wing still towers over him.
Carl V. Carlson posing with the uncovered framework of the reproduction Big Crate III.

 

The reproduction Big Crate III covered in white paper, bright in the sunlight.
The complete reproduction of the Big Crate III.
A front view of the Big Crate III, showing off the engine.
The front section, showing the engine, of the completed reproduction Big Crate III.

 

An older Carl V. Carlson posing with the completed reproduction of the Big Crate III.  The 11 foot wing still towers over him.
Carl V. Carlson posing with the finished reproduction of the Big Crate III, c. 1996-1998.

Want to build your own Big Crate III?  The plans are available through the AMA’s Plans Service. – Plan # 14331.
The Big Crate III is currently on exhibit in the museum’s gallery. Be sure to visit, the next time you visit the National Model Aviation Museum.

Credit for all photos:  National Model Aviation Museum Collection, Accession file of the Big Crate III, 1999.28.  Photos shared courtesy of Carl V. Carlson and Robert Atkins.

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