Free Flight was forever changed after the introduction of Carl Goldberg’s Zipper model at the 1938 Nats. The model, with its raised pylon, undercambered airfoil and polyhedral wing is unmistakable and iconic.
Want to know why the Zipper is so famous? Watch this Fly-By!
The Zipper in the museum’s collection is one of the original 1938 prototypes with a diamond-shape fuselage. It was donated to the museum by Carl’s wife, Beth Goldberg. We’re working on making it available in a 360 rotational view – this will be available soon!
In the Spring of 1938, the Chicago Gas Model Aeronauts held a contest for model airplanes with a wingspan of 4 foot or less. The thought was that this meant the models would be forced to use smaller engines. However, they did not specify the size of engine required.
Carl disagreed and pushed to have the engine size limited. No one else thought it was necessary. This lead to a bet between Bob Forster and Carl. Carl would be able to keep one of Bob’s Forster .99 engines if he could fly it with model limited to a four foot wingspan. If he couldn’t, well, no engine. Carl quickly built a 4 ½ foot wing, modified one of his Clipper fuselages and put the two together. He then proceeded to win the contest – and keep the engine.
For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum