1939 Inverted CL Flight

Roy Mayes is believed to be the first person to fly a Control Line model inverted.  Mayes’ 1939 flight was with a Free Flight model converted to Control Line by the addition of a bell crank and elevator.

The fuselage is silver and the wing is covered in red tissue.
Roy Mayes, 1939 Inverted CL model, reproduction built for National Model Aviation Museum, 2011.04.03. Engine donated by John D. Camp, 2011.25.01

In 2011, Ron Wittman built a reproduction of Mayes’ model airplane for the museum’s collection.  John D. Camp donated the Micro .19 engine to complete airplane.  We’re hoping to have a 360 rotational view of it up soon, but until then learn more about the model by watching this Fly-By!

This sketched plan of Mayes' 1939 Inverted CL model was published in Charles Mackey's book Pioneers of Control Line Flight.
This sketched plan of Mayes’ 1939 Inverted CL model was published in Charles Mackey’s book Pioneers of Control Line Flight.

Fun Fact:
Roy had an interesting way of flying his CL models.  Instead of the traditional placement of the handle in the vertical position used by one hand, Roy held his with both hands horizontally.  He then proceeded to use his smallest fingers to change the pressure on the wire and control the flight.

This CL handle is pretty simple, a rectangular block of wood with hooks for the wire on each short side.
A reproduction of the CL handle used by Roy Mayes to fly inverted in 1939.

For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum

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