Byron Originals radio control Pitts S-1A – Donated by Dave Herbert

In the mid-1970s Byron LeRoy Godbersen decided to take his interest in model aviation a step further and begin developing and selling large scale remote controlled models of civilian and military aircraft. In 1979, he founded Byron Originals and that same year the new company released its first kit, the Pitts S-1A in 1/3rd scale.

The Pitts used a special foam, termed Byro-Foam, for the fuselage, wings, and tail allowing aircraft details to be molded directly in the parts. It was a compressed foam that created a hard outer surface. It was even advertised that “the sages between all rib detail have been included in the foam injected parts.” It’s unique properties also allowed covering material to be ironed onto the foam without melting the foam. A fiberglass cowl and wheel pants, aluminum landing gear, and scale wing and cabane struts completed the kit.

For the finishing scale touch, Godbersen was also interested in having his aircraft turn scale sized propellers at lower rpms ,with the same number of blades as used on the full-scale aircraft. To accomplish this, and utilizing engine technology of the day, the Byro-Drive reduction belt drive system was developed. The drive was introduced with the Pitts but subsequent aircraft could utilize the system.

In 1978, Dave bought and flew one of these aircraft and 1979 even flew the model on live national tv, when news anchor Kelly Lang and weatherman Pat Sajak (of Wheel of fortune Fame) covered the first US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Model Airshow. Dave had conceived the airshow idea and has posted a video of the event on his YouTube Channel Nightflyyer.

Sadly that model was lost in a fire in 2016 but through the kindness of friends he was able to build a reproduction. Michael Conti provided an original kit and Ron Ables the Byro-Drive. Dave has also posted videos of the:

Unboxing
Building
Byron Byro Drive
Maiden flight

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *