Verner “Warren” Kurth, member of the AMA Hall of Fame, aeromodeling enthusiast, and friend to the hobby has passed away at the age 79 in Davenport, Iowa.
Warren Kurth was born on April 5, 1933, in Bloomington, Illinois. His modeling career began with a sheet-balsa model kit when he was six years old. He was an assistant instructor at a YMCA model building class during junior high school. Warren lectured on model building, flew Control Line demonstrations, and taught a model building class at the community center for disadvantaged boys when he was in high school.
Throughout his modeling career Warren won many modeling awards for competitions and model aeronautics achievements including winning the 1/2A Speed event at the 1957 Nats, Warren was known for his model designs as well. He was the first to design, cast, and use aluminum speed pans on ½A Speed models. Using a high-speed strobe light, he discovered that sub-piston air induction engines in enclosed speed cowls would suck exhaust back into the engine. As a result, Warren pioneered the popular, open-face, half cowl as seen on his Peanut. Warren also designed the Miniball, Jetstream, Hedgehopper, and Peetriot. His accomplishments lead to his induction to the Academy of Model Aeronautics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Warren has always been generous to the AMA. He contributed to the “Dump the Deficit” campaign, contributed funds to the start-up of the North American Speed Society (NFFS), and was a long-standing National Model Aviation Museum Patron, NFFS Symposium Patron, and NFFS Foundation donor. Warren was also a member of the Frank Zaic Fellowship. Several of Warren’s kits and complete airplanes were donated to the National Model Aviation Museum.
In 1962, Warren became an AMA Leader Member. He also served as a Control Line Contest Board member for two years and has volunteered several days each year as an official at the AMA Nats.
To learn more about Warren and the many contributions he has made to the AMA and aeromodeling, view his profile, found in the AMA History Program archives.
Services for Warren will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, 2013, at Koning Chapel, Ridgecrest Village, 4130 Northwest Blvd. in Davenport. The family will greet friends from 2:00 p.m. until time of service. Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday in Lyman Township Cemetery, Roberts, Illinois. Memorials may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church of Davenport, Ridgecrest Koning Center, or to the charity of your choice. Click here for more information.