[TowerTalk] Anyone use a 120' qso king? way off subject

Jim in Waco WB5OXQ wb5oxq_1 at grandecom.net
Wed Jan 29 00:10:56 EST 2014

This is way off subject of antennas and towers.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chuck Smallhouse" <w7cs at theriver.com>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>; <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Anyone use a 120' qso king?

> Using wooden clothes pins reminds of many years ago, in the early 
> years of Ultra Light Aircraft.
> Living/working in the SF Bay Area at the time, one weekend I happened 
> to visit an unused runway at the Milpitas Airport.  Does it still 
> exist along the south end of the bay, west of Highway 17 ?
> That day there were several guys experimenting in trying to fly some 
> of the early concepts of Ultra LIghts.  These were really no more 
> than hang gliders with "washing machine" motors and pusher props 
> suspended from them.   The "Pilot" would take the classic position of 
> a hang glider rider, with his hands on the horizontal supports of the 
> wing(s) to control his direction.  He would then have buddy start up 
> the engine and hand him the throttle cable, on whose end was a wooden 
> clothes pin, that he inserted into his mouth.  It was a "fail safe" 
> arrangement.  The harder that he bit down on the clothes pin, the 
> faster the engine would run.    If anything happened and the wooden 
> clothes pin fell out of his mouth, the washing machine engine would 
> shut down, at least to an idle !
> To get this contraption off of the ground, he had to run as fast as 
> he could, with additional help of two buddies pushing on each end of 
> the wing.  Lift off was in about 50 feet.
> One of their later(?) designs could of been taken right out of the 
> Wright Bros. design book.  It had bi-plane fabric wings and a rear 
> mounted pusher prop motor and even some wheels, the pilot was 
> suspended in a harness type arrangement.  I think that he had a more 
> normal throttle control method, in lieu of the wooden clothes 
> pin.  With a little bit of extra outside help, it could get off of 
> the ground using it's wheels instead of the pilots feet.
> Their flight time was not very long and hardly more than a 100 feet 
> in altitude.  The scarry part is that they would circle right over 
> the busy Oakland divided highway, as their "runway" was quite adjacent !
> Chuck,  W7CS
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