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South Australian Old Timer Association

About 1977, three older modellers in the Constellation Club built Old Timer models with radio control, these being Max Starick who built the 1938 designed “Trenton Terror”, Stan Brown built 1940 published design “Buzzard Bombshell” and Reg Laing built the 1940 “Playboy Senior”

These models (American free flight power designs) that they remembered from their youth and now flown at Constellation field. Max Starick used an original Brown Junior spark ignition that was introduced in late 1934,this engine started the use of small(10cc) light weight petrol engines in the model aircraft around the world.

Free flight Old Timer models were flown at the U.S.  Nationals from 1965, but never became popular in Australia. The first S.A.M. championships with radio assist models flown was at Bong Air Force Base, Wisconsin, USA in 1972, these being for models designed and flown after 1943.

Model Builder  magazine published Old Timer articles from October 1971,called “Plug Sparks” and this regular column by John Pond became popular in Australia. Max Starick (S.A.) started the column “For Old Timers Sake”, first published in “Airborne” magazine No 23, January 1978, now written by Don Howie from South Australia.

John Pond was a visitor to the 1977/8 Australian Nationals at Camperdown, Vic this being the start of his many visits to Australia, some say it was because he liked our beer.

In 1983 the first Australian Chapters of the Society of Antique Modellers, which relates to the models, not the modellers, was formed in N.S.W., this being S.A.M. 1788 and the 30th Anniversary SAM Championship was held at Canowindra N.S.W., Easter 2012.

Most states now have S.A.M Chapters and the South Australian has SAM1993, formed in that year.

The South Australian Old Timer Association ( SAOTA)  has bi-monthly club meetings with regular low key contests shown in the MASA calendar Joining SAOTA which is part on SAM 1993 international, will enable you to get easy access to hundreds of Old Timer and Vintage plans (1956 and earlier). Most competitions, such as 1/2A Texaco and Texaco are flown with lower power engines and the model climb slowly, it is certainly much easier to fly than most common aerobatic or scale R/C models flown at flying fields. Petrol or spark engines were flown up to about 1948 and these old engines can be flown today in our simple 1938 Antique event.

New or older modellers will find these old designs, which were free flight before 1943,much easier to fly than popular, modern so called trainers.
Don Howie


Max Newcombe with Thunder King old timer glider

Loxton Nationals- 2cc event

Left Paul Farthing “Flying Pencil” third
Centre The Late Ron Adamson “ Crescendo” first

Right Peter Leaney “Dixieland” second


Bill Britcher tunes an Arden .099 spark engine from 1947


1/2A atomizers at Willunga field Don Howie, the late Ron Adamson and Bill Britcher