Judd Bock's Aviation Story

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     This is a pictures I had in my rec room, and is a little faded, but it was always one of my favorite pictures. 

Bob Soukup took it from his Piper Colt.  It was taken over the Elkhorn river nearby some pivot irrigation fields. 

I always thought the pivot circles enhanced the paint job on the Varieze.   (Judd)

     Asked by my friend, Keith Paskewitz, to write up a summary of my life’s aviation interests, I submit the following, and hope that anyone perusing the following, can get through it without going into a stupor or an outright coma due to intensive boredom.

     I shall condense as much as possible and still keep the tale somewhat on the interesting side.   (Judd)

Parked in WISC. before buying it. Partners were Larry Quigley and Dick Ross  (Cost $3000 in  1972)

Picture of Varieze at Pender where I had flown to watch Mona participate in a bowling tournament. (1980)

High speed fly-over at Plattsmouth airport, about 200 mph (Fly-in breakfast in 1981)

Jud and Mona getting ready to take off for Oshkosh. (1981)
Piper Colt  1987)
 Second Experimental built, VW Powered.  Only flown twice (1985)

My Aviation History

By Judson Bock Sr.

 

     I think I was born with an interest in aviation.

 

     I was born in 1933, and can remember as far back as Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. My folks were both school teachers and we lived in Blue Hill NE at the time and were on the way to Hastings NE to go to a movie. Our old 39 Chevy actually had a radio, and we heard about the bombing as we neared the theater. My folks were so upset they decided that the movie should be cancelled, (much to my 8 year old chagrin), and we did a U-turn and headed back home. From that minute on, listening and looking at the newspapers and other media that had pictures and or information about airplanes that were fighting in the war, was my biggest and best past-time.

      I would imagine that I began building model airplanes when I was about 10 and started with the Guillows and other like companies, being stick and tissue models and the ever present model airplane glue, (when coupled with model airplane dope, if used in small areas), would give you a combination headache and happy intoxication not unlike ditch weed. My model room was a converted coal bin, so it was very small. After the interest of stick models ran dry, I graduated to powered Free Flight using ½ A .049 Cub engines as power. Living in the NE sand hills, well known for intense updrafts in the summer months, I can remember seeing at least two of them climb out of sight and to be never seen again, even with the de-thermalizers intact. After eventually getting tired of chasing after Free Flights, I began building control line airplanes, with the usual O. and R. .23 and .29 engines, (which would inevitably die every time you attempted a loop) , and finally a new company called "Fox" introduced a couple of engines, the .29 and the .35 which would run in any position you could put the plane in, and were super dependable. With the new "Fox" engines on my planes, I now built flapped stunt models, (mostly Veco "Squaw’s" or "Chief’s) and started going to contests and competing. Unfortunately, I was about a Senior in High School by now and my interest started waning in favor of "girls".

      After graduating from HS and a stint in College, I married and began a family. Modeling went by-by for about 7 or 8 years or more, till I moved to Council Bluffs from the farming business in NE, where I met Bud Kilnoski and began regular visits to the "Pee-Wee" Hobby shop in Council Bluffs. I again grew interested in modeling and again got back into Control line modeling and some competitive flying in and around the CB area. Bud, myself and a bunch of modelers formed the new control line club, called the "Balsa Busters". I purchased my first R/C plane from Bud and my first radio from Tom Mossman in Bellevue. The plane was a single channel "Falcon 56" with rudder-only for control and a Bonner actuator for engine control, (full fast or full idle). On or about the second or third flight, I demolished it, and being disheartened, quit the hobby for another 5 or 6 years, (I couldn’t afford it anyway, so the crash was probably for the best at the time). We moved from CB to Omaha in 1965 and I again began haunting hobby shop’s, basically "Ollie's" in Benson and I again got interested in modeling. This time I was fascinated by the "Proportional" radios with which you could actually make the plane work just like a real one with all the control surfaces operating. My first radio was an EK, (made in Mexico, but really did work well). The well heeled ,R/Cer’s generally bought Kraft or Orbit radios, but I was content to fly my little red E.K. and it did it’s job well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      We first flew at a field out by the Sunset Speedway, but eventually lost that one, then I can remember at least three other fields that we had and lost and by that time, I had decided that I wanted to get into real aviation and the modeling was dropped.

      In a l971 or 72, I started taking flying lessons from an ad I saw in the World Herald, it read, "Learn to fly for 500 bucks," . It was actually true. I soloed in 5 hours and had my license for 500 bucks. I learned how to fly in a Cessna 150 at Eppley from a private owner/Instructor and after receiving my Private Pilots licensee, and renting for awhile, decided that I would like to become a partner in a plane.

      Two of my R/C flying pals, Larry Quigley and Dick Ross, also had the urge to learn to fly, and we went to Oshkosh together in the early "70’s" and saw an ad on one of the bulletin boards for an 46 Ercoupe.

      The bird looked good, and we drove about 50 miles away from Oshkosh in Wisc. to see it. It was in good shape and we decided to buy it. It would cost us $1000 bucks apiece, and since I was the only one that had a pilots license, it was agreed that I would return to Wisc. and fly it home. The trip back to NE is another story much too long to get into here, but we based it at Flightland and Larry and Dick learned how to fly in it. It was really a fun bird, and we all enjoyed the heck out of it.

      About that time, I was getting the urge to build something of my own, and after another trip to Oshkosh, decided on a "Varieze", (the first one, not the "Long Eze"). I drove to the factory near St. Louis and hauled the pieces home and began the project. That was in 1976 and in Dec. of 1979, the test flight took place at the old military airport near Scribner NE. The flight was not uneventful, however I walked away from it proceeded to fly off my hours till I could fly anywhere. I was hangered at Millard and made many trips in it, but it was very economically equipped, radio-wise, and I was only VFR licensed. I flew it till 1982 and decided to sell it. I sold the "Eze" and purchased a Piper Colt, which I flew for a couple of years, and then sold it also.

      I decided to build another Experimental, and built a "Beta-Bird", a high wing, VW powered pusher tail dragger, where you basically sat out in the open, in front of the pusher engine. I worked a little over two years building this one. It was supposed to be very easy to fly, but I just could never get the hang of it. I really hated tail dragger flying and I must have been nuts to build one. I envisioned taking off at about 30 or 40 MPH and this bird took closer to 60-65 to get it airborne and it flew like a tank. A terrible flying airplane and I was lucky to survive the two flights I took in it before damaging it in a bad landing the second flight. That was the end of my flying full size birds as I purchased a new home and was too busy to do any hobbies for a couple of years.

      When I quit flying full-size aircraft, I was checked out in the "Experimental Varieze", "Experimental Beta Bird", "Cessna 150 and 172", Piper "Colt", and the "Grumman Yankee".

      I moved into my new home back to IA and eventually got back into modeling R/C where I still am. Even though my interest has waned, I still have a hanger full of R/C models, (which I must downsize) and have been currently having fun with the new, small, clean and handy, electric models. I still see my flying pals of old, but many of them are out of the hobby or no longer able to model.

      Aviation has been a very big part of my life, and I have always wished that I had gotten into it as a career, but that is water under the bridge. So, in ending this saga, the old WW2 phrase "Keep Them Flying" comes to mind. See you at the "Field".

 

Name of Judd's Varieze

was "Zipper"

Judd's model of Snoopy's Doghouse

 
 
 

      I publish Metro Area R/C Flying to make a central web site for all the area R/C clubs, not to replace individual club sites, but to tie all of them together and promote growth and interaction between clubs. The most important service of the web site is to post the Metro Area Schedule. The schedule lists all the events for all the clubs in one location so that R/C flyers can see what events are available in the area and plan ahead. I believe it will also help the area clubs to work out their schedules so that a club event, will not conflict, with another club's event. The next most important service is to provide a Map Page that has maps to all the events, meetings, dinners and parties. Right after that comes the Newsletter Page which lists all club newsletters. Reading other club newsletters lets members see what others are offering in the area that they are interested in and promotes interaction between clubs. Perhaps an even more important item is the New Flyers Page that gives new members information they need to join a club and become part of our R/C community. This is your web site, if you would like to show-off your newest plane, or share an experience, you can E-Mail pictures and articles to me at: rc.flying@cox.net   There’s an Email Link on every page.