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Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Ross Hull and Clinton DeSoto -- Ham Radio and R/C Planes

Rogier PA1ZZ sent me a video that linked Ross Hull and Clinton DeSoto to the development of today's killer drones.  While it looks like that is quite a stretch (I'm sure Rogier would agree), the involvement of these two radio guys in the early development of radio-controlled planes is very interesting.  

An article, “Radio Control of Model Aircraft,” by Ross A. Hull and Roland B. Bourne, was the first to describe in detail a working radio system suitable for model aircraft.  They wrote: “Most hams are usually far from being one-hobby men and one discovers, almost invariably, an interest in the other sciences and the crafts. A common interest in ham radio, aeronautics, model building, and photography is almost the rule. We happen to be built that way and our interest in aircraft led us, this summer, to take an active interest in this problem of radio control.” (QST, October, 1937) 

More here: 


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  1. Ross Hull - A true radio pioneer. He was tragically killed by a 6,000 Volt electric shock to his headphones while experimenting with a television transmitter in 1938.

    The annual national summer VHF/UHF contest in Australia is named after him.

    1. And sadly DeSoto died in 1949 at the age of 37. In his short life he did a tremendous amount, publishing a history of amateur radio and starting the DXCC program, among many other achievements.


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