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AN ERA HAS ENDED - updated 13 June 2011

We are saddened to announce the passing of Maynard L. Hill on 7 June 2011 after a long illness.  He was 85 years old.

Maynard's reputation as a dedicated and innovative modeler is secure.  Even after the unparalleled success of the Trans-Atlantic Model project, he continued to work, making several ill-fated attempts to extend the F3 duration record.  Finally, as his illness took control, he reluctantly put away the balsa and glue which had been so much a part of his life.

Maynard was much more than a dedicated modeler.  He was husband, father of three, and friend to many.  He was always willing to share his considerable experience with others.  Friends, neighbors, and strangers found they could count on him for useful advice.  He read widely and retained information well.  In recent years, friends read to him and he devoured talking books.

Maynard Hill will be missed.

PUBLISHED TRIBUTES

Washington Post article- "Designer's model plane achieved transatlantic first"

Wall Street Journal article - "The Lindbergh of Hobbyists"

New York Times article - "Maynard L. Hill, Small-Scale Lindbergh, Dies at 85"

England's Daily Telegraph - Technology Obituary "Maynard Hill"

FAI Website - Maynard Hill - In Memoriam (added 21 June 2011)

SMITHSONIAN ACCEPTS TAM-26

Over the course of the TAM project, Maynard built 29 aircraft.  Five of them were eventually selected for launch towards Ireland, and these were assigned sequential numbers beginning with 1.  Thus it was that TAM-25 (the 25th in the series) became TAM-5.  In September, 2010, representatives of the National Air and Space Museum came to Maynard's home in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, to accept TAM-26, which is identical to TAM-5 which is in the museum of the Academy of Model Aeronautics in Muncie, Indiana.  TAM-26 will become part of a new exhibit at the Udvar-Hazy Center featuring model aviation.  


DVD SALES RESUMED

Due to a recent flurry of interest in the DVD "The Saga of TAM-5" we have decided to resume taking orders for this 21-minute video about the trans-Atlantic project.  Customers in many countries have praised the video which gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the people and technology responsible for the most ambitious undertaking in model aviation history - at least so far.  If you have placed an order, please be patient.  We are working to improve our method for producing the DVDs.  Shipments should resume in July.

Click for DVD Sales Info

STATUS OF WORLD RECORDS AT FAI WEBSITE

For some months now, the FAI website has been undergoing major revisions.  As this is written, virtually all records for F3 Aeromodels are unavailable.  Our correspondence with the FAI revealed that the organization is belatedly implementing changes in the requirements for some 13 classes of record, with the result that many of the records formerly listed are being "retired."  This is why an Australian is now is the current record-holder for Duration, even though the time of his flight was considerably less than the 33 hours, 39 minutes achieved in 1993 by  Maynard Hill.  The FAI modified the rules placing a heavier burden on the primary pilot; under the old rules the primary pilot had to control the aircraft more than 50% of the time - now its 90%.

The FAI's actions have introduced confusion into the process, and records that were on the books for years are now being "retired," opening the door for newcomers to set lower records that meet the more stringent requirements.    

Anyone searching for past aeromodel records at www.fai.org will be disappointed until the FAI completes revisions of the website.  I have expressed my hope that the FAI will post all the "retired" aeromodeling records on their website, including records in the F8 class, and that the records will be readily retrievable.

We'll see ... .

Thanks to Karl Redmer for providing a link to an FAI webpage of which we were unaware:  Records of Maynard Hill

This page only lists 14 of Maynard Hill's 25 records, and for the first time, it identifies some of those that have been retired.


On August 11, 2003, model aviation history was made by a team of volunteers led by model aviation legend Maynard Hill.  "The Spirit of Butt's Farm," also known as TAM-5, became the first aeromodel to fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean, setting two world records in the process.  These were Maynard's 24th and 25th records!

TAM-5, Now in the AMA Museum in Muncie, Indiana

 

 

 

From left to right:  Joe Foster, Les Hamilton, Beecher Butts, Maynard Hill, and Ron Bozzonetti. Beecher is wearing his flying helmet and the group is standing in front of his 2-engine ultralight.   

Beecher owns a horse farm in Sunshine, Maryland, and allowed us to use his field for many of our test flights.  Beecher, at 88, was still flying his ultralight.  

Photo by Tweed Cottrell, about 2001.

 

 

 

We are proud of this accomplishment, because we came to appreciate just how difficult it was.  TAM-5 (Trans-Atlantic Model Number 5) made it across with a couple of ounces of fuel remaining, in a flight lasting 38 hours and 52 minutes.  The last hours of the flight were "white-knuckle" for all of us, because Maynard had estimated the maximum run time would be 38 hours.

Joe Foster (the autopilot designer and take-off pilot) and Dave Brown (the landing pilot) were named along with Maynard as the record holders.  But the job could not have been done without the help of many other people.

We are grateful for the many messages of congratulations, and the compliments of those who have purchased the video offered on this site for the past several months.  The video has been purchased in Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, to name a few places.  It's not a best seller, but it's an entertaining bargain for people interested in the TAM project.

 

April, 2007 DVD+R and DVD-R now available
August 8, 2004 PayPal Now Available
July 8, 2004 Video Ordering Information
May 15, 2004 NAA Honors TAM Team - Again - on April 26, 2004
March 23, 2004 VIDEO OFFERED FOR SALE -  revised May 15, 2004
February 2004 FINAL REPORT - STAR NEWS issued - STAR disbanded
November 30, 2003 Publications List - revised May 17, 2004
November 12, 2003 Timeline updated
November 5, 2003 FAQs updated
November 2, 2003 Read "Two Sunsets and Still Flying" by Maynard Hill
October 23, 2003 World Record Applications Approved!!
September 5, 2003 TAM-5 back home in Maryland
August 13, 2003 Maynard's Message after Successful Flight
August 11, 2003 Message to Crew - 0800 UTC 11 Aug
August 11, 2003 Message - 0000 UTC 11 August
August 10, 2003 Message - 2040 UTC 10 August
  August 10, 2003 Message - 1708 UTC 10 August

 

 

Site updated - June 12, 2011

 

 

Click on the links below for  more information

 

 

Click here to see photos.

TAM-5 PROGRESS

August 9, 2003
2215 UTC - LAUNCH
August 10
TIME    DISTANCE, MI
0140 UTC -  153 MILES
0206 UTC - 178 MILES
0343 UTC - 252 MILES

0530 UTC - 327 MILES
0703 UTC - 387 MILES
0843 UTC - 454 MILES
1050 UTC - 563 MILES

1228 UTC - 647 MILES
1339 UTC - 710 MILES

1410 UTC - 747 MILES
1444 UTC - 771 MILES
1508 UTC - 903 MILES
1839 UTC - 988 MILES

2016 UTC - 1081 MILES!
2355 UTC - 1282 MILES!

Monday, August 11
0138 UTC - 1373 MILES!
0337 UTC - 1465 MILES!
0702 UTC - 1612 MILES!!!!

1030 UTC - 1763 MILES!
1142 UTC - 1821 MILES

1308 UTC - 1883 MILES - Landed !!!


TAM-5 landed safely.  Not even a broken prop!

Click here to see Pictures of the TAM 4 Launch

 FAQ

Tam 5Click button to see Tam 5 data

Tam 4Click button to see the Tam 4 data

Background information about the TAM project

Important dates and events

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