Iconic Machines – XB70 – Pencil with some ink on Bristol Board

I just had to do another large aircraft after reading greyseal’s comment on my last one. He mentions a freeflight flying model group


which, in a roundabout way, connects to this aircraft.

I, too was a member of a flying model club (KMAC – Kirkcaldy Model aero Club) in the early 1960′s. A teacher had introduced me to the delights of free flight, where the plane is released and either flies on its own, being trimmed before launch, or radio controlled. This teacher, Tom Reid, had plans for a model XB70 and let me borrow them. There was only one problem. My only small engine, an old 1950′s ED Bee 2 stroke, only rotated in a clockwise direction. In this model, where the engine is mounted at the rear, it would have to turn the opposite way or use a left-handed propeller which was unavailable at the time. I solved this by carving one out of wood and still have it. Not a bad effort for a 13 year old and I still have it as the photo shows:

Left handed propellor

My XB70 only flew a few times but was notorious gaining a bad reputation for chasing people, cats, dogs etc or crashing in awkward places.

The XB70 was an experimental aircraft. I will not bore non-enthusiasts with its details but, if you are interested, please read :


Thanks, greyseal, for the trip down memory lane.