Photos courtesy of the National Model Aviation
Museum, Ralph W. Kummer collection.
New Acquisition: Ralph W. Kummer’s Scrapbook
This spring, the museum archives received a scrapbook,
originally made by American modeler Ralph W. Kummer,
mailed to us from Tim Westcott in the United Kingdom. The
scrapbook contains photos, certificates, brochures, programs,
and other memorabilia that Ralph collected between 1928
and 1939. It is a great treasure—scrapbooks documenting early
modeling experiences are rare finds.
Throughout the years, the scrapbook has deteriorated and
the cover is held together with layers of tape, but inside the
aging cover lies a plethora of newspaper clippings, certificates,
photographs, and mementos from Ralph’s early modeling
experiences and contest wins.
Ralph began building
models in 1927, starting
with an Ideal kit. The
first one didn’t fly, but
that did not stop his
determination to build
models. He joined
the Airplane Model
League of America
(AMLA) in 1928,
and entered his first
contest the following
the Stix, Baer,
and Fuller Model
Airplane Club in 1930, and also
served as the president of his high school’s aviation club. He
competed in a number of modeling contests and early Nats
throughout the 1930s and won many trophies. Ralph was a
charter member of the AMA.
Ralph was also interested in full-scale aircraft. He worked in
a variety of full-scale aviation jobs, including aircraft inspector,
flight instructor, and commercial pilot. He was also an Army
Air Force pilot and private airport owner.
Later in life, Ralph joined the Society of Antique Modelers
(SAM). For all of his years participating in and
promoting modeling, he was inducted into the
SAM Hall of Fame in 1995.
You can find Ralph’s biography on the AMA
History Project website at www.modelaircraft.
org/files/KummerRalph.pdf. You can see
highlights from his scrapbook, including
photos, clippings, certificates, and more on
the Antique Model Aircraft website at www.
Northrop Files: Flip-Flop
AMA Plans Services now houses all
plans formerly sold though Model
Builder magazine, Bill Northrop’s
Plan Service, and the Scratch Builder’s
Almanac. There are more than 1,000
plans in the collection.
Flip-Flop is an ornithopter,
designed by Ken Johnson, which
appeared in the June 1995 issue
of Model Builder. Although Ken’s
experience with ornithopters dates
back to 1965, the Flip-Flop was his
first one designed for outdoor flight.
You can order the Flip-Flop, plans
number 6952, for $4 by calling the AMA Plans Service at (800)
435-9262, extension 507.
were sold during
the 2015 Nats, held
at the International
Center in Muncie,
Joe is best
the model aviation
community as the
designer of the
Playboy Sr. He is
credited for several other designs including the Playboy
Jr., Condor, Eaglet, Baby Playboy, Itsy Bitsy, Viking,
Thermalier, and Gull. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and
was an avid Indoor and Outdoor Free Flight modeler.
Thank you to everyone who attended the sale and who
purchased an item to support the AMA Foundation. If
you are interested in donating your model collection,
contact us at (800) 435-9262, extension 277.
12 Model Aviation JANUARY 2016 www.ModelAviation.com