Lou received this certificate of appreciation from Maynard Hill for helping
fund Maynard’s travel expenses that were incurred while making the first
transatlantic flight of a model aircraft. Photo courtesy of Lou Goldberg.
This aircraft, called The Spirit of Butts Farm or TAM- 5, hangs in the
National Model Aviation Museum. Photo by the author.
said laughing. Lou said he was once offered a record contract,
but it never panned out.
Music wasn’t Lou’s only passion. His love of model
aviation stayed with him throughout his life. At one time,
it prompted him to open his own business called Mr. Louis
Communications and Hobbies. He sold Len Purdy airplanes
and repaired televisions. Lou said he once repaired Walt’s
television and Walt gave him a model airplane as payment.
Lou has had 27 jobs throughout his lifetime. One was
working with Walt at Johns Hopkins University in the physics
Lou took that advice to heart. “The problem was, it took me
forever to find my niche,” he said with a laugh.
After holding several positions, including working as a
furniture salesman, a private pilot, and serving in the Naval
Air Forces, he eventually got a job as an insurance salesman for
Prudential. He worked there for nearly 20 years until he retired.
Today, he focuses on sharing his love of Jesus with others.
Unlike Lou, Walt always seemed to know what he wanted
to do in life. While working at Johns Hopkins University in
the Applied Physics Laboratory, Walt helped develop “guided
missiles for U.S. Fleet defense of the radio proximity (VT) fuse
during World War II,” according to his AMA History Project
He later worked on fire control systems for Navy ship
gun directors, and analog computers that simulated missile
dynamics and controls. From 1973 to 1974, he headed the
Johns Hopkins Applied Physical Laboratory in
Walt received several honors and awards throughout his
lifetime for his work. These included the Naval Ordnance
Development Award, the Office of Scientific Research and
Development Certificate of Merit, and a War and Navy
Departments Certificate of Appreciation.
In addition to these honors, he was recognized for his efforts
for the AMA and aeromodeling. He was named an AMA
Fellow in 1953, inducted into the AMA Model Aviation Hall
of Fame in 1969, and inducted into the Society of Antique
Modelers Hall of Fame in 1989. Walt served as AMA president
from 1958 to 1960, and was one of the first donors of aircraft
to the National Model Aviation Museum when it was
founded in 1978.
Many consider Walt an aeromodeling legend. He was a
pioneer of RC flight, and well known for his unique, award-winning Big Guff. These are facts about Walt that can easily be
found through a quick search of the Internet or by reading his
lengthy autobiography on the AMA website.
Reading about Walt isn’t the same as actually knowing him.
The amazing and groundbreaking achievements that he is
known for don’t describe who he was as a person.
Lou feels blessed to have personally known Walt. “I really
loved Dr. Good to the point that I cherished him. He was the
most honest, kind man,” Lou said of his late friend.
These days, Lou’s full-scale Citabria remains grounded
and he doesn’t often take his models to the field. His sight is
diminishing and he’s had some health problems in the last few
years, but failing health and dimming eyes cannot erase the
great memories that he has.
Although they may interrupt his sleep several times each
night like a quick flash of a movie scene, these memories
remain crisp and clear.
Walt Good video
AMA History Project
42 Model Aviation JULY 2016