In the Work­shop with Rich Uravitch


Model Airplane News - - CONTENTS - By Gerry Yar­rish

Plus eight great mod­els you can build

Our Jan­uary is­sues al­ways in­clude our an­nual Model Air­plane News plans guide fea­tur­ing many pop­u­lar RC air­plane de­signs avail­able from the AirAgeS­ web­site. We rec­og­nize the many tal­ented and ded­i­cated mod­el­ers who drew up these planes and pro­duced the pro­to­type mod­els that we have fea­tured in our con­struc­tion ar­ti­cles over sev­eral decades. In this is­sue, we wanted to highlight a val­ued model-air­plane de­signer, builder, and pi­lot who has en­joyed a long and rich his­tory with Model Air­plane News. For long­time read­ers, no in­tro­duc­tion is re­quired, but if you’re new to our hobby, then you’ll want to learn about our good friend and fly­ing buddy Rich Uravitch.


It’s not all that easy to find model-air­plane de­sign­ers who can pro­duce work­able mod­e­lair­plane plans, build and test-fly their de­signs, and then write ar­ti­cles and take pho­tos to pro­duce ar­ti­cles for the mag­a­zine. Rich Uravitch is just such a per­son, and as it turned out, he is much more than just a con­trib­u­tor. He brings with him a lot more than mod­e­lair­plane knowl­edge (an Air Force vet­eran who flew F-4s in Viet­nam, Rich was also part of the team that de­vel­oped the A-10!). Now re­sid­ing in Grant, Florida, Rich’s very first ap­pear­ance on the ta­ble of contents was in the July 1985 is­sue, with a con­struc­tion ar­ti­cle for a .15-size T-6 Texan. The de­sign was sim­ple, and the plane flew ex­tremely well. The Texan came about as an an­swer to those who wanted to get into scale-ish py­lon rac­ing with­out the ex­pense of build­ing and fly­ing .40-size quar­ter­midget rac­ers. The full-size Tex­ans were (and still are) a pop­u­lar class of rac­ers at the an­nual Reno Air Races. Rich’s de­sign was so pop­u­lar, in fact, that it ul­ti­mately be­came a House of Balsa kit, and many un­told num­bers were pro­duced and sold. Five years later, the T-6 Texan was again brought back in the July 1987 is­sue as part of a spe­cial T-6 Texan is­sue.

Rich con­tin­ued his in­volve­ment with MAN by cov­er­ing and re­port­ing on var­i­ous high-in­ter­est RC events across the coun­try, and after at­tend­ing the first-ever Greater South­west Fan Fly event, he started writ­ing the ex­tremely pop­u­lar Jet Blast col­umn, de­but­ing with the June 1985 is­sue. This was at the be­gin­ning of the RC jet move­ment, with many scratch-built jets pow­ered by ducted fan units driven by glow en­gines equipped with tuned pipes and run­ning on very high ni­tro fuel. The con­nec­tion be­tween the first pi­o­neer jet pilots and RC py­lon rac­ing was ob­vi­ous.

Two years later, in the July ’87 is­sue, Rich started the Sporty Scale Tech­niques col­umn, where he passed along many great build­ing and fin­ish­ing tips for our scale read­ers. A month later, Rich found him­self on the ed­i­to­rial side of things, and he ul­ti­mately be­came the ed­i­tor-inchief of MAN, writ­ing his first ed­i­to­rial page for the March 1988 is­sue. Rich sat in the big chair and deftly guided the mag­a­zine’s con­tent un­til the end of 1990, when he moved on and be­came a val­ued con­sul­tant. To this day, the staff of Model Air­plane News stays in close con­tact with Rich to get the in­side scoop on ad­vanced scale and jet air­craft and to learn all the in­side sto­ries from his view­point as the crafts­man­ship judge for the an­nual Top Gun Scale In­vi­ta­tional event.

One of his first col­umns was Jet Blast, where he talked about the then-new topic of ducted-fan­pow­ered model jet air­craft.

Part of the Air Age Me­dia fam­ily, Rich (shown here with pub­lisher Yvonne DeFrancesco) con­tin­ues to be a val­ued con­sul­tant and con­trib­u­tor. Many know Rich to­day as the Crafts­man­ship judge at the Top Gun Scale In­vi­ta­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

As ed­i­tor-in-chief of Model Air­plane News, Rich brought with him a wealth of avi­a­tion ex­pe­ri­ence as well as mod­el­ing knowl­edge.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of his .15-size T-6 Texan racer, Rich de­vel­oped sev­eral other Reno Racer de­signs, in­clud­ing this race-mod­i­fied P-51 Mus­tang.

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