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Interview with Dave Platt - January 2003

May 05, 2015

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Dave Platt - Click to visit the Dave Platt Models websiteDave Platt

Dave Platt is one of the few true master model-builders.  He was honored with induction into the Academy of Model Aeronautics Hall of Fame in 1996.

His love of model-building is evidenced by the sheer number of beautiful aircraft he has built and contest victories that are too numerous to count.

Dave has designed some of the most successful scale model kits of all times including kits marketed by Top Flite, Pica and, of course, his own company, Dave Platt Models, Inc.

My personal favorites of his designs include his Bucker Jungmeister, Focke Wulf 190 and one of the sexiest model aircraft of all time - the Duellist.

The following biographical information was borrowed from Mr. Platt's web site with his permission:

In the last 50+ years Dave Platt has become an internationally well known and respected Scale Competitor.  Here are just a few interesting facts about Mr. Scale.

  • Born in London, England in 1934.

  • Started modeling at the age of ten.

  • Began with Free Flight, then took in Control Line (CL) and eventually Radio Control (RC).

  • Flew CL Stunt on the English Internats Team in 1957.

  • Took up RC Scale in 1963.

  • Won the British National RC Scale event in 1966 with a North American T-28 which was the first use of retractable landing gear in a scale model.

  • Worked on the "Battle of Britain" movie, designing all the models for that movie in 1966.

  • Emigrated to the United States in 1967 to join Top Flite. Worked for five years at Top Flite in Chicago.

  • Designed first "Standoff Scale" models for Top Flite in 1970.

  • Formed the original "Dave Platt Models, Inc." in 1972.

  • In 1975 his partner sold the business to PICA and Dave reformed his company, this time doing it alone.

  • At the 1975 US NATS in Lake Charles, Louisiana he flew the world's first successful ducted fan RC Scale model, using an own designed model and fan unit.

  • Through the 70's and 80's he concentrated on RC Scale, designing and kitting new models. Always innovating new techniques, many of the methods used as a standard in RC Scale originated with Dave.

  • Involved in the founding of "Top Gun" and has flown in all 12 contests.

  • Served on AMA Scale Contest Board for over 20 years.

  • Inducted to the AMA "Hall of Fame" in 1996.

  • Has built up a decent machine shop in his workshop and now designs and builds his own glow and diesel engines.

  • While still maintaining an active involvement with FF and CL, these days Dave is designing and building his own turbine powered RC Scale jets and passing on his nearly 60 years of modeling experience through his "Black Art" series of video tapes.  These tapes have now become standard reference material for beginners and old hands in RC Scale.

Other Personal Highlights:

  • Married in 1961 to wife Margaret who has her own career but helps with the modeling business.

  • Has two children; Shelley who works for NASA at Edwards AFB and Tony who is a golf course superintendent.

  • More than 50 designs kitted and/or published in magazines.

  • AMA Nationals, Scale Winner several times.

  • Numerous "Pilot's Choice" and "Critics Choice" awards at Top Gun and Scale Masters.

  • Currently produces highest quality R/C Scale Kits and components.

Biography is Copyright Dave Platt



Interview with Dave Platt
Airfield Models 2006-2007 Design and Build Contest

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Copyright 2003 Paul K. Johnson