A Biography of T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. (1915-1977)-‘KC Terror’ Model Kit Designer

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By Sylvia Diane Wardlaw, Edited by Alan Bussie Google+ profile

Editors Notes – During the Golden Age of model aviation (1930s-1940s), the wood and tissue flying model aircraft was king. As rubber power yielded to gas in the mid 1930s, model aircraft design became more and more critical. The basics were well known, but gas power added numerous complications. The now-much-heavier aircraft needed to climb steeply in a stable fashion during the short but powerful motor run. During the rush for maximum altitude, it had to withstand the forces of the higher relative winds and the vibrations of the engine. When the engine stopped, the plane was required to suddenly fly level and and display a stable, high glide ratio flight pattern – one suitable for catching thermals. The men who could create successful designs from scratch were among the few, and there names are well known – Walt Good, Carl Goldberg, Joe Koval and Henry Struck, just to name a few. Now, thanks to Diane, we have the history of the creator of the Kansas City Terror. Alan BussieGoogle+ profile


Thomas Lamar Wardlaw, Jr. was born in Columbia, South Carolina March 28, 1915. His father got him started on airplanes when he was about 6 years old and so from an early age he was interested in aviation. By the time he was 11 years (1926) old he was building his own flying models. This soon became a passion for model airplanes and he was building them and also teaching others. While still living in Columbia he had a model airplane camp group where he taught young boys to build models.

T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. standing center, with the boys club

As a young man he enrolled at the Parrish Flying Service. He studied there from July 1934 and received his wings in February of 1937. Once receiving Continue reading “A Biography of T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. (1915-1977)-‘KC Terror’ Model Kit Designer”