The results of the STAR effort was a successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. TAM-5 flew the distance, setting new world records for distance and duration.  The aeromodel, named "The Spirit of Butts' Farm" was launched from Cape Spear, Newfoundland on August 9, 2003, and landed near Mannin Beach, Ireland, after flying nearly 39 hours, covering a distance of 1883 miles.  The records are in the names of Maynard L. Hill, Barrett J. Foster, and David G. Brown.

The link to the Trans Atlantic Model (TAM) website can read www.tam.plannet21.com.  


The aim of this society is to increase the general public’s awareness of developments in radio-controlled aeromodeling, and in particular to promote young people’s interest in the technical aspects of the hobby. As an initial tactic, a goal has been set to fly a small radio-controlled aeromodel non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean from Newfoundland to Ireland.


The aeromodels used for this experiment will weigh about 11 pounds (5 kilograms) including fuel, and will have a wingspan of about 6.5 feet. The engine will be a four-stroke type of 10 cc. displaced volume. The effort will be carried out under the leadership of Maynard Hill, who has been responsible for the model design and engine development. During the past 3.5 decades, he has established 23 different world records under F.A.I. rules. His models currently hold records for altitude (26,990 ft), duration (33.67 hrs), closed course distance (1301 Km), and speed in a closed circuit (167 mph). The aerodynamic and propulsion aspects of the transatlantic model (TAM) are therefore based on much practical experience.

The TAM model will be flown by a pilot using standard R/C hobby gear to a planned cruising altitude of about 1500 ft. There it will be put into an autonomous mode, steered by global position satellite signals and an on-board microprocessor. The flight of about 1950 miles is expected to take about 45 hours at 45 mph. No tailwind will be needed although there probably will be one. The position of the airplane, as well as technical data about altitude, speed, engine rpm, and some autopilot functions will be telemetered to satellites and returned to monitors on both sides of the ocean. On arrival at its destination, an R/C pilot will take over control and land the model.

One of the goals of this venture is to stir enthusiasm and interest in the sciences of aviation, computers, and meteorology, and to demonstrate how much fun one can have as a scientist or engineer. Hopefully, the progress of the project and the flight will find its way to classrooms all over the world via the Internet. In addition to the great potential in the areas of education and inspiration of youth, there are potentially useful applications of the technology of such small long-endurance models in fields of wildlife tracking, windsheer measurements near airports, and weather-sensing in remote areas.


This society is not to be a profit-making organization. Its chief purpose is to promote interest in and to demonstrate the valuable educational and recreational aspects of the model airplane hobby.

Maynard Hill will serve as president of the society. John Patton will be the treasurer. Like Maynard, Pat is a past president of the Academy of Model Aeronautics and has worked as a volunteer in many ways over the past 60 years. A newsletter about the society’s progress will be published periodically by Bill Savage, an AMA leader member, and long a volunteer for AMA activities. The organization includes an advisory board whose current membership, in addition to those mentioned above, consists of:

Charlie Calvert, John Chirtea, Tien Seng Chiu, Roy Day, Joe Foster, Harry Grattan, Les Hamilton, Scott Hill, Paul Howey, Ron Moulton (U.K.), Henry Nicholls (U.K.), Fred Nielsen, and Rob Rosenthal

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