With a flight of one minute and 57 seconds, the longest official flight ever recorded in a local contest, James A. Penoyer, 15, of 121 Hancock Road, won The Eagle model airplane contest Saturday afternoon and the grand prize of a four-day trip to Detroit, Mich. Second prize, a silver cup and an airplane ride, was won by Oswald Zink, 14, of 18 Westover Street with a flight of one minute and 40 seconds. Third prize was won by Odessa Daoust, 15, of 8 Spring Street with a flight of one minute and 27 seconds.

Young Penoyer will go to Detroit early next week where he will represent the city in the second annual national model airplane contest, conducted by The American Boy magazine. A chance to win a free trip to Europe is the big prize out there with innumerable other prizes and four days of entertainment and sight seeing.

The winner of the contest Saturday was second in the contest last year. Since then he has continued model building and the performance of his plane Saturday showed the results of his labor. The ship was an outdoor twin pusher equipped with a wing of the winner’s own design and an A.M.L.A. fuselage of balsa wood. In its winning flight, the tiny ship circled from its starting point at the hangar on the Benedict Road field and made for the southwesterly part of the port. There it hovered in the air close to a row of tall maple trees until it seemed as if it must crash into them and be wrecked. Finally when its power, furnished by many strands of rubber, was exhausted, it glided gracefully to the ground without injury.

Penoyer is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Penoyer. He is a student at Pontoosuc School in Grade 9-B. He became interested in model aviation last year through the Lindbergh Model Airplane Club, started at the Y.M.C.A. by Reid O. Besserer, boys’ work director. He entered the first annual contest last year and made a flight of 40 seconds which won him a large silver cup and a bronze medal. Penoyer also devoted considerable time to making indoor models and succeeded in building one which flew for over two minutes in the auditorium of the Pontoosuc School until it struck the ceiling and fell.

This Story in History is selected from the archives by Jeannie Maschino, The Berkshire Eagle.

Community News Editor / Librarian

Jeannie Maschino is community news editor and librarian for The Berkshire Eagle. She has worked for the newspaper in various capacities since 1982 and joined the newsroom in 1989. She can be reached at jmaschino@berkshireeagle.com.