Special Exhibit:

Transatlantic Transmitter

(Click on any of the images on this page to see a larger version)

This was one of the four transmitters used by Maynard Hill in 2003 to achieve his historic flight of a model airplane across the Atlantic ocean.

The four were donated by Futaba to control the Trans Atlantic Model, or “TAM’ during the initial launch and final landing phases. For the rest of the 1,882 mile flight the TAM was beyond sight and controlled by an autonomous computerized autopilot system.

Legally blind and nearly deaf in 2003, Maynard Hill had to turn these transmitters over to Star flyers like Dave Brown to do the piloting. But Hill still managed to do most everything else including, incredibly, even hand- launching the ship. Very few 30 year olds would be physically capable of javelin launching such a large craft filled with enough heavy fuel to propel it across the sea.

Maynard Hill wasn’t 30, anymore.

When Mrs. Hill gave us this transmitter she wrote that no one knows which of the four were used for which segment of the flight, but this one was confirmed to be one of them. She added:
“ I send it just as it sat in his shop: oily and messy”

The day we received it in 2012 we slid the switch to “ON”, never expecting anything to happen to this radio which had sat for 9 years in his shop after making history.

The surprise was somewhat chilling when the transmitter sprung to life and lit up “TAM” on its screen.

Transatlantic Transmitter.