Back in the 60's, guys like Arthur Meyer and 'Brother Otto' - before the advent of commercially available proportional type radio control systems or fiberglass hull kits - drew on their own resources, abilities, and instincts. Those innovators carved out wooden hulls, cramming every available cubic inch with stepper switches, vacuum tube receivers, relays, home-made servos, custom wound motors, or the primitive 'reed' type r/c systems then available and MADE their model submarines work!
This very special group of modelers has, over the years, shared their work through magazine articles, presentations at local model boating regattas, and club meetings. Those of us who enjoy and profit from participation in this growing aspect of r/c modeling do so only by standing on the shoulders of these pioneers.
Other mechanically inclined model builders have, in recent years, taken up the challenge of r/c submarining and have contributed significantly to the advancement of the art:
On the West coast, David Wicks proved that 'museum quality' scale model submarines could indeed be made to work effectively as r/c submarines. His fleet of beautiful 1/72nd scale model 'show stoppers' are the standard we lesser skilled builders strive to achieve.
(I would be remise here if I did not openly acknowledge that it was Dave's unique and innovative methods of mounting and accessing control and propulsion equipment within the interior of a model submarine which served as the catalysts that drove me to design, develop, test, perfect, and market the WTC system.)
California's Mike Dorey - normally a well mannered and peaceful type of guy - developed practical model submarine torpedoes propelled by expanding gas. His methods of model torpedo propulsion and stability now accepted as the hobby standard.
And for nearly twenty years Simon Smith's company, 32nd Parallel, has produced excellent fiberglass submarine hull kits - many patrolling lakes, pools and ponds throughout the world.
Simon's kits, magazine articles, motion picture effects work, and unbridled enthusiasm of the hobby has contributed greatly to the advancement of r/c model submarining.
The East coast has its share of practitioner's: Skip Asay, the 'GodFather' of American r/c submarining, has long been tinkering with helicopter rate gyros, carburetor parts, industrial water tight seals, practical gas type ballast systems, fail-safe devices, and a host of other innovations that - now perfected and commercially available - permit the 'average Joe' to enjoy a form of r/c modeling that only a few year ago was the domain of those with extensive mechanical design and fabrication backgrounds.
David and Eleanor Merriman