Air Zoo to display replica of first successful radio control airplane

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Guests visiting the Air Zoo can now learn all about the world’s first successful radio control aircraft — the Guff.

The Guff was the first R/C aircraft created with vacuum tube-based control units. Walter and William Good, who were from Kalamazoo and attended Kalamazoo College, built the model and won first place in the 1939, 1940, and 1947 R/C Airplane Nationals.

The first truly successful Radio Control airplane was the Big Guff, built in 1938 by the Good brothers, Walt and Bill. Photo from the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

“The Air Zoo is honored to feature a display that pays tribute to the Good brothers and their contributions to aviation,” said Bob Ellis, Air Zoo president and CEO.

The Air Zoo’s Guff display features a replica built and donated by Walter Pompey, from Kalamazoo, along with a radio transmitter, biographies of the Good brothers, and a video of their flights.

The Good brothers’ original Guff is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

For more information: 269-382-6555,

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