ABOUT DAVE

David Gierke is an acknowledged internal combustion engine authority, having written three well-received non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles on the subject. A retired high school teacher and dedicated pioneer aviation historian, Gierke has received extensive recognition for his work, including the 1978 New York State Teacher of the Year award and a citation from the Buffalo, New York chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dave was inducted into the national Model Aviation Hall of Fame in 2003. He and his wife, Carolyn, divide their time between Lancaster, New York and Sarasota, Florida.

Also By C. David Gierke

  • “Langley’s Steam-Powered Flying Machines”, Aviation History, July 1998, Volume 8, Number 6, pp. 50-56+

  • 2-Stroke Glow Engines, Volume 1

  • 2-Stroke Glow Engines (Beyond the Basics), Volume 2

  • Airplane Engine Guide

  • Nitro Engine Guide

  • R/C Pilot’s Handbook (Chapter 11, “Maximizing Engine Performance”)

  • Ultimate RC Flight Guide (Chapter 6 “Getting the Most From Your Engine”)

Like many young people of my generation, I started building rubber-band-powered model airplanes early – I was seven. A few years later I obtained my first engine – a used “sparker” converted to “glow” – and learned to fly Control Line.

1. Dave Gierke-1956
1. Dave Gierke-1956

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2. First Workshop-1954
2. First Workshop-1954

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3. Dave's Tomahawk & Firecat-1956 (1)
3. Dave's Tomahawk & Firecat-1956 (1)

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1. Dave Gierke-1956
1. Dave Gierke-1956

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While still in undergraduate school at State University College at Buffalo (N.Y.), I authored my first magazine article at the age of 19 (IAVE magazine, later reprinted in Popular Electronics), titled the “Twisted Armature Motor”. This experience led to the publication of my first airplane design, “Novi” – a Control Line Stunt model, in American Modeler.

4. Novi-1965 Willow Grove Nationals
4. Novi-1965 Willow Grove Nationals

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6. 1965 Nationals Kostecky & Gierke
6. 1965 Nationals Kostecky & Gierke

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34. Twisted Armature Motor_edited
34. Twisted Armature Motor_edited

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4. Novi-1965 Willow Grove Nationals
4. Novi-1965 Willow Grove Nationals

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Over the next decade I designed, built and competed with a multitude of new
models in Control Line and Radio Control – many of which were published in
various model magazines

8. Novi 2-after the crash
8. Novi 2-after the crash

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9. Novi 2-after the crash-1966
9. Novi 2-after the crash-1966

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30. Blue Flame
30. Blue Flame

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8. Novi 2-after the crash
8. Novi 2-after the crash

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Always interested in the technical aspect of model aviation, I developed
experimental apparatus and techniques that were used to help understand and
enhance the performance of small engines. Several of these are described in
technical articles, including:

  • “Dynamometer – For Engine Performance Analysis” (three parts).

  • “Two-Stroke Oils: Their Analysis”.

  • "The Effects of Atmospheric Conditions on Engine Performance”.

  • “The Power Factor”.

32. Dave's small engine dynamometer
32. Dave's small engine dynamometer

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33. Dynamometer article. Part 1 of 3
33. Dynamometer article. Part 1 of 3

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32. Dave's small engine dynamometer
32. Dave's small engine dynamometer

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In 1992, I became a contributing editor for Model Airplane News magazine. My
column, “RPM” (Real Performance Measurement) provided answers and insight
to problems associated with the design, operation, and maintenance of engines.

Two of my technical books:

  • Two-Stroke Glow Engines for RC Aircraft (1994), and

  • Two-Stroke Glow Engines: Power, Beyond the Basics (2007), continue to receive enthusiastic reviews from readers across the spectrum of model aviation. Two-Stroke Glow Engines…Volume 1, has sold more than 20,000 copies worldwide.

Over the years my competition models have garnered many top awards,
including:

  • Best Appearing Control Line Stunt Model (twice), at the AMA Nationals.

  • 13 First Place Awards at the Toledo Weak Signals Radio Control Expo.

As a retired educator, I credit model airplanes for helping to motivate high school
students to many science and engineering achievements:

  • In 1977, my high school team of eight boys won first place in the national

SCORE ERA II (Student Competitions On Relevant Engineering)
competition for renewable energy, against colleges and universities from
across the country (For: An Integrated Wind and Solar Energy System for
Generating Electricity).

37- SCORE ERA II team and advisors
37- SCORE ERA II team and advisors

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36. 8-foot Parabolic Solar Collecter. SCORE ERA II
36. 8-foot Parabolic Solar Collecter. SCORE ERA II

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35. 12-foot Windturbine. SCORE ERA II
35. 12-foot Windturbine. SCORE ERA II

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37- SCORE ERA II team and advisors
37- SCORE ERA II team and advisors

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One of my students was a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent
Search, a national competition among the country’s top science students
(For: Wind Turbine Analysis).

38. Wind Turbine Analysis - Fisher
38. Wind Turbine Analysis - Fisher

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38. Wind Turbine Analysis - Fisher
38. Wind Turbine Analysis - Fisher

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Another won the top science “lecture demonstration” award for the New
York State Science Congress (Topic: Heating with the Wind).

39. Heating With the Wind-Szalach
39. Heating With the Wind-Szalach

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39. Heating With the Wind-Szalach
39. Heating With the Wind-Szalach

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Regionally, my technology students won the top awards for solutions to
mechanical engineering problems – 10 years in succession.

42. Engineering-Cloths Pin-Spring Vehicle
42. Engineering-Cloths Pin-Spring Vehicle

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41. Engineering-Marble Transport
41. Engineering-Marble Transport

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40. Engineering-Egg Racers
40. Engineering-Egg Racers

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42. Engineering-Cloths Pin-Spring Vehicle
42. Engineering-Cloths Pin-Spring Vehicle

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