Micro Rocket Motor and Model Jet Resources
Designers Hall of Fame


Parnell Schoenky

Parnell Schoenky gained a reputation as an expert on helicopter design. Besides publishing a number of plans and articles, he was a leading competitor in the Hiller contests for helicopter flyers.

Despite his expert status, Par (as he was familiarly known) was always ready to confess the limitations of his knowledge, and enthuse others to participate with him in tackling the unique problems of helicopter design. Thus, in a 1956 article entitled "Thoughts on Helicopter Design", he wrote "There is plenty of challenge here, and that's what makes it so interesting. The creative modeler who isn't afraid of
work can make some genuine contributions to our knowledge of model 'copter design."

Urging constant experimentation, he continued, "The main thing is that you experiment until you find out just what YOUR model needs to make it fly right – no one can lay down rules for trimming models when people almost invariably modify kits or published plans, or come up with original designs whose features (and construction) vary all over the map."

Showing the true pioneer's persistence in the face of failure, he went on, "Some of my experimental models have been flown hundreds of times, and even when they crashed they were yielding useful information – it is almost as helpful to know what won't work as what will."

Par's characteristic modesty and rejection of 'guru' status also show in his willingness to give recognition to the efforts and accomplishments of others working in the same design field. In particular, as examples of successful microrocket-powered helicopters, he pointed to the work of U.K. designers, singling out F.G. Boreham and Bill Henderson: "For jet-powered helicopters, the combination of Jetex power units with the British layout developed by Boreham can hardly be beat. Should you want to start with a thoroughly dependable type of whirlybird and don't mind the expense and involved loading procedures common to Jetex, get a pair of the "150" Jetmasters and […] scale down the Henderson 'Whirligig'."


Parnell Schoenky is seen below in two photos that accompanied his article "Whirling Wings"

- Model Aircraft News, Aug. 1955, p. 10

- Model Aircraft News, Aug. 1955, p. 10

Par's reputation was not confined to the United States. Aeromodeller, in January 1954, carried a report on his participation in the newly introduced Hiller Model Helicopter Competition, accompanying it with the photo on the right. "Strong winds, likened to typical English conditions, television and press camera men hampered this first contest at the Nationals. Parnell flew his Class III model to first place in the power section, and also stayed up all night working on a rubber entry which refused to R.O.G. … such is life", commented the Aeromodeller report.

Par's plans on the website include:
   JH-3 Jet Helicopter
   JH-5 Hiller Hornet

Par's articles on the website include:
   "Whirling Wings"
   "Thoughts on the Helicopter"

- Aeromodeller, Jan. 1954



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