Charles Wagner

I am very sorry to report that Charles Wagner died on January 6 in his sleep. Charles had cancer and felt he had it beat, but he developed an infection in his liver which proved to be too much of a strain on his heart. In a letter to Falco friends, the Wagners reported

Fortunately he was not in any pain and passed away peacefully in his sleep just after 7am Thursday 6th January, coincidentaly a beautiful clear blue sky, a perfect flying day.

We were told laterally that his type of cancer was very aggresive. Dad was forever an optimist, and I don't think he believed he would not survive. His attitude made it so much easier for us to cope with how things may have and sadly did turn out.

Charles Wagner was a very colorful character, as many of you may have appreciated from his articles. I'm going to miss him, and I'm sure many of you have come to be friends with him as well. If you would like to write a note, please address it to the family of Charles C. Wagner, The Smithy, Polloktown, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, Scotland.

Alfred Scott

Charles Wagner

I started on the Falco straight from radio control models. I had built them bigger and bigger and eventually said to myself that I would be sitting in the next one. It seemed only a natural progression. I had no background in aviation, in fact I think I only got my license after I had started on the Falco. Now, having only 400 hours, I feel like 'Junior' when I talk to these multi-thousand hour pilots.

Looking through Jane's Aircraft, I liked the look and the performance of the Falco, and I could afford it at the time. It was only after the die was case that all the tyre kickers told me how difficult and complex it was. Well, it wasn't difficult. It took me about 15 years entirely on my own, but it was not entirely without breaks as I started several new companies in that time plus I had fairly debilitating back trouble which closed me down for about 18 months and a hernia operation.

I made no attempt to quantify the time I spent on it because I enjoyed it. I did not keep a record of how much it cost because my wife would have demanded at least a Porsche had she known what I was spending. My wife wantes a husband at the home and hearth, she does not share my magnificent obsessions so a project like this is the epitomy of selfishness. God knows how we have lasted 40 odd years together.

Looking back on it, it seems that most of the time was spent thinking how I was going to do this or that. Having done it, I found each job was easy. I would love to build a second Falco. The plans and the builder manual were excellent. Articles in the Falco Builders (News)Letters are helpful if you take the methodical course and read and re-read them as the relevant stage is approached.

I am a chemist/chemical engineer. I wanted to make many parts myself so I trained myself to machine, etc. While this was fun, it was not cost or time effective. I would have been much better off buying the kits, and I actually had to in the end. I got a local welder to weld the tanks, the main gear legs and the control and pedal torque tubes from my laboriously made parts. What a disaster. He welded beautifully but could not jig. Most of this had to be binned.

I deviated from Sequoia's recommendations and had a normally aspirated engine. Consequently I lost considerable time designing and making control supports, heat exchangers for cabin and carburetor heat and air intakes, plus it's a little slower.

Nevertheless, I now have an airplane that flies as though it's on rails. I cannot believe that I have build an airplane as good as this. It's even difficult to make a bad landing in it. Thanks Alfred, and Stelio Frati.

Charles Wagner

Charles Wagner & family.

Charles Wagner lives in Glasgow, Scotland. Telephone: 44-141-639-5249, fax: 44-141-616-3216 Email:

Charles Wagner Flips His Lid
The Falco Story, C-CWAG
Accident Notification