Welcome to one of my favorite subjects!
I have been building balsa airplanes for over 12 years now and continue to enjoy it just as much as I did when I was younger. My Grandfather introduced me to the hobby and I watched as his hands shaped a bundle of wood and tissue into a functioning aircraft. In my youth I built many kits, most of which didn't last long after completion due to my poor judgement in flying practices. As an adult I am now able to build larger, more detailed aircraft, but also able to use various control methods instead of strictly free-flight (God's hands). They still don't last much longer though : )
The following is a list of my current models with their status, statistics, and a brief description of it's historical significance. At the bottom of the page are numbered pictures that show the models in this list. Enjoy!
1. F6F Hellcat:
Power: .090 glow Control: U-control Control surfaces: elevators Completed: 3/2000
Status: display only
Kit notes: The kit was inherited from my Grandfather in unopened condition. I chose to build it strictly as a display model although it is fitted for flight. It has a 24" wing span and is balsa/silk construction.
Historical facts: The Hellcat was the US Navy's main carrier based fighter. It served on carriers such as the Yorktown and Essex with great success during WW2. It featured a Pratt & Whitney radial engine and concealed landing-gear.
2. JU87 Stuka:
Power: .090 glow Control: RC Control surfaces: elevators and rudder Completed: na
Status: unfinished requiring electronics and covering
Kit notes: With the airframe completed and partialy sheeted in balsa it awaits the fitting of the electronics and silk covering over it's exposed surfaces.
Historical facts: The Stuka was Germany's most successful dive bomber and inflicted great damage upon it's enemies during the first two years of WW2. With it's inverted V12 engine, gull wings, and rigid landing gear it stood out easily and earned the nickname of "vulture". By mid war it proved to be too slow and heavy compared to the fighters of the time.
Power: .049 glow Control: U-control Control surfaces: elevators Completed: 5/2000
Kit notes: The kit is completed and awaiting some flight time when the weather is right. It is balsa framed with tissue covering and retains the tissues white color to show the structure beneath.
Historical facts: The Fw-190 was perhaps Germany's best fighter produced during WW2. Although it was too late to be of much value it proved to be an equal if not superior design when compared to the allied aircraft of the time. Due to low production numbers and scarce fuel relatively few sorties were flown.
4. Beechcraft Musketeer:
Power: rubber Control: free-flight Control surfaces: na Completed: 7/2000
Kit notes: After more then fifty flights the structure failed at the wing roots resulting in a flying brick. After numerous repairs ending in similar fashion it was repaired and now serves as a display model. Fun kit but too weak where the wings meet the fuselage.
Historical facts: Beechcraft's first popular all metal personal plane. Sold in large numbers and was very easy to fly. Low wing position gave it a sporty profile and more cabin room.
Power: rubber Control: free-flight Control surfaces: na Completed: 6/2000
Kit notes: With more flights than any of my other aircraft it was my favorite. It featured the lines of a thermal glider with rubber power. Distances well over fifty feet were not uncommon when a good thermal could be found. Due to it's light construction it proved to be rather weak at the tail section which was repaired six times before being retired with a broken wing. Although it could be repaired it would be easier to purchase and build another. Currently on display.
Historic notes: The kit is based on a model free-flight competition structure.
6. Piper Super Cub:
Power: rubber Control: free-flight Control surfaces: na Completed: 3/2000
Kit notes: With it's high wing position it should have been one of my better fliers but once again poor design where the wings met the fuselage resulted in structural failure. It had all of five flights on it before I repaired and retired it to be a display model.
Historic facts: One of Piper's most popular and common personal planes. Eventually adapted into military service for the US.
Great Planes PT Trainer: electric power,structure complete awaiting covering DONATED
Sterling Stinson Reliant: display model, balsa structure with partial covering INHERITED
Top Flight P40 Warhawk: unopened 1/7 scale kit DONATED