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Found a Middle Stick Kit from ~1969

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#1
Context; my wife’s grandfather passed away a few years back and while they were cleaning his house out, they found an R/C kit and gave it to me. I started building FT planes a few months after the kit was given to me and forgot about it until I was cleaning out a closet today.

The kit; it is a Middle Stick balsa wood quick-build kit, the manufacture date is not explicitly stated on the box or “instructions” but best I can tell it is no earlier than 1968; “70” is printed in the corner of the plans for no apparent reason, so I would assume that is the “model year”. Nearly all the wording on the box and plans is written in German. Where and when the kit was purchased is unknown.

The Box
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The Plans
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The materials; this is where I get a little confused. Some of the balsa wood pieces are marked with numbers corresponding to the plans, but most are just “stock” type balsa pieces. No precut spars, etc. everything looks to be there but I can’t be certain.
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Conclusion; I have never assembled a balsa kit but this looks like a fun one to try. I also don’t speak German but I have started using Google translate’s camera feature and putting sticky notes over ze’ German instructions.

The “Stick” line of planes are still being produced today, but if anyone has seen a kit like this and put it together let me know what you think!
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#3
Lucky you! That's probably a good kit for a first balsa build. The "Stick" style of airplane is very basic and uncomplicated. Translating the German could slow you down a bit. Plenty of advice to go around here. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing it come together.
 

speedbirdted

Well-known member
#4
Lucky you; Sticks are literally built to be as simple as possible while still having a really good flight envelope. If you take your time, this will be a fun build and it'll fly great.

At first I thought that was a BL outrunner motor in the picture on the box, which would definitely not make it 1969, but upon further inspection I think it's an OS-Graupner wankel engine, which for the uninformed is literally the coolest model airplane ever made in human history (even if it leaks oil out of every seam, destroys glow plugs and drinks fuel like nobody's business!) Good luck getting one though, they're out of production and cost a small fortune on eBay. Though this leads to my main question which is what will you power it with? Nitro would be really cool but it's expensive and has a steep learning curve.

So far my only experiences with this kind of kit is building an Ace Littlest Stik which when originally designed was for 020 engines and rudder-only escapement control, but I modded it for rudder and elevator. It's definitely a full-attention-at-all-times airplane lol

 
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speedbirdted

Well-known member
#6
Pilots in the 60s must have been crazy lol. It actually flies really nicely on a calm day but you have to pay attention to it. The porposing in that flight was due to the music wire pushrods bending - afterwards I replaced them with dubro micro pushrods and it cleaned it right up.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#7
What a great project! :D

There are a few folks on the forums here that speak German quite well and can help you out on the confusing parts of the instructions - and Google Translate is a pretty amazing piece of tech. :D
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#9
At first I thought that was a BL outrunner motor in the picture on the box, which would definitely not make it 1969, but upon further inspection I think it's an OS-Graupner wankel engine, which for the uninformed is literally the coolest model airplane ever made in human history (even if it leaks oil out of every seam, destroys glow plugs and drinks fuel like nobody's business!) Good luck getting one though, they're out of production and cost a small fortune on eBay. Though this leads to my main question which is what will you power it with? Nitro would be really cool but it's expensive and has a steep learning curve.
Can confirm the R/C setup page refers to a Graupner Wankel engine in google translate, which I thought was a mistranslation. You’re right, looking up that engine reveals it is a gem of a design!

I reached out to Graupner (they still exist making radios, servos, and escs) via email asking for any documentation they have electronically or in English. Long shot on a response, but we’ll see.

Not sure what to power this thing with, I was thinking electric (zero experience with liquid fueled engines)...
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#11
Progress after day 1:
Started building and immediately found this was previously partially assembled and then disassembled. All the fuselage formers (or Rumpfbildner in German) were glued in place and then removed. Doesn’t look like they went very far before giving up. Also, there are pieces missing, but I have a hobby town just down the street. Unfortunately, missing pieces is the reason I didn’t get further.

Did discover my wife’s Cricut Maker can cut balsa wood less than 1/8” thick. Which will be perfect for the 3/32” thick wing ribs. I’ll be looking into that later.

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The Hangar

Well-known member
#12
Progress after day 1:
Started building and immediately found this was previously partially assembled and then disassembled. All the fuselage formers (or Rumpfbildner in German) were glued in place and then removed. Doesn’t look like they went very far before giving up. Also, there are pieces missing, but I have a hobby town just down the street. Unfortunately, missing pieces is the reason I didn’t get further.

Did discover my wife’s Cricut Maker can cut balsa wood less than 1/8” thick. Which will be perfect for the 3/32” thick wing ribs. I’ll be looking into that later.

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You’re off to a great start!
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#13
Progress after day 2:
Not much progress, finished the fuselage formers, firewall, front landing gear mount, and fuel tank well. Did quite a bit of sanding to make the formers flush with bottom of the fuselage. Going to have to break for a few days as I don’t have enough clamps to secure both sides of the fuselage for gluing but my father in law does! I will be using tight bond 2 wood glue on the sides to give enough time to ensure everything is lined up properly for clamping.
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KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#17
Will you be using only wood glue, or CA for some parts? for some parts Thin CA or Epoxy may be the only option.
I used CA for nearly everything except putting the sides on the fuselage. I just didn't have enough set-time with the CA to get all 8 clamps positioned correctly on that step.

The exact CA glue I am using is linked here. The wood glue I am using is linked here.
 

Piotrsko

Well-known member
#18
It's hazy but I recall the wankel came in 2 sizes: the big one about .35-40 and a .19 ish size which is rare as hens teeth. Other than cool factor, they were lousy performance.

Rudder only escapement was a hoot. Set it up for a fast climb, everything done by turning for a long or short time, five steps better than free flight, but make sure the rubberband had enough turns.

Pretty sure the "70" is the year the plans were copyrighted, I don't remember these being popular until I got back from playing army in '75
 

KSP_CPA

Well-known member
#19
Fuselage is still at my in-law’s, (went out of town for the week). Completed the rough-in of the horizontal stabilizer few days back and started cutting ribs out with the Cricut for the left wing last night.

I can clearly see why the barriers of entry into this hobby were very high about 20 years ago. Max parts on a foamie are maybe 30, this plane has at least 150 individual parts to cut, shape, and/or glue. Crashes would be catastrophic, expensive, and wholly avoided when all you can fly are balsa planes.

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The Hangar

Well-known member
#20
Fuselage is still at my in-law’s, (went out of town for the week). Completed the rough-in of the horizontal stabilizer few days back and started cutting ribs out with the Cricut for the left wing last night.

I can clearly see why the barriers of entry into this hobby were very high about 20 years ago. Max parts on a foamie are maybe 30, this plane has at least 150 individual parts to cut, shape, and/or glue. Crashes would be catastrophic, expensive, and wholly avoided when all you can fly are balsa planes.

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And to think that the “stick” was one of the most simple and basic trainer planes. Imagine what a large scale warbird would feel like flying... 😬