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Kits from the 60's and 70's

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Old 02-03-2018, 07:42 PM
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mikegriffin1947@cox.net
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Default Kits from the 60's and 70's

For several years I have been producing laser cut control line kits and recently a couple of friends of mine who fly RC asked me why I did not offer RC kits, especially the designs from the 60's and 70's. They told me there was a resurgence in the demand for the older designs and a shortage of places to buy the kits. My question is, if I offered a few designs from that time era, what should I offer. I dont know what were the popular designs from that time. Any input would be helpful.

Thank you
Mike Griffin
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:53 PM
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Older Sig kits, many of the Midwest kits, Great Planes kits that aren't offered anymore, DynaFlite kits, older Goldberg kits, Probably some Top Flite models... There's literally thousands that have went away that were very popular... You're question is really one that has so many answers, and every builder you ask will have different answers. I'm sure many of the companies I mentioned also had/have C/L kits... so those companies probably sound familiar to you.

There's now several kit-cutters out there that are doing either laser-cut short kits, or CNC cut kits, as well as variations of both. The classics are definitely making a comeback, and actually with the possible changes in the big suppliers and manufacturers that have been taking place, it's leaving the markets wide open for smaller more ambitious and custom suppliers, and some have really stepped up to the plate... as in the last few years I personally have been able to source everything I've wanted in discontinued kits and accessories that go with them from small mom/pop outfits... with excellent results and service... and great finished products.

I would imagine you've heard of the https://outerzone.co.uk/ ... a leading web based source for free plans.. thousands of them... There's also https://aerofred.com/ which is another source for free plans... Those don't give you the files for your laser cutter, but it might be a resource for researching. There's many classics on those sites these days. I'm not sure of any legalities if you're pulling them off for profit... but that's up to you.

Anyway.. I'm a fan of the companies I mentioned above, not because of what they offer today, but what they offered 30 or more years ago when I was much newer in the hobby. Frankly all most offer today are ARF's anyway these days... many aren't even around anymore.... but we don't forget our favorites... I could name many planes, but the list is long and it's late.. but hopefully this is a start for a few ideas for you. Good luck with all of it.
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Old 02-04-2018, 06:02 AM
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What would separate a laser cut service from the pack in my mind would be offering canopies and landing gear. You can often find them separately, or something that will do, but it's a project tracking them down. There are spare parts for ARFs that will often suit, Parkflyerplastics has some canopies, Sig has generic canopies. If the kit cutter did that and offered it with the wood pack, or even just links to an existing source for the specific gear and canopies needed, it would go a long way with me. But I know nothing about marketing or the industry, just a builder/flyer.

Also, how big is this "resurgence"? Forums like this, ebay, etc., can give a misleading impression. In our club, there is very little building going on. When I go to meets, I don't see many kit-built planes, and the one I do see often turn out to be refurbished from something built a long time ago. Not trying to discourage you, I love building from kits or from scratch myself, but if you're going to put money into it I hope you do some careful research.

Jim
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Old 02-04-2018, 07:43 AM
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Jim and D. Grant,

Thank you for taking the time to reply. This is exactly the type of information I am looking for. I have worked with Eric Rule at RSM Distribution in California for years to produce my Control Line Kits. He does the CAD work and laser cutting for me and we have discussed cutting RC kits several times and between him and myself, we have been talking with friends who fly RC and trying to get an idea of how to approach the market with which designs. I realize that the Chinese ARF and RTF market has just about taken over in the RC segment leaving only a small core of builders. Brodak Mfg. is about the only manufacturer today that offers Control Line ARFs and the choice is very limited. Most CL fliers are forced to build their own models either from plans or from kits that are offered by just a few manufacturers and cottage kit makers like myself.

For us to produce a few designs of the traditional nostalgic RC models in kit form is not a problem at all, we just want to make sure that we pick the right designs that would appeal to builders like both of you. There is an initial investment on our part of CAD time, materials and laser cutting time but that is just all part of doing business in the hobby.

We will take a look at a few of the older designs and see what we can come up with and I thank both of you for the input.

Regards
Mike Griffin
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mikegriffin1947@cox.net View Post
For several years I have been producing laser cut control line kits
Do you have a list of what you currently cut?

John
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:50 AM
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we've got a bunch of kits
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rubbernecker View Post
Do you have a list of what you currently cut?

John
Hi John,

We do not cut any RC kits at the present time, only Control Line. Are you asking about the Control Line kits?

Thank you
Mike
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Old 02-05-2018, 12:04 PM
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I'm going to check with the SIG Brotherhood people, asking them which out-of-production kits they'd like to see. Might take a couple days to see returns/
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Old 02-06-2018, 05:51 AM
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A guy named Bob ? used to have a business called Early RC Models. For some reason he stopped doing it. He sold full kits reproducing some Aamco, Goldberg, DeBolt, Top Flight, Sterling, etc. They were not cheap, being full kits, but a lot of guys liked them a lot. There are several services out there for short kits, but the majority are for planes from magazine plans. A few are from old kits, but there are lots of gaps. You can see what's on offer, if your focus is on old kits then I think you might have a little different niche. I notice Balsa USA went back to kitting some of their old designs, so that must mean there is some market out there.

Here are some services I'm aware of:Buy Laser Short Kits | The Balsa Workbench
| Lazer Works - Engraving & Design | Radio Control Airplanes, Specialty, and More
Laser Design Services
Jim
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by skylark-flier View Post
I'm going to check with the SIG Brotherhood people, asking them which out-of-production kits they'd like to see. Might take a couple days to see returns/
Thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time to do this.

Mike
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:25 AM
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Mike,
Just to follow up on what has already been said...If you were to start offering old Dynaflite, Sig and Goldbery kits at a more affordable price... you'll do well.
Kits like the Dynaflite PT-19, the Goldberg Super Chipmunk and the Sig King Kobra, you'll get some orders for sure. Especially now that the hobby is in such a state of flux
Just my 2 cents

paul
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzard bait View Post
What would separate a laser cut service from the pack in my mind would be offering canopies and landing gear.

Also, how big is this "resurgence"? Forums like this, ebay, etc., can give a misleading impression. In our club, there is very little building going on. When I go to meets, I don't see many kit-built planes, and the one I do see often turn out to be refurbished from something built a long time ago. Not trying to discourage you, I love building from kits or from scratch myself, but if you're going to put money into it I hope you do some careful research.

Jim
Good info above. When I scratch build, the canopy and landing gear always require long searches to source unless they are wire which I can bend myself. Add to that, many of the old designs are now flown with more powerful engines that require larger diameter props. This means less prop clearance with the stock gear. Often times an inch or so longer gear is required for safe ground clearance. Custom gear from companies like TnT Landing Gear are expensive though I've used their services many times.

If it were my company, I think I'd kit designs that were popular in some organizations like the classic pattern people, etc. Something has to set you apart from others out there. Kits that still appear on Ebay on a regular basis should be avoided, etc. Its a rare SIG kit that doesn't show up from time to time, etc. Just re-kitting an old design might not be the greatest idea. Many old designs had very dated, heavy construction that can be greatly simplified with more modern techniques and materials. Updating old designs might be a good idea but that means greater costs and development time. Good luck and I wish you much success!
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:40 AM
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I have an idea! How about the old Jemco Mustang (two sizes) and the Jemco P-39? Also the 80 inch Dynaflite Spitfire. Those were great designs that built very light and flew great. They turn up on ebay, but they get good prices. I have not seen short kits for any of them. If you got Parkflyer to make the canopies I think you'd get some business. Might need to come up with a canopy mold for them, then let Parkflyer pull the canopies.

One more thought...the 80s were awhile ago, ya know. Might be some old Great Planes designs and others that people miss.

Jim
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:34 AM
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Hokay! Got some "wishlist" items from the SIG Brotherhood. This is pretty much in the order I got them.

RC-32 Komander & Mk-II
RC-33 Liberty Sport
RC-27 Ryan STA
RC-41 Beechcraft Bonanza
RC-57 Morrisey Bravo
RC-25 AeroBipe
RC-34 Skybolt
RC-46 Kadet Jr.
RC-2 PT-19

They'll give you something to think about anyway. As one person put it, we could put the entire out-of-production listing up and it still wouldn't be enough. SIG makes good designs.

Last edited by skylark-flier; 02-08-2018 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:34 PM
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Yes control line kits.

John



Originally Posted by mikegriffin1947@cox.net View Post
Hi John,

We do not cut any RC kits at the present time, only Control Line. Are you asking about the Control Line kits?

Thank you
Mike
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:50 AM
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A list of the Control Line kits I produce.

Imitation by Ted Fancher
KA10 –
MoBest – by Larry Cunningham -
Jaguar – by Steve Buso
Kenhi Mustang by Hi Johnston
Airbender – by Mike Griffin
Buccaneer 746 P – By Allen Brickhaus
Playmate – Jean Pailet
Zephyr- Jean Pailet
Ground Fault by Igor Burger
Peacemaker Profile – by George Aldrich
Banshee (wing moved forward) – by Mike Griffin
Rayette – by Bob Gialdini -
UltraLite Ringmaster – by Eric Rule – Produced by Mike Griffin
Shark 35 Profile – by Mike Griffin
Otto the Gyro – Dick Mathis
YAK9 D
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Old 02-11-2018, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzard bait View Post
A guy named Bob ? used to have a business called Early RC Models. For some reason he stopped doing it. He sold full kits reproducing some Aamco, Goldberg, DeBolt, Top Flight, Sterling, etc. They were not cheap, being full kits, but a lot of guys liked them a lot. There are several services out there for short kits, but the majority are for planes from magazine plans. A few are from old kits, but there are lots of gaps. You can see what's on offer, if your focus is on old kits then I think you might have a little different niche. I notice Balsa USA went back to kitting some of their old designs, so that must mean there is some market out there.

Here are some services I'm aware of:Buy Laser Short Kits The Balsa Workbench
Lazer Works - Engraving & Design Radio Control Airplanes, Specialty, and More
Laser Design Services
Jim

I heard the guy running Early RC Models retired and moved to Arizona.
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:08 AM
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I will tell you what would possibly sell.... But it was never offered as a kit. The Rascal 110... HUGE following..very expensive arf...typically unavailable. however there are no plans for it...and I have heard the smaller Rascal never flew that great. I don't know if that was because they were easy to build heavy? or a design issue... or maybe I just talked to the wrong guy..

I am surprised there is still a demand for the basic flying stick with a canopy type planes. But I suppose many people have fond memories for what they flew when first in the hobby.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:10 PM
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Sticks and wood kits you can cut all day long.RC plane kits original sizes aren't bad but when you get into 1/4 1/3 scales or even 1/2 scales you burn up time and material..Ken
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:41 PM
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I think you will find a decent interest with the classic pattern boys. Ask who would like to have a Phil Kraft Kwik Fli kit and you might get stampeded. The kits would probably sell better if you could include a canopy and maybe the landing gear. If you aren't interested in producing canopies, you could outsource them to parkflyer plastics. He makes all kinds.

carl
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Old 04-26-2018, 12:59 PM
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I would offer short kits and if you see a demand you could add a full kit or offer a canopy and cowling to start if you can justify the expense. I buy a lot of short kits and don't mind running down the rest of the wood as needed, cutting strips from sheets, etc. What I do miss the cowlings, canopies, and windows a short kit generally doesn't have. SIG STA is one kit I have pined away to have. The great thing is the cowl and pants are still stocked by Fiberglass Specialties as are a number of other discontinued SIG parts.
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Old 04-26-2018, 02:17 PM
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I'm making around fifty kits currently, and many others in progress. Giant scale, sport, classic pattern, 110 pattern 2 meter pattern. Laser cut wood kits and kits with foam cores, fiberglass and carbon fiber fusses and parts, landing gear, headers, tools and accessories. I'm also a Sig dealer and offer all their kits and ARFS at a discounted price.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:32 PM
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The New Era III (kitted by Airtronics from RCM plans, IIRC) would be a great kit. There was also a .40 size.
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Old 05-04-2018, 04:59 AM
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I had another thought, how about the old Royal/Marutaka kits? If you can find then they are priced like they are gold plated. Scale wise they were pretty good and they are in demand. The plans are easy to find too.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:59 AM
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Tri-Squire
H-Ray
Mambo
Headmaster
Guillows #3 C/L trainer
Ziroli Eindecker & Morane
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