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Tower Hobby Kits Gone!!!!!

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Old 10-21-2018, 06:46 AM
  #1  
Bill Diedrich
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Default Tower Hobby Kits Gone!!!!!

I guess with Horizon buying out Tower Hobbies they are going to drop all of the kits
from the Great Planes & Top Flite lines and all others, can't say I am surprised. So it
looks like Sig Mfg. and a very few other companies will be supplying the kit builders market
in favor of Horizon / Tower Hobbies going with just the ARF's. Well I don't think the Tower
Savers Club will exist much longer either, before it gets the axe from Horizon.

Bill D.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:01 AM
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BelAirBob
 
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I emailed Tower about a Top Flite Contender and a Great Planes Escapade. I received a nice email from their customer service that TF and GP were not part of the merger and did not know what the future was. However, they hoped both product lines would eventually come back. Now, why the TF new Hellcat is in stock, etc, I have no idea. No telling who owns what company and how they are intermingled. I think most people agree that our hobby is in a state of change in a lot of ways. If I had to guess, I would say Horizon hit the hot button with E-Flite foamies and Spektrum. But kits, nitro engines etc are probably on the down elevator. Kids seem to have little interest in our hobby. And note that Model Airplane News is about 30 pages thinner?

I see the new E-Flite Pitts is in stock so moving over to the PC to order one

Regards

bob
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:15 PM
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Hate to see it. I really enjoyed building a Great Planes .40 J3 Cub kit last winter and have enjoyed flying it since completion. I certainly realize it's a dying segment of the industry, but there's a certain satisfaction that comes from building and flying that ARF's and foamies just don't offer.

Thankful for Sig still making quality kits!
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:46 PM
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I built a Sig 4 Star 60 and the quality of the balsa and fit of the parts were outstanding.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:45 AM
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CF105
 
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Conflicting information. The original press release stated that Horizon was picking up both GP and TF.

My guess is the reply you received referred to kits and not ARFs. The TF Hellcat is even listed on Horizon’s website.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:40 AM
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The Escapade MX is an ARF and in limbo. I noted the Hellcat is available but donít know about other TF ARFís

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Old 10-22-2018, 03:38 PM
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Bill Diedrich
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Referring to kits, not ARF's
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:42 PM
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mkjohnston
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Hi Bill welcome to the new reality and that being that there won't be any kit makers in the US but for now at least there is Sig and Balsa USA and a few Lazer cutters out there. There are very few nitro flyers at the club I belong to. It is a shame my friend may he rip would roll over in his grave to see the condition and he was one of the most prolific builders I ever knew.
Michael Johnston
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Old 10-27-2018, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mkjohnston View Post
Hi Bill welcome to the new reality and that being that there won't be any kit makers in the US but for now at least there is Sig and Balsa USA and a few Lazer cutters out there. There are very few nitro flyers at the club I belong to. It is a shame my friend may he rip would roll over in his grave to see the condition and he was one of the most prolific builders I ever knew.
Michael Johnston
the reality is we now have more kits available than any time in history they just arenít on the shelf. There are hundred if not thousands of kits available through kit cutters like laser works.
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Constrictor View Post

the reality is we now have more kits available than any time in history they just arenít on the shelf. There are hundred if not thousands of kits available through kit cutters like laser works.
I agree. The availability of kits provided by kit cutters is mind boggling. There is something for just about every builder, no matter the skill set.

All is not gloom and doom. We still have options for the models that we want to build, and in the size that we want to build them in.

The sky is not falling. LOL
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Old 10-28-2018, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CF105 View Post
Conflicting information. The original press release stated that Horizon was picking up both GP and TF.

My guess is the reply you received referred to kits and not ARFs. The TF Hellcat is even listed on Horizonís website.
that is correct. Horizon picked up the top flite and great planes brand. They did not buy the kit cutter and machinery that made the kits for top flite or great planes.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:03 AM
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as with a lot of things, the method of marketing kits has changed......
where as kits were sold by retail shops years ago,.... now...., kits are being made and sold diectly by the kit cutters themselves on line. there's still plenty of kits, you just have to approach finding them differently.
it would be great if there was a central on line site that listed all the cutters that have kits for sale.
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Old 10-28-2018, 02:01 PM
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As long as there's balsa and ply available, the ability to build the airframe itself won't go away.

However, what bothers me, is the resources to support building including traditional glow power becoming scarce: i.e. hardware like spinners, spinner nuts, propellers, engine mounts, mufflers, fuel tanks, fuel tubing, fuel, and glow support equipment, not to mention all the other hardware that goes into building a model airplane like covering materials, pushrods, horns, clevises, wheels, wheel collars, canopies, fuel proof paints, decals, Hobbypoxy, Ambroid, and Pica Gluit. Also hardware from these guys: Goldberg, Craft Air, Kraft/Hayes, Klett, C.B. Associates, Fourmost, Dave Brown, Ernst, Edson, Macs Products, and even Great Planes.

DuBro's still around.

How do you complete the kit if you don't have all the stuff?

Last edited by H5606; 10-29-2018 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Oh yeah moment
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Old 10-28-2018, 04:38 PM
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We probably need to start stocking up on this stuff at flea markets. Props for glow engines are disappearing too
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Old 10-29-2018, 08:30 AM
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The loss of hardware manufacturers is a problem, but not insurmountable. Arrow shafts and music wire are available from other sources. Some things can be 3D printed. Others can be made individually from “raw” materials (control horns from G10 fibreglass for example).

Where there is a will, there is a way!
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Old 10-30-2018, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by H5606 View Post
As long as there's balsa and ply available, the ability to build the airframe itself won't go away.

However, what bothers me, is the resources to support building including traditional glow power becoming scarce: i.e. hardware like spinners, spinner nuts, propellers, engine mounts, mufflers, fuel tanks, fuel tubing, fuel, and glow support equipment, not to mention all the other hardware that goes into building a model airplane like covering materials, pushrods, horns, clevises, wheels, wheel collars, canopies, fuel proof paints, decals, Hobbypoxy, Ambroid, and Pica Gluit. Also hardware from these guys: Goldberg, Craft Air, Kraft/Hayes, Klett, C.B. Associates, Fourmost, Dave Brown, Ernst, Edson, Macs Products, and even Great Planes.

DuBro's still around.

How do you complete the kit if you don't have all the stuff?
we would have to do like anything that isn't made any more. there is no guarantee parts will be available for anything after a few years.
Why worry about it? we have plenty of parts sellers for our hobby right now.
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Old 11-02-2018, 03:59 AM
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The sad thing is that Horizon still owns the copy rights to all of the kits that were produced by the likes of Top Flite & Great Planes,
and I don't see the likes of Lazer-Works or Laser Design Services, or any other kit cutter wanting to tread on the toes of Horizon to
cut short kits for any of the now no longer produced kits. Yes many of you are right there are a lot of laser and CNC kits being cut to
the likes of all of the RCM plans from the past and designs from many others that were never produced in kit form, I know Eddie @
Lazer-Works has cut quite a few for me in the past.
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Old 11-02-2018, 07:34 AM
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Hey! What are the links to some of the Kit Cutter sites mentioned earlier? PLEASE!!!!
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:42 AM
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A friend of mine in the industry says that Horizon is trying to reestablish contracts with whomever was making the TF and GP kits. Horizon owns the brands but evidently the balsa cutting came from elsewhere. Who knows, but as someone mentioned earlier, we still have Sig, Balsa USA etc. And Lazer Works is doing short kits. I recently got an UltraSport canopy from him so Eddie is doing more than just cutting balsa
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Old 11-02-2018, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by johnnymax View Post
Hey! What are the links to some of the Kit Cutter sites mentioned earlier? PLEASE!!!!
Google man, Google

https://www.google.com/search?q=LASE...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:16 PM
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Bill Diedrich
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Lazer Works - Engraving & Design & http://laser-design-services.com

Last edited by Bill Diedrich; 11-02-2018 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:25 AM
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If any of you kit builders out there are worrying about the availability of kits, build something from a set of plans. It's NOT hard. All you really need is an exacto knife and some sandpaper to cut out the pieces. Start with something simple like an ugly stik or a Phil Kraft Kwik Fli. Canopies are available from Park flyer plastics for many plans and cowls can be either purchased from fiberglass specialties or made from scratch.

be warned though; once you build a plane from plans, it's hard to go back to kits.


carl
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:31 PM
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National Balsa offers Hostetler and Ziroli plans kits. Precision Cut Kits has been sold to another company out in Texas, I believe......Saw that one coming.
last April at the Toledo show National had a huge stack of 1/4 scale kits , from what I heard they sold nearly all of them.
One o'these days I'm gonna spring for the Hostetler 1/4 Aeronca Champ.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:47 AM
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Sounds like the old days when, if you wanted a plane, you had to design, gather up all the wood and build it yourself. I see the same foamies everywhere I go. I like to have something different. I'm a builder. Wish I could fly as well as I build.

Skyhawk
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Old 11-14-2018, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Hemikiller View Post
I did that, I was wanting recommended companies that sell laser cut plane kits.
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