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  1. #1

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    Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Several months ago I picked up a set of plans that were with an original Mini Mambo box from an antique store, I made a copy of them at Kinko's. A short while ago I decided to start building a new plane from it. I decided to post the build progress here in the kit builders section since the build is based upon those plans, even though it's a scratch build.

    The plane is 2 channel and I decided to make some revisions to it since I am not thrilled with only 2 channel control, especially since I fly typically in windy conditions. I'm going with aileron/elevator control on it, I ditched the dihedral as well. I also decided for old times sakes, I'll cover this one in tissue paper. I used the stock I had left over from my Guillow's giant scale kits for most of it and just for a challenge and to help keep the weight down on the wing I used yellow dollar store tissue paper. The latter is really difficult to use but the results from it so far are adequet, it actually paints on sheeted surfaces quite well though such as the ailerons. In addition, I'll have the servo's all mounted to the fuse externally, I also gave the stabalizer a lift based airfoil, this should cause the aft section of the plane to rise upwards which will help set the COG without adding balast in theory. I went the latter route because it's originally designed for fueled flight. The ailerons will also be attached to the trailing edge of the wing which simplifies the build and increases the chord a bit.

    I'm going electric with it, I set it up to accomodate a 3 cell, 11.1, 1000 mah lipo pack, not sure which b/l motor I'm going to be using but there are plenty of options in that area these days. The wingspan is 36".

    I'm attaching some photo's of where it was at prior to covering and finish sanding, I'll update this thread with the results of where I'm currently at tonight if anybody shows interest in it.
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  2. #2

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    It's a very good design! I flew one powered with a "QZ" (Quiet Zone) .049, which was a standard .049 with a muffler wrapped around the port that had a slide adjuster. Leave it open for priming/starting, then close it as much as you want to reduce noise.
    Rudder & elevator Galloping Ghost pulse control
    Open areas Covered with silk and wood parts doped.
    Its been so long ago, I cant recall the all up weight, but I do remember it being very light and flew like a bird.

    Will the tissue paper be strong enough for your version of the MM?

    Which servos will you be using? Thanks!

  3. #3

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    I cut out the servo holes to accomodate the standard 9g GWS servo's, I can use a great variety of them since many match those specs.

    The tissue paper is being painted in thinned down acrylic, then a layer of gloss clear coat to seal it in and help improve it's strength, I'm using PVA instead of dope since I loath the fumes and expense of that stuff, the disadvantage of it is that the tacked down tissue paper does lose some of it's hold when you are shrinking it, but it's good enough for this build for me.

    Also, something I forgot to mention on the revisions, I didn't use formers on the fuse, just crossmembers, it seemed overkill to add formers to it since the sides of it is solid balsa stock. Also, there was nothing in the plans to draw upon for that area so I eyeballed the width and taper of the fuse looking at the final photo of the completed plane that was on the plans and the box.

    I've heard alot of good reviews about this plane, I can't wait to take it up.

  4. #4

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Thanks for the reply. The MM has a classic look to it IMO. A great choice to build. Good luck with it!

  5. #5
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    your cat seems to be paying close attention to the details !

  6. #6

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    He's my shop helper, he helps by laying smack dab on the middle of the plans while I'm trying to stick together the plane.

    I finished covering the plane this morning, the clear coat I used ruined the finish so it has wrinkle galore in it, I might recover it later, but for now, I want to see how it fly's. I'll have photo's tomorrow, I left my digital media card reader at the office.

  7. #7

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    saucer,

    Nice Job! At least building from the plans you could make sure you had decent wood and the parts all fit right. That's something that never happened with the kits! Hope it flies as nice as it looks.

    papermache
    Slope Gliding - A Northwest Indiana tradition since 1896

  8. #8
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans


    The Mini Mambo was my first R/C model. Bought it built ready to fly with a Futaba escapement system from a buddy of mine who was moveing up to a galloping ghost system. I want to build another some day. I'll be watching your build. Glad you are doing it...Gene

  9. #9

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    I'm glad to bring back memories on this one. I have it covered and painted now, I might dress it up a little more before adding the gear. Flying weather has been almost non existant this year so I do have some time on my hands. With the latter recognized in my State, I do know the LHS's are hurting due to it. I'll likely get a new motor from my own LHS just for this plane even though they are overpriced compared to what I normally buy via. from the web, I suggest those of you that are also experiencing the same this year to do the same if you can otherwise we'll have even fewer of them in business.

    I can bounce a copy of thse plans for those that want to build their own, it would be cool if we could make a trade, you can never have enough vintage plans to work from.
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  10. #10

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    > I ditched the dihedral as well. <

    How do you expect the plane to turn without ailerons?
    Dave Segal

  11. #11

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    It has ailerons.

  12. #12

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Ready to maiden, I fired it up, this is at 2-3:1, can we say unlimited vertical.
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  13. #13

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    The maiden went quite well, this is a very good design, I highly reccomend it to anybody.

  14. #14

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Great news to hear! Hope you have plenty of fun with it.
    Thanks for letting us know.

  15. #15
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Hello Brian.

    How did the Minnie Mambo fly? Did the plans include ailerons or did you add them?

    Fritke has the Minnie Mambo plans on his web site in a tiled PDF at
    http://my.pclink.com/~dfritzke/
    with the Minnie Mambo plans at:
    http://my.pclink.com/~dfritzke/Minni...o-GeneRock.pdf .
    Ihave been looking for the non tiled version of the plan. AMAlists the Mambo plans from the John Pond collection but Iam not sure if they include parts templates or if it was just the kit instruction sheet. Irecently bought the Mighty Mambo plans from Uncle Willies but they turned out to just be the kit instructions and not a plan for scratch building.

    What electric motor and controller did you end up using on it?

    Let us know how the kit flew and some pictures if you have them.

    Thank you.

    ORIGINAL: saucerguy

    Several months ago I picked up a set of plans that were with an original Mini Mambo box from an antique store, I made a copy of them at Kinko's. A short while ago I decided to start building a new plane from it. I decided to post the build progress here in the kit builders section since the build is based upon those plans, even though it's a scratch build.

    The plane is 2 channel and I decided to make some revisions to it since I am not thrilled with only 2 channel control, especially since I fly typically in windy conditions. I'm going with aileron/elevator control on it, I ditched the dihedral as well. I also decided for old times sakes, I'll cover this one in tissue paper. I used the stock I had left over from my Guillow's giant scale kits for most of it and just for a challenge and to help keep the weight down on the wing I used yellow dollar store tissue paper. The latter is really difficult to use but the results from it so far are adequet, it actually paints on sheeted surfaces quite well though such as the ailerons. In addition, I'll have the servo's all mounted to the fuse externally, I also gave the stabalizer a lift based airfoil, this should cause the aft section of the plane to rise upwards which will help set the COG without adding balast in theory. I went the latter route because it's originally designed for fueled flight. The ailerons will also be attached to the trailing edge of the wing which simplifies the build and increases the chord a bit.

    I'm going electric with it, I set it up to accomodate a 3 cell, 11.1, 1000 mah lipo pack, not sure which b/l motor I'm going to be using but there are plenty of options in that area these days. The wingspan is 36".

  16. #16
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    I built a Sterling Mini Mambo ages ago //(it flew well all by it self) when the ancient single channel excapement system failed.

    Enjoy your project
    Fast Richard

  17. #17
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Hi guys,

    I loved the Mambo when it flew with rudder only and an escapement.

    I decided a long time ago that it would not go to scrap.
    I have attachment to my old models.

    So it will fly again with full controls.
    The stab - elavator is done. I am working on the wings and add ailerons.
    I think I will enlarge the rudder area a bit.

    No rush but it will get done.

    Just to keep you company L O L.

    Zor


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  18. #18
    Zor's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    The pdf file from the link in post #15 can be used to build a Mambo of any size.

    Easy modifications can be made for any desired configurations.

    It can be a fun project for a nicely flying model paticularly for new pilots.

    Zor

  19. #19

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    I guess it is time to build another Minnie Mambo. I was excited to see the pdf of the plans. I believe it was 1964 that I built one. I eventually put an OS Max 15 in it and installed a Kraft radio with a reed receiver and 4 Annco servos - rudder,elevator, elevator trim and throttle. It was a hot little handful. My remaining plans 46 years later are that of the fuselage side view. Now I can build an accurate model. I will build my next one with a more sane appoach. It will have a Norvel 061, with small Hitec servos for rudder and throttle and finished with silk and dope with Rustoleum for color. I think I will install a torque rod as it was in the original model to make it appear to be escapement controlled. I still have the same Babcock compound escapement that was originally in the Minnie Mambo before the change over to servos.
    The Minnie Mambo was one of the planes that gave me a start in this great hobby. As an 18 year old kid then, messing with these fascinating model airplanes, little did I know that I would some day meet Phil Kraft who made the radio and become good friends with Fred Wallman who made the Annco servos. I still have and use Fred's building table that he passed on to me. My point is a lot of memories will come rushing back as I build and fly this great little airplane.

  20. #20
    Zor's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans


    ORIGINAL: heggen

    I guess it is time to build another Minnie Mambo. I was excited to see the pdf of the plans. I believe it was 1964 that I built one.
    >
    >
    My point is a lot of memories will come rushing back as I build and fly this great little airplane.
    Hello heggen,

    Mine also brings me lots of memories.

    I am wondering about size. The wingspan on mine is 48 inches. Would that be a "minnie" or was there Mambos of different sizes?

    I have been playing in my mind about modifying it to become a biplane by adding a bottom wing. I just happen to love biplanes L O L

    Now that the spring chores are nearly done, I should get back to some building.
    I have another project also keeping me busy. A 14 foot aluminum boat that need complete replacement of the wooden parts, dashboard, and seats. The little trailer carrying the boat also need a new paint job.

    Never a dull moment.

    I will sure follow your activities.

    Best regards de Zor


  21. #21
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    The Minnie Mambo had a wingspan of 36 inches. Mambo had a windspan of 48 inches for an .09-.19 as I recall. The Mambo special was 52 inches. The Mighty Mambo was 62 inches (Ithink).
    ORIGINAL: Zor

    I am wondering about size. The wingspan on mine is 48 inches. Would that be a "minnie" or was there Mambos of different sizes?

    I have been playing in my mind about modifying it to become a biplane by adding a bottom wing. I just happen to love biplanes L O L

  22. #22

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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    Zor,
    I will be on this project as time allows. There are never too many fun projects to pursue; just not enough time. I have a "bucket list" of model airplanes I want to do that I didn't have time and money to do when I was younger. Now that I am older the time is still the problem. I am currently trying to get an Edge 540 to fly right, build a Nosen Citabria and a Sig Cap 231 EX, sell my house, rebuild another to live in, associate with my family and friends, and run a business of restoring Chris Craft antique and classic wooden boats. I need elves to help me out. Does anyone have a source of elves?
    Updates on the build will be forth coming.

  23. #23
    Zor's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans


    Mooney_driver.

    Thanks vey much for the info/

    Zor

    Edited by Zor to correct "Thanks vey much for the info/"

    to "Thanks very much for the info."

    The English language deserves proper treatment.




  24. #24
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    The Mighty Mambo is 72 inches.
    He's crazy Lew, he builds toy airplanes!"
    Frank Towns - Flight of the Phoenix (1965)

  25. #25
    Zor's Avatar
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    RE: Sterling Mini Mambo - Vintage kit built from plans

    ORIGINAL: Michaelj2k

    The Mighty Mambo is 72 inches.
    Michaelj2k and all Mambo lovers.

    Two types of "Mambo lovers" . . .
    Those who love the dance style _ _ _
    and those who love the model airplane.

    The model airplane got its name in the earlier modeling era from the dance.
    Its flying characteristics at the time of being controlled by escapements or galloping ghosts gave it a flight characteristic similar to the dance style of motion.

    I remember friends telling me "Hey . . . your plane is flying just like you dance the mambo".

    I would reply "it is a Mambo and it loves to dance in the sky".

    The times when most flyers wished to be able to control their free flights or liberate their U-control from their strings.

    You have to see a Mambo snap roll on rudder only to believe it. Ya . . . you need a bit of height but the Mambo structure is very forgiving on hitting the ground. We did not use CA glue in those days and our models were well glued with floor tiles adhesive. You better believe it.

    We also had good quality long grain balsa. Someone recently remarked that all good quality balsa is now purchased by China.

    Thanks Michael for the 72" info. We now have a good picture of the different size Mambo kits produced in the past.

    Got to get some work done _ _ _ C U all soon and have a great time in the hobby.

    Zor

    P.S.: Wish I could put my hand on "Flight of the phoenix" and watch it again.
    A very well done achievement and a super production.

    Edited for tyes to become types.




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