Skystreak 52 (oz14635)


Skystreak 52 (oz14635) by Les Nicholson 2000 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Skystreak 52. Control line sport model.

A twice-size enlargement of the Keil Kraft Skystreak 26 (oz1376), for control line operation.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 22/6/2023: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "C/L Free Plan. Remember the Keil Kraft stunter from the fifties? Les Nicholson has doubled it up, for twice the fun.

It seems hard to believe that control line flying first appeared in this country over 53 years ago. It originated from the USA just after the Second World War and soon gained enough support and popularity to become a competition class - the 1948 National Championships was won by a recent letter contributor, Peter Cock, flying his ED Comp. Special powered KANDOO.

Up to this time, aeromodelling had consisted of large free flight models, powered by large temperamental petrol engines, rubber powered and glider types, but the arrival of the small compression ignition diesel engine, and this new tethered flying, altered all that.

Model kit manufacturers of the day introduced their own designs to suit motors being produced at the time - FROG 100, ED 2cc Mk.2, the 2cc ED Comp. Special, .75 and 1.3 Mills -and a few smaller manufacturers, producing very limited numbers of engines. In 1949, ED produced the new 1 cc BEE - a tiny motor by comparison. FROG improved the 100, and ELFIN produced the marvellous 1.8cc motor.

International Model Aircraft produced the 22 inch span 'Radius', using a unique moulded construction for the round-section fuselage. This is a quite pleasant looking model - I learnt to fly mine in 1950.

Veron, under the direction of Phil Smith - a truly wonderful designer - produced some very attractive, superb models - the Speedee, Nipper, Bee Bug, come to mind, among many others.

Keil Kraft produced the Phantom & Phantom Mite before anyone else, and the Phantom became the standard trainer. KK also produced a very sleek 26 in span model, suitable for the ED BEE or MILLS .75, called the Skystreak 26 (oz1376). It was very light, had a highly swept leading edge and was, and still is, very aerobatic. At the same time, KK produced a basic kit for a 40" span version, suitable for 3.5 - 5cc motors. Amco had produced the 3.5 motor, a marvellous piece of engineering, and Davies Charlton introduced

the 350, while Frog brought out the new 500. Quite a choice - any one of them highly suitable for the 40 in model. Whilst the Skystreak 26 version was a full kit, which in those days included balsa cement and tissue paste and cost 9s. 6d (47p), the 40 was a basic kit, having all the printed sheets and ply parts, bearers and wire, but no strip wood, costing 10s. 6d (52p). Although the 26 was available for many years, the 40 was very short lived and disappeared around 1952.

Like most of KK kits of that period, I think that the SKYSTREAK was a Bill Dean design. My original Sky Streak 26, complete with ED Bee in 1950, weighed under 5oz and was a better performer than me. My present one, now 32 years old certainly keeps my reflexes sharp - Oh, happy days! Nostalgia decided another new one would be delightful - but why not a big one, twice the size 26?

My initial thought for the power source was to use my PAW 29, but that is a modern motor, is rather heavy - and I thought perhaps out of character in a beautiful vintage model. What better than a vintage Frog 500, last used in 1963 at RAF Middleton St. George, where my local club was putting on a model display. We had free access to the Lightenings, Javelins, Vulcan and lots more wonderful aircraft! That aerodrome became Teesside Civil Airport a year later, and is now Teeside International!

In designing the SKYSTREAK 52, I have kept it as original as possible to maintain its character. I have altered details to improve the structural integrity, by adding 1mm ply doublers, using main spars of Cyparis, and capping all the ribs. None of the alterations alter the appearance of the model in any way.

CONSTRUCTION NOTES Fuselage: BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE, DECIDE WHICH ENGINE YOU INTEND TO USE - the location of the bearers has to be decided BEFORE work can start. The mounting lugs of the Frog 500 are NOT on the centre line of the crankshaft, so if you intend to use a different motor which has its mounting lugs on the centre line, then the position of the bearers on F2 and F3 will be different to that shown on the plan.

Bear in mind that this model has a long nose moment and a short fuselage, so a heavy motor like the PAW will require tail weight -my Frog 500 weighs 7-3/4 oz. Notice how the bearers are tapered behind F2 - saves weight.

Make up a fuel tank from tin plate. A gallon (or litre) tin which has had automotive paint thinners in, cut and opened out provides enough material for several fuel tanks. I am sure your local car body and paint repair centre would be happy to give one or two.

Cut the fuselage sides from 3/32 sheet and add 1mm ply doublers, using contact adhesive. Glue F2 in place on the RH fuselage side, place the fuel tank, F3 and engine bearers in position, then finally the LH side. Add the other fuselage formers and strip stiffeners across each one. Keep checking squareness accuracy. Build the tailplane and fin a rudder, but DO NOT attach to fuselage yet..."

Supplementary file notes



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Skystreak 52 (oz14635) by Les Nicholson 2000 - model pic

  • (oz14635)
    Skystreak 52
    by Les Nicholson
    from Aviation Modeller International
    October 2000 
    52in span
    IC C/L LowWing
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 29/05/2023
    Filesize: 966KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 388

Skystreak 52 (oz14635) by Les Nicholson 2000 - pic 003.jpg
Skystreak 52 (oz14635) by Les Nicholson 2000 - pic 004.jpg

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User comments

The build article says the prototype was powered by a Frog 500. This is nominally 5cc, and actually, according to contemporary tests 4.92cc or .3000cu. in. If I were to build one today, I would almost certainly use a good FP 25 or Thunder Tiger GP 25. I'm confident that a .40 cu in engine would be too much for it. Cheers,
Geoff - 24/06/2023
Fair point. Sheet one of the plan does say: "for control line operation with .50 cu in power" but that seems to simply be a mistake in the printing. Have removed that reference from the 'About' section, now. Thanks.
SteveWMD - 24/06/2023
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