RC Groups

RC Groups
    Foamies (Kits)
        Discussion vintage foam kits and ARFs...any interest out there?

#1 Thomas B Apr 01, 2012 05:47 PM

vintage foam kits and ARFs...any interest out there?
3 Attachment(s)
I have been having lots of fun lately with various vintage foam ARFs and kits. Some found at swap meets, some on Ebay and some I have had for many years.

Currently flying a Cox/Kyosho Sportavia RF-5, a Kraft/Kyosho Chipmunk, an MRC 24.4" Ryan ST-A on uM AR6400 electronics and a Bentom Edelweisse motor glider. All of these are around 30 years old.

Am also restoring an old Cox/Kyosho Cessna 182 ARF and thinking about converting an old Bentom Schweitzer 1-30 motor glider.to uM AR6400.

Cox, Kraft R/C, Sure Flite, Midwest, Goldberg, MRC, Bentom, Hobby People all had foam ARFs and kits dating back around 30 years, or more. The famous Goldberg Ranger 42 foamie kit came out around 1970, making it 42 years old.

Let's hear about other vintage foam ARFs and kits from at least 25 years ago.

If there is any interest, I could start a full list of these interesting old foamies.

#2 cgoffa Apr 02, 2012 10:09 AM

The MRC Ryan
God, I remember that Ryan STA those MRC kits got me started in the hobby when I was about 10, they were such good fliers even on rubber power, they were perfect to fly in the church parking lot next to my parents house. I wonder how hard it would be to find another one now....:eek:

I also had the schweizer motor glider, the beech staggerwing, and the spitfire's mustangs and messerschmidts,, I would love to know more about them now that I have the ability to enjoy them as an adult, this could be a really good thread

#3 Thomas B Apr 02, 2012 11:52 AM

The MRC and Bentom kits show up fairly regularly at swap meets and on EBay.

I think there were two of the Bentom Schweitzers on there yesterday. They went for fairly big money, something like 50-60 bucks, I think.

All the other vintage foam kit companies I mentioned in the first post also show up on EBay as well.....the Cox ARFs do tend to command big prices these days.

#4 gwinhh Apr 02, 2012 04:49 PM

My third or so was an MRC cessna-looking thing. Covered it with Econokote; .15 enya in it. Worked fine until fuel impregnated the foam. RIP, line of duty.


#5 jimmycashley Apr 02, 2012 07:07 PM

I love yeller airplanes. Sureflite made foam warbirds too-it would be nice to have some of those.

#6 circletree Apr 02, 2012 07:19 PM

I electrified my old 1987 Cox/Kyosho Cessna 182 Skylane......BP Hobbies 2208/16 motor, 30a eRC speed controller, 3s power and a couple of small Hitec servos from the junk drawer. pretty much unlimited vertical performance and it is at it's best just loping along at 1/4 throttle. I cartwheeled it last month after a gust and a wayward child got in front of it while landing, wrinkled the nose and broke the cowl. It has been retired to the hobby room to prevent further damage to this gem of the 1980s!
I had several Sureflite cubs back in the day, along with some of the Ace R/C foam wing specials (GLH II, Grasshopper, Pacer, Alpha .049, simple AT-6) but they are all gone now. I also had the "Spirit of 76" foam sailplane from Hobby Shack (later HobbyPeople) and their craptastic Cessna with an Enya .15.....didn't have a high start for the sailplane so my brother and I attempted to tow it aloft with my Mazda pickup truck, didn't work out too well. I also owned a couple of the MRC foam F/F rubber planes, the Cessna with the gear reduction unit and the Ryan "NYP" Charles Lindbergh plane with the gear "increaser".....it was a dog, but would probably fly well with modern electronics. I loved the Sureflite cubs, they were snaprolling little monsters with TD .049 power!

#7 Thomas B Apr 02, 2012 09:50 PM

I have one of the Sureflite 1/2A Cubs stashed away for future use....:)

I thought about including the Ace kits that had foam only in the wings in this discussion, but I think they are not exactly what I have in mind.

Speaking of the Sure Flite foam ARF kit warbirds, I built the Spitfire for glow power right after it came out in the 1970s.

While at the 1977 AMA nats in Riverside, CA, I drove over and visited Sure Flite. I was working for the Hobby Market in Fort Worth TX (a large mail order outfit..one of the largest in the 1970s) and we were good customers of theirs.

One old Sure Flite kit I would like to have to convert to E-power s the little foam Howard Ike......that would be fun.

Sure Flite came briefly back to life in the San Diego area about 7-8 years ago, but the kits were discontinued again.

#8 circletree Apr 03, 2012 04:09 PM

What was the Sureflite biplane? I wanted one badly but it was one of those never-got-around-to-it scenarios. speaking of all-foam planes, wasn't Lanier R/C a manufacturer of foamies? I had a Jester many moons ago and remember it was a foam wing with a plastic covering but the fuse was a plywood crutch with a plastic skin. They had some sort of giant rubber powered foamie that a guy in the club powered with a black widow and flew it rudder only.

#9 pookielips1954 Apr 03, 2012 11:55 PM

3 Attachment(s)
My early ARF electric conversions. Only one is a pure foamy (Ranger 42) but I think the other two will be interesting to you guys.

Babcock Aeronca, 1958. Together with the Babcock Tri-Pacer, this was the first R/C ARF, also could be flown as a Free Flight or Controline (no doubt it's best mission.) Single channel escapement for R/C, made from vacuum-formed plastic and very heavy for an .049 model. Now powered by a Park 400 Outrunner, rudder and elevator control. A horrific flying model with very poor directional stabilty as orignally designed. I added a dorsal and clear plastic sub-fin which makes it acceptable for demo flights but it is still the worst flying airplane I have ever had. Historic value as the very first ARF and I may possibly be the world's most sucessfull Babcock Aeronca pilot!

Testor Skyhawk, 1967. I dreamed of getting this one as a kid, but the 100 dollar price tag was out of reach for me (and my parents.) I bought it off Ebay a few years back, never flown. Radio issues kept it on the ground, I finally got tired of looking at it and converted it to full controls with ailerons powered by an Eflite 400 Outrunner. I got the full-house idea from the 1968 Frank Schwartz article in M.A.N. Foam wings and stab, plastic fuselage. This is a fantastic flying aircraft, I can't believe how much I love flying it. Inverted passes, outside snap rolls you name it. Lands at a crawl. A true pilot's airplane; I'm already looking for another!

Goldberg Ranger 42, 1970. Not the first foamy, but close - does anyone remember the AHM Cessna 210 and MRC-Futaba MU-2? Park 300 Outrunner, with ailerons, flies very nicely and is an excellent touch and go machine. Not nearly as aerobatic as the Skyhawk.

I've got a NIB Kraft Chipmunk enroute for my next project. I also have a Midwest Cardinal NIB. Thanks for getting the thread started, Thomas! Russ Farris

#10 Thomas B Apr 04, 2012 07:49 AM


Originally Posted by pookielips1954 (Post 21230894)
My early ARF electric conversions. Only one is a pure foamy (Ranger 42) but I think the other two will be interesting to you guys.

I've got a NIB Kraft Chipmunk enroute for my next project. I also have a Midwest Cardinal NIB. Thanks for getting the thread started, Thomas! Russ Farris

Great models, there!

Did you score that Kraft Chipmunk that just sold on Ebay this week?

#11 t-turley Apr 04, 2012 07:51 AM

Wow, you guys are pushing some memory buttons. I have the MRC Ryan and Bentom Schweitzer on my workshop shelf as "some day" projects. I also have the big Sureflite Foam Cub sitting in a box. Back in the day, I electrified the Sureflite 1/2A Cub, using a MAT belt drive and an AP29BB; I also electrified the Cox Cessna Centurion with a geared AP29BB - I don't recall why I sold that one, electrics and all. I had several Union Challengers/Hobbico Skyrunners. I'm sure there are others, but they don't come to mind right now. I guess I've always been partial to foamies - most of my current fleet are foamies from Multiplex or Graupner.


#12 pookielips1954 Apr 04, 2012 08:46 AM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Thomas B (Post 21232799)
Great models, there!

Did you score that Kraft Chipmunk that just sold on Ebay this week?

Yep, guilty as charged! I thought 61 bucks was a very good price for the Chipmunk. I'll bet it flies great.

Thanks for the compliments, modern electrics let these models reach a level only dreamed of back when they were designed. Here's another example, my conversion of a Carl Goldberg rubber-powered Cessna 180 from the 1950s. The electronics are from the ParkZone Ultra Micro Mustang. Great flyer, BTW. I'm going to start looking for the foam MRC Ryan and Puss Moth to do next. And how about the Midwest Chipmunk? Russ Farris

#13 Thomas B Apr 04, 2012 11:28 AM

You will really like how the Kraft Chipmunk flies as a modern full house electric model! Almsot Criminal that no one offers this model, slightly updated, today.

Paul Willenborg will hopefully join in on this thread as he is very nearly complete with his modern electric version of the MRC Puss Moth.

#14 Thomas B Apr 04, 2012 11:31 AM

For any that are interested...we are going to have an informal gathering of vintage foam ARFs and kits, both electric and glow, at the SMALL Steps event in Little Rock AR, on May 31-June 3.

We hope to get some in flight pictures of a group of the Kraft models flying together, a group of the MRC models flying together and a group of the Cox models flying together.

Pure nostalgic fun.

Pookielips, any chance you can make the trip?..would LOVE to see your vintage stuff there.

#15 blvdbuzzard Apr 04, 2012 09:05 PM

If I could find my old Sureflite P51, P40, 1/2A Cub. I loved those planes. I built a dozen of the 1/2A Cubs. Two channel, Black Widow powered. Those were so much fun.

I have a 25 sized Cub now. I need to do some surgery on it to make it a modern "E" powered plane. I had the old 05 Modified geared 6:1 on 10 NICD's. Weighed a ton but still flew well. I may put a .32 sized out runner in it with a 2200 3s to see if it flies again.

I covered a Sureflite Spitfire with shrink covering, then did a nice camo job on it. Never did fly that well, it was to heavy and had a real tip stall. If you were not ready for it, 3 or 4 snaps later, you were flying level.

Never did get the Mustang done. Brother sprayed some paint and it eat the foam beyond repair. I would like to have one to see what I could do today.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:56 PM.