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Apr 30, 2010, 06:49 PM
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Well, it's been a while since I've posted here... If you know me and know my other kits, then you know why and where I've been posting... Since my last entry (Has it really been that long?!?!?!?!?!!!!), I finally completed my new website at

There have been several new kits including the DaVinci 1.5 meter electric sailplane (glider/slope version coming out soon!). The ICON has really been fun with several variations on it's way... Sammy over at the flying wings forum has a really cool Delta version that we are all waiting to see fly...

I have a new micro AP plane and some more surprises coming out in the next month or so including a larger AP/FPV twin boom pusher...

And as a surprise that captured my heart, this micro Ryan ST looks like it will be the next new release... Target price is $29 with all foam and plastic parts including clear windshields... Down loadable decals and a build thread with photos to follow once the final production prototype is build, photographed, flown and videos are taken... An extra with this kit: If you break it for ANY reason... step on it, your neighbor's dog "retrieves" it for you... anything that has you wanting a new one: Send me back the damaged plastic parts in the original box along with $10 plus $10 for shipping, and I'll send you all new molded plastic parts...

Earlier prototype has been flying for several months now and is a real hoot to fly... loops from level flight, rolls, inverted... super stable and nimble... landings are slow, gentle and I've flown it in 10+mph winds and still enjoyed her... The production version looks like it will come within 10 grams of the original which is fine as the original could fly circles around other micros at the local park...

Built in washout in the wings is one of the tricks to making this one EASY to fly... Half throttle is a pleasure and 10-15minute flights are common on a 120mah batteries. Power system is the stock AR6400 rx/serov/esc and brushed motor out of a PZ micro mustang... Cheap, available and, I've been flying the earlier prototype on an Ember (green dot) rx with a $15 PKZ 3624 geared motor purchased at my LHS!

(In case anyone's interested... there is a long line of additional scale kits coming... The Dauntless SDB, P-40, FW-190 and a Beechcraft D-18 twin!)

Ok... back to work here...!

Last edited by jarel design; May 09, 2010 at 09:55 PM. Reason: new maiden video
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Apr 30, 2010, 08:54 PM
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Twinkletoze's Avatar
Very nice!
May 01, 2010, 12:32 AM
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kdahlhaus's Avatar
I am a huge fan of the Ryans - PT-21 is my favorite, but this is very nice. Post a link when she's available!
May 01, 2010, 06:59 AM
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dion9146's Avatar
very cool Richard. I want one of these!

May 01, 2010, 08:36 AM
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US$29! Put me on your waiting list!
May 01, 2010, 12:29 PM
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jarel design's Avatar
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More Background on this kit

Wow Guys!

Thanks for the feedback, the kind words and for dropping in to take a look!

I had the dream of creating small, easy to build, super easy to fly, highly detailed scale planes over 20 years ago when I transitioned out of producing my earlier kits (The Telos (reviewed here not too long ago), the Shogun and the Impulse), and into the motion picture industry (Star Trek IX, 5th Element, Power Rangers, etc...) At that time, lithium ION batteries were only a dream (forget polymers! lol) and "brushless motors" were those huge super expensive jobs the Germans were putting on their competition electric sailplanes!

With the reality of much cheaper brushless motors and batteries available these days, the time for this dream to finally come to life is here... I started with the micro gear on a fluke and thought there were a lot of people who might get into "micro kits" that weren't fragile stick and balsa or fast flying foam and, being micro, might be scale worthy enough to keep on your desk at work (in between breaks flying out in the parking lot!?! lol!)

This Ryan has always been one of my favorites... of course what plane isn't a "favorite"? I chose this plane out of an already edited list of 15 single engine war birds, 16 Golden Age, 10 Twin engined war birds, 8 civilian, 10 WWI war birds and 11 military jets. (70 kits total! It will take a few years getting these completed... Not being sarcastic here... The aerodynamics have been worked out on most of these with test beds (proof of concept flying prototypes) already flying... Reference photos, and plans have been collected and drawn up on many of them... I've also been designing and prototyping products for some of the largest companies in the world, ranging from home electronics, to toys and sports equipment and more for over 20 years... I can move incredibly fast once the goal is established and have the tools to do it... I just need more hours in the day!

The concept for this line of kits I've been planning has always been:

"Birds of Prey/Birds of Play"...

(One of the "advertising slogans" reads: "The world isn't "flat"... Why should your planes?" Another: :The only planes that should look like "Cross hairs" should be IN your cross hairs... Don't fly Flat! the list goes on...

Speaking of lists: The list of planes waiting to be built (in order of priority), include:

In the "Prey" department:

Dauntless SBD
FW 190
T6 Texan
A6M Zero
Cutlass P-40
Spitfire MK-14

In the "Play" category:

The Ryan ST (shown here)
Gee Bee Model "E" Sportster
DH82 Tiger Moth
Rutan's Long EZ

Twins include:

Cessna Skymaster
Beechcraft D18
OV-10 Bronco (If you've visited my blogs or threads, a larger one has already been built with many of the molds near completion. (photos added at the end of this post.)
A-10 Warthog


Neuport 24
D-11V Albatross
D-VII Albatross



Golden Age:
Stearman 17
Laird Super Solution

My next step with the engineering phase after deciding to focus on these smaller micro sized kits or go directly to the larger 36" span sizes, is digitizing my plugs and using them to CNC larger parts to take it up to the 36"- 44" size, then going over these "blanks" and detailing them even more.

All of the smaller "micro" kits (sized like this Ryan) are slated for $29.95... The larger 36" sizes I'm hoping to keep under $39.95...

I still have a lot on my plate at the moment regarding these and other kits I've produced over the past year and a few that are weeks away from release, but my direction and intentions on "Birds of Play/Play" are set...

There is a tiny Aerial Photography kit that is nearing completion... The "Dragonfly"... All up weight WITH the 808 key chain camera, is 2oz...! Similar construction, with vacuum formed fusealge halves that trim quickly... I stumbled on a part of this plane that is patentable and so the paperwork is being filed... (In one of the videos, if you look closely, you will see it's shadow as if flies within a confined area.)

Here's a couple of videos shot from the Dragonfly... This one was taken from the Dragonfly on a windy day flying on a busy downtown intersection around a sculpture I built a few years ago... no video down link, super bumpy, turbulent air and an earlier model of the key chain camera...

(0 min 56 sec)

This one was taken from the Maiden flight of the Dragonfly... also kind of windy, but it will give you an idea of the kind of flying it's capable of... (Something I should mention, is that my aerodynamic background comes from designing and building sailplanes (including the full sized one in my Avatar... that's me flying back in 1973! lol! At least I thought of wearing a helmet back then! lol!) Although these wings look flat or just curved, there is something special in them I'll share later... It makes ALL the difference in the world! Watch how quickly and how high the Dragonfly climbs to altitude... One turn and you can seem me far down below looking up! (Note: this is using an Ember green label rx and a stock $15 (at your local hobby shop) PZ3624 motor... no brushless... This plane can still fly incredibly slow as I catch it at the end of the video.

This kind of performance is my goal with the Birds of Play, Birds of Prey scale series... There a TON of scale planes out there... but most of them have to fly fast in order to stay up... Many pilots are not capable of flying these fast ships... As for me, if I want to fly 100mph+, I have my DaVinci and Crossbow... If I put a lot of energy into detailing a favorite scale plane, I want to see it in the air, up close and personal, not just for a brief moment as it speeds by in a low pass.! lol!

(0 min 59 sec)

Here's a video of what it takes to trim one of these plastic parts (It's for my DaVinci kit which is formed in a MUCH thicker plastic... the Ryan and other small scale planes trim a LOT faster... Easily half the time as shown in this video, but at least you will get an idea of how easy it is to build. The parts are molded so that there is a flat surface that is trimmed as shown in the video. The measuring and fitting have already been achieved in the mold design... So when the parts are trimmed using the simple 1/8"balsa mounted blade, the parts are ready to mate together and glue... Presto! You're done!

Trimming DaVinci part with trim tool (1 min 14 sec)

So how can I afford to produce these so inexpensively? I've learned a lot in 20 years of industrial design and prototype development... Worked in China's developmental provinces (not open to tourists) and learned a lot there as well... Still. most manufacturers don't seem to put the amount of detail I'm willing to create into the mold design... (a lot of this comes from my work creating special effects models and props...) It takes longer to work out the fitting, to create all the details... but as you can see by this next video... it takes no more work to produce a cool looking part than it does a simple part...

(1 min 21 sec)

Ok... the down side of working this hard and fast: My body finally screamed at me last night and said "Enough!" I'm catching a cold along with body aches last night so I'm going back to bed... sorry if I got carried away here... not thinking too clearly... If you haven't noticed... I LOVE my job and I can't wait to get more of these planes out and up in the air!

Speaking of which... I'd love some feedback on two different focal points...

One is size:

This Ryan is designed for micro flight gear... what about the larger sizes designed for "Park flying"... what kind of wing spans? I'm hoping to keep them down to 36"... Unfortunately, most of the kits that are out there now are foam and their airfoils require these planes to be flown fast... The planes I am working on fly SLOW.. this means a newer pilot really can fly a mustang and without loosing all the cool details... Also there are a LOT of inexpensive brushless systems and even cheaper batteries that work great! (Have you tried the Zippy batteries?

The other question:

What would you like to see kitted?

I know this one is going to solicit a lot of suggestions... Besides just rattling off a plane... I'd like to know why... Did your father or grandfather fly it? did YOU fly it? is the look? if so, what about the look catches your eye? There are no wrong answers in this category... Out of all the planes in the world, and the 70 on my "short list" Why did I choose the Ryan ST? Well, I liked it! I liked the shiny fusealge and surface details... I loved the rivets and imagined how they would look painted silver... I also liked the yellow color of the fabric wings... I love open cockpits and tail draggers and wheel pants and I imagined this bird flying slow... I also love golden age aircraft... (unguarded truth... it was a "play-off" coin toss beginning with this Ryan, the Dauntless SBD, the FW 190 and the P-40... the Ryan won! lol!

with the ease and reliability of installing really cheap brushless systems, what are your feelings about super easy to fly twins?

Ok... I'm fading... I never meant to go on like this... I only logged on to see what kind of response might be and to thank you guys!

Time for some more rest... I still have some shop time to put in later this afternoon...



PS: Here's some photos of the early prototype for the OV10... the production version fusealge and booms will be all molded... It gives you an idea of where I'm heading though! enjoy!
May 01, 2010, 02:19 PM

You have been busy Brother.

Now all you need is to add a Birds of SEA

Vought Kingfisher
Grumman Mallard or Albatross
PBY Catalina
Just to name a few

May 01, 2010, 03:01 PM
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jarel design's Avatar
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Water Birds... ;)

Hi Larry!

I guess the cat's out of the bag, eh? Amazing how this has grown since we first spoke about this... (hope you got my email???)

Funny you should mention "Birds of Sea"... There actually is a list... the Albatross and Catalina are at the top...

I wasn't sure what kind of interest there might be... I guess both the Catalina and Albatross (at this size at least) could easily take off and land on grass?)

on a larger 36" model, I could easily create plug in wheels that would not leave any hols for leaks when removed for water flying...

Yes, I have been VERY busy (You should see what I haven't shared here!) (You will!)

My nose is running, I'm sneezing and my body is aching and I know I should go lay down, but I have this client project that is due to travel to the orient with the client next Monday... I HAVE to have it in his hands before then... Just scaled the drawings for block cut pattern cutting... Need to set up the band saw with a new blade and tune up the guides, hoping to have both (there's two!) block-cut and rough shaped before calling it a day... just completed silver paint tests on ryan reject parts... We'll see how they are when they dry... (The sample shown here was painted with a professional automotive two pat urethane... I may just go that route for this one... hoping to find an off the shelf rattle can silver/aluminum for the people who already started a waiting list for this one...

I remember building a Coast Gaurd version of the Albatross (plastic model) as a kid and the design always stuck in my head... I LOVE the diversity of shapes in the Catalina and can see the clear cockpit windows and side blisters being vacuum formed... There's a lake really close by too!

Geeze! Anyone know how to create some clones?!?!?!

Ok... the sooner I get this work done, the sooner I can get back to bed where I belong at the moment...

So glad you dropped in... I only intended to update my blog... I didn't think it would get picked up and featured let alone create the response I'm receiving...

PS: The response has been growing ... not only posts here and PM here at rcg, but also at both my websites... If you are seriously wanting to be on the waiting list (As always, I don't accept deposits until the kit is ready to ship), please email me at and title your email RYAN ST WAITING LIST... Tresa has a way to pick these out and create an excel spreadsheet mailing list when the time comes to notify everyone...

Ok... back to work... glad you dropped in!

May 01, 2010, 09:11 PM
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kdahlhaus's Avatar
Wow, that was very interesting, I've not watched vacuum forming before. So I like Ryans (PT-21 more, but the ST is nice too) because I fell in love with an old Flying Styro plane called the 'Crazy Sparrow.' It has the old 30's fat racer look to it. While searching for options for a something that was similar I learned about the Ryan ST / PT-21. They are different but share some common appealing characteristic of the Sparrow.

I've been moving more towards larger planes, which for me means the Parkzone foamies. Mostly due to their ability to handle some wind and I finally have something small to fly in the confined front yard (Ember). So I'd be interested in the small Ryan because it is so cool looking and detailed, if it flew slow that would be a huge plus, but if not that's not a deal killer. If I hadn't recently found two solutions (and purchased one) for a large PT-21, I'd be up for a larger Ryan ST too.

At any rate, keep up the good work and posts on the background of these kits as you have the time. It's fascinating.
May 01, 2010, 10:19 PM
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That vacuum forming looks really interesting! I'd be really interested in park flyer kits. For a plane i would like to see is something from Regia Aeronautica. It's the Italian air force specifically planes from WW2 like the Fiat G.55 Centauro or the Macchi C.202. This planes are really hard to find in kits and often forgotten. There weren't alot made during the war, these planes are really nice planes here is a quote i found on the net "The Australian ace Clive Caldwell, who fought a wide variety of German, Italian and Japanese fighters during 1941–45, later stated that the C.202 was "one of the best and most undervalued of fighters". So it would be nice to see an Italian war bird kitted. Almost every major country during the war has an rc plane but the Italians. I know that there are a couple companies have them but not a micro or park flyer. So if you happen to make an Italian warbird i'll defiantly buy a couple
May 02, 2010, 07:46 AM
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dion9146's Avatar
I'm going to put in another vote for an Albatross. My Father fly one in the 60's up in Labrador and I've always wanted to build one, but don't really have an ponds to fly off of. Something I could hand launch and belly land would be cool, and maybe get a chance on the water at some point too.

I like the size of the Ryan, but have never flown a micro. I live in a development where my neighbor regularly flies a PZ T-28 off the street in front of our house, so I have plenty of room to go larger. But, I'd like to try my hand at a micro, so I'll put my name on the list.

Richard, how many people do you have secretly working for you?

May 02, 2010, 11:41 AM
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jarel design's Avatar
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I WISHED I had more people working for me...

right now I have only three...

(I kind of run everything around here and should be the one getting more rest and sleep and exercise)

(He can get kind of rambunctious at times and I have to haul him back in every once in a while.... like this thread... his tail was wagging so hard, he just had to share this...)

And of course, "I"...
("I" don't get out much with working at home (great studio and shop, but still, once the kid is off to school and Tresa is off to work, I'm still here and it can get to me after a while... I've made some WONDERFUL contacts here and I am so grateful for that... Last weekend, I went flying for my birthday at a new site in Grants Pass... GREAT bunch of guys... positive, fun, warm and caring... I haven't had that kind of positive flying experience since I used to fly slope at Hughes Hill in Los Angeles over 15 years ago! It's Sunday morning again, and I know they're out there laughing and flying, but I have this client project to complete and shipped before the end of the week... and I'm still fighting this cold...

My immediate priorities include completing, test flying, photographing and video taping the Ryan before shipping it off to "Speed-E-Flyer" who has graciously offered to fly it at the "SMALL" Event in June... (If all goes right, He'll also be debuting the new Dragonfly micro aerial photography plane there as well.

I have a special event the weekend of June 19th where I will be demo flying my new VISTA 60" aerial photography plane with video down link. Then there is the matter of completing the DaVinci Polyhedral wing build thread (The wing is built, photographs are all taken and writing is underway with two posts completed... a few more to go still) Then... The new DaVinci slope/sailplane fusealge molds are completed and ready for mounting on the vacuum forming platen with over 50 rubber noses poured and ready for shipping... I need to build three of those... One for the build thread, photos and videos, and two I plan to video tape as I repeatedly launch into a rock quarry with a wrist rocket to demonstrate how indestructible it is...

After that... I need to decide where my priorities go... That's where my questions to you came from... what kit next... (I might be able to create two at a time wanting one to be a twin... (My eyes are on the Beechcraft D18 and the OV-10 Bronco along with the Albatross and Catalina), the other... a single war bird most likely...

I've been searching the posts in the scale and war bird forums... seems that MANY pilots like their planes in the 40" to 44" wing span category... I wonder why this is...? Is there an expectation that to get it to fly docile enough it has to be larger? I'd like to build a parkflier size plane next... Absolutely with slow flight in mind (This Ryan should fly as slow as the prototype which was pretty amazing to see...)...

My personal opinion is that scale planes as well as dedicated park fliers should fly slow... slower than the T-28! I was fortunate enough to watch one of those fly... it looked stable and "slow" by the "standard" of kits that are out there, BUT, the airfoils that are available and being used by sailplane enthusiasts, are not being used...

If you find my early VISTA prototype flight tests you will see what is possible regarding slow flight while carrying over a pound of extra dead weight (representing an extreme amount of AP/FPV/UAV equipment...) I once designed a flying machine for a toy company that I could walk next to as it flew... I've designed other flying "toys" that fly incredible slow but I can't talk about them due to confidentiality contracts... For me, SLOW is where the fun is relative to park flying... (By the "slow" also includes rolls and loops!)

So, no, it's just me working (and writing), and I REALLY appreciate your input regarding sizes of planes you fly and why as well as what you'd like to see kitted... (I'll have to take a look at those Italian birds! lol!) Living next to a lake sure brings up the want for an Albatross or Catalina (in the flying boat category.)...

Ok... time to get back into the shop... If I can get done what I'm hoping today, I'd like to upload another post over in the DaVinci build thread... then maybe some more bed time... I'm really feeling my body fighting this cold...

Thanks again for all your input!


PS: I just looked down at the buton that reads: "Post Quick Reply"... HA! this was my "quick Reply"? =D

May 02, 2010, 11:12 PM
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Highfly!'s Avatar
I guess there are many ways to go about deciding what will attract an audience to a specific type of model or model configuration. Defining initially your market segment will pretty much decide how successful you will be as this will help you to focus on that audience. Obviously WWII warbirds have always been a favorite subject and based on what is available out there you know what kind of airplanes to make to get to address the need of the masses.

Another segment which is quite popular and in my opinion not well addressed are modern general aviation airplanes. Recent releases by E-Flite with airplanes like the Bonanza and RV-9 have drawn a new consumer segment of RC pilots of which some are also real pilots that are happy to have an RC model which they can also fly full scale. I looked at your list of models and was quite impressed but I think it should have more focus to assure a good ROI.

The twins list is my favorite but at our flying field we are only three guys in our club who fly twins which for most is simply to complex and also expensive. Whatever twin you will make I will take!

Most people start with an airplane which has a 3S 2100mA battery and pretty much stay with the same power options due to comfort and budgetary reasons. I think it would make sense to think about what people already got so that the threshold for buying something new will be as low as possible. A 40 inch and higher wingspan has certainly my personal preference although I think that the market for micro RC which can be flown indoors and modestly outdoors is a huge market to look at.

The biggest challenge is always the level of competence your customers have to assemble these airplanes. But I am confident that with the right marketing, pricing and quality those customers will knock on your door very soon.

Good luck!

I love the stuff you make and actually started this week cutting wings for the Da Vinci and tinkering around with retracts for the Crossbow which have to be airborne by the end of this month.

May 03, 2010, 07:01 AM
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dion9146's Avatar
Richard, with as much rain as we got in Kentucky this weekend, I could land an Albatross at multiple locations in my yard!

On the subject of size, I agree with a lot of the points that Mannie made. Those were good words of advice. Personally, I stick to the 40" (+/- a few inches) and smaller size planes because of the desire to fly in park settings or right out in front of our house. I live in a housing development which has wide open spaces, and each house has 1.5 to 2 acres of land. Most neighbors don't mind although we do have one no-fly zone to contend with. He thinks my neighbors T-28 is dangerous even though he has never crashed it and always has complete control.

Neither one of us wants to join the local power club which is a 20 minute drive away and still has too many gas planes for my liking and just doesn't seem to have a friendly atmosphere. It's bad enough that I already need to drive 45 minutes to get to my sailplane club field. I'm also fortunate to be surrounded by baseball, football and soccer fields. One soccer complex is large enough to build a full sized airport on!

So here it is - I've got my sailplanes for the big field (although the Davinci is on my bucket list)
40" range warbirds and civi aircraft for our street/parks
A Micro to toss off the back of my 2 story deck and fly around the back yard

Is that too much to ask? Oh yeh, I also have a heli for the backyard too.

May 03, 2010, 10:03 AM
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jarel design's Avatar
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Thanks so much for the thoughtful and "real" information!

Although I LOVE micros, I'm beginning to see that "true" Parkfliers carry with them a larger following...

I keep hearing 40" and larger but I am really wondering about 36"...

Mannie mentioned what might seem to be a popular battery size based on the needs of existing kits (poor airfoils requiring larger motors and heavier batteries... I'm contemplating striking out in a while new direction with a SUPER light floater type of plane (typical flat foamie slow and light flight) combined with the detail I shared in this Ryan... My goal is using a $15 motor/ESC combo with a 2-S 800mah~1500mah pack... all really cheap stuff requiring nothing special...

I may just make a test prototype, take some photos and videos of the flight performance and see what kind of reaction I get?

I really keep balking at the 40"+ size because I "believe" (lowest form of "knowledge" which is why I am asking here), is that the 40" size will support the larger batteries needed to power the larger motors required to fly the faster foam ARFs and BNF planes that will not "float" or really fly slowly... When I think of size relative to poor eyesight, again, I think (next step up from "believe" in my order of categorizing "knowledge") that a smaller (by only 4") plane flying slower can fly closer making it easier to see than the larger one and... allows us to enjoy the work we put into detailing our planes...

Does this logic hold any water?

Again, I thank you for the time and thought you've put into your responses to my questions... You are really providing a lot of useful information!


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