Keil Kraft Falcon - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Dec 26, 2009, 10:54 PM
Curtiss Aircraft Afficionado
Jimaroc's Avatar

Falcon Fuselage Plan

Thanks, Monza Red, I will give him a try - I looked on his website and it was intriguing.

Although, I am not really an old timer enthusiast, my Dad was and he was a member of Sam. When he passed away, I inherited his current inventory from his life-long model airplane hobby. The last plane he was flying is a re-kitting of a New Ruler w/3 Channel radio. It uses a World Engines Expert radio system, but I replaced the transmitter (broken gimbals) with a Hitec Optic 6/Spectra module and the combo works great. It is powered with a Saito 45 MkI 4S, but I tried it with an old Veco 45 2S for awhile. Jimaroc
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Jan 13, 2010, 05:19 PM
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Hi, I just popped in to see if the falcon had been made yet, I've got another one, in yellow glosstex this time, came with a thunder tiger 91 fs which was way over the top, have replaced it with a saito 62a which is just perfect for it.
I notice one of the posters said the original shereshaw design was "squirrely", damn right both my falcons are exactly the same, I put it down to the weight of the wing, as it moves it gains inertia, input of opposite rudder takes time to react so more rudder then it's like a bloody big pendulum waggling its wing and all this before it gets off of the ground.
With the tt 91 she literally lept into the air but is much more subdued with the saito.
Soaring wise they are the dogs dangly bits, I've had mine up so high it took 17 spins to get back down to a couple of hundred feet altitude.
There is an enormous amount of construction with them, and they swallow up solartex like it's going out of fashion, same with glue. I reckon it cost almost as much to cover it as buy the kit (well perhaps not but close).
I'm pretty sure the os 52 fs would fly it fine but use a graupner G-sonic 13x6 prop, I changed the engine in my southerner major from the saito 62 to the os 52 fs, the plane is peculiar in that the wing looks too small for the fus even though it's 84" wingspan - the 52 pulls it around very smartly so it should be ok in the falcon. I've flown the southerner major with an original os 40 fs, the 1983 version pre surpass, ok it took nearly 100 yards to get up and the rate of climb was, umm, just about adequate, but it worked so I hope that helps with the engine choice for the falcon. Incidentally, I mentioned in my earlier post that I used to be a fetchermite for the owner of a falcon (he also owned the local model shop) his was powered by a frog 500 a 5 cc or 0.29 cubic inch glow motor, he used to fly it free flight from a sports field and even with a head wind of several mph it used to take two football fields and their associated deadball areas to take off, he sold me the engine for ten bob ( $1.50) in 1956 and I still have it, it was that model/engine combo which gave me the inspiration to put the os 40 fs in the southerner major, btw.
My latest plane is the super scorpion, 66" ws of delight ( there's some pix on my blog on this site), which has the os 40 fs I mentioned above as the prime mover, so I've got the three that eddie keil started marketing just after ww2.
Incidentally I used to live in Wickford in essex, the KK factory was about 150 yards from my home, and one saturday morning in the late 70s, I knocked on the door and the owner let me in and showed me round. But that, as they say, is another story.
Feb 14, 2010, 04:32 PM
Registered User
I'm a journalist researching for a book on forgotten brands, including KeilKraft - this personal experience would probably be of great interest - any chance of more on the story? Regards
Feb 14, 2010, 06:07 PM
Registered User
Truth be told, there's not much to tell, it was 30 + years ago and at a time when I'd ditched aeromodelling for shooting, the factory was a red brick affair and was starting to look run down, I remember the car park had a lot of weeds on there and my old spaniel was sniffing round when the guy shouted at me not to let it crap there, that's when I knocked on the door.
He did tell me his name and he was middle-aged or thereabouts, I'm sorry I can't remember the detail.
The office area i'm pretty sure was quite neat but the working part was not. There were quite a few boxes and cartons also some machines there and some advertising stuff on the walls, I was only in there for short time and must have satisfied my curiousity but I can't for the life of me remember the detail. Perhaps it'll come to me but it wasn't what I expected, I'm pretty sure of that.
I have a feeling it was shortly before they closed down. I also remember reading elsewhere that the factory was in an old country house, not so; it was on an industrial estate and looked like the drawing that used to be in the ads, almost art deco with the big keilkraft sign on the wall. It was surrounded by trees but they were of the scrub kind, there were also a lot of rodents round there as my old bitch was demented by them. And, no, she didn't crap on his carpark!!!!!
I'm sorry I can't be more helpful
Feb 21, 2010, 03:16 AM
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Thanks, much appreciated.
Feb 21, 2010, 10:05 AM
Registered User
That more or less fits with my dim recollection of the factory when I visited in the late 60's though it seemed quite busy; I think the place and parking lot was quite clean and tidy at that time.

I was in the area visiting my mother and took opportunity to go over to pick up about a dozen or more 'Senator' kits for the club. KK's Northern sales rep was a club member and registered my address as a hobby shop (!) so the club gained lots of items at wholesale prices. Shortly after he left KK's employment a car stopped outside the house and a somewhat puzzled new representative was studying his records, checking the address, etc. My account was closed forthwith ... lol

Nigel - I have problems thinking of KeilKraft as a forgotten brand!
Feb 21, 2010, 06:07 PM
Registered User
One other thing I recall about wickford, there was a model shop there, run by the archetypical MOG (miserable old git), I bought several engines off of him as he was closing down ( an enya 35 mk V, PAW 19 and an OS max 25) he, for some reason, would have nothing to do with KK. BTW if you're wondering why I bought the engines when I'd taken up shooting, it was "just in case" oh and because I got the three for 25.
The enya I went on to learn to fly r/c with some 15 years later, the paw did some control line in a club 20 racer converted from r/c (Tarka by david boddington) and the 25 was donated to my eldest son's aircadets for an r/c model they were building.
All of which has sweet fa to do with the KK falcon!!!!!
Feb 22, 2010, 05:49 PM
Grider Pirate
Grider Pirate's Avatar
Was your dad a VAMPS member too? I was (hmmm, membership is 'lifetime' so I suppose I still am).
I have a full scale Senior Playboy short kit I intended to build for my Anderson Spitfire, but after this thread and a couple others like it, I think I'll go electric instead.

Originally Posted by Jimaroc
Thanks, Monza Red, I will give him a try - I looked on his website and it was intriguing.

Although, I am not really an old timer enthusiast, my Dad was and he was a member of Sam. When he passed away, I inherited his current inventory from his life-long model airplane hobby. The last plane he was flying is a re-kitting of a New Ruler w/3 Channel radio. It uses a World Engines Expert radio system, but I replaced the transmitter (broken gimbals) with a Hitec Optic 6/Spectra module and the combo works great. It is powered with a Saito 45 MkI 4S, but I tried it with an old Veco 45 2S for awhile. Jimaroc
Feb 26, 2010, 01:31 AM
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Ian Easton's Avatar
Well I dragged my plans out for the Falcon last night and as I'm ready to start something new and I'm in need of something big again it's a good candidate to get started. Being too lazy to look at the SAM rules (and I get bored and confused with them anyway) does the Falcon qualify for any SAM event? I'm planning on building something for the Vegas event next year. I have a brand new Magnum 52 FS, and a new OS 91FS. I'm hoping the 52 would do the trick for the Falcon.

I noticed on the plan that the longerons are 5/16". I'm assuming that's a hardwood and not balsa for those. The hatching on the ends of the crossmembers would indicate a hardwood. I didn't see any other notes on the plan mentioning it.
Last edited by Ian Easton; Feb 26, 2010 at 12:24 PM.
Feb 28, 2010, 04:57 PM
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Hy, just came across this thread.
I built one 15 or so years ago, 1st went in a webra belt driven rotory valve fourstroke, i think it was a 60 size, no bigger, it was underpowered, i then fitted an ohllson 60, sounded great but too many complaints, then went in an old o.s. 60 open rocker, it sounded great, enough power, and suited this bird down to the ground.

had one mid air collision, a friend of mine was chasing me, he cut off a 1/3 of the starboard wing, managed to get it down in one peice.

On his next flight, my friend, he was about three hundred feet, when his plane went into a vertical dive, old timers dont do that???? and hit the dirt.

I sold it on ebay about 4 years ago, have no idea who has it now, it was covered in yellow nylon, and fitted with the os, you can just make out the repair on the right hand wing if you look close enough.

Would like to join an old timer club in the south east of the u.k. if anyone knows of one, recently just moved to London
Feb 28, 2010, 05:33 PM
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rev dave, try

Ian they should be balsa, in fact there's very little hardwood (or ply come to think of it) in it at all.

If I built another one (I have two) I'd make the following mods, move the engine bearers out to the fuselage sides and mount the engine on an alloy plate bolted to the bearers.
Redesign the u/c mounting, I changed to 4 mm piano wire and added ply to the mounting area, they are dead susceptible to ground loops and the stock (3mm) wire flexes like soft boiled pasta.
Change the wing mounting from rubber bands to bolt on.
Cyno carbon tows onto the cockpit frames so the load is spread down to the main longerons.
Make the tail set detachable, bit of a pig to rig but saves a lot on hangar rash.
OS 52 Surpass will fly it well with a lovely long take off run but beware the ground loops.
Mine have had the following power plants, laser 70, this gives a 60 or 70 degree climb with a 14x6 wood prop, OS 52 surpass, flies well, long take off very sedate, TT 91 fs, it'll almost prop hang with this, saito 62a probably the best match of all, magnum 61 fs about the same as the 52 surpass.
On the TT 91 had a 15x6 master, the 52, 61 and 62 all with a graupner 13x6 g-sonic. All engines on 10% nitro full synthetic fuel, both airframes covered in solartex, auw about 10 -11 pounds. My first one flew in 2003, my second in 2008. I prefer the first one and will sell the second this summer.
My older one has the laser in, the younger now has the saito 62.
Feb 28, 2010, 05:40 PM
Registered User
Forgot to say, I used 1/4 scale metal geared servos for rudder and elevator in both, 6 volt 4000 mah nimh in mk 2 and 1800 2 cell lipos and bec in mk 1.
I love the way they spin and have had 17 out of mk 1. They thermal extremely well but after 3/4 of an hour my neck can't take any more. Also the large size make them look as if they are flying a lot slower than they really are.
They are quite susceptible to cross winds but if you get the windward wing slightly lower and wack in full rudder to turn them into the wind IMMEDIATELY on touch down they'll live to fly another day.
They are also extremely strong.
Feb 28, 2010, 08:00 PM
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Ian Easton's Avatar
Thanks for all the advice - it really helps a lot.
I'm a little surprised at your AUW of 10-11Lbs. My 9ft span "Willis" has a lot of ply and hardwood in it and it came out at 8Lbs. Looking at the plans for the Falcon though I think there's a lot more wood in it. I'll take your advice and make the modifications you suggest as they seem to make a lot of sense.
Last edited by Ian Easton; Mar 01, 2010 at 12:21 AM.
Mar 01, 2010, 04:27 AM
Registered User
Ian, I overdid it on several things, epoxying the front end for fuel proofing, using solartex, big batteries and so on. On the other hand neither needed nose weight and they handle the wind much better.
If I'm honest, I didn't weigh the second one and the first one was weighed way back in 2003.
IIRC there was a school of thought that said they actually fly better at that kind of weight.
Also I'm pretty sure that I upped the wood sizes in the first one to suit easily available sizes ending up with 3/8 square longerons IIRC; also I used bass for the spars, which was quite difficult to obtain in 4 foot lengths.
I know the extra weight in the wings exascerbated the falcon's only failing, slow control response at low speed leading to oscillations of the plane as the inertia of its components try to overcome the control inputs.
The second one didn't have these spars or wood sizes, by then I'd bought a balsa stripper but both planes respond the same, only on the point of take off it has to be said.
As you say there is a LOT of timber in the construction. Over the years I've used dual rates to combat this failing, unusually using the low rates at take off to combat over control and switching to high once airborne.
Any way I'll pull them out and weigh the components to see if my memory is correct.
Incidentally, both require substantial down thrust, 7 degrees with the laser 70 and about 5 with the saito. I'll also see if my brain can assess how to upload pix here and I'll pop them on here to view.
Last edited by Braddock, VC; Mar 01, 2010 at 04:35 AM.
Mar 03, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Ian Easton's Avatar
Well, I had a second set of plans printed so that I can cut them up into a managable size and ordered some of the wood I needed - so things are starting to happen
I'll post the progress...