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May 10, 2002, 12:37 AM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar

Sterling C/L and/or rubber powered models

Hi gang!

There's a flurry of Sterling models available on Ebay... all around the 30 to 35" range, perfect for IPS or M100 power... models like the Stinson Reliant SR-8, Jenny, A-26, etc...

Someone talk me out of one of these, or all of these... tell me how bad they are to build or how heavy the wood is or something. My credit card will thank you for it.
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May 10, 2002, 07:17 AM
Registered User
buzzsaw 46's Avatar

Sorry cant help your credit card, I built the Sterling Extra last fall and it flew great right after the first successfull flight I ordered up a Sterling Sukhoi and the building has been even better I think the dies were dull for the Extra because I had to cut every piece out by hand but the Sukhoi the parts practicly fell out of the sheets I havnt finished the Sukhoi yet but it should fly even better than the Extra did.
May 10, 2002, 09:10 AM
Registered User
The wood is crap, most die cutting is plain god awful, it's heavy, plans have many errors, they're over-priced, the box cardboard is cheap, the graphics stink.... (can't have you bidding against me! )
May 10, 2002, 09:17 AM
End User
cathode's Avatar
I've been looking at those too I want to convert something like that to elec rc... i'm wondering if the current crop of micro-electronics would power something like that? ( I know nothing)
May 10, 2002, 09:23 AM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
cathode, haven't you heard? No one flies radio control any more. Besides, not even 2 servos would fit inside a 30" airplane, let alone let it get off the ground! You'd do better with a .60 sized slimer.


as dbcherry said, can't have you bidding against me! lol

That's exactly why I'm looking at them... for park flyer electric R/C
May 10, 2002, 09:26 AM
End User
cathode's Avatar
heh... well as a rubber-elec conversion newbie, I'd not want to jump into anything till I hear from someone that it's possible

Or, perhaps we can agree on different models and live in harmony
May 10, 2002, 09:43 AM
Registered User
dave1135us's Avatar
I have a guillow's cessna 170 kit I bought at hobby lobby( the arts and craft store, not the r/c one) I found it while waiting for my wife to buy some plastic flowers. I was surprised that they had any models, but they did,mostly free flight, but some beginner r/c planes too. it can be powered by rubber, a cox .020 glow, or electric. I'm going to use a dx/a motor and 2 micro servos. it has a 24 inch wing span and should weigh about 4-5 ozs. when done.
May 10, 2002, 10:03 AM
End User
cathode's Avatar
Nice, is the kit laser cut? It'e been awhile since I've built a balsa rubberband plane, I've heard laser diecut models are the way to go
May 10, 2002, 10:21 AM
Balsa Flies Better!
Re the Sterling kits

1) These are exact scale and haven't been designed to fly. Really display kits. I have built 3 so far- a Citabria, a Jenny, and a P-40. I was still learning about e-flight when I did the Citabria and the Jenny but I would not recommend any of them unless you're willing to bash a lot. You will need to lighten up the structure a great deal which manages to come out both heavy and weak (but scale) I did get the Jenny to fly on a direct drive Speed 280 and a 3 cell Tadiran pack. It looked rather neat up there- had problems with warps, needed lots of rebuilding. Landings were always arrivals. The problem is that the wings are high aspect ratio- and heavy which meant that once they started turning, they didn't want to come out easy. Note- it was easy to X-acto a lot of wood out of the fuse, I just should have really worked on the wings too. Hung up in a kid's bedroom.

Citabria- direct drive, speed 300 and a 6 cell 350 pack. Flights were nasty brutish and short. Tail feathers too small. It eventually spun in and I was happy. This airplane might have a shot with a lighter covering and a gear drive, but it wasn't fun to fly. need to enlarge tail feathers. In trash can.

P-40 Still undergoing flight testing- the lightest of the 3- Speed 280 geared 3:1 on an 8 cell 300 mAH pack- I think it's at 8 ounces. So far it's had a nasty tendency to fall off on a wing- and yes, I have some washout in. Still need s more. tail feathers too small (sense a trend here?)

A-26- Comet kit (not Sterling) Built mine for twin electric FF at about 4 ounces. Lead sled-High aspect ratio wings suck below 6 ft. in span. I can't even make it fly rubber. Saw one years ago, flown by a master. It did fly, but also broke up readily upon landing. I'm going to hang mine up or I'll have to try gearing. Needs bigger stab- rudder probably too large. Don't expect any molded parts in Comet kits.

Do you get the sense I'm slightly frustrated with all the airplanes you mentioned?

Note- I have the Sterling Extra kit- it's a newer series and looks to be a much better design. Not true scale which should clearly be avoided for flying airplanes.

Recommendations:- save your money and stick to the Dumas and Herr kits- better engineered, lighter, and folks have been much more successful converting. Either that or you're a good builder- can come up with your own structures using plans as an outline (different tail feathers, probably airfoils) and the plastic parts. You'll probably throw away the wood (their stripwood is OK though.)

CL scale kits- not suitable for conversion. (Some stunters may work, but need built up structures.)

Good luck...

May 10, 2002, 10:30 AM
Dimension Engineering
Sterling kits are much better than Guillows kits, but that isn't saying much. Not as nice as the Herr kits, Bell kits, Peck kits, Micro-X kits, and on and on.

But, if the price is right, then hey, why not?
May 10, 2002, 10:32 AM
End User
cathode's Avatar
hey Megowcoupe thanks for the info on this... I was looking for someone with experience trying to get these to fly.
May 10, 2002, 10:39 AM
Registered User
dave1135us's Avatar
I got the kit for $8.00, so couldn't go wrong. it is die-cut, some of the sheets are cut well, some not, but I ran a xacto around the parts before I pushed them out, so no problems. the plans are laid out well, but the instructins are vague, a beginner would have problems. I am modifying mine, strengthing some areas and making the control surfaces movable. should work out ok, I hope.
May 10, 2002, 12:15 PM
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Martin Hunter's Avatar
megowcoupe, Thank you! You've saved my credit card I do love Herr kits, and will be keeping an eye out for any of theirs on ebay, though the prices are up there a bit. I've also been eying up the Hacker kits, or 30" Dumas per another thread on them. I'll keep shopping!
May 10, 2002, 12:39 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Happy to oblige- it didn't sound like they were what you were looking for. (I swear, my most expensive mistakes have begun with the phrase- but I got it on a good deal!) It's beginning to dawn on me after reading lots of conversion stories and doing a bunch of my own, that successful electric conversions are made from airplanes that fly well under rubber power- or at least glow FF. Most of the successful conversions seem to be based on FF designs which work outdoors. As an example, I'd bet the Golden Age kits may be a little problematic, unless you're using really light gear- these airplanes fly well indoors. If the FF guys don't like a kit- be very careful. An exception- some of the Guillows WWI designs don't work well for rubber because of the short nose moment- but that's easy to fix using electrics. Note that these airplanes did fly using glow motors.

By the way- a great source for FF stuff is Penn Valley Hobby center
There are a lot of kits available that should work well as electric conversions such as RN and Midway. The scaled down old timers in the 30-36" size range fly wonderfully as e conversions- I know this first hand. And they're not even that pricey- a lot of the kits go for $20 or so.


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