Lancer 72 from Klarich Custom Kits - RC Groups
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Oct 02, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Lancer 72 from Klarich Custom Kits

Am ready to give up! Started the wing determined to get it right because no use continuing if it is not. Well, it is not right, although have not started gluing in earnest yet! Have joined the main spars and glued a dihedral brace to them. I simply can't figure out the various shim requirements, etc. I would rather write off the investment at this stage than put out more money for wood, an engine, etc. Has anyone out there built a Lancer 72 from a Klarich short kit. My friend Chad has build a heavily modified one from a Bob Holman short kit. If you have, I may want your autographed picture - well done. I am not new to building, having built about 25 planes from kits but this is my first Old Timer. I have even framed up kits for friends who have asked me to, knowing that I would do a reasonable job. Plus, I was mentored by a master builder who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. I could really use his expertise now. Can old timers be that hard to build? Have a beautiful Spitfire and Waco, both great flyers from Pica kits, to my credit plus several Extras, etc., etc. Looking for some help. . . Cheers
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Oct 02, 2008, 11:13 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
Pictures of your building jig setup please? Hard to suggest stuff without really breaking it all down into separate problems and showing us what you did so far.
Oct 03, 2008, 09:51 AM
Registered User
I think most all of the older Klarich kits were hand cut using sheet metal templates. You did not get a full kit in the box at purchase time.

I think he has the business up for sale now too.

Oct 03, 2008, 02:29 PM
Registered User
Bruce and Coos - yesterday I was looking at two options: a) burn the kit, or b) give it away with me paying any postage, if necessary. . after talking to a friend, I decided a more prudent course would be advisable and posted the above asking for assistance. Also, it was decided that I should simply take a break. . . therefore, I have re-kitted my kit and put all materials away. . . the only rebuilding done was the joining of the two main spars (per the plans) and reinforcing them with a dihedral brace (my own invention). . . I will have my flying planes (6 of them) to put away for the winter in a few weeks plus have just purchased an A.R.F. for next season. So my plan is to put it together, read any responses to my request for assistance and then take another look at my Lancer kit. My friend Chad has offered to give me a hand when I start it next (which could be in about a month) Hopefully, I will be in a better frame of mind by then. Will keep you posted re. any progress and thank you for responding. . . Cheers
Oct 03, 2008, 03:48 PM
Registered User
GW, oldtimers are a different world when it comes to construction. If you've cut your teeth on modern kits you're probably a little short on some of the skills you need to do things the old way. Can you imagine, KIDS used to build those things!
You mentioned that you had a mentor who passed...I'd recommend looking around for a new one. It's surprising how simple some things are once somebody actually shows you how it goes. Any time you get a chance to look at an oldtimer, look it over carefully, and if the builder is there don't be afraid to ask him questions. Most oldtimer builders love to talk building, want to see the craft continue and have a lot of personal building tricks to share.
Go ahead, step back from the project for a while, but don't give up!
Oct 03, 2008, 04:08 PM
Registered User
williame3590's Avatar


Very well said Flyer

Oct 04, 2008, 01:06 PM
Chad, Take heart. The Lancer is a unique Old Timer. Has the look of a thirties pylon racer. I consider it an advanced design and would recommend a simpler OT model for the first time builder such as: Dallaire, Bombshell, LAnzo RC-1
All cabin designs with simpler fuselages...

Klarich kits are hand sanded over forms patterned from the original John Pond Plans Service prints As such there may be errors in the original plans. Harry does not build a proofing model of his plans but only uses the JP plans. He is looking for a buyer but so far is still in business.

the John Pond Paln inventory is now owned by AMA. See a listing at:

I built a Lancer 72 from a Holman kit and modified it for RC electric power. Also made a detachable flying stab - ala sailplane construction. The wing was built with two halfs and a seperate center section. All this so it could be shipped on an airline in a glof bag case from Wallmart. It worked. A friend made a fiberglass cowl for it.
Alsa on its first contest flight the wing failed and it was seriously damaged. Failure was caused by my use of a carbon fiber joiner tube. It was hollow and after talking with a retired engineer found that it did not have the strenght required. I rebuilt the plane and replaced the joiner rod with good old fashioned music wire.
The plane came out heavy - wing was 14 oz by itself - and it flew at maybe 12 oz/ft2 wingloading. But it did fly nicely and thermaled bettered than I expected. However it usually wont beat a Lanzo Bomber in competition.
Alas again - last summer I was up and out in a high thermal and lost sight of it in the haze. Hours later we discovered it in an adjacent pasture with almost exactly the same damage as was incurred during the first crash. I will rebuild it someday but with a lighter wing.
Oct 04, 2008, 02:16 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the comments Flyer, William and SRoselle (plus pictures) - I really appreciate your input and am now more determined NOT to give up. However, am definitely taking a break. Met with a modelling friend this afternoon and he gave me some good thoughts - the project appears to be not impossible but will be more difficult than I first thought. Again, the proper shimming of the wing ribs will be the key to success. SRoselle - too bad about the crashes but your finished product looks great and I like the colour scheme - well done. Will do my best to keep the wing strong and light. Thanks Flyer - two heads are definitely better than one and fortunately I have no ego problems of my own to worry about. Kids put these things together? Thanks again - will keep you posted. . . Cheers
Oct 04, 2008, 08:36 PM
Chad H Fly`n Farmer
Chad H's Avatar
Here I think is a typical example of a good design and a fun build turned into a frustrating, hair pulling, cursing, night mare, puzzle box crapper from poor thought out plans and/or improper fitting parts.

Lets all hope nobody purchases the Klarich kit/plan line and it fades into history where it belongs to leave only the remaining ones for garage sale fodder and scrap box strips to be used on other more well thought out company's planes .

On the other hand I cannot say enough about Bob Holman`s plans and partial laser kits which was a very enjoyable build from me on my Lancer 72.

Stick with plans and kits which have had years of satisfied customers in their resume and shy away from ones who promise to laser cut you anything from any plan with no past builds to refer you to.

And to say that a old timer is a harder build requiring special long ago forgotten magical modeling skills gets a big chuckle out of me. Johns Spitfire he built with its elliptical wing and compound curved fuselage with many servos and scale details puts any old timer build to shame, even a lumber yard like a Valkyrie. Not to mention his Waco build with a big round stringered fuselage, two wings and complicated accurate strut alignment with dual ailerons. The problem is not the builders skills, but the sad parts and instructions/plans he had to start with

My Lancer was a breeze to build compared to my modern Cap aerobatic machine with its continuous taper wing which required jigging, multiple servo`s and control surfaces to construct, hinge, cover and connect. Not to mention various other modern biplane builds.

Lets face it, old timers build and fly like trainers. Thats why I am building another. It doesn`t get any easier to build and fly than a old timer for pure relaxation, as long as you start with quality plans and parts in the first place. The rest is down hill, right to the silk and dope.

A picture says a thousand words.
Last edited by Chad H; Oct 04, 2008 at 10:09 PM.
Oct 05, 2008, 09:33 AM
Registered User
I have to respectfully disagree with you, Chad.
Modern kits, especially those from the last ten years, are much better engineered and produced than the old ones. As Steve noted, the Klarich kits are cut from the original plans which aren't always acurate. For example, the wingtip parts for a Playboy don't fit right because the left and right tips are different shapes on the original plan! Part of the skills involved in building the old ones is figuring out how to get three dimensional airplane out of those parts and plans. The original instructions left lots to be desired, too.
It's not my intention to demean GW's building skills, I'm just pointing out that a modern kit builder doesn't need to learn a lot of techniques that were taken for granted in the old days. How many times to you need to build a fuselage from 3/16" square balsa anymore? How many newer guys have had to learn to make good joints in that kind of material? How many undercambered wings do you see in modern sport planes? How many good modern builders even know how to strip plank?
Not mysterious, arcane techniques, just different ones.
Compared to a modern trainer, old timers are fragile and complicated.
As for old timers flying like trainers, well, some of them do, depending on what you're using them for. If you've ever flown a SAM Champs-quality C Glow Bomber or Playboy I think you'll agree that, at least in the climb phase there's nothing trainer-like about them!
By the way, nice Lancer. Very different from Steve's (which I've seen close's even more impressive in person) but still very appealing!
Oct 05, 2008, 11:44 AM
Flyer 1950 - Thanks for the rebuttal to the dissing of Klarich Kits.
You have me at a disadvantage. Are you a NorCal flyer?

Chad H - I noted your post last month about your 'Orange Crush' Powerhouse. Excellent job on that - I can almost taste the citrus in that photo. If that's your farm in the background, you are surely a rich man!
Thousands of surburbia dwelling modelers such as myself are green with envy,
and the pic of it flying overhead in the evening light strikes me as a true 'Spirit of SAM' moment!

Say more about your excellent Lancer. What engine? What covering/paint? and how does it fly?

Steve R
PS - Here is a pic of the Lancer of NorCal flyer Bob English. Believe he used a Super Cyke for power
Oct 05, 2008, 12:22 PM
Registered User
Steve, our paths have crossed in Muncie at the last couple of SAM Champs. Two years ago you very kindly took a picture of my wife and me with our A Glow Bomber and the second place plaque we won then....thanks!
My real-life name is Scott McNickle. I've been building for something like 53 years and enjoying SAM contests for the last four. You're one of the "names" I've been in awe of since my first trip to Muncie, lol!
Oct 05, 2008, 01:17 PM
Gravity gets me down.
wingbeat's Avatar
Good to hear the positive reports of the Holman plans and laser short kits for the Lancer- it's been on my list.

Anyone with experience with both the Cumulus and the Lancer? I just love the racer styling on both, not sure if there's considerable difference in flying/building. I'd think they'd fly similar if sized and powered the same.
Oct 05, 2008, 04:31 PM
Registered User
Yip, I have them both. A cumulus at 83 inches with Saito 65 FS for duration and Lancer 45 at 60 inch for Texaco with OS20FS.
Both perform very well in competition.
The Lancer is a better model though. It has more tail moment and tail plane area making it nicer to fly. Cumulus has a reputation for being a bit vague directionally and inclined to tuck at speed. Mine doesn't show either of these tendancies though.
If you build a lancer then base it on the 45 or 49 plan. Both are cleaner than the 72 and have a Clark Y section instead of that aweful RAF32.
Have a look at the performance of both sections in something like Profilli and you will see what I mean.
At the end of the day build the one that looks the best to you. they are all great models. Just don't build another Bl%$dy Bomber!

Oct 05, 2008, 06:53 PM
Old Timer
California Condor's Avatar


Here are some Lancers, the red one is a scaled up Lancer 45. It was flown with several engines, most often with a ST 40. It was flown with an Ohlsson 60 for Texaco.
The white one is a scaled up Lancer 72 powered with an OS 90 four stroke.
The last two are Lancers 72, original size powered with Ohlsson 60s, the red trimmed one is somewhere in Australia (I gave it to Colin Borthwick)

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