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We had lost about 250 feet, which isn't too bad, Mike said, except that losing 250 feet when you stall at 200 feet above ground level raises questions about what happens during the other 50 feet.
(John Ewing [The Cessna, The Sky... and the Cartoonist])
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Model Aircraft Resources
Radio Control, Free Flight, Control Line, and Static Display

The history of Steen Aero Lab owes much to model airplanes. The late Hale Wallace, who previously owned the company, was a world-championship level scale R/C modeler. In addition, several of our employees are modelers whose interests range from R/C to free flight and static models. It's often said that building a homebuilt plane is just like making a giant model... that may be a simplification but for the most part, it's not far from the truth!

We do offer some resources directly to modelers, and we will post as much information of use to modelers as we can. First off, we offer 3-views of our aircraft for a reasonable fee, which come from the blueprints used by builders of the full-scale aircraft. Some of these even include specifications such as control surface deflections. For the ultimate in authenticity, we also offer scale flying wires, made by Bruntons using the same process that's used to make the full-sized wires.

Scale Documentation:

As for other documentation suitable for scale competition, that obviously depends upon the specific aircraft being modeled. If you don't know of a plane near you, we suggest the highly-regarded photo packages offered by Bob Banka via his company, Bob's Air Documentation. He offers many photo and 3-view packages of Skybolts, Pitts S1's, Knight Twisters, and Great Lakes, which are described well in the free downloadable catalog available on his website. As with any scale model, we highly recommend assembling the documentation BEFORE you start the model so that you aren't caught with a half-built model needing details that you have not information on!

Plans and Kits:

There are construction plans, 3-views, and kits available from various manufacturers for all of our designs (though not necessarily each sub-version) in a variety of scales. While this is nowhere close to an exhaustive list, here are some of the kits and plans of all types that we are aware of - please let us know about others and we'll add them to the list!

Abbreviations used:
RC = Radio Control
FF = Free Flight
CL = Control Line
SM = Static (Display) Model
ARF = Almost Ready to Fly
ARC = Almost Ready to Cover
WS = Wingspan
WA = Wing Area
sq in = Square inches
ci = Cubic inches
cc = Cubic centimeters

Jump to a section: Skybolt Pitts Special Pitts Model 14 Knight Twister Great Lakes
Other Related Aircraft (Steenship, Pitts monoplanes, etc.)

A number of online vendors now offer copies of copyrighted model plans. These vendors usually scan a set of plans into a computer, and offer printed copies at what seems like a reasonable price (but for them, it's a huge profit.) Often, they claim that they've "restored" or "improved" the plans and they often provide the accompanying building article.

Unfortunately, these vendors DO NOT own the rights to these designs. The legitimate copyright holders see NO proceeds from their sales! Besides being illegal, the "plan pirates" are literally stealing what little profit the rightful owners of these designs might make. Profit margins are slim at best, and the "plan pirates" create a powerful incentive for them to get out of the business. Please support the designers and plans publishers by refusing to buy illegal plan copies!

The scope of some of these operations is impressive. For instance, one of the most infamous stolen plan vendors (let's just call him "Uncle") has sold over $20,000 in pirated plans on a popular online auction site in the past 4 years. That's money that will never go towards developing new plans and kits.

What can be done? So far, plan pirates are proving hard to stop. Legal action is expensive; online storefronts and auction sites won't take action against them (they make a fee from every sale, after all); and law enforcement agencies have shown little concern unless the copyright violation complaints come from a politically powerful entity (such as is happening with movies, music, and software.) So spreading the word is the best action we can take to help dry up the demand for pirated plans. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to NOT do business with any outfit offering "old" or "restored" plans unless you're completely sure that they actually own the rights to the designs. AMA members should also contact your local AMA district Vice President and tell them of your concern, and ask for them to take action.

Please note that we are NOT against selling, trading, or giving away ORIGINAL plans. That is commonly done and perfectly legal. But generally, it's illegal to distribute COPIES of other's copyrighted works except in certain, narrowly defined circumstances. If in doubt, please ask the vendor if the plan you're interested in is an original copy, or if it's printed or photocopied.

Sig Manufacturing
RC, 51 in WS, .61 ci engine
Apparently no longer in production.
Great Planes
RC, Super Skybolt, 57 in WS, .60-.91 ci engine
Great Planes offers the Super Skybolt as both a kit and as an ARF.
RC, 26.5% scale, 76.5 in WS, 3-6 ci engine
Kit for the Wendell Hostetler plans described below.
Model Airplane News
RC, June 1977, 54 in WS
Wendell Hostetler
RC, 26.5% scale, 76.5 in WS, 3-6 ci engine
They will print plans at any requested size. You can get a kit for these plans from Larry Katona at
Model Builder Magazine
RC, August 1987
Dario Brisighella
RC, 26% scale, 78 in WS, up to 50 cc engine
The IMAA magazine reported in July 2003 that Dario has made his plans available again for $50/set, plus shipping.Click here to email him through this site. Dario's postal address is 1032 East Manitowoc Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154 USA. Here's a review by Chuck Spencer.
RC, profile scale, 30 in WS, GWS 350C-class (or brushless) electric power, Fan-Fold Foam 3-D Parkflyer
Boss has come up with a really cute profile foamie Skybolt, made of very inexpensive fan-fold foam (FFF)... you'll have about $3 in materials invested in this one, plus the radio and power system. (We're big fans of electric FFF planes, it's become our favorite mode of R/C flying lately...) If you don't want to use a costly brushless motor, a GWS EPS-350C (the stock Slow Stick motor) should still pull it around nicely, though with reduced hover ability. According to the designer, "it's smooth when you need it and wild when you want it to be". You can get the plans, photos, videos, flight reports, etc. in this E-Zone Forums thread.
Great Planes
RC, ARF, 1/3 scale, 68.5 in WS, 1.6-2.7 ci glow engine
Robbe Modellsport
RC, 39.3 in WS upper, 37.8 in WS lower, 51 oz weight, electric power
Direct link to product listing here. Some info on flying as an electric in this forum this forum on the E-Zone Website
Herr Engineering
RC, 30 in WS, 300 sq in wing area, 27 oz weight, .061 - .074 ci engine (up to .15 ci?) or electric, laser cut, for micro RC gear
Lots of info on flying as an electric in the E-Zone Forums including this thread
Herr Engineering
FF, 24 in WS, rubber power, laser cut
Lots of info on flying as an electric RC plane is available in the E-Zone Forums
Beeline Models
RC, 3-D Parkflyer, 25 in WS, GWS Twin IPS or GWS 300 electric motor
This is a 3-D aerobatic parkflyer/indoor profile model, made of 6mm depron enhanced with plastic moldings
Hobby Lobby
RC, 23 in WS, 210 sq in WA, 13 oz flying weight, geared Speed 300 motor
Hobby Lobby offers this all-foam, 4-channel ARF Pitts S1. Look here for more info.
Ian Smith / Aero.Lab's Pitts S1 Parkflyer
RC Parkflyer, 28.5 in WS, 10 oz flying weight, electric power, laser-cut short kit
Ian Smith has come up with a beautifully executed all balsa, laser-cut model of the Pitts S1. The design features a very lightweight and strong structure built up from interlocking, laser-cut balsa parts. This is similar to many old-time free-flight rubber-powered planes. Ian is offering kits through Zeke's Park Scale Models and there are several construction threads posted in the E-Zone Forums. All reports indicate that this little Pitts is a real winner! (And if you're wondering, the website's name of Aero.Lab is a cleverly-named counterpart to Ian's other website, it isn't related to or affiliated with Steen Aero Lab.)
Chris O'Riley's Micro-Pitts
RC indoor, 12 in WS, 1 oz flying weight, electric power, free download
Yes, this really is a one-foot span RC Pitts Special, designed for use with the ultra-micro RFFS indoor RC system. Construction is mostly of very light 1/32 inch sheet balsa. It is available both as a kit and as a free plan. A laser-cut kit is available from Dynamic Web Enterprises (they also have combo packages including the radio and power systems.) The plans are available as a free PDF download that you print out yourself, and included all patterns and very good instructions, while the design is discussed in this E-Zone Forums thread.
RC, 53 in WS, for .91 ci engines
Jamara in Germany distributes this ARF Pitts S1. We don't know who makes it though.
Toni Clark Practical Scale GmbH
RC, 1/3 scale, 67.9 in WS, 210 sq in WA, 16.5-20 lbs. flying weight, 3.0-4.9 ci engines
Toni Clark in Germany offers a really nice, very complete, and large 1/3 scale Pitts S1-S kit that includes hardware, fiberglass parts, pre-built metal parts, CNC-cut wood, tires, and even a spinner and markings. Looks really nice! Plans are available separately. Though it's not a Pitts, but their Tiger Moth looks really great too! Info courtesy Andrew Porreco
American Aircraft Modeler
FF, Sept. 1972, Peanut Scale
Peck Polymers
FF, 12-3/8 in WS
Scale plans drawn by David Jones/W.C. Hannan
We currently know of no model kits that are available for the Pitts Model 14. We expect this to change once the prototype flies and the final configuration is finalized (remember, AMA rules and most other scale competitions require that any competition scale models represent manned aircraft which have made at least one flight.) We expect that kits will become available after the prototype takes flight.
Model Airplane News / Pat Tritle July 2006
RC, 30 in / 28.6 in (76.2 cm / 72.6 cm) WS, 322 sq in (0.208 sq m) WA, 15.9 oz (0.45 kg) Weight, 7.11 oz/sq ft (2.163 kg/sq m) Wing Loading, Castle Creations MC-20 brushless electric motor w/ MPI 6.6:1 gear drive, 880mAh 3 cell LiPoly battery pack, APC 10x4.7 Slow Flyer propeller, balsa construction.
Well-known electric airplane enthusiast/designer Pat Tritle designed this neat little sport-scale version of the Pitts Model 14 as a tribute to Curtis Pitts. It is based upon the 3-Views from this website (as of June 2005.) Pat documented the progress of his project in the E-Zone Forums (where else?)... before it was published in Model Airplane News (direct link to plans here. This appears to be the first published set of plans for a model of the Pitts Model 14. Pat says, "As it turns out, this Pitts is by far the best and easiest-to-fly biplane I've ever flown -- a very pleasant surprise, to be sure. ... I promise it will leave you with very fond memories of Curtis Pitts and his incredible biplanes."
Melf-Heiko Mast
RC, 64.5 in (1.6 m) WS, 7 lb (3.2 kg) Weight, AXI 4130/16 brushless electric motor, 5S2P lithium battery pack, 18x8/20x6 propeller, depron/carbon tube construction.
Melf-Heiko Mast has built a beautiful rendition of the Pitts Model 14, even before the real one has flown! Melf has chronicled his project (and even posted flight video) in a German-language discussion forum thread on the RC Line Forum. If you don't read German, then Babelfish will give you a (loose, and often amusing) English translation of the discussion by clicking here. The plane is built using an innovative structure composed of depron foam and graphite tubes for the main structure, along with some fiberglass. While we don't know if Melf is offering any plans, there's a lot of good information in the discussion thread to help anyone who would like to build a similar model. It appears that it flies as nice as it looks! Melf sent us some interesting construction photos, which you can see in our online Project Gallery.
Lindbergh Models
SM, 4.5 in WS
Plastic model of 1950's vintage
Lawrence Designs & Models (LDM)
SM, 1/48 scale model of N5DF
Scale white metal model, w/ decals. Kit now out of production and the company appears to be defunct. Some info on another kit from LDM can be found here
Allen Hunt's Model Airplane Plans
CL, 22-34 in WS
Several plans available
CL, for .15 ci engines
ModelEngineering offers plans for a CL model of Don Fairbanks' Imperial Knight Twister N5DF. Plans are $25. They have a little info posted here.
Model Airplane News
RC, MAN 9/1985-10/1985, 1/3 scale, 70 in upper WS, 62 in lower WS, 1505 sq in wing area, 12-15 lbs, 2.1 ci engine typical
Published in MAN 9/1985 and 10/1985 as plans and 4-views with a history by Vernon Payne. Designed by Dan Santwich. Info courtesy Harley Jetzer
CL, 36 in WS, 26.5 in length, .19-.35 ci glow power, Kit No. C13
Balsa kit of original GL Trainer. Went out of production shortly after Estes bought Sterling. The AMA Kit Plan Book Vol. 2 by Frank Ehling from the 1970s shows a half-page copy of the plans for this plane. Info courtesy Brian Reynolds Brian Reynolds
Model Tech
RC, ARC, 47 in WS upper, 43 in WS lower, .40-.53 ci glow power, Kit No. 123685
ARC kit. Info courtesy Harley Jetzer, who recommends using a .60 ci engine to avoid adding nose ballast, with 1-2 degrees of downthrust. He also says it flies great and fits into most car trunks w/out disassembling it. Many others have reported that the ground handling is very poor, and the kit has many flaws resulting in poor flight performance if not corrected. More info can be found here
RC?, 40 in WS, 480 sq in WA
No longer in production
Cleveland Model and Supply Company
FF/RC, several Great Lakes plans. 2T-1 available in 20.0 in WS. 2T-1E available as 10 in WS FF plan or in 1/32 (10 in WS), 1/24 (13.3 in WS), 1/16 (20.0 in WS), 1/12 (26.7 in WS), 1/8 (40.0 in WS), 1/6 (53.3 in WS), 1/4 (80.0 in WS) scales.
Allen Hunt's Model Airplane Plans
CL/FF, 11-25 in WS
Several Great Lakes Trainer 3-views and plans available
Academy of Model Aeronautics
CL, 36 in WS, 26.5 in length, .19-.35 ci glow power, Sterling Kit No. C13
Kit is now out of production, but the AMA Kit Plan Book Vol. 2 by Frank Ehling (published in the 1970s) shows a half-page copy of the plans for the Sterling Kit described above. Info courtesy Brian Reynolds
Norm Rosenstock's Great Lakes 2T-1A Plans
1/5 Scale: RC, 64 in WS, 1080 sq in WA, 10-12 lb weight, 25 oz/sq in Wing Loading, .90ci 4-stroke engine
1/4 Scale: RC, 80 in WS, 1820 sq in WA, 18-20 lb weight, 25 oz/sq in Wing Loading, 50cc Quadra/2-2.5ci engine
These scale models of the Great Lakes Trainer/Special are built of balsa and spruce, and are both IMAA-legal. Chuck Spencer reviewed the 1/4 scale plans in the IMAA High Flight magazine (Vol. 3, No. 4, p. 26, 1983). Norm also offers plans for other interesting planes in various sizes, including the Waco HKS-7, Farman Moustique, an enlarged Live Wire Trainer, and Bill Winter's Rookie. Norm can be contacted via our link or at (561) 798-5154.
William Northrop Jr., 1958
1 ch. (rudder-only) RC design (could accept 3-4 ch. with modern gear), 39 in WS, .09 ci glow power.
Unfortunately we only know about the existence of this plan after finding it being offered by a "plan pirate" (see the note at the top of the page for information about this problem.) If you know any more about tihs design, please let us know.
We currently know of no model kits or plans for other aircraft related to those above. This generally excludes the "common" Pitts-designed aircraft currently produced by other companies such as the Model 12, S2 series, S-1-11, etc. but would include unusual or one-off types of related aircraft (such as the Pitts monoplane racers, the Steenship, Payne Dolphin, etc.) If you know of any kits, plans, or scale documentation that is available for such aircraft, please let us know!
None currently known.

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- Mike Angiulo, Redmond, Washington

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