Back in the early to mid 1970s, I began construction
on one of these Sterling Cirrus sailplanes. It got put aside when I bought my first
radio control system (a used 3-channel OS Digital). In a somewhat desperate attempt
to own an RC glider, I actually crammed two huge servos, a huge receiver, and a
NiCad airborne battery pack (the only part that has not gotten smaller in 30 years)
in the cockpit. Although the cockpit was very spacious, the balsa frame construction
was way too weak to support a radio system, but that didn't stop me... well, not
right away anyway. If I remember correctly, the wingtips had a chord of about 1"
and were about 3/16" thick.
After much work covering the undercambered
airfoil and compound curves around the fuselage with Japanese tissue, it was finally
ready to fly. It probably weighed three or four times the weight listed on the box
top. The first couple "flights" consisted of tossing the Sterling Cirrus off a little
ridge about 3 feet high, at Klinkin's Field, in Mayo, Maryland. The flimsy wings
flexed up into an extreme curve - it's amazing that they didn't break. The landings
were in soft, long grass, so the craft survived. That was all well and good, but
it was not exactly satisfying flying. Somehow, I talked my father, who was skinny
but was no athlete, into running with a tow line in an attempt to get it aloft.
Between the two of us, the Cirrus was rendered unusable after about an hour. Oh
well, live and learn (or don't learn).
Posted May 8, 2019