"Killer" Combat Kites
July 1954 Air Trails Hobbies for Young Men

July 1954 Air Trails
July 1954 Air Trails Cover - Airplanes and RocketsTable of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

The object with these stick and tissue fighter airplane shaped kites is to use the sharp-edged sand that is glued to the kite string to saw through your opponent's string until it breaks. Part of the trick is that there is a long section of rubber in the kite string so that the kite is continually zooming back and forth, up and down. This provides the sawing motion needed to cut the string. The original plan calls for a single string, but it might be possible to work out a dual string control so that the kites can be maneuvered, thereby allowing more aggressive combat action. 

"Killer" Combat Kites

"Killer" Combat Kites, July 1954 Air Trails - Airplanes and Rockets

Ever flown "killer" kites? When these semi-scale profiles are aloft you'd swear a MiG-19 and F-100 were in mortal combat! Object is to cut your opponent's kite string. Using 50-50 mixture of cement and dope, glue model railroad ballast sand to the 50' of line nearest kite. Glue 2 feet at a time; glued string picks sand off newspaper, shake off surplus.

Preparing a kite for combat - Airplanes and Rockets

Both sides of all surfaces and fuselage are "dry" covered with Silkspan. Glue paper to balsa with dope; don't dope the finished kite. Remove warps.

Start flying with line in middle loop on bridle string. If calm, move string toward rear; windy, toward front. If you don't get enough "climb" bend adjuster-elevators up. As wind increases move hook forward and bend elevators up. Rigged and balanced for kite performance, model can't glide forward, so when string is cut it descends as if dethermalized.

Ready fr simultaneous launching of kites - Airplanes and Rockets

Rubber-Tow Kite Flite provides plenty of fun when the wind's too strong for R/C or F/F activity. As towline you use T-56 flat 1/16" rubber. Let kite out from hand in nose-up attitude, playing out rubber "line" as fast as wind velocity permits. When line begins to stretch-h-h-h let kite go downwind as you hold rubber tight. When rubber stretches to capacity kite will zoom overhead. Then play out more line, kite again goes downwind. Hold line tight, kite soars overhead when rubber tension overcomes drag. Altitude depends on background obstacles; rubber will stretch about 5 times its length.

Killer Combat Kite Plan #1 - Airplanes and Rockets

Killer Combat Kite Plan #1


Killer Combat Kite Plan #2 - Airplanes and Rockets

Killer Combat Kite Plan #2

Full-size construction drawings for both the semi-scale F-100 and MiG-19 combat kites are available from Hobby Helpers, 770 Hunts Point Ave, New York 59, N. Y., as part of Group Plan #754 (50c).


The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.

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Posted October 11, 2014