About
Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright
1996 - 2026

Webmaster:
Kirt Blattenberger
BSEE - KB3UON
Family Websites:
RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

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Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit (1) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus glider advertisement in November 1973 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsBack in the early to mid 1970s, I built a Sterling Cirrus sailplane kit. Shortly thereafter I bought my first radio control system (a used 3-channel OS Digitron set), and in a somewhat desperate attempt to fly an RC glider, actually managed to crammed two of its huge servos, a huge metal-cased receiver, and a NiCad airborne battery pack (the only part that has not gotten smaller in the intervening 40 years) into the cockpit area. 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. The ready-to-fly weight was probably three times the recommended 12 ounce nominal.

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit (2) - Airplanes and RocketsAlthough the Cirrus has a generous 87-5/16" wingspan, with it 25:1 aspect ratio, the root chord is only a little over 4" and the wingtip chord is around 1". Even with vertical sheer webbing between the upper and lower main spars, the wing was far too weak for so much weight. After much work covering the undercambered airfoil and compound curves around the fuselage with Japanese tissue and brushing on a few coats of clear dope, it was finally ready to fly.

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 an 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).

May 12, 2021 Update: At long last I managed to get a nice Sterling Cirrus Sailplane kit on an eBay auction at a reasonable price! All the photos shown here are from my kit.

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (1) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (2) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (3) - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (4) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (5) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (6) - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (7) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (8) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (9) - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (10) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (11) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (12) - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (13) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (14) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (15) - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Plans (16) - Airplanes and Rockets Sterling Cirrus Kit Balsa Canopy - Airplanes and Rockets

Sterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit (3) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit (4) - Airplanes and RocketsSterling Cirrus Sailplane Kit (5) - Airplanes and Rockets

 

 

Posted May 8, 2019 

Modeling Resources

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets
Academy of Model
Aeronautics
Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets
Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets
Horizon Hobby
Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets
Sig Mfg
Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets
Brodak Mfg