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The union stadt Zeppelin works - die Fledermaus

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Gillard

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I'm about to start building a rocket glider made by The Union Stadt Zeppelin Works, called "die Fledermaus"
Got it off ebay.
It dates back to the seventies.

Does anyone know of this rocket company, or better still the kit itself?

will post a build thread, but i'm quite busy at work at the moment so it may take several days to build.
 

Gillard

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kit consists of

two sheets of printed balsa
one instruction sheet printed both sides, one of which shows what the plane will look like.
a bit of drinking straw as a launch lug
a block of balsa
BT5

the balsa is good quality

the instructions are terrible, looking through them it looks like the modeller has to think their way through the kit.
the block of balsa is to make the nose cone.

instructions.JPG


parts.JPG
 

Gillard

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step one is to cut the two fuselage side out, and then glue then together at the rear.
as this joint will be taking some stress during the next stages, where the front end has a bulk head and nose cone fitted, the glue has to have set hard.
so nothing to do until tomorrow.

fuselage.JPG
 

Gillard

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next step is to glue the nose cone in place -the nose cone is a block of basla
i'm going to do this a step later.
instead i'm putting in the two struts or bulk heads.

even though the two sides came from the same sheet of balsa, one of the sides is stiffer than the other and there is soem warping - still should help with a circular glide!!!

at this stage i think i'm treating this as a proto type, and i'll build a second one with better balsa etc afterwards.

there is quite alot of stress in the balsa.

bulk head 1.JPG


bulk head 2.JPG
 

GuyNoir

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Ack! Sure hope you saved the patterns to the parts. This is the kind of kit that ought to be preserved for posterity!!!! :eek:
 

Gillard

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already had one rocketeer ask for the plans and copy of the parts, sent them out this morning.
it does look like a unique kit, i've never send anything like it before - which makes me think - did this design not catch on because it does not work!

time wil tell.
 

shuyge

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already had one rocketeer ask for the plans and copy of the parts, sent them out this morning.
it does look like a unique kit, i've never send anything like it before - which makes me think - did this design not catch on because it does not work!

time wil tell.

I have one of the Union Stadt kits as well but I can't think of which one while I'm here at work. It was a glider of some sort. This is the only other reference that I've ever seen to one of their kits.
 

Gillard

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I have one of the Union Stadt kits as well but I can't think of which one while I'm here at work. It was a glider of some sort. This is the only other reference that I've ever seen to one of their kits.

That's great, you have GOT to let me know what the kit is.
I really like these old kits, not because of the quality or design, but because you get a sense of history in a relatively young hobby.
 

Gillard

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Next comes gluing in the motor tube. The BT5 in the kit was too long so it is cut down to size.
The motor must pop out at ejection , which means the bulk head -thin sheet of balsa is going to take a hit each time. And the tube must be flush with the bulk head -no gaps.
I filleted the tube and the fuselage wall, as i don't want this bird to rip herself to pieces, and i'll risk the extra weight.

motor tube.JPG
 

Gillard

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At the same time as the BT5 is drying, i attached the nose none block to the front.
The balsa block supplied is far too big, and is very hard for balsa.
The instructions show it being glued to the front edges of the fuselage. I opted for siting it back by about 5mm, as this will give it alot more strength.

heavy sanding later should take the front nose mass back to where it should be.

The block is pinned whilst it dries.

Again, the one stiff fuselage is distorting the weaker side.

nose block.JPG
 

hcmbanjo

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I had one of these kits back in 1977 or 1978. It was given to me in Santa Clara, California at a local NAR section meeting. (Doug Frost's old group.)

The company president (I can't remember his name) gave it to me hoping I would write a magazine review on the model. I never got that far.
When I got home and opened up the little white box, I wasn't impressed with the contents. The instructions were okay but the balsa quality was poor. Many pieces looked like they were cut out with household scissors! I had no want or need to build the model.

The model sat in storage for 30 years. I gave it away (as a bonus) when I was selling kits on EBAY two summers ago. The buyer was surprised to get it, he had never heard of it before either.

Good luck with the build!
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
 

Gillard

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The next step is to start adding the wings etc.

I'm not sure about the lack of dihedral, or that the tail and wing are perfectly aligned with no lifting surface on either.

The model plan shows a large curve for the wing, but that is impossible to achieve with the thin balse supplied.

also added the bottom of the fuelage.

everything left to dry.

wings bottom.JPG


wings top.JPG
 

falingtrea

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Looking at the kit, I would suggest glueing some tin foil on the balsa on the tail section that would be exposed to the motor exhaust. Would at least make it easire to clean the soot off after launch.
 

Gillard

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Looking at the kit, I would suggest glueing some tin foil on the balsa on the tail section that would be exposed to the motor exhaust. Would at least make it easire to clean the soot off after launch.

Your dead right on that one. i always used aluminium tape on balsa that's near the motor ever since my Edmonds DeeCee Thunderer came down on fire:eek:

i am looking at also not adding the front bottom piece of balsa, this is because the kit has the grain running in the wrong direction, and so that the entire of the bottom is silvered.
 

Peartree

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Your dead right on that one. i always used aluminium tape on balsa that's near the motor ever since my Edmonds DeeCee Thunderer came down on fire:eek:

i am looking at also not adding the front bottom piece of balsa, this is because the kit has the grain running in the wrong direction, and so that the entire of the bottom is silvered.
You could always use the original as a template to cut a new one the right way.
 

CharlaineC

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I'm rather suprised that their was no thrust ring or balsa stop. that would help with the ejection i beleave. As for the curve can acheve it by soaking the balsa in hot water or steaming it and then forming it onto something with the curve you want. untill it dries. just like building wooden boats.
 

Gillard

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i considered cutting a new section, and I built boats as a child, so i'm used to curving balsa. I'm going for the aluminium tape more for looks. (and because i'm a bit lazy).
should be nearly finished with the plane today, probably fling her on friday.
 

Gillard

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added the rudder - which also has the grain in the wrong direction.
and more of the fuselage sections

nose cone sanded to a better profile.

still got the lug and the bottom piece to added but nearly finished.

stupidly i gave it a quick hand toss in my lab, looks like it needs more nose mass but the last piece may take care of that. andi've put a small dent in the tail:(
should be finished tomorrow.

nose fin.JPG


nearly finished.JPG
 

Gillard

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silver foil added to the base.
launch lug added to the top of wing, off center to avoid the rudder.

needs to be trimmed. tail heavy at the moment.
the open cockpit is a perfect place for clay.

have not gone for any sealing, as i reckon that there will be some warping on the thin balsa.

if the weather remains as it is - colsd snowy but little wing then it should test fly tomorrow.

finished bottom.JPG


front view finished.JPG


silvered.JPG
 

jdbectec

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That looks like a very interesting Glider. Did you by chance make copies or scans of the patterns and plans? I'd like to give it a try myself.
 

CharlaineC

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how does she swing test? she is beauty. whats the thickness of the balsa 3/32 or 1/16
 

shuyge

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Sorry guys. I've forgotten to dig my model out and see which one it is. I'll try to remember tonight, but the Avs are on TV tonight and I'll probably forget again :eek:
 

AKPilot

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That looks like a very interesting Glider. Did you by chance make copies or scans of the patterns and plans? I'd like to give it a try myself.

What he said . . . me, me, me too!
 

Gillard

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That looks like a very interesting Glider. Did you by chance make copies or scans of the patterns and plans? I'd like to give it a try myself.
okay.

first lets see if she actually flys!!!

secondly, i've already posted out a set of plans, and i'd be happy to send out more, so if you want a copy of the instructions and a photocopy of the balsa sheets then pm me with your Full address - remember that i'm in the UK so it could take awhile before it gets to you.
 

Gillard

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did not fly today - too cold.
balancing was achieved with just under 2g of clay placed in the bottom of the cockpit.

test throws show that she glides okay (ish), with a circle turn - probably down to the bend in the fuselage.

with a bit of luck i'l fly this weekend at my usual small field - but there is more snow on the way.
 

shuyge

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I finally remembered to have a look in the collection and I did find my kit. It is the "Pterodactyl" from Union Stadt model works or whatever the company is called. The BT-5 is a bit squashed but the kit is complete and unstarted.
 

Gillard

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I finally remembered to have a look in the collection and I did find my kit. It is the "Pterodactyl" from Union Stadt model works or whatever the company is called. The BT-5 is a bit squashed but the kit is complete and unstarted.
any chance of a photo of the plans, or a bigger description.
 

CharlaineC

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same here i would like a copy of that one as well
 

UMRS

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I may take you up on a copy of the plans after all, but I will wait for the flight report first ;)
 

CharlaineC

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For all thouse drooling over this baby. here are the plans print on a4 I did make a pdf if you want that send me an email. but here are the jpg's

instruction.jpg


bp1.jpg


bb1balsa.jpg
 
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