The Radio Control Club of Detroit

An AMA Gold Leader Club
AMA Chapter # 368
An AMA Charter Club Since 1953
IMAA Chapter #206



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RCCD 2011 Scratch Build Project

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It is possible to enjoy R/C flying without scratch building a plane, but scratch building makes the flying enjoyment so much better. There is a great sense of accomplishment in creating your own flying machine and then seeing it fly. And when someone asks "who makes that model?", there is just something special about being able to say "Me!"

RCCD is hosting a scratch build project where we can learn, share and teach the art and science of scratch building. The foundation of the project is a .60-size Ugly Stick which is a great platform as it can be built "by the book" or modified until it is barely recognizable. And the 'Stick is one of the best-flying sport planes available.

Although construction will be at each builder's home for the most part, we will devote some time at each club meeting to discuss progress and provide any needed direction. The first few Ground Schools of 2011 will be devoted to subjects related to the build: Build techniques; hardware selection and installation; covering; etc. Between meetings, participants are encouraged to get together in small groups for build sessions (these can be great social events too!!!), or just pick up the phone if you need to discuss something you are working on. The project is led by Pete Mlinarcik, George Dudek, Joe Svatora, and Dick Babisch.

  • If you have never scratch-built a plane, this project is for you: You are bound to have a ball making your first plane, and it will provide repair skills to save an ARF, should gravity ever get the better of your flying skills.
  • If you have built one or two planes, this project is for you: You'll be able to see how there are usually multiple ways to achieve the same result, learning along the way.
  • If you are an experienced builder, this project is for you: You will be able to share with others what you have picked up over the years. You will also have a great-flying plane and who know, perhaps the "old dog" will learn a new trick or two.

Das Ugly Stick


"The original concept of the Ugly Stick was to design a radio controlled aircraft which could be built in an absolute minimum of time. Its purpose was towards a flying test bed for new proportional control developments and an all around shop airplane which could be used as a loaner for visiting flyers, testing repaired equipment, and any use which required an airplane which could be considered as expendable."

Phil Kraft's original Ugly Stick was released to the public in the May-June issue of Radio Control and Model Aircraft World in 1966.

I wonder if Phil ever thought that the airplane that took him 3 evenings to design and completely finish, would be one of the most built and flown designs in the history of R/C modeling.

A sampling of our Sticks - Picture taken in June, 2011