I know it's not exactly R/C related but thought some of you "air" guy
might be able to point me in the right direction. I'm trying to fin out some more info on a company called Keil Kraft, the produced believe a whole range of Balsa wood kits, the Keil Kraft Gypsy bein one that i've just aquired (unbuilt and still boxed).
Anyone any ideas as to whether the company is still trading, whethe under the keil Kraft name or not?. If it hasn't survived when did the cease manufacturing etc etc.
Thanks for the answers so far guys, the kit i have is definately a Keil Kraft and not a replica (have on closer inspection found an address for their "works" printed on the box. Looks like i've been lucky as although the box has been opened at some time the actual kit is complete, even down to still having the decals and all the neccessary paperwork ie plans, instruction list etc etc. Looks like it's destined for ebay unfortunately as i don't have the required skill level or competance to make it myself. Once again thanks for the replies Roy.
I cut my teeth (and more than a few fingers) on KeilKraft kits back in the 1950s with great success - my very first plane was a rubber powered Keilkraft Eaglet (I must have been about 9 years old).
In the mid 1960s I bought my first (single channel) RC model with very limited success. However, "pulse proportional" (an early version of modern digital sets) was just coming along, so I paid an arm and a leg out of my apprentice wages and invested in a very early three-channel set, which I installed in a recently introduced KeilKraft Fleetwing - I gather it was designed specifically for proportional control rather than the more common "bang-bang" operation.. The Fleetwing was a wonderful model which flew superbly and had some very modern features (trike undercart I think) and I still have very fond memories of it; it completely transformed my attempts at RC. From memory, it was a "modern" die-cut model, which I covered with that "new-fangled" Solarfilm stuff. I would love to build another.
In the mid 1970s I opened a hobby shop here in the UK and sold KK models - however, the range had barely changed over the years with virtually no new models being introduced since Fleetwing (in fact I think it had disappeared from their catalogue). I closed my shop in
1982 and whilst KeilKraft were still going at that time, they didn't last very long. At one time they were THE major model aircraft company here in the UK (they were literally a household name) and they could certainly have completely dominated the RC market. However they wouldn't (or couldn't) move with the times, their range was hugely outdated (I think they still had single channel escapements and reeds in their catalogue) and they were soon overtaken by new up-to-date companies and went belly up.
A great shame, but that is what happens when businesses get stuck in a rut and won't move with the times. As I know to my cost when I closed my shop - I had a Franchise for "Dungeons and Dragons" and sold computer games (in 1981!!!) but knew they would never catch on!!!!
Interesting comments about Keil Kraft...yes, sad, indeed, indeed that so many good companies have disappeared. It goes along with my personal theory of life...that is: Schwartz's Law of Life #1: "Everything good gets discontinued." Frank Schwartz
80 years young...still building and flying after 70 years of balsa heaven.....