Zoot's Mixture

January 2022

‘A’ Nostalgic Project

The author at 16 in 1967 with his Kansas Twister — and in 2022 with his nostalgia build of a new Kansas Twister.

By Zoot Zoomer

Many of us like to look back on some of our early modeling projects, particularly “firsts.” This writer is no exception to that. The subject at hand here is my very first Speed plane, which I built at the age of 16.

You Speedsters will probably recognize it as the Kansas Twister, and you would be correct! This plane was available in kit form with three sizes to choose from: .15, .29, and .60. I had been gifted a series 61 K&B .15R engine so went for the class ‘A’ size kit. Since I had no monoline experience it seemed best to go with a two-wire control system. A pen bladder tank was the fuel system.

Here are some memories of that plane: First off, it was not fast! As I recall the highest speed attained was only 92 mph. Despite running it on 50% nitro, those engines did not produce a lot of power. The plane never flew in a contest and did not have many flights on it. But I cannot recall what ever happened to it. At some point the engine wound up on the front of my dad’s Goodyear racer, which also did not go very fast. And at some point much further on I sold that engine.

Last fall I just happened to acquire a Kansas Twister kit, and another series 61 K&B .15R engine. It then hit me that I just had to replicate my first-ever Speed plane effort. I had an old photograph of the original plane (and the original me!) from circa 1967. I wanted to duplicate the plane as close as possible, so the new one was also made in two-line control configuration. The new plane also was finished with white epoxy paint, and the numbers and trim were copied as close as possible. The only noticeable change was to locate the elevator to the outboard side where the plans show it. Don’t know why the original one I built had the elevator inboard.
I still need to fabricate a takeoff dolly for this bird. When that is done I will head to the flying field with some Top Flite 6x7-1/2 Speed props and K&B Speed fuel and attempt to break 92 mph.

— Zoot Zoomer (aka Mike Hazel)

Major subassemblies for the Kansas Twister.

Kit plans and parts.

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This page was upated Jan. 27, 2022