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REV 2.4 - Sun Jul 17 12:39:02 2011

Flat Cat
PO Box 2409
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147-2409
(970) 264-4050
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SPECS: 20" x 13.5" - 1.5 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: B6-2, C6-3

(Contributed - by Chris Taylor) 


Plastic bag with cardboard display picture.  

The Parts:

Lots of very nice, high-quality, thick balsa wood. No skimpy stuff here. This is going to be one tough glider! 

Standard Pop-pod Glider. Basically a short, finless rocket that attaches the nose of the glider with a one-way hook, I. e. go up and it hooks, go back and it falls off. The motor's ejection is how the rocket "goes back" to unhook the glider.  

[Rocket Pic]Construction:

3 out of 5, as I have found with Quest and Estes kits, instructions are very good. This is kit is nothing special here. This is kit is nothing special here. Nothing overly hard or anything, although, there are a few points not pointed at in the instructions that should be. More on that later.  

I don't remember a huge amount of construction details, since it was rather easy and straight-forward. The one part that sticks out is the Booster to Glider hook assembly. Do it right the first time.   I accidentally made my fuselage upside down and had the hook hole on the wrong side. So I had to snap the fuselage in two just in-front of the wings, flip it over and re-glue. No problem for me, but for a novice this could very well ruin the whole project.  

Also, sand out the hook-hole really well. I also sanded the hook real fine and smeared some CA on it and sanded it again (so it wont expand and get to tight). The hook should be very loose, such that it is a pain to keep in place if you push up on the glider. Let gravity and the hook do the job. If it is too tight the ejection charge might not separate the booster and glider from each other! 


Different from the instructions and the name (Flat Cat) is what I did not do, that is to leave the wings flat.  I sanded them and I sanded them aggressively! I have one mean airfoil in those wings, not just rounded leading and trailing edges [per the instructions].   True flat bottom air-foil (thick balsa "Rules")! I also sanded everything else, including the Fuselage, Tail assembly, etc.  

No painting. I want performance. I want performance. Painting is for looks and robs from performance by adding weight. I did add the sticker, though, even though they are quite heavy. They are heavy, aluminized stickers that protect the wings from the motor exhaust. The other two stickers, I placed on the bottom of the wing tips to help spot it in the air.  


Trimming was easy. It is a normal glider and can be thrown like a normal glider and performed quite well on the first toss with no trimming.   I trimmed in a little turn in hopes of trying to get it back. I also have to trim a little up elevator.  


Motor Suggestions are, I think, the B6-4 and C6-3. Personally I say the A8-3, B6-2, C5-3, & C6-3.  

First flight on a C6-3 had a good, but slightly arching, boost.   At ejection the pod did not separate and it "Red Baroned" in . . . but softly with no damage. (This is actually when I did the CA thing to the hook).  

On another Sunday Flying day, I launched again on a C6-3 with a little more nose weight. This lightened up that arch a bit and it was good now. Ejection was good with the streamer for the pod and the Glider was pure amazing until I realized I was NOT going to get it back.   I was going to get in the car, looked up and realized that would not help either since it had caught a thermal and was climbing fast. I never saw it again. GRRrrrrr! 

I bought another kit and built it (lost pod when I stepped on it) same as the first. I flew this one at the PARA Launch and almost lost it again. This time I got lucky, for when it went over some trees it hit a down draft and a gust of wind at the same time.   This inverted the glider and it could not recover before hitting the ground.   THANK YOU, I GOT it back! But . . . I lost the booster pod to the corn field. And now, I can not find anymore of this kit to buy.   I will have to fashion another booster, maybe a 24mm Booster so I can get "out of sight" glides every flight . . . NAA, that's too many gliders to build.  

Maybe I better start flying on A and B motors or once I have $250 I plan to order a radio system from Wes Technic Servos that are 2. 8 grams a piece and a 6 gram receiver. I could make the Flat Cat radio control and fly it on D motors. That would be very cool and I would always get it back (with $250 on gear aboard, I BETTER get it back) 

Performance 6 out of 5 if built properly it is just amazing. If I had the pod I would have flown for a boost glide at NARAM-40.

(Contributed - by Mitch Marchi II - 12/14/07) Quest Flat Cat

Low Power rocket booster with streamer recovery and glider flight recovery.

Rocket booster is basically an 18mm minimum diameter rocket with a balsa "hook" assembly on it instead of fins. Glider is comprised completely of balsa. Wings and stabilizer are 1/8", fuselage is 1/4" x 1/2".

The instructions were good, except that there were a few places where the pictures really didn't match what you needed to do--I was glad that there was a detailed picture of the "hook" on the product packaging. I would say that Quest labeling this a skill model 3 kit is accurate. Most kits go up in skill level because of intricate paint jobs, however, this kit required real modeling skills.

The balsa in the kit was not consistent. One wing was nice, tight, strong grained balsa and the other one was made of weak, stringy balsa. The fuselage was a nice piece of wood. I had to really trace the parts with my X-Acto knife to get them out of the balsa stock since they were not punched all the way through.

The instructions on trimming the glider were good, but when it came to trimming the booster/glider assembly, it took me a while to figure it out.

I built mine as a true "flat cat," only dressing the leading and trailing edges of the wings and stabilizer. I did also massage out the fuselage per the instructions. The glider flew perfectly with no trimming.

Finishing was nothing special. I gave mine a quick sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and shot it with 2 coats of Krylon spray paint. I figured that this would help seal the balsa and increase visibility. I did not put the stickers on mine.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

After reading the other comments about this glider on EMRR, I decided to fly mine on an A8-3 for the first flight. The field I use is kind of small, so I wasn't going for any altitude. I also added some clay weight to induce a spiral in hopes of getting the glider back.

The rocket went about 200 feet and separation from the glider was perfect. The booster came down under streamer and landed about 15 feet from the pad. I must have added too much weight, because the glider didn't spiral, it corkscrewed down. It hit nose first in the snow and kinda rolled. No significant damage! The nose was a little flattened out though so I sanded it round again in the field.

Quest Flat Cat Second flight, I took a little bit of the clay weight off. Lift and separation were identical, the booster dropping 30 feet from the pad. The glider did several nice spirals and stuck its nose into the ground softly about 100 feet from the pad. I did not have a watch, but I would guess the glide to be around 10 seconds or so.

I didn't have an opportunity to fly it a third time. I was out of A8-3s and with the wind picking up, I didn't want more altitude.

Recovery of the booster is fine with the streamer. Recovery of the glider is a Catch-22. If you want it back, you will have short glide times! It is all in the trimming, and the bigger the field the better. I would really like to play with this on a big field!

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

This was a great kit and really delivers on its promises! This was the first boost glider that I have built, and it has left me with a new respect for them. I can see the science behind it and how you could detail yourself to death with a glider if you were trying to go for maximum glide time. Recovery is the killer on this though.

I actually had a lot of fun building this kit, especially learning how trimming it affects the glide recovery. Honestly, I probably won't ever launch this again, but will hand toss it a bunch! It is a great glider!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

(Contributed - by Matt Gillard [Who's Who Page] - 12/30/07) Quest Flat Cat Bost Glider

A pop pod glider for B and C motors. The design is tried and tested and there are two levels of finish: one simple one that is a quick glue together without any airfoils, which is where the flat part of its name comes from, and a second where there is a great deal of sanding involved. Quest puts this rocket at a skill level three which is about right for the airfoil version

Kit consists of:

  • 2 inch launch lug.
  • Yellow motor mount tube
  • 8.5 inch white body tube
  • Blue motor thrust ring
  • Plastic nose cone
  • Plastic nose cone base
  • Single gripper tab
  • 2 foot plastic streamer
  • ¼ by ½ by 16 inch balsa fuselage
  • ¼ by ½ by 4 inch balsa pylon
  • 2 Balsa wings
  • Balsa parts set
  • Motor mount clip
  • Trim clay
  • 21 inch white elastic shock cord
  • 18 inch yellow Kevlar cord
  • Chrome Decal
  • Instruction sheet

To build the kit I used:

  • Model knife
  • sand paper
  • White PVA glue
  • Sanding sealer

The instructions are clear and straightforward. Provided that you read the instructions through a few times, there are no real problems.

You have the two options of finish; I went for the airfoil version, which took nearly an hour of sanding airfoils into the quite thick and firm balsa wings. This option is supposed to give up to 3 minutes of glide time. I normally never put any lifting surfaces on rocket gliders as this usually leads to arched boosts and broken gliders. One thing you have to do is put strong fillets on the joints. The stresses on the joints under thrust are huge and weak joints will have the wings stripping themselves.

Once the glider is finished, it needs to be balanced. The instructions are weak here as they don't give a balance point for the glider, which usually is one third of the wing depth back from the leading edge of the wing. On my Flat Cat, the balance point was bang on the trailing edge of the glider. I was worried about this but with several indoor test throws the Flat Cat glided level every time although the sink rate was steeper than I would have hoped for. More vigorous test throws outside revealed a slight stall and a bank to the right. I added a small blob of clay into the cavity at the front which corrected the stall.

The hook mechanism that releases the glider needs more preparation than the instructions suggest. I have had hook mechanisms fail on pop pod gliders such as the Fun Rockets Silver Hawk and Edmonds Aerospace DeeCee Thunder. For the mechanism to work, the hook needs to be sanded down smooth on both sides and the rear of the hook sanded down a millimeter or so and rounded off so there are no edges to stick.

Sealing the balsa and using very fine sand paper to give a glassy finish on the hook also helps. To make sure separation occurs, a quick spray of silicon grease on the hook also helps. Testing the hook mechanism is as important as testing the stability of the glider. If the glider does not release with a quick jerk of the booster pop pod, then the hook needs further prepping.

Initially I was in too much of a rush to finish the glider by sealing the balsa. After some time in a tree (the glider--not me!) I have sealed it, and the performance has improved.

The foil sheet of stickers supplied add unnecessary weight to the glider and are not needed if the balsa is sealed. After several flights there has been no damage to the balsa with the exception of some very slight charring that was done to the glider on flights done before sealing the balsa

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Recommended motors are B6-2 or C6-3

I used 2 swatches of Nomex wadding in the pop pod.

First flight was on a B4-2. Even thought this is not a recommended motor, I didn't have a B6-2. There were very strong winds that day ranging from 10 mph up to very strong gusts. I would not normally fly in these conditions, but I was putting on a small display to a visiting Royal Air Force Air Commodore so rocket gliders seemed to be an obvious choice. The boost was straight, with the rocket tipping past apogee before the glider deployed. The actual glide was very good, with the strong wind the flat cat gained height when flying into the wind, and it gave several circuits in the air. It did however travel a fair distance down wind narrowly missing several trees.

The second and third flights were on A8-3, which does not take the glider up very high but still delivers over a 20 second flight and a circuit or two.

When a calm day arrived I flew on a C6-3. The rocket arched on boost, deploying the glider over a narrow strip wood of trees about 5 meters wide, I watched for a minute the glider circling above the trees before finding a resting place in one.

Five days later I retrieved the rocket with help from one very long pole and some overnight winds. Remarkably, despite the rains there was no damage to the glider apart from some fluffing up of the balsa. I then sealed the glider and retrimmed.

After a few flights more with some trimming, I got a flight of over 2 minutes.

The only con to the Flat Cat is that there is a strong chance of flyaways, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.

The pop pod recovers on the 2 foot long streamer. The fall rate is a little fast, but so far there has been no damage to the pod. By the 6th flight the Kevlar cord had burned through. I might swap the streamer for a larger Mylar streamer and attach the cord to the outside of the tube, which looks ugly but it stops shock cord failures.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

This is a great boost glider if you are willing to put in the time to build, test, and trim it.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

(Contributed - by Hank Helmen [Who's Who Page] - 11/13/08)

This is a boost glider rocket with streamer recovery for the booster.

The Quest Flat Cat boost glider includes an 18mm body tube for the booster as well as an engine mount kit. There are die cut balsa wings and fins. Also included in the kit is a 24" plastic recovery streamer, shock cord, plastic nose cone and decals.

The instructions were easy to follow with good illustrations. This is an easy kit to build. You have to prop one wing tip up in order to get the correct dihedral angle.

quest_flat-cat-boosteronThe Glider is delicate but it has to be light in order to fly well and it does fly very well. The wings, tail and fuselage stick were given minimal sanding, just rounding off the rough edges and smoothing out the balsa a little. There are no special tool needed. The only "gotcha" issue would be the glider to booster attachment hook.

The glider is meant to be towed to altitude by the booster, then the shock of the ejection charge knocks it loose so it can start gliding. If the hook on the booster mount is too tight the glider will not release! When all the glue and paint is dry, take the glider and assemble it to the booster. Now take the "stack" and give it a vertical shake. The glider should jump right off of the hook. If not, take some light sand paper to the booster hook to make it smooth. This works the same as the Edmonds Deltie boost glider kits.

The main problem with any boost glider is that you would like to paint it but paint adds unnecessary weight. It will still fly with some paint but overall flight times will probably be reduced. I added a little day-glo orange paint to one wing of my Flat Cat in order to aid in tracking and recovery spotting. By painting just one wing the glider tends to circle in a predictable flight pattern, keeping it in the field and out of the trees.

The booster was given an overall coat of Testors red spray enamel and a little Day Glo orange on the top. Be sure to give your booster a bright color to help find it down range. Also it is a good idea to have one member of your tracking team concentrate on the booster and one designated "glider tracker", BEFORE launch.

Construction Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

The recommeneded motors are B6-4, C6-3 and C6-5. Our first flight was on a B4-4 which worked fine. I was a little aprehensive about putting a C6 in the booster due to the light construction of the glider but we did and it flew fine. The C6 motors produce an extended glide time! The kit includeds sticky backed aluminum foil type decals for the wings and tail. I used this to help deflect the engine exhaust on the wings only. It works.

To prepare for flight install two sheets of recovery wadding in the booster, roll the streamer and then install the motor. Hook the glider to the booster and then slide the "stack" down on the launch wire. You must use a stop of some sort to hold the bottom of the booster. If you set the glider's tail on the pad the booster will drop down and disconnect the stack. I use either a piece of tape or a clothes pin.

Next make sure that the glider is free to slide all the way up the launch wire with out hitting the clothes pin. Connect your ignition wiring and then check to see that it does not entangle the glider's vertical or horzontal fin. Sounds complicated but once you've done it, there's nothing to it.

On launch expect to see an arch perhaps even a loop. This is typical of most boost gliders. Less loop is better. On ejection firing the glider seperates away and glide in a large graceful circle. Lots of fun!

The booster's yellow streamer that was supplied with the kit disappeared on the first fligtht! All that was left was a shred of yellow plastic attached to the shock cord.

Watch your glider closely if it is undulating up and then dropping repeatedly, add a couple of 1/8 inch balls of clay to the nose. If it dives steeply in, pinch off a little clay from the nose. If it flies straight away, add a little paint or clay to one wing tip for a wide circle.

Flight Rating: 4 ½ out of 5

This is a great boost glider. Make a good first rocket glider or in the hands of an expert it could be very competitive.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

It is fun to build two and have "fly off's" with someone timing the flight using a stop watch. Rubber band airplane model builders have "postal" flight contests where they record their flight times and then send them in to one person to "judge" the winners. Might be a good idea for EMRR to sponser a glider endurance "postal" contest?

(Contributed - by Jim Bassham [Who's Who Page] and Edie Parkhouse - 06/28/10) Quest Flat Cat

The Flat Cat is a classic boost glider with a streamer-recovery pod.

Parts List:

  • Launch lug
  • 18mm motor tube
  • 8.5 inch body tube
  • Thrust Ring
  • Plastic nose cone and base
  • 24inch streamer and gripper tab
  • Balsa fuselage
  • Balsa pylon
  • Three sheets of die-cut parts
  • Motor mount
  • Trim clay
  • Elastic shock cord
  • Kevlar cord
  • Chrome peel-and-stick decals
  • Instructions

I have built several boost gliders and had wanted to try the Flat cat since it is larger than average and it looked fairly easy to build.

I have never built a boost glider and am a novice builder (3 completed rockets-2 in process). It was my intention to build this rocket, following the instructions to the letter and with little or no help. This is a skill level 3 rocket and at first glance looked like a complicated build to me.

There were several things I didn’t like about the quality of the components. The balsa was not consistent. One wing was very soft, almost crumbly balsa and the other was very hard. Also this is an old kit, I think the original was made by MPC in the 70’s, and it has die-cut balsa parts. The die cutting, combined with the soft balsa made for some crushed parts that required a lot of filling. The second problem I had was with the way Quest does their motor mounts. You have to shove the yellow 18mm motor tube into the 20mm body tube and stop before going too far. I have trouble getting enough glue on the part so that it will slide without seizing halfway in, yet not slide past the mark. This one went in too far and seized up so that I couldn’t get it in the right depth. Still worked, but I don’t like that system.

The next thing I did not like was the way the pod hook is constructed. The balsa ends up with the grain running parallel to the body (Since you cut the piece from the fuselage) and I was not sure it would be strong enough not to split during boost, or at deployment – this proved to be a big problem later. One last problem I had was with the wing mount. The instructions have you glue the wings together at the center, then sand a half-inch-wide flat spot on the bottom of the joint to glue to the body. This would require shaving off half the joint thickness. I thought this would weaken the joint too much, so I cut a groove in the body to accommodate the wing instead. Otherwise the kit went together like any other boost glider.

For the most part I agree with Jim here. The balsa was very inconsistent, not only in thickness but in quality. The die cutting on some parts was incomplete. Some sections were sturdy and clean cut while others were chippy and weak. Balsa thickness did not match on the wings or the tail pieces.

The pod hook being cut from the fuselage causes a couple of problems. One is as Jim stated in his review, the second is that the thickness of the hook leaves a very thin wall of balsa as a compartment for the hook to rest in. Once the pod disengages from the glider, that empty compartment is a weak spot in the nose. If the nose of the glider takes any impact at all on landing, it is not strong enough to take it.

A note about the instructions. For me, the assembly order seemed to complicate things. There is a definite benefit to reading through ALL the instructions before you start (maybe a novice issue?). The illustrations and BOLD TYPE warnings saved me.

I had thought of leaving my Flat Cat unfinished, but the balsa on one wing was so soft and crushed by the die-cutting that I didn’t think that would work, so I used two coats of Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler thinned with water to smooth and strengthen the wood parts. I then was able to finish it with one coat of white primer and one coat of gloss white. I painted the nosecone dark blue to match the blue stripes on the decals.

The hardest part I had with finishing was applying the foil decals. I just could not get them on straight or meeting properly at the wing root. Because these decals are more than just decorative, but actually protect the wing from the engine exhaust, I just decided to overlap them in the center, since I could not make the edges meet otherwise.

After all the decals were done I went to install the streamer and could not find the gripper tab. Instead I used peel and stick reinforcement rings for binder pages and a hole punch to make my own.

I also found wood filler a necessary part of this build. If I had finished this rocket as the instructions recommended it would have been very difficult to paint or balance and I am certain at least one wing would have broken apart due to the poor quality of the balsa.

I found the wings and rudder to be challenging, mainly because I chose to air foil both (the instructions leave this step optional). Precise sanding is key, otherwise nothing goes together correctly. Again, the illustrations and BOLD TYPE saved me.

Construction Rating: 2 out of 5

I went to trim the glider and found that the balance point for a level glide was about an inch behind the wing root, which seemed very weird, but worked. Unfortunately, there were very limited opportunities to fly these rockets before the review deadline and we had to settle for a fairly windy day. Winds were about 5 to 10mph. I used a B6-4 for the first flight and packed the streamer with 4 squares of wadding. The boost was fair with the rocket arcing over into the wind so that it was almost horizontal at apogee around 200’ up. The delay was too long and it was all ready coming down when it ejected. The pod failed to separate at ejection, and the whole glider-streamer-booster combo tumbled to the ground where it busted the pod hook right along the parallel grain and knocked the tail off.

I brought it all back to the pad and got out the 5 minute epoxy to glue it all back together while Edie made her first flight.

Same engine- B-64, same four squares of wadding. The rocket took off perfectly, straight up,arched over and went into a vertical dive that it never pulled out of. Impacted the sidewalk, head on. No deployment, no streamer and no idea why it behaved this way. Glider flew very well in glide tests. After “landing” I recovered 5 pieces. The fuselage snapped in two places, mid way between the tail and the wings, and at the pod hook compartment. The walls of that compartment and the nose of the glider were crushed on impact. The wing tip of one wing also snapped off along the line of the grain. Far too much to repair at the launch site.

After my glue dried, I sanded the edges off the pod mount to make it detach easier and tried again. The up part was pretty much the same but I did get separation of the pod at ejection this time. Unfortunately the shock cord tangled around the glider and the whole thing tumble recovered again. Upon landing, I found that the pod hook had again broken along the grain right above the glue joint. So it was back to the epoxy again.

on my third attempt I again used a B6-4 and it went up the same, turning into the wind. This time I got a clean ejection and the glider did a loop, then several swooping stalls to land undamaged. The pod, however, fell tail-first and fast, hitting the ground on a paved road. The impact was so hard it bent to motor hook flat and caused a compression wrinkle in the body tube. It is still flyable, but I think it needs a chute if it’s going to last very long.

The recovery has a lot of cons for me. The glider does not balance easily, and because the one wing was so light, it doesn’t balance from side-to-side well. The pod mount breaks too easily because the grain direction is in line with the sheer force. I also think the pod is too heavy for a streamer, and needs a parachute for recovery.

My recovery was of pieces. No deployment, no gliding, no streamer. Literally,

I think I have heard it called...”re-kitting”?

Flight Rating: 2 out of 5

I really wanted to like this rocket, but was disappointed in it overall. I think the kit is outdated, and needs an overhaul. If it had laser-cut parts, a parachute, and a better design of the pod-hook, I think it could be a great kit. As it is, there are better glider kits on the market. This is a classic, but, unfortunately, a dated classic.

I think this rocket taught me a lot about finishing and balancing detail. The build was not as complicated as I first thought and the instructions turned out to be very well done, although in an odd order. I enjoyed building it and think it “looks” cool. Sadly, it didn't fly well for me.

I think the biggest problem is the quality of the material and the pod hook seems like poor design. Poor balsa consistency, incomplete die cuts and a weakened nose/fuselage.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5

This is a challenging model, and not necessarily for the right reasons. With better balsa and a little tweaking, it could be a real treasure.

[Submit your Opinion]

11/08 - "Good review very accurate. I built and flew this kit. It flies GREAT, just don't fly it on a windy day. A helpful hint: definitely put a little turn on your glider by adding a pinch of clay to one wing tip. Also a touch of Day-Glo orange paint or marker on wing tips and/or tail helps in recovery in tall grass. The suggestion to trace the glider wings and tail patterns before assembly (to make spares) is a good one! All in all, this is a great flier. We have "fly offs" between this and our Deltie B." (HWH)

12/00 - "I agree with the comments above. I too replaced the heavy balsa wings with thinner stock and gave them a good airfoil. I have launched my Flatcat 9 times now and it worked great on every flight except on an A engine. B6-2s are the best to use. The C engines work, but you'll risk never seeing it again unless you trim the glider for a nice, slow curve. Overall a very nice kit and a real crowd pleaser!P.D.M." ()

10/00 - "Update to my comments from 8/00: I made a new set of wings from lighter wood. My glider now flies great. My original needed some tail weight to balance the model. When I put the new wing on, I moved it back about an inch, which allowed me to lose the tail weight. The glider flies so much better! I flew it on an A8-3 and it flew nicely. I then tried a B6-2, and it flew so well I lost the glider. I will definitely be building another one! BTW, I did not bother with the mylar to protect the top of the wing. In my first 2 flights, I saw no sign of exhaust residue." (B.M.)

09/00 - "I agree that the stickers adhered poorly. I decided to spray the top of the wings with spray adhesive (masking off the rest of the cat) then putting aluminum foil on top of the adhesive, trimming off the excess afterwards. Looks great." (R.J.)

08/00 - "The Flat Cat was my first glider kit in 20 years. I found it easy to assemble, but I had reservations about the quality of the wood. The glider wings were some of the heaviest C-grain balsa I have ever seen. (I have a background in model airplanes, and have flown hand launched gliders.) I figured that maybe they used the heavier wood to stand up to the stresses of launching... I was wrong. My glider flies like a brick. I put a light finish on it, but it is just too heavy. Because it is so heavy, it was difficult to trim. Also the high weight translates into high flight speeds, and it breaks somewhere after every flight because it is hits the ground so fast. I'm planning to scratch build another glider, using contest grade balsa. The quality of balsa in kits can vary widely, from light A grain to heavy C-grain. I think the design is good. After reading other's comments, I must have gotten a kit with not-so-great balsa. I found the adhesive on the stickers to be weak-- they wouldn't stay down." (B.M.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

07/10 - "Purchase tip: Sky High still has the original MPC G. Harry Stine kit (NOS) for sale. I had one sitting in my build box for many years (decades?) before building it a few years ago. It shouldn't glide but it does. Most of the time. On one B6-4 flight (after several perfect glides and no adjustments) it boosted straight up, then did a dramatic dive, picking up speed all the way down. It slowly pulled up as everyone held their breath, then leveled off literally three feet above the ground, and coming in for a perfect skid landing. This is one strange bird, but if you like gliders, you should build one." (J.L. )

05/08 - "Remember, kids, ALWAYS make a copy of the glider's templates (for laser- or die-cut pieces just trace around the part before assembly), noting the wood thickness, grain direction, airfoil, et cetera. That way you can build a duplicate from GOOD wood you've selected at the hobby shop. It's much less expensive to scratch build than buy another kit and, chances are you'll probably build a better flying model." (T.W. )

01/03 - "I have 2 tips for the Flat Cat; (1) Revert to G. Harry Stine's origonal design, twin rudders make for a straighter boost. See JimZ MPC section for plans. (2) Use an 18 inch B.T. for the pop pod and glue the glider hook on with the leading edge 27.4 cm back from the tip of the nose cone for proper C.G. With the longer pod you may want to use an 8" chute." (J.H. )

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
06-19-2010 Jim Bassham Est SU B6-4 Late (2-3sec) 5-10 mph winds Event: Plumas Lake
- Two on One Challenge. First flight. Pod did not separate and broke off pod hook and tailfin. Was going horizontal at apogee.
06-19-2010 Jim Bassham Est SU B6-4 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds Event: Plumas Lake
- Epoxied everythig back together and tried again. Motor hook snapped off and pod tangled on glider.
06-19-2010 Jim Bassham Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down 5-10 mph winds Event: Plumas Lake
- Finally a clean seperation and a stalling glide. Not bad considering the wind.
04-19-2008 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-2 Very Early Didn't Record Event: Rainbow Valley
Flat Cat #2 - Red Baroned...tangled with pod.
04-19-2008 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-4 Didn't Record Didn't Record Event: Rainbow Valley
Flat Cat #2 - Better flight than first one...65.50 seconds this flight.
05-24-2008 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down Light winds Event: PRM-16
- PRM-16 B-Boost Glide event. Red-baroned (tangled with pod) Try again.
05-24-2008 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-2 Just Before Light winds Event: PRM-16
- PRM-16 B-Boost Glide event. Tight spiral glide - not a pretty sight. Pranged on landing and broke the wing assembly off. 6.38 seconds flight time - very embarrasing but I'm OK for it. HA HA.
02-20-2010 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-2 Didn't Record Calm Event: RV PRM-21
Flat Cat #2 - PRM-21 B-Boost Glide Event. Death-spiraled in. 12:81 duration...very poor performance.
01-13-2008 Moe Bertrand Est SU B6-2 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds RIPFlight PictureEvent: Field Launch W/Dad
- Glider nose dived in - damaged forward part of boom and snapped both fins off. Status: Scavenged
12-17-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - First flight, nice flight up but glider came down in a steep dive and tried but could not level out in time. Landed hard and cartwheeled which broke the fuselage in half behind the wing. Easily fixed.
12-19-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-2 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Great flight, nice slow roll during boost. The glider ended up coming down in a death spiral and landed rather hard. No damage.
12-19-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-2 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Second flight of the day for this kit. Another great boost and the glider separated and started to glide nicely but went into a dive and did not pull out. I think I added too much nose weight. No damage surprisingly.
12-24-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU B6-2 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Good boost but yet another nose dive. No damage.
12-24-2007 Donald Besaw Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Another good flight, I even heard a whistle at motor burnout. Separated normally but went into another nose dive ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!! Luckily no damage sustained during the 500-600 foot death plunge.
06-16-2002 Tim Burger Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - KRAMO Launch (Sun): 2nd glider duration flight, somewhat better, but now it's nose heavy so the glide is fast and short. 9S.
06-16-2002 Tim Burger Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - KRAMO Launch (Sun): Ouch! Hard left hand spiral into the ground; busted the forward section off. Glued back together on the field. CD says it's a legal flight: 3S.
10-12-2010 John French Est SU B4-4 Late (2-3sec) Calm - Despite setting sun, really wanted to launch the new Flat Cat, my first boost glider. Arced quite a bit. Will use B6 in future. Late ejection was nerve-wracking. Flew in very tight circles thanks to too much weight on the wing tip. Very, very fun.
11-21-2010 John French Est SU B6-2 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds Flight Picture - As it usually does, arced over a bit, and ejected when horizontal. Came VERY near some trees. Its circling took it through the branches several times! Pod and glider recovered safely. Glider is starting to stall sometimes, needs more noseweight.
09-24-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 Just Past (1-2sec) 10+ mph winds - strong winds but i had to launch it!, slight weathercock, separation was after apogee. glider gave several circuits, climbing into the wind and giving a few stalls, landed 54 seconds later 300 meters away
09-24-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 10+ mph winds - smaller motor gave a 18 second glide -it struggled with the wind
09-24-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 10+ mph winds - better than before, 24 seconds
09-28-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - stalling 17 seconds glider
09-28-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - too heavy at front now! 45 second glide and a long walk
09-30-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds - 44 second glide.
09-30-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds - 75 second glider before it landed high in a tree -i'm not counting it as lost as i will get it back -hopefully.
10-07-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B4-2 Apogee - NC Up Calm - fastish spiral, still node heavy, need to retrim. 31 second glide
10-07-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Down Calm - perfectly straight boost, very high, retrimmed glider gave a very impressive 132 second glide -a personnel best for a pop pod glider!
11-04-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down Calm - glider came in quite steep, 22 seconds glide
12-18-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - glider gave 12 glide.
12-18-2007 Matt Gillard Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - glider banked in tight, a glide of 28 seconds achieved
12-01-2008 Matt Gillard Est SU B6-2 None - Glider 0-5 mph winds - pop pod failed to separate.
09-28-2009 Matt Gillard Est SU A8-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 10+ mph winds - small motor, but winds where high, still gave a good, but stalling flight
09-19-2010 Matt Gillard Qst SU C6-3 None - Glider 10+ mph winds Event: Midland Sky
- glider dived in hard, wing popped, repair on the field and retrimmed.
10-10-2010 Matt Gillard Est SU B6-2 None - Glider 10+ mph winds Event: twycross 1
- glider flew well and then after about 10 seconds decided to nose dive in.
08-08-2004 Kyle Hancock Est SU B6-4 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds - First flight
11-21-2004 Kyle Hancock Est SU B6-2 None - Glider Calm Event: Viking Sport
11-21-2004 Kyle Hancock Est SU C6-5 None - Glider Calm Event: Viking Sport
10-06-2008 Hank Helmen Est SU B4-4 Very Late
(223 ft)
0-5 mph winds Event: Evening Launch
- Two straight rolls on boost, launched at angle due to wind. Timing delay too long, seperation on down line. Nice glide 35 seconds and down wind in small tree. Recovery of Glider and booster A-OK
10-12-2008 Hank Helmen Est SU B4-4 Late (2-3sec)
(165 ft)
0-5 mph winds Event: Evening Launch
- Another nice flight on the Flat Cat! Love the way this thing glides, Long 33 second circling glide.Streamer on booster shreded, left a tiny shard of yellow on the shock cord, never found streamer.
10-13-2008 Hank Helmen Est SU B4-4 Just Past (1-2sec)
(221 ft)
Calm Event: Evening Launch
- Calm wind made for a graceful and long glide 37 seconds, or more.Enjoyed by all spectators. Recovered booster A-OK.
10-02-2004 Eric Maglio Est SU B4-2 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Great flight. Rocket arched over mid-flight, then ejected glider. Glider turned away ans went downwind FAST, right over launch pad (Great sight) circled for about 1.5 minutes, then landed 50ft from pad.
10-02-2004 Eric Maglio Est SU B4-2 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Great flight. Rocket arched over mid-flight, then ejected glider. Glider turned away ans went downwind FAST, right over launch pad (Great sight) circled for about 1.5 minutes, then landed 50ft from pad.
12-13-2007 Mitch Marchi+II Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up
(200 ft)
5-10 mph winds - Trimmed the glider for a spiral a little too much - came down in a corkscrew. No damage. Booster recovery 15 feet from pad.
12-13-2007 Mitch Marchi+II Est SU A8-3 Apogee - NC Up
(200 ft)
5-10 mph winds - Took some spiral trim out of it, the glider did 2 nice spirals and landed about 100ft from pad. Glide time 10 seconds or less.
04-08-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU B6-4 Very Late Didn't Record - Delay much to long. Awesome glider recovery regaurdless.
04-08-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Apogee - Perfect Didn't Record - Awesome real high stunning flight. The flame proof decals did their job. The rear body paint was bubbled from the heat. Flight time. booster-17 sec, glider-52 sec
04-08-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-5 Didn't Record Didn't Record - Nice glide. Circled around for a nice long flight. Eric was quite impressed.
04-14-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - True flat cat (red) beautifulllift off sloppy glide. I thought the booster and the glider were tangled but they werent took photo.
04-21-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - Nice lift off perfect slow rolling glide back to earth. fourth flight.
04-22-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - Awesome lift off and nice glide. Hard landing on the baseball field dirt breaking the wings off and damaging the fuselage.
04-22-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - True flat cat (red) I dont think the glider seperated from the booster until they slammed into the ground.
04-29-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - Perfect seperation. Flew really good. Pervect slow glide after a squirely lift off. Flies almost as good as the airfoiled version.
05-19-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record - Good lift off nice glide although to short.
05-19-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU C6-3 Didn't Record Didn't Record RIP - True flat cat (red) really nice glide except it didnt turn just kept going straight into the heart of the forest. Status: Lost
07-22-2001 Ed Scientist Est SU B4-4 Just Past (1-2sec) Didn't Record RIP - A nice low flight. A tight glide and hard landing. After loosing the true fat cat I am putting this one on the shelf after 7 flights. Status: Retired
08-29-2009 Howard Smart Est SU B4-2 None - Glider 5-10 mph winds Event: Fiesta Island
- Hung up on launch rod due to wind forces.
02-05-2005 Alan Tuskes Est SU B4-2 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: Skybusters monthly launch
- Beautiful, straight flight to a respectable altitude. Trim was off on a glider that I've flown numerous times, and this time it spiraled in without transitioning into a glide. Slight fusilage damage.
02-05-2005 Alan Tuskes Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect --- not selected --- RIPEvent: Skybusters monthly launch
- Retrimmed after last flight, but had same problem. Even harder dive into frozen ground. Split the glider fusilage balsa rather badly. Pretty much will scrap this one. Status: Retired
08-05-1999 David Urbanek Est SU B4-2 Just Before 5-10 mph winds - Test flight. Not well trimmed. Came in steep. Damaged rudder. Replaced tail surfaces with more decelage.
08-22-1999 David Urbanek Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Test flight. Good flight. Better trim. Still a bit nose down. Added up-elevator.
08-21-2000 David Urbanek Est SU C6-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds - C Boost Glider competition. 106 seconds.
06-11-2000 Mark VanArsdall Est SU A8-3 not recorded Calm -
06-11-2000 Mark VanArsdall Est SU B4-4 not recorded Calm - Picture perfect. The glider made two slow spiraling circles of the field and then came down a little too hard and broke the nose off.
01-15-2007 James Weaver Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Event: Blue Cypress Park
Black Cat - Maiden Flight.A little nose heavy.Leveled off just in time
07-08-2007 James Weaver Est SU A8-3 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Black Cat - Straight flight, seperation, and a nose dive into the grass. No damage. Glided on hand launch.
04-12-2008 James Weaver Est SU A8-3 Very Late 10+ mph winds Event: April 08
Black Cat - Glider flew well on hand toss but nosed into the tall grass on ejection. Maybe too windy.

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