Refurbishing my Combat Kittens

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You can see that my repairs are underway on the blue Kitten. I had forgotten the outboard wing had been broken off at one time. The repair is still solid. The old stabilator was broken, but repairable; however, it was too warped to bother with.

I had to cut into the sheeting over the bellcrank to install new leadouts. The old ones had rotted and broke with only a few pounds of pressure.


At right, my red Kitten awaits my X-Acto knife. The covering is split and torn in several spots. The ribs at each wingtip are shattered.

The bottom of the red Kitten shows my hasty repair after I cut into it to fixr a broken leadout many years ago. I used a repair cloth product you dipped in dope thinner, which made it soft and pliable. You applied it like a patch, and when it dried, it set up very rigid and was extremely strong. I can't remember the name of the stuff.

The Top Flite Combat Kittens came as a set of two in one box. Since these planes are intended for combat flying, they're designed to be simple to build and cheap. At right, I'm showing off my pair of Kittens.

My plan right now is to remove the remaining silkspan covering from both planes, make the necessary repairs and updates, then sand the airframes smooth and recover them with silkspan and dope.

These planes were a handfull to fly 25 years ago. It'll be interesting to see if they survive long enough to fly again!


JULY 29, 2001: I have the blue Kitten nearly ready to cover. I'm still sanding and filling dents and the cracks from my cuts to the sheeting. I stripped the covering from the red Kitten. It has a couple of splintered ribs I'll have to repair before it is ready to prep for covering. I have some medium silkspan and dope to paint both planes.

DEC. 4, 2001: The blue Combat Kitten is finished with the exception of decals. I applied silkspan to the red one today. Once I shrink the covering, I'll begin doping. Both should turn out well.

DEC 24, 2001: The blue Kitten needs only decal and an engine to fly. The red one is nearly complete. The stab needs final coats of paint. A little touch up here and there, and it's ready to fly too. No swastikas on either plane.

MARCH 1, 2002: My rebuild of both Kittens is complete, sans the engines (see pics below). No emblems have been put on them, they're simple blue and red. They are very light; with a strong mill, these babies will turn a hot circle.

At right, the pair of Combat Kittens nearing completion of their rebuilds. Neither was originally built with wingtips. I did not replace the wingtips, but I did take time to reinforce the end rib to strengthen them.