Return of the KK Snipe

1 CommentTuesday, 14 February 2017  |  Hadi

Those of you who have kept an eye on the VMC product list over the years, may have noticed that one or two models that we used to make replicas for have "disappeared".

This is for a good reason - the kits just weren't up to scratch.

One of these kits was the Keil Kraft Snipe.

It should be a great model, but after complaints from customers and having checked the parts (the original printwood parts were horribly wrong) we decided it was just not worth offering as a kit.

Step forward John Watters who has valiantly re-drawn the Snipe parts so that they now match the plan and who has also created an electric RC version that should be available soon.

KK Snipe

Jonathan Rowley, who works with us here at VMC, has now built the free-flight version of John Watters' KK Snipe and has kindly written the following:

I built this free-flight example from a set of newly-drawn and computerized parts that we have recently had produced.

Actually, I built two examples; the first from a set of original parts that were mistakenly cut which only served to prove how poor the Snipe was in terms of accuracy and fit.

The first example revealed that we were right to take the model out of production until we had put it right.

Back in the day I didn't actually build a Keil Kraft example as I didn't feel it was as good as the Mercury Magna or the FROG Tutor, both of which I built and found to be good looking and superb fliers.

Today, of course, I have access to most of the models I built or knew when I was young, so I am spoilt for choice and very lucky to be able to build modern versions of models that were available to us back then.

The Snipe now goes together very easily and the benefits of quality wood and laser cutting make it an enjoyable build.

Cox 049 glkow engine fitted to KK Snipe

You may have noticed I have fitted a Cox 049 glow which is upright and not beam-mounted. It is a free-flight example with glow plug and integral free flight tank fitted.

I made a suitable ply and balsa former to take the radial mounting (10 minutes work) and the finished article is OK to my eye and easily adjustable for side or downthrust as necessary, so no big deal - I just didn't have a suitable beam mount engine available at the time.

The model is covered in tissue and has turned out to be very light in weight.

As I write, we have deep snow and high winds where I live so I can't tell you if it flies OK, but given that I have a 1518ft altitude advantage over most of the country and am surrounded by moorlands, I start from a position of some hope!

The first example I built was no oil painting, but I decided to modify it to take electric brushless power and 3 channel RC. The biggest problem was making suitable elevators for the tail and getting the centre of gravity (COG) in the right place.

I managed it and so I'm confident it will be fairly easy for anyone wishing to go down that route with their Snipe.

Again, I haven't flown it yet, but I see no reason to doubt it will be a gentle radio-assist model that I won't have to gallop over the moorlands to retrieve!

As always, we love to receive pictures of customers' models and very much hope that if you like our newly re-vamped Snipe, you will let us know.

As mentioned already, John Watters has an electric RC version of the Snipe in the pipeline and this should be available for you to buy in the near future.

In the meantime, the KK Snipe is now re-instated in our online shop and ready for you to enjoy!

Buy the KK Snipe here.




Peter Keeble
Saturday, 11 March 2017  |  20:36

I built a Snipe back in the sixtys with the same engine.
First flight flew out of sight.
It was returned by a farmhand 3wks later it flew 3 miles & was found in a field in perfect condition.
I had put my address on it no phone number as we did not have a phone in the sixtys.