Our Mission Statement:
To provide high quality model airplane kits and plans to model builders of all ages and backgrounds anywhere the law allows.
Warning!! This is probably too long and may be boring. Enter at your own risk of falling asleep.
Diels Engineering, Inc. was incorporated in April of 1986 when we offered our first kit appropriately numbered Kit #1, The Boeing F4B-2. However, we, or maybe I should say, I, David Diels, started drawing plans and offering them for sale in 1980.
We are a small 1.1 person operation. The .1 is the occasional help I get from my wife who helps pack bags of hardware, takes shipments to the post office and complains about how messy my work area is. She is also adept at helping when we are getting a new kit out with getting the drawings and tissue stacked for packing and labeling boxes.
I am a retired mechanical design engineer. I worked for 41 years in industry for several different companies and most recently before retirement for a variety of NASA aerospace contractors. Diels Engineering is my retirement job.
It is hard for me to write about me. But I have been told that these web pages sometimes are too impersonal so I'll give you a little of my history.
I started model building at the age of 11 when a next door neighbor kid at my dads summer cottage got me interested in his hobby of model airplanes. He went with us to a local variety store and recommended a 25 cent Guillows all sheet balsa kit of one of the light planes of the day. I was instantly hooked. That first plane flew off the kitchen table about 5 or 6 feet to my total delight.
After that over the years I built primarily Comet and Guillow kits and did some scratch building from magazine plans. I could never afford the Cleveland kits on a $1 weekly allowance. But in the early 1950's Comet still had 10 cent stick models. They never flew well as I had no help. There were no other modelers in the small town I lived in to help me learn the proper flying techniques. However, I loved to build and over the years I learned to dislike poorly designed kits wondering if anyone at the factories ever tried to build their own products.
I also got involved in HO scale model railroading and scratch build several model ships from plans. Still have most of my stuff packed away.
I tried my luck at drawing plans late in High School. Built several models from them with mostly mixed results (read-didn't fly). Took a mechanical drawing course my senior year knowing I was going to go to engineering school. That helped me immensely. Then as I went off to college, met and married my wife Anita, and then into the Army my model building fell off dramatically. After getting out of the army I got a real engineering job, we bought a house, started our family, and I didn't really start back into modeling much until the mid-1970's when my job required a considerable amount of travel. I made up a travel tool kit and started building models in the motel room at night. Visited every hobby shop I could find for entertainment.
Peanut scale was becoming popular. But I wasn't thrilled with the choices so I decided in the late 1970's to try my luck at drawing peanut plans. The first one I decided on was the Boeing XF7B-1. I had a magazine 3 view enlarged to peanut size and started working on it. I finally built a prototype model and was surprised to find the parts actually fit. Several other designs followed and in 1980 I started selling plans.
My goal from the beginning was to offer different design choices and make sure that the models could be built as drawn. I have bought the rights to several Model Builder plans and had a couple others drawn for me along the way when I didn't have the time to do them myself. Except for those the entire line has been drawn by me either from my own first concept or more recently refining some of Nate Sturman's designs for kitting.
And yes I always build a prototype to check fit of parts. Sometimes, as in the TBF, I don't like the design and revise it. The TBF for example took 5 tries to get what I liked. My goal for the future is to get more kits and plans out there of a variety of subjects, some known and some perhaps not known at all. If I live long enough I hope to have at least 100 kits in my line by the time I go to meet my maker. Stay tuned to the web site for announcements of comming attractions.
President (Also sweeper)
Diels Engineering, Inc.
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