Beppe Fascione’s hard at work on other projects (and maybe sneaking in some work on the Kwik-Fli Mk. II without documenting it?), so we thought we’d take this opportunity to talk a bit about Phil Kraft, the man behind the designs that Beppe is building.
Phil Kraft’s story is documented in his AMA History Project Biography, but in short, Phil was a life-long modeler who – frustrated with a lack of reliable radio equipment – started his own company to design and sell said equipment. Officially incorporated in 1963, Kraft Systems, Inc. soon became one of the most reliable and popular brands in the model aviation hobby.
Phil’s love of model aviation meant that he didn’t just confine it to the office. He was an active competitor, winning the 1967 Radio Control Pattern World Championships, various Nats, and participating in the Tournament of Champions both as a competitor, and then the Contest Director.
Over the years, Phil was responsible for nineteen Radio Control model airplane designs. The Kwik-Fli series is the most famous and influential, but his Ugly Stick is still well-known. Phil also designed, built and flew his own full-scale aerobatic model, the Super Fli.
According to an obituary written by his grandson, Phil kept himself busy with hobbies, which included jazz (he played the piano), photography, and restoring old Ferraris.
To quote Phil’s grandson, Phil’s “legacy lives on, and we remember you as a man who dreamed, who grabbed hold of his passions, who made us laugh, made us smile, who found joy in his family, and in life; a man who became one of the greatest success stories every told.”
Next post: February 15, 2020
For more information on the National Model Aviation Museum, including our location, hours and admission fees visit: www.modelaircraft.org/museum