Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum 12/13/2011

We've been looking for out-of-the-way unique stops and places to visit and we found one that qualified in the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum in Schulenburg, Texas. There are three buildings: One is the tour and exhibit building which houses the history and models, the second is the actual factory where they produced the model airplanes and the third is the original house that they grew up in.
A quote from their website describes the Stanzel brothers:

This is the fascinating story of two Texas farm boys, Victor and Joseph Stanzel, natives of Schulenburg, Texas. These brothers pioneered and manufactured one of the most respected and diverse lines of model aircraft products, from the True Scale Ornamental Models to the Stanzel Flying Toys.

As pioneers of control line systems, they developed, patented and manufactured the historic 1939 Tiger Shark and the "G" Line Flying system that transformed the model airplane world. Victor Stanzel was known as "Mr. Monoline", and affectionate and coveted title. Recognizing their lifetime achievements, the Academy of Model Aeronautics inducted Joseph and Victor Stanzel into the Model Aviation Hall of Fame, the Highest possible honor in their field. Neither brother ever married. Both were devoted to their craft and their business.

Here's a link to their history:

Victor used to make his aircraft from balsa word piece by piece.
The original house where they lived. This is right next to the factory and museum.

Besides model aircraft, they begun to get into engine-powered aircraft to fly.

The exacting precision of the parts can be seen in this model that someone would purchase and put together.

These are some of the original plans for mass production of their planes. We put Kim in the background to show scale.

Another kit ready for purchase and assembly.

In the factory building, they had this life-size room showing the two brothers collaborating on airplane design.

A stack of balsa wood from South America known for its light weight and strength.

Some model airplane balsa wood wings coming off the factory line ready for boxing.
...trying to get the right angle and no glass reflection made for some interesting contortions.

We spent about an hour looking around, reading, and taking photos. We were the only people in any of the buildings. Too bad. It's a nice place to visit. These brothers were entrepreneurs and pioneers in their field and brought much joy to adults and children over the years.

It's about 2 miles off Interstate 10, 50 miles or so east of San Antonio.

Next stop: The Big Thicket !

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