Thursday, December 22, 2011
The 12 Toys of Christmas at Chat Noir: Sky Streak Glider
The Twelve Toys of Xmas
Learn about aerodynamics and aviation the same way kids in the 1950s did with this classic toy, the Sky Streak airplane by Guillow's.
* Made of genuine balsa wood
* Rubber powered
* Easy to fly
* Not suitable for children under 36 months
* One wood glider included, some assembly required
The Paul K Guillow Company
“They don’t make them like they used to” ... an often heard lament about most everything produced today, including toys. But there is a notable exception in the RTF glider world … the Paul K Guillow Co. Many of the Guillow gliders you can buy today look amazingly similar to those made in the 1950’s. Not too surprising when you consider that some of the company’s balsa cutting and slicing machines are half a century old.
Paul Guillow, a WW1 naval aviator, founded the original business in the city of Wakefield (MA) in 1926, with a line of balsa shelf model kits of WW1 aircraft. He also wrote several books in the 1930’s and 40’s about model-building techniques. During WW2, the company was forced to substitute cardboard and pine wood for balsa (a strategic material) … with somewhat unsatisfying results. Guillow also produced a series of target drones for the War effort. With the end of hostilities, balsa once again became Guillow’s material of choice for its gliders and kits.
Paul Guillow passed away in 1951, and his wife Gertrude took over the reins of the company. By 1953, Guillow introduced its market-changing Jetfire glider … the first packaged with high speed equipment. The Jetfire and other Guillow RTF airplanes were highly successful in the fiercely competitive toy glider market because of their combination of quality, low cost, good flight performance and ability to be easily “trimmed” and modified. These factors have kept Guillow continuously producing a wide range of wood RTF gliders, ROG’s and “stick & tissue” aircraft to this day.