contest has now ended
Deuce's Wild! in a nutshell
By Jim Flis
The Deuce's Wild! design has a long and
interesting history. It was first built in the mid-70's and was based on the BT-55 tube
size. Up until the point where it became a kit in the FlisKits fleet of models, it
had the name "Deuce". In order to fit the motor tubes in this smaller
tube, the motor tubes had to be modified and the motors had to stick out further than they
do now. I had built two of them with this configuration and even published the plans
in our (the Goddard Society) newsletter, "Aunt Effie's Cabbage Patch".
Around about 1983
I went about building a new one to replace the lost ones and decided to go with a BT-60
tube size to make the motor mount easier to build. I probably built and flew 2-3 of
these over the years through the 80's and 90's.
Nobody said "boo" about the design.
To my knowlege, noone every built one from the plans in our news letter and noone
ever get the model a second glance at the many launches where it has appeared.
When I began FlisKits, I ran through the list of
models that I wanted us to start the company with. I had 20-30 designs and we
initially settled on 7 designs. Point of note, our original plans was to open
FlisKits on a much smaller scale with a much less ambitious business plan. The
Deuce's Wild! was not a part of those initial 7 kits. While I personally liked the
design, it never seemed to attract much attention, unlike the Richter Recker and the
Corona, so I did not deem it suitable for our initial offering, if at all.
The original BT-55 based Deuce
At the beginning of 2002 (3 full
years ago!), we changed our plans and made the decision to open FlisKits as a full scale
manufacturer with a much more agressive business plan for growth and market share.
With that decision, we grew our initial product offering to 12 kits. It was then
that the Deuce's Wild! (then called the "Deuce") found its way onto our begining
rotation of kits, but grudingly so. I decided that, with 12 kits in our offering,
there was room for this design that I loved so dearly, even though it wouldn't do well
with the customer.
That is how the Deuce's Wild! found its way into
our store and into your imagination. Who'd'a'thunk it? the Deuce's Wild! has
become our best selling kit. It has become the most "scaled kit" (kit
built in different scales) of any FlisKits kit. It has fired the imagination
worldwide and has seen more modifications (bashing) than most any other kit out there.
In fact, there was so much talk about the
Deuce's Wild! that a cousin to the Deuce's Wild! (the Tres) was inevitable and was
released during our second year of operation. The Deuce's Wild! is the subject of a
national tour brought about by the enthusiasm and vision of two of our valued customers.
You can read more about the Tour de
Deuce by following this link.
Bottom line is, this sleeper product, as it
were, helped to put FlisKits on the map. I have traveled across this country to
launches as far away as Texas. I have yet to attend a launch that did not include a
Deuce's Wild! going up. At one point during NSL 2003, Trip Barber (Range Safety
Officer at the time) stopped the line of rocketeers after seeing his 3rd Deuce in a row
and called out "alright, how many MORE of these are out there", to
which he saw a gaggle of hands go up, throughout the line.
It's not quite a "rags to riches"
story, more of a "rags to denim" story, but it is still an impressive bit of
growth and popularity that surounds this rather inconspicuous design that couldn't catch
the light of day if it had bells on. But, wrap it in an attractive package and
charge people money for it and we can't make them fast enough!
No long after the popularity of this model
started to climb, the Deuce's Wild! was referred to as a "canvas waiting for an
artist", and thus the artist's came out of the wood work. People took great
pleasure is making slight and not-so-slight modifications to the Deuce's Wild! to come up
with some little personal touch to their model. They would send their versions in to
FlisKits for me to admire, they would post them on internet forums for others to admire,
and I am sure they spent a good deal of time admiring them themselves.
Well, this has tickled me no end and I thought
"what better way to reward the artist" than to recognize them with such a
contest and to reward them with prizes. This is what has lead to this contest.
I hope you enjoyed this short history of the
Deuce and her offspring, the Deuce's Wild! I look forward to seeing what incredible
designs come in as a result of this most unique model design.