Our story begins with a young man, Victor Stanzel, plowing a field on his family farmland and intrigued with some birds winging their way across the sky. Along with his youngest brother, Joseph Stanzel, this vision of nature created a model airplane manufacturing enterprise, a foundation devoted to giving back to the community in the areas of education and health, and a museum.
Victor and Joseph lived on the family farm near Schulenburg, Texas. In 1918, when the boys were eight and two years of age, their father died and their mother moved from the farm to the new residence in town. They grew up as average working farm boys for their Uncle Ferdinand and Aunt Anna.
At an early age, Victor started his hobby, carving balsa wood into toy airplanes in the bedroom of his mother's residence. He developed his curiosity about flying model airplanes observing birds in flight while working in the field.
Working with his brother Joseph, Victor's first major project was to design and build a full-scale two-seat aircraft modified as an amusement ride. He named it the "Fly-A-Plane Amusement Ride" and was completed and patented in 1933.
The second major project was a full-scale rocket ship amusement ride, the 20th Century Stratus Ship, completed and patented in 1937. The six-passenger Stratos-Ship whirled, spun, and looped with passengers experiencing a thrill of their lives.
Victor and Joe changed direction in 1938 and designed gas-powered control line models. The Tiger Shark, was their first gas-powered control line model, completed in 1939. It was followed by a series of different engine-powered model airplanes throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Victor and Joe anticipated that times were changing and less attention would be given to "build your own" kits and by 1957 the brothers believed it was no longer popular to build gas-powered airplanes. The time was right to build and assemble model airplanes in the factory, place them in attractive boxes and market products as "Ready-to-Fly" toys. The brothers fueled their toy business with 33 different toy ideas and designs for the next forty years until 2001. Throughout the 1990s, until his death in 1997, Victor developed a control line electric airplane utilizing his patented monoline control system.