The first plane to come to life was a balsa wood with 'STUN MAN 23' stenciled on the wings. This bird was almost manageable for a complete amature like myself. It required some major repairs to get airborne as the fuselage was broken in 2. The fix was to insert a couple small finishing nails into the balsa wood (like a surgeon would pin a broken bone) and press the two halves together again. To make the joint permanent I then wrap thin layers of surgical gauze and epoxy around the joint.
Being a solo pilot with little to no help / assistance, I had to devise a way to launch this plane. The normal procedure is to stand in the middle of the circle while a partner fuels, primes, warms up the glow plus and spins the prop over (many, many times - the 049's were not the easiest to start), trim the mixture to max RPMs, wait for the pilot to be ready and then release the plane.
I had no such assistant. So I rigged a remote release system. I tied 10 inches of string with a loop on the end to the tail gear. I tied another 10 inch piece of string with a small loop on the end to a tent peg which was driven into the ground behind the plane. I then tied a long string to a 3 inch nail. The nail was fed through both loops and then gently into the ground. The string was run the middle of the circle along with the control lines.
I would then go through the starting ritual, get the engine running full out which would pull the strings taught. I could not go to the middle of the circle get the control lines ready and with a firm tug of the 'launch' string the plane would be released and flying!
22 laps (less then 2 minutes) later I would be so dizzy the headache would last for days.
A second plane that was in the set was a P-40. This one was all plastic, with a newer motor that started somewhat easier, however, flying this bird was not easy and often ended badly. Plastic though it was, it was a good thing I actually had 2 as the second plane donated a few parts to keep the first flying.
The challenge was finding a plane sturdy enough to learn to fly the hard way. The P-40 was tougher, but harder to fly and so it still broke. The Stunt man was gentler for flying, but balsa wood is too fragile for beginners. Thanks to the Internet a solution was to be found.