1939 Popular Aviation Special

Plane 1939 Popular Aviation Special plane: 1.0 plans: beta

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Build Plan (PDF, AI, etc.)
This is a hand drawn plan and my first attempt at making plans for an RC plane. The symbols for cuts and folds are mostly copied from FT's style of plans(with credit).

This design is based on an old balsa plan (Found originally on Outerzone). It is from the very early days of RC, literally designed as a powered free flight sport model in 1939 (The very early days of hobbyist RC) as the name implies. Popular Aviation was an aviation related magazine started in 1927 and had articles (and perhaps even plans?) for many such designs. The swept, almost delta-like wing with high chord was very forward-thinking for its time, and the design overall is in many ways similar to some modern RC designs for sport and speed and quicker aerobatics. The version in my plans is 3ch A.E.T., although modification to 4ch would be simple.

This plane is fast, maneuverable, and super responsive. The rolls are great, very crisp, effortless, and axial. Loops are not bad but require a bit more effort. This bird "turns on a dime", a lot like my Arrowhead design, as it shares some passing similarities to a "tailed delta", although the '39 is built more for speed and quicker aerobatic maneuvers and is not a dedicated slow flight or high alpha plane.

Stats are mostly included in the plan. This plane will come out to about the size and weight of most FT mighty minies, and has a 30" wing span. With an 1806 2280kV FT Radial(A pack) motor, an 850mAh 45c battery is recommended. I've had the best success so far with 5x4.5x2 props, although a three bladed prop such as 5x3.7x3 could help tame it and give it some better low speed performance if desired.

Build difficulty
1.5/5, very simple with no air foil, minimal tabs and slots(only one on the vertical stabilizer), a small B Fold on the fuselage, and one very small curved piece that requires foam removal.

Flying Difficulty
2/5, straight forward and very stable with the high-mounted swept wing, but also extremely responsive, maneuverable, and fast. Stalls are gentle, and the plane flies well at a modest cruise, but does not handle well at extra slow speeds at all(usually wing rock and some gentle stalls/clunkiness in the turns). Not a dedicated "slow flyer".

*FT power pod: I have not tried, but it looks like a standard Flite Test mighty mini power pod could be used instead of the provided two-piece motor mount.

*R.E.T.: This plane will fly well as 3ch R.E.T. with the addition of a bit of dihedral to the wings.

*4ch: A rudder can easily be added.

*Winglets: I have not personally tried this, but the rounded wingtips could be made square and winglets added for better tracking and directional stability at the expense of a little responsiveness and roll maneuverability.

Please enjoy and let me know how the plans work, for the other designs I have as resources, I've had others more experienced make plans based on my designs, and this is my first time submitting plans I made myself, albeit very basic hand drawn ones. Any feedback about the plans or the plane itself is much appreciated, and thanks again to the awesome FT community and RC community as a whole for all the support so far. I hope you enjoy this little piece of RC history brought forward in time.
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Latest reviews

This plane is quick and easy to build. 1h15m Plans and Board to RTF for me. This is as stated; Responsive (Esp. Roll), Maneuverable and Fast, rolls perfectly on axis. It can slow to reasonable if you aren't a premier pilot. It's a plane you keep in your car in case you roll past a great spot to fly.

Build this one! You'll be glad you did.

Tip: lower the aileron rates for easier flying.