• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Scaled RC WWII aircraft carrier and Douglas Dauntless SBD Dive Bomber.

Flight Test crew
You probably have had this idea; it would make a great video if it could be done. Imagine a to scale RC USS Yorktown complete with catch wire floating on a pond with some chop. The deck rolling slightly....a RC Landing Signals Officer with paddles with matching scale Dauntless SBD Dive Bomber with live camera showing pilots view. What a great test of piloting skill it would be and a for certain popular venue for any RC gathering. Does anyone else like this idea?


Elite member
How scale are we talking here? 'Cause a Dauntless in typical FT size would be about 1/12 scale. According to Wikipedia The Yorktown was originally 872 feet long and 93 feet wide, which would be over 72 feet long and almost 8 feet wide in 1/12 scale... Which would be freaking awesome, but a little impractical.


Master member
Not only impracticable but technically unnecessary. Probably a single plywood sheet size for landing with catch wires but scale won't work since the wire would be like .002 and only maybe that high off the surface (wee bit difficult to catch because enough force to scrape the wire would nose the plane over onto the prop). The controle line people have an event called carrier for like the last 50 years. Sometimes the results are really funny.
You would need a chase boat to pick up all the planes that end up rocketing off the carrier, probably more than a john boat.

Will we have a person on said carrier? Removing planes from the wires and maybe conducting other operations?

What about the venue. I have a hard time imagining that most places are going to take too kindly to a 70 ft foam board amalgamation floating in a public water way. Are we going to find a large private body of water? How calm does it need to be?

I would love to see it, but it probably won't happen. I am sitting here dreaming up ways it could be constructed. A solar deck would be awesome, that way the boat has infinite power.


Legendary member
Okay.... After some research. The overall length of the Yorktown was 898' and the overall beam 98' (WWII). The WWII aircraft aboard was the Grumman F6F Hellcat (not the Douglas Dauntless SBD') having a wingspan 43' and overall length 33.42'+-. Take the Yorktown oal @ 898' divided by the Hellcat @ 33.42' = 26.87 times the Yorktown's oal to the Hellcat's oal. Say the RC Hellcat's wingspan is 3' at 1/14.3 scale nets the scaled oal of the RC Hellcat of 2.33'. This means the overall scaled length of the Yorktown would be 26.87 times the scaled Hellcat at 2.33 which nets a matching scale oal for the Yorktown of 62.6' m/l.

Not practicable for water build; however, it could be done on land using 8 sheets of plywood end to end at 8' long each (net scaled length 64'). The hull above the the waterline (the ground) could be fashioned from foam the same for the superstructure. Add hydraulic gimbals under the flight deck and inside the hull to duplicate pitch and roll as if at sea. Provide a chassis with wheels to support the model Yorktown for towing behind a suitable vehicle. Now launch and land as desired.....Very ambitious and expensive; but, I know many of my fellow Navy veterans and active duty personnel would be thrilled to see the result. The Fight Test crew are capable of doing this.

Throw stones at the idea if you want; just remember I'm an old man with little to do to keep me busy during these Covid days.
Good job sticking up for the idea, @Equi Asini. (y) It's a valid idea but a real longshot that it might be implemented I think. And I'm sure with these models we can land in a much reduced scale distance. But you know these things too.


Elite member
My comment was as much to convey the impressiveness of an aircraft carrier as it was anything else.
Like @Piotrsko mentioned, the control line guys have been doing carrier competitions for decades. They have a "deck" portion laid out on the ground and a couple strings with sand bags tied to the ends stretched across the one end. The goal is to catch the first string and stop as short as possible on the carrier deck.
Could be fun, and very early on FT did somthing kind-of like that with some UMX planes landing on folding tables.


Elite member
Nice but perhaps you can see why an aircraft carries steam fast into the wind to give the plane some airspeed even when it is standing on the deck. It also reduces the landing speed over the deck too.
An arrestor wire (try elastic cotton) helps too.