Plan file details
Dactyl. Radio control sport tailless model. Pusher prop design. For .29 to .60 power and two channels.
Quote: "All the way from England comes this tailless design. Different, but highly practical, ship is very easy to build and has exceptional flight characteristics. Recommended for novice or pro. The Dactyl, by Dennis Bryant.
The Dactyl was conceived as a test bed for a scale pteradactyl which I have had in mind for some time. I have not heard of anyone making an R/C tailless model and I was not sure whether it was practical so I thought that it would be prudent to make a hack model first, in case the idea was a failure. However, my caution was unfounded as the Dactyl flew right off the board and proved to be a fine flying machine. In fact, the plane was so successful I believe that this type of model is superior to conventional types for training purposes.
Apart from being easy to make, there really is only a wing involved, there are certain other advantages to be had from the tailless, pusher arrangement. Imagine an aircraft that has no oily mess to contend with and eliminates all broken props, one that is very easy to transport, is light in weight and in the event of a severe crash, the engine will survive undamaged; Dactyl is just such an aircraft. That should be enough of a sales talk for anybody looking for a different 'project to build. If you are tempted to build the Dactyl, you will be rewarded with a model that is very easy to fly and that will create interest wherever it is flown.
The construction is quite straight for-ward and if you have built a normal multi you will be pleased to find how much easier it is to make the Dactyl. Construction should be started with the wing and when it's finished you are nearly done with the whole task. A flat board is, of course, a must - you will find a building board of 3/4 in presswood to be nearly ideal and one that will maintain its trueness for many years.
Cut all ribs from 3/32 sheet, note differences in the spar locations for R-1, R-2 and R-3; medium wood should be used. Pin down hard, straight grained 1/4 in sq spars and provide a shim at the rear of the ribs to keep their centerline parallel to the building surface. Erect the ribs and glue to the bottom spar; Titebond is an ideal adhesive here. Add the upper 1/4 in spar that has been carefully selected for straightness. Installation of pre-shaped 1/2 in leading edge and 3/16 x 1/4 in trailing edge is the next step; again hard and straight. Sand the leading edge and trailing edge to exact contour with a long sanding block to avoid gouging the rib shape. Sheet the leading edge and trailing edge with medium 1/16 in balsa. This sheet goes over both the leading and trailing spars. Install top surface cap strips. Allow everything to dry overnight and remove from the board; set aside and build the second panel..."
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 28/10/2018: added original article, from Radio Modeller October 1969, thanks to RFJ.