Drifter 54 (oz10634)


Drifter 54 - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Drifter 54. Free flight power model. Pod and boom design.

Quote: "Sure-fire contest performance can almost be guaranteed by this high-performance free-Slighter. Its three-class range gives you advantages over other contestants. Drifter 54, by Tip Smiley.

Tired of the flimsy, temperamental contest jobs you've seen for so many years? The Drifter 54 is a hot performer, but it's not flimsy or temperamental in the least. This plane has a degree of stability and reliability seldom seen in a contest model. Performance is terrific!

The original model was completed just three days before the Waterloo Prop Twisters' first annual contest in 1947, so tests were made right at the meet. Two low power flights were made to determine the flight path. A fifteen-second engine run was used on both flights. Satisfied with the flight pattern, the timer was reset for twenty seconds, and the Arden .19 advanced to half throttle. Since this was still in the nature of a test flight, we did not call for an 'official,' much to our regret. After fifteen minutes, the model went out of sight!

Three months later we received word that the plane had landed in a cornfield, some twenty miles away. Due to snow, mud, rain and exposure, the wing and tail were warped and the covering badly torn. Remarkably, though, not a single piece of framework was broken.

The fuselage and engine were still in fine shape, so a new wing and tail were built. The model pictured is the original fuselage with the new wing and tail assembly. She's still going strong. Incidentally, a new Forster power unit has been added so the plane can be flown in Class A, B, and C events.

Pod and boom styling was chosen f6r a definite reason. The Drifter 54 will pass the cross-section rules, and has ample space for the ignition components but, due to its design, skin friction is cut very noticeably, thus eliminating a great deal of power loss..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note RCGroups post by JeffMac at https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=32078161&postcount=14239 for raw scans of full article pages as printed 1949.

Supplementary file notes

Article, thanks to JeffMac..


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Drifter 54 - completed model photo

  • (oz10634)
    Drifter 54
    by Tip Smiley
    from Flying Models
    August 1949 
    54in span
    Tags: IC F/F Pylon
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 11/11/2018
    Filesize: 831KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: dfritzke


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