Little Live Wire (oz10658)


Little Live Wire - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Little Live Wire. Radio control sport model. A smaller 2/3 size version of the original Live Wire Trainer design. For .049 power and 2 channels.

Quote: "Dreams do come true. Fulfilling a 35-year old desire, the author scaled down a classic model to 1/2A size. Little Live Wire, by Leon Schnitzspahn.

Thirty-five years ago I desperately wanted to own a deBolt Live Wire Trainer (oz5554). I still remember how this ungainly model attained a functional sort of beauty after I stared at the ad in a model magazine for a few hours. Besides, R/C was magic to a nine year old model airplane enthusiast.

Some time ago I ran across a September 1978 issue of Model Builder magazine; in it was a copy of the original plans for the Live Wire Trainer and this rekindled the old flame. Building this Little Live Wire was a way of fulfilling the old dream. There were some changes I wanted to make; instead of rudder only I wanted rudder and elevator control, easily available with today's modern radio equipment. I had a Cox Black Widow .049 available for power along with some micro servos and a 250 mAh battery pack. Therefore, I drew up a set of plans for a 2/3 size Live Wire. I felt this size would make the model easier and quicker to build and a little more fun to fly. The result is a sporty little replica of the original which is easy to transport and fun to operate.

The model incorporates the same features that Hal deBolt designed into the original. The wing section has the rearward high point that limits ballooning. Construction of the fuselage is the same box type structure which makes it strong and light. The original Live Wire was designed to take some abuse and still fly; it had to because radios just weren't as reliable as they are today. The wing and stabilizer have the same angular relationship as the original. Some of these features are still found in trainers being designed today.

The Live Wire Trainer was an excellent trainer. However, because of its size and power the Little Live Wire is not a trainer and is not recommended for this purpose. If you want a trainer, I suggest you try the full size Live Wire Trainer.

Construction. This little model goes together quickly. Normally it takes me at least a few months to put a model together, but the Little Live Wire went together in two and a half weeks, including the time spent drawing up the plans. I suggest you cut out all the parts before you start construction; for me this allows the construction work to go along much quicker.

The wing is a very basic structure, built in halves and then joined at the center. Build directly over the plans, protecting them with kitchen waxed paper. Start by pinning the lower spar, leading edge, and trailing edge down on the building surface. Cut some 1/16 inch sheet to fit in the center section between the leading edge and spar, and the trailing edge and spar. Glue the smaller ribs, two needed for each wing panel, in position over the sheeting making sure to tilt the inner rib a bit to allow for the dihedral. Now install the balance of six ribs on the outer portion of the wing panel. Cut five spar webs, with the grain running vertically, and install them on top of the lower spar between the ribs of the five inner bays. You can use the pre-cut web pieces to space the ribs if you wish. Be sure to leave room in the center section for the plywood dihedral brace. The top spar is now glued to the ribs and spar web. Add the wingtip and use a piece of 3/32 inch balsa for a wingtip brace. Trim 1/16 inch sheet to fill in the top center section. Remove the wing half from the plans and cut a slot in the root rib for the dihedral brace.

The other half of the wing is constructed in the same manner; be sure not to build two right or two left halves. Epoxy the dihedral brace into one of the wing panels and let it set. Before gluing the two wing panels together, make sure you can block up each wingtip 1-1/4 inch..."

Little Live Wire, Flying Models, July 1988.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, thanks to RFJ.


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