About this Plan
Gnat. Free flight sport model for small fields.
Quote: "Light, cheap, tight-turning sport flyer. Ideal for calm-air fun, night flights with .010 to .020 engines, spans 32 in. The Gnat, by Don McGovern.
You need more than one ship in your arsenal. You need variety! Maybe you like free-flight. Fine, you've got a couple of good contest machines that scream straight up and out. Trouble is you only fly them on weekends, when you can drive miles out to the boondocks. Or, is R/C your dish? If it isn't field size curtailing your flying, it might be a matter of time. No time to tune-up your equipment, and get launched on weekdays.
What you need at times is just a quiet little craft for small local flying sites. A ship that climbs more realistically, in lazy circles, and turns tight enough to stay within the bounds of a smaller clearing. A ship to train young fry on, a ship for plain old simple uncomplicated fun. A cheap, stupid little quiet craft that doesn't ire-up the neighbors.
Every once in a while you see an attractive miniature craft that really catches your eye. We remember one such Atom powered craft that showed up many years back. It had appeal, and while this ship is completely dif-ferent from this craft in mind, we have tried to capture a little of the appeal, sort of a scale model of a larger model. Twin rudders, airwheels and trim set it off.
To fly in confined areas, a ship should be light, tight turning, small for safety, low-powered, inexpensive, durable, and D/T equipped. We think the 'Gnat' fills the bill on this. Power is .010 to .020, quite adequate for this ship. Construction is very simple, with sheet tail surfaces and siding. Wing area is adequate for slow flight, and the twin tail adds an unusual look to this sport craft. Fuel supply should be limited, visible, as in an eye-dropper type tank, or timer controlled.
Enlarge the areas of the plan as required by pacing off the dimensions with a pair of dividers. You will find this a very simple aircraft to scale up to size.
The little Cox Tee-Dee .010 and .020 engines can really scream on the props designed for them. These are perfect for aircraft trimmed for peak power, but really more than you often might like for more realistic sport flight. If you have a yen for less thrust, try an oversized prop on these engines. A .049 prop on an .010 for instance will purr along like a little underpowered rubber model. A little experimentation on your part will give you any amount of controllable power you would like. Be sure to check your fuel consumption carefully if using a timer-tank, as a difference in rpm may fly the ship right out of sight on the same amount of fuel.
Construction: Look the design over carefully, and eyeball the materials and wood sizes required. As the ship is quite small, try to use nothing but the best for lumber, and cut out the required parts carefully with a razor or model knife. Balsa for the wing panels should be warp-free, medium grade, medium-soft for the sheet tail surfaces, free of warps, and straight grained medium weight for fuselage sheeting. Both sides should be matched for grain and bending qualities...
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)?
That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction
Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org
User commentsThis plan was published with a full build article but no pic, something that happened more than once with designs by Don McGovern. This suggests to me that he never got around to actually building it. Has anyone seen a photo of this model?
SteveWMD - 12/12/2018
Add a comment
* Credit field
The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.
This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.
© Outerzone, 2011-2019.
All content is free to download for personal use.
For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.