Elder 40 (oz11039)


Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Top Flite Elder 40. Radio control sport model.

Discontinued kit from Top Flite.

Quote: "Elder 40, based on the original Elder 40 designed by Charles Bauer. Re-engineered and drawn by Ernest Leclair, instructions by Jim Sandquist.

Congratulations and thank you for purchasing the Top Flite Elder. The Top Flite Elder is a classic design from the early years of modeling, brought back by requests from modelers just like you! This easy flying model will provide you with many hours of relaxing flight. Though it is simple to build and fly, it also has its own unique character that seems to appeal to modelers of all ages and is guaranteed to get the attention of everyone at the field.

We hope you enjoy building the Top Flite Elder as much as we have enjoyed bringing it back to the modeling world and introducing it to a whole new generation of modelers."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 05/04/2019: Added sheet 3 showing parts, thanks to AlanSinclair.

Update 31/03/2020: Added kit review from Model Builder August 1985, thanks to RFJ.

Update 19/05/2020: Added kit review from MAN August 1984, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "Field & Bench Review: Top Flite Elder. A classic design with a velvet touch. By George Woods.

Top Flite Models felt that it might be a refreshing break from the 'norm' to come up with an airplane that was specifically designed for fun. The above is the introductory paragraph of the instruction manual that comes with the Elder, and it's exactly what I found this kit to be. Building, detailing, and flying were all fun.

The Elder is a realistic, scale-like, vintage-style model intended for both the novice and more advanced builder and flier, one who is looking for a leisurely, fun model that's capable of gentle maneuvers.

Although the design has a scale-like appearance, if you analyze the configuration it turns out to have the traditional elements of a typical trainer. You'll see long nose and tail moments for pitch stability, generous wing area for its designed weight, and a 12% flat
bottom airfoil to provide plenty of lift and good slow-speed characteristics for gentle landings.

THE KIT: The Elder comes packaged in a corrugated carton with two large color photos of the aircraft in one of the suggested World War I color schemes.

Opening the box you find the usual Top Flite quality packing and material selection. All sheet balsa is paper-banded together in a package and all strip wood is rubber-banded together to prevent shipping damage. Full-size plans are rolled. A nice feature is that the entire wing structure is shown, allowing construction of the complete wing at one time. All the necessary hardware is included, even a .19-size engine mount. The uniquely designed landing gear is wrapped in tissue to prevent damage to other parts.

Finally, there is a 12-page construction manual that covers all aspects of building, finishing, equipment installation, and flying. The quality of this manual and its diagrams is such that a first-time builder should be able to complete the model without getting into trouble.

My experiences have taught me that light airplanes fly better than heavy ones, and I've found cyanoacrylate glues allow light construction without sacrificing strength. For this project I used Zap-A-Gap CA+ from Pacer, along with Zip-Kicker to speed construction time. The entire airplane was completed with a 1-ounce bottle of adhesive and a partial bottle of the accelerator.

CONSTRUCTION: I started with the wing assembly, which consists of three separate parts, a left and a right wing panel, and a center section.

The wing is built directly over the plans, which should be covered with MonoKote backing or plastic wrap. Build the center section first, using 3/32-inch sheet balsa for the bottom of the center section, then gluing the leading and trailing edges to the sheet, along with the center dihedral brace, and finally the forward and rear half-ribs. Next install a shaped hardwood wing bolt insert. This completes the center section for the time being.

Construct the two wing panels using the die-cut ribs, upper and lower 1/4 x 3/8-inch spars, 3/8 x 1/2-inch leading edges, and 3/32 x 1-inch trailing edges. Add the die-cut wing tips and shape the leading edge with a razor plane and sanding block.

If you intend to add the decorative flying wires shown on the plans, install small pieces of 1/4-inch square spruce where shown to provide anchor points for the wires. This completes the wing construction. Joining the panels will be done later in the construction sequence.

The tail group is next and is straightforward frame construction using strip wood and die-cut curved parts. When the framing is completed, round all edges with sandpaper. There are a few options open to the builder regarding the shape of these surfaces. I chose to use the scalloped trailing edges as shown in the photos.

Construction of the fuselage is somewhat unconventional by today's standards. The basic structure is comprised of a 1/4-inch square strip wood framework, balsa at the forward end and spruce aft of the wing trailing edge to provide strength in the open bays.

Start construction by building two framework sides directly over the plans, the second side directly on top of the first..."

Supplementary file notes

Kit manual, 42 pages complete.
Parts (sheet 3).

CAD file

This plan is available for download in CAD format.


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

Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - model pic

  • (oz11039)
    Elder 40
    by Ernest LeClair
    from Top Flite (ref:ELD4)
    65in span
    IC R/C Kit
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
  • Submitted: 01/04/2019
    Filesize: 1033KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap • CADfile
    Credit*: AlanSinclair
    Downloads: 4972

Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 003.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 004.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 005.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 006.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 007.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 008.jpg
Elder 40 (oz11039) by Ernest LeClair 1984 - pic 009.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email admin@outerzone.co.uk

User comments

A good plane kit. I'm building it and it's fun, a really good kit worth the money. I bought it 4 years ago at Sussex model centre Worthing, west Sussex. A good buy, nice kit, easy to put together.
James Fitzpatrick - 25/09/2019
Hi - I've completed some projects from your plans. I'm sending you some pictures. This is the Elder 40 [more pics 004]. I resized it to 100cm wing span!
VahidNorouzi - 04/01/2020
Hello - my Elder [pics 007-009]. Span 2600mm. Engine NGH 38cc 4 stroke. Take-off weight 7000 g. Thank you very much.
Werner Forster - 14/04/2023
I have flown an Elder. While it flew very well, takeoffs and landings were a nightmare, possibly why it wasn't a very popular kit. Landing gear is waaaay too far forward, and while it wasn't too bad on grass, it was a ground looping mess on a hard surface. Best way was to blast it off the ground on takeoff, no time to ground loop. Accept what you can get on a bouncing landing. Easy to fix, just move the gear back under the leading edge where it should have been. An inverted four stroke is no fun, I wouldn't go there. The fragile WWI wheels weren't much either, easily damaged on the inevitable bouncy landings. Wingtips are hard to cover. The one I flew was a mass of wrinkles. Do you want it to look good or fly? Your choice.
Doug Smith - 15/04/2023
Add a comment



Download File(s):
  • Elder 40 (oz11039)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1033KB Filename: Elder_40_11039.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2272KB Filename: Elder_40_11039_manual.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 77KB Filename: Elder_40_11039_parts.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3571KB Filename: Elder_40_11039_review_MAN.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2902KB Filename: Elder_40_11039_review_MB.pdf
  • CAD Zip Filesize: 6461KB Filename: Elder_40_11039_cad.zip
  • help with downloads


* 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.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

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.