Monocoque Sailplane (oz11768)


Monocoque Sailplane (oz11768) by Gordon Light from Air Trails 1937 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Monocoque Sailplane. Free flight glider model.

Quote: "Monocoque Sailplane, by Gordon Light. Plans of a sturdy soarer - a large-size model.

MONOCOQUE construction can be used to good advantage in a model airplane where weight is not an important factor in the design. For the benefit of the beginner, monocoque construction is the type in which the material serves the twofold purpose of providing structural strength, in addition to being used as the outside covering.

In this model, 1/16 sheet balsa is used. It is formed to the required shape, using ribs as formers. Monocoque construction is strong and rugged; it speeds up construction and is easy to handle; and the balsa surface can be smoothed and polished to give a glossy finish. However, it is slightly heavier than balsa-framework, tissue-covered construction. But even this disadvantage is minimized in a glider, which usually requires the addition of extra weight to bring it within the weight rules.

The glider built in this way gave a pleasing performance. It had a long, flat, fast glide with a slow sinking speed. The construction was rugged enough to withstand nose dives, collisions with trees, gusty air, and a variety of other accidents that would have necessitated repairs on any other type of construction. This model will give you a double treat. The construction is interesting andi enjoyable. And, too, the finished model is well worth owning. It should thrive on the air currents for which summer weather is famous. The skin-type fuselage offers least resistance.

FUSELAGE: The fuselage is triangular in cross section. Start with the top panel. The front tip of the fuselage from Sec-tion B forward is added separately and is built after the remainder of the fuselage has been completed. The top of the fuselage is cut from 1/16 balsa. Reenforce with 3/32 x 3/32 balsa cemented along the edges, plus several cross braces, as shown in the drawing. Before assembling, smooth the outside surface of the balsa and finish with either dope or glider polish.

Next, cut the 2 side panels. Start assembling by cementing the 2 side panels to the top section - that is, join them to the edge of the 3/32 x 3/32 balsa strip. After this joint has dried, join the 2 side panels along the bottom edge. It will be necessary to reenforce by several cross braces at the front of the fuselage, where the sides are curved. These can be fitted to shape and then cemented in place before joining the bottom edges of the 2 side panels..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note the article pages also include the original drawings as printed in 1937.

Article is thanks to Mary, from

Supplementary file notes



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Monocoque Sailplane (oz11768) by Gordon Light from Air Trails 1937 - model pic

  • (oz11768)
    Monocoque Sailplane
    by Gordon Light
    from Air Trails
    July 1937 
    50in span
    Glider F/F
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 15/11/2019
    Filesize: 207KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: KaoruKiyose

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User comments

Doh. Have added missing the final page to the article file now, with thanks to William.
SteveWMD - 02/12/2019
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Download File(s):
  • Monocoque Sailplane (oz11768)
  • Plan File Filesize: 207KB Filename: Monocoque_Sailplane_oz11768.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1202KB Filename: Monocoque_Sailplane_oz11768_article_.pdf
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* 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.


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