Space Shuttle Columbia (oz12907)
About this Plan
Space Shuttle Columbia. Simple catapult glider model.
Quote: "Inspired by the saga of the shuttle program, the author's daughters 'subtly' urged him to create this profile balsa version. Columbia Catapult, by Larry Kruse.
Judged from the standpoint of personal interest and national pride, the return of the space shuttle Columbia was one of the most significant and exciting aviation events of our generation. Probably not since the first landing of men on the moon almost two decades ago (can it be that long?) have we shown such enthusiastic interest in things that fly.
The infectious nature of the ungainly stub-winged aircraft's flight in particular affected my children, who, for some unknown magnetic reason, viewed the flight again and again on newscasts and would not be satisfied until I had gone to the drawing board and at least sketched out a reasonable facsimile of the Columbia that they could have for their own.
Since time seemed to be of the essence for them, I opted for a simple catapult glider version of the craft that each of the three girls could fly successfully. It is presented here for the pleasure of children of all ages. I must admit to an exceedingly long flight testing program before I reluctantly turned the model over to Kimberly, Kerri, and Keela.
Construction: All parts can be cut from one 36 inch sheet of 1/16 inch balsa and a scrap piece of 1/16 inch from your wood box. The wing blank was laid up by butt-joining chunks of the 1/16 inch stuff with Goldberg 'Super Jet', cutting out the wing shape carefully, and rounding both the leading and trailing edges. The black de-icer/heat shield boot was done with Magic Marker (as were all other decorations and lettering) after first outlining the areas to be colored with a ball-point pen. The ball-point, sinking into the wood just slightly, will keep the Magic Marker from bleeding by capillary action. All colors needed are shown on the plan.
The fuselage was cut from 3/16 inch scrap and rounded gently for aesthetic purposes. Be very careful to hold the modeling knife vertically when cutting out the wing slot. The wing/fuselage juncture must be at 900 for the ship to perform well. Carefully drill a hole to accept the lead shot noseweight. Again, all markings were done with Magic Markers as indicated on the plan.
To assemble the shuttle, slip the wing into the 'S' shaped wing slot and 'Super Jet' it in place. Pin and glue the rudder in place atop the fuselage, making sure it is 90° to the wing and not 'aimed' either to the right or the left. The catapult hook is made from a paper clip and epoxied to the fuselage. It's probably best to saturate a small piece of fiberglass tape with epoxy and place it over the catapult hook area, too. The last thing we want to have happen is for the hook to become some sort of lethal weapon should it come loose under tension of the catapult rubber. Also, along those same lines, young modelers flying a catapult glider like the Columbia should be cautioned against aiming it at anyone. The little shuttle leaves the launch pad at a pretty good velocity and could cause injury to eyes or other vulnerable parts of the body.
Flying The finished Columbia should be balanced as shown with lead shot pressed into the drilled-out cavity in the nose. A bit of modeling clay can also be used to 'fine tune' the flight path at the flying field.
Begin flights by test-gliding the ship from shoulder height. The delta-wing is a super-stable planform when coupled with the 'S' shaped airfoil shown, and should require only adjustment of the noseweight to get a flat, stable glide. Once the plane is gliding consistently when tossed from shoulder height, try a flight at about half power using a 3/16 inch dowel, 7 inches long as a launcher and an eight inch loop of 3/16 inch or 1/4 inch flat rubber as the propellant.
If the first flights seem safe enough, stretch back the rubber to its capacity and let fly. The prototype was banked sharply to the left at launch. It would then zoom up to about 50 feet at the top of the launch where it continued to glide in a lazy left hand pattern for long satisfying flights."
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 15/04/2021: Added vectorPDF and CAD (dxf and dwg) versions of this plan, thanks to Valeria367.
Supplementary file notes
VectorPDF plan tracing.
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
Space_Shuttle | help
see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
ScaleType: This (oz12907) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.
If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.
ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle
Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.
Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email firstname.lastname@example.org
User commentsNo comments yet for this plan. Got something to say about this one?
Add a comment
- Space Shuttle Columbia (oz12907)
- Plan File Filesize: 860KB Filename: Space_Shuttle_Columbia_oz12907.pdf
- Supplement Filesize: 556KB Filename: Space_Shuttle_Columbia_oz12907_article.pdf
- Supplement Filesize: 60KB Filename: Space_Shuttle_Columbia_oz12907_vector.pdf
- CAD Zip Filesize: 51KB Filename: Space_Shuttle_Columbia_oz12907_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.
© Outerzone, 2011-2021.
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.