About this Plan
555. Free flight power model.
Quote: "For less than six bucks you can build this 1/2A-powered Free-flight model that's rugged, dependable and fast. The 555, by Harold Stevenson.
Old veteran free-fighters, please take a back seat! The '555' is strictly for newcomers. Of course, if the old-timers want to tag along and build a ship that is inexpensive, flys like mad and is just plain fun, they are welcome too.
The 555 derives its name from its cost. This model cost exactly $5.55 to build and fly! This includes everything - fuel, prop, cement, dope, engine, etc. The model was designed with this low cost in mind. True, a smaller and less expensive model could be built, but it was decided not to sacrifice performance just to cut cost to a bare minimum.
The ship looks and acts like a regular contest-type free-flight and so makes an excellent trainer for the youngster without denting his allowance too badly. All the tricks of adjustment may be experimented with on this model, giving the tyro a good basic working knowledge of the flight characteristics of free-flying models. When he graduates into the larger high performance ships this knowledge will be invaluable.
A few years back, a ship like this would have been impossible at this low cost, but with the advent of small low-priced engines, efficient and inexpensive models may be built. The 555 uses a McCoy .049 which retails at $3.95. This is the most expensive item on the bill of materials. With but two exceptions, all materials were bought at a hobby shop. There were no discounts or 'breaks' in prices. Note the list and cost of everything you need to build and fly the 555.
The cost of the fuselage and engine mounts is listed as zero. The mounts are made from a 2-1/2 x 1-1/4 in piece of 1/2 in aluminum which may be obtained from your local hardware store who has a do-it-yourself aluminum display. He usually has many pieces of scrap lying around which he can give you at no cost. The fuselage is made from a piece of pine 3/4 x 3/4 x 181/2 in which you can probably find around your own house. Failing that, a local lumber yard or cabinet maker will have plenty of waste pine that will just fit the bill. Now that everything is bought, and paid for, let's start building. If you have ever built a handlaunch glider, you will have little trouble with the 555.
FUSELAGE: Start by cutting out the engine mounts from the 1/8 aluminum and drill and tap the holes as indicated on the full-size plans. Insert a length of nail in the rear of the mounts. This is force-fitted and acts-as the rear anchor of the mount. Now, bend and form the landing gear from .045 in music wire and bolt it, with a 4-40 bolt, to the back plate of the engine. Don't forget to file a small groove in the bottom of the back-plate ring to anchor the landing gear. Construct the wheel from 1/8 balsa sheet as shown, being sure the two pieces have their grain at 90° to each other..."
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