Caprice (oz1332)


Caprice (oz1332) by Neville Willis 1959 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Caprice. Free flight towline glider.

Update 20/05/2013: Added printwood formers, thanks to vintage1.

Update 23/11/2016: Found and added the missing final sheet (page 13) to the printwood file, thanks to AndyCoutts. This sheet shows the tailplane rib templates.

Supplementary file notes

Printwood formers.


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Caprice (oz1332) by Neville Willis 1959 - model pic


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User comments

built several of em in the 70s for competition flying . fantastic flyer . nice simple build , top model.
goughman1 - 06/07/2015
IMO Nev Willis's KK Caprice is the BEST small (sub-A/2 size) small contest glider EVER. I speak from the experience of having built six and lost three of them. Quite why it is so good is hard to say; there is nothing extraordinary in either the layout or the aerodynamics. The structure is simple with every bit doing the job it is designed for and no excess weight, mine have all weighed between 5.1/2 and 6.1/4 ounces. It just tows beautifully and trimmed for a fairly wide glide circle will float on the smallest whiff of lift. The photo [more [pics 003] shows my first Caprice which, on its very first day out won the club glider cup. Wish I looked like that now - well, with a better haircut!
Sundancer - 30/03/2016
Hi Steve Andy Coutts here, mailing you from South Africa ( ex Zimbabwe). Firstly let me say what you guys at Outerzone have done in five years is brilliant, you all deserve a huge pat on the back for the time and effort this must consume all for the benefit of your fellow modelers. And for free!!! I started modeling in 1965 as a six year old back in Rhodesia. I followed the same road every enthusiasts of that vintage did, building and flying rubber powered free flight models, 049 control line, A1 and A2 towline gliders, stunt and combat control line, then on to RC as a working man in late '70s. Done it all, right down to owning and running a hobby shop. With two daughters who had no interest in the hobby, it all came to an end in the early '80s to concentrate on sailing. That lasted 20 years till they left home and boredom set in. So I decided to build models again, but boy how the hobby had changed in my absence. Being from the old school I have no interest in the latest Chinese ready to fly stuff and stick and tissue construction kits are few and far between. I purchased a few vintage kits off e-bay along with some Cox engines, then after googling stick and tissue balsa model aircraft I found your website. Heaven. I have come full circle back to where I started 50 years ago, building and flying models from my youth with utmost satisfaction. In the past year I have scratch built many models from plans off your website. See Caprice photos attached [more pics 004, 005]. Keep up the excellent work.
AndyCoutts - 18/05/2016
Andy sent us lots more great photos of planes he's built from Oz plans. I'll add them to the relevant pages asap. Thanks Andy :)
Mary - 18/05/2016
The Caprice is coming along well. I decided to build the fuselage and tail out of depron, and that seems OK at the moment. The under fin is 1/16 sheet, but I have covered the fin and rudder with red packing tape, which also acts as the rudder hinge. I learned the technique from 'Experimental Airlines' on You Tube. I built a depron Junior 60 last year, and she is still going strong. I used balsa for the wing spars, but depron for everything else. Flies and thermals very well, and had a few 1 hour flights out of her. Launching the Caprice I am going to mount the motor on a detachable wing pylon so that I can bungee launch her if the park is quiet or use the electric motor if lots of people are about. Attached some shots of the Caprice Fus as of this morning [more pics 006-011]. Wing ribs cut and hope to start building the wings this evening. All the best,
MalcolmJ - 10/10/2016
I have attached 3 pictures of the Caprice, which is getting near flying state [more pics 012-014]. I have attached a Turnigy 2730 to the power pod that I am making up. Another over-powered model. It is taking me time to get a feel for electric motors after spending all my life with diesels and later 4 strokes. It seems quite difficult to find brushless motors of smaller sizes, less than 22mm, at a reasonable price. May have a go at making my own. Lots of info on youtube and instructables just got to learn how to do it, but that means losing time building models. The base of the detachable power pod is made of a Millicano coffee can, which is very strong and light and held on to the wing by the rubber bands used to hold the wing on to the fuselage. I did this so that I can leave the pod off if I decide to get the surgical tubing out and have a go at bungee launches. I built the Caprice fuselage from 3mm Depron and was getting very worried that I had wasted my time as I had not put the top decking on as I wanted to fit the servos and radio gear in to get some idea of the balance as I went along. It all seemed very flimsy. As it has turned out the servos could have been well forward of where they are now, but after using 1/32 balsa for top decking, and covering with yellow packing tape, the fuselage is very rigid. The next Caprice fuselage I build will be all 3mm depron with Millicano tin sheet to reinforce the wing dowel area. Should cut the build time down to a couple of hours if I get the folding layout right on the depron sheet.
MalcolmJ - 20/10/2016
Good morning Mary, I just took a pic of the Caprice, all ready to fly Saturday morning when the wind speed drops [more pics 015]. Roll on Saturday, can't wait to see the Caprice flying.
MalcolmJ - 28/10/2016
I have just returned from the maiden flight of the Caprice and she flew like a dream. The Dartford bridge was shrouded in mist, with a very gentle westerly, about 4 mph. I gave her half throttle and she climbed gently away before almost vanishing in the low mist at about 200 ft. Gave her a bit of left trim to keep her turning, and throttled right back. Had a very pleasant half hour before the battery alarm went off and she came in for a very gentle 'greaser' of a landing. I had had to keep using the motor because of having to fly so low. I will be taking her out again early afternoon, and should be able to get a good 2 hour flight thermalling. The next 7 days are looking flyable for Dartford with low wind speeds and not much chance of rain. The Caprice is such a slow and gentle aeroplane that she will be ideal for my local park. Save taking the car, just an easy 2 minute walk away. I have bought a car video cam from ebay for 10 pounds, so I am going to try powering it from a 11.1 lipo, and mount it on my head to try to make some flying videos. The cat is looking at me through the front window, so I had better go and let her in. Happy days.
MalcolmJ - 30/10/2016
I had a brilliant hour with the Caprice in my local park yesterday. Wind was light and variable and the Caprice was in her element, just floating. The park is surrounded by trees with all their leaves still on them, so I had to be careful. I just set the trim for a left hand turn and let her climb gently and remain in the park boundary. once she was up a couple of hundred feet I cut the motor and she gently floated back to almost ground level before I gave her half throttle and away she climbed again. Very relaxing with the occasional 'nudge' to keep her from disappearing.
MalcolmJ - 31/10/2016
Went flying with Lindsay on Saturday, foolishly towed up the Caprice without a DT fuse and watched it fly off into the distance. Gone - after twenty minutes it was a mere speck in the sky and I gave up watching. Lesson learnt. Time to build another. Here's my Caprice just before she sailed off into the distant blue yonder [more pics 016, 017]. Thanks again for such a treasure as Outerzone.
AndyCoutts - 10/11/2016
In my carefree bachelor days (remember those?) I built a Caprice but never flew it until, after we were married, my wife expressed interest so, one Sunday morning, we took it over to a nearby pasture to try it out. Why are six-month pregnant ladies so reluctant to trot across a field towing a model glider?
Alan - 15/11/2016
I finished off the replacement Caprice and it flew beautifully. I have to concur with Sundancer - this is one of the finest free flight towline gliders ever designed. Here are some photos of the Caprice, flying with the birds [more pics 018-024].
AndyCoutts - 13/01/2017
I built a third Caprice in December last year for a modelling friend who has put micro RC in it. Please find attached photos, the yellow and black one belongs to Rodney [more pics 025, 026]. Unfortunately the wind was too strong on flight day so neither model has flown off the tow line.
AndyCoutts - 10/03/2017
Under "lockdown" have just finished this 70% Caprice for Peterborough Hi-Start [more pics 027, 028]. Haven't built a glider for years but used to fly at Watton with Neville Wiilis many years ago so it was a natural choice. Hopefully we will be let out soon so I can start trimming. Pleased with a weight of 48gm so we shall see how it goes. Thanks for a fantastic site. I look every day and my "round to it" list grows ever longer. Stay safe and hopefully we'll be able to get outside fairly soon.
ChrisBlanch - 04/05/2020
hello, when was the design? in wich year?
TJ - 05/06/2020
RFJ - 05/06/2020
Thanks Ray, have set the date on this plan as 1959 now.
SteveWMD - 05/06/2020
Hello Steve and Mary,
Just had a really exciting first fly with my latest Caprice [more pics 029,030].
I have been flying my electrified KK Caprice, built from an Outerzone download, for about 3 years now and great fun too. This Caprice has a Turningy 2703 and is quite a heavy motor powered by a 3 cell 600 ma battery. Thermals nicely and easy to get down to the ground when needed.
A few weeks ago I thought I would build another Caprice using a much lighter D1811 motor with a 6x4 prop, I was a bit cheesed off with having a one piece wing on my first Caprice, because of all the fiddling connecting the electrics up to the wing mounted pod. This time I built the engine pylon into the fuselage with all the electrics wired in and the wing in two halves sliding together around the motor pylon. I had to put some weight in the nose, but this model was very much lighter than the original version with the turning motor. I decided to use a 2 cell, 800 ma Turningy Graphene motor with a 6x4 non folding prop. I think it gives about 140 grams thrust if needed.
She flew very well, and I had a frightening moment 2 weeks ago when I nearly lost her in the clouds. I had had a couple of nice flights earlier, wind from the north west, reasonably thermic, but nothing spectacular, when I noticed streets starting to form over North London. I landed her, installed a new battery, and sent her off again. I soon picked up a good thermal, it was just about 11 am, shut the motor down and let her start climbing for free. She started going up like a rocket, and was soon in the mist at the base of the clouds, bit difficult to see now, so I decided to bring her down. I did not think I would have a problem with the free wheeling prop acting as a brake, except i could not get her to come down. I tried full left rudder to get her in a tight turn and spiral dive, but that did not workand I was beginning to get into panic mode, because I had lost my KK outerzone Pirate the week before. Next thing I knew she just vanished upwards into the cloud. Heartbroken, what to do? I fed in full down elevator trim and just stared in disbelief at the spot where she had vanished. A few seconds later a flash of sunlight caught my eye and unbelievably she was out of the cloud and my glossy yellow fuselage had reflected in the sunshine. She was spiralling down quite violently and very hard to see at the distance she was at. I was afraid the wings might collapse, but I eventually regained control with some up elevator and managed to ease her down and back towards my field, with some very rough flying to keep trying to lose height.....she was still trying to go up which was doing nothing for my heart rate. When I landed her, it turned out the whole flight had lasted only 9 minutes but I felt very tired and decided to call it a day. I checked Rochester and Biggin Hill weather as soon as I got home, and the cloud base was between 2,500 and 2,700 feet.
The saving in weight using the D1811 motor compared to the Turnigy 2703 made the thermal performance spectacular. Fitting airbrakes or spoilers was becoming a serious idea.
I had been building another Caprice but this time with a racestar BR1504 motor and 5x3 prop. She was nearly finished and as the weather was not looking too good, I decided to get her finished. She was completed last night, and did not need any nose weight added. I think this is because the motor is mounted slightly more forward than the D1811.
I took her out about 09:30 this morning, gave her full throttle and she climbed away beautifully, and slower than my other Caprices. No trimming was needed, and she was soon picking up thermals, even at that time in the morning. I had set my alarm clock for 20 minutes, because I had used the battery the night before to check everything was working OK.
I didn't bother to chse the thermals because I wanted to stay low and close while I checked the controls out. Very relaxing doing slow figure of eights about 50 ft over the field. After about 10 minutes the call of the thermals was irresistible. She was soon turning in a nice thermal, climbing nicely with the motor turned off, and suddenly I was reliving last weeks near loss of my other Caprice. Going up very rapidly I did not want her disappearing in the clouds. I had been very lucky the week before, but did not want to experience that again. I tried finding some ink, but everywhere seemed thermic. Treid down elevator, but she was so light she just wanted to go up. Next I put in hard left trim with full up elevator, and that started to have some effect, but beginning to go overhead and down wind. If he was comming down, it didn't seen very obvious, and I was beginning to think I would run out of receiver battery before, I could get her landed.
I decided to feed in some down trim and try and get her back upwind and find some sink. The alarm clock went off warning me 20 minutes was up. I made good progress upwind, and she did seem to be coming down slightly. I started flying tight turns and S curves to lose height, and this seemed to be working steadily. Kept her upwind and eventually got her down to a couple of hundred feet, and brough her back over the field. I decided to keep her low over the field with the motor in use all the time, and see how long she would fly before the onboard voltage alarm went off.
It was good fun playing, but was getting pretty cold. The on board alarm finally went off and when I landed her, she had been in the air 53 minutes.
I lost a KK Chief in a thermal about 1958, and looking at how the Caprice thermals with a lightweight motor installed, it is no wonder so many FF Caprices were lost in the old days, even with DTs fitted. What brilliant models they were/are. I was going to start building a Chief today, but have decided to start on another set of Caprice wings but with airbrakes fitted. Should be able to stay up all day on one 800 ma battery if I have brakes fitted. Can't wait to find out.
Happy modelling,
MalcolmJ - 19/03/2021
Can someone please advise what Size the plan needs to be printed. Does not seem to be A0 or American size.
Terry - 18/06/2021
Terry, see the FAQ page at also the Knowledgebase articles at
SteveWMD - 18/06/2021
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