Gnat (oz1336)


Gnat (oz1336) by D McClain 1964 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

The Gnat. 7.5in wingspan single channel gas model. For .010 power and proportional rudder.

Quote: "Put down your fly swatters boys! This Gnat is an R/C bomb. Although pocket size, the bug will show you a hot time with its proportional rudder. The Gnat was designed almost as a joke for a club contest given by the Valley Forge Signal Seekers Inc, this past May. A prize was to be awarded for the smallest R/C ship on the field. I knew full well that the unpredictable could happen and the winning ship would be at least a clipped wing Schoolboy (oz1030) , or someone just might try to duplicate Ken Willards efforts and clip his 1/4A down to that fantastic eight inch span Pageboy (oz358).

My way was clear. If I wanted to guarantee myself at least one win this year I had to start with an eight inch span and clip down from there. Many, many sketches and drawings later, the Gnat was born. The deep dihedral stagger wing bipe was designed with the intent that it be stable, light, and easy to build. Building time is short. The first ship was ready for its finish after a few construction hours. The next day saw it ready for test gliding. With a minor incidence change, the little ship settled into a rather decent but very fast glide path. I added weight to simulate the receiver, battery and control link-age weight, then tried again. Same glide, just a little faster.

The next question was, how would it respond to power-on flight? I ran a tank of fuel through the Tee Dee .010 and timed it very carefully. I figured the next tank had only about thirty sec-onds left and I launched the tiny ship into a strong breeze. The irate insect turned on its side and proceeded to inscribe thirty foot diameter circles at about eighty miles an hour (well, it seemed like eighty miles an hour)! Less than two minutes later it was lost out of sight in the clouds high overhead.

Number Two was built the following weekend, and the R/C equipment was installed. With the contest only a week away I didn't want to risk another powered flight, no I did a lot of controlled gliding. I used a miniature transmitter, compatible in size with the Gnat (3 x 4 x 5 inches), designed and built by my close friend, Ed Hejna. Number Two was a bit heavier and I found myself throwing it like a baseball in order to get altitude..."

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to AugustaWest.


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