Ringer (oz13923)


Ringer (oz13923) by Roy Clough 1996 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Ringer. Radio control sport model.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 4/7/2022: Added article, thanks to Pit.

Quote: "What's all the 'hoop-la' about? It looks like the courtship dance of a pair of lampshades, or like a time traveler from a future that has outrun our ideas of common sense, but the Ringer is a novel design that has its roots firmly planted in one of the oldest notions of how to build a flying machine.

Aircraft with annular airfoils (or lifting drums) instead of conventional wings have been theorized, proposed and actually built since around the turn of the century. Earlybird Danish pioneer Ellehammer tried to fly one. (He had better luck at a later date with a more conventional design.) Louis Bleriot actually did fly a somewhat diluted version - a flattened oval annular-wing tow glider on floats. Ellehammer's full-scale machine wasn't a success, but the method of control he proposed - 'slewing' a lifting drum - worked well on this model.

Ringer gets noticed. My fellow members of the Winnipesaukee Radio Controllers quit flying their own stuff and gathered around when I fired it up. Their rapt attention as it maneuvered around the sky and their round of applause when it landed made the whole project worthwhile. Of course, there were a few remarks I could have done without, such as, It's good to minimize wingtip losses, but this is ridiculous! and 'Oleg Cassini is going to be very annoyed by what you've done with his lampshades'."

Seriously, though, Ringer is extremely stable. It handles well under power and has a decent glide. Towed around by a Cox Black Widow, it's an eye-catching performer and if you feel burdened by a reputation for excessive sanity, Ringer will get you off the hook.

This isn't my first annular wing. In a previous incarnation, I built a free-flight annular wing for Popular Mechanics - see Hoopskirt (oz9681) from April, 1963. It flew well with a Cox .02 reed-valve engine. Judging by the mail I received, it was a popular item, but I did get a few squawks that the circular wing spars were a nuisance to make. Well, Ringer's spars aren't difficult: they come 'prefabbed.' They're made of wooden embroidery hoops, which are available in most craft shops.

Just about every model I design has at least one key ingredient I'm proud of. For Ringer, it's the smooth, responsive control system. It even lowers the model's tail to increase the wing angle of attack for takeoff! Scratch-builders might want to give further consideration to the control linkage, which could be used to work the 'cruciform' tail of a scale Santos-Dumont Demoiselle, or designed into gimballing tail feathers for your latest original. You could even try an annular drum instead of the usual tail surfaces on something conventional. For soaring gliders, it could be used to operate a V-tail without a complex linkage or mixer function.

Construction: A good point I discovered: the more radical the model, the more conservative the construction. Ringer has a sheet-balsa fuselage covered with iron-on film. Build the cabin/landing-gear unit separately. Cabin sheathing is manila file-folder material; it's easier to work around curves than sheet balsa, and it takes ironon coverings very well. Major Pong, my faithful test pilot, was ensconced behind the acetate windows of the original. If you prefer, it's simpler to cover the entire cabin with folder stock and indicate the windows in a contrasting color.

Wing: The four annular wing spars are made of two, 14-inch-diameter embroidery hoops. One of each pair is solid and requires only rounding on one edge. The other hoop is open-ended and joined with a screw clamp. Remove the clamp by carefully drilling out the rivets. (Don't discard the screw clamps; they make great stabilizer adjusters for larger planes.)

Squeeze the open hoop down to the same diameter as the solid one. Make a diagonal cut through the overlap with a razor saw. Line up the diagonal cuts, and epoxy or CA and thread-wrap the joint..."

Supplementary file notes



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Ringer (oz13923) by Roy Clough 1996 - model pic

  • (oz13923)
    by Roy Clough
    from Model Airplane News
    March 1996 
    44in span
    IC R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 22/06/2022
    Filesize: 888KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: SteveStaples
    Downloads: 719

Ringer (oz13923) by Roy Clough 1996 - pic 003.jpg
Ringer (oz13923) by Roy Clough 1996 - pic 004.jpg
Ringer (oz13923) by Roy Clough 1996 - pic 005.jpg

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User comments

Ah, the dashing glide ratio of the bungee jumper but, alas, bungeelees.
Miguel - 03/07/2022
I built this plane about ten years ago. It is powered with a MP JET .061 Diesel. Minor modifications to the plan were needed. Covering the circular wings and tail involved each bay being covered at a time. Interesting to see in the air.
Steve Staples
Little Rock, AR
Steve Staples - 03/07/2022
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