Cloud Clipper (oz14250)


Cloud Clipper (oz14250) by Donald Ogren 2000 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Cloud Clipper. The flying lawnmower for .40 size engines. Radio control novelty plane.

Quote: "Every time I have taken my 'mower' from the trunk of the car, the fun for me and comments from bystanders begin. Those who have never seen it fly, will start the expected kibitzing. When the mower takes to the air during demonstrations at model events, the kids will start to scream with delight and amazement, as other modelers begin to assess the reality of the 'plane' in the air.

After it lands, picture taking is always in order, and any news media present (at fun flys) will turn their attention to what they have just witnessed. Maybe I'm not insane after all, just a little crazy, someone said. But let me tell you more of how this came about.

How many times have you attended a fun fly or a competition and watched someone fly a novelty plane which soon became the most memorable aircraft of the day? I got bit by a 'flying lawnmower' bug when one showed up at a fun fly three years ago. I quizzed the modeler, Mike McGuire, about plans only to learn that someone had built it for him and he wasn't aware of any plans.

My research through back issues of model magazines tuned up one lawnmower plan, but it was much more complicated and detailed than what I wanted. I believe Mike was using a K&B .65 for power and I wanted something smaller, for a .40 size engine. Mike's lawnmower measured 33 x 31 in for the mower deck alone, plus the 6 in elevons. That's a bunch of square inches! From Mike's mower, I took additional measurements, as well as photographs, and then started to scale down a set of plans. The mower depicted in this construction article evolved through a prototype, some engineering development, and to the final design you see here.

The Prototype wanted less than 800 sq in, so a deck plan of 24 x 26 in (plus leading and trailing edges) was selected (643 sq in), elevons 5 x 26 in gave me another 130 squares. This total would be much more manageable for a .40 or .45 engine (and my Toyota wagon). My weight target was less than six pounds.

Mike McGuire's mower and my prototype were of 1 inch thick foam for the mower deck/wing. No lift is generated without a positive angle of attack from such a platform. I knew this from the start, but thought such a concept would be simple to make and manageable in the air. Mike had demonstrated this to be true, with his power to weight ratio.

The prototype was powered with a Royal .40 one that had reasonable power annd reliability. I chose a sunny and fairly calm morning..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Scan by MarkD, cleanup by Circlip.

Update 13/12/2022: Replaced this plan with a clearer version, thanks to Bernd. This is from the fullsize plan, scanned at 300 dpi.

Supplementary file notes

Previous scan version.


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Cloud Clipper (oz14250) by Donald Ogren 2000 - model pic

  • (oz14250)
    Cloud Clipper
    by Donald Ogren
    from RCMplans (ref:1284)
    July 2000 
    26in span
    IC R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 29/11/2022
    Filesize: 574KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: MarkD, Circlip, Bernd
    Downloads: 592

Cloud Clipper (oz14250) by Donald Ogren 2000 - pic 003.jpg
Cloud Clipper (oz14250) by Donald Ogren 2000 - pic 004.jpg

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User comments

This wasn't the original Flying Lawnmower, published earlier and a kit was available then. Biggest advantage to the kit were the thin plastic wheels, otherwise difficult to find. Ours had grass chutes coming out both sides containing the ailerons. Ours flew well, so long as you realized you had to keep the speed up. If you ever let it slow down, it fell outa the sky. It took ALL the power a Fox 74 had just to fly, ours being a bit heavy. Eddie Crump built us another one, being careful to keep it light, and it did fly a lot better. I cut all the foam parts, and Eddie covered it with low temp EconoKote, right on the foam. While this did save weight, EconoKote proved to be its demise. Fuel affected the covering, and it all peeled off, had to be scrapped. But all in all, the Lawnmower was the best flying of all the weird models, Doghouse, Flying Flag and Witch being not so good. Those days were a lot of fun.
Doug Smith - 13/12/2022
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  • Supplement Filesize: 545KB Filename: Cloud_Clipper_oz14250_previous.pdf
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