Phoenix 100 (oz14412)


Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Phoenix 100. Radio control sailplane model. Wingspan 2.5 m.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Quote: "Hi Mary/Steve, attached is the plans and photos of the vintage Wonderwings Phoenix-100 Glider. You can see my build blog at:
Regards, M. Murat Kece"

Note have added pic 008, grabbed from Murat's build log at the above address, to show some detail of the modified all-moving tail linkage (part of the paper plan was cut out, then rotated 180 degrees).

Update 4/3/2023: Added kit review from Radio Modeller, November 1978, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "RM Test Report: Pete Buckingham builds and flies the interesting Wonder Wings Phoenix 100.

Standard Class or '100 in' gliders have become increasingly popular over the past two to three years. This class of glider has obvious appeal to the beginner because of its simplicity of design and the possibility of getting started in RC gliding with relatively inexpensive 2-function equipment.

A model that has proved itself in the hands of its designer is the Phoenix 100. The popularity of this design became apparent when it was seen that 21 out of the 80 entrants at the BARCS championships were using the Phoenix.

The kit: In the box was what appeared to be a vast amount of 'blue foam', some very decent timber, a general accessory pack, detailed instructions, with line drawings, and a nicely drawn rolled plan. All the wood parts are numbered, with the ply parts for the fuselage and dihedral braces having been very cleanly cut.

The kit is unusual in that the wings are not covered in veneer, but in heat-shrink plastic film alone or, as recommended on the plan for competition flying, tissue may be applied with polyurethane varnish, for additional strength. Each wing is fabricated from four separate pieces of foam. On initial inspection of the panels, I was rather concerned about the amount of 'bow' evident in the longer inner panel but, as it turned out, I had no need to worry.

On the subject of foam, it is advisable to keep all cellulose based glues and dopes well away from the building area. I didn't, but Polyfilla 'Fine' paste fills any small holes that occur due to accidents in the workshop.

Getting it together: The wing construction is rather unique in that, going from the front we have: the pre-shaped balsa leading edge, blue foam, full-depth composite spar (full-depth balsa spar in outer panel), blue foam then the pre-shaped balsa trailing edge.

Following the instructions to the letter, I constructed the composite spar first. This consists of spruce strips, top and bottom, with a full length balsa web glued between them. When dry, the spar was carefully sanded to provide the best possible gluing area for the foam. The next task was to cut the wing dowel tube to length and slot the spar to take it, after which it was glued into position.

After separating the spars, everything was ready for the most crucial part of the wing construction; gluing the foam cores to the spar. Two lengths of scrap wood were clamped to the building board so that the wing could be pushed against them at root and leading edge. A sheet of thin polythene was used to make sure that the wing did not end up glued to the bench.

After a couple of dummy runs, I used alphatic resin glue ('sandable') to glue the foam panels to the spar, excess glue being wiped off both sides of the wing. Masking tape was used to hold the cores tight against the spar..."

Supplementary file notes



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Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - model pic

  • (oz14412)
    Phoenix 100
    by Neville Mattingley
    from Wonderwings
    98in span
    Glider R/C Kit
    clean :)
    formers unchecked
  • Submitted: 17/02/2023
    Filesize: 458KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: MuratKece
    Downloads: 816

Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 003.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 004.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 005.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 006.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 007.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 008.jpg
Phoenix 100 (oz14412) by Neville Mattingley 1975 - pic 009.jpg

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User comments

Interesting model. Seems like the slope models for back then must have often been superior for thermal flying than the thermal models were. At least if there was any wind. If I interpret the drawing correctly, the wing was originally covered with nothing more than tissue and plastic film? The plan has a note about the "competition airfoil". I'm wondering if that means the cores were supplied with some other airfoil. If the shapes shown are the modified E 176 that the plans refer to, I'm a bit skeptical. I'm also wondering what sort of foam was originally supplied.
Maybe I'm just dense, but I didn't see much about wood sizes. I guess those can be guessed.
LR - 02/03/2023
The phoenix was aimed (I believe) at thermal soaring, particularly the 100" class, and it was a kit, which is probably why the thickness of the parts is not mentioned.
It was a Bluefoam wing that you could cover in tissue first for extra strength or just solarfilm.
I think the idea was to provide a basic wing section that the more advanced build could them modify into a more accurate/advanced performing section.
It was, if I recall, a popular kit here in the UK and was a reliable performer.
mhodgson - 03/03/2023
Fair point. I think the use of 'slope soarer' in the descrip was just my mistake. Have changed this now to say 'sailplane'. Thanks.
SteveWMD - 03/03/2023
The wings were blue foam with spruce spars.. I covered it with brown paper.. You can see the details at my build blog link above.
I use it for slope soaring.. Regards Murat
Murat Kece - 03/03/2023
I saw a few of these flying "Back in the day". As stated above the wings were Blue foam but had a design flaw in that if the craft was flown too fast the wings went anhedral, control was lost resulting in a high speed crash and, usually, a complete write off. I saw it on a slope and from a flat field. Keep it slow and they are a decent glider.
Tony P - 04/03/2023
FYI I have extended the nose in my second build from the battery position by 50mm. This helped the CG balancing very much. In the short version I ended up using 250 gr nose ballast to balance it. I covered the fuselage with 30 gr/m2 fiber glass cloth and PVA glue.
Muharrem Murat Kece - 05/03/2023
The Nev Mattingly designed Phoenix 100, kitted by Wonderwings, enjoyed enormous popularity in the '70's and early '80's as a 100S - standard class - thermal soarer and had a very successful contest record. The model was based around a blue foam wing, fore and aft sections of which were assembled to a spruce spar. The prototypes were all covered in varnished wrapping paper which provided a stressed skin, sometimes with film over this. Misunderstanding of the importance of this wrapping paper skin initially lead to some structural failures when builders omitted it and simply covered in film. If the wing was built as intended the result was a good, rugged, reliable thermal soarer capable, in the hands of a good pilot, of competing with the best. It did not have enormous "still air" duration potential but was a very good thermal riding machine. There was initially another minor issue in that the all moving tailplane, if assembled as recommended in the kit, could suffer from blow-back at higher speeds, resulting in the dreaded "tuck under". Reversing the pivot and drive tubes and using a stiffer linkage than the cable supplied with the kit solved this. All-in-all a good example of how a relatively simple design can produce a very satisfactory competition model, as well as one which is a very satisfying every day sport thermal and light wind slope performer.
George Stringwell - 14/09/2023
George, sir, lovely to see your name here.
My father Ken Jones flew a Phoenix 100 very successfully for a number of years in the early 80s, a wonderful robust design. Being brought up in Doncaster he always wanted to beat his old rival from Rotherham.
Greth Jones - 04/11/2023
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