Quadruplane (oz14668)


Quadruplane (oz14668) by Normand Charlebois 1959 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Quadruplane. Semi-scale rubber model.

Originally published in Flying Models, Sep 1959. This here is a reprint from RCMW-FSP, Jan 2016. As hosted on the mac34.fr site [see datafile].

Note this plan is stamped as Archive #003739 from the Cooperative Plans Service. See their website at www.co-op-plans.com

Update 9/7/2023: Added article, thanks to theshadow.

Quote: "Here's a challenge, a sorta-scale model of the Quadruplane build by Matthew Seller a long time ago and which is reported to have actually flown using a five horsepower engine. Very little else is known about the original aircraft but this free flight model is sure to draw comments wherever it appears. Designed by Normand Charlebois and published in the September 1959 issue of Flying models, the author says it’s really not all that hard to build but will never win any endurance contests.

The benign air of old ladies, added to the charm of a lifetime spent in rearing a family is enough to soften the heart of the hardest man. This reasoning may also explain why old ancestral flying crates still attract modern modellers drowned by the sound of ultrasonic jets flying overhead.

Whether the term 'benign' applies to Matthew Seller's nearly unknown creation of 190? has been lost in the fog of the dawn of aviation. From the sheer looks of this package of bailing wire, spruce struts, and canvas, the modern pilot would certainly think twice before trusting his carcass in this quadruplane!

However complex and brutally incongruous the layout of this monstrosity is, its unusualness was enough to tempt this modeller into attempting a scale glider model of it: that was in 1942. Now, nearly 17 years later, it crept back from the past, like a nightmare, and although there was very little info available, the author attempted to make a flying model of it.

One of the sorest points to the pride of the dedicated modeller occurs when all the work and endeavor put into the balsa framework (the painstakingly built innards of the model) are going to be concealed forever, (oh! yeah?) under a sheet of Silkspan and a few coats of dope. This model provides a remedy against this unfortunate occurance in most models.

Here it is, a tailless, body-less, naked quadruplane. The layout was obtained from a one inch square picture in a 27 year old magazine, underneath which was this caption: Matthew Seller's FLEW with 5 hp!

Obviously, from so meager a source, exact scale is impossible to achieve and some confused areas of the picture were obviously thought up. However, we have endeavoured, as much as was feasible under the circumstances, to stick to the 'charm' and the flavor of the original, if not to actual scale design.

We would be extremely grateful to anyone for providing additional information on this strange craft from the past, in the event any record of it has survived the years. In the meantime, let us go on to the construction.

Fin and Rudder: Since this crate breaks all other rules of design, let us begin our model in an off-beat fashion. Match plate 1 and 2 at the splice line, cover with waxed paper, and let us build the fin first, directly on the board. Once this is dry, we proceed to the rudder.

No instruction required here. Everything is simple and straightforward. Just sand to a rounded edge all around. You will find it convenient, since there are so many struts and braces, to cover, these items now. Use white Silkspan, with grain running lengthwise, applied wet; let it act as the hinge by covering alternate sides of fin and rudder with same piece.

The maze of struts and wires, while at first glance scary, does not mean that the construction of this model is difficult. It is actually even simpler than more conventional models, and the only part requiring advance preparation is the bent bamboo guard No.27.

So bravely, let us now tackle the wings. For these and the fin and rudder we recommend cement equal to Testor's Formula A. However for all other items, we found it was much safer to use Formula B, as the extra strength will be greatly needed.

Remember this: the four wings and the tail-pieces are the ONLY covered parts, and the only parts to gain strength in this fashion. All other parts must rely on their own fibers. This is the reason why pine and bamboo were used and are suggested, wherever tension or compression stresses are present..."

Supplementary file notes



Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Quadruplane (oz14668) by Normand Charlebois 1959 - model pic


  • NotFound | help

    This is a scale plan, but ScaleType is set as NotFound.

    This happens when we can't find a relevant Wikipedia page to link to. Usually because the type in question is uncommon.

    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Quadruplane (oz14668) by Normand Charlebois 1959 - pic 003.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email admin@outerzone.co.uk

User comments

Fascinating subject! There's video of a larger electric version at https://youtu.be/VWQ6gzK4UYg and a replica in the Kentucky Museum (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/polaski2282/36584568333 - 4 pictures available)
I'm soo tempted.... :-)
Roger T - 08/07/2023
Hi, Interesting model but there is a major problem with the plan, the wingspan as shown is far to short the model in the photo is nearer the correct size but is still a bit to short, looking at photo's of the real plane I would suggest 16" span closer to the correct size for this plan.
Regards Simon.
simon rogers - 12/07/2023
There are many major problems with this plan. I'm frankly not even sure that wingspan is the biggest problem. But yes, in the article, the designer admits he draw this plan up from a 1-inch square picture found in a 27 year old magazine. So it is safe to say he had no access to good clear photos of the actual aircraft. He also admits that flying the model: "the best that was achieved is a twenty foot hop, followed by a thumping landing".
SteveWMD - 12/07/2023
Hi Steve, Yes I agree there are many problems with this model not just wingspan or lack of It, my main concern is how we are expected to get any stability into the model with no tailplane and no reflex in the wings, I fear the 20 foot hop with a thump at the end is little more than the airframe being pulled through the air by a fully wound motor and not a flight in the true sense.
Having said that I still intend to build one just to see if it can be made to fly, I'm a sucker for It will never fly types of models.
Cheers, Simon.
simon rogers - 13/07/2023
Add a comment



Download File(s):


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.