About this Plan
Musketeer. Radio control model sailplane. Wingspan 60-1/2 in, for 2 channels.
Quote: "Musketeer is a two channel (rudder & elevator) slope or flat-field soarer of just 60.5 inches span. I tend to fly the prototype for relaxation, though originally it was designed (and indeed has been used) for training purposes. As I consider the requirements for a training model my thoughts naturally wander back to my own experiences learning to fly - cue the wobbly special effects as we go back in time to 1980.
The picture is clear in my mind. I was standing with my father on top of the Malvern hills, clutching my brand new Avoncraft Merlin. It must have been summer, because I don't remember it being too cold even though the wind was blowing at quite a lick. I knew instinctively that this was the beginning of something great. Grasping the transmitter tightly while perched at the edge of the slope I contemplated the flight ahead. Of course, being my first flight I wouldn't attempt any complicated aerobatics, nothing more difficult than a loop I thought. At the age of fifteen I was about to discover the meaning of the word naive.
My father launched the model for me: it pitched up, I over corrected, it pitched down, I overcorrected. Eventually the Merlin settled itself and I just had time to think how beautiful it looked in the air, when it crashed. For no apparent reason the blasted thing had rolled through 180 degrees and landed upside-down - there was obviously more to this R/C flying than met the eye. As we removed the wings for transport back down the slope a small boy bounded up to us and enquired whether we were about to fly the model. We said that we were taking the model apart, to which the boy replied, well can't you just fly that bit? and pointed to the fuselage. For different reasons, we all had a lot to learn.
Training can be a tricky business. Of course it is advisable to get assistance from an experienced model flier (and that's how I eventually learned to fly), however, the choice of model itself is also important and that's where Musketeer comes in.
The model has docile flying characteristics, while its relatively simple design allows rapid construction (the first prototype was built in just over ten hours - not including covering or radio installation). The prototypes have stood up to some hard knocks and have also proved to be easy to repair., So if it's a trainer you need or if you just want a relaxing sports model, now's the time to get whittling that wood.
Fuselage: It is best to cut out all main fuselage components before starting any assembly work (note that the fuselage sides are from a single sheet of 3/32 x 4 x 36 in balsa - see plan). The 1/64 ply doublers are glued to the inner faces of the fuselage sides, after which, the former positions (F1 to F4) are marked. Glue the 1/8 sheet wing seating strips in place and, when dry, mark and drill the holes for the wing and tail retaining dowels. Add the formers F2, F3 and F4 to one of the fuselage sides, ensuring that they are square to it. It helps the alignment of the fuselage If the vertical centres of the three formers are marked on.
When the formers are dry, stand the fuselage side on its base and glue the other side in position, using the flat bottom of the fuselage against the building board to ensure that the assembly is true. When this is dry, line the centres of the formers up with a straight line drawn on the building board and glue the rear of the fuselage together (using the two 1/8 square balsa struts) so that the fuselage sides are equally spaced with respect to the straight line. Sheet the entire lower and rear upper fuselage with 1/16 balsa..."
Musketeer from Radio Modeller, November 1995.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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