About this Plan
Minnow. Radio control trainer model.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Quote: "Hi Mary and Steve, please find attached a plan for the Minnow, which was 2-channel (rudder/elevator) 'Primary Trainer' kit by Cloud /Galaxy Models, available in the 70's - 90's (?). The photos [main pic, 003-006] are of my completed one from 2011.
The original kit was available with foam cored wings or a full built-up balsa wing. I believe the foam wing gave a relatively high wing-loading (for a 'glider') of around 16 oz/sq foot using standard sized servos.
I purchased a foam cored kit in the late 90's, but never finished it. In 2011 I managed to track down and purchase a pdf of the plan online, as the kit was no longer available, with the intent of teaching myself to fly RC properly, having only 'dabbled' up to that point.
I built it as light as I could, covered with tissue, powering it with a Cox .049 with an inbuilt 8cc tank giving an engine run of around 2 1/2 to 3 mins. When the motor cut, it would glide back down from several hundred feet for a couple of minutes giving me time to practise basic circuits and progressively more accurate landings. The flights were therefore only 4 - 5minutes long, but this was plenty for a raw beginner, trust me!
As a guide, I followed closely an article 'POWERED GLIDERS', written by Danny Holmes in the October 1982 RCM&E, to trim Minnow as if it were a free-flight glider (I already had free-flight glider experience from my teenage years) so it would fly 'hands-off' and land itself. Mine had a wing-loading of approx 10.5 oz/sq foot, so the glide was fairly good. On its very first outing after initial non-RC trimming hand launches, I managed 13 powered flights before a cartwheel on landing snapped off the tailplane. Still, I was utterly elated, so I repaired the Minnow in due course and completed over 100 flights over the following year before moving on to a Hobby Zone Super Cub to teach myself how to use a throttle; shortly after this point I joined a proper model flying club, gaining my MFNZ 'Wings' within 5 weeks before moving onto aileron models.
On reflection, as a hand-launched 'compact' powered glider trainer of very simple construction, this was a sound introduction to RC modelling for me. I am considering making another 'updated' electric version with a nose-mounted motor and prop-saving wire skid, to use as a cheap primary trainer/sport model for introducing newcomers to the hobby. If this happens, I'll do a build log to accompany it.
Keep up all your great work - I look at Outerzone almost every day to see what's new, and to continue fantasising about all the planes I want to build, but won't live long enough to! Best regards,"
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User commentsAs far as I know, Cloud Models is still in business based in Morley, near Wymondham, Norfolk UK
William Newson - 27/01/2024
Interesting, I did not know that. It seems this here kit was discontinued somewhere around 1990. But recommend everyone visit the Cloud Models website at https://www.cloudmodels.co.uk/ they currently do some nice kits with veneered foam wings - for example there's a 53 inch DH Mosquito for electric power see https://www.cloudmodels.co.uk/store/product/dh98-mosquito note it says they ship to UK Mainland only.
SteveWMD - 27/01/2024
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