Little Traveller (oz15263)


Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Little Traveller. Radio control sport model. Wingspan 25-1/2 in, wing area 132 sq in. For brushless electric power.

The Ken Willard Traveler (oz1547) first appeared in American Modeler, 1957. This here is a later redrawn version, at reduced scale, for electric power.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note this plan is stamped as Archive #003384 from the Cooperative Plans Service. See their website at

Update 1/5/2024: Added article, thanks to Tom Binkley.

Quote: "Little Traveller by Tom Binkley: Who doesn't like to travel? And when away from home sometimes you want to fly, but you have no model. This is nothing new. Ken Willard traveled for business, and he enjoyed visiting Club Fields where ever he went.

In 1957 he designed an R/C airplane with unique folding wings, an airplane that disassembled to fit neatly into a custom travel box. It spanned 34 in, was powered by a McCoy .049 diesel engine, and featured a compound escapement for rudder and 'kick up' elevator controls. The Traveler, as he called it, gave him a transportable model to fly when away from home.

Presented here is a reduced-size, 25-1/2 inch span version, with electric power and proportional rudder, elevator and throttle controls. It has conventional built up wings with a modern wing joiner, a removable stab and landing gear like Mr Withrd's 1957 prototype, and 0 fits into a modem carrying case.

What are the criteria for a good 'travel model'? Durability and portability are important and the ability to travel undamaged in a container. Logically, to fit into a compact box, a model must be disassembled. The wings, usually the largest part of an airplane, separate into individual panels that can be stored separately and be quickly joined together for flight. Mr Willard designed the Traveler with a short fuselage for compactness.

The horizontal stabilizer is removable, attached with rubber bands just like the wing. The landing gear, and even the propeller are removable, attached with rubber bands, all enabling the Little Traveler to fit into a small box.

A travel model must also be rugged enough to take some hard knocks and keep on flying. And it should be adaptable to a variety of flying conditions like wind and a limited flying area. The Little Traveler meets all these requirements.

There is nothing difficult about building the Little Traveler, and in fact it could be built even more simply, with a one piece wing and fixed stabilizer if you have no intention of packing it.

You will need a 2204-14T motor, small brushless speed controller, two micro servos a micro receiver and a 300mAh 2S Lipo battery.

Start construction by making a 'kit' of parts. The wing lower leading edge, trailing edges, ribs and tips, the fin, rudder, stab and elevator as well as the fuselage sides, bulkheads and doublers can be cut out of 1/16 balsa (and 2 ribs from 1/8 balsa) using templates made from photocopies of plans parts glued to cereal box cardboard.

Ribs can be stack sanded to a uniform shape, then notched for spars and leading and trailing edge using a razor saw and razor blade. Hold the two root ribs together and drill a 1/16 hole through both, front and rear, for locating pins.

Build one wing panel at a time. Cover the plans with wax paper and pin lower leading edge, lower 3/16 sq spar and lower trailing edge to plans and glue 1/4 x 3/8 leading edge in place.

Next glue the ribs in place, canting the first rib to the dihedral angle. Glue top spar and top trailing edge in place followed by the rear wing tip. Make the front tip more flexible with a drop of water and glue in place shaped to the rib contour.

Repeat for the second wing panel. Then. shape leading edge with a razor plane and sanding stick. Finish sand the wing.

Make a wing joiner out of 1 piece of 1/16 ply sandwiched between 2 pieces of 1/16 balsa. Cut out caller ribs between top and bottom spars for the wing joiner. Trial fit end adjust m needed.

Then glue 1/16 vertical grain balsa webs to front and rear of the spars between root rib and second rib to make a 'pocket' for the wing joiner.

Trial fit wing joiner again and adjust as needed. Fit two 1/16 dowels (from round tooth picks) in the root ribs to align the wings when joined. Glue the dowels only to the right rib..."

Update 1/5/2024: Replaced this plan with a clearer version, thanks to Tom Binkley. This here is a scan of his original pencil and ink drawing.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Previous scan version.


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Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - model pic

  • (oz15263)
    Little Traveller
    by Tom Binkley
    from RCMW
    August 2013 
    25in span
    Electric R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 17/04/2024
    Filesize: 357KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow, TomBinkley
    Downloads: 472

Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - pic 003.jpg
Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - pic 004.jpg
Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - pic 005.jpg
Little Traveller (oz15263) by Tom Binkley 2013 - pic 006.jpg

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User comments

I love this. Thanks for the plan!
Rupert - 02/05/2024
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  • Plan File Filesize: 357KB Filename: Little_Traveler_oz15263_.pdf
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  • Supplement Filesize: 348KB Filename: Little_Traveler_oz15263_previous.pdf
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