Snorter (oz15271)


Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Snorter. Radio control fantasy scale model, for electric power with geared Speed 400 motor. Wingspan 42 in, wing area 300 sq in.

Quote: "Pulp-fiction character Bill Barnes' steed comes to life as an RC electric-powered 'Fantasy Scale' model. Snorter, by John Hunton.

TYPICAL ELECTRIC-POWERED models are tine for flying in nearby grass fields: however, with small scale wheels. they tend to flip over on landing. A more suitable model might be a seaplane - one with a large central float to 'skin' onto the grass when landing.

I vaguely remembered that an airplane design of one of the I 930s pulp serial characters, Bill Barnes, had a large central float. I found a three-view of that airplane on the Internet. During many months following, I drew and built a 'Snorter' amphibian model. It has a 42-inch wingspan, 300 square inches of wing area, weighs just less than a pound, and the original was powered by a Speed 400 motor with six cells.

The completed model was test-flown, and it lived up to expectations with completely successful landings on grass. The test flights also showed that the Snorter design was exciting to see in the air, with its unusual float. extended cabin, and elliptical wings. It scented to provide an exciting view from every different angle.

Looking at the Snorter's framework photos, building one might seem daunting. However, it is similar in construction to many rubber-powered model designs and is really not that difficult to build. You can take pride in doing it yourself with this model, and the result is rewarding - especially when it comes to the fuselage. This airplane's shapes have good sculptural content. From the time you get the fuselage on wheels, you will have something nice to look at.

Looking at the photo of the frame, you will see many diagonals in it that are not shown on the plans. These temporary members are inserted to keep the frame stiff during the sanding-and-shaping process. Use them on any 'floppy' part, and remove them if you want before covering. Be sure to use these diagonals on the wings and empennage to help when sanding.

Consider weight when you are selecting balsa; keep it light. The only parts that require firm wood are the 1/4 x 1/8 balsa fuselage longerons and the main wing spars.

Begin construction by cutting parts with a #11 X-Acto blade. A secret to keeping the blade sharp for long periods is to be conscious of the substrate over which the pieces are being cut. I use foam-core board. which is available in retail department stores. The fuselage and main float are built together - one side first, and then the second side onto the first side. Soak the longerons in water where they curve or split and glue before installing. Pin the top and bottom fuselage longerons in place, running uncut through the cabin area. Install the formers to the longerons. being careful to place them vertically. (A small triangle will help.) Install the side longerons, noting that the fuselage top is built with two 1/4 x 1/8 longerons at the parting joint. This joint will be separated later.

Install all stringers. Take up the first completed side and install the opposite formers and longerons, and then add the stringers. Install small 1/16 square crosspieces across any former that might need additional bracing. Sheet the bottom of the 'slipper' float.

A critical part of fuselage assembly is getting the wing root ribs installed accurately. Notice the large angle of positive wing incidence at the root. Do it that way because Bill Barnes knew what he was doing. Fair in the root rib with scraps of balsa and sand smooth. All diagonal braces shown in the skeletal photos can be added now..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 5/5/2024: Added further article, thanks to Pit. This is a story from AT 1936 titled "Improved Snorter" that includes detailed 3 view drawings of the aircraft.

Supplementary file notes

Article (Air Trails 1936).


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Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - model pic

  • (oz15271)
    by John Hunton
    from Model Aviation
    December 2004 
    42in span
    Electric R/C Floatplane
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 17/04/2024
    Filesize: 831KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 286

Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - pic 003.jpg
Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - pic 004.jpg
Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - pic 005.jpg
Snorter (oz15271) by John Hunton 2004 - pic 006.jpg

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User comments

Very cool!
Jan Novick - 05/05/2024
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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.


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