Little Little Ship (oz15298)


Little Little Ship (oz15298) by Ken Jenkins 1987 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Little Little Ship. Radio control sport model. Wingspan 36 in.

Note the 44 in Dick Schumacher Little Ship (oz15303) design was first published in MAN, Jan 1951. This here is a later re-designed, smaller version.

Quote: "Little Little Ship. Build Ken Jenkins' 36in version of a vintage classic.

This compact model takes .8cc to 1cc motors and two or even three function radio. The fuselage, fin and tailplane are sheet balsa and the low aspect ratio wing can be nylon (or 'tex) covered, which makes it a quick build toughy. It even has a sprung landing gear (American for undercarriage), to save damage on rough landings. In fact, the 'Little Ship' was a 1950 American design which had most of the features which were to become the norm for both single channel and sports models. It must rank with those great classics, such as Bill Winters' Pal Joey (oz4719) and Ken Willard's Schoolmaster (oz7534), which were to come some ten years later.

The tubby lines are typical of its day and give it a transatlantic flavour. It contrasts sharply with Harry Hundleby's Sparky (oz2914) and W Taylor's Whiplash (oz7429) which were its British contempories.

This small model, like the original, is simple to build; it won't break the bank either as most of the wood that you will need is probably there in your scrap box. It flys superbly with a PAW 100 so it's cheap to operate, and it's a handy "boot of the car" size. You will only have to clear a small corner of your building board so start now - you'll never regret it.

Fin and tailplane: These are traced on to medium 1/8th (3mm) balsa sheet, with the grain of the wood as shown to prevent warps. The hinges were from thin Mylar draughting film as slitting thin sheet can be tricky. Figure-of-eight stitching is better, and gives a cheap, low friction hinge. The control horns were cut from printed circuit board, drilled as shown and epoxied in place - also cheap. The small commercial horns are OK.

Wing: The original wing had only two panels, but I have found that, if this type of wing is knocked off, damage is usually done to the wing centre section, or to the fuselage. So a three-part wing is shown, but you can take your pick. The parallel wing is easy to build. First trace two W2 ribs, trimming and sanding to an accurate shape. Use these to mark out the fourteen blanks required.

These can be slightly oversizes but make sure that the front and bottom edges are cut true (use a steel rule). These can then be stacked together lining up the front and bottom edges. Your nice, tidy ribs can be pinned at each end and the whole lot sanded to look like one rib. (You do use a sanding block, don't you?). The spar slots can now be cut using a razor saw (Junior hacksaw). The shaped trailing edge stock can next be cut to size, marked at the rib positions, and slotted.

You are now ready to build the left-hand wing panel, so cover the plan with plastic sheet, such as the backing from heat shrink film or cling film if the kitchen boss isn't looking. If you want to be authentic use candle wax or soap, rubbing these over the plan to stop the bits sticking.

The next step is to make the formers. F1 is cut from ply. F2, F3, and F4, are made over the plan. The fuselage sides can then be glued to F3 and F4; this must be done accurately and is best done with epoxy, pins and Sellotape checking by eye or, better still, a set-square. When set, the radio bay floor sheeting and spacers are added to make the assembly rigid enough to be pulled in at nose and tail. F2 and Fl are epoxied in place to complete the nose. The fuselage can then be nipped together at the tail and cross-pieces inserted using bands, or tape, to maintain contact until the glue dries.

If all the holes required for dowels and u/c tube were drilled with the two sides taped together prior to joining, then these will be square when in position. The ply engine bearer can be cut to shape with cutouts for your particular engine and a lightening hole. Drill the bolt holes and mount the engine. You will need to solder the heads of the bolts to a strip of tinplate as the fairing block, which also helps to give the mounting rigidity, will cover these. The old control line method was to solder a pin across the slots of the bolts and this worked well enough.

Attach the lower spine, add the triangular fillets and the tubby shape appears. The 1/16 sheet under the cabin is not a straightforward job (unlike the top sheeting aft of the wing) so hold a piece of balsa in contact with the side pressed against the spine to get the shape and cut two. Glue and pin one side in place then sand to final shape. The other side can then be treated in the same way. The 1/8 nose planking will need to be coaxed to a shape which gives a smooth transition from triangular cross-section to a rounded one..."

Little Little Ship from Radio Modeller, November 1987.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, thanks to RFJ.


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Little Little Ship (oz15298) by Ken Jenkins 1987 - model pic

  • (oz15298)
    Little Little Ship
    by Ken Jenkins
    from Radio Modeller
    November 1987 
    36in span
    IC R/C Cabin
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 12/05/2024
    Filesize: 585KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: Circlip, RFJ
    Downloads: 226

Little Little Ship (oz15298) by Ken Jenkins 1987 - pic 003.jpg
Little Little Ship (oz15298) by Ken Jenkins 1987 - pic 004.jpg

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* Credit field

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