Bel-Air 40 (oz15308)


Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Bel-Air 40. Radio control sport biplane model.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note photo [main pic] of completed model built by jrbkiwi was found online at:

Update 23/5/2024: Added kit review from RCM, September 1982, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "RCM Product Review: Northeast Aerodynamics Bel-Air .40

Northeast Aerodynamics of Haverhill, Massachusetts, has released their third .40 size kit with the Bel-Air .40 biplane. All of their kits are designed to fly with standard engines. What makes their kits so exceptional is the design, assembly ease, appearance, material quality, and performance. When all of those factors are packaged into a kit box, then you know it is something special.

Our first thought upon opening the 3-1/2 x 9 x 44 in box was that there wasn't enough wood to build a biplane. Closer inspection revealed that the wood was there and it seemed like there wasn't sufficient amounts because the design is such that the parts count is lower than expected. Small parts and hardware were bagged and the canopy has its own little sectioned off part of the box to keep it in an unmarked condition.

Construction: Plans consist of two pages each 24 x 48 in. All four wing panels are shown, which allows building of more than one panel at a time. The plans are well-done and contain building hints. The 24 page manual is an example of how instructions should be done. Following the process in the step by step manner described results in a correctly and accurately finished model. There are many clear photos to show what is being conveyed in print. Photos are included that show the various sub-groups together, such as wing parts, fuselage parts, etc.

The bottom wing is first tackled. It features 1/4 in square balsa spars, 3/32 webs, and 1/16 sheeting. The leading edge sheeting was the perfect density but the trailing edge sheeting was a little too soft. This was the only problem with materials in the entire kit. The top wing is next and builds like the bottom except for the addition of the cabane attachment pieces. These are grooved plywood blocks which later provide the foundation for the top of the cabanes. Ailerons are on the lower wing only. It is easier to cut out the servo bay prior to epoxying the wing halves together. The lower wing has 1 in dihedral while the upper wing is flat.

Tail surfaces are 1/4 in sheet balsa and accurately cut to shape. The elevator comes in one piece and the builder cuts out the center wedge for rudder clearance. Material is provided for the fairing for the stabilizer-fuselage joint.

The fuselage is a simple and rugged affair to deal with. Formers consist of two of 1/4 in ply, one of 1/8 ply, and four of 1/8 balsa. The turtledeck behind the cockpit is formed by 3/16 square stringers of balsa. A clever method of attaching the cabanes to the fuselage was devised by Norteast. Plywood cabane blocks are epoxied to the inside of the fuselage sides. Pre-drilled holes are then used to insert brass tube bearings into the blocks... "

Update 6/7/2024: Added kit review from Flying Models, November 1982, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes



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Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - model pic

  • (oz15308)
    Bel-Air 40
    by Ernie LaChance
    from Northeast Aerodynamics (ref:BA-40)
    46in span
    IC R/C Biplane
    clean :)
    formers unchecked
  • Submitted: 29/04/2024
    Filesize: 1379KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: dfritzke
    Downloads: 529

Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - pic 003.jpg
Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - pic 004.jpg
Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - pic 005.jpg
Bel-Air 40 (oz15308) by Ernie LaChance 1981 - pic 006.jpg

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User comments

Nice one, thanks for the plan.
dennis - 25/05/2024
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Download File(s):
  • Bel-Air 40 (oz15308)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1379KB Filename: Bel-Air_40_oz15308.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1121KB Filename: Bel-Air_40_oz15308_review_FM.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 949KB Filename: Bel-Air_40_oz15308_review_RCM.pdf
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* Credit field

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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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