Desert Rat (oz1535)


Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Desert Rat. Control line model. From Hobby Helpers Group # 462.

Quote: "The tremendous upswing in popularity of rat racing has all but exterminated team racing here in the southwest (where Desert Rat gets its name). Nearly every control line meet includes rat racing, very few have team racing on the docket.

The object of the rat racing event is to complete a specified number of laps in the shortest time - all else being equal, the fastest plane wins. The basis for our design is high top speed potential plus durability and simple construction. As in speed plane practice, frontal area has been kept to a minimum and the engine faired smoothly into the fuselage. Sheet balsa fuselage, solid wing and tail surfaces make the finished Rat light yet sturdy. Its speed will probably amaze you, well over 100 mph. Since it is easy to fly what else could you want?

Construction: Cut two pieces of maple, oak or similar hardwood to 5/16 x 3/4 x 6 inch, taper one side toward back as shown. Drill mounting holes for 4-40 bolts to take your particular engine. Bolt powerplant to mounts - observe 1-1/4 spacing between mounts. If your engine is wider than that, notch inside of mounts against motor.

Make firewall-landing gear assembly. Cut firewall from 1/4 plywood. A thin (about .032) aluminum facing can be fastened to this plywood with fiberglass resin or cement and a couple of bolts. While not absolutely necessary it offers additional durability for the area that really takes a beating in rat racing. B

end landing gear from 3/32 music wire with 3/32 reinforcement pieces. mind to firewall with copper wire and cement thoroughly, or (better) cover bound areas with fiberglass resin. Position firewall-landing gear assembly between mounts. Shape two fuselage sides from 3/32 sheet balsa; thoroughly cement together the three assemblies - engine mount, firewall-gear and fuselage sides. When dry, draw fuselage ends together and cement.

Make fuel tank. Here in the southwest we decree the 2 fluid ounce maximum shown. You can alter the tank to any capacity by making it longer. Use .005 to .010 thick brass shim stock that can be purchased in most hardware and automotive stores. Here is handy information for the design of any fuel tank: there are 1.805 cubic inches and 29.6 cubic centimeters in one fluid ounce. Cement fuel tank in place with its top no higher than top of engine mounts.

A pressurized tank was used on my original plane to guarantee a consistent engine run throughout each flight. Hot starting is somewhat improved by this system. Make a pressure take-off from the engine crankcase. This is done easily on front rotary engines by drilling a hole through the main bearing at a spot directly in line with the intake tube and positioned so that it opens to the crankcase just as the intake port closes. Thus, the crankcase is pressurized when the piston comes down..."

Update 10/01/2017: added article, thanks to RFJ.

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Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - model pic


Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - pic 003.jpg
Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - pic 004.jpg
Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - pic 005.jpg
Desert Rat (oz1535) by Don Yearout from American Modeler 1962 - pic 006.jpg

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User comments

Hi Steve and Mary! Hope this finds our "Chief Outerzoner's" doing well .. Here's a coupla snaps of my Desert Rat modded to be a "Monoline Trainer" so I can learn to fly monoline [005,006]. I used an OS .25 FSR on pressure w/ venturi and a home brew external monoline torque unit for simplicity.. it will fly on .026" 60 foot line and I think it's going to be pretty zippy.. Pics when the paints on it.. after the "Test Crash" ?? Special thanks to Ken Burdick at "Flying Lines" for help and encouragement.
Take care, Al and Danny Lee the greyhound.
Vintage Speedmaster handle "find" courtesy of Steve Wilk @ Eliminator Props
Alrob - 05/08/2020
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