Northern Light F1J (oz15378)


Northern Light F1J (oz15378) by Bruce Augustus 1995 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Northern Light F1J. Free flight power model. Wingspan 54 in, wing area 330 sq in.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 27/6/2024: Added article, thanks to Pit.

Quote: "F1J is perhaps the fastest-growing free flight event. Originally comprised mainly of 1/2A fliers, it has now attracted participants from most of the power classes, including F1C (the large FAI power class). The event is flown at most major AMA and FAI contests, and beginning in 1995 it has been included in the prestigious America's Cup competition. And it has been
suggested that Fl C should be mpb.ced by F1J for the Junior World Champs.

Two schools of thought have evolved concerning the best way to design an F1J model. One group believes that since F1C airplanes are the epitome of power models, it stands to reason that a good F1J should emulate F1C. So a group of mini-F1C designs has come about, best represented by Bill Lynch's Pegasus and Dave Parsons' Cathexis Redux. These airplanes are high-aspect-ratio, full-bunting, synthetic material, technological wonders, and they fly very well indeed.

The other school of thought, represented by Northern Light, is that the rules of FIJ are much different from those of F1C and so the designs should take advantage of the rules. The FIJ rules are more like AMA Gas than FM. so I began the design process with an AMA-type airplane. Exotic materials are not needed for strength nor to meet a minimum weight. In spite of the availability of space-age materials, models built from balsa arc still the lightest 1/2A airplanes.

Northern Light has been under development since October 1989. The design objective was to build a simple fixed-tail F1J that would fly as well as an auto surface airplane.

One goal was to avoid dependence on complex mechanical devices such as heavy multifunction timers, and therefore have an airplane that was reliable and easy to fly. The requirements demanded inherent stability, low drag, and light weight.

Maybe its old-fashioned, but I still believe you can achieve ultra-high-performance with careful design and fixed geometry. I will concede that perhaps ultimate performance can be achieved only with ultimate-technology equipment, but one of the chief attractions of FIJ over F1 C is that ultimate performance is not yet necessary. With only five rounds to fly, the contests always finish in one day and we fly the long flyoff rounds in the afternoon instead of a 10-minute dawn flyoff as in F1C. So the event still frequently boils down to thermal picking.

The current (third) version of this design differs from the prototype on only minor ways. Covering material and stab size were changed, the pylon has been lowered and narrowed, and a timer-start button has been added.

Airframe drag is minimized by the use of tapered-tube fuselage, built-up pylon and fin, recessed timer, internal fuel bladder, and internal DT and rudder lines. The built-up pylon and fin have lower drag than flat structures and are less critical to construction misalignment..."

Supplementary file notes



Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Northern Light F1J (oz15378) by Bruce Augustus 1995 - model pic

  • (oz15378)
    Northern Light F1J
    by Bruce Augustus
    from Model Aviation
    June 1995 
    54in span
    IC F/F Pylon
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 29/05/2024
    Filesize: 1076KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: GeorgeGilbert
    Downloads: 190

Northern Light F1J (oz15378) by Bruce Augustus 1995 - pic 003.jpg
Northern Light F1J (oz15378) by Bruce Augustus 1995 - pic 004.jpg
Northern Light F1J (oz15378) by Bruce Augustus 1995 - pic 005.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

No comments yet for this plan. Got something to say about this one?
Add a comment



Download File(s):
  • Northern Light F1J (oz15378)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1076KB Filename: Northern_Light_F1J_oz15378.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2584KB Filename: Northern_Light_F1J_oz15378_article.pdf
  • help with downloads


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


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.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.