About this Plan
Pronto. Radio control low-wing sports model. MAN August 1972. 48in span, 384 sq in wing area, for .15 to .25 power.
Quote: "Welcome to the Pronto! Since you have decided to read this, it is a fair assumption that you are already somewhat interested, and are seeking enlightenment. First, I would like to establish a few things about the Pronto - for example, it will not fly the complete FM Pattern with near perfection, and therefore is not the optimum Pattern design for 1972. Also, it is not the perfect trainer for a potential modeler who wishes to learn to fly alone and unaided (more on this later).
Now that I have eliminated the major reasons for most new designs, perhaps I ought to fill in with a little background on the Pronto. Pronto dates back to the early spring of 1971, when it was designed to fill a gap that I feel exists in our selection of Sport models. Okay! I realize that a Sport model can be almost anything from a scale, six-foot P-51 to the Junior Falcon (oz8144) rudder-only it kind of depends on individual taste. Sometimes it also seems that a model is tagged as a Sport design or 'Sunday flyer' because it doesn't cut the mustard as an adequate Pattern ship by modern standards. The Pronto was designed with the following requirements in mind:
1) It looks like a real airplane.
2) Fast, easy construction.
3) Small, economical engine requirements.
4) Good qualities as a trainer, especially to prepare a modeler for the advanced low-wing Stunt planes.
5) Fun to fly in a confined area with undeveloped runways.
The optimum arrangement with the Pronto seems to be when it is equipped with a 3-channel control set-up, and powered with a good .15 engine. At one extreme, it does OK with an .09 and rudder only, and at the other extreme it goes like a bat when powered with a strong .23! As of now, about 25 Prontos have been built and flown by a variety of people with various skill levels, and all have expressed pleasure with it.
Perhaps its strongest area is as a pure 'fun' airplane for the pilot with some stick time who is looking for a change of pace. Earlier, I pointed out the Pronto's unsuitability as a Pattern aircraft. Actually that is misleading 'cause the Pronto can be a very maneuverable airplane in skilled hands. For a full Scale parallel, watch a hot pilot wring out a J-3 Cub at near ground zero altitudes. The Pronto instills that same feeling of confidence in your plane. The maneuvers you do may not be 'ten pointers' but they still look great to the crowd of uninformed spectators.
Construction Tips: Rather than go into a blow-by-blow construction article, I would rather discuss a few points of interest and importance. First, the basic construction - I have found it a big help to sort of cut out a 'kit' of parts before actual assembly is begun..."
This is a pdf file that includes 3 pages of the original designer's drawings, along with a 4th page full-size plan blown up from the MAN article page.
Update 13/05/2016: Added article, thanks to RFJ.
Update 17/10/2020: Added kit review (of the Tidewater Hobbies kit) from Flying Models, July 1995, thanks to RFJ.
Supplementary file notes
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by Dave Robelen
from Model Airplane News
IC R/C LowWing
all formers complete :)
got article :)
Found online 02/11/2011 at:
Format: • PDFbitmap
Credit*: BanjoTX, kingconsulting, 50+AirYears, Ralph B
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User commentsHi, Steve. If you can stand one more photo of my builds, here is a photo of the Pronto I built from plans in 1986 [see more pics 003]. Power was an Enya .15 and control was per the plans (REM). It was a very fun flier for many years, and could do just about any maneuver not requiring ailerons. It's also a very good small-field airplane that I flew from the local soccer pitch until the neighbors call the police. The plans call out .09 to .23 engines, but I think the airplane would be a real dog with anything less than a .15. Keep the weight under 40 oz. and the Pronto will jump out of the grass after a short takeoff run. I finally wore this one out after five years of regular flying (and one trip through the utility lines adjacent to our field), so anyone building a Pronto will get his money's worth. As a side note, this pic was taken at the old Paramount Ranch motor-racing track, in southern California, which was where the sports-car race scenes in the film 'Munsters Go Home' and a host of other films were done in the 1950s and 60s. Thanks again for a great site! Regards,
Moeregaard - 26/05/2015
Steve - Thanks for a fantastic website! Here is a picture of a couple of Dave Robelen's Pronto that my flying buddy Charlie Bishop and I built from plans we downloaded from Outerzone [more pics 005].
DavidBeazley - 13/05/2016
Attached are some photos of my Dave Robelen Pronto, oz1740 [more pics 006-010]. It has been a regular flyer since 2014. I built it as a 3 channel aircraft per the plans and I built an additional wing with ailerons. It flies well either way but I think it is a bit more fun to fly on three channels than it it is to fly on four. It has flown with an Enya .19 TV (the very same engine I had in a Pronto in 1984), a McCoy .19, a Fuji .19 and, its current power plant, a Veco .19. The fuselage and empennage are covered with silkspan and finished with butyrate dope. The aileron-less wing is covered with cub yellow solartex while the wing with ailerons is covered with Silron and finished with butyrate dope. All photos taken by Dan Clune.
DougWeaver_Buffalo_NY - 29/01/2019
The electric version of the Pronto, sold by Hobby Lobby, was my first attempt at RC. Power was a belt drive with a Mabuchi(?) brushed motor and six sub-C nicads. I was about 14 and I didn't have a clue about weight...it came out a brick. My dad and I would endlessly try taking off from the pavement at a school field and always end up with a ground loop. I think once it flew about 10 feet in a short hop but it was hopelessly too heavy. I finally gave up and had some decent success with a Goldberg Electra. It would be fun to build a new one at about 1/3 the original weight to redeem this past experience.
Charlie - 04/04/2020
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