About this Plan
Niblick. A/2 Nordic glider. Area 524 sqin. This plan was printed in Flying Models Decade of Designs (1), published 1960.
Quote: "From observation at our Sepulveda flying site, we found that towing was a big problem for those who were novices. Even those with a great deal of experience flying other types of models find this phase upsetting. With this under consideration, we decided on the need for an automatic return which would correct for any veering from a straight line. Thought, wire, solder and brass tubing produced a 'full action' auto-rudder which would correct in either direction. It has proven itself successful in calm and windy weather. The only caution we found necessary was to keep the line taut until the model was directly overhead.
The latter part is not difficult as many beginners have found. Niblick will go straight overhead which is where all good towline gliders should go. Properly built, the unit will take all of the 'thinking' out of the tow and stop that frantic side to side field running often necessary without a 'full action' auto-rudder. There are other means to accomplish a similar effect but we wanted something that was easy enough to work right from the start.
Performance is good and flights have averaged some 2 minutes and 40 seconds in dead air, which is quite satisfactory, we have been told. In competition the design placed 2nd and 3rd following a complicated, thin-winged, German design by only 8 seconds. There's not Much more to say.
Construction. Since the auto-rudder pull consists of two Dacron or nylon lines, the fuselage has to be hollow to contain them. We found that a fiberglass fishing rod was suited to this chore since it's hollow, tapered and lightweight. These rods are available through rod makers or fishing goods suppliers who sell blanks. It's possible at times to get rejects. Suitable pieces can be cut to the length required. Some modellers are using metal tubes. Of these, magnesium and titanium rate the highest while brass and aluminum won't take the gaff.
If none of the above are available, you can build a sheet balsa fuselage which follows the general contour shown on the plan. You will have to plan the side view so that the boom tapers on top from the trailin gedge of the wing to the leading edge of the stab. It will not have the strength of the fiberglass fishing rod but will work satisfactorily..."
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Update 24/01/2017: added article, thanks to RFJ.
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