Niblick (oz3343)


Niblick (oz3343) by Bob Hunter from Flying Models 1959 - plan thumbnail

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..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 24/01/2017: added article, thanks to RFJ.

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

Niblick (oz3343) by Bob Hunter from Flying Models 1959 - model pic

  • (oz3343)
    by Bob Hunter
    from Flying Models
    June 1959 
    72in span
    Glider F/F
    formers unchecked
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 19/09/2012
    Filesize: 278KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: hogal

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):


* 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, 2011-2021.

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.