Tadpole (oz3685)


Tadpole (oz3685) by Eric Clutton from RCME 1965 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Tadpole. Tailless RC model for .020 engine and single channel.

Quote: "JUST a year ago I built a tiny TD-01 powered Me. 163 rocket fighter. This proved so successful - I flew it six times and lost it on each occasion - that I knew it would be a natural for R/C!

The Me had a profile fuselage, so a purely functional sheet box was built, a swept wing of greater area added and 'Tadpole' was born. The extra weight of radio gear prompted me to use a TD-02, originally with the integral tank and later with a separate metal tank.

I had been lucky enough to obtain one of the new Futaba F4-LR receivers and the fuselage was designed around this and Citizenship compound escapement. The combination is highly successful but there are several alternative receivers and escapements available.

Wing. Tadpole's wing section is virtually a flat plate so we can get away with not having any washout on the wing. The drill is to cut each half wing panel to shape and then taper each one in thickness from root to tip as shown on the plan. I find that a razor-blade plane followed up with a flat file does the trick in a few minutes, The next job is to carve each wing-half to section and the same two tools can be used. A touch of sandpaper and a quick rub of the file across the root end grain to produce the dihedral angle and the wing is nearly finished!

Mark out the elevons and cut across the grain. The hinge line is formed by a V-cut an the top surface - fill this with cement and bend the elevons up as shown on the drawing. A couple of pins will hold them at the correct angle while the glue is setting. It is important that both elevons are bent up the same amount. Pre-cement the wing roots before gluing the wing halves together and reinforcing with a strip of nylon fabric. Cover the whole wing with lightweight tissue doped on to prevent splitting, and the hardest part is done.

Fuselage. The fuselage needs little description, being a simple sheet box. The weight of the radio gear is important on a small model and a receiver working on 3 volts is to be preferred. If you can get away with using U-16 batteries so much the better (I used normal size pencells originally, but as the model gained weight during its life I switched to U-16s). No switch was used on the original and the Rx was simply plugged in when required. This simplifies the wiring, is light, and is something less to go wrong..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article page is included in the planfile.


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

Tadpole (oz3685) by Eric Clutton from RCME 1965 - model pic

  • (oz3685)
    by Eric Clutton
    from RCME
    May 1965 
    31in span
    IC R/C
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 18/11/2012
    Filesize: 315KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: AllanWarner

Tadpole (oz3685) by Eric Clutton from RCME 1965 - pic 003.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email admin@outerzone.co.uk

User comments

Thanks, Steve for the fantastic work you are doing in preserving these plans. The plans here state for .020 and the author used a Cox .020 Tee Dee to power it, although I don't see why one couldn't use a milder .049 like a Cox reed valve engine, put prop on backwards, or use a throttle.
ghostler - 19/11/2015
Thanks George, have fixed the text description, now.
SteveWMD - 19/11/2015
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.