Wanderer 72 (oz4100)


Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Wanderer 72. Radio control soarer. For 2 channel RC. Wing area 553 sqin, Weight with radio 25oz.

Quote: "Hi, Steve. Please find attached the plan for the Wanderer sailplane. This is the original, 72in version designed by Mark Smith and kitted by Marks' Models in the mid-1970s. No rib templates shown for the tapered portion of the wings, but any capable scratch builder will figure things out. Back in 'the day' one could get into R/C soaring for less than $100, with a Wanderer kit and a cheap two-channel radio. Very easy to build and repair, the Wanderer probably got more people into soaring back then than any other design."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 22/08/2018: Added PDFvector plan tracing and dxf CAD file, thanks to AlanSinclair.

Quote: "Hello, Sorry it took longer than expected to get the Wanderer 72 plans straighten out ... I rearranged the plans a bit and added a fin and rudder mod that I did on my Wanderer. Have a great day. Alan"

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 16/10/2018: Replaced dxf CAD file with a revised version (filename ending in v2), this is purged of all links to external files, thanks to AlanSinclair.

Update 12/03/2020: Added kit review from July 1977 RCM, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "RCM Product Test: Mark's Models Wanderer.

The Wanderer is a 72 inch span sailplane manufactured by Mark's Models. The kit is recommended, by the manufacturer, as a trainer for the novice. With 553 square inches of wing area there is plenty of surface to keep the Wanderer airborne even in the lightest of lift. The Wanderer utilizes a flat bottom airfoil for good penetration and ease of assembly.

The wing uses a constant chord center section with double taper tip panels forming the polyhedral. Two channels are used controlling rudder and elevator; and there is plenty of room in the nose for most radio installations including bricks. The kit construction is conventional and very straightforward using balsa and spruce throughout. The beginner should have no trouble building the Wanderer with its good clear plans and the well written instruction booklet. There is also a nice sheet of informative construction photos which cover all major steps taken in constructing this kit. The plans even show the optional installation of a small engine, however, no materials are included in the kit for this conversion.

The kit included a set of nicely die-cut wing ribs and bulkheads and accurately pre-shaped fuselage sides, fin/rudder, elevator and wing tip blocks. It was also very surprising to see such fine quality materials used in so inexpensive a kit.

The kit included little hardware, a tow hook and a set of die-cut plywood control horns, but this is to be expected considering the price. Construction was fast and accurate and the wing was especially easy to build using two heavy spruce spars and one-piece construction. The wing panels are completed and butt glued at the center and covered with a layer of heavy fiberglass cloth which is included in the kit.

The Wanderer flew 'right off the board' and amazingly well at that, recording a smooth 7 minute, 45 second first 'untrimmed' flight. The Wanderer is quite at home on the slope and has recorded many one hour plus flights, limited only by the batteries. Our RCM prototype weighed 27 ounces in-cluding one ounce of ballast.

The key to the Wanderer's good flight performance is its ability to turn extremely well. It is very easy to work light thermals and land on the slope with a sailplane that turns so well. The wings are very strong and have been tested in attempts to dive out of lift as well as numerous stunts on the slope.

The beginner should have no trouble flying the Wanderer as it is very stable, responsive, and forgiving. The Wanderer can be slowed down considerably for spot landing or training, but with a touch of down, it moves quickly and penetrates well.

The Wanderer is an overall excellent sailplane for both slope and thermal flying. It should be a good trainer for the novice, as well as a good inexpensive sport plane for the expert."

Update 05/06/2020: Added kit instructions along with build pics scan, thanks to Michael Whidden.

Supplementary file notes

Build pics (2 pages).
Instructions (12 pages).
Templates file, showing wing ribs, thanks to EricM.
VectorPDF plan tracing.

CAD file

This plan is available for download in CAD format.


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Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - model pic

  • (oz4100)
    Wanderer 72 
    by Mark Smith
    from Marks Models
    72in span
    Glider R/C Kit
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
  • Submitted: 07/03/2013
    Filesize: 557KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap • PDFvector • CADfile
    Credit*: Moeregaard, AlanSinclair
    Downloads: 7855

Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 003.jpg
Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 004.jpg
Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 005.jpg
Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 006.jpg
Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 007.jpg
Wanderer 72 (oz4100) by Mark Smith 1975 - pic 008.jpg

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User comments

When I was in my teens in the mid/late '70s, Wanderers were everywhere and our local hobby shop couldn't keep them on the shelf. They seem to fly well even when poorly constructed.
Moeregaard - 08/03/2013
There is a post on RCGroups by tinkrerpilot with some useful drawings of the (76in?) Wanderer wing ribs here - http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=11802480&postcount=18 but they will need scaling up.
SteveWMD - 08/07/2013
Steve, Here is a link to the construction manual for the Wanderer. It includes layout of all of the wing ribs as as all of the parts. They do need to be scaled to the correct size. http://manuals.hobbico.com/dyf/dyfa3901-wanderer-manual.pdf This looks like a good model to add e-power by replacing the cos .049 shown on the plans.
Keith - 24/02/2014
Hi, Steve. Here’s a photo of a friend’s Wanderer taken in 1977, from the hill where we spent our teenage years [see more pics 003]. Our neighborhood in southern California had not yet been fully developed, and every day after school you could find a bunch us up there flying Wanderers, Windwards and other designs from that era. We also installed a Cox Tee Dee .051 with a 3/4-oz. fuel tank on my brother’s Wanderer, and that took it almost out of sight. I’d recommend this airplane as a first scratch build, and it’s still a great trainer. Just pick good wood for the wing spars.
Moeregaard - 08/12/2014
I first learned to fly at the Bean Field, then at Bluff Cove, one of the best spots in So Cal. My friend had a Wanderer and I had an Astro Flight Malibu. I rebuilt that plane several times. I wish I had a plan for the Malibu nowadays.
Chris - 09/12/2014
Supplement to plan #4100: Version you have online looks like original M.M. The later is by Dynaflite. The attachment is for the ribs. The original die crushed ribs are poorly sized for assembly. The airfoil used on the Wander does not seem to conform to any particular standard like Clark "Y". looks as though they were drawn with a French curve and voile' there you have an airfoil. (See attached file: Wanderer_72_templates.pdf)
EricM - 30/03/2015
Getting back into the hobby and this plane is still the easy fling, sturdy platform I remember [see more pics 004, 005].
EricM - 08/07/2015
Added nice picture of completed model, thanks to Alf Britchford [more pics 006].
Mary - 27/05/2017
Hey Steve, Just a note to let you know that the DFX file will not open with Turbo Cad 15. Thank You for all you have done for the model airplane community, it is truly a gift to all of us.
JoeHayes - 30/09/2018
The CAD format files are really outside my expertise. I have to say I tried a few years back to use a couple of (older and cheaper) versions of Turbocad as a viewer, and frankly I struggled to open some files that came along. At the moment I open and view CAD files using the free version of Draftsight from Dassault (my version shows as '2018 x64 SP0'), works OK for me. Beyond that, I can't really speak on this topic. But maybe you could try open this file in Draftsight then export from there to a different format?
SteveWMD - 30/09/2018
Please let me know what compatible AutoCAD DXF format Turbo CAD 15 uses and I'll see what I can do. The current file is AutoCAD 2010.
AlanSinclair - 30/09/2018
Many thank to Alan for revised version of the CAD file, also to Miguel for feedback on this.
SteveWMD - 16/10/2018
On my RCGroups blog page there is a 14-post build log I wrote up while building the Wanderer about 2 years ago from an original 1976 kit. It covers the build from box to flight. See https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=620357
Michael Whidden - 05/06/2020
Hi Steve, I was bouncing around the internet recently when I saw the black and white photo of the Wanderer and Kraft Sport Series transmitter. I suddenly realized upon closer inspection that it was my airplane! I built the model and wrote the review in 1977 when I was 17 and still in high school. A neighbor worked for RCM as a contributing editor and often gave me kits for review. The pictured model was covered in opaque yellow and transparent red MonoKote. It was very pretty and flew like a dream. Wish I still had it.
Eric Strengell - 15/10/2020
I built two of them. The second time, in the 1990s, I made the fin and rudder built up and put lightening holes in the elevator. It required no ballast in the nose. With micro servos and 225mAh nicads it came out at 17oz. Total floater.
David V Saenz - 16/06/2023
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Download File(s):
  • Wanderer 72 (oz4100)
  • Plan File Filesize: 557KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 326KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_build_pics.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2780KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_instructions.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1692KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_review.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 42KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_templates.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 236KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_vector.pdf
  • CAD Zip Filesize: 124KB Filename: Wanderer_72_oz4100_CAD_v2.zip
  • help with downloads


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