Aeronca C-3 (oz4693)


Aeronca C-3 (oz4693) by Ralph Fidance 1966 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Aeronca C-3. Scale model for radio control, with .09 Enya power. Scale is 1/8.

Quote: "Somehow the old Air-Knocker manages to maintain its hold on the imagination of our scale modelers. Aeronca C-3, by Ralph Fidance, with text by Bill Northrop.

If there ever was a contest to pick a company-manufactured airplane that looked more like a home-built job than any other. the old 'Flying Bathtub,' Aeronca C-3, would have won hands down.

Actually, winning such a contest could in no way be considered insulting to the designer and builders of the 'Air-Knocker', because the aim was to produce an extremely light-weight and very simple flying machine ihat wasn't priced out of the working man's reach.

The prototype was built in 1924 by JA Roche, an engineer at the Army's McCook Field. The Aeronautical Corporation of America, located in Cincinnati, first produced the 30 hp single seat version known as the C-2. The two seat C-3, starting with the 'Razorback' style which is the subject of this construction article, was in production from 1931 to 1936.The 1931 version. the one Ralph has modeled, was a bare minimum airplane. The landing gear was rigid, depending entirely on fat, donut air wheels to absorb shocks. There were no brakes, a simple spring-leaf, fixed tail skid, and only enough engine instruments to tell you whether the putt-putt was hot, cold or indifferent. Flight instrumentation consisted of an altimeter, (Would you believe a weighted clothesline with a knot every five feet?) Price was $1,730.

The 1935 and '36 model was revised considerably, going to a fully enclosed cabin, single strut shock absorbing gear, and steerable tail wheel. The engine was Aeronca's own 36 hp opposed twin, and this, combined with the ultra-light loading and high aspect ratio wing produced what could be called a powered glider, capable of soaring under favorable conditions.

The full scale ship on the cover of this issue is of this latter type and belongs to the owner of Summit Aviation Inc, Richard C (Kip) du Pont Jr, son of the well known glider pilot. Kip's plane is maintained in operating condition, and not long ago was flying formation with Tony Wilford's (he's known as the East Coast Orbit Fixer) Fox .59 powered Jenny. The Fox had to be cut down to about half throttle in order to hold the Jenny back to the C-3's flying speed.

Although model builders in the mid-twenties were having most success with twin pushers, it would seem that Mr Roche must have been thinking of future scale enthusiasts when he cooked up the C-3. A simple, straight forward design, the Air-Knocker has a high thrust line, generous tail surfaces, short, stubby nose-overless landing gear, and lots of high aspect ratio wing area.

A second glance, however, does uncover a problem in the short nose moment followed immediately by the large open cockpit. First of all, the short nose creates difficulty in maintaining the balance point. Secondly, the short nose also becomes as crowded as a 15-student telephone booth by the iime you cram in an engine, tank and batteries. And thirdly, about 99 per cent of the wing sits over the open cockpit, presenting quite a mounting situation.

Be that as it may, our intrepid single-channel specialist has, with great perseverance (you remember the Great Percy, don't you?) defeated the aforesaid problems and has come up with the cutest R/C scale model to appear in a long time. Plans are 3-1/2 inch to the foot scale, having been doubled from the famous Cleveland Model 3/4 inch scale kit plans. The resulting fuselage is 3-1/2 to 4 inches wide in the cockpit..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to theshadow.


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

Aeronca C-3 (oz4693) by Ralph Fidance 1966 - model pic

  • (oz4693)
    Aeronca C-3
    by Ralph Fidance
    from Model Airplane News
    October 1966 
    54in span
    Scale IC R/C Cabin
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 02/08/2013
    Filesize: 727KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ
    Downloads: 5054

  • Aeronca_C-3 | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
    Test link:
    search RCLibrary 3views (opens in new window)

    ScaleType: This (oz4693) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

    If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.

    ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is
    Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
    For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Aeronca C-3 (oz4693) by Ralph Fidance 1966 - pic 003.jpg
Aeronca C-3 (oz4693) by Ralph Fidance 1966 - pic 004.jpg
Aeronca C-3 (oz4693) by Ralph Fidance 1966 - pic 005.jpg

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, 2011-2024.

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.