30s Sportster (oz4760)


30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

30's Sportster. Radio control sport model.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Quote: "30s Sposrtster, by Tom Houle.

For relaxed R/C fun, nothing can beat a small, rudder-only, glow-powered parasol. Just be sure that the tempting small field near your home is a safe distance from the regular R/C airport!

The 30's Sportster had its beginning in my collection of AERO ERA plans, as a 14 inch span stick-and-tissue rubber powered design. The darn thing flew so well that I began to consider enlarging it for Ace pulse flying. Two years later (these things take time) I did enlarge the plans to 28 inch span. The nose arm was shortened and the fin was reworked slightly, but other than that, it is the same configuration as its rubber powered little brother.

Mine literally flew off the board, the only adjustments required were to add just a bit of nose weight and unwarp a wing panel that had taken a set due to overzealous doping and shrinking. Incidently, the Sportster will do very nicely as a free flight. Just don't get carried away and install a brand new TD .020. She'll do quite well with an anemic .020.

For those of you who like detailed how-to-do-it commentary, read on. For those of you who have built 'em 'all and don't need the commentary, proceed directly to the plans and start hacking.

I started with the fin and stabilizer because those are the two items I least like to make, Cut the stabilizer and fixed elevators from medium 3/32 sheet and butt glue together on a flat surface. Do likewise with the 2-piece fin. Cut out the rudder and hinge with Robart or thread hinges, ensuring that the fin can freely flap back and forth on its own weight. The fin must be free. Magnetic actuators typically have low output torque.

Set these aside and start the fuselage by cutting out and assembling all bulkheads. While these are dry-ing, you can cut out the sides from medium 1/16 sheet and install the 1/16 nose doublers - one right and one left. 1 personally like to run the doubler grain vertically, at 90° to the side grain, but take your choice here. You should also glue in the 1/16 x 1/4 upper side reinforcement strips at this time, butting them to the doublers.

After the bulkheads are dry, install the bulkheads in the cockpit area, ensuring that the fuselage is square. Next, bend the landing gear from 3/32 music wire and sew it to the 1/8 ply landing gear bulkhead. It's a good idea to coat the sewn wire with epoxy - just in case. Epoxy this bulkhead in place and wrap the fuselage with rubber bands to retain the bulkhead while the epoxy cures.

The 1/8 ply firewall with blind 2-56 nuts can be installed next, again using plenty of epoxy. In fact, I make it a habit to coat both sides of the firewall to prevent fuel soaking into the plywood. Install the firewall with 0° and downthrust, unless you must install a super-hot engine. In which case, add a couple of degrees of down and right thrust..."

Update 27/03/2020: Added article, thanks to Pit.

Supplementary file notes



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30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - model pic

  • (oz4760)
    30s Sportster
    by Tom Houle
    from Model Builder (ref:7782)
    July 1978 
    29in span
    IC R/C Parasol
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 17/08/2013
    Filesize: 670KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 2058

30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - pic 003.jpg
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30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - pic 006.jpg
30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - pic 007.jpg
30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - pic 008.jpg
30s Sportster (oz4760) by Tom Houle 1978 - pic 009.jpg

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User comments

Here are some photos of my recently completed 30's Sportster by Tom Houle (oz4760) [main pic & 006-009]. It looked like a good candidate for conversion from a single channel with Cox Pee Wee power to a 3-channel electric and that's proven to be the case. Mine is fitted with an 1811 2000KV brushless motor, 7 x 3.5" prop, 7A ESC and a 450mAh 2S LiPo for flight times of about 15 minutes. It's otherwise pretty much as per the plan apart from the control surfaces and a slightly deeper forward spar to tolerate the additional loads from enthusiastic use of the elevator. Covering is tissue and dope and the all up weight is 170g (6.0oz). It's quite sensitive to control deflection so I had to reduce the travel a lot from my original guess. It now flies very smoothly but being so light obviously prefers calmer conditions. Thanks again for all your hard work.
Ian Salmon - 28/02/2023
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  • 30s Sportster (oz4760)
  • Plan File Filesize: 670KB Filename: 30s_Sportster-MB-07-78_oz4760.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2044KB Filename: 30s_Sportster-MB-07-78_oz4760_article.pdf
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