Zenith (oz4839)


Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Lackey Zenith. Free flight gas model. The 1938 Senior Gas Event Champion.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Added alternate version of the plan, thanks to JJ. Quote: "Reproduced from Air Trails, Jan and Feb 1939, by WH Thompson."

Update 22/06/2020: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "A national champion, winner of the senior gas event. The Lackey Zenith, by Bill Lackey and Ed Manthy.

The Zenith, winner of the Senior Gas Model Event at the 1938 Nationals, was designed primarily as a contest model. The flight which made the first place was not the result of an overabundance of good luck, but represented the culmination of many months of labor, physical, oral, and mental on the part of William Lackey and Ed Manthy, designers and builders of the model.

The ship was an outgrowth of a 'test' model from which its two outstanding characteristics, durability and efficiency, were incorporated. On this test model, wing and tail sections were changed, structure was hashed and rehashed, and the wing position was varied from high wing to semiflush. Better performance was obtained with the wing in the latter position.

The original ship ran all the gantlets of model planes and survived them all. On some of its flights, numbering well over one hundred, it has picked for landing spots trees, telephone wires, and a lake. It also has had its share of ditches, plowed ground, haystacks, and shrubbery, all of which the model has accepted as a matter of course. Between times it has made consistently good flights, turning them in in the ratio of gliding time to time under power of eight to one, without the help of thermals. It has in its contest life to date never placed below third.

In building this ship, follow the instructions care-fully. This model, when completed, should give you many hours of flying pleasure.

CONSTRUCTION: The longerons are 3/16 square balsa, and should be straight, straight-grained, and hard. Uprights and diagonals are of the same material, except the two pieces of 3/16 x 1/2 in base at the nose. Pin temporarily, to the top longeron, a strip of pine (about 1/2 in in thickness by 4 ft in length) to keep it in a straight line while forming the sides. The sides are constructed by turning one over upon completion and building the other on it, using wax paper between them to prevent their sticking together when cementing the uprights in place.

Before joining the two sides together, form the landing gear of 1/8 music wire. If desired, the front strut may be made of 3/32 wire, as most of the shock in landing is taken care of by the rear strut..."

Supplementary file notes

Alternate plan.


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

Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - model pic

  • (oz4839)
    by Bill Lackey
    from Air Trails
    January 1939 
    76in span
    IC F/F
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 17/09/2013
    Filesize: 1599KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ
    Downloads: 2464

Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 003.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 004.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 005.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 006.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 007.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 008.jpg
Zenith (oz4839) by Bill Lackey 1939 - pic 009.jpg

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

User comments

Hello, Nearly 20 years ago I built a Lackey "Zenith" and I see that you do not have any modern pictures of the model. These may be of interest to your site [main pic, 006-009]. The engine is my own copy of the "Little Dynamite" ignition engine. The model is a beautiful and steady majestic free flight flyer.
Ken Croft - 25/11/2020
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.