TNT - The No Tow (oz5390)


TNT - The No Tow (oz5390) by Bob Wallace 1977 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

No Tow (TNT). Powered sport sailplane for .09 - .10 engine. From RCM Magazine, June 1977.

Quote: "The No Tow was conceived, designed and built in an effort to produce a sport sailplane that would not require a tow winch, high start, or power pod; would be easy to fly; possess small field capability; be inexpensive to build; and of simple proven construction techniques.

If you are fortunate enough to live in one of the few areas where a suitable slope soaring site is available, this would be an easy order to fill. However, Central Connecticut, like most of the country, is not blessed with such an area; nor are conditions in Connecticut regularly favorable to thermal soaring.

I did not want to be dependent upon a tow winch or high start and it was my feeling that a power pod attached to any sailplane had the same aesthetic effect as strapping a step ladder on the roof of a sports car! A drop-off type of parachute equipped pod was also rejected as it eliminated flying from small fields (unless you buy your engines and pods by the dozen). Have you ever retrieved one from a tall tree or searched for one in a corn field?

It was, therefore, decided that a throttle equipped engine, conventionally mounted in the nose of a sailplane, offered the best solution. The engine chosen (because I happened to own one) was an O.S. Max .10 with throttle; although any other throttle equipped .09-.10 engine would work equally as well.

The advantages of installing a throttle equipped engine are obvious. You can climb rapidly to any desired altitude and either throttle back to idle, or shut the engine down, via the throttle trim lever. You'll be amazed at how long a .10 engine will idle on a two ounce tank! The throttle equipped engine also gives you the added advantage of flying out of very small fields where landing could be a problem. With throttle, you can simply 'go round' if you're high on final approach or give it a touch of throttle if you're low.

Regarding the construction methods, a cursory glance at the plans quickly indicates that building TNT is rapid and utilizes basic concepts.

The flight qualities of TNT are outstanding as it does not possess any bad characteristics or traits. The plans show relatively large radio components installed (World Engines S-11 servos and a 500 MAH battery pack). TNT flies fine with the gear which is shown. If you own the smaller size components —so much the better.

If you're looking for a relaxing fun type aircraft, that can be flown without the bother of setting up a winch or high start, out of any small field, and is not reliant on thermal activity for length flights — why not build a TNT?

Contstruction. Start by making the two rib templates out of aluminum or plywood. Make two sets of 13 ribs (one set for each wing panel) according to the plan details. Now take each pair of ribs and pin them together. Sand off the angular segment on the top and front of each pair of ribs. File the spar notches square to the ribs. Unpin the stack.

Wing. Cut the bottom 1/16 in leading and trailing edge sheet pieces and pin them in place over the plan. Be sure your building surface is absolutely flat. The center section 1/16 sheet and bottom 3/16 x 1/16 rib cap strips are now added..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 24/05/2015: Replaced this plan with a clearer copy, thanks to theshadow.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to RFJ. Also, previous scan version.


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TNT - The No Tow (oz5390) by Bob Wallace 1977 - model pic

  • (oz5390)
    TNT - The No Tow
    by Bob Wallace
    from RCMplans (ref:688)
    June 1977 
    72in span
    IC Glider R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 09/03/2014
    Filesize: 455KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: DaveStroble, theshadow
    Downloads: 5519

TNT - The No Tow (oz5390) by Bob Wallace 1977 - pic 003.jpg

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User comments

Hi. Has any of the RC community built the TNT as an electric model? I have started construction and would be interested to find out the electronics used.
IanPeters - 25/08/2016
Hi Ian, How did you on with the build in the end? I've just started building one, and am weighing up using a glow engine or going the brushless motor way.
All the best, Greg
Greg Browning - 28/03/2023
Almost finished with a TNT with a Super Tiger X.11. Finishing fuselage bright with marine varnish to show off planked turtle deck. I am adding my own larger carved 'Hoerner' wing tips. Build is turning out heavy, but lighter LiIon battery pack and micro servos are making up for that. Should have printed plan at 99% since the wings came out 72 1/4". Pay attention to wing tip washout blocks in plans! I also had trouble with cockpit construction.
John - 29/04/2023
I kinda sorta built a TNT. My dad had built a neat elliptical dihedral wing looking for a home. I drew up the tail and fuselage of the TNT from the RCM magazine plan and built the fuselage using this stuff called “foam core”. (If memory serves this was about 1978, just after it was published.) Powered with a Cox R/C Medallion .09 it did pretty well, but my foam core fuse was not up to the rigors of a glow engine long term. Electric power would have just been feasible at the time. For you youngsters reading this, back then electric planes were mostly a novelty and usually powered gliders. Anything sporty required an expensive cobalt motor, a load of equally spendy SCCR nicads, and you were rewarded with a 3-5 minute flight. We have it so good now.
Dave - 01/02/2024
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  • TNT - The No Tow (oz5390)
  • Plan File Filesize: 455KB Filename: TNT-RCM-06-77_688_oz5390.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1176KB Filename: TNT-RCM-06-77_688_oz5390_article.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 418KB Filename: TNT-RCM-06-77_688_oz5390_previous.pdf
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