Galahad (oz5551)


Galahad (oz5551) by Frank Knowles from Mercury, Aeromodeller 1960 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Mercury Galahad. Radio control sport model. This is a modern CAD-redrawn plan. Mercury Models 'Galahad' RC model. Wingspan 54in, wing area 475 sq in, designed for 1.5 to 2.5cc engines.

Quote: "Steve; please find attached a copy of the Mercury Galahad, which I don't think you have on your OUTERZONE web site as yet. The [small, low res] scan is of a page from an Aeromodeller annual which I have traced and enlarged to the appropriate size using AUTOCAD. I attach all files for your use as you see fit."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 22/07/2016: "Instructions for Building and Flying" added, thanks to DeeBee1.

Update 24/03/2021: Added review (of the Ben Buckle kit) from R/C Model Flyer, October 2001, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "Test Pilot: A traditional build classic. 54 inch span, 3-channel R/C, for .15/.20 power. Reviewed by Ken 'Impact' Swailes

Remember the Mercury Galahad? Lotsa dihedral, free flight, or single channel bang-bang radio? Then you must be approaching the same state of decrepitude that I am. You could do worse than build another one -and fly it with the luxury of modern radio.

The kit is typical from the Buckle stable, with bandsawn parts and all the basic hardware. No tank, wheels, or spinner. Recommended for .10-20 size motors, though I reckon the .10 might be struggling a bit. I used an Enya .19, simply because I had one handy! There's no need to go over this size, the .19 (also fairly ancient) is more than adequate.

Fuselage: Start with the two sides built edge to edge, having drilled the wing and tail dowel holes first, and make up the fuz formers. When set, join the sides over the plan back to the wing trailing edge position and let it set hard. Bring the tail ends together and hold the rear sides straight with hardwood strips or similar. While its all held straight, add the lower crosspieces and rear decking parts and top stringers. A blue SLEC tank fits nicely in the front end, held in place by the motor mount - but a word of advice here wouldn't go amiss!

The method of motor mounting is known as a breakaway plate. This means when you hit something hard, the plate breaks and the motor survives. Use the aluminium plate supplied at your peril. The ali is difficult to shape and drill - and is the only part that won't break in a crash. Which is daft. Bin it, or use it to reinforce your motorbike - make a plate from paxolin instead!

Decide at this point how you want the model to look eventually. The Galahad is one of those models that lends its shape to all sorts of possibilities. The German fighter theme I used, is just one of them. It's not too far off the shape of a Pawnee crop-duster either and, with struts on the top of the wigs and a suitable finish, it could be quite passable as such. A little hopper for talcum powder in front of the wing mounting and you can really go to town!

Wings and tail: The tailplane and fin are all built from strip with a sheet rudder. Increase the rudder area by about 25% to give smoother control. The tail can be banded on or glued - take your pick. The wings are simple spars and ribs type construction with sheeted leading edges back to the main spat to give a 'D' box section. Glue the sheet to the leading edge only, first, and let it dry. Then water spray the top surface of the sheet, add the glue to the ribs and spar and weight it all down flat with heavy things. The undercarriage mounting blocks will need to be drilled and grooved before fitting in place. Make up the undercarriage wires and jig them before soldering. Nothing looks worse than out of line wheels!

Covering is a matter of taste. Film is fine, whilst dope and nylon tells everyone your age. We used Solartex to get the right colours, fuelproofed with Rustins plastic floor covering, sprayed on, (local DIY shop) waterslide decals and another coat of Rustins.

Balance as per plan and set up for 10mm each way on the elevator
and 25mm each way on the ruddder, full rates.

Flying: Flying the Galahad is a rewarding affair, with realistic take-off and fuss-free flight. The dihedral makes it super stable and self-righting, and she is a delight to putter about with, low down and slow.

The kit supplied to us was not exactly a pre-production one, but
it was from the first batch of kits. One or two niggles were brought to the notice of the manufacturer, these being wrong sections on the trailing edge stock and centre ribs that didn't fit - plus the awful aforementioned aluminium motor plate! As I write, Colin Buckle has these items in hand. Whatever you do, please don't be tempted to reduce the dihedral and fit ailerons, as you'll ruin the essential character of this vintage(ish) gem."

Supplementary file notes


CAD file

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Galahad (oz5551) by Frank Knowles from Mercury, Aeromodeller 1960 - model pic

  • (oz5551)
    by Frank Knowles
    from Mercury, Aeromodeller
    54in span
    IC R/C LowWing
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
  • Submitted: 02/05/2014
    Filesize: 320KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap • CADfile
    Credit*: MarkWinstanley

Galahad (oz5551) by Frank Knowles from Mercury, Aeromodeller 1960 - pic 003.jpg
Galahad (oz5551) by Frank Knowles from Mercury, Aeromodeller 1960 - pic 004.jpg
Galahad (oz5551) by Frank Knowles from Mercury, Aeromodeller 1960 - pic 005.jpg

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User comments

See the RCLibrary page at for free download of the complete book 'Radio Control Big Four' from 1964, which contains 13 pages of text and photos detailing building and flying the Mercury Galahad, written by Frank Knowles himself. Includes radio installation, also full details on how to add an aileron wing.
SteveWMD - 24/11/2015
Added a couple of nice pics of the finished model, thanks to George Slocombe [model photo & more pics 006].
Mary - 18/10/2019
I built the Galahad from a Mercury kit in 1973. It was initially fitted with an ED Racer diesel and used a home built 2 channel RCME digital radio with Horizon servos.
It crashed after the first few flights because a club "expert" decided to show everyone how it would fly itself by placing the transmitter on the ground. The RCME transmitter used the center loaded antenna and ground capacitance as the tuned circuit for the power output. Of course it immediately lost RF power. I rebuilt it with a Futaba radio, a tricycle UC, and an OS 19. It flew well. I have also built 1/2 A versions with Ace foam wings and TD 049.
I will upload the H. J. Nichols building instructions.
Eric Willis - 04/04/2021
For a moment, I thought that was Bucky Walter's Galahad dressed up like a Bf109. See and
Tom Ryan - 10/04/2021
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Download File(s):
  • Galahad (oz5551)
  • Plan File Filesize: 320KB Filename: Galahad_54in_oz5551.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 642KB Filename: Galahad_54in_oz5551_instructions.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3192KB Filename: Galahad_54in_oz5551_review_RCMF.pdf
  • CAD Zip Filesize: 28KB Filename:
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