Live Wire Trainer (oz5554)


Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Live Wire Trainer. Radio control trainer model. Wingspan 48 in, wing area 432 sq in. for .09 engines, diesel or glow.

Quote: "The 'Live Wire RC Trainer' has been developed as a full fledged radio control model aircraft from the ground up, every aspect of its design is meant for controlled flight and in no way is it a converted model of any sort. Its design incorporates exceptional stability, instantaneous maneuverability, controlled climb and is broad enough for all radio applications. The construction is simple and straightforward to provide ruggedness and ease of construction with a long life span. It is offered as a trainer because of its relatively small size which takes up less room, its simplicity of assembly which allows it to be quickly built, its fool proof flight characteristics which allow the rankest amateur to pilot it and lastly, because of its rugged construction which means it will last for many, many flights. It is a proven design too, with hundreds of flights being logged by it during the development stage. Everything learned during this development has been incorporated into the final kit model so that you have a really perfected design to work with.

Points to Bear in Mind: This is a radio controlled model aircraft. Therefore, it is different from all other types and no matter what type of models you have used before there are some things that are done differently in R/C which you must know about if you are to have success, experience has shown this to be true.

First of all, the Live Wire is designed with a removable R/C unit, this was done to give youw easy access to the R/C apparatus so that checks are easy to make and changes in equipment a cinch. This unit has been arranged so that it meets the maximum tolerances of all radio manufacturers; in other words, any radio may be installed without changing any of the dimensions, simply follow the instructions given by the radio manufacture and those that come with the kit. Above all , do not make any changes in the battery arrangements, these have been tested and work well giving exceptionally long life. Arranged as they are they provide the model with its best trim, any alteration could throw the model out of balance and spoil its flight.

The control system provided is the result of experimenting with all known types. It is the only one which will give positive control under all conditions with this installation. The thing to bear in mind here is that it must work freely without the slightest bind, the 1/8 in rubber used with these escapements is the most powerful that they are built to work with, therefore, the power available is low and any bind will prevent consistent operation. Above all, never attempt a flight unless you are positive that your controls are working perfectly.

The main thing that controls the power flight of your model as well as the glide is the angle at which the wing and tail is set. This is the main control over your angle of climb and it governs the recovery of your model to level flight from such things as stalls, loops, etc. Properly set, these angles will provide a low rate of climb and yet give instantaneous recovery to level flight. Improperly set, they can cause erratic flight with excessive climb or no recovery at all from abnormal positions, in R/C an erratic flight can mean serious trouble with far greater consequences than in other types of modeling. The wing and tail angles used with the Live Wire have been carefully worked out and chosen because they provide the most desirable type of flight. The wing is set at a 5 deg positive angle and the tail at 3-1/2 deg positive, you should check your model very closely against the plans to make sure that it is exactly as shown, shim the panels to the proper angles, if necessary, but be sure they are right!

The balance of your model, the CG location, is the major factor in controlling the glide and it should be watched closely. In R/C a rather steep glide instead of the floating free flight type is most desirable. This gives greater control over the model when the engine is dead as well, allowing the model to penetrate the wind to a far greater extent. The ideal point for the CG to be is shown on the drawings and every effort should be made to bring it there. Slight differences in workmanship and wood weights can cause some difference at this point between models, therefore, check this CG carefully before final mounting of the engine. Otherwise, if you use the same care in building a R/C model as would be used in the other types you should get along right well. If in doubt about construction procedures at any time while building the Live Wire, consider it as a control line stunt model and go ahead with your work as you would with a model of that type.

Construction: With this model the first thing to be built is the R/C unit. You need not have your radio before constructing it as the radio installation can be made at any time. If you wish to fly the model for sport only, it is still necessary to build the unit as it provides additional strength to the fuselage. The unit is built from strips and sheet as shown on the plans, the plans are exact size. The procedure is to build up two sides right over the plans from the size strips indicated. The sides are then set up on a flat surface and joined with the end strips to form a box, check its alignment carefully with a square. The sheeting is then added to form the floor and battery compartment giving the unit much additional strength. The additional hardwood mounts, hooks and terminal block can now be added to make it ready for the radio installation.

Fuselage: The fuselage is a simple box type built up from sheet and bulkheads with the addition of some stringer fairings aft of the wing. The procedure is to set up the R/C unit in its required place right on the top view of the drawings, the fuselage is built around it using the box and the drawings to provide perfect alignment. The first step is to pin the no.3 bulkhead to the front of the box and the no.4 bulkhead to the back of the box; the rest of the bulkheads can then be erected in their respective places on the drawings. The two long lower sides can then be cemented to the bulkheads being sure not to stick them to the box as it must be removed later. You can then go ahead and build the rest of the fuselage up by adding the middle sides and the cabin sides. After this, the backbone can be put on along with the fairing stringers.

Before finishing off the top nose fairing, the engine mounts and fuel tank must be installed, use the top of the bulkheads to align the mounts. The 1/8 sheet reinforcing is now added everywhere shown, do not skimp on this as it provides great strength! After this, bulkheads 1A and 2A may be mounted and the tank covered over with sheeting. The fuselage is now taken off of the bench and the hardwood gear block cemented in place, use lots of cement to hold it well. The dural gear can now be screwed to this block with the required wood screws and the entire bottom covered with 1/8 sheet..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note the supplement 'Instructions' file is excellent, and is highly detailed. Tells you everything you need to know about how to build, trim and fly an RC trainer in 1952, using 1952 tech.

Update 03/01/2021: Added kit review from MAN, December 1952, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes



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Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - model pic

  • (oz5554)
    Live Wire Trainer 
    by Hal DeBolt
    from DMECO
    48in span
    IC R/C Kit
    formers unchecked
  • Submitted: 02/05/2014
    Filesize: 706KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ

Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 003.jpg
Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 004.jpg
Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 005.jpg
Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 006.jpg
Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 007.jpg
Live Wire Trainer (oz5554) by Hal DeBolt from DMECO 1952 - pic 008.jpg

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User comments

Hi Steve, Here is a picture of my third Live Wire Trainer [more pics 003]. It started with the first in 1958. This one was built from scratch in 1982 and has the original covering. Mills 1.3 and Galloping Ghost radio. Thanks for the archive.
JimHales - 23/09/2016
Hi Steve, here's a photo of my scratch build Live Wire Trainer [main pic], finished in silk and brushed dope. Taken at Toledo in 2013, when it won 3rd place in Vintage RC Plane category.
Bob Noll - 10/02/2021
I had this exact same Controlaire Mule transmitter in 1965. It was supposed to have a "real kick", more power than other small transmitters but still less than my C&S tube type. At that time, high frequency transistors were unavailable or too expensive, one example selling for $30 ea, now available for a tenth of a cent. When Texas Instruments came out with the 2N-706, it made transistor transmitters possible. Mine worked perfectly until I added throttle control to my DeBolt Rebel, a smaller version of the Live Wire. I changed the engine to an OS Pet 09, with two speed throttle. I added a second escapement with short rubber motor for throttle control. All worked fine until my Rebel got into the air, then it made a quick death dive. Twice. It was scrapped after that and I only later found out vibration induced electrical noise from the throttle linkage cause its demise. Nobody knew.
Doug Smith - 10/02/2021
Is there any bulkhead elevations for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6? I see 1a & 2a. We had one of these back in the 70’s that my dad built in the early 60’s. We sure had a lot of fun with it! Thanks,
MikeW - 10/06/2021
Like a lot of kit plans, this one does not show all the bulkheads - because they came in the box, so you didn't need templates for them. The kit plan just helps you assemble the kit parts together. For a similar plan to this one - but aimed at the scratch builder - see Live Wire Trainer (oz5) as published in Model Builder in 1978.
SteveWMD - 10/06/2021
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Download File(s):
  • Live Wire Trainer (oz5554)
  • Plan File Filesize: 706KB Filename: Live_Wire_Trainer_48in_DMECO_oz5554.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 668KB Filename: Live_Wire_Trainer_48in_DMECO_oz5554_instructions.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3378KB Filename: Live_Wire_Trainer_48in_DMECO_oz5554_review.pdf
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