Drifter II (oz572)


Drifter II (oz572) by Tom Williams from Craft Air, Dynaflite 1978 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Craft Air Drifter II. Radio control sailplane. For 2 channels.

Quote: "Instructions: Introduction: The 1st time, the 2nd time, and the 100th time you find a thermal and are able to keep your sailplane aloft longer than it would otherwise remain, will be a thrill that this writer could never adequately describe. A radio-controlled glider is not a kid's toy. It's a man's hobby; more constructive, educational, and fulfilling than watching football or baseball on TV or playing tennis or golf. (I am guilty of the above.)

The first step is the selection of the sailplane kit and the radio gear. You've already made the selection of your sailplane and, in my opinion, have made the best choice available. The design criteria of the Drifter II were, in order of importance:

1. Performance; incorporation of the latest known design features.
2. Stability; the Drifter 11 will recover by neutralizing controls.
3. Ease and simplicity of construction; commensurate with good techniques.
4. Lowest possible retail price commensurate with good quality.

The selection of the radio is made simple today by the myriad quality products available. Rarely does the sailplane require more than 2 channels of operation, ie rudder and elevator; by and large, ailerons are not effective on model gliders. So, if you are interested only in gliders, select a 2-channel system, or a 3-channel system with 2 servos, which allows for expansion to a super-sophisticated design in the far off future. By that time you will probably have 4 radios. If you envision gliders as an intermediary step to power in the near future, then consider a 4-channel system or an expandable system. Never should a beginner waste his dollars on a system designed for use by the experts, because all experts have many radios and frequently use their old 2-and 3-channel systems for relaxing fun flying. Many of the world's best sailplane pilots fly 2 or 3 channels only.

Any covering method will be suitable, but the Mylar film coverings such as MonoKote, Solarfilm, etc., are so superior to the fabric and dope, etc, that the consideration of the latter warrants only a brief passing thought (in the opinion of this writer). Although the Drifter II was designed as an easy-to-build first glider, you will probably find yours outperforming everything in its class. It has a tendency to fly so high in thermals that it becomes hard to see. So when you select the colors of your covering, select an easy to see color for your wing and stabilizer - like maybe red, dark blue, metallic green, etc. The transparent colors are most beautiful on the wing. A 1/2" strip of silver trim on the wing leading edge helps to spot a lost glider by reflecting the sun.

Tools: No matter how much your kit costs; no matter the extent of your skills, you can't build a good model on a lousy building surface. You won't need a large area to build your Drifter II. Most lumber and building supply stores have a soft composition board (similar to ceiling tile), a piece 2' x 4' should cost less than $1.00. Place this on a FLAT surface. You will need an X-acto knife with #11 blades and a #13 blade or single edge razor blades, normal tools such as a small screwdriver, pliers, diagonal cutting plies, clothespins (for clamping), dress pins, a sanding block, and a roll of waxed paper. Also handy modeler's plane, sealing iron, and a set of drills.

Adhesives: Use of the proper adhesive is just as important as using any other proper building material. We feel this is so inportant we have specified the proper adhesive for each joint in the step-by-step building procedure..."

Quote: "My first RC glider in 1981. Still have the Kodak instamatic pictures of the first flight ;O) Perfect for electric gear."

Update 05/08/2016: added Radio Modeller (March 1991) review of the Dynaflite Drifter II, from Radio Modeller, March 1991, thanks to alcalaino.

Update 21/03/2020: Added review from RCM December 1979, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes

Alternate version, thanks to AugustaWest. This seems to be exactly the same plan, but shows 'Dynaflite' as the manufacturer/brand at bottom RH.


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Drifter II (oz572) by Tom Williams from Craft Air, Dynaflite 1978 - model pic


Drifter II (oz572) by Tom Williams from Craft Air, Dynaflite 1978 - pic 003.jpg
Drifter II (oz572) by Tom Williams from Craft Air, Dynaflite 1978 - pic 0044.jpg
Drifter II (oz572) by Tom Williams from Craft Air, Dynaflite 1978 - pic 005.jpg

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User comments

Missing all outer wing rib patterns, and all plywood patterns, dihedral braces.
Stevek - 09/10/2015
The fuselage is a simple box structure, and the plan shows detailed cross sections at each bulkhead position, so I think that's straightforward. The dihedral braces and all the ribs are shown on the plan - they just need scaling up.
SteveWMD - 21/02/2020
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Download File(s):
  • Drifter II (oz572)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1294KB Filename: Drifter_II_oz572.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1082KB Filename: Drifter_II_oz572_Dynaflite.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1636KB Filename: Drifter_II_oz572_review_RCM.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 963KB Filename: Drifter_II_oz572_review_RM.pdf
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