Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870)


Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870) by Fred Reese 1995 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Cloud Dancer 40. RC sport model. Wingspan 60 in, for .40 engines.

Also later kitted by Ace RC.

Quote: "The Cloud Dancer 40 is a little brother to the original Cloud Dancer (oz6512) and the Cloud Dancer 120 (oz5981). The new Cloud Dancer 40 spans 60 in and is intended for the popular .40 size engines. The Cloud Dancer 40 is the same size and uses the same power as most of the popular .40 size trainers but is lighter. Flying weight of the Cloud Dancer 40 is only four and a half pounds.

Each spring, when I lived in Wyoming, we would go horseback riding. The horses that we would ride had been out to winter pasture and had not been ridden for at least six months. These horses were fresh and lively. They would run at the touch of a heel and accelerate like they were rocket propelled. These fresh horses were eager and responsive and fun to ride.

The Cloud Dancer reminded me of those Wyoming horses with its instant acceleration, light handling, and responsiveness. The Cloud Dancer 40 is a scaled-down version of my 74 inch Cloud Dancer (oz6512) published in the June '93 issue of RCM (plan #1146) which was the best all around flying airplane I have ever owned. The Cloud Dancer 40 has the same light feel to it that made me like the original. Like when I fly the even larger Cloud Dancer 120 (also scheduled to he published in an upcoming issue of RCM). I find myself doing maneuvers with the Cloud Dancer 40 at lower power, just because it can. The Cloud Dancers all fly very predictably and put the pilot at ease as soon as the plane is in the air. I really have to like the design to have built three of them.

The Cloud Dancer 40 is the size of many .60 size aircraft with a wingspan of 60 in and 625 sq in of wing area, yet it weighs a pound less than most .40 size models. The resulting wing loading of only 16.5 oz/sq ft, coupled with a modern high output .40 2-stroke engine or a Surpass 48. Enya 46 or 53, or Saito 45 or 50 4-stroke means there is power to spare in a model that can do anything you ask.

The construction of the Cloud Dancer is more traditional than typical current designs. Lite ply is used where it is advantageous and balsa is used for the rest. The 1/4 sq balsa truss rear fuselage is much lighter than lite ply or balsa slab sides. 1/16 balsa is used for all of the balsa sheet needed. As used, it is strong enough for all flight loads, but use care in handling on the ground.

The wing uses special airfoils which I developed for the Cloud Dancers that allow the wing to be built flat on the table, assuring a straight and true wing without resorting to special jigging. The wing is flat on the bottom from the spar to the trailing edge. All of the camber of the bottom of the wing is forward of the spar. There is no washout, but rather it uses a changing airfoil from root to tip that gives very forgiving stall characteristics. The airfoils are semi-symmetrical with 55% of the thickness above the wing centerline and 45% of the thickness below the centerline. This gives flight performance much lke a fully symmetrical wing airfoil..."

Update 10/04/2015: Replaced this plan with a much clearer copy, thanks to Balsaworkbench, theshadow.

Update 26/03/2021: Added kit review from Flying Models, May 1996, thanks to RFJ.

Update 7/8/2023: Added kit review from Model Flyer, May 2002, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes

Article, thanks to bernd_57.


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Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870) by Fred Reese 1995 - model pic


Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870) by Fred Reese 1995 - pic 003.jpg
Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870) by Fred Reese 1995 - pic 004.jpg

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User comments

Hi with the Cloud Dancer 40 the scale is out 1/2 inch & 6inches in various parts .I purchased the Kit from Greg Potter in S A & the lazar cut he sent me doesn't marry up with Fred Reese plan ?
anon - 02/06/2017
Hi, Steve and Mary: Herewith, I am sending you some pictures of my models built years ago: My Cloud Dancer 40 was powered by a Saito FA-56A four-stroke engine. It was my primary flyer for a few years. I had hundreds of flights on it before its servo tray failed. It's a graceful machine "flying on its wings," nevertheless, with the modified/enlarged rudder and elevators, it did beautiful and crisp maneuvers. Thanks for the great site!
Max Li - 10/12/2023
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  • Cloud Dancer 40 (oz5870)
  • Plan File Filesize: 622KB Filename: Cloud_Dancer_40_oz5870.pdf
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  • Supplement Filesize: 4533KB Filename: Cloud_Dancer_40_oz5870_review_FM.pdf
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