AT Flying Lab (oz6072)


AT Flying Lab (oz6072) by Walt Schroder 1946 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

AT's Flying Lab. Free flight sport model, for the 'Rocket' .46 engine.

Quote: "WHEN you get right down to it, we model builders, unlike designers of full-scale aircraft, know very few specific facts about design, to back up what we know about theory. There is much to be learned about so many things. There are many popularly accepted but false notions that should be exposed to the light of day. We can't even make up our minds about simple things like aspect ratio, lifting tails, and downthrust - all of which is why this modest-looking gassie is going to prove important.

On the plan presented this month, you will note that 9 degrees downthrust is used. This was the first of a series of experiments that will take place over a period of a year or more. There are twelve wings of various aspect ratios and airfoils awaiting flight tests, and sometime later this year we shall present some interesting comparative findings. Meanwhile, if you want to build a sturdy, simple-to-make, good windy weather flying model, make a ship from these plans.

The whole business started last summer when we finished a series of strobatac tests of new motors. That was when we found out that the Rocket motor, unknown to most builders, despite its displacement of only .46 had roughly power equal to existing .60's. Here was an opportunity to build an airplane that under the rules would have an enormous advantage over other class C jobs. Imagine a 37-ounce job with power equal to that of the usual 48-ounce ship!

Trying to handle that power led us to downthrust and, after some eye-opening observations, it was decided that it would be a good idea to run down, by flight tests, more of the answers to some of these years-old debates. For, we found that downthrust had many unsuspected good pints and, properly used, converted a so-so box into a high-performance contest model, merely because power was so controlled that the last bit of umph could be taken from a highly overpowered job.

To begin with, everything possible was done through design to make a model that was stable in every way and under all conditions, even in wide-open vertical banks. This was accomplished by such tricks as using a high center of gravity and a deep-bellied fuselage to achieve the proper relation between profile area and the location of the CG, and a wing set close to the thrust line to avoid excessive looping or stalling under power. We banked on downthrust to do the rest.

As the two diagrams on page 48 show, downthrust had a highly important effect on keeping the model climbing steeply into the wind, and, just as important, preventing power turns from tightening up into disastrous spirals. Study the arrows and you will see why this is true. The arrows relating to downthrust represent only one component of the thrust force, for we all know that most of the thrust goes into forward flight. Downthrust will be the subject of a future article.

Another interesting item was that we figured that so much power was available that we would prefer a thicker wing than the customary NACA 6409 so we used the RAF 32. Forty-nine flights had been made - with one crack-up that did slight damage - when we decided to enter the test ship in the Long Island Championships, where it placed fourth in its class after two out-of-sight flights. (It was lost for a month after the second flight.)

The more discerning reader will want to know why we didn't use a lifting tail instead of dwnthrust. The answer to that was that we were interested in downthrust to begin with, and secondly, that it is not necessarily true that a lifting tail increases the efficiency of the airplane. Though lifting tails will probably he a subject of future experiment in this series, we'll give you one thought for the interim. Consider that two things make a lifting tail necessary on many models..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article, thanks to RalphB.


Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

AT Flying Lab (oz6072) by Walt Schroder 1946 - model pic

  • (oz6072)
    AT Flying Lab
    by Walt Schroder
    from Air Trails
    March 1946 
    68in span
    IC F/F
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 27/10/2014
    Filesize: 657KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ
    Downloads: 2108

AT Flying Lab (oz6072) by Walt Schroder 1946 - pic 003.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

No comments yet for this plan. Got something to say about this one?
Add a comment



Download File(s):


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.