Ugly Duckling (oz6397)


Ugly Duckling (oz6397) by William Harding 1967 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Ugly Duckling. Sheet balsa towline glider model by W Harding, from MAN June 1967.

Quote: "It may not be the prettiest A/1 glider that we have published but it surely is the most functional. Simple to build, very easy to fly, has qualities that put it in the contest category. It will survive the heaviest hands.

The Nordic scribed lazy circles in the blue sky, while I sat in the grass watching with a growing envy. I hadn't tried my hand at towline, but the graceful ship overhead convinced me that I should.

I knew that building a good Nordic wasn't an easy project, and would best be left until winter, when most of my serious building is done. But, what about now? I wanted something to fly this summer! There had to be a way to at least get a taste of this fine sport. And so, wanting something to fly, without working, I designed the Ugly Duckling.

It's a simple ship, combining the design features of many others. A model that will give no trouble to novice, or expert. You won't win the Nationals with it. But, then again, you could gain experience that will help you win with a more advanced glider contest.

So, whether you're a novice, who wants to break gently into this type of flying, or an expert, who wants some-thing to throw together before next Sunday, Ugly Duckling is just the project for you.

Construction is easy. Since the model is based mainly on straight lines, it can be built without enlarging the plans. All curves can be sanded in approximately, with the fuselage pod being the hardest. Even here, however, nose and tail mo-ments are the critical factor instead of the exact shape. You can take a little leeway, and still get by.

Let's begin construction with the wing. Lay your measurements out right on the balsa if you wish, using a small square to assure proper rib angle. The simple wing is the same as my Chipper II (oz8622) wing (MAN, December 1964). It's built in three parts, the center section, and the two tip sections. The leading edge is a piece of 1 x 1/4 in trailing edge stock. Mark rib location directly on trailing edge stock, and glue on ribs, checking alignment with a square. As soon as the ribs are dry, cover the top with 1/16 in balsa, holding in place with pins and masking tape. When dry, prop up tips, and sand as you would a hand-launched glider, to attain proper angle for dihedral joints..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to theshadow.


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Ugly Duckling (oz6397) by William Harding 1967 - model pic

  • (oz6397)
    Ugly Duckling
    by William Harding
    from Model Airplane News
    June 1967 
    30in span
    Glider F/F
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 01/03/2015
    Filesize: 221KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: dfritzke

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Download File(s):
  • Ugly Duckling (oz6397)
  • Plan File Filesize: 221KB Filename: Ugly_Duckling_Towline_oz6397.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 482KB Filename: Ugly_Duckling_Towline_oz6397_article.pdf
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* 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.


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