Sidewinder (oz6412)


Sidewinder (oz6412) by Dale Nutter 1964 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Sidewinder . Radio control pylon racer, for .19 power.

Quote: "Speed and Simplicity Are the Secrets for This Pylon Record Breaker - designer Feels That if the Magic Minute is to be Broken, the Sidewinder Will be the One Pylon Racer to do it. Sidewinder by Dale Nutter.

The inherent simplicity of the delta design has attracted the interest of radio-controlled model designers for many years. The Delta 707 (oz1640), Suds, Hustler (oz2873), Talon Zephyr (oz10579), have all evolved as practical models and have flown with varying degrees of success. The Hustler, available in kit form, enjoys a great deal of popularity today and the fundamental reason for its success lies in its basic design simplicity.

Under the present AMA rules, the Talon Zephyr (oz10579) is the only pylon delta published, designed to utilize the minimum AMA size requirements. Built for .15 engines, the Taylon Zephyr must carry identical weight equipment as the larger .19 ships.

The Sidewinder planform was intended to conform with minimum area requirements of .19 engines size. Since equipment weight is the same, a .19 pylon delta wing loading should be less than that one of a comparable .15 design. In addition, the airfoil used on most present-day deltas has excessive reflex, particularly when weight is kept at a minimum. Excessive reflex is indicated when the control surfaces has to be set below the normal airfoil contour.

An independent search for an airfoil with suitable characteristics was made by Jerry Krause. He located the M-6 airfoil which has a positive pitching moment without actually being reflexed. This characteristic is achieved by locating the maximum thickness for the bottom half of the airfoil at 50% chord; while the maximum thickness for the upper half is at 30% chord. Lift and drag characteristics for the M-6 are suitable for deltas. An 8% thick airfoil was selected to provide adequate thick-ness for equipment installation.

The side mounted engine is used for two basic reasons. First, the greatest moment of inertia (relative stiffness) of a delta is in the direction of the wingspan, and therefore, less vibration effect is to be expected of the principal axis of engine vibration (in the direction of piston travel) if aligned with the delta span. Some speed experts claim that rigid engine mounting will increase engine rpm's.

Secondly, when reed type equipment is used, it is necessary that the direction of reed movement be oriented perpendicular to the principal axis of vibration. The use of a side mounted engine permits the receiver to be flat-mounted in the wing.

The engine is located in the Sidewinder so no trim change is required for the transition from powered to gliding flight. To achieve this result, it is necessary that the engine be carefully aligned with zero degrees side thrust and down thrust. The landing gear should be set so that the model will rest at an angle of attack of zero degrees..."

Quote: "Another delta RC pylon racer from the era when these were all the rage. Dale Nutter, MAN June 1964."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 17/11/2016: added article, thanks to RFJ.

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Sidewinder (oz6412) by Dale Nutter 1964 - model pic

  • (oz6412)
    by Dale Nutter
    from Model Airplane News
    June 1964 
    44in span
    IC R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 06/03/2015
    Filesize: 1466KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: dfritzke, JJ
    Downloads: 3371

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User comments

Here are a couple pictures for the Sidewinder [more pics 003-006]. I built a bunch of these, I found some old parts I had cut out in the early '60s and made an electric one.
Paulpd1 - 20/05/2016
Included are some pix of my Sidewinder, built from plans on your site [more pics 008-013]. Mine has just completed its first test flights as of yesterday, flew very well, needing almost no trim. Pic was taken just AFTER its first flight, to avoid bad karma. You mean you never heard of the curse if take a picture just prior to the first test? How many models have you seen destroyed on the maiden flight? They all had many camera shots just before takeoff. Don't do it. You have been warned. Construction photos are OK, just avoid pics right before flight. The plans were beautifully, professionally drafted, old school, but not by the designer. Mine had errors with the ribs, two on each side had to be modified to fit, but I got it done. Another potential problem was the C/G position on the plans, not sure if it was correct. Soooo many plans have it wrong. I know how it's done because I've committed the same offense. I always draw my plans first, then make any changes while building. Sometimes I pencil in the C/G location but forget to change it after flying. Seldom does it remain where I first drew it. Plans show all sheet balsa over the entire model, but I used it only on leading and trailing edge, with capstrips in between, easier and lighter, 2-1/2 lbs ready to fly. My Sidewinder was a little tail heavy on the first flight, flew better after moving the battery forward about 1/2 inch. But during construction, I expected it to be tail heavy, with my lighter Rimfire 15 motor instead of the original Veco 19. She turned out badly nose heavy and I had to extend the battery waaaaay back to balance. You know the rule: "Nose heavy planes fly poorly, tail heavy models fly once". I still have some adjustments to make, elevons are too sensitive and more color needs to be painted on the top, yellow is harder to see than the blue on the bottom. Mine is covered with Doculam, painted with Rustoleum, easy and cheap. Sidewinder is slower than the Holy Smoke I flew years ago, but still pretty fast on a burner pass. Motor pulls 38 amps from a 3 cell 3000 battery with a 10 x 7 APC prop, dropped down to a 10 x 6 for lower speed. More than enough power for its 2-1/2 lb weight. Sidewinder is probably my last delta, construction hurt my back bending over the plan, too wide in any dimension for comfort.
Doug Smith - 21/05/2020
Nice build. I have printed off the plans and intend on building an electric version also. Would the model benefit from a rudder control? You have fitted elevons, would elevator and ailerons like the original perform the same?
Mike - 06/07/2021
Mike, I'm glad you're building a delta, if your experience is like mine, few others have ever seen one. It's easy to fly, just not easy to see, it disappears when head-on for landing, no fuselage. Keep it close for the first few flights. I think separate ailerons and elevator would work fine. It was easier for me to use elevons. Don't use cheap servos, they need to be very tight. I originally used 9g metal gear servos to withstand nose gear abuse, but had to replace the elevon units with better models because of too much slop. Some 9g servos are better than others, but all have enough power. I should have installed a rudder to help takeoffs and landings. I keep trying to feed in rudder but nothing's happening. Grass field where I fly is not easy on nose gears, I think a rudder would help. I don't try to ease it off the ground, just blast it off with plenty of power. You MUST land with full UP elevator, if you hit the nose wheel first, it bounces all the way down the runway. You don't need much control surface movement, 1/4" each way is enough. I used some expo on elevator for easier landings. As with all deltas, the ailerons get more sensitive with speed, but elevator gets less. Doesn't seem right but that's the way it is. Elevator and ailerons follow the bottom curve of the airfoil to give a slight UP effect, not much. I had to move my battery pack way back in the tail to balance. Hatch is just in front of the fin but the battery ended up underneath it all the way back. A paint stirring stick with battery taped to it was used to insert the battery. Be thinking about balance all the time when building. Don't use servo extensions buried in the wing, they will go bad. I soldered extra wire to my servo leads, no connectors to fail. Hitec sells servo wire with the right colors, solder and use heat shrink. I didn't cover all of my wing with 3/32" balsa, just 3" in front and 2" in the rear, rest capstrips, very strong and light. Motor wires had to be extended a few inches to reach the ESC under the hatch. be prepared to modify the ribs somewhat, mine didn't fit well near the middle. Not hard but an annoyance. You will note the designer did not draw the plans, but someone else did for the magazine. He did a nice, professional job, just not always accurate. Yes it's a pain to build, but you'll be rewarded with something nobody else has, really easy to fly. It fits easily in the trunk of a Toyota, nothing to assemble, it's a one piece airplane.
Doug Smith - 06/07/2021
That is a lot of advice, will read over a few times to appreciate what you have taken the trouble to pass on. Hope my effort is half as good as yours. Will post photos if successful after I have finished. My current build from The only free plan to download of a Bede BD 5. Small wingspan fun park flyer. Thank you,
Mike - 16/07/2021
Mike, I flew my Sidewinder again two days ago. It's a great model in the wind because of its speed, the whole reason for its existence. Lee Harding showed up with his radar gun and we all had to guess how fast our models were. I guessed at about 50 MPH for the Sidewinder, but it blasted by at 75, surprised me. Funny you should mention the BD-5. Sometime in the 70's one of the guys who I worked with, bought a BD-5 kit. It's hard to believe how small it is, barely big enough for one (slim) person. Ed had to lose weight so he could put gas in it. Ed sold his, partly assembled like most, don't know if any ever flew, problems with the snowmobile engine. I did see the jet version fly, same one James Bond flew thru the hangar. I built a small glider from Ed's plans, did not fly well, needed more fin and rudder, you might increase the fin size a bit, no one will notice. Dihedral won't matter, use what you like.
Doug Smith - 17/07/2021
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