Aquila Grande (oz6768)


Aquila Grande (oz6768) 1978 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Aquila Grande. Radio control sailplane. Unlimited class R/C sailplane.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Note photo of completed Aquila Grande model was found online at

Update 31/5/2022: Added kit instructions, thanks to Gratter.

Quote: "INTRODUCTION: The Grande was developed from the World Champion Aquila. Since the introduction of the Aquila in 1975, it has been the dominant design in standard class competition. We believe that the Grande will establish a similar record in unlimited class competition.

The major changes from the Aquila are an increased wingspan, with higher aspect ratio, and a new wing airfoil. The airfoil is a 10% thick, Semi symmetrical section, with significant Phillips entry and moderate leading edge radius. It is a development of the modified Aquila airfoil used by Skip Miller in winning the 1977 World Soaring Championship. The tip panels incorporate a changing section which provides built-in washout to reduce tip-stall tendencies.

There are significant structural changes from the Aquila. The most obvious is the use of an epoxy glass fuselage for ease in building and greater strength. The wing has been beefed up with a 50% increase in spar cross-sectional area. The bottom leading' edge is sheeted back to the spar to form a complete D-Tube. This increases bending strength and torsional rigidity. The stabilator has been stiffened considerably by addition of sheet from the high point forward. This was done after two of the prototypes developed stab flutter during speed runs. The vertical tail is larger than the Aquila and has more area behind the hinge line for improved dynamic balance.

There are numerous design refinements incorporated into the Grande. Locking screws are used for positive retention of the stabilator panels. A large ballast compartment has been built into the fuselage, with easy access through the canopy opening. The main wing joiner is 5/16 dia music wire to reduce wing deflection under launch stress. Solid push rods are used to reduce tail flutter and for improved control response. The Aquila spoiler system is unchanged as we have not found any other method which works as well, without increased weight and complexity. Polyhedral angles have been increased for improved turn response and additional stability.

The Grande was designed for FAI class 3-B and general AMA competition. It is an L/D airplane which has excellent speed range and penetration. With a little down elevator it will accelerate quickly and really move out. Slight up trim will slow the ship up to hang onto marginal lift. The Grande is definitely not a floater - you've got to keep the speed up to realize the performance potential of this design.

I would like to thank all the modelers who built and few prototype models to prove the design. In particular, Bill Davidson, Don Edberg, Jack Hiner and Skip Miller who contributed greatly. Special thanks to my son, Tim, for his advice and encouragement during the design phase. The excellent instructions and photos are the handiwork of Al Dolg, of the Torrey Pines Gulls. Thanks for your help, Al. Lee Renaud.

BUILDING NOTES: Some of the building techniques described in the instructions are of a personal preference nature. For instance, I like to trim pieces to length and shape as I go. If you prefer to let it hang over and trim after assembly, that's your choice.

In general, if the dimensions of a part are given, that part is pre-cut and can be found in one of the bags. Otherwise you will be told to trim to fit. The parts in the bags have been separated by function, wing, fuselage, etc.

A word about adhesives; the term 'glue' refers to Aliphatic Resin glues such as Titebond, Elmer's, Withold, etc. You may substitute 5-minute epoxy to speed certain steps. If epoxy is required, it will be specified.

Building sequence is important in some areas. I like to start with the wing because you use up all the big pieces of wood and won't wind up trying to sheet a three foot wing section and have only six 6 in pieces left. Which is what will happen if you don't cut the outer panel sheeting first, like it says. I don't want to tell all you twenty-five year veterans how to do it, but why don't you relax and leave the driving to us. It's reasonably safe to follow the instructions. After starting the center wing panels it is certainly safe to jump ahead and build the outer panels, or tailfeathers whilst things aye drying.

During the fuselage assembly it may seem that we move on to the next thing without finishing the last. What we are doing is temporarily fitting the wings and tail to assure they are aligned correctly. We then start aft and work forward affixing things permanently. It is a tight squeeze installing things way back in a glass fuselage and the fewer things in the way the better.

The method described for wing to fuselage alignment and affixing root ribs in place will give a keen fit without a lot of later agony. But remember one thing in the initial wing building phase - alignment of root rib WI to the wing is key to proper wing alignment..."

Supplementary file notes



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Aquila Grande (oz6768) 1978 - model pic

  • (oz6768)
    Aquila Grande
    from Airtronics (ref:92011701)
    123in span
    Glider R/C Kit
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
  • Submitted: 23/06/2015
    Filesize: 1434KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: GuyByars
    Downloads: 6287

Aquila Grande (oz6768) 1978 - pic 003.jpg
Aquila Grande (oz6768) 1978 - pic 004.jpg

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User comments

I came across this article while looking for a plan I could build to 'reorient' / retrain myself how to fly an aileron ship (plane) and was pleasantly surprised to see a picture of an old friend I haven't seen for decades and unfortunately lost track of him from getting caught up in the 'Rat Race' we call life - not griping mind you, it's been good to me and now that I am retired (as of Feb. 2011) can get back to enjoying the things I used to do - flying my QuickSilver Ultralight and my gaggle of RC's.
Anyway the young man is Skip Miller and the photograph of him is when he won the AMA National Sailplane contest with the standard fuselage Aquila (8') Sailplane I'd built for him sometime in 1978 - but from what I understand is he had chosen to go with the 120 in. 'Grande' wings when he competed.
Building this plane was one of the most intricate builds I had undertaken at that time and to this day the most satisfying since I fell in love with the design when I first saw it being flown over the Pacific Ocean at Salt Creek and after speaking to the "pilot" about it's qualities and performance I knew this was the ship for me and it has never let me down and has exceeded my expectations by sometimes gaining lift in marginal conditions - and the only modification I made was to add flaps to the inner wings.
Although I had direct access to the slopes above the Santa Ana River near the mouth of the river I would sometimes use a hi-start to launch it from the NW field at Costa Mesa High school so as to not interfer with people flying off the slopes - and Yes I did post a note indicating which frequency I was using.
If you decide to build this beautiful aircraft you will need to set aside a few evenings to devote yourself to building the wings with NO distractions as it is fairly intricate, and IF you decide to incorporate a set of flaps then decide how you are going to do so and lay out (draw or sketch) a plan to help you during the building process and you will not be disappointed with the results.
I can't say enough about this design or for that matter ANY kit that 'airtronics' sold which to me were the standard for the industry; I have most of the offerings they had during that time period and even though I built them all I still have several still in their boxes since I'd end up buying another to build now (meaning during '75 to '79) and years later (meaning Now, forty-three years later) but surprisingly after all these years later they feel like they might still be able to be flown - but at the same time might just leave them on display in a room above my garage and build another to fly.
Thank you everyone at 'Outerzone' for bringing back a fond memory of my younger days and for sharing the great plans you've submitted to your site.
Larry M Whalen - 25/04/2022
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  • Aquila Grande (oz6768)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1434KB Filename: Aquila_Grande_Airtronics_oz6768.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1193KB Filename: Aquila_Grande_Airtronics_oz6768_instructions.pdf
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