Caracara (oz6777)


Caracara (oz6777) by Leonard Oakley from RCMplans 1977 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Caracara. Radio control sailplane model by Leonard Oakley, RCM plan #692, July 1977.

Quote: "From the deserts of the Southwestern United States comes this 126" span sailplane that can hold its own in competition circles or provide the ultimate in performance for the sport soaring enthusiast. Caracara by Leonard Oakley.

The national bird of Mexico is the very striking, black and white, eagle-like Caracara. This is the same bird pictured in the Mexican coat of arms standing on a cactus devouring a snake. With my own competitive model building and flying, originating in the Southwestern desert, where these beautiful predatory birds can be found, the symbolism in the name for this very successful sailplane is obvious.

This Caracara is the sixth in a series of models built during the last three flying seasons with minor revisions tried on each. Number one in the series was a 120 inch design which won six club contests and placed 2nd or 3rd in six others. In three seasons it has never placed lower than fifth. Models two through five were experiments in an attempt to improve upon the original. These included a 14 ft, 1500 square inch behemoth; a 10 ft, 1100 square inch job with lower aspect ratio (12.8:1); a 100 in Standard Class without polyhedral; and a 72 in straight dihedral slope soarer.

Model number six is the easiest handling and best flying design of the series. In my opinion, the main factors contributing to the success of this design are:

(1) the relatively low wing loading (6.3 oz./sq. ft.) for minimum sink,
(2) the short tail moment arm for smooth, tight, flat turns, and
(3) the thin 7.5% flat-bottomed airfoil for good penetration.

The design has consistently out-performed well-known kit models flown by good, experienced pilots. Perhaps its best feature is its ability to thermal hands-off in very light air when others won't. Under these conditions, every control surface movement tends to decrease efficiency and increase sink. This model's ability to turn into, and maintain, tight free flight-like circles in thermals make it unnecessary to send it continuous duration killing signals.

Hi-start launches are easy because the model climbs straight and true and consistently gets as high as any design on the field. A controllable towhook would probably be a desirable addition, as obvious thermals are sometimes missed by not getting off the line soon enough... "

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to Pit.


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

Caracara (oz6777) by Leonard Oakley from RCMplans 1977 - model pic


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, 2011-2020.

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.