Orange Box (oz7292)


Orange Box - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Orange Box. Radio control glider model. Wingspan 1800mm.

Quote: "The proud owner and designer shows off the simple shape of this compact glider. The unusual name was inspired by the original colour scheme of day glow orange wing tips and fuselage! No chance of losing sight of that - an important point when choosing the colour scheme for any Radio Controlled model. Orange Box, by Clive Smalley.

THE MAJORITY of model magazine plan articles nearly always seem to adopt the principle that the reader is already an expert modeller, capable of interpreting plans and deciding just how the models should be constructed. Often little consideration is given to the person who perhaps having built one or two models from kits, has never tackled building from a plan with its attendant problems. The favourite phrase is 'as the model is quite straight-forward to build, no glue A to B instructions will be given, only the interesting points of construction will be highlighted'.

In presenting this article and plan I felt the time had arrived to alter this situation, and guidance for building from any plan can be gleaned from a study of the general methods adopted. It is recommended that should the reader be an absolute beginner to this hobby, he also obtain and read in conjunction with this article, any of the excellent books now available on how to build model aircraft in general.

IMPORTANT TOOLS. For any model to become a successful flying machine it is absolutely essential for it to be accurately built. This means taking care to build wings and tail free from warps and fuselage dead straight, not banana shaped. Most badly built models can be trimmed to fly but they will never be as responsive or as 'sweet' to fly and will usually have some nasty built-in tendencies. It is essential to work on a flat, true, building board; I strongly recommend investment in a piece of 1 in thick blockboard which should be checked for straightness and trueness using a metal straight edge before purchase.

Basic tools required include modelling knife, pliers, razor blade plane, pins, etc. Never use glass-paper held in the fingers only, as unevenness will be followed and therefore the surface not smoothed down. Use a sanding block making up your own 'files' from strips of glass paper contact glued to slightly larger strips of plywood. 'No. 1 Grade' for rougher work with 'flour' grade and No. 300 wet and dry for final sanding. It is important to the strength of any model to always use the correct adhesive for each job.

Balsa cement is used for areas of small cross-section where little stress is taken or when quick drying time can be used to advantage. When gluing end-grain of balsa wood, a far stronger joint will be obtained by 'pre-cementing'. This means coating end-grain separate parts with cement, rubbing into the grain with the finger if necessary and allowing to almost dry. Then re-coat with more cement and complete assembly of the joint. Pre-cementing keys into the grain and produces a far stronger joint.

PVA White Glue adhesive is used for most of the general structural work but takes up to 30 minutes to dry. Pre-cementing also helps but large glueing areas may curl wood through 'wetting' unless weighted flat.

Contact Adhesive, Evostik is used where larger surface areas joints not sub-jected to stress, are required, such as laminating doublers to fuselage sides.

Two Part Glues such as five minute expoxy resin is used for heavily stressed areas or joining metal or plastics. I use a small 'toffee hammer' to pin components to the building board remov-ing pins with pliers. Pushing pins in with the fingers is both dangerous and does not hold the component securely enough.

THE DESIGN. The 'Orange Box' was conceived as a light wind slope-soarer for flying from my local hills, which are not really suitable for heavy models. The construction is light yet strong enough to withstand heavy landing manoeuvres. When flown from the slope even in only a gentle breeze, the prototype has achieved flights of well over one hour duration, flying being only limited by the radio batteries, changes in the wind, pilot fatigue or the cries of other pilots on the same frequency demanding some flight time! The prototype has also performed well when flown as a thermal-soarer from either tow-line or 'bungee-launch'.

Read through the building notes several times in conjunction with a study of the plan, until a mental picture is built up of exactly how the model is constructed. I recommend starting with the tail unit..."

"Hi Steve, I hope the attached pdf plan is suitable for inclusion in Outerzone. It's the first time I've scanned a plan in parts then stitched it together into a single page units so I've inserted an 8in ruler scan on both pages for any prospective user to check against. The Orange Box is a simple 2 function 1.8m glider, plan was a freeby in March 1979 Aeromodeller... It looks a good candidate for conversion to electric self launch with a 28mm motor a lipo around 3s 800 - 1000mAH. Cheers,"

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update: article added, thanks to RFJ.

Supplementary file notes

Article, in two parts.


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Orange Box - completed model photo

  • (oz7292)
    Orange Box
    by Clive Smalley
    from Aeromodeller
    March 1979 
    71in span
    Tags: Glider R/C
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 08/12/2015
    Filesize: 1207KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: patmcc


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User comments

Hi Mary & Steve - when looking for photos of Red Arrow, I also found some of my two Orange Box(es?) [more pics 003-011]. It was a nice, rugged (that fuselage was almost bullet-proof!) glider, versatile enough to be used as a thermal soarer with a Hi-start (bungee) or a pylon (turning it into a motor glider) and finally a slope soarer, for good measure! I must say that, in order to endure the bungee, the center panel of my models had pine spars. Also, as I was dependent on the generosity of friends to get to the flying sites (I had no car then), the wing was built in two halves, joined with piano wire joiners. That nice model does deserve some photos to illustrate it! And, as you can see from the photos, a number of chaps built it at the time. The fact the plan was a 'giveaway' (free) one from Aeromodeller might have something to do with it... 😉. Thank you for your fantastic work - and for the joy you give us every single day. Best regards,
ArnaldoCorreia - 05/05/2017
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  • Orange Box (oz7292)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1207KB Filename: Orange_Box_oz7292.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2748KB Filename: Orange_Box_oz7292_article_1.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2792KB Filename: Orange_Box_oz7292_article_2.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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