About this Plan
Ace Alpha. Radio control sport model. Uses the Ace foam wing.
Quote: "When the Alpha was conceived and developed, several considerations were kept in mind. First, it needed to fly well on a large range of engines. Over a dozen prototypes were flown for two flying seasons with engines ranging from a Golden Bee .049 to a Tee Dee .09 - performance was found to be quite stable and forgiving with an .049 and with an ,09 loops, spins, rolls, and take-offs were possible with good speed and rocksteady tracking. For the beginner a good running Golden Bee, a Black Widow, or a Tee Dee .049 and two channels is recommended. The sport pilot will find the Alpha a ball with a good, hot .09 and three channels.
Secondly, the Alpha had to be sturdy enough to withstand the inevitable, unplanned, sudden, not-so-gentle landings which plague all of us. Extensive use of lite plywood and interlocked construction provided the strength to withstand an unusual amount of punishment and remain flight worthy with either no or a small amount of repair.
Also, construction of the Alpha had to be easy and quick. Simplicity, interlocking construction, quality machined and die cut parts and 5 minute epoxy provide this. The Alpha can be ready for finishing and radio installation in one long evening.
We hope you are happy with your Alpha kit. If it is your first effort in R/C, we wish you success, and hope you enjoy one of the most enjoyable and rewarding hobbies in existence."
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Note this plan used the Ace Foam wing. For a plan showing how to construct a replacement wing in balsa (both tapered and straight-chord) see Ace Foam Wing (oz8557) thanks to AndyKunz.
Update 12/03/2020: Added kit review from August 1978 RCM, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "RCM Product Test: Ace R/C ALPHA.
The Alpha is a .049 to .09 powered trainer designed by Tom Runge and kitted by Ace RC Inc Box 511, 116 W 19th St, Higginsville, Missouri 64037. When used with a TD .049 and rudder and elevator controls, it would be an ideal airplane for a beginner. It is docile, stable, and easy to fly and, because of its construction, would be less prone to injury than others. With a TD .09, it would be a good second airplane for the beginner and would also provide a pleasant change of pace for the more experienced flier.
This kit is rather unique in many ways. It is one of the few models on the market where the same airplane can be used with a larger engine to match increasing piloting skills. It is a happy combination of plywood, balsa, and foam, which not only reduces construction time and effort to a minimum, while still looking like a real airplane. It is complete with all hardware except for wheels and motor mount, at a price that is well within the lowest RC budget.
The fuselage is constructed of die-cut plywood sides with die-cut plywood bulkheads. The top hatch, windshield, rear deck, front bottom and belly, are also cleanly die-cut from 1/8 Pop-Ply as well. The top rear of the fuselage is planked with cross grained 1/8 balsa, while the bottom is handled similarly with 3/32 balsa sheet.
The three piece foam wing has a one piece 1/8 in square by 36 in spar top and bottom, with a 1/4" x a 4- shaped trailing edge and a reinforced leading and trailing edge at the center section. Plywood wing tips should also help to prevent damage to the tips in case of a cartwheel landing. The tail surfaces are sheet balsa with 1/4 in triangular stock reinforcement at the joints, a feature we feel should be incorporated in more trainers. The nose wheel is fixed and the formed sheet aluminum main gear is rubber band mounted to the bottom of the fuselage.
The plans, even though not full scale, are clear and explicit with photo illustrated instructions to help keep the novice straight.
All wood parts are cleanly die-cut with a high degree of accuracy and fit together with a minimum of sanding. We would suggest, for the benefit of the beginner or the non-reader, that when mounting the servo rail doublers and the 3/8 square spruce servo rails, the doublers be slid in place over the rails and the unglued assembly then slid in place in the fuselage. The servo rail doublers can then be glued to the fuselage sides and, when dry, the servo rails slid into the proper position to fit your servos and fastened in place.
We used 5-minute epoxy on all plywood joints with aliphatic resin to hold the wing spars and tail surfaces in place, being careful to wipe off all excess while still wet. The test model was covered with white Econokote on the wings and stab and red Flite Kote on the fuselage and rudder, trimmed with DJ's tape. It was powered by a TD .049, fueled with 25% Go-Pop to swing a 6x3 Cox grey prop and directed by an Ace Digital Commander 1-8 with bantam servos and a 500ma battery pack. With this combination, the similarity to a Cessna 150 was quite pronounced. Like the song of the same name. Slow and Easy Was The Game. Although it would loop, roll and spin, it was definitely not a pattern airplane. It is forgiving and gives you time to think. If we can find a way to throttle a muffled TD .09 without a severe weight penalty, we plan to add the third channel and believe that this little bird will be a real ball.
Total construction time, ready for covering and radio installation, was about 6 hours, including a couple of phone calls. Although we haven't had an undesired opportunity to test its strength when smitten by Mother Earth, the brick outhouse aspects of this model should make it quite durable. With the wing and hatch off, full access to everything is gained. The engine is out in the open so there are no problems in getting to it.
This is the sixth Ace kit we have built and, although the first one that was designed as a trainer, we feel that it is their best all around effort to date. We commend Ace for their efforts and recommend this kit to anyone not completely dedicated to gas guzzlers, either as a first airplane or, with the larger engine, a pleasant change of pace."
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