Thermal Sniffer (oz7738)


Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Thermal Sniffer. RC glider model.

Quote: "This glider was designed to be rugged and efficient so as to be able to compete against other contest gliders in towline. There is no easier way for the beginner to master the fundamental principles of flight than with this simple, easy to build, towline glider. There is no greater test of skill for the expert than slope-soaring or spotlanding this craft. Five-position rudder control is used, because after much experience it was found to give the most practical method of all-around control with a minimum of equipment.

When properly trimmed, the stability of the ship is surprising. The model will not drop its nose into a spiral dive until at least one complete circle in either direction is finished. The model is unique in the fact that two distinct types of flying may be selected. By moving the wing back from the center of gravity about 1 or 2 inches the model becomes very fast and snappy, and many maneuvers may be performed at fairly high speeds. By moving the wing forward from the center of gravity, the craft soars slowly and easily, a performance which is suitable for duration contest work.

Radio-equipped models are acceptable by the Academy for duration competition with nonradio- controlled craft in any of their sanctioned contests. This is not generally known. The advantages of radio-controlled craft in competition with conventional craft becomes obvious with experience.

The body of the glider is extremely simple to construct, being of the strong box type. The conventional method of building the two sides first, one on top of the other, is used. After completing the two sides, place them upside down on a drawing board and glue in all the cross-pieces of equal length.

Next bring the tail end together and finish up the remaining crosspieces. The nose block is then added and the remaining cross-pieces are glued in place. Be sure to allow a space on the front top for the removable radio hatch. The wing dihedral joint fits into the 'V' trough on top of the fuselage.

Sand the body thoroughly, making sure there are no bits of glue or wood protruding. The body is now ready for sheeting. The whole body except for the radio opening in the top front is covered with a soft grade of 1/16 balsa wood with grain running from nose to tail. Apply plenty of glue and work fast. Hold sheeting in place with pins about every half inch..."

Note this is a low resolution plan.

Update 02/05/2018: added clearer copy of the article, thanks to JeffGreen.

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics.


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Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - model pic


Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 003.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 004.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 005.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 006.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 007.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 008.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 009.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 010.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 011.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 012.jpg
Thermal Sniffer (oz7738) by Chester Lanzo from Air Trails 1949 - pic 013.jpg

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User comments

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all your hard work. Living in California I awake each morning to see what new materials you have uploaded over night. While I cannot build them all I do enjoy reading the words of the luminaries in our Hobby that were the true founders of our sport. Thought you might enjoy some photos of my latest Outerzone project, Chet Lanzo's Thermal Sniffer scaled to 130% [more pics 003-007]. It is an excellent flier.
LarryJolly - 20/02/2018
Either the date is wrong or the magazine it was published in is wrong. American Aircraft Modeler did not come about until the late '50s. What is likely true is that it was published in Air Trails.
rchopper56 - 21/02/2018
The Vintage RC Society database backs up rchopper56's assertion and records the Thermal Sniffer as being published by Air Trails in August 1949 so the publisher field here on Outerzone should probably be changed to Air Trails :)
SimonPlatt - 21/02/2018
Publisher amended just now. Thank you!
Mary - 21/02/2018
Hi Steve: In looking for another project using your wonderful plans, I came across the Thermal Sniffer, designed by Chester Lanzo. I also read and saw the User Comments/photos from Larry Jolly (20-2-2018). I echo the nice words that Mr Jolly wrote and like him, wanted to build a version of the Sniffer. My design is to be flown by electric motor and radio controlled. I also enlarged Mr. Lanzo's 80" wing span by 115%, having a 92" span. I can only tell you that after the Sniffer cruises to a comfortable height, it floats around the sky in majestic beauty. The transparent colors of yellow and red, are spot on [more pics 008-010]. Using the set-up as described below, my first flight lasted about 20-25 minutes. My battery took 2130 Mah to come back to full charge. Wing Span- 92"; Lgth- 58"; Weight- 3#-10oz; Motor- eRC BL25 x850kv; ESC- 40 amps; Battery- 3 cell, 4000 Mah; Prop- 12x6 folding. Bench static test: Full power drew 28.5 amps producing 318 watts, or 86 watts/#
RobertK - 29/05/2018
You have some pics of my 92" Thermal Sniffer already, but here are some of my latest project [more pics 011-013]. This version of the Sniffer, (Thermal Sniffer XLE ) has a 120" wing span. Weight is 6#-10 oz RTF. Powered by a Turnigy 3548 prop drive V2, 900kv motor and a 3cell, 4000 Mah Zippy Lipo and 12x8 folding prop. The center section of the wing is part of the fuselage, with two outer sections sliding onto wing tubes. This was its maiden flight, and the weather was a bit chilly. I was concerned that on its maiden flight the 3 cell wasn't enough voltage, but with full power, the Sniffer rose up and away. I also have a FPV camera mounted in the wing, but have yet to get any videos. There is so much wing area, the Sniffer cruises around with little or no power needed. A 20 minute flight took only 1400 mah of the 4000 mah battery.
RobertK - 14/11/2018
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  • Thermal Sniffer (oz7738)
  • Plan File Filesize: 602KB Filename: Thermal_Sniffer_Lanzo_oz7738.pdf
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