De Havilland DH-103 Hornet (oz8001)


De Havilland DH-103 Hornet (oz8001) by Gordon Whitehead from RCMplans 1985 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

De Havilland DH-103 Hornet. Radio control sport-scale fighter, for twin .10 engines.

Quote: "The DH Hornet was the RAFs fastest ever piston engined airplane, with a top speed of 472 mph. Conceived in 1943 as a long range fighter for the Pacific Theatre, it arrived just too late for WW II but was eventually to earn its keep in the close air support role against Malayan terrorists. A Sea Hornet was developed for the Royal Navy, and three of these were flown at the 1948 International Air Exposition in New York where they gave a flying demonstration which included loops with first one, then both engines feathered.

Having flown a few hand launched belly-landed WW II single engine ships, one fact that I noted is the vulnerability of these models in a less than perfect landing. If the ground is bumpy, or if you have to land such a model cross wind or downwind, the result is often a cartwheel as one wing catches the ground and flips the model.

However, the wide-set nacelles of a twin are ideally placed to prevent the wing tips ever getting near the ground, and the Hornet is more ideal than most in this respect. It is fair to say that the experiment has been worthwhile. You can set this model down on a grass strip at frighteningly high speeds, say 40 mph at a guess, and the nacelles act like wide tracked landing skids, bringing her to rest quickly, stably and safely, though somewhat tempestuously if the ground is none too smooth.

So much for the landings. What about the take-off? Well, initially I used the dolly exclusively and the method proved reliable. Set up as indicated on the plans, she'll lift herself smoothly into the air when operating from paved runway, but needs slight up-stick from grass. However, these days it is all hand launch. There's just enough fuselage beneath the wing for a good hand-hold below the CG, and the twin set-up doesn't get oil spattered. A firm heave-ho and she's on her way.

Right. So we've found that we don't need a landing gear. Just how practical are two cheap and cheerful .10s for a twin? How well do they throttle and stay in sync? The answer here is that the engines aren't a perfect pair, and they don't always stay in sync..."

Supplementary file notes

Article pages, text and pics, thanks to SRQFlyer.


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De Havilland DH-103 Hornet (oz8001) by Gordon Whitehead from RCMplans 1985 - model pic


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De Havilland DH-103 Hornet (oz8001) by Gordon Whitehead from RCMplans 1985 - pic 003.jpg
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User comments

I've built two of the Gordon Whitehead DH-103's and it is a great flying/looking ship. I converted both of mine to electric and used a pair of Eflight Power 10's with 55amp ESCs on 2200mAh 3S with 9 x 4.5 props which gives plenty of thrust and a decent run time. I replaced the balsa where ever I thought it safe with light white foam, such as the nacelle tops, rear turtle deck and fin strake. BTW the take off trolley works a treat.
TD - 10/08/2019
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  • De Havilland DH-103 Hornet (oz8001)
  • Plan File Filesize: 746KB Filename: De_Havilland_103_Hornet_RCM-933_oz8001.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1756KB Filename: De_Havilland_103_Hornet_RCM-933_oz8001_article.pdf
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