Skyrider (oz8689)


Skyrider (oz8689) by Larry Renger 1975 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Skyrider. Radio control powered glider model.

Quote: "Free, silent flight in a cool blue sky, a gull or two to keep you company - the SkyRider is for that kind of flying. Here is a model which you can carry to your flying site by a pleasant walk, soar to your heart's content, and then walk home agaim with it. No big-engine roar to wake the dead or neighbors, no 800 foot field required to use your winch or hi-start. In fact, you can fly for a month on a pint of gas!

This is no 8 channel, 4 engine bomber, or screaming pylon racer, not a gas gulping pattern model, or even a 14 ft sailplane. The SkyRider is at home bouncing on the lightest lift, letting you relax and occasionally steer it to a new thermal when the old one drifts away. Under power this model climbs out smoothly. The little tank of the Cox Pee Wee .020 is just right to gain comfortable altitude. If there is an overcast you can easily keep it lower by doing some tight turns in the power run before grabbing for some sky.

Once the engine quits, the SkyRider may be just trimmed for a nice glide circle and allowed to fly free if you wish, optimum duration comes with minimum control input anyway. Just steer it back upwind whenever it begins to drift behind you.

This model aircraft is perfectly at home on any school field. Originally the power was aCox Tee Dee .020. That was too much for this size model even with a digital radio in it. The model would handle it, but it kept trying to disappear straight up! The power of a Pee Wee .020 hauls the SkyRider's 9-1/2 ounces into thermal country very nicely, thank you. With the lightest pulse radio setup you could even knock almost 2 ounces off that.

Special care was taken in this design to assure a lightweight and rigid structure without complexity. The features which make this possible are the three section wing, and the selective use of spruce, hard balsa, and medium balsa in the wing spars. Selective spar strength allows use of all identical ribs while still achieving a structure which has the correct strength distribution.

Frontal area has been minimized, and the overall weight was held to a convenient minimum. Mind you, a more complex, difficult design could be even lighter and cleaner - but this is a sport model, after all.

SkyRider, a very versatile model provides a pleasant relaxation on the may home from work, or diversion at a picnic, or something to teach Junior how to build and fly. You can even frustrate your R/C flying buddies by hogging all the airtime with $3.00 worth of balsa and $1.75 in fuel. If soaring models are your usual fare, you will feel right at home with the low wing loading of this model. You have a wing which could easily fly a model of double the weight. It is possible to use Cox's new muffler on the Pee Wee engine and then, even you won't be able to hear the airplane climb out. Just keep the colors bright so you can see it.

For some peculiar reason, I always build my wing first, probably because, as an aerodynamicist, I can't stand to see a nice wing just sitting around, so the rest of the model gets finished sooner. Anyway, the wing is where this article starts on construction.

Cut out the airfoil templates and cement or glue them to thin metal or plywood. Cut out 26 ribs of 1/16 balsa and 2 from 1/8..."

Note this is a low resolution plan.

Update 16/4/2024: Replaced this plan with a clearer copy at 600 dpi, thanks to theshadow.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Supplementary file notes

Previous scan version.


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Skyrider (oz8689) by Larry Renger 1975 - model pic


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