Top Dawg (oz8897)


Top Dawg (oz8897) by Ken Willard from Top Flite 1967 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Top Dawg. Radio control sport / pylon racer model. For .049 to .15 power.

The original Ken Willard Top Dawg (oz901) design was published in RCM 1966. This is the Top Dawg as kitted by Top Flite, a year later.

Scan from DBHL, cleanup by theshadow.

ref DBHL-7600.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 07/05/2018: Added kit review from Radio Modeller, November 1967, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "Review. Top Flite Top Dawg, built and flown by Dave Thomas.

THE contents of this new Top Flite kit were described in the September RM Trade News and, having built the model, I can now endorse all that was said. Not having built a kit model for some years, perhaps I may be excused for having forgotten the golden rule: Study the plan and building instructions. Some little time spent doing this, and in identifying tile various parts, will pay dividends in avoiding the pitfalls that can be experienced, if one is over-eager to get started.

Constructional Pointers: The fuselage sides are 'framed' with 3/16 square longerons and uprights, after marking off their positions from the plan. The position of the top main longeron is a little vague, due to other parts in the construction; it should lie flush with the top of the fuselage sides, overlapping the cut-outs at the rear ends and ending flush with the front face of the engine bullchead.

A welcome new feature of this kit is the incorporation of a fuselage jig - in the bottom of the box! The fuselage sides slide into the jig and the jig-supports have hooks at their top ends to allow for rubber bands to be stretched across, holding the assembly rigid during construction.

Although the sequence instructions call for the turtle decking to be added before the wing is made, it's a good idea to have the wing finished and held in place on the fuselage before commencing this rather tricky operation. The turtle decking parts are cut oversize, to allow for trimming to size after checking the fit, and this is the only part of the model that does not 'fall together.' Some care and patience is called for here, to ensure a perfect fit at the wing fuselage junction.

The wing is easy to construct and makes up into a very solid unit, the only rather weak point being the plastic moulded tips, which are held to the main structure with either sellotape or strips of MonoKote. If you are going to cover the wing in anything that requires doping, watch those tip ribs! They have no solid wing-tip to support them against the pull of a well doped covering.

The wheel spats are of block and sandwich construction, and add handsomely to the appearance of the finished model, although their ability to stand up to the wear and tear of British type flying fields is limited - mine have already been 'removed', and I fly from a well-kept runway!

Installation: An O.S. 10 R/C engine, 2oz square metal clunk tank, Futaba s/c radio and home-built galloping-ghost actuator, gave an all-up weight of just over 30oz - just about right for Top Dawg's 326 sq in of wing area. A steerable tailwheel fitting is included in the packet of accessories, and I connected this up in high hopes of doing some multi type ground manoeuvres. Trials in the safety of a large hangar proved very successful, but out on a breezy airfield quite the reverse happened. In fact, all hell broke loose when the throttle was opened to full chat for take-off, spectators moving rapidly in all directions, before I remembered to hit the engine-slow button! So the tailwheel was made non-steerable before flying was attempted and is not an idea I recommend for GG.

Flying: The first fiight was 'straight off the board,' the model showing no vices at all. In fact, this is the easiest model I have ever 'first-flown' - honestly! With GG systems, though, the Top Dawg is very sensitive to elevator control. This is, no doubt, due to the very large elevator (by GG standards), which is 1-1/2 in wide, at its widest part. The rudder, on the other hand, is too small and, even when using the maximum throw available, turns are really far too wide. Easily remedied, of course, by making a new rudder from scratch or adding a half-inch strip to the trailing edge of the existing rudder, and reducing the elevator width by about half.

With the O.S. 10 for power, Top Dawg is very nippy and ideal for small-model plyon racing. Throttle the engine back a shade and you have a very docile model. With a simple rudder-only set up, and a good .049 engine, I have no doubt that it would be a very pleasant and safe model for ric beginners. Of course, for the iron-nerved 'pudding stirrers', a .15 engine will put tihe Dawg in the 'hot' class which, apart from turning in some fast circuitry round the pylons, should also be capable of some pretty fancy stunts.

General: To sum up: Top Dawg is a quick-to-build and easy-to-fly model. A little pricey, perhaps, by British kit standards, but when you weigh this against the quality of the parts, accurate die cutting, plastic mouldings and really comprehensive accessories, giving a model that goes together like clockwork - the price doesn't seem unreasonable.

Manufacturer: Top Flite Models (USA)
Importer: Ripmax Ltd
Price: £7-5-0."

Update 01/12/2020: Added kit review from MAN, October 1967, thanks to RFJ.

Update 31/12/2020: Added formers file, thanks to Balsaworkbench. Note this is a scan of the die-stamped balsa sheets that came with the kit.

Supplementary file notes



Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Top Dawg (oz8897) by Ken Willard from Top Flite 1967 - model pic

  • (oz8897)
    Top Dawg
    by Ken Willard
    from Top Flite (ref:RC-10)
    40in span
    IC R/C Kit
    formers unchecked
  • Submitted: 25/06/2017
    Filesize: 1177KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: DBHL, theshadow

Top Dawg (oz8897) by Ken Willard from Top Flite 1967 - pic 003.jpg
Top Dawg (oz8897) by Ken Willard from Top Flite 1967 - pic 004.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

No comments yet for this plan. Got something to say about this one?
Add a comment



Download File(s):
  • Top Dawg (oz8897)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1177KB Filename: Top_Dawg_DBHL_oz8897.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1237KB Filename: Top_Dawg_DBHL_oz8897_formers.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 4979KB Filename: Top_Dawg_DBHL_oz8897_review_MAN.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 474KB Filename: Top_Dawg_DBHL_oz8897_review_RM.pdf
  • help with downloads


* 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.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2021.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.