CHOOSING THE SECOND MODEL BUILDING PROJECT
The first 90 percent of the task takes 90 percent of the time.
The last 10 percent takes the other 90 percent.
- Project scheduling "99" rule
The second project should introduce a few additional building
challenges. The best choice(s) for a second model are often debated
in modeling forums. You are unlikely to find two experienced
modelers who will agree on the subject. However, the model you
choose should be one that will fly well. You will continue to learn
more about how to trim the model for flight. An excellent 10-step
procedure for trimming a new model will be found at:
www.mindspring.com/~thayer5/modelhp.html and click modeling
tips and click 10 step.
7.1 The Case for NoCal
A NoCal model is one that has a two-dimensional fuselage - height and
length, but little width. The single light framework fuselage has a
stick, similar to that found on the Delta Dart, glued to one side to
support the rubber motor. It is said that the NoCal title comes from
a lack of calories.
The objective is to achieve a realistic semi-scale profile with
minimum weight, and it works. The novice will be encouraged by good
7.2 The Case for Bostonian
This is AMA event category 129. A Bostonian model has a 16-inch
maximum wingspan and a fuselage length of 14 inches. The fuselage
must enclose an imaginary box 1.5 x 2.5 x 3.0 inches in size. It
must have a landing gear. Flying surfaces must be covered on both
sides. The model must weigh at least 14 grams without rubber motor
for a monoplane, 20 grams for others.
If you get the idea that the designers of this event were trying to
force competitors toward models with a scale-like appearance, you are
probably right. The net result of the rules is that most Bostonians
are good flyers both indoors and out. The fuselage must be built-up
to enclose the "imaginary box", and the weight minimums tend to
encourage reasonably strong structures. Kits and plans for Bostonian
designs are available.
7.3 Some Baxter Designs
Dick Baxter designed a light rubber model for a seventh and eighth
grade school program. It was featured in the July, 1989 issue of
Model Builder magazine. The model, called the "Pussycat", had a
built-up fuselage, a landing gear and was covered in tissue paper.
Since that time Baxter has designed an enlarged version of the
Pussycat, the "Big Pussycat", that is also a high-wing model. He has
also designed a low-wing model; the "Akro" and a biplane called the
All are lightweight indoor models of 15 to 16 inch wingspan. We have
used these designs in building sessions with relative beginners.
They make excellent flyers. Plans for these models can be
downloaded from www.mindspring.com/~thayer5/modelhp.html and
click free flight plans and click Akro, Big Pussycat, XE-5.
7.4 The Flying Aces Moth
Although the FA Moth first appeared back in August of 1937 this model
is still considered one of the best beginner's rubber models for
outdoor flying. This 24 inch span model is pictured on
www.peck-polymers.com/. Click Kits and click Sport Models.
Plans for this model can be downloaded from:
www.ualberta.ca/~khorne, and click jump here to the archives and click jump here to VOL. 5 No. 1 December 2003 and click Flying Aces Moth 1937 design.
Photos of the FA Moth can be seen at www.mindspring.com/~thayer5/modelhp.html and click Index of My Models.
An entire book has been written on this model, providing step-by-step construction.
[Warner, Bill. Building the Flying Aces Moth. Blue Ridge Summit,
PA: TAB Books, 1992.]
7.5 Indoor Alternatives
There are two AMA events that serve to introduce a novice to indoor
model competition. The Easy B, event 206, and the Limited
Pennyplane, event 207 feature a simple stick fuselage and 18 inch
wingspan. They make an easy transition from the Delta Dart or Wright
See AMAs Web site at: www.modelaircraft.org/ and click competitions and click competition regulations and click indoor free flight for details.