ZINIO logo

Model Airplane News August 2021

Model Airplane News is the brand that started it all back in 1929, and it remains the trusted resource for RC aircraft enthusiasts everywhere. Written for the full spectrum of RC airplane, helicopter, and multirotor fliers—from beginners to seasoned pros—Model Airplane News entertains and informs with on-the-flight line event coverage, impressive flight techniques, detailed flight reports, DIY workshop projects, and much more.

United States
Air Age Media
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
flight plan

IN THIS ISSUE Scale modelers are a dedicated group, and are constantly pushing the envelope for their craft. This is made very apparent in this issue’s coverage of the 33rd Top Gun Scale Invitational. The quality of the contestants’ entries as always was way over the top, and the variety of aircraft types chosen to compete with was absolutely amazing. Our congratulations go out to all the class winners and to second time Mr. Top Gun champion Bret Becker with his Lockheed U-2C Dragon Lady spy plane. OUT OF THIS WORLD And, this is no exaggeration! In this issue we have a detailed accounting of everything required to fly a helicopter on another planet. In “Mission to Mars” author Patrick Sherman shares all the scoop on NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter that’s flying and taking…

1 min
hobby hacks

QUICK CLAMPS For repairs or construction, clamping parts while glues dry has its challenges. Clothespins have their limitations. Here I have bent ⅛-inch steel rod to make clamps for limited space cavities. It’s easy to adjust the clamping pressure by changing the vertical height and spread between the contact points. Chuck Cawthon, Garland, Texas LEAD IDENTIFICATION When assembling your model airplane, you usually have to connect some servo leads to connect wing servos to the receiver in the fuselage. I have found that using small colored circular document labels makes the job easy. Just match the colors. Later, if you change the radio gear the labels are easy to peel off. Phillip Johnston, British Columbia PIN BLOCK To keep pins from off the building board, I like to use a pin block. I take a scrap piece…

1 min
new releases

RBC Kits F-4 Intended for a small turbine or 90mm EDF unit with 5S to 6S LiPo, this kit feature CNC-cut formers and ribs with a tab-lock design to make building easier. The one-piece, 5-channel design has a 34-inch wingspan. The kit comes with full-size rolled CAD plans, a vacuum-formed canopy, outlet duct, nose and tail cones, and a paper intake tube. No hardware is included. The kit costs $250. rbckits.com Pilot-RC 40% Pitts Challenger Pilot-RC’s first biplane, this 87-inch 3D aerobat has a patented quick release system for fast wing mounting and can be prepped for flight in less than 5 minutes. Fully built up with carbon-fiber reinforcement, it features Ultracote covering and includes installed hinges, internally-mounted cowl, removeable wings, wing struts, and stabilizers, and a no-screw canopy with a new security latch…

9 min
bellanca cruisemaster

I’ve always liked scale models and building unique aircraft and the Bellanca Cruisemaster is one of those classic general aviation airplanes that’s seldom modeled. To develop my plans I used a 3-view drawing from Bob Banka. My particular model is of a 1951 example I found on Aircraft Shopper Online. I loved the classic turquoise and white color scheme and was pleased to find out that Ultracote Turquoise matched. Construction is pretty straightforward and it is all balsa. GETTING STARTED Construction starts with the tail group, which is cut from 3/16 balsa. The tip rudders are from ⅛-inch balsa. Use firm balsa stock for the tips to the stabilizer and pin them in place with toothpicks for added strength. The tips are where the tip rudders will be added later. I use…

1 min
bellanca aircraft design

Bellanca started production of the Cruisair model in 1939, and it was enlarged and modified in 1950 to become the Bellanca Cruisemaster. The design featured a welded steel tube fuselage and tail surfaces and wings of bonded mahogany plywood in combination with solid spruce spars. It had hydraulic rearward retracting landing gear in which about a third of the wheel is exposed when retracted. One of its unique design features is the triple tail, and it was sometimes referred to as the “Cardboard Constellation.” Later variants had tricycle gear and it ultimately became the Bellanca Super Viking. A great book on the history of Bellanca’s airplanes is “Bellanca’s Golden Age” by Alan Abel and Drina Welch Abel.…

1 min
top gun scale invitational

From its start in 1989, Top Gun has always delivered the highest level of RC excellence. The Model Airplane News crew has covered the Top Gun Scale Invitational from the very start, and we’ve seen the event evolve and grow with the times. Now in its 33rd year, the 2021 Top Gun event was the first to go on without its founder and RC scale promoter Frank Tiano. Organized and promoted by Frank’s wife Carol Tiano, this year’s event was a great success thanks to Carol’s dedication and the hard work of her crew. Frank was surely smiling down, pleased with how well the scale invitational has continued to bring the best of the best pilots and planes together to partake in the country’s premier scale competition. Mr. Top Gun For the…