David’s o/d glider build part 1

By | September 7, 2020

I don’t know about you but I always like to start with the wings.

Using root and tip rib templates cut from some old aluminium I made a couple of ‘rib sandwiches’ using up bits of scrap 1/16th balsa and new ply for the root ribs. It’s a method I used ‘in the old days’, does anyone else still do this(?) I have no idea but I do think tapered wings are well worth the extra effort.
















Building semi-symmetrical wings on a flat board required quite a bit of careful packing but before long the wing halves (one left and one right – hopefully) were mostly done minus the full length flaperons, winglets, and washout. Oh, and minus the fuselage fairings that would eventually cover each root (what?? – more on that later).











The fuselage was even more fun to build. Again, the plan was to use up lots of bits of scrap balsa (I hate waste) through creating a sort of ‘exoskeleton’ whereby the hard/curved outer skin of 1mm ply was fitted first then the thickness built up by adding strips of soft balsa internally. Curvy parts of the top & bottom were strip-built too.





I don’t have any kind of jig so I glued on the fuselage sides back-half-first making sure the fin was truly vertical before pulling the nose together a few days later.











Then the strip-work began in earnest until of all of my short 3/32, 1/8, and 3/16 scraps had gone.
Clothes pegs are great!






Whilst waiting for glue to dry I made up the sliding servo tray using a scrap of plastic cable trunking, a bit of old ali carpet strip, a bit of 1mm ply and off-cuts of light mahogany. Much more fun than transmitter programming(!), well, I think so anyway.






Underside view showing the internal strips and bottom strips going on:






At this point I decided to find out about setting up the flaperons and posed a couple of questions on the Model Flying forum which proved most informative (https://www.modelflying.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=167572&p=1). More news soon.

4 thoughts on “David’s o/d glider build part 1

  1. cliff1959

    Lovely looking machine there David, I like the sliding servo, it’s an idea that works really well and that’s all we had back in the day, nice to see it still in use.

  2. John Harvey

    Dave, you didnt tell us you used to work for British Aerospace as chief designer! I thought this was merely an idea in your head, now I see it is nearly built. I have thought of a name for this model…’SCRAPS’ . Please don’t let me miss the maiden, will it have a tow release system? Just the job for Gordons Cub XL. Oh OK see you on the slope.

    1. David Ramsden Post author

      Steady on young John. I’ve been called a lot of things in my time but never one of those!
      Hopefully it’ll be more than ‘scraps’.
      The design is rather ambitious and all kinds of issues might arise. I think I’ll hand launch it in a flat field before lobbing it off a hilltop. But when it’s flying well I’d be very happy for you to be there of course. Funnily enough, I did think about a tow release as I really enjoyed the LH Aerotow event but it’s a pretty small and insignificant model compared to those lovely scale jobs. I also thought about a brushless motor.
      First and foremost it’s ‘just’ a slope soarer.

  3. John Harvey

    Such a shame we are not able to have our monthly meetings , it would have been really interesting to see the build in the flesh laid out on a table. You are probably right David , see how it flys in its basic form before dabbling in other launch methods. However for the future we have all sorts and sizes of model aerotowed very successfully, for instance Cliffs Bird of Time.

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