Website visitor Alan M. wrote
to request that I scan this Dancer article from the February 1971 edition of American
Aircraft modeler. The Dancer is a beginner's level control line trainer model for 1/2A
power. It was designed and built by AMA Junior level modeler Dennis Haimerl. A unique
feature of the Dancer is use of a leading edge slot to enhance lift and stall characteristics
of the flat airfoil of the wing.
Photos by the Author
Dennis Haimerl is a Tenderfoot modeler, but he has designed his own control line trainer.
Full-size and ready-to-use plans are on pages 45 and 48.
What makes a good beginner's model? It must
be rugged, easy to make, interesting, fairly slow, and easy to fly.
Dancer is a simple model to construct because of its straight design. It does require
elevator hinges, but they are not difficult to install. Hinging methods other than cloth
(or other fibered materials) are up to the builder. However, cloth is best.
Ready-to-use plans are on the back of the magazine's centerspread. For the wing use
a 1/8 x 3 x 24" piece of balsa. Mark its center and align with the center of the plans.
Wing tops are placed at the end of the balsa. Cut out the pieces.
After the wing has been assembled, pin it down on a flat board. Apply cement liberally
to the center of the wing and set the fuselage piece in place. Add the 1/4 x 1/4 x 3"
fillets to each side and hold in place with pins. Using a small square, make sure the
fuselage is exactly vertical to the wing. Apply cement to the center of the stabilizer
and slide it into position in the fuselage slot. Again use the square to be sure the
trailing edge of the stabilizer is at a right angle to the fuselage. Measure the distance
from each stabilizer tip to the building board and make sure they are the same.
Be sure the rudder is parallel to the fuselage. Set the trailing edge of the rear piece
offset 3/4 in. to the right of the fuselage.
Dancer beginner control line model.
The slot makes the flat wing act like a proper
Large rudder and offset keep lines tight.
Note slot gap above wing.
Apply cement to the back of the plywood firewall and to the two 1/2" gussets, then
set into place. The firewall must be tight against the front of the fuselage. Cement
two of the 1/16" plywood pieces to the wing at the bellcrank location. Allow the whole
assembly to dry overnight.
Since the Dancer was built for flying, paint should be kept to a minimum. First smooth
all edges with fine sandpaper, then apply only a few coats of clear dope.
When the dope has dried, assemble the slot. It should be sanded as shown on the plans
for best performance. Cement the triangular slot supports to the wing and, when they
have dried, glue the slot in place. Cover these parts with clear dope. The entire model
may then be covered with one or two coats of color dope, if desired.
After the final coat has dried, the controls and engine are installed. Mount the horn
on the elevator and bend the pushrod to fit. Put the pushrod into the outer hole of the
bellcrank, which is then set on the 1/16" plywood pieces attached to the wing. Drill
a 3/32" hole through the bellcrank mount and attach the bell crank with screws. If desired,
make a landing gear of 1/16" music wire and mount it between the engine and the firewall.
Flying is easy. Use a 6-3 propeller and 20- to 30-ft. flying lines. Launch downwind
to keep the lines tight. Have your helper toss the model level so that the controls are
1 Baby Bee 049
1 pc. 1/8 x 3 x 24" balsa wing
1 pc. 1/4 x 3 X 12" balsa fuselage
1 pc. 3/32 x 3 x 15" balsa tail
2 pcs. 1/4 x 1/4 X 3" balsa wing fillet
pcs. 1/2 x 1/22 x 1 3/4" balsa firewall gusset
2 pcs. 1/16 x 3/4 x 1" plywood
1 pc. 1/8 x 1 1/4 x 1 3/4" balsa firewall
1 pc. 1/8 x 1/2 x 12" balsa slot
1/2-A-size bellcrank and horn package
1 pc .055 x 12" music wire pushrod
x 9" music wire landing gear
1 pc. 2 x 3 1/2" silk cloth hinges
1 pc. 1/16 x
1/2 x 2" plywood
2 light 1-in. dia. wheels
4 #3 x 3/8 wood screws
Here is a B&W version of the
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size
version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always
best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing
plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I
will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
Try my Scale Calculator for Model Airplane Plans.
Posted on June 14, 2013