Airplanes and Rockets' history & copyright Google search American Modeler Air Trails American Aircraft Modeler Young Men Hobbies Aviation Flying Aces Saturday Evening Post Boys' Life Hobby Distributors Amateur Astronomy Engines & Motors Balsa Densities Silkspan Covering Comics Electronics My Models Model Aircraft Articles Plans Model Boat Articles Plans Model Car Articles Plans Model Train Articles Plans 1941 Crosley 03CB Radio Model helicopter articles & plans Crosswords Model Rocket Articles Plans Restoration Projects Photos Peanuts Collection Model Aircraft Articles Plans Sitemap Homepage Hints and Kinks Amateur Radio Archives of the homepage R/C Modeler Electronics About Airpleans and Rockest, Disclaimer, Terms of Use Model Topics Please Donate to Airplanes and Rockets Parole Plaza, Annapolis, Maryland Hobby Items for Sale Airplanes and Rockets Hero Graphic

Model Aircraft Museum, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets
Model Aviation Magazine, AMA - Airplanes and Rockets

Grumman F2F-1 Article & Plans
September 1957 American Modeler

September 1957 American Modeler

September 1957 American Modeler Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Here is an example of the Grumman F2F-1, as presented in the September 1957 edition of American Modeler. Designed, drawn and described by Paul Plecan. "The Grumman F2F was a single-engine, biplane fighter aircraft with retractable undercarriage, serving as the standard fighter for the United States Navy between 1936 and 1940. It was designed for both carrier- and land-based operations." - Wikipedia

Click on the plans at the bottom for a larger version. You might be able to buy full-size plans from the AMA plans service. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged. 

Grumman F2F-1

Grumman F2F-1 article from September 1957 American Modeler - Airplanes and RocketsDesigned, drawn and described by Paul Plecan

Of all fighter biplanes ever built, the early Grumman ships personify a pugnacity and ruggedness apparent in no other type. Chunky, strong, the F2F-l was a fast fighter for its time; one reason was its retractable landing gear. The F2F -1 was one of the earliest fighters that had this feature in operational or squadron service. First seen by the author at Floyd Bennett Field near New York in the mid-thirties, the F2F-I was always considered a high priority subject for a U-control model. If you like the F2F-l's looks too, let's build one ...

Easiest way to get going is to build the wings first. After cutting out the required number of ribs and tip pieces, cut leading and trailing edges to size. Note that ribs are notched into both leading and trailing edges. Once all the cutting is done, cement together over the plan. The lower wing incorporates some dihedral, so crack the leading and trailing edges (after cutting partly through) where the doubled number 6 ribs occur. Propping up tips with scrap " stock: under # 1 ribs produces the correct dihedral angle, so just let the cement dry well while we tackle the fuselage.

A basic framework is built up of ¼" square balsa longeron, followed by the various former segments as shown in the step-by-step sketches. The suffix on each former part clarifies its position; T for top, S for side, and B for bottom. Along about now it will be necessary to cut out 2 each of parts 3F and 3G. Thickness is immaterial, but 3/16" or ¼" stock would be fine. Former 3B is cut off flush with lower edge of 3F -3G so that top surface of center section of lower wing" fits snugly against this assembly. Lower wing should be covered and doped now so it can be assembled to the fuselage framework. Silk is recommended "for maximum strength and resiliency. In assembling the lower wing to fuselage, be careful to keep alignment right on the button when viewed from above (they should be at right angles). The part remaining of 3B is now trimmed an amount equal to thickness of wing at that point and cemented to bottom of wing.

We can now proceed with planking of fuselage. Use soft ⅛" x ⅜" balsa strips, starting near top longerons and about parallel to them. Due to the pronounced taper of the fuselage from station 3 to the tail at 7, it will be necessary to taper the planking. This is easiest if you have a really sharp miniature plane, but if not, a metal-edged rule laid across edge of planking strip will guide your X-acto knife or razor blade for a straight taper cut where you want it. Sanding wm achieve the slight bevel necessary between adjacent strips; the finished fuselage should be practically devoid of slits or gaps in the planking. More sanding is in order now to achieve a smooth surface.

Section forward of fanner 2B is carved from a block of balsa, 2¾" long by 1" deep and 3¾" wide. If you so desire, the wheel-wells can be carved into the sides of the block; however, many will choose merely to paint a 2½" circle in dark gray or black on the sides of the fuselage in the same spot and let it go at that. For maximum strength, it is best to lace the main landing gear strut to the inside structure as shown on plans. Strong sewing thread or upholsterer's thread is fine for this, plus generosity with cement.

A plywood insert between engine bearers (or on top) is necessary for bellcrank attachment. Laterally or vertically the position is not too important, but do not change from longitudinal position shown; 1/32" aft of station 2 is ideal, as shown. The line guide for the lead-outs on the "N" strut is positioned for bellcrank position shown, so change it if you change the bellcrank position for any reason.

Tail surfaces are cut from ¼" sheet and sanded to section shown in side view. Regular fabric hinges are used (or whatever type is your favorite) and be sure ample movement of the elevators exists. If a small Veco (2") bellcrank is used and the elevator horn is about the size shown, up and down travel will be sufficient.

An important item of appearance will be the wheels. The narrow-tread tires and wheels used on these older-type jobs make wheel procurement a problem. The right-type wheels can be obtained. from Scalemaster Models, 28 Ionia, Grand Rapids, Mich. $1 per pair, postpaid. If you are making primarily a flying model, simplify the tail wheel mounting into a single wire deal. Complicated stuff just doesn't hold up for wear and tear of flying.

For those who may have trouble in getting top wing in place correctly on a biplane, here is our advice. Cut a "jig" out of any thickness wood handy. This should have the contour of the wing I undercamber for its top edge and the I shape of the fuselage profile for its lower' edge (that portion of the fuselage directly under the wing). Now if this jig is pinned or taped to fuselage and then wing taped to it, you will have something to hold the wing in place while fitting the "N" struts. Brace the top wing to the bottom with scrap strips and check alignment from above and from front before fitting struts.

Brace wires are a definite help in    (I will scan the rest of the article on request)


Grumman F2F-1 plans from September 1957 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets

<click for larger version>


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.

About Airplanes & Rockets 

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and RocketsKirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright  1996 - 2026
All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Homepage Archives  |  Modeling News Archives


Kirt Blattenberger


Family Websites:

RF Cafe

Equine Kingdom

Drones - Airplanes and Rockets

Rocket Kits + Accessories - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) - Airplanes and Rockets

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Tower Hobbies logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Tower Hobbies

Horizon Hobby logo - Airplanes and Rockets

Horizon Hobby

Sig Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Sig Mfg

Brodak Manufacturing - Airplanes and Rockets

Brodak Mfg