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Monsters and Monoplanes Article & Plans
May 1974 American Aircraft Modeler

May 1974 American Aircraft Modeler

May 1974 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets3 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.

Website visitor Ken E. wrote to request a pair of two articles from the "For the Tenderfoot" series that was a regular feature in the AMA's American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The first one, which appeared in the March 1974 edition, was titled, "Bipes and Tripes." As was typical, all the models are 1/2A powered control line with sheet (profile) fuselages and flying surfaces. This series represents World War I era designs and one is even a twin engine biplane! The plans are very well done and include lots of detail for insignia. Enjoy.

Monsters and Monoplanes

Monsters and Monoplanes (May 1974 American Aircraft Modeler) - Airplanes and Rockets"For the Tenderfoot" Thing - Airplanes and RocketsAll WWI Aces to the flight line ... Monsters and Monoplanes are here to test your skills. Don't just dream about aerial combat action. Clear the workbench for the successors to Sipes 'N Tripes.

by John and Hugh Hunton with text by Patrick H. Potega.

Photos by the Authors

Illustrations by Don Schultz

This saga began with Bipes 'n Tripes (March AAM), and continues because of their immediate success in CL circles everywhere. Cries for further developments came from both the Enemy and Allied camps. The Enemy wanted some impressively immense planes, bigger than all the rest. Perhaps they wanted to scare away invaders with sheer size. The Allies wanted snappy fighters, but something faster than their Sopwith Camels and Triplanes.

The monsters, huge lumbering hunks of balsa, fit the Enemy's specifications just fine; and the zippy monoplanes were quite the cup of tea of the Allies. But, as often happens, word of the latest designs got out to the opposing camps, and soon each side was clamoring for both monsters and monoplanes.

As these planes moved into action, combat took on a totally new image. Can you picture four planes in the circle at once? The bipes and tripes buzz and strafe, while the monsters drone on toward some bombing target. The monoplanes fly to cover - they have aerial supremacy for the moment. Suddenly, the Enemy bipe (a D-7) dives after the Allied monster, just as the huge machine is about to pulverize an Iron Crossed tripe with engine troubles. The Allied Bristol Monoplane responds too late, and the bipe scores an easy victory. The monster wallows for a moment, stalls and plummets to the ground like a sick vulture. That's the kind of action a quartet of these models can offer-a riot for fliers and spectators alike.

 - Airplanes and Rockets - Airplanes and Rockets

The Enemy and Allies match each other plane for plane.

Bristol is a quicky to build - Airplanes and Rockets

A jolly good monoplane, ol' chap! The Bristol is a quickly to build. The insignia on this one were hand painted.

Getting in on this action is easy. Grab an X-acto knife and a bottle of glue, and you'll be airborne in no time. Take a set of AAM Sudden Service Plans (they are only a buck, including free Tenderfoot decals, and it's easier than scaling up the page plans) and glue them to a piece of tag or poster board. Do a good job of cutting out the cardboard templates, since everyone in the neighborhood will want to use them. (Caution: Aiding the Enemy is forbidden, but makes for a lot more fun.)

The quickest way to build these models is to mark off each step as it is completed.

Monoplane Construction

The 1/16" aluminum motor mounts can be fashioned with tin snips or a razor saw. An aluminum lawn chair arm (the flat type, not tubular) is already pre-bent and requires only cutting to size.

Remove the engine tank back and rotate it 90°, so that the glow head is to the right when the needle valve points straight up (viewed from the rear). Make sure the fuel pick-up tube inside the tank goes to the bottom outside corner.

Glue the 1/8 plywood motor mount backup to the fuselage.

Bend the landing gear wire and secure it behind the engine.

Mark the engine mount location on the fuselage and test fit the complete engine, mount and landing gear assembly. Note: Make sure that there is a slight offset to the engine, pointing to the outside of the circle.

Remove this whole assembly temporarily, and accurately cut the slots for the wing and stab in the fuse.

Join the elevators, if required on the plan. Add the control horn, and hinge the elevator to the stab with cloth hinges.

Glue in the rudder offset.

Glue the tailskid in place.

Align the rudder and stab assemblies on the fuselage. When it's straight, glue permanently in place.

Pre-sand the wing with extra-fine paper.

Install the 1/8" ply control mount to the top of the inside wing panel. Also glue the 1/8" ply line guide into its slot in the wing. The guide is on the top of the wing.

Slide the wing into the fuselage slot. Align it with the stab and, when it's straight, glue the wing solidly to the fuselage. Fill the small slot at the back of the wing with scrap balsa.

Glue the 1/8" balsa wing doublers at their designated locations on both the inside and outside wing panels.

Install the bellcrank and bend a 1/16" music wire push rod to size. Make sure that the linkages move freely.

Remove all the linkages, and finish the model according to the instructions on the plans.

Re-install the controls and engine assembly. Secure the wheels and go flying (or, if the weather is bad, build a monster).

 - Airplanes and Rockets

A regular forest of struts support the wings.

 - Airplanes and Rockets

They're all necessary, too; so don't leave any of them out.

Monster Construction

Make the aluminum motor mount as described in the first step of the monoplane construction.

Rework the engines, as described in the second step of the monoplane instructions. Make one engine (the outside one) with the cylinder facing left.

Bend the landing gear wires as shown on the plans. Secure them behind the engines.

Glue a 1/8" ply motor backup to the left side of one nacelle, and another backup to the right side of the other nacelle.

Test fit the completed engine/landing gear assemblies to the nacelles, making sure that both engines have a slight offset toward the outside of the circle.

Accurately cut slots in the fuselage for the wing and stab.

Join the elevators with 1/16" music wire. Add the control horn, and hinge the elevators with cloth hinges.

Glue the rudder to the fin, with the appropriate offset. Glue the tailskid in place.

Align the fin and stab assemblies to the fuselage. When it's straight, glue permanently.

Pre-sand the wings with extra-fine paper. Note that the bottom wings have a different outline than the top.

For the de Havilland, install the 1/8" ply control mount on the top surface of the lower wing. For the A.E.G., glue the control mount to the fuselage.

Carefully cut the 20 wing struts from 1/8" dowel. Make sure that they are all the exact same length. Using the plan, mark the location of each strut on both wings.

Remove the engine assemblies from the nacelles. Glue four struts to each nacelle at the location shown.

Slide the lower wing into the fuselage and align it with the stab. When it's straight, glue the wing solidly in place.

Glue the four center struts to each side of the fuse and to the bottom wing.

Set the top wing on the center struts, slip the nacelles between the wings, and use rubber bands around both wings to temporarily hold things in place. Adjust everything until the top wing is level with the bottom wing, and make sure that the nacelles point straight ahead. When it's all correctly positioned, glue it all carefully.

Install the 1/8" balsa wing doublers at the locations shown. Then glue in the final outside pairs of struts.

Secure the line-guide to the inside pair of struts.

Install the bellcrank and bend a 1/16" music wire pushrod to size. When everything works smoothly, remove all the linkages and paint the model according to the instructions on the plans.

Re-install the control linkages, remembering to glue the push rod guide to the fuselage side.

Add the wheels. Note that the A.E.G. has two wheels on each landing gear.

 - Airplanes and RocketsFlying

When flying the monsters, a handy trick is to warm up the engines first. Always start the outboard engine first. Adjust the needle valve with caution - it's a tight fit between those wings. When it's running properly, shut the engine down by throwing a rag into the prop: Then start the inboard engine, adjust it, and shut it down. Both engines are now warm, and will probably start on the first flip. Top off the tanks. Restart the outboard engine, then the inboard. The twin engines will make a very pleasant sound when properly synchronized.

The monsters are surprisingly aerobatic, and the monoplanes are the hottest thing in the group. Together with the bipes and tripes, monsters and monoplanes give any flying group the feeling of being a complete WWI air fleet. The variety of group combat tactics is endless. Who will be the first to get five "kills" in combat, to become an Ace? How many can get their model to complete a successful mission against a balloon barrage? What happens when there are two or four planes going at the same time - all after one balloon? Let your imagination spark some real fun activities with these sporty planes.

Materials List

4 - 1/8 x 4 x 36" balsa: wings, tail

1 - 3/8 x 3 x 36" balsa: fuselage, nacelles

1 - 1/8 x 6 x 12" plywood: engine backups, bell crank mounts, line-guides

2 - 1/8 x 1/8 x 36 balsa: wing stiffeners

2 - 1/8 x 36" dowel: struts, tailskid

1 - 1/16 x 6 x 6" aluminum: motor mounts

1 - 1/16 x 36" music wire: push rods, landing gear

2 - 1/2A bellcranks

2 - 1/2A control horns

2 pair 1 1/2" Williams WWI wheels, extra pair needed for A.E.G.

1 pkg. cloth hinge material

5 pkgs. 2-56 nuts and bolts: engine mounting

Also miscellaneous glue, dope, X-acto knife, hacksaw, pins, etc.

Above materials will build both one monster and one monoplane.


Monsters and Monoplanes Plans - Airplanes and Rockets

Monsters and Monoplanes Plans


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 September 21, 2013

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