Latest Update: 4/10/2012
Note: LazerWorks now has a short kit for the
Plans can be purchased from Carl Goldberg.
OK, I've decided to build another 1/2A Skylane. This time it
will be electric. As with the one described below that was powered
with a Norvel .061 nitro fuel engine, this one will be built by
creating a kit of parts derived from tracing around the original
kit parts. Surprisingly, especially for the era, the balsa and plywood
used in the original kit are very high quality and the density of
the wood is excellent. Of course, the nice thing about cutting parts
from scratch is that you get to hand-select all the wood.
A copy of the original plans was obtained off of eBay before
I actually bought a kit off of eBay as well. The guy presented the
plans as if they were the originals, but turned out to be a cheap
copy. The size increased by about 1% or so during the copying, so
the parts aren't quite a match to the plans. They do match
original plans that I got with the kit, though.
Website visitor Bill Mohrbacher sent these photos of his
Carl Goldberg 1/2A Skylane that he built many moons ago.
His Skylane looked better than any of mine even after crashing!
Read his note.
My intention is to replicate the kit pretty much exactly per
the original, but I will need to do some modifications to accommodate
the brushless motor setup. It will be 3-channel, with throttle,
elevator, and rudder. The original plans shows installation for
both a servo (very large) and an escapement. If all goes well, I
hope to actually use a nano servo to drive a torque rod to control
the rudder, per the original. I'll provide photos once it has been
done. Unlike the escapement control that provides center and full
throw left or right, this will be proportional.
On the .061-powered version, the elevators we separate and controlled
by a split pushrod. This time, they will be jointed and hinged along
the same line so that a single pushrod can be used.
Here is a tip that makes cutting out the plywood parts much easier
where inside curves are required. Use a Forstner bit of proper radius
to cut the radii, and then proceed with cutting everything else
either with a jigsaw or band saw, and sand to final size. Doing
so virtually eliminates any tendency for the plywood layers to pull
apart or chip off while cutting. I was actually able to control
the Forstner bit positions tightly enough (using a drill press)
to not need to sand the inside curves.
As a kid back in the 1960s, I built two Carl Goldberg 1/2A Skylane
models. They were intended for a single-channel escapement system,
but I never did accumulate enough money for the radio, so they ended
up as free flight planes. Both were powered with Cox Baby Bee .049
engines. By today's standards, the kits were very difficult to build
- lots of interlocking parts and poor die cutting compounded the
problem. I remember tying a string to the propeller and dragging
it behind my bicycle, carefully governing the speed to get it to
the point where it would just begin to become airborne, then backing
Skylane in the photos was built from parts traced from a kit I purchased
on e-Bay a few years back. Rather than making the fuselage sides
out of three or four pieces, it was made of a single sheet with
appropriate doublers. Other than that kind of improvement, everything
was built pretty much per the original. I made the mistake of substituting
a relatively heavy spruce wing spar for the normal balsa one.
A 2-piece elevator was necessary to keep the scale appearance,
since the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer tapers forward
on both sides; that was a real pain because it required a split
pushrod arrangement and contributed to a tail-heavy end result.
Admittedly, I could have done a better job with both the elevator
and the rudder pushrods, so maybe the next time around a better
system will prevail. Even with three Futaba micro servos and a 300
mAh battery pack, the model ended up very heavy - and flew like
it. The Norvel .061 was also way too much power for it, but better
more than enough power than not enough is my motto. The 1/2A Skylane
was stable in the air, but landed very fast because of the relatively
high wing loading and stall speed. I don't have the flying weight
number handy, but it was around 6 ounces over the max recommended
by Carl Goldberg, partly due to 2.5 ounces of lead necessary in
the nose to balance it. I still have the kit of parts and the plan,
so some day I'll build another and use a really lightweight radio
system and be more choosy with balsa/plywood selection.
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size version of plans at
a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you.
I am now working (very slowly) on an electric-powered Carl Goldberg
1/2A Skylane. MotoCalc software was used to determine which motor/battery
combination would be necessary in order to achieve the desired performance.
Here is a snapshot of the input parameter screen and of the output
performance prediction screen. The data provided for my electric-powered
of the Great Planes Spirit (e-Spirit)
worked out extremely well, so I trust this prediction.
Here are some construction photos of the e-Skylane
Melanie Holding Wing
Airframe Covered w/Silkspan
Tail Surfaces Covered
Wing Covered w/Silkspan
Fuselage Covers wSilkspan
Top Framework (front)
Top Framework (rear)
Wing / Cabin Interface (rear)
Wing / Cabin Interface
Main Landing Gear
Wing Line Lead-Out
Bottom Framework (front)
Bottom Framework (rear)
Elevator Control Horn
This must be a rare pair - the Carl Goldberg
Skylane 62 and the 1/2A Skylane kitsHere is my personal 1/2A Skylane
kit. The plans are shown below, and at some point in the future,
I'll post photos of all the parts.
Wingspan: 42" | Wing Area: 244 | Weight: 22 oz.
on the model airplane forums have been asking for full-size
rib patterns for the horizontal stabilizer and the wings
for the 1/2A Skylane. These images have a ruler at the bottom
to allow you to scale them to full-size and print.
Good News! Carl Goldberg Products
now sells plans for both the
1/2A Skylane and the
Carl Goldberg 1/2A Skylane Plans
Kim Stricker has been kind
enough to send photos of his 1/2A Skylane that he built as a teenager.
The paint scheme is modeled after a Missouri Highway Patrol aircraft
- quite a nice job!
Here is an advertisement from the January 1970
issue of the AMA's American Aircraft Modeler magazine
This is the Skylane 62 kit that I purchased off of eBay a while
back. It has since been sold.
Note: The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sells the Skylane
Carl Goldberg Skylane
Kits Sold on eBay
Here are a couple recent eBay auction ending prices - $292, $305,
and $265 for this exact same kit. It is rare to find one for sale.
Note from Bill Mohrbacher: (April
"Today I saw your CG 1/2A Skylane post. Back in 1964/65 I built
one. I was covered with yellow silk and painted with Sig dope. I
love transparent finishes. The framework fascinates me, I love to
look through it when I am flying overhead, and I am also quite vain
and proud of my work.
I always found CG kits to be well engineered. Parts were ACCURATELY
drawn and produced (not like Sterling and Berkeley). Material selection
was excellent. There was a lot of work in the assembly and you had
better know how to contour and block sand, but the final results
were spectacular. And the planes were always excellent fliers. Carl
Goldberg's experience sure showed in all of them!
I don't know what mine weighed, but it was probably on the light
side. Power was a 1964 Fox .049, Citizenship superhet relayless
rcv, Mule MK II xmitter, Babcock MK II compound escapement (can't
use esc abbreviation anymore for this vintage mechanical wonder),
and 2 pencell battery PS. I didn't use the kick up, just rudder
and no throttle. I could do loops, Immelmans, Cuban 8s, and barrel
rolls; typical RO maneuvers.
Then I got fancy. I installed a MaX 10 RC engine, OS single channel
throttle servo and SC rudder servo, Controlaire SH 100 Superhet
relay rcv, and 2 more batteries, 4 total. All was well until the
first loop and then the balsa wing spar failed. I have always wanted
to build another; someday!"