Airplanes and Rockets visitor Steve S., of wrote
to ask that I scan the article for the Quarter Pint and So-Long free
flight models that appeared in the April 1972 American Aircraft Modeler. The So-Long,
a basic free flight nitro model, gets its name (partly) from using a 1/4A engine (Cox
Per Steve's letter: "As a teenager I bought many issues of AAM. I built 'Quarter Pint'
from the April 1972 issue and 'So-Long' from the June 1972 issue. Every so often I try
and find any info on the magazine or plans so I could build them again nearly 42 years
later. What a treat to find your website and see the covers of those magazines. I remember
them like it was yesterday. I want to build these
two planes again. I remember in high school enlarging the planes using an overhead projector
for Quarter Pint, I couldn't wait to order the plans but did order the planes for So
Long. Of course I had the tank full and seemed the engine ran forever. I still have the
engine from from QP after all these years but So Long lived up to its name and flew away
never to be seen again on its first flight."
Steve has also built the Ace Whizard and
Pacer 1/2A models.
An .020-powered mini-old-timer. Flies great and has a definite personality. Original
dates back to 1940.
By Robert Olsan
From out of the past came the thundering hoof beats
of the great horse Silver and the hearty cry "Hi-yo Silver, awaaay." The Lone Ranger
rides again. If you remember that coming out of your radio (that's right, no picture
tube), then you just might remember Bill Englehardt's 1940 Class B Nationals winner,
So-Long. With a screaming Ohlsson 23 up front it made three consecutive 005 flights and
was the class of the field. Its descendant, presented here in miniature, has proven to
be a worthy successor even if it did take thirty years to make the scene. In three contests
to date it has two first places and one second place to its credit. One of those first
places was at the Old-Timer Championships in June 1970 where it put in three consecutive
five minute maxes and a six minute fourth flight for a four flight total of 21 minutes.
It may not chase the FAI ships off the field, but it "ain't" bad for a country boy.
I can't recall how the scaled down old-timers got their start, but happily they did
and they afford a lot of fun. Their cost is low and there's no need to go hunting around
for old ignition engines, coils, condensers, etc. in order to put an old-timer in the
air. It has been a pleasant development to see the younger modelers take a liking to
these little ships. It demonstrates their wide appeal, and practically speaking, it provides
strong young shoulders to help us ancients (30s, 40s, and 50s don't ya know) get started
across the field when the thermals blow in.
So much for background, clear off the table and let's get started sticking this thing
All wood sizes are identified on the plan and when wood is selected for construction
it should fit its load requirements as follows:
Wing L.E. - hard
Ribs - medium
Empennage L.E. - medium
Wing & Empennage
T.E. & Tips medium
All Spars - medium
Longerons - hard
Sheet Covering - soft
Bill of Material
6 ea - 1/16 x 1/8 x 36
3 ea - 1/8 sq. x 36
2 ea - 3/32
sq. x 36
1 ea - 3/32 x 3 x 36
2 ea - 1/16x3x24
1 ea - 1/32 x 3 x 36
Look into your scrap box for items not listed above and you'll probably find them.
The fuselage is the only area where you have to read the instructions quite carefully.
Once completed, the fuselage is very rugged, but until it is fully sheeted, care must
be exercised to insure proper alignment. Note that the firewall has down thrust built
in to it - this is important, as is the zero-zero alignment of the wing and stab mounts.
The plan shows the fuselage construction sequence. It is designed to minimize alignment
problems. The following description plus the illustrations and some patience should make
the task a pleasant one.
Build the crutch using hard balsa for the longerons. Glue the bulkheads (don't forget
the lightening holes) to the crutch. Glue the wing mount in place, and then add the top
longeron. Eyeball everything carefully to make sure nothing is twisted.
Pre-bend the 1/16 sheet fuselage bottom before attaching it to the bulkheads. This
is important if alignment is to be maintained. There are two I methods to accomplish
the pre-shaping. One is the time-honored tea kettle and its finger-cooking steam method
- very effective, but sometimes painful. Another method, which should appeal to the more
scientific-minded practitioner of our hobby, is to soak the wood for 30 min. in household
ammonia. After this treatment the wood becomes very pliable and sets permanently whichever
way you bend it. (A gas mask is quite useful in this technique, but if you can hold your
breath for a long time you'll be alright.) With the bottom sheet properly shaped and
the bottom longeron glued to it, carefully glue the assembly to the bottoms of the bulkheads.
Here again, eyeball the alignment so that twists are kept out. When dry, install the
landing gear, gussets, doublers, wing and tail wire hooks, etc.
Begin sheeting at the front and work back to the tail. Refer to the plan for grain
direction. The last pieces to go on are the bottom-rear of the fuselage. Note that bulkheads
3 and 4 have 1/16 square strips glued even with their outlines. This is to provide more
glue surface at sheet joints. Attach the subrudder and begin with the sandpaper-a neat
job will payoff in weight saving and flight time. Make sure you didn't forget to put
the blind nuts in the firewall for the engine screws.
For the wheels cut lightening holes in the 1/16 plywood core. The instructions for
the building of the empennage on the plan are self-explanatory, and you will find that
the leading edges of both the rudder and stab require one of the pre-bending treatments
Multi-spar wings are pretty much the order of the day. The plan shows only the bottom
forward spar because it is positioned on the plan during construction, as this helps
to keep the ribs in proper alignment. It should be rein-forced with the 1/16 x 3/8 spar
brace at the center section as it and the trailing edge are the only things that make
contact with the wing platform. The brace keeps the spar from being crushed. Spar connections
at dihedral breaks are left to individual taste. I prefer overlapped spar joints for
ease of construction and strength.
The entire model is covered with Jap tissue and gets four coats of thinned dope (60/40).
It is advisable to use a plasticizer in the dope to prevent or at least reduce warps.
The windshield and bay windows are installed after the ship is covered. Finished weight
should be 4-1/2 to 5 oz.
The ship should balance at 50 percent of the wing chord.
If alignment has been kept true and there are no warps, then a hand glide will be straight
and flat. First power flight should be with the prop on backwards and the engine running
rich. Increase power very slowly as test flights proceed. The power pattern and glide
are both to the left. Because of this left/left pattern you'll have to be careful in
the beginning not to wind in under power. I've built two of these mini-So-Longs and they
have flown identically with identical adjustments. In each case I've used a wedge tab
under the left wing to keep the tip from dropping too much under power. Once you locate
its groove, the ship is extremely stable.
Under full power, it should spiral up and
not hang on its prop. A straight-up climb will kill altitude and foul up the power/glide
transition. When fully trimmed, put it on its wheels and try an unassisted takeoff-it
really charges into the air. Don't forget to light the fuse.
<click for larger
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.
February 4, 2011 Update:
So-Long wing ready for covering. Note slight undercamber
in ribs - that'll be fun to cover!
Fuselage and empennage covered, bare-bones
wings. (nice workshop!)
January 14, 2011 Update:
Construction continues in the frigid Canadian hinterlands...
"A few more pics of "So- Long", this is the 50" full size version. Very difficult
and time consuming fuselage to build and keep straight. Will be 3 channel e-power. Have
a door on the side for battery access."
Close-up Detail of Servo and Pushrod Installation
Steve's So-Long Sitting on the Plans - Before and After
January 2, 2011 Update:
"Here is a couple of pics of "So Long", so far. The fuselage is much harder to build
and keep straight than a rectangular one, quite elegant though as it transitions from
rectangular to triangular. It gets fully sheeted so starting on that tonight.
I won a bid on a Cox .020 for QP and thanks for the eBay tip for AAM magazine. I won
a bid on lot of those several 71-72 issues. It includes the one with the 020 smaller
version of So-Long but I still need to find the April '72 issue. Lots of
fun. It's so refreshing to build something from plans again that doesn't cost mega dollars,
instead of just putting expensive equipment in Chinese ARF's. Thanks, Steve"
January 20, 2011 Update:
So-Long Cockpit Radio Access
Dark Green and Cream Coverlite
Rudder Hinged to Vertical Stabilizer
Elevator Half Hinged to Horizontal Stabilizer
Empennage w/Control Surfaced Mounted
A Good Shot of the Undercambered Wing
Original article Posted December 11, 2010