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Here's the Stinson Reliant! - Article & Plans
May 1934 Flying Aces

May 1934 Flying Aces

Flying Aces May 1934 - 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.

Fresh off the Flying Aces magazine press (in 1934) is this article and plans for a rubber-powered free flight Stinson Reliant model. The 26-inch wingspan craft drawn and built by author Avrum Zier is of customary construction with balsa sticks and Jap tissue covering. A carved cowl and wheel pants, and paper landing gear fairings make for a very nice look. There five plans sheets that can be scaled up or down to suit your needs. Send me an e-mail if you need higher resolution plans files.

Here's the Stinson Reliant! Article & Plans

Here's the Stinson Reliant! (front) - Airplanes and RocketsOne of the finest commercial ships on the market today is our model this month-the Stinson Reliant. Use the plans presented here, and you'll have a fine 26-inch flying scale model of this popular modern ship.

By Avrum Zier

This month Flying Aces presents plans for a flying replica model of the Stinson Reliant, one of the finest commercial ships on the market today. Although this ship has been on the market for only a short time, it has already captured the fancy of most model builders, and it is for this reason that we publish full-size plans to build a 26-inch flying model.

The Stinson Reliant is powered with a Lycoming motor, developing 215 H.P. The ship is the latest word in commercial designing, and affords the maximum comfort with its latest developments.

Here's the Stinson Reliant! (top) - Airplanes and RocketsPerformance

Rate of climb ......................... 750 feet per minute

Service ceiling ....................... 14,500 feet

Cruising speed ...................... 115 M.P.H.

High speed ............................ 135 M.P.H.


Span ..................................... 43 feet 3Vs inches

Length overall ...................... 27 feet

 Height overall ....................... 8 feet 5% inches

 Gas capacity ......................... 50 gallons

 Gross weight ........................ 3160 lbs,


Here's the Stinson Reliant! (side) - Airplanes and RocketsThe fuselage of the Reliant is constructed in the manner used in any flat-sided body. First, construct two sides, using the shaded portion of the side view as a jig. The next step is to glue all the cross braces in their place, as shown. The cross brace on Former 5 does not form right angles with the side brace, but is placed farther back, so that the trailing edge of the wing rests up against it. The diagonals are 1/32" x 1/16".

I want to call special attention to the construction of the real of the body. The horizontal brace which you see is deflected about one degree off the horizontal, in order to give the stabilizer a negative angle. However, if the model builder wishes, he may make the stabilizer adjustable by attaching it to the brace at one point only - the end of horizontal brace. In this case, the stabilizer may be raised by placing small pieces of balsa wood under the leading edge.

After the complete frame is assembled, the Formers are cut out of 1/16" sheet as shown, and glued in place. Glue Formers 2, 3, and 4 to the body, using the front rectangular part of the frame as two stringers. Former 1 is glued to Former 2 so that the cowl is able to slide on. The front window frame is not constructed until the wing has been glued in place. Please note that Brace 8 is separated by a complete former, with a slot cut out to hold the motor stick. Next come the wings.


The wings are constructed entirely of balsa. The wing tip is cut from three pieces that have their grains running in opposite directions to the shape of the tip. It is then glued to the wing and sanded to a taper leading into the trailing edge.

The wings are placed on the body so that they form an angle of incidence of one degree, and a dihedral of one degree. The stringers from Former 5 are projected to meet the top of the wing after the wing has been set properly. The frame is then covered, thus making the wing appear as if it were filleted into the body. The struts are glued to the frame and not to the covering, as I have so often seen. If the strut is glued to the paper, they are apt to break away from the plane.

Tail Surfaces

The tail surfaces are constructed with a double camber, and contain a balsa spar, which passes through the center, as shown. The stabilizer is constructed in one piece. It is placed on the body by cutting away part of the rear post of the body, and inserted so that it rests upon the horizontal brace, as explained.

The rudder is built in the same way as the stabilizer, and must be placed on after the stabilizer. To counteract the torque, the rudder should be twisted, or placed off center.

Landing Gear

The landing gear is made entirely of balsa and consists of three pieces. The part entering the body is a fillet, and should be made to fit the curve of the body at that point. Should the fillet not fit neatly into the body, the builder should cover the seam with paper.

The pants may be made in one or two pieces, as shown. In both cases, they should be hollowed out to the maximum. A one-inch wheel is inserted to revolve freely.

After the model has been completed, the builder should glide the model to determine if the model is properly balanced. If the model tends to nose over, place a weight in the tail. If the model stalls, place the weight in the nose.

Well, fellows, go to it, and lots of luck. If you are in doubt over any part, I will gladly help you out if you send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope stating your trouble. Happy landings until next month!

Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 1) - Airplanes and Rockets

Free Flight Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 1)

Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 2) - Airplanes and Rockets

Free Flight Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 2)

Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 3) - Airplanes and Rockets

Free Flight Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 3)

Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 4) - Airplanes and Rockets

Free Flight Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 4)

Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 5) - Airplanes and Rockets

Free Flight Stinson Reliant Plans (sheet 5)


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 June 19, 2021

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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 ...

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