Custom R/C Canard Model Airplane by Alain Pons - "Alain's Duck"
The latest incarnation of "Alain's Duck - Turbojet power! See
Alain's original "Alain's Duck" model.
Alain with giant size turbine and 4-cycle powered versions of
"Alain's Duck." Check out that braided tree against the wall!
Website visitor Alain Pons, of France, wrote with this great information on his
decades-long involvement with designing, building, and flying radio controlled canard
model airplanes. Alain graciously agreed to allow me to post his story, photo, and
video. See update below.
The turbojet-power version of "Alain's Duck" canard has made its maiden flight.
As you can see in the video (below), it handles as
smoothly as the other versions. Of course Alain's piloting skills play at least
a small part in how well she flies. More details will follow once Alain
March 2, 2019 Update:
Not being content to have built a giant size version of his "Alain's Duck," he
just sent me these photos of the turbine jet-powered version of a variant of the
original canard. What's next - a full-size homebuilt airplane with Alain at the
I hope all is good for you in the beginning
of this year. The canard jet has not yet flown today. The beautiful weather is coming
and I'll send you the video as soon as possible. When I have fit the turbine on
the canard (flying with the 55 cc). A friend of mine gave me the wings and
the stab of his new crashed Yak 54 (2,30 m). With the pencil and the paper in the
hand, I have drawn a new model. This new canard has been built quickly. I had only
to build the fuselage and the fins. Easy. And the first flight is a success. The
fuselage is bigger than the first one in order to connect up smoke pump. Marvelous!
When I have the video, you will receive it quickly. Here you are the photos of my
* Not a French to English error - he's referring to his
November 9, 2018 Update:
As was probably inevitable, Alain has built
and flown a giant version of his "Alain's Duck" canard. Specifics on wingspan of
powerplant have not been provided yet, but he did send this photo. It doesn't stop
there, though. An R/C turbine version is nearly ready for flight. See the "Big Canard"
maiden flight video below.
September 1, 2018 Update:
Alain mailed me his plans for his custom-designed "Alain's Duck" R/C canard model
all the way from France (see below). The original wingspan is about 71", but you
can scale the plans to fit your needs. If you build a Duck, please let me know and
send along a photo for posting.
Very happy to know you are interested of my work on my canards. I think I am
an old dinosaur in aeromodelism.
I was born in 1953 and began to glue balsa when I was 10 years old, following
my father in free flight, fly by wire and later R/C. And now jets and war birds
with big radial engines .
Today very few modelists in my country are building their own models .It is the
era of the "ready to fly." Beginning quickly often means "ready to crash..."
The pleasure to study, build and try his own plane has disappeared, alas.
The canard on the video (see below) has flown more than 15 years. I offered it
to a very good friend of mine, but the model ended its life due to a switch failure
last year. It flew full throttle vertical to the ground. A beautiful explosion -
Here are the specifications for the canard in the photo:
All wooden construction (balsa , plywood, spruce).
Wing span: 1,80 meters.
Airfoil: Foil :NACA 0012 (stab NACA 008) -thin enough for a good speed and
good aerobatic features.
Length: 1,40 meters
Weight: 4 kg (empty).
Engine: An old .61 Webra speed with a 11x8 prop (pusher) .This engine has flown
on an antic "enforcer" during more than 25 years.
All the plane is squared. Very easy to build:4 sheets of balsa wood for the
No sweepback, and no dihedral for the wing.
The several ribs of the wing are all the same - easy to cut .
The large fins are made with 8 mm balsa wood and stuck on each side of the wing.
For the landing gear: Piano wire (4mm) and a classic nose wheel.
The tank is, of course, exactly on the CG.
The covering: Diacov for the wing and paper painted for the fuselage and stab.
You need 6 servos - 1 for the throttle (Futaba 3001 for example), 2 for ailerons,
2 for the rudders (tiny MPX or Hitec hs 81), 1 for the nose wheel.
A 4/6 channel radio. A 5 cell 3300 mAh NiMH in the nose for the balance.
The flight is easy but do not forget that the engine is pusher .The fins are
not blown by the wind of the prop. It flies like a jet and it is a good trainer
before flying a jet .
Now I am going to draw the plan on my computer(not very easy for me) in order
to send it in my next mail.
You will post your article for your friends.
Today, I am building a new canard on the same design ,but slightly bigger. I
have saved several parts of planes crashed on my club: two stabs (one from an extra
300 -2,30m and an other one from an Sbach of the same size ), a landing gear with
wheels. I studied the model with these spares .The fuselage has been built in plywood
(4 mm) and the wing in foam covered with a sheet of same (0,8 mm) glued with PU
glue and a vacuum pump .
For the power, a 55 cc with a pusher prop (20x10). If the flight is perfect (like
the last canard on the video), this engine will be replaced by a turbine (8 kg thrust).
I hope so .
Specifications for the new canard:
Wingspan :2.25 m (chord 40 cm)
Length :1.85 m.
Weight empty : 8 kg
September 24, 2018 Update:
The plans do not show details for construction the canard stabilizer and elevator.
Per Alain: The airfoil is a constant cord NACA 008). Two sheets of balsa are
bent on a rod of samba. The elevator is perfectly rectangular with a 64 (25.2 in) cm
span and a 17.5 cm (6.9 in) chord with12 cm (4.7 in) for the
fixed part and 5.5 cm (2.2 in) for the elevator.
Maiden Flight of "Big Canard" Version of Alain's Duck (October
Alain Pons' Custom Canard Design
Maiden flight of Alain Pons' Custom Canard Design - with Turbojet
Alain's Duck Canard Plans <click image
for full-size version, then right-click to save the file for use)
Send me an e-mail if you would like a full-size PDF version that has not been
cleaned up to remove the original paper fold lines and has not had the contrast
enhanced. The file size is 18 MBytes, so your e-mail server will need to be
able to accept that size file attachment.
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,