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
Monsters and Monoplanes
All 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.
The Enemy and Allies match each other
plane for plane.
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.
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
Re-install the controls and engine assembly. Secure the wheels and go flying
(or, if the weather is bad, build a monster).
A regular forest of struts support the wings.
They're all necessary, too; so don't leave any of them out.
Make the aluminum motor mount as described in the first step of the monoplane
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
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
Add the wheels. Note that the A.E.G. has two wheels on each landing gear.
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.
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
- 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,
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
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