null  null
™
DE
MA
IN
A
US
Wingspan: 65 in [1650mm]
Wing Area: 778 sq in [50.2 dm²]
Weight: 5.5 – 7.0 lbs [2500 - 3182g]
Wing Loading: 16 – 21 oz/sq ft
[50–64 g/dm²]
Length: 49.5 in [1257mm]
WARRANTY.....
Top Flite Models guarantees this kit to be free of defects in both material and workmanship at the date of purchase. This warranty does
not cover any component parts damaged by use or modification. In no case shall Top Flite‘s liability exceed the original cost of the purchased kit. Further, Top Flite reserves
the right to change or modify this warranty without notice. In that Top Flite has no control over the final assembly or material used for final assembly, no liability shall be assumed
nor accepted for any damage resulting from the use by the user of the final user-assembled product. By the act of using the user-assembled product the user accepts all
resulting liability. If the buyer is not prepared to accept the liability associated with the use of this product, the buyer is advised to immediately return this kit in new
and unused condition to the place of purchase.
Top Flite Models 3002 N. Apollo Dr., Suite 1, Champaign, IL 61822
Technical Assistance Call (217)398-8970 [email protected]
READ THROUGH THIS INSTRUCTION BOOK FIRST. IT CONTAINS IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS AND WARNINGS CONCERNING THE ASSEMBLY AND USE OF THIS MODEL.
Entire Contents © Hobbico, Inc 2012
ELD4P03 for TOPA0215 V1.1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
ADDITIONAL ITEMS REQUIRED. . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Hardware and Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Adhesives and Building Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . .3
Optional Supplies and Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
IMPORTANT BUILDING NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
GET READY TO BUILD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
COMMON ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
METRIC CONVERSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
DIE-CUT PATTERNS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
BUILD THE TAIL SURFACES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Build the Stab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Build the Elevator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Build the Fin and Rudder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
BUILD THE WING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Frame the Wing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Install the Wing Joiners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
Finish the Bottom of the Wing . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Join the Wings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Build the Wingtip. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Build the Aileron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Finish the Wing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Make the Cockpit (Optional). . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
BUILD THE FUSELAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Frame the Fuselage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
Mount the Wing to the Fuselage . . . . . . . . . . .20
Finish the Fuselage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Adding the Wing Fairing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Assemble and Install the Landing Gear . . . . .24
Tailskid Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Tail Wheel Wire Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
FINAL CONSTRUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Mount the Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Install the Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
FINISHING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Fuelproofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Prepare the Model for Covering . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Balance the Model Laterally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Cover Your Model with MonoKote. . . . . . . . . . .28
Installing the Stab and Fin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Join the Control Surfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Install the Elevator and Rudder Pushrods and
Control Horns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Install the Aileron Pushrods & Control Horns. .32
Scale Details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Final Hookups and Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Control Throws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
GET YOUR MODEL READY TO FLY . . . . . . . . .34
Balance your Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
PREFLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Identify Your Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Charge the Batteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Balance Propellers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Find a Safe Place to Fly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Ground Check Your Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Range Check Your Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
CHECK LIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
ENGINE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . .36
AMA SAFETY CODE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
FLYING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Takeoff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Flight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Landing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
PROTECT YOUR MODEL,
YOURSELF & OTHERS
FOLLOW THESE IMPORTANT
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
1. Your Top Flite Elder should not be considered a
toy, but rather a sophisticated, working model that
functions very much like a full-size airplane. Because
of its performance capabilities, the Top Flite Elder, if
not assembled and operated correctly, could possibly
cause injury to yourself or spectators and damage to
property.
2. You must assemble the model according to the
instructions. Do not alter or modify the model, as
doing so may result in an unsafe or unflyable model.
In a few cases the instructions may differ slightly
from the photos. In those instances the written
instructions should be considered as correct.
3. You must take time to build straight, true
and strong.
4. You must use an R/C radio system that is in firstclass condition, and a correctly sized engine and
components (fuel tank, wheels, etc.) throughout the
building process.
INTRODUCTION
Congratulation and thank you for purchasing the Top
Flite Elder. The Top Flite Elder is a classic design from
the early years of modeling, brought back by requests
from modelers just like you! This easy flying model will
provide you with many hours of relaxing flight. Though
it is simple to build and fly, it also has its own unique
character that seems to appeal to modelers of all ages
and is guaranteed to get the attention of everyone at
the field. We hope you enjoy building the Top Flite Elder
as much as we have enjoyed bringing it back to the
modeling world and introducing it to a whole new
generation of modelers.
-2-
5. You must correctly install all R/C and other
components so that the model operates correctly on
the ground and in the air.
6. You must check the operation of the model before
every flight to insure that all equipment is operating
and that the model has remained structurally sound.
Be sure to check clevises or other connectors often
and replace them if they show any signs of wear or
fatigue.
7. If you are not already an experienced R/C pilot,
you should fly the model only with the help of a
competent, experienced R/C pilot.
Adhesives and Building Supplies
NOTE: We, as the kit manufacturer, provide you
with a top quality kit and great instructions, but
ultimately the quality and flyability of your finished
model depends on how you build it; therefore, we
cannot in any way guarantee the performance of
your completed model, and no representations
are expressed or implied as to the performance or
safety of your completed model.
Remember: Take your time and follow the
instructions to end up with a well-built model
that is straight and true.
Before starting to build, compare the parts in this kit
with the Parts List, and note any missing parts. Also
inspect all parts to make sure they are of acceptable
quality. If any parts are missing, broken or defective,
or if you have any questions about building or flying
this airplane, please call us at (217) 398-8970, or
e-mail us at [email protected] If you
are contacting us for replacement parts, please be
sure to provide the full kit name (Top Flite Elder)
and the part numbers as listed in the Parts List.
If you have not flown a model before, we recommend
that you get the assistance of an experienced pilot in
your R/C club for your first flights. If you’re not a
member of a club, your local hobby shop has
information about clubs in your area whose
membership includes experienced pilots.
In addition to joining an R/C club, we strongly
recommend you join the AMA (Academy of Model
Aeronautics). AMA membership is required to fly at
AMA sanctioned clubs. There are over 2,500 AMA
chartered clubs across the country. Among other
benefits, the AMA provides insurance to its members
who fly at sanctioned sites and events. Additionally,
training programs and instructors are available at
AMA club sites to help you get started the right way.
Contact the AMA at the following address or toll-free
phone number.
In addition to common household tools (screw drivers,
drill, etc.), this is the “short list” of the most important
items required to build the Top Flite Elder. We
recommend Great Planes Pro™ CA and Epoxy glue.
Academy of Model Aeronautics
5151 East Memorial Drive
Muncie, IN 47302-9252
Tele. (800) 435-9262
Fax (765) 741-0057
Or via the Internet at: http://www.modelaircraft.org
ADDITIONAL ITEMS REQUIRED
Hardware and Accessories
This is the list of hardware and accessories required
to finish the Top Flite Elder. Order numbers are
provided in parentheses.
❏ Engine - .40 - .46 [6.5 – 7.5cc ] 2-stroke
.52 [8.5cc ] 4-stroke
❏ Radio - Four channel radio with four,
40 oz.-in. servos.
❏ Wheels – Two 3-3/4" Wheels. Williams Brother
Vintage Wheels (WBRQ1306)
❏ Spinner Great Planes Brass Spinner Nut –
choose for your engine shaft size.
❏ Propellers - Choose prop appropriate for
your engine
❏ Fuel line - Standard 3' tubing (GPMQ4131)
❏ Fuel tank - 10 oz (SULQ1385)
❏ MonoKote - For color scheme on the box:
❏ 2 - Six foot rolls “Cream” (TOPQ0212)
❏ 1 – Six foot roll “Red” (TOPQ0201)
❏ 1 – Six foot roll “Insignia Blue”(TOPQ0207)
-3-
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
❏
1 oz. Thin Pro CA (GPMR6002)
1 oz. Medium Pro CA+ (GPMR6008)
CA Accelerator (GPMR6034)
6-Minute Epoxy (GPMR6045)
30-Minute Epoxy (GPMR6047)
R/C-56 Canopy Glue (JOZR5007)
Hobby knife (RMXR6907)
#11 blades (RMXR6930)
Small T-pins (HCAR5100)
Builder’s triangle (HCAR0480)
Electric drill
Small Phillips and flat blade screwdrivers.
Pliers with wire cutter (HCAR0630)
Great Planes Plan Protector (GPMR6167) or
wax paper
❏ Sanding tools and sandpaper assortment (see
Easy-Touch™ Bar Sander section)
❏ Sealing Iron (TOPR2100)
❏ Small torch or 40 watt soldering iron
Optional Supplies and Tools
Here is a list of optional tools mentioned in the
manual that will help you build the Top Flite Elder.
❏ Great Planes CG Machine™ (GPMR2400)
❏ Top Flite Precision Magnetic Prop Balancer™
(TOPQ5700)
❏ Top Flite Hot Sock™ iron cover (TOPR2175)
❏ Straightedge with scale (HCAR0475)
❏ Cutting mat (HCAR0456)
❏ Masking Tape (GPMR1010)
❏ CA Debonder (GPMR6039)
❏ CA Applicator Tips (HCAR3780)
❏ Epoxy Brushes (GPMR8060)
❏ Mixing Sticks (GPMR8055)
❏ Threadlocker (GPMR6060)
❏ Denatured Alcohol (for epoxy clean up)
❏ Silver solder (GPMR8070)
❏ Felt-Tip Marker (TOPQ2510)
❏ Rotary tool such as Dremel
❏ Rotary tool reinforced cut-off wheel
(GPMR8200)
❏ 1/16" to 1/4" drill bit set
❏ Other drill bits used: 17/64" (or 1/4"), #48 (or
5/64"), #36 (or 7/64), 6-32 tap, 1/4" tap
-or❏ Great Planes tap and drill set (GPMR8108)
❏ Dead Center™ Engine Mount Hole Locator
(GPMR8130)
❏ Great Planes AccuThrow™ Deflection Gauge
(for measuring control throws, GPMR2405)
Here’s the complete list of Easy-Touch Bar Sanders
and Adhesive Backed Sandpaper:
5-1/2" Bar Sander (GPMR6169)
11" Bar Sander (GPMR6170)
22" Bar Sander (GPMR6172)
33" Bar Sander (GPMR6174)
44" Bar Sander (GPMR6176)
11" Contour Multi-Sander (GPMR6190)
12’ roll of Adhesive-backed:
80-grit sandpaper (GPMR6180)
150-grit sandpaper (GPMR6183)
180-grit sandpaper (GPMR6184)
220-grit sandpaper (GPMR6185)
Assortment pack of 5-1/2" strips (GPMR6189)
IMPORTANT BUILDING NOTES
There are two types of screws used in this kit:
™
EASY-TOUCH BAR SANDER
Sheet metal screws are designated by a number
and a length.
For example #6 x 3/4" long [19.1mm]
This is a number six screw that is 3/4" long.
A flat, durable, easy to handle sanding tool is a
necessity for building a well finished model. Great
Planes makes a complete range of Easy-Touch Bar
Sanders and replaceable Easy-Touch Adhesivebacked Sandpaper. While building the Top Flite
Elder, we used two 5-1/2" Bar Sanders and two 11"
Bar Sanders equipped with 80-grit and 150-grit
Adhesive-backed Sandpaper.
Machine screws are designated by a number,
threads per inch, and a length.
• When you see the term test fit in the instructions,
it means that you should first position the part on
the assembly without using any glue, then
slightly modify or custom fit the part as necessary
for the best fit.
• Whenever the term glue is written you should rely
upon your experience to decide what type of glue
to use. When a specific type of adhesive works
best for that step, the instructions will tell you what
glue is recommended.
• Whenever just epoxy is specified you may use
either 30-minute epoxy or 6-minute epoxy. When
30-minute epoxy is specified, it is highly
recommended that you use only 30-minute (or
45-minute) epoxy because you will need the
working time and/or the additional strength.
• Photos and sketches are placed before the step
they refer to. Frequently you can study photos in
following steps to get another view of the same parts.
• Not all die-cut parts have a name, or their complete
name stamped on them, so refer to the die
drawings on page 6 for identification. When it’s
time to remove the parts from their die sheets, if
they are difficult to remove, do not force them out.
Instead, use a sharp #11 blade to carefully cut the
part from the sheet, then lightly sand the edges to
remove any slivers or irregularities. Save some of
the larger, leftover pieces of wood.
GET READY TO BUILD
1. Unroll the plan sheets. Roll them inside out so
they lie flat.
For example 4-40 x 3/4" long [19.1mm]
This is a number four screw that is 3/4" long with
forty threads per inch.
-4-
2. Remove all the parts from the box. Use a ballpoint
pen (not a felt tip pen) to lightly write the name or
size on each piece so you can identify it later. Use
the die-cut patterns on pages 6 and 7 to identify and
mark the die-cut parts before you remove them from
their die sheets. Many of the parts already have
numbers stamped on them, but in some cases the
number is located alongside the parts or only on the
die drawings in the manual. Do not remove the die-cut
parts until instructed to do so. If a part is difficult to
remove, don’t force it out but cut around it with a hobby
knife and a #11 blade. After you remove the parts from
their die sheets, lightly sand the edges to remove
slivers or die-cutting irregularities. Save some of the
larger scraps of wood.
3. Separate the parts into groups such as stab, fin,
wing, and fuse. Store smaller parts in zipper-top
food storage bags.
COMMON ABBREVIATIONS
1" = 25.4mm (conversion factor)
deg.
Elev
Fuse
LE
LG
Lt
Ply
Rt
Stab
TE
"
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
Degrees
Elevator
Fuselage
Leading Edge (front)
Landing Gear
Left
Plywood
Right
Stabilizer
Trailing Edge (rear)
Inches
TYPES OF WOOD
BALSA
BASSWOOD
METRIC CONVERSIONS
PLYWOOD
-5-
1/64"
1/32"
1/16"
3/32"
1/8"
5/32"
3/16"
1/4"
3/8"
1/2"
5/8"
3/4"
1"
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
.4mm
.8mm
1.6mm
2.4mm
3.2mm
4mm
4.8mm
6.4mm
9.5mm
12.7mm
15.9mm
19mm
25.4mm
2"
3"
6"
12"
15"
18"
21"
24"
30"
36"
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
50.8mm
76.2mm
152.4mm
304.8mm
381mm
457.2mm
533.4mm
609.6mm
762mm
914.4mm
DIE-CUT PATTERNS
-6-
Build the Elevator
BUILD THE TAIL SURFACES
❏ 1. From the 1/4" x 1-3/4" x 36" [6 x 32 x 914mm]
Build the Stab
balsa sheet, cut two pieces 10-1/2" [267mm] in length.
❏ 1. Tape the Wing/Stab Plan view to your building
board. Cover the plan with Plan Protector.
❏ 2. Locate the two die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa stab
center pieces. Glue them together with medium CA
to make one 1/4" [6mm] stab center.
❏ 6. Glue the remaining gussets in place as shown
on the plan.
❏ 2. Using the plan as your guide, cut and shape
each of them to match the shape of the elevator
shown on the plan.
❏ 3. Locate four die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa stab tips.
Glue them together to form two 1/4" [6mm] stab tips.
❏ 4. Pin the stab center over the plan. Using your
plan as a guide, build the leading edge and trailing
edge of the stab from 1/4" x 1/2" x 36" [6mm x 13 x
914mm] balsa sticks. Cut 1/4" x 1/4" [6mm x 6mm]
balsa sticks to the proper length for the stab ribs.
Glue them in place with medium CA.
❏ 7. From 3/32" x 1/4" x 36" [2.4mm x 6 x 914mm]
balsa stick, cut out cap strips and glue them in place
on the stab ribs. Do this on both the top and bottom
of the stab. Note: On the stab cross-section you will
see that the cap strips extend across the leading and
trailing edge.
❏ 5. Glue the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa gussets in
❏ 8. Sand the cap strips to the shape shown on the
place next to the stab tip on the left side of the stab.
Center them on the 1/4" [6mm] stab parts. Repeat
this for the right side of the stab.
stab cross-section. This is also a good time to final
sand the leading edge of the stab. Use the crosssection as your guide for sanding the final shape.
-7-
❏ 3. Pin the elevator halves to the plan. Locate and
test fit the 1/4" x 3" [6 x 75mm] dowel in place in the
cut-outs on the LE of the elevator. When you are
satisfied with the fit of the dowel, glue it in place with
6-minute epoxy.
Trial fit the hinge into the slot. If the hinge does
not slide in easily, work the knife back and forth in
the slot a few times to provide more clearance (it
is really the back edge of the blade that does the
work here in widening the slot).
❏ 4. Locate the 2" x 9" [50 x 230mm] hinge material
and cut sixteen hinges as shown in the above sketch.
USING CA HINGES
The hinge material supplied in this kit consists of a
3 layer lamination of Mylar and polyester. It is
specially made for the purpose of hinging model
airplane control surfaces. Properly installed, this
type of hinge provides the best combination of
strength, durability and ease of installation. We trust
even our best show models to these hinges, but it
is essential to install them correctly. Please follow
the instructions carefully to obtain the best results.
These instructions may be used to effectively install
any of the various brands of CA hinges.
The most common mistake made by modelers
when permanently installing this type of hinge is
not applying a sufficient amount of glue to fully
secure the hinge over its entire surface area; or,
the hinge slots are very tight, restricting the flow
of CA to the back of the hinges. This results in
hinges that are only “tack glued” approximately
1/8” to 1/4” into the hinge slots. The following
technique has been developed to help insure
thorough and secure gluing.
❏ 5. Mark a centerline down the LE of the elevator.
Repeat this for the trailing edge of the stab. Using the
plan as your guide, mark the location for each of the
hinges on the stab and elevator, then cut matching slots
in the stab and elevator. The Great Planes Slot
Machine™ (GPMR4010) works very well and makes the
job of cutting hinge slots fast and easy! If you do not
have a Slot Machine use the Expert Tip that follows.
B. Drill a 3/32” [2.4mm] hole, 1/2” [13mm] deep,
in the center of the hinge slot. If you use a Dremel
Moto-Tool® for this task, it will result in a cleaner
hole than if you use a slower speed power or
hand drill. Drilling the hole will twist some of the
wood fibers into the slot, making it difficult to
insert the hinge, so you should reinsert the knife
blade, working it back and forth a few times to
clean out the slot.
C. Trial fit the hinges into the slots and, without
using any glue, temporarily attach the control
surface, to verify the fit.
STOP! DO NOT GLUE THE HINGES IN PLACE
UNTIL AFTER THE MODEL IS COVERED!
❏ 6. Sand the elevator to its final shape, matching
A. Cut the hinge slot using a #11 blade in a
standard #1 knife handle. The CA hinges provided
have a thickness that fits this type of slot very well.
-8-
the contours you sanded on the stab and sanding the
leading edge to a “V” shape as shown on the plan.
You will notice on the plan that there is a dashed line
on the elevator trailing edge forming a scalloped
shape. This pattern is provided for you if you decide
that you would like to have a scalloped TE. We did
this on the model shown on the box cover. Use the
plan as your guide for cutting the scalloped edge
should you decide to do this option.
Build the Fin and Rudder
BUILD THE WING
Frame the Wing
❏ ❏ 1. Tape the Right Wing Plan view to your
building board. Cover the plan with Plan Protector.
❏ ❏ 2. Locate one of the shaped balsa leading
❏ 4. From the remaining piece of the 1/4" x 1-3/4" x
❏ 1. Tape the Fin and Rudder Plan view to your
building board. Cover the plan with Plan Protector.
❏ 2. Locate two sets of die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa fin
leading edge pieces. One set is short the other is
long. Glue the two long fin leading edge pieces
together to form one 1/4" [6mm] fin leading edge. Do
the same with the short set.
36" [6 x 32 x 914mm] balsa sheet, cut the rudder tip
and the 1-3/4" portion of the rudder. Using leftover
¼" x ½" stick, cut the stick to a length of 9". Glue the
stick to 1/4" x 1-3/4" x 36" [6 x 32 x 914mm] portion
of the rudder forming a 2-1/4" wide rudder.
edges and one of the shaped balsa trailing edges.
Cut each of them to a length of 29-3/4" [759mm]. Be
sure to save the leftover pieces. They will be used as
filler blocks later in the building process.
❏ ❏ 3. Locate two 1/4" x 3/8"x 30" [6 x 9.5 x 760mm]
basswood spars. Cut each of them to a length of
29-3/4" [756mm].
❏ 5. Glue the two rudder parts together.
❏ 6. From 3/32" x 1/4" [2.4mm x 6mm] balsa stick, ❏ ❏ 4. Locate two 3/16" x 3/16" x 36" balsa [4.8 x
cut out cap strips and glue them in place on the fin
ribs. Do this on both the left and right side of the fin
the same way as you did for the horizontal stab.
Note: On the fin cross-section you will see that the cap
strips extend across the leading and trailing edge.
4.8 x 914mm] leading edge sub spars. Cut each of
them to a length of 29-3/4" [759mm].
❏ 7. Sand the cap strips to the shape shown on the
fin cross-section. This is also a good time to final
sand the leading edge of the fin. Use the crosssection as your guide for sanding the final shape.
❏ 8. Mark a centerline down the LE of the rudder.
Repeat this for the trailing edge of the fin. Using the
plan as your guide, mark the location for each of the
hinges on the fin and rudder, then cut matching slots
in the fin and rudder using the same procedure you
used for the stab and elevator. Sand the rudder and
the fin to the shape shown on the cross-section. Be
sure to make the oval cut out in the rudder for the
elevator to pass through.
❏ ❏ 5. Pin one of the basswood spars to the plan
with T-Pins.
❏ 9. Trial fit the hinges into the slots and without
❏ 3. Cut the 1/4" x 1/2" x 36" [6 x 12 x 914mm] balsa using any glue, temporarily attach the control surface
stick to make the frame structure of the fin. Glue the
parts together to create the fin framework. Cut the
1/4" x 1/4" x 36" [6 x 6 x 914mm] balsa sticks to fit
between the fin frame as shown on the plan. Glue
them in place.
to verify the fit.
❏ 10. The plan shows the option of a scalloped
trailing edge on the rudder just as the elevator did. If
you chose to scallop the elevator you may want to
scallop the rudder as well.
-9-
❏ ❏ 6. Test fit the die-cut 3/32" {214mm] balsa W1
ribs over the basswood spar in the locations shown
on the plan.
❏ ❏ 7. Test fit the W2 rib at the end of the basswood spar.
❏ ❏ 12. Glue each of the remaining ribs to the
shaped balsa leading edge, centering them as you go.
❏ ❏ 16. Locate one of the 3/32" x 1" x 30" [2.4 x 25 x
❏ ❏ 8. Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood
dihedral gauge. Place the gauge flat on the building
board at the root of the wing and against the side of
the W1 rib. Once you are satisfied with the rib
placement, use CA to glue the rib to the basswood
spar. Important! Be sure you use the gauge to set
the angle of the rib. Failure to do so will not provide
the wing with the required amount of dihedral.
❏ ❏ 13. Place the shaped balsa trailing edge in
760mm] balsa trailing edge sheets. Cut it to a length
of 29-3/4" [756mm]. Glue it in place on the trailing edge
of the wing.
position as shown on the plan. The trailing edge should
be placed flat on the building board and against each of
the ribs. When satisfied with the fit, glue the trailing
edge in place to the eleven W1 ribs and the W2 rib.
❏ ❏ 9. Use CA to glue each of the ribs onto the
basswood spar. Make sure that each of the ribs is
perpendicular to the building board.
❏ ❏ 10. Glue the 3/16" x 3/16" x 29-3/4" [4.8 x 4.8
x756mm] balsa leading edge sub spar into the
notches in the top of the wing. Glue the 1/4" x 3/8" x
29-3/4" [6 x 9.5 x 756mm] basswood top spar into the
notches in the top of the wing.
❏ ❏ 17. From the 3/32" x 3" x 24" [2.4 x 75 x 610mm]
❏ ❏ 14. Locate one of the 3/32" x 1-1/8" x 30" [2.4 x
28 x 760mm] balsa leading edge sheets. Cut it to a
length of 29-3/4" [756mm]. Using a sanding block,
bevel one edge of the sheet to get a good fit between
the sheeting and the leading edge of the wing.
❏ ❏ 11. Beginning at one end of the wing, center the
shaped balsa leading edge on the front of the rib.
Glue it to the rib. Center the leading edge on the rib
at the opposite end of the wing and glue it in place.
❏ ❏ 15. Glue the leading edge sheeting in place
between the leading edge and the balsa leading edge
sub spar.
- 10 -
balsa sheet, cut out six shear webs. When cutting the
shear web be sure the grain is perpendicular to the
wing spars. Position the shear webs on the wing
spars as shown on the plan. When satisfied with the
fit, glue them in place.
❏ ❏ 18. From a sheet of 3/32" x 3" x 30" [2.4 x 75 x
760mm] balsa sheet, cut three pieces 4-3/8" [111mm]
in length. Edge glue the three sheets together to form
a sheet 4-3/8" x 9" [11 x 229mm]. Once the glue has
dried, cut the sheeting to fit between the leading
edge sheet and the trailing edge sheet as shown on
the plan.
Install the Wing Joiners
Important!
The following steps are for the right wing panel.
❏ ❏ 19. Place the sheeting flat on the bench and
❏ 4. When you are satisfied with the fit of each
sand the joints of the sheeting smooth on the side
that will be the top of the wing. When you have
completed the sanding and are satisfied with the fit,
glue the sheeting in place between the leading edge
and trailing edge sheeting.
brace, glue them in place with 30-minute epoxy. Use
the center line you made on each brace as a guide
to position the brace. It is important that exactly half
of each brace goes into each wing panel. Set the
wing panel aside until the epoxy has fully cured.
❏ ❏ 20. From 3/32" x 1/4" x 36" [214 x 614 x
914mm] balsa stick, cut and glue nine cap strips into
place. Cut each one to fit between the leading edge
sheeting and the trailing edge sheeting on each rib.
❏ ❏ 21. Remove the wing from the building board
and turn it over. Glue the 3/16" x 3/16" x 29-3/4"
balsa [4.8 x 4.8 x 756mm] leading edge sub spar in
the notches in the bottom of the wing.
❏ 22. Repeat steps 1-21 for the left wing.
❏ 1. At the root rib, cut a 1/8" [3mm] slot in W1 as
shown for the leading edge and trailing edge brace.
Cut a 1/16" [1.6mm] slot through two W1 ribs for the
dihedral brace.
❏ 5. Glue the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] ply sub spar dowel
❏ 2. Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood leading brace to the balsa sub spars as shown on the plan.
edge and trailing edge brace as well as the laser-cut
1/16" [1.6mm] plywood dihedral brace. Mark a
centerline on each of them.
❏ 3. Test fit each of the braces in the slots you just
cut. When fitting the braces it is important that they
are installed properly. Important! The top of the
brace must be glued so that it is in contact with the
top sheeting of the wing.
- 11 -
Finish the Bottom of the Wing
❏ ❏ 1. For the right wing panel, locate a 3/32" x
1-1/8" x 30" [2.4 x 28 x 760mm] balsa bottom leading
edge sheet. Cut it to a length of 29-3/4" [756mm].
Bevel one edge of the sheet as you did with the
sheeting on the top of the wing. When you are
satisfied with the fit, glue the sheeting in place on the
bottom of the wing.
❏ ❏ 2. Locate a 3/32" x 1" x 30" [2.4 x 25 x 760mm]
balsa bottom trailing edge sheet. Cut it to a length of
29-3/4" [756mm]. Glue it in place on the trailing edge
of the bottom of the wing.
❏ ❏ 3. Sheet the center section of the bottom wing
following the same procedure you used for sheeting
the center section on the top of the wing.
❏ ❏ 5. On the wing plan there are four locations
shown for 3/8” x 3/8” [9.5 x9.5mm] basswood blocks.
The blocks are provided in the kit and are cut to the
lengths shown on the plan. If you plan to install wire
and turnbuckles on your model, proceed with
installing the basswood blocks as shown on the plan.
If you choose to use the elastic cord as we did on our
model then you can substitute balsa blocks for the
basswood. The balsa is a little easier to work with
than the basswood and will retain the elastic cord
better than the basswood. Locate the 3/8” x 3/8” x 18”
[9.5 x 9.5 x 457mm] balsa stick and cut it to the
length specified on the plan for each of the four
blocks. Glue the blocks on the positions shown on
the plan.
❏ ❏ 9. Cut a slot as shown in the photo along the
❏ ❏ 6. Whether you have installed the balsa or
centerline starting at the end. The slot needs to be
1/8" [ 3mm] wide to accommodate the torque rod.
The slot can be cut easily with the Great Planes®
Groove Tube™ (GPMR8140) or the slot can be cut
with your hobby knife. Notice that these blocks are
not symmetrical so make the one for the left wing the
mirror image of this one.
basswood blocks, drill a 1/16" [1.6mm] hole through
the center of the entire length of the block.
❏ ❏ 10. Cut another slot perpendicular to the slot you
just cut to accommodate the arm of the torque rod.
❏ ❏ 7. Locate the 30" [762mm] shaped balsa
❏ ❏ 4. From 3/32" x 1/4" x 36" [2.4 x 6.4 x 914mm]
balsa sticks, cut nine cap strips. Cut each one to fit
between the leading edge sheeting and the trailing
edge sheeting on each rib.
You now need to make a decision. When the Elder
was originally introduced it had flying and landing
wires on it. Though these wires are not a structural
part of this model, they do add a great “Vintage” look
to the model. If you have ever installed wires and
turnbuckles you know there is some additional work
and cost to do this. For our model we used elastic
cord to simulate the flying wires. This was much
easier and less expensive than using actual wire. We
will give complete instructions for installing wire or
elastic flying wires as we get further into the building
process. If you choose not to install any of the wires
skip steps 5 & 6.
aileron. From one end of the aileron cut a piece
2-3/16" [55.8mm] in length.
❏ ❏ 11. Glue the block with the torque rod in place
❏ ❏ 8. Mark a centerline on this piece of aileron
stock. Make another mark 1-3/4" [44mm] from the
end of the block.
- 12 -
in the slot, being careful not to get any glue onto the
metal wire. Tip – Apply a small amount of petroleum
jelly to the end of the plastic bearing. This will prevent
glue from getting onto the wire. Important! Before
gluing the block in place be sure that you have the
correct torque rod in place in the block. The
un-threaded arm of the torque rod should protrude
into the area where the aileron will be attached. The
threaded end of the arm will protrude towards the
bottom of the wing. Make sure that you install the
correct rod for each wing half.
Join the Wings
❏ 1. Glue the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] ply sub spar dowel
brace to the balsa sub spars on the left wing panel
as done on the right wing panel.
❏ 2. At the root rib of the left wing panel, cut two 1/8"
[3mm] slots in W1 at the leading edge and trailing
edge for the leading edge and trailing edge braces.
Cut a 1/16" [1.6mm] slot through the two W1 ribs for
the Dihedral Brace.
Now that both of the wing panels are joined, go back
to the section, “Finish the Bottom of the Wing”.
Follow the instructions to finish the bottom of the left
wing the same way you did the right wing.
Build the Wingtip
❏ 3. Test fit the two wing panels together, inserting
the wing joiners from the right wing panel into the
slots you just cut in the left wing panel.
❏ ❏ 3. When satisfied with the fit, turn the wingtip over
and make two marks on the bottom of the tip. From the
tip, measure down 5/8" [15.9mm] and draw a line
perpendicular from the edge of the wing tip. Measure
down from that line another 5/8" [15.9mm] and draw
another line perpendicular from the edge of the wing tip.
❏ ❏ 4. With your hobby knife, score the lines half
way through the balsa. The scores will allow you to
bend the end slightly when installing the wing tip.
❏ 4. When you are satisfied with the fit, mix 1 oz. of
30-minute epoxy. Glue the joiners and the wing
together with 30-minute epoxy, making sure you
apply liberal amounts to the joiner and the spars.
Before the glue dries, place one wing flat on the
building surface and measure the distance from the
table to the bottom of the wing. The distance should
be 1-3/4". Block the wing to maintain this distance
while the glue dries.
❏ ❏ 1. Locate the die-cut 3/32" [2.4mm] balsa
wingtip parts. Glue the two pieces together to form
the completed wingtip.
❏ ❏ 2. On the right wing test fit the wing tip in place, ❏ ❏ 5. Using medium CA, glue the wingtip in place
making sure you have a good fit between the tip and
the end of the wing.
- 13 -
to the end of the wing. Be sure that the wingtip and
the wing are flat on the building board before gluing
it in place. Do Not Glue the front 1-1/4" [32mm] of
the tip to the wing. Proceed to the next step after the
glue has completely cured.
Build the Aileron
❏ ❏ 6. Carefully bend the tip of the wingtip on the
score until the tip takes on the contour of the wing.
When the proper bend has been achieved, use thin
CA to glue the tip to the wing.
❏ ❏ 1. Cut the ailerons to length as shown on the
❏ ❏ 8. When satisfied with the fit, glue the wing tip
plans. Mark a centerline on the LE of the aileron.
ribs in place.
❏ ❏ 2. Fit the aileron onto the wing panel and mark
the location of the torque rod. Drill a 7/64" [2.8mm]
1/2" [13mm] hole on the mark.
❏ ❏ 9. From the leftover balsa leading edge, fit a
piece to fill in the front of the wing tip.
❏ 10. Repeat steps 1–9 for the left wingtip.
❏ ❏ 3. Using your Great Planes® Groove Tube or a
hobby knife, cut a 1/8" [3mm] slot from the end of the
aileron to the hole you just drilled.
❏ ❏ 4. Mark a centerline down the trailing edge of
the wing. Using the plan as your guide, mark the
location for each of the hinges on the aileron and
wing trailing edge, then cut matching slots in the
aileron leading edge and wing trailing edge. Be sure
to follow the same technique described earlier in the
“Expert tip for using CA hinges”.
❏ ❏ 5. Trial fit the hinges into the slots and, without
❏ ❏ 7. Locate the four die-cut 3/32" [2.4mm] balsa
using any glue, temporarily attach the aileron to
verify the fit.
wing tip ribs. In the sketch, you can see how each
of the wing tip ribs needs to be beveled where they
contact the wing. Bevel each of them to the angles
shown on the plan.
STOP! DO NOT GLUE THE HINGES IN PLACE
UNTIL AFTER THE MODEL IS COVERED!
- 14 -
❏ ❏ 6. Sand the aileron to its final shape as shown
on the cross section of the wing. Sand a “V” in the
leading edge.
❏ 7. Repeat steps 1-6 for building the aileron for the
left wing.
Finish the Wing
❏ 3. Using a 1/4" x 3/8" x 30" [6 x 9.5 x 762mm]
basswood stick, cut two pieces 1" [25mm] long for
the servo mounting rails. Glue them in place on the
wing skin with 6- minute epoxy.
Make the Cockpit (Optional)
❏ 1. Locate two laser-cut 1/16 x 3/4" x 1-1/2" [1.6 x 19
x 38mm] plywood wing bolt plates. Glue them in place
on the top of the wing. The plates should be positioned
1-1/2" [38mm] from the trailing edge of the wing.
❏ 2. On the bottom of the wing, cut an opening for
the aileron servo. Begin by drawing a line that is just
behind the basswood main spar. With that line as a
reference, make an opening large enough for your
particular brand of servo.
When the Elder was originally introduced we found
that modelers chose to finish the plane in different
ways. The original plan had a cockpit in the top of the
wing. Some modelers chose not to do this. Just as
you had to make a choice to scallop the elevator and
rudder, you need to decide if you would like to make
the cockpit. If not, skip this section.
❏ 1. Locate the cockpit pattern on the plan and cut it
out. Place the pattern on the top of the wing so that
the back edge of the cockpit pattern is 2-1/2" [64mm]
from the trailing edge of the wing. Trace the pattern
onto the wing.
- 15 -
❏ 2. Cut out the cockpit from the sheeting. When you
remove the sheeting the W1 wing rib will be in the
middle of the cockpit. Remove the rib in this area to
create the open cockpit. This will not compromise the
strength of the wing.
❏ 3. When you finish your model you will find that
either Fourmost Cockpit Coaming (FORQ2014) or
18" of black neoprene fuel tubing makes a nice finish
to the cockpit opening. Installation instructions are at
the end of the construction process.
BUILD THE FUSELAGE
Frame the Fuselage
Notice that you are building the right side first.
❏ 1. Tape the Fuselage Plan side view to your
building board. Cover the plan with Plan Protector.
Build the right fuselage side first.
❏ ❏ 6. Glue the fuse doubler to the fuse side on the
lines you have drawn.
Note: The left side will be glued to the other side.
❏ 7. Locate six 1/4" x 1/4" x 36" [6 x 6 x 914mm]
basswood sticks. These will be the longerons and
the longeron braces. Because these will be part of
the open tail structure it is recommended that you
take some time to sand them now. Later in the
construction process you will be applying a finish and
you will find it much easier if you sand the sticks now
before they become part of the model. Sand them
being careful not to round the edges.
❏ ❏ 2. Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa fuse
sides. Edge glue the two halves together.
❏ 8. From one 1/4" x 1/4" x 36" [6 x 6 x 914mm]
basswood stick cut two pieces 13" [330mm] long.
❏ ❏ 4. Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa landing
gear doubler. Glue this to the fuse side doubler.
Note: The left fuse side will have the doubler glued
on the other side.
❏ 9. Locate two 1/4" x 1/4" x 36" [6 x 6 x 914mm]
basswood sticks. On one end of each stick cut a 45
degree angle.
❏ 10. On one end of each of the 13" [279mm] sticks
❏ ❏ 5. Draw a line parallel to the top of the fuse side
❏ ❏ 3. Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa fuse
side doublers. Edge glue the two halves together.
1/4" [6mm] from the top. Draw another line
perpendicular to this line, aligned with the back of the
first set of slots in the fuse side.
- 16 -
cut a 45 degree angle. Using 6-minute epoxy glue a
13" [330mm] stick to the 36" [914mm] stick, gluing
them together on the 45 degree cut. Do this for the
remaining two sticks. This will give you two longerons
48-3/4" [1239mm] long. Use a long straightedge to
keep the sticks straight.
❏ ❏ 11. Glue one of the 48-3/4" [1239mm] basswood
longerons to the top of the right fuse side as shown
on the plan. Glue the end of the stick where you
made the splice to the fuse side. Do not have the
splice at the rear of the fuselage. The 48-3/4"
[1239mm] longeron is longer than shown on the plan.
Place the longeron on the plan at the back of the
fuselage and allow the excess longeron length to
extend beyond the front of the fuselage. Set the
remaining 48-3/4" [1239mm] basswood longeron
aside until you do the left side of the fuselage.
❏ ❏ 12. Glue a 36" [914mm] basswood longeron in
place on the bottom of the fuse side. After the glue
has cured, cut the longeron to length as shown on
the plan.
❏ ❏ 13. From the remaining basswood stick, cut the
longeron braces to fit in the locations shown on the
plan. Glue them in place once you are satisfied with
the fit. For maximum strength we recommend that
they be glued in place with 6-minute epoxy because
CA does not bond as well to basswood. You can use
CA if you prefer, just be careful in handling the
fuselage until you glue the gussets in place later in
the building process.
❏ 14. This completes the right side of the fuselage.
Now is a good time to sand the side of the fuselage
while you can lay it flat on the bench. Repeat steps
2-13 for the left side of the fuselage. It is very
important that you make a left and right side
fuselage! This is easily done if you build the left side
of the fuselage on top of the right side you have
already made. On the right fuselage side, insert
some 1/8” balsa under the longerons to keep them
straight. Place Plan Protector or a sheet of wax
paper on top of the completed right side and proceed
building the left side on top of it.
❏ 16. Pin the right fuselage over the plan. Glue diecut 1/8" [3mm] plywood formers F2 through F7 in
place in the notches on the right fuselage side. Be
sure to glue them perpendicular to the fuselage.
❏ 15. Locate the right fuselage side. On the front of
the fuselage you will see an embossed line that is
approximately 1/8" [3mm] inside the edge of the front
of the fuselage. Cut the fuselage on the embossed
line. This will provide you with the proper amount of
right thrust when you assemble the fuse. Do this on
the right fuselage side only and be sure you only cut
the sheeting. Do not cut the longerons!
- 17 -
❏ 17. Locate two die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood F1
formers. Glue these together to form the 1/4" [6mm]
firewall. Make sure the punch marks are visible on
one side.
FOR STEPS 22-27 USE THE TOP VIEW OF THE
FUSELAGE PLAN AS AN AID IN KEEPING THE
FUSELAGE STRAIGHT.
❏ 18. The firewall has eight punch marks. Draw two
reference lines for mounting the engine to the firewall
as shown. If you are using the O.S. FS 52 or O.S. 46
FX, the remaining four punch marks are exactly
where you need to drill the engine mounting holes. If
you are using a different engine you may find that
you have to adjust the location of the mounting holes
for your particular engine and muffler combination.
Drill four 5/32" [4mm] holes on the engine mount
punch marks for the 6-32 blind nuts.
❏ 20. Locate the firewall mounting gauge. This
gauge will set the proper amount of right thrust
required for the engine. Glue the F1 firewall to the
fuselage side with 6-minute epoxy. Be sure to use the
gauge when gluing it in place. Do not glue the gauge
to the firewall or fuse.
❏ 22. Glue the left side of the fuselage to the formers.
Be careful to maintain the proper angle for the firewall.
Use the firewall mounting gauge to verify the firewall is
correct as you glue the fuselage side in place.
❏ 23. Lay the fuselage upside down on the bench.
Locate the two 1/4" x 1" x 3-7/8" [6 x 25 x 98mm]
plywood landing gear mounting plates and glue
them in place in the bottom of the fuselage with
6-minute epoxy.
❏ 19. Use a small hammer and tap the four 6/32
blind nuts into the holes you just drilled. After they
are in place, put a few drops of thin CA on the blind
nut being careful not to get any glue onto the threads.
Note: The blind nuts are installed on the rear of F1.
Pay special attention to the orientation of the firewall
as shown above.
❏ 21. Locate die-cut 1/8" [3mm] parts F2T through
F7T. Glue them in place on top of the formers. F3T
and F4T only need to be tack glued in place as they
will be removed later in the building process. The
others are a permanent part of the structure.
- 18 -
Important! The kit contains two of 1/8" x 3" x 30"
[3 x 76 x 762mm] soft balsa sheets. These two
sheets are soft balsa and should be set aside.
They will be used later for the cowl construction.
There are two sheets of 1/8" x 3" x 24" [3 x 76 x
610mm] medium balsa. The medium balsa
sheets are to be used in the following steps.
❏ 28. Glue the 1/16" [1.6mm] tail gusset in place at
the rear, bottom of the fuselage with 6-minute epoxy.
❏ 24. From the 1/8" x 3" x 24" [3 x 76 x 610mm]
balsa, sheet the bottom of the fuselage. The grain of
the balsa needs to run across the width of the
fuselage. Once you have the fuselage bottom
completed, take the time to sand the bottom of the
fuselage. It will be much easier to do while the
fuselage is placed flat on the bench.
❏ 26. Cut and glue the remaining cross braces in
place on the top and bottom of the fuselage.
❏ 29. From 1/8" x 3" x 24" [3 x 76 x 610mm] balsa,
sheet the top of the fuselage from former F5 to the
rear of the fuselage. The grain of the balsa needs to
run across the width of the fuselage.
❏ 30. Locate two die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood F2T
formers. Glue them together to form one 1/4"
[6mm] former.
❏ 25. Cut the aft end of the longerons to the angle
shown on the plan. Once the angle has been cut,
glue the longerons together with 6-minute epoxy. Use
small clamps to hold the tail together while the glue
is curing. Be sure that you do not twist the longerons
when you clamp and glue them together. The
fuselage and longerons should remain completely
flat to the building board during the gluing process.
❏ 27. Locate the sheet of 32 laser-cut 1/16 [1.6mm]
plywood fuse gussets. Use 6-minute epoxy to glue
them in place over each of the cross brace joints.
Refer to the plans for exact positioning. You will find
it helpful to use small clamps to hold them in place
while the epoxy cures.
- 19 -
❏ 31. Trial fit the F2T former in place in front of
fuselage former F2. When you are satisfied with the
fit, glue it in place with 6-minute epoxy.
❏ 32. Earlier you temporarily glued F3T and F4T in
place. Remove and discard them.
Mount the Wing to the Fuselage
❏ 3. Measure from the tip of the left wingtip to the tail
❏ 1. Position the wing onto the fuselage with the
leading edge of the wing against former F2T.
❏ 33. Locate the two die-cut 1/8" x 1-1/2" x 3-5/8" [3
of the fuselage and from the right wingtip to the tail of
the fuselage. Adjust the wing until the distance is equal.
❏ 4. When you are satisfied with the placement of
the wing, mark the location for the wood dowels onto
the leading edge of the wing with a pencil. Make the
marks through the center of both of the holes in F2T
onto the wing leading edge.
x 38 x 92mm] plywood wing bolt mounting plates.
Glue them together to form one 1/4" [6mm] thick
wing bolt mounting plate.
❏ 5. Drill a 1/4" [6mm] hole through each of the
❏ 34. From former F5 measure forward 1-1/2"
marks you made on the wing leading edge. Be sure
to drill through the wing leading edge and the
plywood sub-spar dowel brace inside of the wing.
[38mm]. Make a mark on both sides of the fuselage.
❏ 6. Locate the 1/4" x 4" [6 x 102mm] wood dowel.
Cut it into two 2" [51mm] pieces.
❏ 35. Glue the wing bolt mounting plate in position
with 6-minute epoxy. The rear of the mounting plate
is the side with the cut-out. This should be towards
the rear of the fuselage and aligned on the marks
you made on the fuselage.
❏ 7. Apply a liberal amount of epoxy into the holes
you drilled in the wing. Apply a thin layer of epoxy to
❏ 2. Measure from the side of the fuselage to the the portion of the dowel that you will insert into the
wing tip. Adjust the wing as needed until the distance
on the left side and right side are equal.
- 20 -
wing. Insert the two wooden dowels into the holes,
twisting them as you insert them. Leave the dowel
extending 3/8" [9.5mm] out of the wing leading edge.
Wipe any excess glue from the exposed dowel. Allow
the glue to cure then round the ends of the dowels as
shown on the plan. This will make it easier to insert
the dowels through the holes in F2T when installing
the wing on the fuselage.
drilling be sure that the drill remains perpendicular to
the top of the wing. If the drill does not remain
perpendicular to the wing you may not hit the center of
the wing bolt mounting plate in the fuselage.
❏ 10. Remove the wing from the fuselage. Drill a
17/64" [6.7mm] clearance hole through the wing bolt
holes you drilled in the wing. Do not drill through the
holes in the wing bolt plate in the fuselage.
❏ 11. Using a 1/4-20 tap, tap each of the holes in the
wing bolt mounting plate. After they have been tapped
apply a couple of drops of thin CA onto the threads in
the wing bolt mounting plate. After the CA has
completely cured, run the tap through the threads again
to clear out any excess glue on the threads.
❏ 12. Install the wing onto the fuselage and screw
❏ 8. On the top center of the wing at the aft end of
the wing is the plywood wing bolt plate. Measure
from the center of the wing 1-1/8" [28mm] to the left
and right. Make a mark on the center of each
plywood wing bolt plate.
❏ 2. Turn the fuselage upright on the bench. Using the
triangle or square, mark a line across the top of the
fuselage perpendicular from the end of the line on the
right side of the fuselage. Turn the fuselage and
continue the line down the left side of the fuselage.
the nylon wing bolts through the wing into the
threaded block in the fuselage to be sure that
everything fits properly. When you are satisfied
things fit well, remove the wing.
Finish the Fuselage
❏ 3. Prepare the engine mount by cutting off the tabs
and slide the two halves together as shown.
❏ 9. Double check all your measurements to be sure
the wing is still properly positioned. When you are
satisfied with the positioning of the wing drill a 13/64"
[5.2mm] hole through the wing on the marks you made
on the wing bolt plates. Drill through the wing and the
wing bolt mounting plate inside of the fuselage. When
❏ 1. Place the fuselage on your bench with the right
side of the fuselage facing up. Using a builders
triangle or a small square, mark a line across the
side of the fuselage from the bottom corner of the
fuselage to the top of the fuselage, perpendicular to
the top fuselage.
- 21 -
❏ 4. Install the engine mount to the firewall with four
6-32 x 3/4" [19mm] socket head cap screws, four #6 flat
washers and four #6 lock washers. Temporarily place
your engine in the mount to set the width of the
mounting rails to fit your engine. Remove the engine
and tighten all the engine mount mounting bolts. For
our model we will be installing the engine inverted so
we have installed the engine mount inverted. Be sure to
properly install your engine mount for the position you
choose to install your motor. Drill two 3/16" [4.8mm]
holes in the firewall to accommodate the fuel line and
the engine pressure line from the fuel tank.
❏ 7. Locate the two die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood nose
rings. Glue them together to form one 1/4" [6mm]
plywood nose ring.
❏ 8. You are now going to install the nose ring to the
fuselage. The positioning of the nose ring is
determined by the length of your engine. Temporarily
position your engine onto the engine mount. (Do not
permanently mount your engine to the mount).
Determine where the nose ring will be positioned so
when the engine is installed the front of the engine
thrust washer is approximately 1/4" - 3/8" [6mm –
9mm] further forward than the nose ring. Mark the
location of the nose ring on the basswood rails.
❏ 10. From the remainder of the 3/16" x 3/16" x 36"
[4.8 x4.8 x 914mm] balsa stick, cut, fit and glue the
remaining side stringers from F1S to the nose ring.
Do this for both sides of the fuselage.
❏ 5. Locate the two die-cut 1/8" [3mm] balsa F1S
formers. Glue them in position on both the left and
right side of the fuselage. Use the lines you have
drawn on the sides of the fuselage as reference for
gluing them in place.
❏ 11. From a leftover 1/4" x 1/4" [6 x 6mm] basswood
stick, cut a stick for the center fuselage stringer to fit
from former F2T to the front of the nose ring. Glue it
in position. Glue the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] plywood
former F1T to the top of F1. Slide it forward or aft
slightly to fit under the basswood stick.
❏ 9. Insert the nose ring onto the basswood rails. ❏ 12. You are now going to sheet the front of the
❏ 6. From a 3/16" x 3/16" x 36" [4.8 x4.8 x 914mm] Locate the die-cut 1/8" [3mm] nose ring gauge fuselage. This is going to require compound bends to
balsa stick cut the balsa side stringers. Sand a bevel
on the end of the sticks that are glued flush to the
fuselage side. Cut the sticks to length so they fit to
the middle of former F1S and glue them in place.
(NRG). Use it to set the angle of the nose ring as
shown. Glue the nose ring to the rails. If there is any
of the basswood rail extending beyond the nose ring,
cut it off flush with the nose ring.
- 22 -
the sheeting. To accomplish this you must wet the
wood before gluing it into place. Rubbing alcohol
misted onto the wood with a spray bottle works best
but you can also accomplish the task with water.
❏ ❏ 15. Cut two more pieces of sheeting long enough
Bevel the sheeting
where it contacts the
fuselage side.
❏ ❏ 13. All of the sheeting is going to be cut from
the 1/8" x 3" x 30" [3 x 76 x 762mm] soft balsa
sheeting that you previously set aside when building
the fuselage. Cut a piece of sheeting to fit from the
sheeted fuselage side, forward to the nose ring.
When glued in place the top edge of the sheeting
should be aligned on the center of the middle
stringer. Bevel the end of the balsa sheeting where it
will contact the fuselage side. This will provide a
better transition from the cowl to the fuselage. Wet
the wood and allow it to soften before gluing.
to fit from the fuselage side to the front of the nose ring.
Cut one of the sheets to a width of 1-1/2" [38mm] (save
the remaining half of the sheeting to be used when
sheeting the opposite side of the fuselage). Edge glue
the full sheet to the 1-1/2" [38mm] wide sheet. This will
form a piece of sheeting wide enough to wrap around to
the center fuselage stringer.
❏ 18. Blend the sheeting from the cowl to the
fuselage with a balsa filler as well as filling in any
gaps in the seams where the sheeting meets. Allow
it to dry and then sand the front portion of the cowl
and fuselage.
Adding the Wing Fairing
❏ 16. Wet the wood and allow it to soften. When it is
sufficiently soft, glue the sheeting in place to the
previously installed sheet and work the sheeting
towards the top of the fuselage. When the sheeting is
fully glued into place to all of the stringers trim the
sheeting down to the middle of the center stringer on
the top of the fuselage.
❏ 1. Install the wing back onto the fuselage and
secure it in place with the nylon wing bolts.
❏ 2. Locate a leftover piece of 1/8" thick sheeting.
❏ ❏ 14. When sufficiently softened to bend and fit the
fuselage, glue it in place with CA glue. Some CA
accelerator will be helpful in gluing the sheeting in place.
❏ 17. Repeat steps 13-16 for the opposite side of
the fuselage.
- 23 -
Slide it in place at the wing leading edge just behind
former F2T. Use a pen or pencil to trace the shape of
the top of the fuselage onto the sheeting. Remove
the sheeting. Then cut the sheeting 3/32" [2.4mm]
inside the line you have just traced onto the sheeting.
Doing this will allow for the sheeting that will be
applied in the next couple of steps. This piece
becomes the former for the wing fairing.
❏ 3. From left over 3/32" x 3" [2.4 x 76mm] balsa
sheeting cut two pieces to a length of 3-1/2".
Assemble and Install the Landing Gear
❏ 1. Locate the two prebent wire landing gear wires
and one of the coils of wrapping wire. Make a wire
wrapped joint at each end and the middle of the main
landing gear wire where shown on the plan. If you
are new to making and soldering this type of a joint,
refer to the Soldering Hot Tip below.
B. Bend the soft wire around the two landing gear
wires being joined together. Continue to wrap the
soft wire around the landing gear wires until you
have approximately 20 turns of the soft wire
around the landing gear wire.
❏ 4. Set the former in place against former F2T. Do
HOW TO MAKE A WRAP AND SOLDER JOINT
not glue it in place! Fit one of the 3/32" x 3" x 3-1/2"
[2.4 x 76 x 89mm] balsa sheets to the former and the
wing. Do this for the left and right side. When you are
satisfied with the fit, glue the former to the wing and
the balsa sheets to the former and the wing. After
they have been glued in place, feather the wing
fairing sheeting and wing together with balsa filler.
❏ 5. Fill the small open area under the leading edge
of the wing with leftover balsa. Do this on both sides
of the fuselage.
C. Bend the portion of the wire that was lying
perpendicular to the landing gear wires being
joined forward towards the wraps of soft wire. This
will prevent them from unraveling.
A. Bring the two pieces of landing gear wire together.
Clean the wire where they make contact with each
other using 300-grit sandpaper. After cleaning the
wire, bring the two pieces of landing gear wire
together where you want them joined. With a 6"
[152 mm] piece of soft wire begin by laying the wire
parallel to the landing gear wires that you will be
joining. Then make a 90º bend in the end of the wire.
- 24 -
D. Cut the excess wire but leave enough folded
over the wraps of soft wire to keep the wire
in place.
E. To get a good bond between the soft wrap wire
and the wire landing gear it is important to use a
good solder and flux. The Great Planes® Silver
Solder Kit (GPMR8070) works very well and
includes all the needed items for a good, strong
solder joint.
❏ 2. After completing the three solder joints on the
❏ 5. Wrap the two wires together with a 5" [127mm]
main landing gear wire, lay the main landing gear
wire onto the fuselage so that the wire is laying
across the forward landing gear mounting plate.
Install two nylon humped landing gear straps over
the wire landing gear. Drill a 1/16" [1.6mm] hole
through the holes in the landing gear straps and into
the landing gear mounting plate. Screw the straps
into the mounting plate with #2 x 1/2" [13mm] sheet
metal screws.
piece of soft wire, using the same technique used for
joining the forward landing gear wire. Solder the joint
together. Do this for both sides of the landing gear.
❏ 3. Position the rear landing gear wire in place over
F. Begin by applying a couple of drops of the liquid
flux onto the wire joint. With a small torch begin
heating the landing gear wire above and below the
joint. (The best bond will be achieved if the landing
gear wire gets hot enough for the solder to flow into
it as well as the wire wrapped joint). Heat the wire
hot enough to melt the solder but not so hot that the
wires turn glowing red. Apply a small amount of
solder to the wire wrapped joint and when it is hot
enough you will be able to see the solder flow
around the wire joint. There is no need to over apply
the solder. Use just enough to flow between all of
the gaps in the wire. After completing the soldering
wipe away excess flux with a little water. Then, dry
the joint. Washing away the flux will allow the paint
to adhere better when you paint the landing gear.
With a little practice you will find soldering a very
simple task.
the rear landing gear mounting plate and secure it
with two nylon landing gear straps the same as you
did for the forward landing gear wire.
❏ 4. Bring the two landing gear wires together so the
rear landing gear wire makes contact with the forward
landing gear wire just below the solder joints you made
at each corner of the forward landing gear wire.
- 25 -
You need to decide if you are going to install a tail
skid wire or if you are going to install a steerable
tailwheel. Both are included in this kit. Steps 6 - 9 are
for the tail skid construction and installation. Skip to
the Tail Wheel Wire Installation after step 9 if you are
using a tailwheel.
Tailskid Installation
❏ 6. Locate the pre-bent wire tail skid. Wrap and
solder it together in the three locations shown on the
plan. Once the solder has cooled, bend the end of
the wire to a slight angle as shown on the plan.
❏ 9. You may wish to paint your tailskid before installing
it onto the fuselage. If so, do it now. This would also be
a good time to paint the main landing gear. When the
paint has dried place the tailskid in position on the
bottom of the fuselage. Secure it to the fuselage with
cotton cord or string (not included) by wrapping the
cord around the wire and the cross braces on the
fuselage. Once you have it secured with the cord, apply
thin CA to the cord and the cross brace. When the glue
has dried you may want to paint the cord the same
color as the landing gear skid.
❏ 7. Lay the wire tail skid in position on the bottom
of the fuselage, making sure the bend you made in
the wire is pointed toward the top of the fuselage.
Tape the skid in place by wrapping some masking
tape around the wire and the wood cross brace.
Cut a groove
the width of
the hole,
1/16" into the
leading edge
of the rudder
❏ 2. Cut a groove into the leading edge of the rudder
the width of the hole you drilled. The groove needs to be
cut 1/16" [1.6mm] into the leading edge of the rudder.
Tail Wheel Wire Installation
DRILL
3/32"
HOLE
Cut slot
❏ 3. Cut a 1/16" x 15/16 [1.6 x 23.8mm] slot into the
❏ 8. Wrap and solder the wire tail skid support in
place as shown on the plan. When you are finished
remove the tailskid from the fuselage.
1-1/4"
1"
center of the tail brace as shown.
Set the assembly aside until instructed to permanently
❏ 1. Drill a 3/32" [2.4mm] hole at the location shown install it in the “Join the Control Surfaces” section of
in the center of the rudder leading edge.
- 26 -
the manual.
FINAL CONSTRUCTION
Mount the Engine
❏ 5. Cut the 11-3/4" [298mm] gray outer plastic
Install the Radio
pushrod guide to a length of 9". Use sandpaper to
roughen one end of the 9" plastic tube. Insert the
smooth end of the tube through the firewall back into
the radio compartment. Apply a couple of drops of
CA to the roughened end of the tube. Then finish
inserting the rest of the tube flush with the firewall.
❏ 6. Before permanently installing the engine,
assemble the fuel tank following the manufacturer's
instructions. Then mount the fuel tank inside the
fuselage. Run the carburetor and vent lines through
the holes in the firewall.
❏ 1. Locate the 1/8" [3mm] die-cut plywood servo
tray and the six 1/8" [3mm] die-cut plywood servo
tray reinforcements.
❏ 7. Permanently mount the engine to the mount
and connect the fuel and vent lines.
❏ 1. Set your engine onto the engine mount. Position
it so that there is approximately 1/4" [6mm] clearance
between the front of the cowl and the front of the
thrust washer on the motor. If you have a small
C-clamp use it to hold the engine to the mount.
❏ 2. Mark the location of the engine bolt holes on the
engine mount. This can easily be done with a Great
Planes® Dead Center™ tool. If you do not have this
you can also heat the end of a pointed wire with a
torch and dimple the engine mount in the center of
each hole.
❏ 2. Glue the plywood reinforcements to the bottom
of the servo tray.
❏ 3. From left over 1/4" x 1/4" [6 x 6mm] basswood
stringer material, cut two servo mounting rails 3-7/8"
[98mm] long. Glue them in position inside of the
fuselage at the location shown on the plan.
❏ 3. Remove the engine from the mount and drill four
#36 (or 7/64) [2.8mm] holes in the engine mount on the
marks. Tap 6-32 threads into the holes and mount your
engine with four 6-32 x 3/4" [19mm] socket head cap
screws, #6 flat washers and #6 lock washers.
❏ 4. Make a mark on the firewall to locate the
position that the throttle pushrod comes through.
Remove the engine and drill a 3/16" [4.8mm] hole
through the firewall.
❏ 8. Install the brass screw lock connector onto the
carburetor. You will complete the throttle installation
when you install the radio system.
- 27 -
❏ 4. Glue the servo tray on top of the rails.
the end of the wire is over the throttle servo control
horn. Once the throttle pushrod wire is over the
throttle servo arm continue feeding the pushrod wire
into the tube an additional 1" [25mm]. At the screw
lock connector on the carburetor, cut the excess
throttle pushrod wire. When you cut the wire you will
be cutting off the threaded portion of the wire. This is
correct. Tighten the 4-40 set screw on the screw lock
connector to hold the throttle pushrod wire in place.
Connect the other end of the throttle pushrod to the
servo with a screw lock pushrod connector and the
4-40 set screw.
Balance the Model Laterally
Laterally balancing the model now will allow you to
install weight on the wingtip before covering the wing,
hiding the weight inside the wing. Other components of
the aircraft like the pushrods and landing gear should
not have any effect on the lateral balance when they
are installed in future steps.
❏ 1. Mount your wing and the engine.
❏ 2. With the wing level, carefully lift the model by
the engine propeller shaft and the aft end of the
fuselage at the bottom of the wire tail skid (this may
require two people). Do this several times.
❏ ❏ 5. Install the servos as shown following the
radio manufacturer's mounting instructions. Before
screwing the servos in place, drill a 1/16" [1.6mm]
hole through each of the servo mounting holes,
drilling into the plywood servo tray and the
reinforcement strips on the underside of the servo
tray. Skipping this step may cause the servo tray to
split when you screw the servos into position. Apply
a couple of drops of thin CA to harden the holes and
then screw the servos in place.
❏ 6. Permanently secure the receiver and battery in
place where shown on the plan. Be sure that you
wrap each of them in 1/4" [6mm] foam and secure
them so they are not able to move around inside the
fuselage. Connect your servos to the receiver
following the manufacturer's instructions. Route your
receiver antenna through the fuselage, attaching it to
the fuselage longerons at the rear of the model.
❏ 7. Mount your on / off receiver switch in a location
that does not interfere with the rest of the radio
system. It is good practice to mount your switch on
the side of the model opposite the exhaust.
❏ 8. Locate the .072 x 17-1/2" [445mm] pushrod wire
threaded on one end. This is the throttle pushrod
wire. Insert the unthreaded end of it through the
screw lock connector on the carburetor and into the
tube in the firewall. Feed the wire into the tube until
❏ 3. If one wing always drops when you lift the model,
FINISHING
that side is heavy. Balance the airplane by gluing weight
inside the other wing tip. Glue the weight in place with
epoxy. An airplane that has been laterally balanced will
track better in loops and other maneuvers.
Fuelproofing
Cover your Model with MonoKote
Remove the engine, engine mount and the throttle
pushrod. Fuelproof the entire engine compartment
including the firewall. Use epoxy, epoxy paint,
finishing resin or other fuelproof model paint.
Prepare the Model for Covering
❏ 1. Inspect all surfaces for uneven glue joints and
seams that require filler. Apply filler where needed.
Many small dents or scratches in balsa can be
repaired by applying a few drops of water or
moistening the area with a wet tissue. This will swell
the wood so you can sand it when it dries.
❏ 2. Final sand the entire model with progressively
finer grits of sandpaper, finishing with 320 or
400-grit sandpaper.
❏ 3. Use a large brush, air pressure or a Top Flite Tack
Cloth (TOPR2185) to remove dust from the model.
- 28 -
It is assumed that you are an intermediate to
advanced modeler, so we won’t go into many details
on covering techniques, but here are some tips you
should consider:
A. Most importantly, NEVER CUT THE COVERING
DIRECTLY ON THE SHEETING. The Elder depends
upon the wood sheeting for some of its strength.
Modelers who cut through the covering tend to cut
into the sheeting and this will weaken the structure.
B. Use a Top Flite® Hot Sock™ to minimize dents in
the wood from your covering iron.
C. Some modelers have three irons going at once:
one on high heat without a Hot Sock for stretching
the covering around curves like wingtips; one on
medium heat with a Hot Sock for bonding the
covering to large sheeted areas like the wing and
stab; and a Trim Iron for small areas.
D. When you cover large sheeted surfaces such as
the wing, bond the covering in the middle and work
outward, pushing out air as you proceed. Do not
move the iron in a circular motion, but move it lengthwise with the grain of the wood.
E. When you cover smaller parts with square edges
such as the elevators and ailerons, cover the ends
first with separate pieces of covering. Then, all you
have to do is wrap the covering around the top and
bottom and iron it down.
Measure from the tip of the wing to the tip of the stab;
adjusting the stab until the distance between the wing
and the stab is equal on both sides.
❏ 3. Carefully mark the location of the fuselage
basswood stringers where they make contact with
the bottom of the stab. Cut away the covering on the
bottom of the stab where you have marked the
stringer locations.
F. When you cover sharp junctions like where the
stab meets the fuse, cut narrow strips of covering
(3/8 to 1/2" [10 to 13mm] wide) and apply them in the
corners before you cover the major surfaces. The
larger pieces of covering will overlap the smaller
pieces. This technique also eliminates the need to
cut the covering after it has been applied.
❏ 7. Cut away the covering from the slot in the stab
for the fin. Insert the fin into the slot. Mark a line on
the fin where it contacts the stab. Remove the fin and
cut away the covering below the line you have made
on the fin.
❏ 4. Place the stab back onto the fuselage. Stand
Installing the Stab and Fin
❏ 1. Before beginning the installation of the stab and
fin you will most likely find it more convenient to cover
them before installing them to the fuselage. Apply the
covering to them now if you haven’t already. It is also
a good idea to cover the elevator and rudder at this
time too.
back 15' [381mm] and view the stab from the back of
the fuselage. Look at the alignment between the stab
and the wing. Be sure that the stab and wing are
aligned with each other. If they are not, sand away
some of material on the fuselage on the side of the
stab that is slightly high. Make these adjustments
until the stab is aligned with the wing.
❏ 8. Put the fin back into the slot. With a builders
❏ 5. Set the stab aside. Now would be a good time triangle, check to be sure that the fin is 90 degrees to
to paint or stain the open structure of the fuselage.
Ours was painted with Top Flite LustreKote® paint. If
you choose to spray paint the structure, mask the
portion of the fuselage that you do not want paint on.
Spray on a couple of coats of primer, sanding
between coats. When you are satisfied with the finish
apply the color. You may also choose to brush on a
paint or stained finish. Just be sure that you use a
fuel proof paint.
❏ 6. After the paint is completely dried, lightly sand
❏ 2. Attach the wing to the fuselage. Place the stab into
position on the fuselage making sure it is centered.
the area of the stringers that will be in contact with
the bottom of the stab. Glue the stab to the fuselage
with epoxy. Double check the distance from the stab
to the wing to be sure the stab and the wing are
aligned. Set it aside until the epoxy cures.
- 29 -
the stab. When you are satisfied with the fit and
alignment glue the fin into the slot in the stab with
epoxy.
The following steps are used only if you are using a
tail wheel.
Join the Control Surfaces
❏ 6. Trial fit the hinges and the tail wheel wire into
the rudder. Trial fit the rudder to the stab inserting the
hinges into the hinge slots and the nylon tail wheel
bearing into the slot in the fuselage cross bracing.
❏ 1. Start with the stab and elevator. Remove a small
strip of covering from the hinge slots.
❏ 2. Test fit the hinges in only the stab or elevators
(without glue).
Epoxy
❏ 4. Cut a paper towel into 2" [50mm] squares. Add ❏ 7. When you are satisfied with the fit remove the
six drops of thin CA to the center of the hinges on
both the top and bottom. The tunnels you drilled will
wick the CA into the entire hinge surface. Use the
paper towel squares to absorb excess CA from the
hinge gap before it cures.
❏ 3. Join the elevators to the stab with the hinges. If
the hinges don’t remain centered as you join the
elevators to the stab, remove the elevators and insert
a pin in the center of the hinges to keep them
centered. Make sure there is approximately a 1/64"
[.5mm] gap between the elevators and the stab so
you do not glue them together.
Do not use CA accelerator on any of the hinges
and do not glue the hinges with anything but thin
CA. Do not attempt to glue one half of the hinge
at a time. The hinges will not be properly secured
and could come out while the model is in flight.
If you have chosen to install the tailwheel assembly
instead of the tail skid, skip step 5 and follow steps
6-10. If you chose the tail skid, step 5 completes the
instructions for joining the control surfaces.
❏ 5. Use the same hinging method to join the rudder to
the fin and the ailerons to the wing. When installing the
ailerons be sure the aileron torque rod wire is firmly
glued into the hole in the aileron with 6-minute epoxy.
- 30 -
rudder from the fin. Apply epoxy to the portion of the
tail wheel wire that fits into the rudder then slide the
wire into the rudder. Be careful not to get any epoxy
into the tail wheel bearing. Hint: A small amount of
petroleum jelly applied to the area where the wire
passes through the bearing will prevent glue from
getting into the bearing.
❏ 8. Apply epoxy onto the nylon bearing where it will
be inserted into the cross bracing. Apply some epoxy
in the slot in the cross bracing as well. Insert the
rudder assembly into the fin. When you are satisfied
with the fit, wipe away any excess epoxy and then
apply thin CA to the hinges the same as you did for
the elevator.
❏ 9. Install the 1" [25mm] tail wheel (not included)
onto the wire with two 3/32" [2.4mm] wheel collars
and two 4-40 set screws.
❏ 8. Reference the plan to locate the position for the
Install the Elevator, Rudder Pushrods
and Control Horns
nylon control horn on the bottom of the elevator.
Mark the location for the screw holes for the control
horn. Drill a 3/32" [2.4mm] hole through the elevator
on each of these marks then harden the holes with a
couple of drops of thin CA.
❏ 1. Locate the two 5/16" x 36" [7.9 x 914mm] wood
dowels. These will be the elevator and rudder pushrods.
Cut each of them to 24-1/2" [623mm] in length.
❏ 9. Install the control horn onto the bottom of the
elevator. Install the two 2-56 machine screws through
the control horn and the control horn plate on the top
of the elevator.
❏ 10. Repeat steps 9 and 10 for installing the control
❏ 5. From the end of the dowel to the hole, cut a slot horn on the rudder.
❏ 2. Locate two .074 x 12" [1.9 x 305mm] wires the width of the hole.
threaded on one end. Cut them as shown in the sketch.
Servo Arn
2-56 (.074") Pushrod Wire
FasLink
❏ 11. Put a silicone clevis keeper over the threaded
❏ 3. Bend each of the wires as shown, making two
sets of wires as shown in the sketch.
❏ 6. Insert the end of the rod with the 1/4" [6mm] bend
into the dowel. Insert the threaded rod into one end and
the un-threaded rod into the other. Apply a small
amount of thin CA to the rod and the dowel. Then allow
it to cure. Cut two pieces of heat shrink tubing to 2"
[51mm] in length, slide the heat shrink tubing over each
end of the dowel and then shrink it tight onto each of
the pushrod wires. Do this for both pushrods.
❏ 7. If you would like the pushrods to match the rear
❏ 4. From each end of the dowel measure in 1-1/2" structure of the fuselage, paint or stain them to
[38mm]. Drill a 5/64" [2mm] hole on the mark, drilling
through the dowel.
match. If you will be painting them, mask off the heat
shrink tubing. Paint will not stick to it very well.
- 31 -
end of the elevator wire then install the clevis onto
the wire approximately 20 turns. Connect the clevis
to the control horn. Center the elevator and the servo
arm. Align the wire under the arm of the servo horn,
mark the location where it crosses the hole in the
arm and then bend the wire on the mark. Install the
wire onto the servo horn arm with a nylon Faslink.
Cut off any excess wire extending beyond the Faslink
more than 1/16" [1.6mm].
❏ 12. Repeat step 11 for the rudder pushrod.
Install the Aileron Pushrods and
Control Horns
Scale Details
Cotter pin
Looking at the photo on the box you will see that we
added a few extra details to our model. They are not
necessary for any structural integrity but we felt they
added a bit of nostalgic detail that you might want to
consider adding to your model.
Kingposts and Flying Wires
❏ 3. The flying wires are also made from the same
❏ 1. Locate the two nylon torque rod connectors.
Screw them onto the aileron torque rods approximately
half way down the threaded rod.
Servo Arn
2-56 (.074") Pushrod Wire
FasLink
❏ 1. The open area at the rear of the fuselage has the
appearance of being rigged with wire. You could choose
to actually rig this area with a lightweight wire but we
used an elastic cord that you can easily obtain from a
fabric store. (This round cord is often used for making
elastic cuffs in a sleeve or pant leg). The benefit of the
elastic is that they always stay under tension and do not
sag like wire can, plus they are much easier to install.
Start by gluing one end of the elastic cord to one corner
with CA glue. With a little tension, pull the cord to the
next corner and glue it in place. Continue this until you
have formed an “X” pattern inside each of the formers
on the top, bottom and side.
❏ 2. Locate two 6" [152mm] .072 wire pushrods
threaded on one. Put a silicone clevis keeper over
each of the wires. Install a nylon clevis on each wire
approximately 20 turns and then install the clevis
onto the torque rod connector. Center the ailerons
and the servo arm. Align the wires under the arms of
the servo arm, mark the location where it crosses the
hole in the arm and then bend the wire on the mark.
Install the wire onto the servo arm with a nylon
Faslink. Cut off any excess wire extending beyond
the Faslink more than 1/16" [1.6mm].
❏ 2. On the top of the wing and the bottom of the
fuselage we have installed the kingposts. The kingpost
on top of the wing are made from four 1/4" x 4-1/2"
[6mm x 115mm] hardwood dowels (not included in
the kit). The kingpost on the bottom of the fuselage is
made from four 1/4" x 2-1/2" [6mm x 64mm] dowels.
The dowels are cut at an angle and glued together
where the four dowels meet. The bottom of the post
is sanded to match the surface of the wing/fuselage.
The dowels should be glued together and glued to
the wing/fuselage with 6-minute epoxy.
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elastic cord and the installation is similar to the tail
structure. Drill a small hole in the top of the kingpost
on the wing. Make the hole large enough to accept a
small cotter pin. We used a small brass cotter pin
from a Robart hinge but you can also find small ones
in a hardware store. Glue the cotter pin into the
Kingpost so that the small loop faces out towards
each wing tip.
❏ 4. You may recall when building the wing that there
were four blocks installed in each wing half to attach the
wire to. Locate the previously drilled 1/16" [1.6mm] hole
in each of the blocks in the top of the wing. Punch a
hole in the covering with a T-pin through the hole in
each of the four blocks. Cut a piece of the elastic cord
that is long enough to reach from the blocks closest to
the leading edge of the wing. Apply a drop of thin CA to
the tip of the elastic cord and roll the tip in your finger.
The cord will stiffen from the glue and can then be
easily inserted into the hole in the block. Insert the
stiffened cord into the hole you drilled in the block.
Apply a drop of thin CA to keep it in place. Feed the
cord through the cotter pin in the top of the kingpost and
then stiffen the end of the cord and insert it into the hole
in the other wood block. Repeat this for all four wires in
the top of each wing half.
cord towards the center of the fuselage. Join the left
and right wing wires by inserting a #2 sheet metal
screw into the two landing gear straps and then
screwing them into the kingpost.
❏ ❏ 5. Turn the wing over and locate the 1/16"
[1.6mm] holes in each of the blocks in the bottom
wing. With a T-pin, punch through the covering into
each of the holes in the blocks. Insert and glue the
cord into one of the blocks in the right wing. Feed the
cord through a nylon landing gear strap (not included)
or something similar. Then glue the opposite end of
the cord into another block on the same side of the
wing. Repeat this for the two remaining blocks in the
right wing.
Machine Gun
❏ 2. Cut the windshield as shown on the pattern on
the plan. Glue it in place with a white aliphatic glue
like Pacer canopy glue (PAAR3300).
❏ 3. Glue the pilot in place. We trimmed the
shoulders from a Williams Brothers 1/6-scale
Standard pilot (WBRQ2476) and glued him directly
to the floor of the cockpit.
❏ 6. Repeat step 5 for the left wing.
Final Hookups and checks
❏ 1. Mount your wheels to the landing gear with a
❏ 1. The machine gun is a nice touch! We used the
Williams Brothers 1/6 scale Vickers machine
gun (WBRQ3560).
1/8" [3mm] wheel collar on both sides of both wheels.
Secure the wheel collars with a drop of thread lock
on the set screws. Note: We recommend you file a
small flat spot on the landing gear wire where the set
screws are located.
❏ 2. Take the servo arms off the servos and turn on
your transmitter and receiver. Then, center all the
trims. Reinstall all the servo arms and secure them
with the screws.
Cockpit and Pilot
❏ 3. Double-check all the servos and make sure the
❏ 1. Cockpit coaming gives a finished look to the servo arms are secure and all the clevises have a
❏ 7. Drill a 1/16" [1.6mm] hole through the center of
the kingpost on the bottom of the fuselage. Pull the
cockpit. This can be made from black neoprene fuel
tubing (DUBQ0455) or Fourmost Cockpit Coaming
(FORQ2014). If you choose neoprene fuel tubing,
simply cut a slit in the tubing. Slide the slit tubing onto
the edge of the cockpit and then glue it in place with CA.
- 33 -
silicone retainer.
❏ 4. Be sure the tank is securely in place. A scrap
balsa stick glued across the width of the fuselage
works well.
❏ 5. Make sure the control surfaces move in the
proper direction as illustrated in the following sketch.
CONTROL THROWS
Aileron
Elevator
Rudder
High rate
Low Rate
3/8" [9.5mm] Up
1/4" [6mm] Up
3/8" [9.5mm] Down 1/4" [6mm] Down
5/8" [16mm] Up
7/16" [11mm] Up
5/8" [16mm] Down 7/16" [11mm] Down
3/4" [19mm] Right 1/2" [13mm] Right
3/4" [19mm] Left
1/2" [13mm] Left
GET YOUR MODEL READY TO FLY
HOW TO MARK THE BALANCE POINT
The balance point is measured from the leading
edge down the bottom center of the wing. Mark the
balance point outward a few inches so you can see
where to lift the wing when it’s bolted to the fuse. To
do this, mark the balance point with a felt tip pen or
tape on both ends of the center section. Place a
straightedge across the marks. Mark the balance
point along the straightedge further out on the wing.
Mount the wing to the fuselage.
3-1/2" [89mm]
Balance your Model
NOTE: This section is VERY important and must
NOT be omitted! A model that is not properly
balanced will be unstable and possibly unflyable.
❏ 1. See the Expert Tip that follows to accurately mark
❏ 6. Adjust your pushrod hookups and set up your
radio to provide the control surface movements as
follows. Use a ruler or a Great Planes AccuThrow
Control Surface Deflection Meter (GPMR2405) to
measure the throws.
the balance point on the bottom of the wing on both
sides of the fuselage. The balance point is shown on
the plan (CG), and is located 3-1/2" (89mm) back from
the leading edge at the wing root as shown in the
sketch and on the plans. This is the balance point at
which your model should be balanced for your first
flights. Later, you may experiment by shifting the
balance up to 1/2" [13mm] forward or 1/2" [13mm] back
to change the flying characteristics. If you move the
balance point forward it may improve the smoothness
and tracking, but your Elder may then require more
speed for takeoff and become more difficult to slow for
landing. If you move the balance aft it may make your
Elder more agile with a lighter feel and allow you to slow
the model more for landing. In any case, please start at
the location we recommend and do not at any time
balance your model outside the recommended range.
- 34 -
❏ 2. With the wing attached to the fuselage and an
empty fuel tank, lift the model at the balance point.
We use the Great Planes C.G. Machine™ (shown in
the sketch). If the tail drops, the model is tail heavy
and you must shift your battery pack or other
components forward or add weight to the nose. If the
nose drops, it is nose heavy and you must shift your
battery pack or other components aft or add weight
to the tail. In order to save weight, relocate your
battery pack and/or receiver or other components
before you add additional weight to arrive at the
correct C.G. You may install nose weight by using a
spinner weight or gluing lead weights to the firewall.
Range check your radio
You may add tail weight by sticking on Great Planes
(GPMQ4485) stick-on lead weights on the bottom of
the fuselage under the tail. Later, if the balance
proves to be OK, you can glue these in permanently.
Our prototype required 12 oz. [340g] of weight to be
added to the nose.
PREFLIGHT
Identify your model
No matter if you fly at an AMA sanctioned R/C club
site or if you fly somewhere on your own, you should
always have your name, address, telephone number
and AMA number on or inside your model. It is
required at all AMA R/C club flying sites and AMA
sanctioned flying events. Fill out the identification
sticker included in the manual and place it on or
inside your model.
Charge your batteries
Follow the battery charging procedures in your radio
instruction manual. You should always charge your
transmitter and receiver batteries the night before
you go flying, and at other times as recommended
by the radio manufacturer.
We use a Top Flite Precision Magnetic Prop Balancer”
(TOPQ5700) in the workshop and keep a Great
Planes Fingertip Prop Balancer (GPMQ5000) in our
flight box.
Ground check the range of your radio before the first
flight of the day. With the transmitter antenna
collapsed and the receiver and transmitter on, you
should be able to walk at least 100 feet away from
the model and still have control. Have an assistant
stand by your model and, while you work the
controls, tell you what the control surfaces are doing.
Repeat this test with the engine running at various
speeds with an assistant holding the model, using
hand signals to show you what is happening. If the
control surfaces do not respond correctly, do not fly!
Find and correct the problem first. Look for loose
servo connections or broken wires, corroded wires
on old servo connectors, poor solder joints in your
battery pack or a defective cell in your battery pack,
or a damaged receiver crystal from a previous crash.
Find a safe place to fly
The best place to fly your model is an AMA chartered
R/C club flying field. Contact the AMA (their address
is on page 3) or your hobby shop dealer for the club
in your area and join it. Club fields are intended for
R/C flying, making your outing safer and more
enjoyable. The AMA also provides insurance in case
of a flying accident. If an R/C flying field is not
available, find a large, grassy area at least six miles
from buildings, streets, and other R/C activities. A
schoolyard is usually not an acceptable area because
of people, power lines and possible radio interference.
Balance your propellers
Ground check your model
Carefully balance your propellers before you fly. An
unbalanced prop is the single most significant cause
of vibration that can damage your model. Not only
will engine mounting screws and bolts loosen,
possibly with disastrous effect, but vibration may
also damage your radio receiver and battery.
Vibration can also cause your fuel to foam, which
will, in turn, cause your engine to run hot or quit.
If you are not thoroughly familiar with the operation
of R/C models, ask an experienced modeler to
inspect your radio installation and control surface
set-up. Follow the engine manufacturer’s instructions
to break-in your engine. After you run the engine on
your model, inspect your model closely to make sure
all screws remain tight and your pushrods and
connectors are secure.
- 35 -
CHECK LIST
During the last few moments of preparation your
mind may be elsewhere anticipating the
excitement of your first flight. Because of this, you
may be more likely to overlook certain checks
and procedures that should be performed after
your model is built. To help avoid this, we’ve
provided a checklist to make sure you don’t
overlook these important areas. Many are covered
in the instruction manual, so where appropriate,
refer to the manual for complete instructions. Be
sure to check the items off as you complete them
(that’s why we call it a check list!).
❏ 1. Fuelproof all areas exposed to fuel or
❏
exhaust residue such as the firewall, engine
compartment, fuel tank compartment, wing
saddle area, trailing edge of the wing and the
flap area and wheel wells (if your model has
flaps and retracts), etc.
2. Check the C.G. according to the
measurements provided in the manual.
❏ 3. Secure the battery and receiver with a strip
of balsa or plywood. Simply stuffing them into
place with foam rubber is not sufficient.
❏ 4. Extend your receiver antenna and make sure it
has a strain relief inside the fuselage to keep
tension off the solder joint inside the receiver.
❏ 5. Balance your model laterally as explained in
the instructions.
❏ 6. File flat spots on landing gear wires and
axles for the set screws to lock onto.
❏ 7. Secure critical fasteners with thread locking
compound (the screws that hold the
carburetor arm, set screws on wheel collars
and slip-on type axles, screw-lock pushrod
connectors, etc.).
❏ 8. Add a drop of oil to the axles so the wheels
will turn freely.
❏ 9. Make sure all hinges are securely glued in
place.
❏ 10. Reinforce holes for wood screws with thin
CA where appropriate (control horns, servo
hatches, etc,).
❏ 11. Confirm that all controls operate in the
correct direction and the throws are set up
according to the manual.
❏ 12. Make sure there are silicone retainers on all
the clevises.
❏ 13. Fasten all servo arms to the servos with the
screws included with your radio.
❏ 14. Secure connections between servo wires
and servo extensions, and the connection
between your battery pack and the on/off
switch with vinyl tape or heat shrink tubing.
❏ 15. Make sure any servo extension cords you
may have used do not interfere with other
systems (servo arms, pushrods, etc.).
❏ 16. Secure the pressure tap to the muffler with
high temp RTV silicone, thread locking
compound or J.B. Weld.
❏ 17. Use nylon ties on both ends of the silicone
tube connecting the muffler to the header.
❏ 18. Make sure your fuel lines and pressure lines
are connected and are not kinked.
❏ 19. Use an incidence meter to check the wing
for twists and attempt to correct before flying.
❏ 20. Balance your propeller (and spare propellers).
❏ 21. Tighten the propeller nut and spinner.
❏ 22. Place your name, address, AMA number and
telephone number on or inside your model.
❏ 23. Cycle your receiver battery pack (if necessary)
and make sure it is fully charged.
❏ 24. If you wish to photograph your model, do
this before your first flight.
❏ 25. Range check your radio when you get to the
flying field.
Use a chicken stick or electric starter and follow the
instructions to start your engine.
Make certain the glow plug clip or connector is
secure so that it will not pop off or get into the
running propeller.
Ask an assistant to hold the model from the rear
while you start the engine and operate the controls.
Make all engine adjustments from behind the rotating
propeller.
ENGINE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
NOTE: Failure to follow these safety precautions
may result in severe injury to yourself and others.
The engine gets hot! Do not touch the engine during
or immediately after you operate it. Make sure fuel
lines are in good condition so fuel will not leak onto
a hot engine and cause a fire.
Store model fuel in a safe place away from high
heat, sparks or flames. Do not smoke near the
engine or fuel as it is very flammable. Engine
exhaust gives off a great deal of deadly carbon
monoxide so do not run the engine in a closed room
or garage.
To stop the engine, close the carburetor barrel
(rotor) or pinch the fuel line to discontinue the fuel
flow. Do not use your hands, fingers or any body part
to stop the engine. Never throw anything into the
prop of a running engine.
Get help from an experienced pilot when you learn
to operate engines.
AMA SAFETY CODE (excerpt)
Use safety glasses when you operate model engines.
Do not run the engine near loose gravel or sand; the
propeller may throw loose material in your face or eyes.
Read and abide by the following Academy of Model
Aeronautics Official Safety Code:
GENERAL
When you start and run the engine, keep your face
and body as well as all spectators away from the
plane of rotation of the propeller.
Always be aware and very conscious of hand
movements and be deliberate in your reach for the
needle valve, glow plug clip, or other items near a
spinning propeller.
Keep loose clothing, shirt sleeves, ties, scarves, long
hair or loose objects away from the prop. Be
conscious of pencils, screw drivers or other objects
that may fall out of your shirt or jacket pockets.
- 36 -
1. I will not fly my model aircraft in sanctioned
events, air shows, or model flying demonstrations
until it has been proven to be airworthy by having
been previously successfully flight tested.
2. I will not fly my model aircraft higher than
approximately 400 feet within 3 miles of an airport
without notifying the airport operator. I will give right
of way to, and avoid flying in the proximity of full
scale aircraft. Where necessary an observer shall be
used to supervise flying to avoid having models fly in
the proximity of full scale aircraft.
3. Where established, I will abide by the safety rules
for the flying site I use, and I will not willfully and
deliberately fly my models in a careless, reckless
and/or dangerous manner.
7. I will not fly my model unless it is identified with my
name and address or AMA number, on or in the
model.
9. I will not operate models with pyrotechnics (any
device that explodes, burns, or propels a projectile of
any kind).
RADIO CONTROL
1. I will have completed a successful radio equipment
ground check before the first flight of a new or
repaired model.
2. I will not fly my model aircraft in the presence of
spectators until I become a qualified flier, unless
assisted by an experienced helper.
3. I will perform my initial turn after takeoff away from
the pit or spectator areas, and I will not thereafter fly
over pit or spectator areas, unless beyond my
control.
4. I will operate my model using only radio control
frequencies currently allowed by the Federal
Communications Commission...
FLYING
The Top Flite Elder is a great flying sport plane that
flies smoothly at all flying speeds. Though the plane
has a nostalgic “slow fly” look to it, it is capable of
performing mild aerobatics as well.
the plane to the runway and point it directly into the
wind. Once pointed into the wind, slowly accelerate
the airplane until the tail comes up. Once the tail has
come off of the ground apply a small amount of
elevator and the plane will do a nice climb out.
This model belongs to:
Name
Flight
Address
The Elder has a reputation of being a gentle flying
sport plane, which it is. You will find it very enjoyable
to fly around at slow speeds and for making slow
passes right down the runway. You will also find that
the plane will perform mild aerobatics with ease.
Loops, rolls, hammerheads and inverted flight are all
within the capabilities of the Elder.
Landing
Landings are quite easy for the Elder. Start your
approach from approximately 50’ [152m], lined up
with the runway. Gradually reduce power, allowing
the nose to settle. When the plane is approximately
3’ [3m] above the runway, gradually begin to flare
until the plane settles in for a nice three point
landing. You will find that the Elder does not have
any bad habits when landing. However, if you find
yourself landing in a cross wind, the wire tail skid will
not provide the ground control that you may otherwise
have in a steerable tail wheel. If a crosswind landing
is the only option, keep the airspeed slightly higher
on your landing approach to keep more air flowing
past the fin. You will also find that grass is much
more forgiving than asphalt when landing in a
crosswind.
Good luck and have a great time flying!
Takeoff
Because the Elder uses a tail skid (if you installed
the skid) instead of a steerable tailwheel, you may
find taxiing a little different than you are accustomed
to. For the first flight we recommend that you carry
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City, State Zip
Phone number
AMA number
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B
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D
A
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