Building Model Airplanes

Bob’s Hangar

These are some of my favorites of the electric powered RC scale models I have built over the years. All of them were built from traditional balsa kits or from my own plan drawings, and all of them are either still flying or hanging in retirement in my shop or somewhere else in our home. (My wife, Teryl, is a rare treasure…she appreciates the airplanes nearly as much as I do and we have half a dozen of them hanging from our living room ceiling.)

There is always at least one building project in my shop, sometimes more. It is not unusual for me to have a new airplane on one workbench, an old model that I am restoring or updating on a second bench, and as often as not yet another across the room getting some repair work done. It’s a pretty good bet that a lot of them will show up as additions to this page.

Aeronca K

The Aeronca Model K is one of the classic American light aircraft of the 1930’s. The “K” is the direct ancestor of the better known Aeronca Champion and Chief airplanes that were popular in the years just after World War II. My “K” was built from my own plans drawings to a scale of 1:4 (with a wingspan of nine feet) and was developed from the beginning to be a world class competition model.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the Aeronca K HERE

Bf109-17

This is a Messerschmitt Bf109E built from a Skyshark RC balsa kit intended for glow engines and converted to electric power as the subject of a feature article in Fly RC Magazine. Bf is the German abbreviation for Bayerische Flugzeugwerke . The “E” model (Emil, to the Luftwaffe pilots) was the definitive Battle of Britain version of the airplane.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the Bf109-17 HERE

C-47

This is my 1/14th scale (82.5 inch wingspan) C-47 converted from the Top Flite/Great Planes Gold Edition kit of the Douglas DC-3. (The Army C-47 was/is a military version of the civilian DC-3 passenger airplane.) Although the kit is engineered for glow engines, I converted it to electric power using brushless outrunner motors and Lithium Polymer batteries. Building the airplane was a substantial project, and flying it requires the touch of a skilled and careful pilot, but the results are well worth all the effort I have invested.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the C-47  HERE

DeHavilland Dragon Rapide

The DeHavilland DH 89A Dragon Rapide is the best known of several two-and-four-engined short range transport airplanes developed in England during the 1930’s. Many of the Dragon Rapides built for civilian use were put into RAF service during World War II and referred to as the DeHavilland Dominie. My model represents one of these. Built from a classic stick-and-tissue kit produced to today’s standards using laser cut parts as part of the Dumas product line, it was the subject of a product review written for Flying Models Magazine.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the Rapide HERE

FW 190

The Focke-Wulf FW 190 fighter appeared in combat a few years after the beginning of World War II, not long after RAF Hurricanes and Spitfires decided the outcome of the Battle of Britain against the Luftwaffe’s Messerschmitts. The Spitfire Mk 5 was developed specifically to deal with the 190’s when they began to appear. I created this model for a friend by stripping a plastic-covered ARF model and rebuilding it using traditional techniques.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the FW 190 HERE

PT-19

The Fairchild PT 19A was one of the most successful of the U.S. Army’s Primary Training aircraft during World War II, and has always been a favorite subject for model builders. I converted this one from an Easy Built Models traditional stick-and-tissue kit designed for rubber powered free flight.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the PT-19 HERE

Taylorcraft

This is my ¼ scale, nine-foot wingspan 1941 Taylorcraft BC-12 D, built from my own plans over a period of several years beginning in 1995. This photo shows my wife Teryl and me with the airplane at TOP GUN 1999, where it was the first electric powered model ever to be included in the competition.

Read the article HERE
See more photos of the Taylocraft HERE