The author’s electric Seafire project is nearing completion.
The long fuselage makes the tail seem smaller, but in reality it is larger compared to a typical MO- 1.
Electric Carrier project, part three
by Dick Perry
To serve as a reminder of the basics of the project I last wrote about in my October 2016 column, I am
building a model of the Supermarine
Seafire L Mk IIc. It is one of the earlier
Seafire variants, which has clipped
wingtips to adapt it to low-altitude
operations. The project is an adaptation
of HobbyKing’s RC electric-powered
Because of its clipped wings, the
Seafire/Spitfire L (low-altitude) design
results in the largest wing area of
any operational Carrier aircraft I’ve
found—if built to scale and to a 44-
inch wingspan. The project model will
have a 402-square-inch wing area. That
compares favorably to the 345 square
inches of an MO- 1 built to a 44-inch
This is an advantage because low-speed capability is closely correlated to
wing loading. The more wing area for a
given weight, the more drag the wing
creates in a 60° hang, and the slower the
model will fly.
Wing area is not the only required
aerodynamic attribute for a successful
Control Line (CL) Navy Carrier model.
The model must also be stable in
high speed and have enough elevator
effectiveness (control authority) to allow
for good control in slow flight.
Models with a larger tail area will
logically be better in this category, but
the tail moment is also a significant
factor. The tail moment is the distance
between the aerodynamic center of the
wing and the aerodynamic center of the
horizontal tail surface. The aerodynamic
center of a wing is a quarter of the wing
chord behind the leading edge.
Casually observing a Seafire three-view gives the impression that the tail
is small. That might cause you to infer
that the Seafire would be less stable
than other models, such as the MO- 1.
However, the impression of a small tail
109 Model Aviation APRIL 2017 www.ModelAviation.com
CONTROL LINE NAVY CARRIER