A lighter engine than
the Quadra would
benefit this model.
The author used
100 . 44 caliber lead
bullets, mixed with
epoxy, to obtain the
The author chose to use a Quadra engine
he had on hand with a Zinger 18 x 10 pusher
Photos by the author
Electric power would be ideal for a canard layout instead of
employing a heavy engine. With a relatively lightweight motor
in the rear and the battery pack in the nose, proper balance
would be easily achieved.
I knew the Quadra engine I planned to use for the Big
C was on the heavy side, but I like Quadras and wanted a
gas-engine-powered canard. Other issues to address include
sufficient ground clearance for the propeller in the rear and
the vulnerability of the horizontal stabilizer in the front of the
Despite the problems with a canard layout, it interests and
fascinates aircraft enthusiasts who like the unusual. I’ve built
half a dozen canards throughout the years. My friend, Pete
Mularchuk Jr., wanted an aerobatic canard for an interesting
I laid out a large, gas-engine version and cut out the parts.
Pete started construction, but turned it back over to me for
the final labor. I knew a heavy gas engine wasn’t the best
choice for this airplane, but I was determined to make it
The wing is foam core, and the fuselage top blocks are
sheeted foam core. The fuselage is typical balsa, plywood
doublers, and plywood bulkheads. I powered the prototype
with a Quadra 42 engine, turning an 18 x 10 Zinger pusher
propeller. A lighter engine would mean less nose weight
required for a lighter airplane, and even better performance.
I used standard sizes of balsa and plywood, along with hot-wire-cut foam cores for the wings and fuselage top blocks.
There are a number of mail order sources that supply the balsa
and plywood needed.
I used paper patterns to cut out the wood parts. I drew
around the patterns onto the plywood or balsa with a ballpoint
pen and cut out the parts with a band saw or scroll saw.
The template patterns for the foam core parts are on the
plans. I made templates from 3/32 plywood and cut the foam
with a basic hot-wire bow of nichrome or stainless wire, and a
Variac transformer for the power supply. You can also order all
of the foam parts from Robin’s View Productions.
A few slots had to be cut in the wing cores for the partial
plywood ribs and the plywood dihedral brace/wing joiner.
Additional foam should be cut out for the plywood landing
gear mounting pieces.
I doubled the number of 1/4 plywood gear
mount pieces to have more wood to drill and
tap for the 1/4-20 nylon bolts that retain the
sheet aluminum landing gear. I sheeted the
wings with 3/32 balsa, edge-glued from 3-inch
or 4-inch-wide sheets to obtain the necessary
I sanded the edges of the sheets for a good
fit, taped the sheets together for the width,
flipped the wood over, opened the taped joint
like a hinge over the edge of the workbench,
and applied the glue one joint at a time.
With the wood flat on the workbench, I
scraped the excess glue from the joint with
a putty knife and weighted the wood down
until the glue dried. I block sanded the
sheeting smooth before applying it to the
I’ve used Dave Brown’s Southern’s
Sorghum contact cement for years to put
balsa sheeting on
foam cores. There
are other adhesives
thinly spread epoxy or
spray contact cement.
Be sure to experiment
on scrap foam if you
use anything that isn’t
sold specifically for
this purpose. Many contact cements will
melt the foam.
With the wing cores sheeted top and
bottom, I sanded the LE square, glued
on a balsa strip, and planed and sanded it
30 Model Aviation AUGUS T 2014