Here’s a sneak peek of the Plus F5J’s bones, showing the tailboom mounting to the wing.
airframes, but none have come close to
the Plus F5J.
Plus F5J by Vladimir’s Model
The Plus F5J seems to be a radical
design, but it is simply a smart design.
It incorporates leading-edge technology
in almost every component, even in
its collaborative creation with one of
the world’s all-time top RC Soaring
modelers and multidiscipline world
champions, Joe Wurts.
• Vladimir’s Model has taken the
wing-molding process to a new level
by ensuring a harder, stronger-bonded,
and more durable skin using techniques
and materials only available through its
• The wing consists of five panels and
a center with a flap. On each side are
large main panels and large, long surfaces
that share brake flaps with the center
and aileron function with the tips.
• The multihedral wing form ensures
stable and efficient turning and straight
tracking with little pilot management.
• The two tailbooms key through
carbon-fiber loops at the trailing edges
of the wing’s main panel, then forward
through holes in the main wing joiners—
each retained with a simple clip.
• Each tailboom has a molded servo
mount created for an inexpensive
KST X08 micro servo to operate each
• Also included in the kit are plastic
drum servo horns to actuate pull strings
that end in loops at the ruddervator
horns, easily allowing removal or
• Each half of the A-tail is molded to
slide onto a tailboom when assembled
(no tools needed) to create the A shape.
• The kit comes with two ruddervator
torsion springs that slide into pockets
in the surfaces. They are preloaded to
the surfaces so that only the single pull
strings on the side need to pull.
• The ruddervator surface horns are
slotted so the pull-string loops can be
removed, then each half of the A-tail can
slide off its tailboom. The tailbooms
are removable from their wing panel
mountings (no tools needed).
• All wing servo electrical connectors
are molded into each panel. The
connections area is made during assembly.
• The main wing panel has a molded-in receiver pocket to keep the radio
components separate from the pod.
The wing servo and ruddervator servo
connectors are also there, and there are
fewer wires to tangle during setup.
• Two small screws hold the pod
to the main wing panel (the only
hardware needed for assembly).
• The predrilled launch motor
mount fits a 22mm Scorpion outrunner
motor, which costs less than $60.
• The kit comes with the driveshaft
components, propeller, and spinner and
is ready to connect to the motor shaft.
• The propeller is a standard 12 x
8 folding propeller. Simply run it in
The flight-tested design proves that
the propeller is not in the path of the
launcher’s body or hand. To launch
the sailplane, the pilot’s hand should
simultaneously go forward and arc
downward. The model’s path is an
arc forward and upward, away from
the pilot’s launch hand. The use of a
motor switch ensures motor and
• Motor position 1: Off!
• Motor position 2: According to FAI
F5J rules, the motor must be running
when the model is released to start the
round. Position 2 starts with the motor
and propeller rotating slowly. The
propeller is still in its stored position,
so it’s not a threat to anything passing
near its blades. The pilot tosses the
model and it easily glides away.
• Motor position 3: At this point, the
pilot engages motor position 3, which
is full rpm, and the propeller blades are
deployed away from the pilot.
Keep in mind when launching a
Plus F5J that the motor is almost the
same size as your thumb (from the first
knuckle to the tip of your thumbnail).
It’s not much bigger than a motor in
an electric toothbrush, so there is little
speed or torque to damage skin and bones.
This marvelous design is also
relatively inexpensive! Priced at
less than $2,500 from Kennedy
Composites, the Plus F5J (as well as
other Vladimir’s Model designs) comes
with nearly all of the difficult assembly
108 Model Aviation JULY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com