The completed model, ready for its maiden
flight, came in at 24 ounces.
corners of the pocket to hold the cover. Bevel the aileron’s LE
for 3/8 inch of deflection and hang with hinges of your choice.
Glue vertical keel parts N1 and N2 perpendicular to middle
former N3, and join N1 and N2 together where they form
the rear of the nacelle. After it’s cured, glue in the firewall and
the rear former halves N4 and N5. Now glue the lower wing
pockets into place. Note that the orientation of N3 and the wing
pocket parts is critical—make one left and one right nacelle.
Add stringers to the lower nacelle from the firewall all the
way back to the nacelle’s rear cone. Alternatively, stop the
stringers at the rear former and use foam or balsa fill for the
cone. Sheet the upper surface, leaving a rough opening for the
Now knock out the strip in the middle of N3 to allow the
wing to pass through the nacelle. Slide the nacelle onto the
wing, carefully trimming the upper half of the wing pockets
until the nacelle slides home.
The motor mounts are constructed from a balsa box with a
plywood face. This assembly keys into the plywood firewall.
With all of the major subassemblies completed, fit the wing
into the fuselage and install the wing pin in the wing’s LE.
Fasten the TE with a nylon 10-32 screw threaded into the wing
bolt pad. Adjust the fit of the battery hatch by sanding the wing
pocket outline if needed. After the fit is correct, we used rare
earth magnets to hold it down.
Bevel F1 and F12 to fit the nose and tail cones. Epoxy the
plywood cowl rings into the cowlings. The rings have two holes
for 1/8-inch alignment pins. The other two holes are for magnets
to hold the cowl against the firewall.
We screwed our motor’s x-mounts to the plywood face of
the motor box. The ESCs were stowed in the nacelles behind
the firewalls. Battery wires and signal leads for the ESCs and
ailerons were fished through the wings and exited through the
upper center section into the battery hatch area where they
met the receiver and the 3S 2,200 mAh LiPo.
We covered our Sunday Punch with UltraCote ParkLite
covering with excellent results. Cover all of the subassemblies,
leaving holes under the wing to connect the motor wiring when
the nacelles are installed. We used high-strength, clear silicone
to fix the nacelles in place. The Mitchell’s low weight and the
bond line around the two wing cutouts made silicone a good
A member of RCGroups made custom vinyl graphics for us
that were perfect. Drew and I were anxious to get the model
airborne, so we limited the detailing to a few panel lines and a
In the Air
Our lightweight Sunday Punch is a breeze to fly for father
and son alike. We’ve programmed in differential throttle for
ground handling, rather than add the complication of nose
steering, with excellent results. We line up on the runway,
run the throttle up to 75%, and use the rudder stick to stay
centered. Within 20 feet, the Mitchell climbs with authority.
Drew flies on two Blue Wonder motors with plenty of power
for scale flight and even some aerobatics. Despite its scale
looks, this Mitchell is light enough that we have launched and
recovered sorties on a T-ball field. At 24 ounces, the approach is
at a brisk walk and the landings are greasy even for a kid. (Who
am I kidding? He flies better than I!)
I was so happy with his result that I built another for myself.
To get his goat, I added retracts without servos, two 300 1,360
Kv motors, and three-blade 8 x 4 propellers! I also bashed
mine into the stubby-nosed H model that brandished a 75mm
Drew has come a long way throughout the course of this
project. In addition to picking up some CAD and building
skills, he learned to solder, vacuum form, and to fly while we
were building. Most importantly, he’s learned the value of these
skills by applying them to new projects. He recently built and
maidened a Shumate T- 38 on his own. Not bad for a kid!
I’m learning to let my son stand on his own feet now that I’ve
seen what he is capable of. He has helped me appreciate anew
the wonder of our hobby by viewing it through his eyes. So, the
moral of this story is that, in addition to building an airplane, we
have built memories that will last another generation. Now we
just have to decide what we’re going to tackle next!
Manzano Laser Works
Type: RC Scale
Skill level: Intermediate builder; intermediate pilot
Wingspan: 45 inches
Wing area: 263 square inches
Length: 35-3/16 inches
Weight: 24 to 32 ounces
Power: Two Blue Wonder 1,500 Kv motors; two 20-amp ESCs;
and one 3S 2,200 mAh battery turning two APC 8 x 6
Radio: Four-channel (aileron, elevator, throttle with differential
Construction: Balsa and light plywood
Finish: Heat-shrink film with painted trim and vinyl graphics
32 Model Aviation OCTOBER2013 www.ModelAviation.com