This opening will
contain the battery-door hatch.
The Pacer’s simple structure is reminiscent of early rubber-powered
models. The wing root diagonals were eliminated on the final plans.
This Pacer’s construction is
similar to those Comets and to
the small models designed by Walt
Mooney during the 1950s and 1960s,
which were offered as full-size plans in
model magazines. Those who have built stick-and-tissue aircraft should have no problem building
this Pacer. Builders with a creative inclination might want to
convert it to a rubber-powered FF model.
The Pacer has large, balanced elevator and rudder areas, and
I recommend dual rates to lessen the throw on these surfaces.
Otherwise, the model may be sensitive to control. I did not use
dual rates, but to lessen the throw, I made the control horns
longer than normal.
Spektrum and ParkZone have several tiny receiver/servo
bricks that can be used in this model. ParkZone’s PKZU2164
brick features AS3X artificial stabilization which might be
interesting to try, although I have never used it myself. This
brick is also aileron capable, if you want to modify the Pacer for
ailerons. The HobbyZone Champ’s components, including the
motor, could be used for the Pacer.
The first motor I tried had insufficient power, so I installed
a Bob Selman Designs (BSD) GB Red motor and gearbox.
It was easily mounted with two carbon-fiber rods. The plans
show the ParkZone P- 51 motor, which should have more than
enough power for this model. You can look on the ParkZone,
Spektrum, and HobbyZone websites for parts lists for these
motor and receiver components.
For the flying propeller, I trimmed 3/8 inch from each tip
of a ParkZone P- 51 propeller and rounded and balanced it.
ParkZone also offers control rods for these models.
I generally use original Titebond glue because it gives you
time for adjustments and after it dries, it is easy to sand.
The entire model is built from balsa, unless otherwise noted.
This is a simple model, and I have drawn the basic 1/16-inch
square structure in heavy black to avoid confusion. Note that
two 1/16 square pieces at the bottom nose area strengthen the
landing gear. I have drawn perspective views of the cowling and
motor mount to aid in their construction.
Make the cowling frame using lightweight balsa, and then
plank it with damp 1/32 sheet balsa. A paper pattern for the
planking could help determine its shape.
The motor mount is constructed of lightweight 1/16 sheet
balsa, as noted on the plans. If you decide to use another
type of motor, adapt it to a mount of your own design.
I did not use acetate on the model’s side windows to assist
in cooling the components. I used tiny spots of Titebond glue
in four places to hold on the cowling. When I want to remove
it, I carefully slice through these glued areas with a thin,
Patterns are shown for the wheels and wheel pants
construction. Glue the laminations and let them dry. The
wheels have an aluminum tube center. I used a Dremel tool to
carefully shape the wheels. A safer option would be to lightly
glue a 1/16 wire in the center of the wheel, shape it on the
Dremel, remove the wire, and glue in an aluminum tube.
After shaping the wheels, shape the outside of the wheel
pants, then take a Dremel drill with a round carbide bit and
hollow the wheel pant until the wheel has adequate clearance.
Hold the wheel pant up to a light bulb to make sure you do
not penetrate the balsa. Use a 1/32-diameter wire for the landing
For access to the battery, I used a 1/32 sheet-silk, hinged
door on the bottom of my model as shown in one of the
photographs. Depending on balance, you may want to hinge
your door in a different section of the bottom.
The full-scale Pacer had side stringers as shown on the J.M.
Triggs three-view, but I chose not to include them because the
paint scheme I used would hide the absence of side stringers.
This classic paint scheme and color were taken from a Piper
Pacer advertisement. If you want to see other paint schemes,
search the Internet and you will find several images.
38 Model Aviation OCTOBER2013 www.ModelAviation.com