Enlarge Model Plans for Free!

Prototype of the Yankee Mike, my first model airplane design

Prototype of the Yankee Mike, my first model airplane design

One of the many nice things about radio control modeling and the internet these days is the abundance of model aircraft plans that can be purchased and downloaded on-line.

My site is a great example of this. I designed my first model airplane, the Yankee Mike, in 1998. RC Modeler magazine published the full size plan and construction article. Offering full size blue prints of various model aircraft construction plans was all part of the business model of RC magazines in those days. It was not uncommon to see three construction articles in a single issue.

As a side note I had to draw out, by hand, the full size Yankee Mike plan. Practical home use computer CAD programs just did not exist at that time. I mailed these depictions to RC Modeler magazine. A professional draftsman traced over my drawings to prepare the finished full size plan. Sadly, RC Modeler magazine went out of business several years ago.

On a happier note, you can still purchase many of these classic RC Modeler construction plans today.  A Google search will show several sources. RCM had some wonderful and original designs that would make ideal flyers today.

"Yankee Mike" construction article in 1998 RC Modeler magazine

“Yankee Mike” construction article in 1998 RC Modeler magazine

Since then I have had five additional model aircraft plans published in the modeling press and available for purchase on this site. For further details please see the Plans pull down menu on the home page.

But back to the subject of this post, how to enlarge a smaller aircraft plan drawing to full size. Any plan that you obtain from the internet typically will be a smaller size drawing that will need to be enlarged.

See my detailed page here on the subject of enlarging a model aircraft plan. The good news is that the free Adobe PDF reader has a built in function that easily allows you to set an enlargement ratio and print out 8.5” by 11” paper “tiles” on your home printer.

When all the tiles are printed out you tape them together for the full size construction plan. I’ve included Sheet One of the three Fokker “Spin” plan sheets for the demonstration that you can download and experiment with.

Following this method you can make any size plan you wish from a smaller PDF drawing. Recall that if a plan is downloaded in another format (say, a Word document) most programs have a “Save As” feature that allows you to save the file as a PDF document. Once you have the file in a PDF format you can use the enlarge (“Poster”) feature in the PDF Print dialogue screen to create the full size plan.

For those of you who have TurboCAD or some other CAD (Computer Aided Design) program installed on your computer I always include the full TurboCAD file when you purchase one of my model aircraft plans. TurboCAD has a built in feature that allows an enlargement of any plan with a tiling feature for the finished print out.

 

Spin Sheet 1 on a single page (left) and 150% enlargement (four tiles) at right

Spin Sheet 1 on a single page (left) and 150% enlargement (four tiles) at right

Fokker Spin Plan Published

 

 

1911 Fokker Spin front view showing dummy balsa engine cover

1911 Fokker Spin front view showing dummy balsa engine cover

My design of the Fokker Spin was published in the January 2014 issue of Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine.  The editor did a nice job putting together the article, which included a pull-out plan and detailed construction photos. 

See more details here on what steps you can take to get one of your radio control model airplane designs published.  The Spin is my 6th model airplane design to appear in the press.  It takes a bit of work reaching out to the appropriate people at the magazine to get this process started.  But the task can be done, and it is very rewarding to see the finished product in the magazine.

The Fokker Spin is an historic aircraft, paving the way for the numerous fighter aircraft Anthony Fokker later designed for the German Air Force in World War 1.  The Spin takes advantage of Horizon Hobby’s microelectronics which is used in their ParkZone line of foam ready to fly models.  This control and motor suite is small, affordable and ideally suited for indoor flyers like the Spin. 

Page 3 of Jan 2014 publication in Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine of the Fokker Spin

Page 3 of Jan 2014 publication in Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine of the Fokker Spin

Blackburn Video and New Publication

Apologies that I have been late with updates to the site. My son, Michael, is getting married on November 9th. As you can imagine, lots of happy work getting ready for that occasion. I look forward to adding much more information after this event.

Top view of Pietenpol Air Camper

Top view of Pietenpol Air Camper

For now, three items to discuss. The first is the addition of an updated video on the Blackburn Type D monoplane. The Blackburn remains one of the most popular plans on the website, with numerous variants being built. All report a well flying model, with the most recent being Steve Moskal.

The video adds some more details on the thought process behind the design. The main item I highlighted is the use of a plywood frame for the upper portion of the fuselage. On this 1/16 inch plywood frame, that is all part of the fuselage, I installed the motor, landing gear, wing mounts, batter and servos.

This is a simple and elegant method to provide structural strength to all the principal aircraft components, without adding a lot of unneeded structure. This is an important item with the fragile construction methods used for these early aircraft designs. This approach can be used for a wide range of other modeling design projects.

Stevens Aeromodel Air Camper in flight

Stevens Aeromodel Air Camper in flight

Speaking of Steve, he did such a superb job with his build of the Blackburn that I added a dedicated picture gallery of his progress. Steve added just the right touches with silver solder, metallic covering of the cowl and a beefed up wing rib structure. This is all part of the fun of using a model airplane construction plan and making thoughtful additions and changes on your own.

Finally for this post, I have had another article published in the modeling press. This is a four page review of the Stevens Aeromodel Pietenpol Air Camper model in the November 2013 issue of Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine.

All of the Stevens Aeromodel laser cut kits are top notch, and the Pietenpol is no exception. The model goes together quickly and is a lot of fun to build. The aircraft is designed around the ParkZone micro electronics (for sale at Stevens Aeromodel as well) and flies exceptionally well. Q&EFI did a great job with this article.

Again, more to follow after the wedding!

Pietenpol Air Camper review in November 2013 Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine

Pietenpol Air Camper review in November 2013 Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine

 

Four page of Air Camper review in November 2013 Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine

Page 4 of Air Camper review in November 2013 Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine

 

Publish and Fokker Spin Updates

Electro Aviator RC plane

Electro Aviator design

Two big updates to the site today.

First, I added a Menu tab for “Publication“.  It is a lot easier than most folks think to get yourself published in the modeling press.  This could be a model airplane construction article, a kit review or an article on some aspect of model aviation.  More to follow in this section.

I have two items in the publish queue.  Both will be in Quiet and Electric Flight International magazine, based in the United Kingdom.  The first will be a review of the Stevens Aero kit of the Pietenpol “Air Camper” indoor flyer, and the second will be a set of construction plans for the Fokker Spin.

Fokker Spin RC plane

Final version of the 1911 Fokker Spin

Speaking of the Spin, a full recap of my development of the plans for the prototype of the 1911 Fokker Spin.  The Spin was a trainer aircraft designed, built and used to learn how to fly by the famed World War I Dutch aircraft designer, Anthony Fokker.  Fokker was just 21 years old when he accomplished this remarkable feat.

The Spin is an attractive model with great character.  The Spin uses the ParkZone line of ultra-micro radio control electronics, so you cannot go wrong with the guidance and power package. The Spin has a 28 inch wingspan and is ideal for something different on your indoor flying venue.

CAD plans will be available by mid-August, once I get the PayPal button up on the page.