Choosing and building a Northwest Sport 40 Navy Carrier plane

A typical Profile Carrier plane that could be used in the Sport 40 event. Mike Potter photo.

Getting started in the newest CL Carrier event

By Mike Potter

Navy Carrier kits are few and far between, either profile or full body scale. Brodak kits only three profiles, the Skyraider, Bearcat and Guardian. There are no kits made today that are full body scale. If you must build a kit those are your choices. The Bearcat is my favorite.

The limited availability of kits is the reason I went with "any plane with 300 sq. in. wing area will qualify" rule in writing the rules for the new Northwest Sport 40 Navy Carrier event.

This gives you to option of building a Ringmaster, Buster, Shoestring or even a Nobler with a shortened wing! Many of these kits can be "bashed" into a looks sorta like a Navy ? by trimming the fuselage and tail feathers a bit. You can even leave it stock, stick a Navy paint job on it and you are set.

If you want to build something from plans Tom Wilk has a CD with just about every set of plans for Carrier event that was ever published plus a whole bunch of three views of Navy planes. Well worth the money. His plans CD is advertised in the Flying Lines Flying Flea Market.,

Whatever you decide on, you will need to strengthen some parts and modify others for carrier operations.

First, the landing gear need to be stronger. The size of the wire needs to be larger and the method of mounting should be strengthened. Nose mounted gear seems to be best. If the engine mount hardwood barriers don't come back far enough to catch the mounting screws, extend them so the do. Use 1/8" plywood nose reinforcements, not lite-ply. Sweep the landing gear forward so the plane won;t nose over on landing. If the plans show a tail wheel use a heavy wire skid instead.

The tail hook needs to be mounted on the side of the fuselage and the point needs to be reinforced with 1-1/2x1/8" plywood discs on both sides. Taper the edges for a bit of streamlining.

A bit more tip weight is required, too. About 2-1/2 to 3 oz. or more works pretty well. A weight box like the stunt guys use is good, but make it larger. Remember, you are dragging three .015 lines around plus you want that outboard wing to drop a little during the low speed run and to yaw the plane outward. Ground adjustable leadouts are a very worthwhile modification.

A three-line kit is available  from Brodak. Wheels need to be rather stiff. I use the old Don's streamline 2-1/2" racing wheels available from Joe Just (advertised in the Flying Lines Flying Flea Market) or Mark Warwashana. You need them tough so they won't come apart when you hit the deck.

Next: Mounting that three-line bell-crank and the fuel system.

For full rules of the new Northwest Sport 40 Carrier event, see Northwest Sport 40 Carrier in the Northwest Rules section

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This page was upated Dec. 20, 2010