Funbuild 5 Stinson Model A Tri-motor - RC Groups
Shop our Airplanes Products Drone Products Sales
Thread Tools
Jan 26, 2012, 07:30 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar

Funbuild 5 Stinson Model A Tri-motor

After a lot of indecision, I finally decided to build a Stinson Model A Tri-motor.
IMO this is a really great example of the art deco influence on aviation designs.
This thing has a cool, almost sinister gothic/art deco look to it and will make a great hangar mate for my converted Comet SR-7.

I saw this aircraft at the Sun and Fun a number of years ago and had no idea what it was. I knew Stinson made a high wing tri-motor but was completely unfamiliar with this one.
I was looking in the window when a gentleman started talking to me. He gave me the grand tour of the aircraft. Must have been quite an experience flying any distance in that thing!

The model will be built from Paul Lindburg's plans in the traditional stick and tissue style. The plans were downloaded from the plan thread over in the Vintage and old timer forum.
Wingspan is 31". Power to be 3 htx 1811-2000 10 gram motors spinning 5" props.

The board is clear and the plans are taped together so let's get started!

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 26, 2012, 07:55 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
I have the Cleveland plans for a much larger Model A. What's not to love, it's a Stinson. Good luck with your build.
Jan 26, 2012, 07:55 PM
Dog is my co-pilot.
mrdj's Avatar
Great airplane.

I remember this one flying over my house when I was a kid. It had just been restored from an Alaskan wreck. It was great watching it going over low and slow from the local airport.

Even in the jet age (perhaps especially so) it was a magic airplane for a kid to watch.

Jan 26, 2012, 08:27 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Somehow I figured I would hear from you. Just mention a Stinson and you're there! I agree, I love those Stinsons too. Almost went for the high wing but it looks too much like the Ford to the casual observer.

I thought about ordering the Cleveland plans since there is a 30% off sale until the end of the month. I bet they are very detailed since it is a platinum series plan.
If I were to buy the Cleveland plan it would have to be for a bigger version.
This means buying the motors and esc's too.

Since I already have three 1811 motors and 6amp speedies figure I'll build this one and use the stuff I already have. I even have a roll of dark blue solite to cover it with.

The aircraft flew over your house? How cool! I bet it has a very unique sound!

I've started cutting wood now.
Jan 26, 2012, 11:47 PM
It must have a machinegun
Scaledown's Avatar
Nice subject.

One thing I just noticed, the pic of the real plane shows the centre motor with a cylindrical cowling, but the plan and the model in the other pic have a tapered cowling which fits the nose contours better. I wonder what that's about. Personally I thing the cylindral shape is more "sinister".

Are you going to fit landing gear?
Jan 27, 2012, 07:00 AM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
I haven't decided on the cowl yet. I agree though, the cylinderical one does look more sinister! I like the scheme with the red on the cowls and the pics I have it looks like it has the tapered cowl. Maybe I'll do a hybrid.

Yeah, it'll have landing gear. It's almost mandatory at our field due to the rocks. Nice smooth runway but don't try to belly land out in the 'grass' unless you want to repair something.

It does have some ugly 'legs' though so I might have to think of something better..... We'll see.

Got the basic side frames made up last night out of hard 1/16" balsa.
Was going to use bass but the balsa strips seemed harder.
Next is to make them into the box frame.

Jan 27, 2012, 09:57 AM
Fly, dangit!!!
Led Zepplin's Avatar
Glenn - Watching with interest! When you talked about a Stinson Tri-motor, I was thinking of the big, boxy, high wing too. This one is very cool, can't wait to see how it turns out! Those little motors you have are pretty powerful, it ought to have plenty of get up and go.

Good luck!

J. B.
Jan 27, 2012, 10:04 AM
Registered User
danrc's Avatar
Glenn. I'm glad you decided to go with this one. It's a real looker!
I think that those chicken legs could be emulated with some sort of elastic material hooked onto small retracts. The alternative might be to fashion some sort of track, etc, which may be a bit complicated.
Jan 27, 2012, 10:24 AM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar

Jan 27, 2012, 10:27 AM
It's a Great Day to Fly
LenBFP's Avatar
Glenn - It is a beauty. It looks to me like the outboard cowls taper but the center one doesn't. I think the landing gear is part of the package, unique but appropriate. Might be tough to duplicate though. I'll certainly be watching.


- looking at the first photo, it doesn't look like any of the cowls taper.
Jan 27, 2012, 11:25 AM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
I was just looking at the pics found here,

There seems to be only one that shows the tapered nose cowl. That's the one I posted at the start of the thread and it appears to be a model.
The plan also shows the tapered cowl, odd.

Anyone have a 3 view or other documentation that shows the tapered cowl?
E-Challenged, you're Mr Stinson, any idea?

Think I'm going with the straight one.
I do like how the tapered one blends in with the shape of the fuse though.
Also see a lot of pics of cowlings with and without the bumps. I like the bumps better, but that's an awful lot of them to make!!!

Jan 27, 2012, 11:42 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
Looks like there were variations in cowling, some with and some without rocker box bumps. I like the bumps. There was a recent major scale contest winner Model A, the builder probably can answer cowl taper and bump questions. I'd go dig up my Cleveland plans if I knew where they are, but that wouldn't give a firm answer either. If you go for the bumps, there'll be some 27 of them. I would build a 30" version much too heavy to fly well.
Jan 27, 2012, 12:11 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Only 27 bumps? Isn't there 2 bumps per cylinder?
That's more like 54 bumps!

With my record of about 50% scrap when I carved the ones for the SR-7, I'll be whittling a LOT of bumps! Bumpity bump, I'll have blisters on me fingers!

Might be better to make one, then vacu-form a female. Pour plaster into the mold to make a bunch of duplicates. Glue all the bump plugs to a substrate and vacu-form a bunch at one time.

I might consider vacu-formed cowls too. Wonder if Sparky or Golden Age has a dummy engine 2" in diameter? Or if I get really ambitious I could add engine detail to a cowl plug. Looking at the pics it looks like the center cowl is the same size as the outter ones? that would make it a lot easier. Two molds, the cowl and one for the bumps.
Jan 27, 2012, 12:27 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
Yup! 54 bumps. Here are some good pics of a restored A with non-tapered no-bump cowls. Looks like cowl bumps were gone in later models. We'll forgive you if you omit bumps but they add to the gothicness.
Jan 27, 2012, 12:42 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
Here is great video of Max Merkenschlager's big IC powered Model A, no taper, no bumps. Gad, the sound of three motors and graceful flying, hard to tell from the real thing.

Stinson A1 Trimotor de Max Merckenschlager F4C WC 2010 (5 min 26 sec)

More of Max's Model A

Stinson A1 mit Weltmeister Max Merckenschlager (5 min 42 sec)
Last edited by E-Challenged; Jan 27, 2012 at 01:01 PM.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Contest Funbuild 5 Multi-motor C-310 (L-27B) payne9999 Scale Kit/Scratch Built 25 Feb 12, 2013 08:28 PM
Discussion Funbuild 5 interest thread danrc Scale Kit/Scratch Built 112 Dec 19, 2011 06:40 PM
Sold Stinson/T-28 Stuff (motor, ESC, battery, spare Stinson fuse) kellymacdaddio Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 12 Nov 02, 2011 11:14 PM
Contest Funbuild 3 Stinson Reliant SR8 from Easybuilt Models GJ60 Scale Kit/Scratch Built 2 Nov 01, 2009 03:27 PM
Discussion Stinson Tri Mortor Tom Cz Scale Kit/Scratch Built 5 Jun 20, 2006 09:54 PM