Thread Tools
Dec 20, 2007, 05:48 AM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar

Swallow by Fred Reese


This plane has been mentioned in the Cloud Dancer 60 thread and a few other threads on this forum. The Cloud Dancer is a later Fred Reese design and somewhat based on this plane. ACE Hobby Distributors have ARF .40 and .60 versions of the Cloud Dancer available.

The Fred Reese Swallow appeared as a construction article and plan in the October 1986 Model Aviation. (AMA members can get the article at the AMA site in the digital archive.) It is a low-wing sport plane. It was designed to be powered by a .40 4-stroke glow engine. The airframe of the Swallow is very light to enhance the performance of the less than powerful .40 4-strokes of the day.

Since there appears to be some interest in this plane, I've started this thread for comments and information about this plane.

Also, I'm in the process of completing a redesign of this plane for use with a 3S M1 (A123 Systems) pack. I'll be reporting on my progress here.

Please feel free to join in with anything Swallow related.
Last edited by Ken Myers; Dec 20, 2007 at 07:32 AM. Reason: added photo
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 20, 2007, 06:04 AM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
Swallow from DBono99 - moved from Cloud Dancer 60 thread

Hi Ken,

Here is what I get root=10 3/4, tip=6 3/4, WS=58". I get 507.5 wing area..I don't know where the 540 came from??Using 55 ozs=3 lbs 7ozs Freds weight the wing loading is 15.606.
That's about what I thought. I actually measured the areas of the two triangles (front and rear), rectangle and tip on the plans and came up with about the same thing.
The reason I noticed that the wing area was closer to 500 was that the wing area didn't scale to what I anticipated when I tried to scale it to about 415 It ended up at only 390 using my first ratio, which would have been okay, but showed that the wing area was not the 540 noted on the original plans.

Ken what is the WS on the Son of Swallow? At first I was thinking of downsizing the Swallow.That way I can keep the wings on the fuselage and transport it..I decided against it, at least for the time being.
The plan form wing span is 53.75 inches and with the dihedral taken into account 52.75 inches.

Gotta finish the Miss Texas, before I move on..He is a pic of my helper (picture of Dan's cat)..LOL
Hope this helps
I appreciate you taking the time to give it a measure. I always like conformation when things don't appear to be quite right.
I also have the very same kind of helper and she did exactly the same thing when I laid the first rough set of plans on the living room floor.
Dec 20, 2007, 08:34 AM
Visitor from Reality
Hi Ken
That little image could well be of a little-known one-off from the late 1920's! I well recall the awesome power of the early 40FS lumps - I had the first Enya 40FS in our end of Scotland, and it was a real sense of achievement when I designed a model around it that would do close to aerobatics.

Idle thoughts - the nose moment is likely to be short - those early FS things were weighty - which could make it fun to balance things up. That's just a guess, having never seen the plane, of course! The triangular fin/rudder looks much better on this design than on the CD - here it just looks right, the CD I always thought had them as a 'trademark'.

Some dummy UC legs, fairings or even just UC suspension would stop it looking like a model airplane with music wire UC legs... A dummy flat four would be some extra work, but looks good in that photo.

Good luck with the new project Ken, we could have a new 'standard' in the electrocution game here.

Dec 21, 2007, 05:23 AM
Registered User


Hi All Ken Did you get your swallow plans from AMA, if so, was it just one sheet? Mine came in 3 sheets, neither one had all the parts on them..

I was thinking of downsizing the Swallow for transportation purposes, but I figured at 3 lbs 7 ozs, IT wouldn't have come out much lighter anyway..

Here's a pic of the Miss Texas
Dec 21, 2007, 07:26 AM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
Hi Dan,

No, I didn't get the plan from the AMA. I used the plan/.jpg from the article on the AMA site. I scaled it to full size and then rescaled it to the size (~415 that I wanted. I converted the .jpg to a .tiff to use in my CAD program, CadIntosh.

I have posted a couple of screen captures of what I've gotten done so far, which is basically the wing. I just started the fuselage this morning so only a few preliminary lines are showing in the screen capture with the .tiff image hidden.

The changes I've made so far include; strip ailerons, as they are my preference and using an NACA 2415 airfoil, which very closely resembles the original airfoil. I've also changed the landing gear block construction to one I prefer, as well as the landing gear block reinforcements on ribs W-1 and W-3.

The isometric does not show the 1/16" sub-leading edge, and the landing gear/wheel placement is also wrong on the isometric drawing.

I found that when Steve Pauly created the Fusion, he used a very similar wing construction, so I am quite familiar with that. If you download the Fusion build manual, you'll get a really good idea of how to construct the wing. Fred's article is sketchy, on the build, to say the least. For example, he mentions "shims" in the wing construction notes but they are no where to be found on the plans, at least as far as I can see and I'm pretty sure I can build it without them by using Steve's method.

I really want to get to building the first wing panel, as I'm itching to build something! I realized that I'm going to have to cut everything on the wing twice, as I don't want to waste wood if my drawing is wrong. I'll build one panel, adjust the plans and then build the other. That's a bit tedious, but since it has never been built before, a lot better than wasting good, precious balsa wood.
Dec 21, 2007, 11:48 AM
Registered User

Swallow build

Hi Ken I built 3 of Fred Reese's Cloud Dancer's..The 40 & 60 were for glow..The last one I downsized to a 46" WS was for E flight.The Swallow and Cloud Dancer build are pretty much alike.If you should run into any problems with the Swallow I may be able to help..

Are you going to make the cowl removable??

Dec 21, 2007, 01:01 PM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
I am planning on making a removable cowl. I'm moving the firewall forward to accommodate the motor, a Hyperion Z3019-10 that's taking up drawer space. This slightly changes the front end design as well.

I actually went downstairs this morning and got out my supply of wood to check to see if I have everything I need. I also cut some spruce to the size I'm using for the spars, 3/16"x1/4". I only had 5 pieces of spruce left after all these years, and of course, they were all "oversized." I managed to use the little table saw without drawing blood. That's always good.

Right now I'm working on the January Ampeer. I need to get it and the Midwest RC Society newsletter done so that I can set up the printer for more than one thing. For the time being, my computer desk is the dining room table, so I need to set up the printer or scanner only when I'm actually using them. When I print the newsletters, I'll print out the parts and the wing plan and have at a wing half.
Dec 21, 2007, 03:01 PM
Veni Vidi Volavi
Brian Allen's Avatar
Greetings All

I went down to the shop and rooted around and managed to find my copy of the Swallow plans that I have purchased years ago. They did survive the Great Shop Flood of 2006 after all!!

I am giving serious consideration to building up a Swallow. As I mentioned in the Cloud Dancer thread, my flying buddy Ron build an enlarged Swallow (80" or so) some years back powered by one of the original OS120 twins. It was a great flying plane until a bad RX battery did her in. Time to start bugging him again to build another!!

Happy Holidays all.

Brian Allen

Veni Vidi Volavi

I came I saw I flew
Dec 21, 2007, 03:21 PM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar


I'm glad that you guys like the Swallow, too! My first one with a OS .40 Surpass, silked and doped, weighed 2.75 lbs and was a dream to fly! Second one, with a TT.42, silked and doped but painted, was too heavy and too fast. It ruined all of the qualities that Fred built into the design. Lesson- Fred knew what he was doing.
Dec 21, 2007, 05:20 PM
Registered User

WOW 2.75 lbs

Hi All
How did get the Swallow down too 2.75 lbs?? I was hoping to keep mine at the 3.7 lbs thats in the article.
What are you guessing your AUW will be..I think your going to like the Hyperion..I do LOL

Dec 21, 2007, 06:43 PM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
I am shooting for a maximum RTF weight of 48 oz./3 lb. on the 415 version of this model. I'm thinking it may come in under that, but we'll see. Remember, this is for the downsized version. I don't want it too light, honestly, not less than two pounds for sure, otherwise it becomes a park flyer and can't handle the wind. Whenever I fly it always seems to be on a windy day, so I like to keep my cubic wing loading between 7 oz./cu.ft. and about 12 oz./cu.ft. At 48 oz. the CWL is about 9.8 oz./cu.ft. which is a sweet spot for the sport planes I like to fly.

I bought the Z3019-10 a couple of years ago to use with an 11" diameter prop and 10 NiMH cells, but testing of this particular example of this motor put the amps way too high, over 50. I've tested this motor several times and this example has a Kv very close to 1200, which is really too high for what I want to use it for. I would really like to turn an 11x8.5E on this model, but that would mean ordering a new Scorpion motor, which wouldn't be all bad, if Christmas bills weren't soon due.
I've not run it up with an APC 10x7E yet on the three M1 cells I'm planning on using, but all indications are it will be pulling about 35 amps static, which is right where I want it to be.

I'm going to order a DeWalt pack off of e-bay on Monday, so that the holiday shipping season will be over when it's time to ship it. After I get that pack, I'll make up a 3S pack and actually check out the motor. I have a 6S and two 2S packs from my last DeWalt pack that I'm using, so I need more cells. I also want to make up a 3S pack for use with my Hitec Eclipse transmitter.

I'm coming along well with the newsletters, so I should be ready to print them and the wing plan and parts outlines for Son of Swallow after the wife gets up in the morning.

Looking forward to hearing about others experiences with this model, as well as more builds of it in any size, any power, 2-stroke, 4-stroke, gas or electric. It's all good! Wonder what Fred would think about this exposure after all these years?
Last edited by Ken Myers; Dec 21, 2007 at 06:57 PM. Reason: forgot some things, again!
Dec 22, 2007, 08:44 AM
Lipoly Killer
Frank Hurd's Avatar


Contest balsa, clear dope and a 450mah ni-cad pack. It wasn't hard to do.
Ken, I flew the Swallow in all sorts of weather and didn't have a problem. With a 10/7 prop and a teardown of the engine by my engine man, the late Jack Peniciaro, my OS was a good running engine. I never build heavy to fly in the wind.
Dec 22, 2007, 03:33 PM
Visitor from Reality
From what I've read of Fred, he'd probably be right up here with us, either coming out with new electric-specific models or re-designing older ones like his Swallow to have easy battery access - his structures are better than some so-called electrics to start with.

I always fancied that biplane he did a few years back. With A123, lack of easy pack swapping is not so much of a worry.

Dec 22, 2007, 04:50 PM
Registered User
Ken Myers's Avatar
Okay, actually got started today after trip to hobby shop. That always takes a huge bite out of the day as I tend to "gab!"

Not too much, but it's a start. Won't be able to work on it more until late tomorrow morning, as the Chris is a late riser and I need to cut ribs, as well as keep the peace.
Last edited by Ken Myers; Jan 28, 2008 at 05:02 AM. Reason: spelling/typing
Dec 23, 2007, 03:01 AM
Registered User
Hi Ken...The 3019-10 motors are quite happy at 50 amps. Both my son and I have several of these running on 3s or 10 IB 3800's on 11*7 apc e props and they love it!! ( Video of ripmax harmony is somewhere on this site). I have also converted a world models aircombat with this motor and run it on 10 gp2200's with a bolly 9.5*6 prop at about 35 ish amps and it runs fine. Don't worry about the current. You could always try a prop size of 11*5 and choose a make that has less current draw than an apc*e. Good luck with the model.
Chris. U.K.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Electric conversion for Ace Littlest Stik by Fred Reese EGB Parkflyers 8 Dec 26, 2011 12:58 AM
Wanted Compulsion by Fred Sage W/FS01 wing dwmumford Aircraft - Sailplanes (FS/W) 7 Jul 17, 2005 12:55 PM
FS: Ebay NIB Compulsin by Fred Sage Randy G Aircraft - Electric - Airplanes (FS/W) 11 Nov 15, 2003 02:15 PM
Electric power for Fred Reese's Ace Littlest Stik EGB Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 35 Mar 18, 2003 12:10 PM