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Oct 31, 2008, 10:46 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Build Log

B.A.C. Super Drone

I seem to have a fondness for motor gliders. See my recent builds . I recently bought an old set of plans for a 54" Super Drone from JJScott, here on RC Groups. It was a 3 channel model, with no ailerons. The airfoil is ridiculous by any standard, but was functional for a small 3 channel R/C model decades ago. My intentions from the start was to enlarge it to about 100" wingspan. Well, I found I could go all the way to 1/4 scale (119" ws) and still get the fuselage in my car. So be it. I'm building it 1/4 scale. It will require total a "redesign" of construction methods. Lots of effort will be made to keep the tail light due to the fact the motor (AXI 4120/14 hopefully) will be aft of the CG,... ugh! The model will weigh about 9 pounds and be powered with a 5s 3850 lipo. I've found many discrepancies in the plans when compared to pics online. I'll do everything I can to make it as scale as possible without going overboard on details. I've become a scale fanatic but not to the point of extreme detail.

Videos of a restored B.A.C. Super Drone are on my we site; From what I understand that restored Drone has not flown yet (as last July). I've tried to contact him for more details. I hope to get an answer soon. I'll be modeling G-AEDB.

I've been studying the enlarged plans for several days now. Construction will begin in a few days. I hope to have it finished about mid-April. I'll have a period of 2 months this winter where I will be doing no building at all,.. otherwise I'd have it done in January . This will be a fun model,.. very strange looking , but fun. It'll look good sitting next to my T-31M.

This motor glider is of the 1935 era.

Fred Guilfoyle
Last edited by No Step; Oct 31, 2008 at 10:52 AM.
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Oct 31, 2008, 10:52 AM
North East England
You don't hang about, do you Fred - straight into the next build! That will be a lovely model at 1/4 scale. I'll enjoy following your build.

Oct 31, 2008, 11:01 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
I'm trying to prove "you can't build them all" to be incorrect,... and loving every minute.
Oct 31, 2008, 11:39 AM
Expat Canuck
Milhafre's Avatar
Nice choice Fred, I'll be watching this with interest.

Here are a couple of pictures from the 1955 Aeromodeller Annual. G-AEKV is the same picture that you posted, but look at the caption under it!

In the same article was a picture of my favourite 30's motor-glider: the Luton Buzzard.

Oct 31, 2008, 12:21 PM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
OH MY! Luton Buzzard ! I love it! The open cockpit version looks way better than the enclosed cockpit version. Not much on the internet about it.

Ha, ha,... this model will cost more than that .

Azores,.... I flew over it last year (refueling stop in Lajes). It looked like a very nice place,... sorta like the English countryside,.. at least what I saw anyway.
Last edited by No Step; Oct 31, 2008 at 12:36 PM.
Oct 31, 2008, 12:53 PM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
My workbench is cleared off, plans laid out,... I'm ready to start building Monday morning. Coffee cup for size reference.
Oct 31, 2008, 02:26 PM
Where's the lift?
dgliderguy's Avatar
All settled in and watching here, Fred. Full speed ahead!
Nov 01, 2008, 11:47 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
I've managed to do a little pre-construction modifying of the fuselage plans early this morning. Tracing paper taped over actual plans. This looks much better

Fwd fuselage mods:
1. flattened center bottom of fuselage
2. moved landing gear fwd (it was located at 35% of wing chord )
3. moved wing L.E. fwd on pylon,... overhanging the cockpit a little.
4. moved struts a little.
5. lowered pylon, positioned motor for 12" dia. prop max
6. planning on wing joiner tubes rather than old fashioned tongue arrangement
7. put relief in fuselage top at prop tip
8. extented nose and changed upper profile (may still need more work).
9. changed airfoil - though not set on actual airfoil to use yet, needs more of a philips entry and slightly thicker section.

Aft fuselage mods:
1. repositioned tail wheel (non-scale location) - easier to build.
2. add 4 stabilizer struts.
3. extend rudder T.E. aft and narrowed L.E. for more scale profile.
Last edited by No Step; Nov 01, 2008 at 01:42 PM.
Nov 01, 2008, 09:41 PM
Registered User
Kiwi's Avatar
Nov 02, 2008, 07:01 AM
North East England
Another nice plan, Kiwi. Just noticed there's no spars in that wing, the sheeted l/e seems to be taking the strain.

Where exactly is the intended CG? I can't see it clearly marked (unless it's those couple of vertical lines intersecting the Mills, but I thought they were the mounting lugs).

Also, the thrustlines seem to be all zero - does this need to change for r/c?

Steve (not clued up on 'pushers')
Nov 02, 2008, 09:29 AM
Registered User
Mike Smart's Avatar

You may find these of use, there's some colour notes on the drawing.


PM me with your e-mail address if you want a higher res copy of the drawing
Nov 02, 2008, 09:55 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Yep, that's the plan I've enlarged from. Cg I'm just going to use 33% for first flight. That seems to have worked out so far in the past. About thethust lines,... I've wondered about that myself. Being above the wing, and a pusher, things may be very different. I remember as a >very< young kid I had a Jetco Thermic 50 with a power pod above the wing. The thing really confused me - The model tended to fly level and eventually hit the ground. My thought was to add up thrust. It seemed to make no difference or maybe even made it worse,.... I'm still not clear about it. At that time in my modeling career, I always seemed confused about how to trim a model for successful flight. It may be just the opposite when the thrust line is above the wing,....not really sure myself.

WHooHoo a 3 view! Thank you, Thank you Mike! I can check my plans before I start construction. And a very interesting to read article.
Last edited by No Step; Nov 02, 2008 at 10:31 AM.
Nov 02, 2008, 10:20 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
I have more news -Roy Nerou in England, has contacted me about G-AEDB. He is part owner of the airplane.

Thanks to Roy, Mike, and everyone contributing to this thread.

Roy has sent some really good pictures that has answered many of the questions I've had. Evidently, G-AEDB had been modified after the war, Engine pylon lowered to accomodate the 32hp Bristol Cherub engine, nose lengthened for unknown reasons, and a new undercarriage has been fitted (to replace the cross bar axle gear which dragged against long grass of some airfields). I really hesitate to post portions of his email to me without permission, but I believe it's OK with him. Here is a particular fascinating portion of his email :

As you may know the Drone was a conversion of a two seat BAC glider of that era, whereby the manufactures deleted the rear seat and installed a pylon with various pusher engines fitted. I seem to remember about 30+ were built and were one of the cheapest aircraft to learn to fly on. In fact one could learn to fly a Drone and obtain a licence without any form of dual instruction, as there was a wingless trainer that one could hurtle back and forth across the aerodrome until one got the hang of it, then one would progress on to the real thing but with the engine throttle locked from full power. After these stages had been successfully accomplished one was allowed to actually venture aloft harnessing the full might of 30hp!

Only three are still in existence, apart from ours, there is G-AEKV in the Brooklands Museum fitted with a Carden Ford engine and a rather famous Drone G-ADPJ that flew from London to Berlin in 1936 on fifteen shillings worth of petrol.

The following is taken from a piece printed in the January edition of Aeropilot 1936.

“…the Drone took the world of aviation by storm two years ago, when practical aviators and others were wont to sneer at “these toy aeroplanes”. Since its inception many notable flights have been made in this type, the most memorable being that of Colonel Lord Sempill, who in April last, flew one of these machines from Croydon to Berlin, 600 miles non stop, in the time of 11 hours. Two days later he returned to England in 9 hours aided by a north east gale, which, though to much on the beam to be of great assistance was far enough astern to take 2 hours off the out going time.

Since then the Drone has consistently proved its worth. It has flown 20,000 miles with C.W.A. Scott’s “Circus” and has several times been flown over the Alps”

Isn't this hobby and the people in it grand !
Last edited by No Step; Nov 02, 2008 at 10:32 AM.
Nov 02, 2008, 11:43 AM
My hangar is,... "almost" full
No Step's Avatar
Also this flight report with fantastic drawings of the airplane from Aero and Airways test report . By Mckinley Thompson, Aero and Airways test pilot. The drawings are a great help in defining such things as the pylon shape, airfoil, etc...

Published 1935
Nov 02, 2008, 03:45 PM
North East England
Fred...I think you just bought yourself a whole lot of extra detailing

The flight description is fascinating reading - not a single complaint about any of the aircrafts' build or flying qualities...very rare! I've scaled up Kiwi's plan pic to 40" (near enough 1/12 scale), printed it out and stored it in my 'to-do' folder, along with your Wren plan.

I hope you take some taxying video of your finished Drone minus the wings, in 'training' mode

Added a couple of pics I found which might be of interest.

Last edited by Redbaron25; Oct 24, 2017 at 05:03 PM.

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