Website visitor Mark Radcliff
(yes, THE Mark Radcliff, of 75-77-79-81 USA F3a RC Aerobatic Team
fame) wrote to request that I scan the article for Steve Wooley's control line
Argus, which, appeared in the August 1961 American Modeler. The Argus was the star of
the 1960 world championships in Hungary. Note the unique wing construction where rather
than using full ribs, upper and lower outlines are used that sit over and under the beefy
solid wing spar. The entire article is very short.
The ARGUS in Hungary
The Hungarians called this U-control stunt THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLANE IN THE
Steve Wooley of Marietta, Ohio, with his "Argus" aerobatic craft at
the world championships in Hungary last year. Design has garnered 50 high place awards
including King Orange 1st!
Steve Wooley and Don Still (right) fire up Argus during '60 C/L Internats.
Full size plans are on Hobby Helper Group Plan # 861
From its name to the tip of its tail wheel "Argus" (Greek God of the Sky) represents
the author's concept of a functional design combined with pleasing lines to help garner
those appearance points so important in present-day contest flying. Argus was acclaimed
as the "most beautifully designed and finished" model at the World Championships in
Hungary by participating contestants and all foreign publications. Argus is a precision
aerobatic model that has failed only twice since 1958 to bring home the hardware. Probably
one of the smallest stunt designs flying today, Argus sports only 500 square inches of
wing area and an all-up weight of 39 ounces. So a Fox 29 has no trouble at all in pulling
it around, even in windy weather. A torsion bar landing gear guarantees perfect landings
Construction is not as simple as a D-tube wing, but once tried, you will probably
not want to use any other method, due to the accurate and fast construction routine.
A word about weight - build your model as light as you can, and don't worry about it
being too light. Some months ago an Argus was finished that tipped the scales at only
34 ounces. This was one of the models that went to Budapest to participate in the 1960
International Control Line Meet. Light weight is the secret to good "stuntability," but
a 41 to 43 ounce model will fly quite well, provided it is properly balanced. Use as
light a grade of balsa as you can. I prefer Sig Contest grade, and with gratifying results.
Begin construction by cutting fuselage sides from 3/16" sheet balsa. Also cut out
1/16" plywood doublers, including all openings shown on the plan. Accurately! Assemble
the doublers and sides carefully, matching up the edges as best you can. When the cement
is dry, cut through all spar and other wing member openings in the balsa sheet sides.
The 3/8" x 1/2" hard maple motor mounts are cemented and bolted on. Lay down the fuselage
sides for the time being, as the wing must be started now.
In lower [above] photos note long, clean nose, and low turtle deck.
Wide spread gear assures good ground handling. (R. Moulton pix)
Select light, firm 14"x2"x48" balsa for the spar. If 48" lengths are not available,
a splice as shown on the plan will be necessary. Do the cutting of the tapers as accurately
as you can, as the ribs will not fit too well otherwise. Add the 1/16" plywood doublers
and reinforcements shown, then allow the cement 24 hours drying time so that the assembled
parts do not slip out of place in later handling. This is the time for those "simple"
parts that still need to be made. The rudder, stab, elevators and flaps are blanked out,
cut and shaped. Sand to a smooth overall finish to minimize final sanding, when you will
be eager to get the paint job done. The fuselage formers, bellcrank mount and ribs are
cut out and stacked for later use. Bend the landing gear struts as shown; 1/8" steel
wire, is needed - be sure that you bend a left and a right unit so that you won't be
stymied later with "two left feet."
The bellcrank mount is inserted and cemented in the spar center. Be sure the lead
out slot is cut into the spar. If not, do it now, as per the spar plan. Neatly cement
on 1/8"x1/2" hard balsa cap strips (top and bottom), and there is your finished "I" beam
Additional construction instructions appear on Group Plan #861 from Hobby Helpers.
<click for larger version>
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size
version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always
best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing
plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I
will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
Try my Scale Calculator for Model Airplane Plans.
is a photo that Mark Radcliff sent with his e-mail:
Mark Radcliff with Phoenix 8 and Yak 54
Posted February 9, 2011