Custom R/C Canard Model Airplane by Alain Pons - "Alain's Duck"
Website visitor Alain Pons, of France, wrote
with this great information on his decades-long involvement with designing, building,
and flying radio controlled canard model airplanes. Alain graciously agreed to allow
me to post his story, photo, and video. See update below.
As was probably inevitable, Alain has built
and flown a giant version of his "Alain's Duck" canard. Specifics on wingspan
of powerplant have not been provided yet, but he did send this photo. It doesn't stop there, though. An R/C turbine
version is nearly ready for flight. See the "Big Canard" maiden flight video below.
September 1, 2018 Update:
Alain mailed me his plans for his custom-designed "Alain's Duck" R/C canard model
all the way from France (see below). The original wingspan is about 71", but you can
scale the plans to fit your needs. If you build a Duck, please let me know and send along
a photo for posting.
Very happy to know you are interested of my work on my canards. I think I am an old
dinosaur in aeromodelism.
I was born in 1953 and began to glue balsa when I was 10 years old, following my father
in free flight, fly by wire and later R/C. And now jets and war birds with big radial
Today very few modelists in my country are building their own models .It is the era
of the "ready to fly." Beginning quickly often means "ready to crash..."
The pleasure to study, build and try his own plane has disappeared, alas.
The canard on the video (see below) has flown more than 15 years. I offered it to
a very good friend of mine, but the model ended its life due to a switch failure last
year. It flew full throttle vertical to the ground. A beautiful explosion - Sob!
Here are the specifications for the canard in the photo:
All wooden construction (balsa , plywood, spruce).
Wing span: 1,80 meters.
Airfoil: Foil :NACA 0012 (stab NACA 008) -thin enough for a good speed and good
Length: 1,40 meters
Weight: 4 kg (empty).
Engine: An old .61 Webra speed with a 11x8 prop (pusher) .This engine has flown on
an antic "enforcer" during more than 25 years.
All the plane is squared. Very easy to build:4 sheets of balsa wood for the fuselage
No sweepback, and no dihedral for the wing.
The several ribs of the wing are all the same - easy to cut .
The large fins are made with 8 mm balsa wood and stuck on each side of the wing.
For the landing gear: Piano wire (4mm) and a classic nose wheel.
The tank is, of course, exactly on the CG.
The covering: Diacov for the wing and paper painted for the fuselage and stab.
You need 6 servos - 1 for the throttle (Futaba 3001 for example), 2 for ailerons,
2 for the rudders (tiny MPX or Hitec hs 81), 1 for the nose wheel.
A 4/6 channel radio. A 5 cell 3300 mAh NiMH in the nose for the balance.
The flight is easy but do not forget that the engine is pusher .The fins are not blown
by the wind of the prop. It flies like a jet and it is a good trainer before flying a
Now I am going to draw the plan on my computer(not very easy for me) in order to send
it in my next mail.
You will post your article for your friends.
Today, I am building a new canard on the same design ,but slightly bigger. I have
saved several parts of planes crashed on my club: two stabs (one from an extra 300 -2,30m
and an other one from an Sbach of the same size ), a landing gear with wheels. I studied
the model with these spares .The fuselage has been built in plywood (4 mm) and the wing
in foam covered with a sheet of same (0,8 mm) glued with PU glue and a vacuum pump .
For the power, a 55 cc with a pusher prop (20x10). If the flight is perfect (like
the last canard on the video), this engine will be replaced by a turbine (8 kg thrust).
I hope so .
Specifications for the new canard:
Wingspan :2.25 m (chord 40 cm)
Length :1.85 m.
Weight empty : 8 kg
September 24, 2018 Update:
The plans do not show details for construction the canard stabilizer and elevator.
Per Alain: The airfoil is a constant cord NACA 008). Two sheets of balsa are bent
on a rod of samba. The elevator is perfectly rectangular with a 64 (25.2 in) cm
span and a 17.5 cm (6.9 in) chord with12 cm (4.7 in) for the fixed
part and 5.5 cm (2.2 in) for the elevator.
Maiden Flight of "Big Canard" Version of Alain's Duck (October 2018)
Alain Pons' Custom Canard Design
Alain's Duck Canard Plans <click image for
full-size version, then right-click to save the file for use)
Send me an e-mail if you would like a full-size PDF version that has not been cleaned
up to remove the original paper fold lines and has not had the contrast enhanced. The
file size is 18 MBytes, so your e-mail server will need to be able to accept that
size file attachment.
Posted November 18, 2017
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Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model
building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through
a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which
all began in Mayo, MD