Website visitor Alan M. wrote to request that I scan this Dancer
article from the February 1971 edition of American Aircraft modeler.
The Dancer is a beginner's level control line trainer model for
1/2A power. It was designed and built by AMA Junior level modeler
Dennis Haimerl. A unique feature of the Dancer is use of a leading
edge slot to enhance lift and stall characteristics of the flat
airfoil of the wing.
by the Author
Dennis Haimerl is a Tenderfoot modeler, but he has designed his
own control line trainer. Full-size and ready-to-use plans are on
pages 45 and 48.
What makes a good beginner's model? It must be rugged, easy
to make, interesting, fairly slow, and easy to fly.
Dancer is a simple model to construct because of its straight
design. It does require elevator hinges, but they are not difficult
to install. Hinging methods other than cloth (or other fibered materials)
are up to the builder. However, cloth is best.
Ready-to-use plans are on the back of the magazine's centerspread.
For the wing use a 1/8 x 3 x 24" piece of balsa. Mark its center
and align with the center of the plans. Wing tops are placed at
the end of the balsa. Cut out the pieces.
After the wing has been assembled, pin it down on a flat board.
Apply cement liberally to the center of the wing and set the fuselage
piece in place. Add the 1/4 x 1/4 x 3" fillets to each side and
hold in place with pins. Using a small square, make sure the fuselage
is exactly vertical to the wing. Apply cement to the center of the
stabilizer and slide it into position in the fuselage slot. Again
use the square to be sure the trailing edge of the stabilizer is
at a right angle to the fuselage. Measure the distance from each
stabilizer tip to the building board and make sure they are the
Be sure the rudder is parallel to the fuselage. Set the trailing
edge of the rear piece offset 3/4 in. to the right of the fuselage.
Dancer beginner control line model.
The slot makes the flat wing act like a proper airfoil.
Large rudder and offset keep lines tight. Note slot gap
Apply cement to the back of the plywood firewall and to the two
1/2" gussets, then set into place. The firewall must be tight against
the front of the fuselage. Cement two of the 1/16" plywood pieces
to the wing at the bellcrank location. Allow the whole assembly
to dry overnight.
Since the Dancer was built for flying, paint should be kept to
a minimum. First smooth all edges with fine sandpaper, then apply
only a few coats of clear dope.
When the dope has dried, assemble the slot. It should be sanded
as shown on the plans for best performance. Cement the triangular
slot supports to the wing and, when they have dried, glue the slot
in place. Cover these parts with clear dope. The entire model may
then be covered with one or two coats of color dope, if desired.
After the final coat has dried, the controls and engine are installed.
Mount the horn on the elevator and bend the pushrod to fit. Put
the pushrod into the outer hole of the bellcrank, which is then
set on the 1/16" plywood pieces attached to the wing. Drill a 3/32"
hole through the bellcrank mount and attach the bell crank with
screws. If desired, make a landing gear of 1/16" music wire and
mount it between the engine and the firewall.
Flying is easy. Use a 6-3 propeller and 20- to 30-ft. flying
lines. Launch downwind to keep the lines tight. Have your helper
toss the model level so that the controls are not jerked.
1 Baby Bee 049
1 pc. 1/8 x 3 x 24"
1 pc. 1/4 x 3 X 12" balsa fuselage
1 pc. 3/32
x 3 x 15" balsa tail
2 pcs. 1/4 x 1/4 X 3" balsa wing fillet
2 pcs. 1/2 x 1/22 x 1 3/4" balsa firewall gusset
1/16 x 3/4 x 1" plywood
1 pc. 1/8 x 1 1/4 x 1 3/4" balsa firewall
1 pc. 1/8 x 1/2 x 12" balsa slot
1 1/2-A-size bellcrank
and horn package
1 pc .055 x 12" music wire pushrod
x 9" music wire landing gear
1 pc. 2 x 3 1/2" silk cloth hinges
1 pc. 1/16 x 1/2 x 2" plywood
2 light 1-in. dia. wheels
4 #3 x 3/8 wood screws
small jar clear dope
Here is a B&W version of the Dancer plans.
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.
Posted on June 14, 2013