I finally found the scanned file for this Stunting "Vickers Wellesley"
article that appeared in the May 1957 issue of American Modeler magazine.
Somehow the magazine disappeared and I had to dig back into an old hard drive from
2011 to find the file. Anyway, here is yet another fine Walter Musciano design of the
British bomber of World War II fame. Designed for a .35-size engine, this 58"
wingspan control line model with 420 cubic inch of wing area should be capable of
basic stunting. An electric power setup could easily be adapted to the airframe, and
some weight could be saved by thinning out the structural members a bit.
Smooth-running brushless motors don't put anywhere near the vibratory strain on
models as internal combustion engines do.
Stunting "Vickers Wellesley"
Designer Walter Musciano has come up with a true
flying scale control line just perfect for doing the stunt pattern!
Large semi-scale stunt models are currently favored by a big segment of experienced
stunt enthusiasts. Modified Stukas, P-40's, Spitfires, Mustangs, and similar planes are
winning many contests because their performance is equal to the specially-designed stunt
model plus the fact that their scale-like configuration and coloring accumulate many
The author has, for many years, been an exponent of scale-stunt and scale-speed models.
In 1948 we designed and constructed a 60 inch span 3/4" to the foot scale model of the
"Vickers Wellesley." Performance of this exact scale model equaled that of any specially
designed model. A 30 inch model of this plane was constructed and flown in 1953; this
craft occupied a chapter in the author's book "Building and Flying Scale Model Aircraft."
Powered by an .099 engine this small model almost equaled its big brother in performance.
Numerous model builders who read this book have either requested that plans of a larger
model be published or have enlarged the model themselves to "man-size" proportions. It
was this favorable reaction to the "Vickers Wellesley" that prompted the presentation
of this, our third "Wellesley."
The real "Vickers Wellesley" was developed as a long range torpedo bomber, reconnaissance,
or general purpose craft a few years before World War Two. A new type of light weight
"Geodetic Construction" was employed and it contributed considerably to the success of
this airplane. This consisted of a crisscross diagonally braced basket-type structure
covered with fabric. Major disadvantage was its inability to be adapted to mass production
which automatically spelled its doom during the early days of WW-2.
The "Wellesley" crashed the aviation headlines
when a Bristol "Pegasus" XXII engine-powered version established a world's record for
long distance, non-stop flying on November 8, 1938. A distance of 7,158 miles was covered
in this flight from Ismailia, Egypt to Port Darwin, Australia.
All service "Wellesleys" were powered with the Bristol "Pegasus" XX engine. They were
capable of a speed of 228 mph and a range of 2,590 miles with a full bomb load. Landing
speed was a mere 57 miles per hour, ceiling was 35,250 ft.
Any engine from .23 to .59 cubic inch displacement can power this model successfully.
A .35 is the ideal powerplant for all around good stunting. Wing area is 420 square inches
which is in line with many of the contemporary specially-designed stunt contest winners.
The wing builds first. Cut the hard balsa spars to length, firmly cement them to the
1/4" plywood joiner. While this dries ribs should be cut to shape.
It will be noted that only a root rib and tip rib are shown on the plans. Trace and
cut these to shape. All other ribs are easily made by cutting oversized rectangular blanks
from 1/8" sheet balsa and then pinning these blanks between the root and tip ribs. Carve
these assembled blanks until they are in line with the root and tip rib. Sand well and
cut notches for the spins. Wedge all ribs between the spars being sure to fit the spars
into the notches. Cement well. Follow this with the hard balsa leading edge and sheet
trailing edge pieces.
The area behind the spars between the ribs is covered with a 1/8" balsa web. This
should run up to the top of the upper spar and the bottom of the lower spar. Cement the
Cut the plywood landing gear foundations and fit these into slots cut into the ribs.
Cement well. Bend the wire landing gear and bind and solder the pieces together. Sew
this to the plywood using strong thread. Smear several coats of cement around this installation.
The bellcrank is mounted between two hardwood pieces by means of a steel bolt. Use
washers to center the bellcrank in place. Install the control rod and leave the length
oversize. Holes for the lead out lines can be made with a leather punch or can be turned
through by means of a hot nail. Add the lead out lines now.
Cover that portion of the wing forward of the spar with 1/16" sheet balsa on both
upper and lower surfaces. The wing root is also covered with balsa. Add the 1/16" X 1/4"
balsa cap strips on the upper and lower edges of the ribs as shown. Add the balsa wing
tips now. Be sure to add weight to the outboard tip and aluminum tubes to the inboard
Sand the wing well and cover with silk. Apply several coats of clear dope and set
aside to dry.
Cut the keel to shape and cement this onto the wing. Follow by cutting the horizontal
tail and firmly attach the control horn. Hinge the elevator to the stabilizer and cement
the stabilizer into the slot in the keel. Attach the control rod to the horn and solder
a washer to it as the plans illustrate.
Cement the fuselage formers to the keel, add the engine mounts and fuel tank and plank
the entire fuselage with 1/8" x 1/4" balsa strips. Sand well.
Add the fin and rudder and apply as many as twenty coats of wood sealer for a good
finish. Apply clear dope to the silk until it is well sealed and taut.
The drag ring type cowl is made from rings of 1/4" sheet balsa which are laminated
crossgrain and sanded to shape when dry. Do not cement this in place until after the
engine has been installed.
The full size "Wellesley" was colored sand and spinach (brown and green) on all upper
surfaces while the bottom. was either very light sky blue or. jet black. Apply as many
coats as are required to obtain a good finish. We used six coats.
Bolt the engine in place and cement the cowl in place. Paint the cowl. The two bubble
canopies are Berkeley P-47 canopies cut down to fit our model. Cement these in place
and add the frames with colored dope and masking tape.
Flying can be conducted on extra long flight lines. We fly models this size on lines
well over eighty feet long. It is, however, advisable to handle the first few flights
on shorter lines.
List of Material
Four 1/8" x 3" X 36" of med. balsa for wing ribs, spar webs, fuselage formers; (7)
1/16" x 3" x 36". med. balsa, wing root & leading & trailing surface covering;
(3) 1/4" x 3" x 36", hard balsa, fuselage keel, empennage, cowl, wing tips; (4) 1/4"
x 1/4" x 36", hard balsa, wing spars; (10) 1/16" x 1/4" x 36", med. balsa, rib cap strips;
(2) 3/8" 1/2" "18", maple or other hardwood, engine mounts; (24) 1/8" x 1/4" X 36", med.
balsa, fuselage planking; (1) 1/4" x 1/4" x 12", hardwood, elevator joiner; (1) 1/4"
x 3" x 12", plywood, wing spar joiner; (1) 1/8" 4" x 18", plywood, landing gear foundation,
bulkhead B; (1) 3/32" dia. x 36", music wire, landing gear, control rod.
Miscellaneous: Cement, medium green dope, brown dope, light blue or black dope, bellcrank,
control horn, wheels, washers, sandpaper, silk, clear dope, brushes, transparent bubble
canopies, fuel tank, fuel line, straight pins, decals (TrimFilm or Flex-cote).
Stunting "Vickers Wellesley" Plans
Posted August 25, 2018