Portable Control Line Aircraft Carrier
March 1962 American Modeler
is a clever control line airplane carrier deck design that derives it
lightness from sparse construction and its compactness from making the
modular components stowable within each other sort of like the familiar
matryoshka nesting dolls. It is designed to accommodate a 60' circle,
but slight modifications to the deck components can be easily made
other radii. Not shown in
the plans but likely possible without sacrificing strength and rigidity
would be to drill lightening holed in the 1"x6" and 1"x8" frame members.
Portable Carrier Deck
This device could be the biggest boost control line carrier flying ever
Usually a man's dedication to an activity is indicated by the lengths
to which he will go to become proficient in that category. This practice
deck is a good indication of Ray Randall's dedication to the Navy Carrier
Event. We found out about it at the Nats where most flyers were having
trouble getting on ye old deck while buffeting the breezes. Ray got
on first pass, two times. Since a standard contest-type full deck is
fairly expensive, most people are forced to practice on flush decks.
This just ain't the same as landing on a regular deck.
Portable carrier deck atop car.
Portable carrier deck bottom side.
Assembled portable carrier deck.
offer construction data on this portable practice deck to enable you
and your club to get good with carrier landings. The arresting area,
a bit shorter than standard, will sharpen your procedure. Take-offs
are from the ground, or if you can get off the forward section, fine!
The deck, transportable by automobile, sports its own dolly system for
maneuvering on the field. Arresting cables and sand bags are according
to the AMA rules book. We offer two types of material list - one if
you need the wood cut to length by your lumber dealer, the other for
standard lengths of wood. Grade BC plywood finished on one side is cheaper
than AB. A table saw will greatly ease the labor. We strongly recommend
screws for frame assembly and glue for decking assembly, but nails will
After cutting all lumber, construction entails fairly
conventional carpentry. Side frames are assembled using the deck pieces
to align them. Be careful to build Forward and Aft decks so their beveled
ends face each other. You'll note from the plans that the aft deck must
fit inside of the forward deck for traveling. Check this fit before
you get too far along to change it if need be.
The 1/4" plywood
decking should be glued with white glue or Weldwood and nailed at 6"
intervals. The stern ramp uses a 1 x 6 brace across the front end; rear
end is not reinforced. So don't walk on it! Let's not forget the 1 x
2 cross members under the decking. Although they stiffen the plywood,
we don't recommend that you climb on the deck. It has been kept light
so you can move it around. Remember... it's for models, not people.
The dolly has four 4" casters, 2 swiveled and 2 fixed. The swiveled
casters are on the two-rope end for maneuverability. Adjust these with
spacer blocks to raise the dolly's deck 7" off the ground. Tow handle
should be wide enough to fit two hands. You doll this up as you wish.
Ray finished his deck with gray Latex paint. After painting,
install cable guides, spacing as per plans, driving screw eyes into
side frames. Center of the eye should be 1" above the deck. Too high
and you'll trip your airplane on landing.
For transport on car
top carriers, the assembly is in this order: (1) Aft deck on carrier
is upside down. (2) Ramp in center of aft deck. (3) Dolly on top of
ramp right side up. (4) Sandbags, cables, tools in ends. Chock dolly
wheels with sand bags. (5) Forward deck over all as a cover. (6) Tie
the deck package on securely, also use fore and aft restraining rope
tied to the bumpers of the car.
For transport on the flying
field assembly is like so: (1) Dolly next to ground (wheels down, please).
(2) Rest of assembly - just as atop car.
The deck approximates
a 60' radius at the center-line. When locating your center marker, check
at both ends of the deck with your airplane. That's about it. The rest
is up to the amount of practice you do. For maximum fun, float the deck
in a lake and use Real Water. - Happy Dunking!
Portable Aircraft Carrier Deck Plans
Portable Deck Bill of Materials
Miscellaneous: 18 ea. 1" Screw Eyes; 160 ft. of 200# Test Nylon
Cord (8 pieces 20' long); 16 Canvas Bags to each hold 5# of sand; 12"
length of 1" Birch Dowel (Handle); 15 feet of 1/4" Manila Rope (Tow
Rope);2 ea. 4" Dia. Swivel Casters; 2 ea. 4" Dia. Fixed Casters; Approx
42 #10 Wood Screws (Flat Head), 1 1/2" long; Nails; white or Weld wood
glue; gray Latex paint or Outdoor Enamel; 2 Buckets #36 ELBOW GREASE!
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. There
is a lot of good information and there are lot
of pictures throughout the website that you will probably find useful, and might
even bring back some old memories from your own days of yore. The website began life around
1996 as an EarthLink screen name of ModelAirplanes, and quickly grew to where more server
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BSEE - KB3UON
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Academy of Model Aeronautics