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Scale-Like Stunter Article & Plans
March-April 1963 American Modeler

March/April 1963 American Modeler

March / April 1963 American Modeler magazine cover Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

Here are the plans and article for Charles Parrott's semi-scale Curtiss P-40 Warhawk control line stunt model as they appeared in a 1963 issue of American Modeler magazine. It sports a 38" wingspan and is powered by an inverted-mounted Fox .35 Stunt engine fed by a modified Veco 3.5 ounce fuel tank. There was an effort in the era to have competition stunt models resemble real-life airplanes, even though exaggeration of fuselage, wing, and tail surfaces were required to facilitate stunting. As is evidenced by today's top control line stunt models, the fad gave way to structures designed specifically for accommodating the needs of flight. Even full-size aircraft design moves in that direction over time, where traditional features and methods give way to modern technology and materials. Compare the look of a production composite frame general aviation airplane from Diamond Aircraft or Cirrus Aircraft to the traditional Cessna Aircraft or Piper Aircraft to see what I mean.

Scale-Like Stunter Article & Plans, March/April 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets

Parrott ("parr" as in Jack; "rot" as in nonsense) and his latest beauty; he did Ryan S-T last July. Hobby Helpers has plans.

Scale-Like P-40 Warhawk Stunter bottom view, March/April 1963 American Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets

Bottom view of the P-40.

Scale-Like Stunter - P-40 Curtiss Warhawk

By Charles W. Parrott

Here is one of the most beautiful control line stunt job to come from group promoting "semi-scale" aerobatic "competition. For additional details see Musciano's strictly-scale" P-40 project in '63 A.M. Annual

Who needs an introduction to that famous warbird, the Curtiss P-40? Much has been written about the almost legendary exploits of Chennault's Flying Tigers in the China Skies. Here a handful of Americans, equipped with the "sub-standard and obsolete" P-40's struck fear in the hearts of the Imperial Japanese Airforce. The P-40 has won for itself a unique niche in aviation history, and while it was not the best fighter in World War Two, it is among the better known ones.

A crisp, clean cockpit with good details - Airplanes and Rockets

A crisp, clean cockpit with good details will help you collect appearance points.

Built-up components of the P-40 - Airplanes and Rockets

Built-up components of the P-40.

The idea for a scale-like stunt model of this famous plane is not original - and there are kits of it already available on the hobby dealer's shelves. But none offered me what I wanted: a model that looked like a P-40 yet had the ability to stand up to the best of modem-day U-control stunters. The result is this offering which will bow to none in stunt performance, and has few equals for eye appeal.

Our first version, while an excellent stunter, lacked a few refinements so important in major competition. A second was drawn up and underwent many changes on the drawing board before the first piece of balsa was cut. But it was worth it. The model shown here has doubled our expectations.

First entered in competition at the 1962 Florida State Championships, it won top place in Open Class stunt by a margin of over 100 points. Later at Jacksonville, Fla., it was first with over 600 points on its second official. At the Rebel Rally in Florida the powerplant blew a head gasket on the first official flight, but it still flew off with second place, a few points behind Dave Hemstrought's PT-19. Our Curtiss-like entry again captured a trophy at the all Dixie Air Championships in Spartenburg, S. C.

It may come as a surprise, but the P-40, primarily a competition stunt model, entered control line scale at the Rebel Rally and placed fourth in that event. To the best of my knowledge, this 4th was a "first" in stunt annals since it won a trophy designated for scale jobs!

The P-40 qualified for the Charleston Semi-Scale Stunt Team by consistently flying official patterns of 500 points or better. This team has, in all contests entered to date, placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd - not having a fourth member.

Since basic construction will be familiar to most, we will not overly concern ourselves here with standard structure. But a few words of caution generally. Do not deviate from the plans insofar as configuration and airframe are concerned. Scale markings are optional with the builder, but we suggest the cockpit details be duplicated. This will win you many points. As this is a good sized model, much care should be used in the selection of balsa. We use Sig wood and ours was a standard order, not hand picked. The finished P-40 weighed in at 46 oz. ready to fly, less fuel.

Begin wing construction first. Ribs W-4 are cut from 1/8" plywood and drilled out for landing gear wire before installing in wing. Form landing gear wire from 1/8" wire before wing is started. Build wing over plan, taking care to remove any warps as they develop. Do not omit spar splices at center of wing or tip braces. Be certain bellcrank platform is adequately braced and leadouts positioned as shown. Land-ing gear wire is installed with "J" bolts before wing is planked.

Additional construction details appear on Hobby Helpers' plans.

Curtiss P-40 C/L Stunter Plans

Curtiss P-40 C/L Stunter 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 July 31, 2021

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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 ...

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