Check out the ten most popular plans featured in Model Aviation.
The top ten is a good mix of aerobatic, warbirds, seacraft, sailplanes, scale, and one airplane that falls into a category by itself.
10 - Golden Era 60 Bipe
Two wings are as much fun as one. With its 900 square inches of wing area, this model can cruise around comfortably at 65% power. Coordinating the turns is unnecessary when the speed is kept up, but in the wind it likes slight rudder mixed in the same direction as the aileron input. Elevator in the turns, whether they’re inside or outside, can crank the bipe around as tightly as the pilot wants, given that the power in the engine is willing.
9 - Hughes H-1 Racer
In 1935, the world’s fastest single-engine, land-based aircraft belonged to Howard Hughes. The H-1 Racer had many new features for its time, including the first use of hydraulically actuated landing gear, and Hughes achieved his goal of setting the world speed record in it, at 353.322 mph. Build and fly your own version of the Hughes H-1 racer.
8 - Al Clark's Mysterion
When designing the Mysterion, Al Clark stated, "I spent much time trying to come up with the best combination of weight, size, aerodynamics, and equipment. I believe the result hits the sweet spot."
7- Curtiss-Wright CW-1 Junior
A Golden Age classic turns out to be a natural for electric power. This airplane was developed during 1929 and the early 1930s, during the Great Depression. The Junior was easy to fly, it had a low stall speed, it could land in small farm fields, it had a metal frame, and it had good visibility for photo surveying. Air-show pilots loved this airplane; the large wing let them park it into the wind.
6 - eCobra
Build this electrified version of a Vintage RC design. It is a very pleasant airplane to fly, agile in maneuvers and fast at high throttle. It slows down nice for landing with no bad habits.
5 - Kingcobra
Relive the excitement of post WWII racing. With a top speed of 426 mph, it was one of the fastest aircraft of its time. Add in the cannon’s firepower, and it was also deadly. Following WWII, there was a surplus of wartime aircraft. A leftover fighter could be bought for $1,500 and some still had full fuel tanks! With the return of air racing in Cleveland, many chose to “hot rod” WW II fighters like the P-63 Kingcobra.
4 - Mark Rittinger's Super Sportwin
A sleek twin-motor electric that is build for speed. This Super Sportwin is not merely a scaled-up rendering of the original Sportwin. It's an entirely new model, designed from the ground up, using the general shapes of the Speed 400 version.
3 - Terry Dunn's Parallax
Exploring asymmetry with an unconventional configuration. The parallax's asymmetrical design was inspired by the Blohm und Voss Bv 141 and Rutan Boomerang. Both of these designs are proven successes, yet their unconventional configurations make one question how they can even fly in a straight line. Watch a video of the Parallax to see how well it performs.
2 - Dick Sarpolus’ Thermix '13
Build your own thermal hunter with a nostalgic flare. Based on Frank Zaic's Thermic series of gliders and sailplanes, Dick Sarpolus introduces a fun and enjoyable soaring aircraft.
1 - Grumman Goose
Starting life in 1936, the first Goose was built to transport wealthy businessmen from Long Island, New York, to New York City. By the onset of World War II, these “flying yachts” were serving more pedestrian roles with commuter airlines, the U.S. Navy, and the Coast Guard. Gooses, as Grumman called them, were flown by many nations during the war, including Japan. Grumman stopped production in 1945 after 345 were made, but the Goose lives on. The Goose has been a staple of island-hopping, whether that is along the rugged coast of Alaska or the sunny Caribbean.
Honorable Mention - RC Space Shuttle
While you may not be able to fly a space shuttle like fellow AMA member and Shuttle Commander Hoot Gibson, you can build and fly your own model version of NASA's Columbia.