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The 1912 Blackburn is a smooth semi-scale flyer

The Blackburn is an easy to build and responsive flyer of an historic British aircraft

1912 Blackburn Type D monoplane build log page 1 2 3 Buy Plans

Contributor pictures of the 1912 Blackburn here!

Please note that I mail the Blackburn plan worldwide with no extra shipping fees.

Blackburn plane

The Blackburn is an attractive model that flies well


The Blackburn Type D monoplane, one of the earliest British aircraft designs, made its maiden flight in 1912. This Blackburn is a thoughtful design with a great deal of character and appeal. The Blackburn has ideal wing and tail surface areas and moments for a successful radio control model airplane.

The Blackburn has a distinctive triangular fuselage shape that separates it from the rest of the RC model aircraft on the flight line. There are numerous photos from the Shuttleworth airplane museum to help detail your Blackburn.

In short, the Blackburn airplane makes an ideal candidate for an easy to build, well flying semi-scale indoor radio control model.

Building the Blackburn

Bleriot nose section

Consider bashing a kit or plan - see here

The 1912 Blackburn is constructed from normal building materials of balsa and plywood. There are no exotic techniques needed to either build or fly this model - it is very easy to build your own RC aircraft. The Blackburn build log shows step by step instructions for cutting out the parts and building this great looking RC model airplane.

The Blackburn's wing structure is formed from a unique arrangement of balsa dowels for ease of construction and light weight. The 1/8” balsa wing ribs are very easy to cut out and ensure a warp free wing. The constant chord of the wing makes for a fast build from the CAD plans.

The critical wing incidence is built into the wing mounting scheme shown on the CAD plans. The wing incidence angle may look a bit high but works just fine and makes for a smooth flying model.

YouTube video of Blackburn in flight

Blackburn fuselage

Front view of plywood fuselage crutch

Blackburn fuselage details

The Blackburn fuselage uses an innovative plywood crutch as the anchor point for the wing mounting tubes, landing gear and electric motor. With this method you have assurance the fuselage will be true and warp free.

The plywood crutch allows use of a lightweight structure for the aft fuselage and tail surfaces. This method ensures there is no need for any nose weight to locate the center of gravity is at the proper location.

The landing gear is securely anchored to the fuselage plywood crutch and benefits from the added strength of fore and aft cross braces. The Blackburn's landing gear has a wide stance and provides for stable ground operations. The forward skids ensuring no danger of tipping forward on the nose during landings.


Blackburn in flight

The Blackburn handles well, designed at same time as the Fokker Spin trainer


Flying the Blackburn

The Blackburn flies with three channels of control for the rudder, elevator and throttle. I've had great success using the Spektrum radio and DX6i transmitter. The original Blackburn used wing warping for bank control, thus no need for ailerons. The fuselage has adequate room for your radio control equipment. I added the servos just aft of the cockpit for ease of adjustment.

Light weight is important for the Blackburn and I used Coverite CoverLite for covering of the wing, fuselage and tail surfaces. I found the CoverLite gave a good rendition of the antique look and was very easy to apply. Be sure to cover the horizontal stabilizer and glue onto the fuselage before adding the formers and stringers for the upper aft portion of the fuselage.

Blackbunr fuselage under construction

Blackburn forward fuselage

The wings mount easily into 1/4” diameter metal tubes. This scheme allows the wings to be quickly installed at the flying field for ease of model transport. Take care to ensure the wing mounting tubes are accurately glued in place on the mounts, and that you do not accidentally glue the wing spars into the mounting tubes.

The removable battery hatch can be adjusted in size as needed. There is room for Ni-Cad batteries, although a lipo battery will give longer flight times.


Full scale Blackburn plane in flight

Full scale Blackburn Type D monoplane showing cabane flying wire attachments

Do check out TurboCAD video training information for your own plane plans. Before first flight, check that you have a large enough flying area, and with calm winds if your first flight is outdoors. The Blackburn has plenty of lift with its generous wing area and will take off at a low airspeed. The rudder and elevator are large enough for smooth and positive control.

You will find your Blackburn is fun and easy to fly, with a large enough size to easily keep in sight. In summary, the Blackburn Type D monoplane is an easy to build semi-scale RC model airplane that flies as great as it looks.

Author: Gordon McKay

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