BD-4 – Aircraft of the Month

The Bede BD-4 was designed by Jim Bede in the late 60’s with a first flight in 1968.

I actually got to attend a few of his aircraft design workshops at Oshkosh in the early 2000’s

The design features all metal construction with some innovative construction methods such as a un-braced tubular spar and a truss fuselage sheet-ed in aluminum.

The main Engine choice is a O-360, despite it’s humble looks the cruse speed is in the 170 knot range that is 50 – 60 knots faster than a PA-28 or C-172 that use the same base engine.

Kits are still available through the Jim Bede web site:

The EAA page for the BD-4 has a bunch more info including the sport aviation magazine article year / months for anyone who is interested:—c/bd-4

Fred Reese designer of the RC Cloud Dancer series along with several other RC models made a 51″ plan in 1975:

Jeffair Barracuda – Aircraft of the Month

Geoffrey Siers was a former RAF pilot and engineer for Boeing developed the Barracuda in the 1970’s.
Its all wood construction and Geoffrey was inspired by de Havilland Mosquito
For those with an EAA membership you can check out all the sport aviation articles online for this aircraft. here is the EAA page on the Barracuda:—c/barracuda
According to the EAA web page plans and kits are no longer available but existing projects may be on Barnstormers (, Trade-A-Plane (
Not too many videos on YouTube for it due to the development fan fair being decades ago and not too many are built.

There is a small FB group:

Sun-n-Fun in Lakeland has had one on display for decades now:

When I was in EAA chapter 99 (Vero Beach Fl / 04 – 08′) one of the chapter
members Ernie was building one, here is a few under construction photos from


I could not find any RC options on outerzone but with a good amount of photos of it on the Internet Cad’ding one up would not take too long for someone with the right skills.

RFB Fantrainer – Aircraft of the Month

The RFB Fantrainer was Developed and manufactured by German aircraft company Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH (RFB) in the late 70’s early 80’s. 50 of them where built and used by Luftwaffe and the Thai Airforce.

The aircraft is actually turbine powered with a Allison 250 C30 turboshaft, 480 kW (650 shp) motor driving a ducted fan.

The aircraft’s purpose was to give the much needed training to new military pilots so they could transition into high performance aircraft like the F4 Phantom and F-104 Star fighter.

I first learned about the aircraft buying a RC model of one from a hobby shop in the mid 90’s made by hobby dynamics.

The Fan Trainer is a popular RC model as well.

Outerzone has 2 plans for the Fan trainer including the one from Hobby Dynamics that I had.

Both would be well suited to modern electric power.

Symmetry – Aircraft of the Month

The Symmetry is a one off Aircraft designed by Cory Bird who works for Scaled Composites. I got to see it in person at Airventure 06′. It’s very impressive to see the fit and finish of the aircraft. Reading up on the aircraft history Cory built the aircraft for personal use and not turn it into a kit or plans. Kind of like movies that are a one off with out sequels / prequels / remakes makes for a unique in memorable experience. Pictures above and below are ones I took at the show.

Airshow ID card with some of the details

It’s actually a 2 seat aircraft, his wife has gone on many flights with him.

A very Clean T tail with counter balances reminiscent of a P-51 mustang.

The Tail wheel is retractable to but the main gear is fixed.

Inlet and exhaust details

Considering its debut from the Early 2000’s I was not able to find any flight videos of it on YouTube.

There are quite a few article’s about the aircraft however:

There are no RC aircraft I can find but it would be a prime candidate for a 3D printed electric powered aircraft.

The Eclipson Model D2 is similar to the Symmetry

A-10 Warthog – Aircraft of the Month

With the recent War in Ukraine I was thinking about how the A-10 is still a very relevant and highly effective weapon system. While I’ve worked on several military aircraft the engineering behind the A-10 has always impressed me more than anything I got a chance to work on. It was born from bloody lessons learned in the Vietnam. The design was driven by the needs of the solders on the ground, the aircrews and maintainers. A lot can be learned from this mindset when it comes to military hardware design.

The first flight was in 1972 and it entered service in 1977, the production run was only 8 years with over 700 built.

There is quite a few videos on YouTube about the aircraft here are a few:

Of course the A-10 has quite the attitude, here some classic memes:

The A-10 is also a popular R/C model with many brands, sizes and power available:

E-Flite has 2 options, a 30mm EDF and a 64mm EDF

30mm EDF,
64mm EDF
Amazon has a ton of A-10 Merch as well:

For starters how about a 30mm dummy round as a conversation starter, ender or just general pilot cave decoration

Lets not forget some proper air show attire:

Revell has a very detailed 1:48 Scale A-10 with over 160 parts:


Ultimate Biplane – Aircraft of the Month

This Aircraft of the Month is the Ultimate Biplane, while its not too common to see one of its 4 variants at the local airport, it likely has the highest count of different RC options of any aircraft Ive seen short of WWII War Birds. Type in “Ultimate Biplane” into google or YouTube and most of what you will is RC aircraft.

3 of the variants are on power and the related increased structure required (100, 200 & 300hp) along with a 2 seat option of the 300 hp version.

The aircraft first flew in 1985 and is offered as a kit. To my surprise its not listed on EAA’s homebuilt aircraft listing online.

Controlling interest and plans are available through the web site.

I think its one of the sharpest looking biplanes out there (beyond my favorite the SNS7 Hyperbipe) and its totally baffling on why this aircraft is not more popular with the IAC crowd that’s dominated with Pitts, Extras & Decathlons.

There are not too many videos of the actual aircraft but here are a few I was able to find.

As mentioned above the RC options are plentiful, one of the few scale kits I had was a Carl Goldberg Ultimate Biplane

Here was my UB in the back, While I still have the air frame I think this may be the only photo I have of it together.

Like many Carl Goldberg models Outerzone has the plans for the same model I built:

And for some RC videos:

Republic RC-3 Seabee – Aircraft of the Month

The Seabee was introduced just after WW2 with over 1000 examples built. Not the most common sea plane built. Most may know it from 1974’s 007 Man with the Golden Gun. James Bond fly’s a Seabee in south east Asia to Scaramanga’s hide out on a Island. N87545 S/N 105.

More on this particular aircraft can be found at:

While working on Engine component designs for FlyCorvair, one of the guys name Gus had a Seabee restoration project going, it was very interesting to see the construction of this aircraft in its disassembled state.

Quite a few YouTube videos of this aircraft can be found, here are a few captivating ones;

For RC options, Outerzone has 4 plans listed but the 1977 from RCM is likely the best:

Osprey 2 – Aircraft of the month

Osprey 2 C-FVOV.JPG

The Osprey 2 is a 2 place side by side sea plane featuring wood construction and was created by the same designer (George Pereira) of the GP-4 (see previous Aircraft of the month article)

This aircraft first flew in 1973 with over 500 examples built

They have one on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh Wi, the EAA web site has sport aviation articles going back to 1970.—q/periera-osprey-i-and-ii

Plans and Parts are still available for anyone looking to build one at:

While i was not able to find any RC aircraft of the Osprey, there are quite a few that have a bit of a resemblance on Outerzone

Laddie Mikulasko Designer of all kinds of RC aircraft with several Seaplane options has the Laker, a 70″ model from 1979

Ken Willard another well known RC aircraft designer has a few options as well

Likely best known for the Seamaster 40 & 120, ACE RC produced kits from the late 80′ and had ARF options as well:

Seamaster 40:

Seamaster 120:

I won a Seamaster 40 ARF at an auction back in the mid 2000’s not a bad performer but a higher power motor like a 60 or a modern electric setup is really needed for best performance.

As a side note the Anderson Kingfisher is also a similar homebuilt to the Osprey however not as many have been completed. I did a article on the Kingfisher in march 2020

Spartan Executive – Aircraft of the Month

The Spartan Executive is one of my Favorite Vintage aircraft, there where only under 40 of them built between 1936 to 1940.

There is usually one or two of them that show up to Airventure or Sun-N-Fun each year.

Back when I was at ERAU I designed a Spartan Executive inspired modern aircraft on Catia powered by a M-14P Radial Engine:

Hallmark has a nice Christmas Tree Ornament that can also be a good desk model of the Spartan Executive:

Wings of Texaco has a larger model of the aircraft:

Current RC options are limited, outerzone has 1 plan and its actually from 1938 about half way through the production run of the actual aircraft.

LCKA in Australia has a 93″ Plan at:

& the Laser cut kit:

With global shipping challenges this may be a difficult product to get into the states however for readers down under it’s a good option.

Of course with modern CAD systems, a ton of images of the aircraft it would be an easy job for a modern 3D printer to make a very detailed RC version. The Anycubic Chiron is an excellent large format 3D printer for PLA, LW-PLA, ABS and other filaments. I did a write up of this printer almost a year ago: