Airborne Magazine

Chandelle Picture

As its name suggests Chandelle is a good looking sports aerobatic model that's nice to watch and beaut to fly

by Don White

The Chandelle is a good looking, responsive low wing sports model, with a wing span of 1.54 metres (5ft.) 4 channel radio, flying weight of 2.375 kg (5 1/4 lbs.) power is an Enya C X 40 2 stroke with a 10x6 propeller, with this power it can fly vertical for some distance before dropping off.


Chandelle Picture

Starting with the right wing laying the main spar straight on the plan, line up the ribs on the spar and glue in place remember that rib W2 is ply for landing gear, next glue in the top main spar and the leading edge allow sufficient balsa so that the 1.5 mm top and bottom sheeting can butt into the back of the leading edge. Shape the trailing edge to suit the contour of rib then glue in place. Now glue in the sheer webs and gussets at the wing tip ribs.

After building the "skeleton" wings remove from building board then glue in landing gear blocks.

At this stage all ribs are intact, W1 W2 W3 where the dihedral braces go I cut later. I prefer to do this as I find it more accurate in getting the right thickness for the braces, also I dry fit both wings which enables me to adjust any discrepancy that may occur when cutting the dihedral braces.

Glue in the leading dihedral brace only, the main brace can be glued in before sheeting the centre section.

When satisfied that all is correct lay the wing on the flat board again pin firmly the leading edge and the centre section and block up the outer trailing edge with a 10mm piece of balsa, this is to create the wash out in the wing. Now correctly fit the leading edge sheeting, and trailing edge sheeting. This should hold in position the wash out, after this turn the wing over and proceed to do the same again checking to make sure the wash out has not moved.

Roughly shape the leading edge as it is easier when the wings are in half, when satisfied join the wings together. Cut out the centre rib to suit the aileron servo, sheet the centre section of wings top and bottom using off cuts from ailerons glue in place to support torsion rods, glue on cap strips. Shape the wing tips out of solid balsa blocks hollow out for lightness. Glue in place, now sand and final shape wings. I fibre-glassed wing centre for added strength. The fairing on the underside of centre of wing was done after fitting the wing to the fuselage. The holes for the dowels are bored later.


Chandelle Picture

These surfaces are flat and very simple to construct, where the tail wheel is located a "keyhole" shape was cut to allow the tail wheel assembly to be inserted later.


This is made out of a solid piece of 9.5 mm balsa shaped to suit plan. Where the angled wire comes in contact with the rudder I cut a piece out of the corner to allow the wire to be free running and glued 2 pieces of 3mm ply on either side to act as guide. This was further strengthened by the location of the control horn as the 2 bolts holding the horn went through the plywood


Chandelle Picture

Using 2 pieces of 3mm balsa cut the sides as marked on the plan, also cut out of 1.5mm ply the doubler, glue the doubler to the balsa side. Make sure you make an opposite pair of sides, also glue on the inner side of the tail FD2 this is the tail support. Mark the inside of the fuselage for the location of the formers.

I am fortunate to have a fuselage jig which makes assembling this type of fuselage much easier.

Mark the centre of each former then glue in place F2,F3, F4, remember the fuselage is not parallel. Line up the centre lines of each former allow to dry thoroughly before installing the rest of the formers, the 6.5x6.5mm stringers will help in lining up the formers. Former F4a is glued against F4 to support the canopy, cut F4a at the top so as the canopy is flush with the turtle deck gradually tapering F4a so that it is flush with the outside of the fuselage at the cockpit floor this makes a better seating for the canopy.

Epoxy in F1 make sure this has a 2 degree downthrust, install 9.5mm angle fillets as shown.

The fuel tank is a 10oz. Dubro, this was placed in next. I can get my tank out from inside but there is an option to build an outside hatch if required, locate and dry fit the engine mount bore the holes to suit fuel lines and throttle control.

Glue in F2a the wing dowel ply doubler and the 2 3mm ply supports(R) and the wing bolt mount (P).

Trial fit the wing I found it fitted very well on first fitting, secure the wing so it does not move making sure it is aligned properly then bore the holes for the wing dowels and the wing bolts.

Chandelle Picture

At this stage I put in my servos dry assembled the tail section and installed the push rods.

The turtle deck was next to be put on out of soft balsa. It is important to make sure that the where the turtle deck joins the canopy the distance between the top of the turtle deck and the underside of cockpit floor does not exceed 54mm as the preformed canopy you can buy for this model is made to this height any higher than 54mm and you have nothing to glue to.

The front turtle deck can now be glued in place after gluing in IP at the correct angle.

Remount the engine and proceed to block in the engine surround and under fuel tank using 9.5mm balsa sheet sand to shape.

Using scrap 3mm ply cut a "keyhole" shape to match the one on top of the stabiliser (which is where the tail wheel is located). Glue in line on the underside of the tail section of the fuselage cover the bottom of the fuselage sand to shape.

Completely assemble the model and roughly balance the model to C.G. shown on plan. I found by putting the battery in front of former F4 the model balanced perfectly.


This model is covered with solar film. It is a fairly easy model to cover, the fuselage was covered in 3 sections the bottom, the sides and the 2 turtle decks, the joins on the side were made so as they were under the striping. The wing and tail colour trim is out of very thin vinyl cut on a laser type machine by Peter Harris, the edges trimmed with a thin black stripe. Re-install radio gear and engine, then balance the model properly to correct C.G..


Chandelle Picture

The day was kind for a change, fine and sunny 5-10 knot wind ideal for a test flight. Motor started easy after preflight checks, all controls set at zero, trims neutral. Taxied out on the runway increased revs, model moved in a straight line and a gentle lift off executed, beautiful, model tended to nose up a little but was soon corrected with a little down trim. Flies nice and true with "hands off" no bad habits. Nice even loops, no side slip, spins quite quickly, inverted flying no problem. Now for the landing. Lined up O.K. no sudden drop when power cut, flared out just a little to a perfect landing. A delight to fly.

The model was then put through it's paces by my friend Barry Law. Barrel rolls, level rolls, circular rolls etc. Nice to watch, very manoeuvrable. I now have two "beaut" models to fly, the other being the Fairchild PT-19.


Type: Low wing R/C sport model Wingspan: 1.54 metre Length: 1.15 metre Weight: 2.37 kg Engine: .40 - .46 4 channel radio control required
Chandelle plans are available from:
Airborne Plans Service

AU$28.60 plus AU$ 2.00 P&H2

Moulded canopy AU$27.50 plus AU$6.00 p&h2

Plan No. 634

Click here to order this plan

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This page was last modified on the 19-May-02