Plan building – What do you think?

Plan building – What do you think?

In today’s fast-paced world we are surround by many things that give you instant satisfaction, and the RC community is not immune to this reality. At any given flying field on any given day, you will find a majority of aircraft are assembled from an ARF (Almost ready to Fly) kit.  Occasionally you will find a plane that is made from an actual kit (box of balsa with plan blueprints include in the package). The first though that comes to your head is “this guy has a lot of time on his hands”.   On very rare occasions you find one plane that is made up from just the plans (like the ones we feature in Model Airplane News every month), and now your jaw drops. I know you guys are out there and I see a number of scratch built planes at scale and other contest I attend each year.

          Our question for you is do you think is it good that we have plans in Model Airplane News every month? Or do you think that maybe 4-times a year would be good? Maybe you’re the person who believes we do away with them altogether. Now you have your chance to stand-up and let us know what you think.  Do you think building aircraft from plans a dying craft, or is it very much alive?

Leave your comments below.

Updated: September 9, 2011 — 10:25 AM


  1. I think the true modeler is the person that build from plans. This give them the true sense of what makes an airplane fly. It also provides the modeler the freedom to apply their own preferences for color schemes. I have built ARFs when I needed a plane to fly right away. I build kits when I see a plane that I really like. But, I get the most satisfaction from building and flying a plane from plans especially when I take a 40 size and enlarge it to a 60 or 90 size.

    Keep the plans coming monthly!!

  2. Hello; I don’t think it is a dying art but I do think that fewer people are building from plans or kits! I build from kits but I have added up all the things required to complete the kit and then compared it to the ARF from the same company and the kit is not that much cheaper. I know some guys don’t have the time to build from plans or kits but I have to think that there is much more satisfaction from seeing the plane you built from a kit or plans fly for the first time. Just my two cents worth. George Moulton

  3. Flying for me is only half of the fun. Building is the other half. It’s a craft that teaches problem solving, attention to detail and patience. It becomes a skill that translates to every area of life. I am an art school graduate, former design instructor and working independent graphic/industrial designer and as such I don’t have a “lot of time on my hands”. But the time I invest in model building is very relaxing and gratifying. So, you’ve guessed my answer to the question: yes, keep the plans!! For me there’s almost nothing that’s more fun than making something from nothing.

  4. I am from the ‘old school’ when planes were built from kits or scratch from plans. I also prefer nitro engines to electric, although I can see the advantages of electric: less messy, easier to set up, etc. For me, tinkering is part of the aeronautic aura. I like nothing more that seeing a stack of balsa, birch, and hardware being moulded into an aircraft by my hands. I would like plans every month: especially some of the planes from the ’30’s and 40’s. They could be either military or civilian aircraft.

  5. I am new to flying, started 1.5 years ago. I have purchased serveral ARF’s and a couple of RR models. I’m just about finished with the Tower Hobbies Fun 51 kit. I found it fun to learn to build but discovered there is much more to learn. I have purchased the Balsa USA Trainer that has in depth instructions for the build to help me learn proper methods.

    My reason is that if I can build I will learn details about how and why things work. This will enhance my enjoyent. It will allso enable me to do repairs more profieciently.

    So build articles are interesting to me at this time.

  6. I would much rather build my own. That way I know how it is built and I know what I have. I have 17 large scale aircraft, and I have built every one except 1. By the way, I don’t see plans in my subscription every mounth. I can’t remember the last time I received a set . OH WAIT it was when I bought an issue from the HOBBY SHOP. It would appear that subscribers don’t receive plans. What’s up with that???

  7. Keep the plans in the magazine, I have no better feeling than to build from a plan and fly the results.

  8. More plans, please! I enjoy cooking. The right way, from scratch. Same goes for building. Creating anything results in self satisfaction. Your plans are great.

  9. I would much rather build my own . That way I know what I have. I have 17 large scale aircraft, and I have built every one except 1. As far as plans every mounth, I have yet to receive 1 set. The last one I received was when I purchased an issue from the hobby shop. Do subscribers not get these plans, or is it just when you by the issue at a news stand or hobby shop?

  10. Keep the plans coming. Even if I never build another plane, I always spend more time studying a good plan than I spend reading the other articles in the magazine. I read them too, but the plans are great.

  11. I loved your article it points out what is wrong in today’s world. No one wants to take the time to build something with their own two hands and see their project come together. Problem solve an issue to make your aircraft fly better. Everyone wants it now, now, now. No one has the patience anymore, and that is a bad thing. I love plans, and recently came up with plans for a Dehavallid Mosquito to build using electric motors. But my other love is IC motorsas well. I say build your own aircraft and learn new skills


  13. Yes, please keep it monthly! It’s the main reason I buy RC magazines, without it I won’t have an interest in your magazine except for those few times a year you do run plans.

  14. Yes, PLEASE keep up with continual plans building coverage, and PLEASE stop with all the overdone electric airplane coverage. Leave electrics to their dedicated magazines. Please?

    Robert Horning

  15. Personally, I enjoy plan building. From cutting out the parts to final finishing. I don’t think it hurts to have a plan every month, at a minimum one every other month would work for me. Every new flyer I talk to at our field tells me they would like to build a plane from scratch one day and I tell them it’s easier than you think. Yes it takes more time but there is something more satisfying about building your model airplane and seeing it fly. Not to say that ARF’s are bad, they do allow you to get in the air quickly. And that is important to many people.

  16. Definitely continue to include plans every month. Thats one of the reasons I subscribe to MAN.

  17. I live in Ocala, Fl. I would say 30 to 40 % of the planes flown here are either built from a kit or plans. Our club usually has a building contest every year starting in the fall when the “snowbirds are back. We have some fantastic builders in our club. Almost all the members are retired, and our community has a flying field on the premises. I fly 4 to 6 days a week depnding on weather conditions. I always have 3 or 4 MAN Plans waiting to be built. It’s Heaven.

  18. Put into print ,plans to build by and people will build.4 plans per year sounds plenty.I know I enjoy seeing them evev if I can’t build them.I almost enjoy building planes than flying them.I flew my first RC in 1950.Stearman tri.homebuilt radio too.

  19. I would like to see more plans. Granted, I am an old time modeler and ARFs have a place, but there are still a few modelers left out here.

  20. I have been building airplanes for 50+ years and love it! Absolutely continue including plans in every issue, I might not like every plane featured but the majority I do. Reading the construction article gives many innovative tips and techniques.

  21. Just leave it as it is, don’t change a thing, or maybe a little bit more on building. You know, there’s nothing like the smell of balsa. I’ve been flying since 1991 and still loving it.
    Just like ED wrote, it’s nice to have tips and exchange some to.
    Thanks, Robert Dupuis

  22. I have been in the hobby since 1971 and the first RC model I built was from plans (Ken Willard’s BT-70) I still love building from plans and I would like to see one plans article per month. Some of your competition in Europe do it and include the plans for free with the issue.

    Dennis Sumner

  23. scratch built is a way to relax, keep the fingers nimble and the mind sharp as one goes through various airfoil designs and construction. As America ages, this will be increasingly important.

  24. So ro I been the hobby in 1982 and im happy to do no mara who do or dont i am mexican from Queretaro Qro and i like to see more plans

    Agustin Sierra

  25. I’ve built many models from MAN plans and those from other sources and I hope to continue to do so. Please continue with monthly plans and construction articles – to me those are still the heart of the hobby!

  26. I’m a big fan of the scratch build articles. I’ve learned a lot from them over the years. I started with kits and have only scratch built a few. I have plans to do a good P-39 since nobody kits one anymore. I too was bitten by the ARF bug in the last decade but the satisfaction of flying your own creation (kit is almost as good as scratch) more than makes up for the time and effort worth it takes to build.

  27. I got back into the hobby about 6 yrears ago after retirement, and have a mix of ARF’s and home builds. I love seeing a plane take shape over the days and weeks involved, and the end result is not a clone of several others like it at the field. Keep the plan articles, please.

    Ray Lemke

  28. There should be at least one set of plans in each issue. When I first got involved with the hobby every magazine had plans in it. The ARF wasn’t on the scene yet and if you wanted a plane you built it.
    Today I still built 99% of all my planes. Foam for me is the new building material as I can experiment and change designs quickly. Also if I happen to build a plane I am less than pleased with I am out less than $5.00.
    Plans are still of great value to exploring new designs and improvement of old designs.

    Thank You,

  29. I guess we have to be retired to have the time we need to build by plans, kits or scratch. I enjoy the art of building and the gratification of the flight. Although many of the new people buy ARF’s to get into the air quickly, some will try a kit and eventually build scratch from plans. I don’t read the magazine for the ads. I read it for the info.

  30. I enjoy building and I have one model (a Daddy-O) that I have been working on since 2008. However, I seem to be called to use my time away from work for other activities. Despite this, I still have the time to read. The build articles allow me to live and learn vicariously through others that do have time to build. Please keep these articles alive!

  31. I love to build, from plans, kits or generate my own plans and go from there. I use arfs to get in the air quickly while I work on my “real” plane. I would like to see plansfor IMAA size planes whether it is once a month or once a year and smaller size plans the rest of the time. I agree the build along articles are a great way to learn a new tip or idea and a lot of them can be used for the arf articles. After all an arf is a kit someone else built to a point for you, you still have to finish it.

  32. Eu estou à pouco tempo no aeromodelismo, mas penso que o aeromodelismo não é somente aprender a voar, mas também construir o avião que vai voar, pois apesar de o meu primeiro aeromodelo ser de um kit ARF, minha próxima etapa daqui a uns meses, será construir um aeromodelo. Portanto não deixem de publicar uma planta todos os meses.

  33. I like building. It is very relaxing and good for stress not to mention the feeling you give yourself looking at the finished plane and being able to say “I built that from scratch”. You should not do away with plans and it is the first atricle I look for each month when I get my magazine.

    Bert Hedge

  34. YES! absolutely include a plan in every issue. 1 have been building for 70+ years and as a kid it kept me off the streets and building with my father. To me building and flying YOUR creation is the essence
    of this hobby.
    Thank you,
    Jim DeCanio

  35. Hi
    I built my first U/C model when I was 12 years old. I am a member of the “Can Do” generation, born in the 1940s.

    Model avaition and RC aircraft building and flying inspired me to join the United States AirForce where I was a Jet Fighter Mechanic and Crew Chief for 4 years.

    I left the USAF to work at Kennedy Space Center on the Saturn 5 Apollo missions that resuted in 12 American Astronauts on the moon. Many of them were Modelers before they were pilots and then astronauts…designing building and flying Model Airplanes Inspired them to become the best they could be.

    Yes, I think you should put plans in every issue as a continuing inspiration for our younger RC’ers (and not so young ons ) to use their brains and hands and experience the satisfaction of doing something worthwhile instead of paying someone else in a foriegn country to decide how the Model will be built,and what color covering it will have and how it will fly…if it flies.

    RC airplanes are Not Rocket Science but you can learn so much from building them the way You want and flying them safely and modifying them to experiment with new ideas of performance or endurance or whatever you want… the only limit is your imagination.

    Thank You,
    Jim Ferrell

  36. I am a 75 yr. and used to build lots of models from plans in MAN,Air Trails, I even built a Thermic 100 sailplane at age 13 from a kit (lots of cutting out parts), also 3 or 4 other model building magazines that featured plans in there monthly issues. Thats how they sold more magazines to the old real model builders. It was real challange to start from a small bit of balsa. it sounds like dennis reads Mag’s from England and Germany. keep it going MAN.

  37. YES! Absolutely include a plan in every issue.
    Building and flying your own creation is the essence
    of this hobby

  38. You need to have at least one plan in each issue. Building your own Model and then flying it, is the best feeling of all about this hobby. I know that the revolution going on with RTF, BNF and PNP is the fuel that is expanding the sport. But, I think that once in, the new comers will turn to building their own model if they are encouraged often enough and are provided with plans that turn them on.

    Keep them flying

    Dick Bowers

  39. I’ve been building for over 30 years, with quite a few from Model Airplane News plans. While I have mostly ARFs right now, I still enjoy the plans, and have some ready to build again. The articles usually have many good learning tips in them. Keep them every month.

    1. Absolutley keep them! I have been building model’s for 72 yrs.
      Just finished BalsaSA Taube. My grandson, in the Marines,
      loves modeling as I do. I taught him how to fly at 9 yrs. of age.
      Because of that love he is an instuctor now on Helicoptor’s.
      Please. the young people need to learn how to build and it also
      teaches them patience! THANK YOU!

  40. What kind of satisfaction can one derive from opening a box, putting a few pieces together and go fjy? I have built two full-size (Sidewinder and Acro II) and built models from kits, plans, and an ARF. Kits and plans are the way to go, but it’s harder and harder to find craftsmen anymore. Keep up with the plans, please.

  41. I have been building for 61 yrs. Keep the plans coming every month. I would like for them to be scale plans.

  42. I’m now 66, which means I built my first flying built-up stick and tissue model 59 years ago. All through my aviation career I’ve considered myself a flying modeler.

    It’s been a while since I’ve ordered a plans set from MAN. Now that I see that I might lose the privilege, I intend to start ordering ones I like again. Please continue publishing the monthly plans.

    Thank you

  43. I am a builder. I design my own airplanes using a CAD program, and have my parts cut locally using a laser engraver. I am one of those “weirdos” who would rather build than fly.

    My principal enjoyment when reading modeling magazines is reading construction articles and learning new techniques from other builders (this might explain my preference for “Brit” modeling magazines).

    Keep up the construction articles! ARF reviews are the last thing I look at.

  44. I’m sure that the ARF’s have there place in this busy world, but as a builder for over 50 years, I can tell you that there is no greater satisfaction than flying a model that you have built, either from scratch, plans, or kit. Please continue the plans and construction articles.

  45. Like many, I started in this hobby many years ago, building first from kits, then plans, then scratching. I also have ARFs and I see a place for all forms in not only my hangar, but many others’ too. Whilst building from plans isn’t for everyone, and sometimes takes far more time than we at first imagine, I personally believe that building from plans has made me much more “in tune” with my models. I know their strengths and potential weaknesses, and if and when the model is damaged, I have a much better idea of how to fix and salvage it. If I had simply purchased an ARF, I might be inclined to simply throw the wreckage away and purchase another. Whilst I don’t critisize those that do this, I feel they miss out on some great and satisfying modeling moments, and a chance to add to their skill set.

    Keep the plans coming guys. I think stopping that would be a HUGE mistake for the modeling industry in general and MAN in particular.

    Greg Thompson

  46. I’ve been building models since 1972. Most of the models, in your hangar, are 3D, miniature-sport types. I am currently building a 1/5 scale Palmer OV-10A, electric. Your plans are great for those not interested in Giant-sized craft. Keep ’em coming. The hobby needs all the builders it cna find.

  47. My Grandfather taught me, at age 5, to build small model airplanes, while my dad was away to WWII. I did not know at that time how much I was going to enjoy the hobby he had started me on. Through the small models, the “U” control models, the free flight models, RC models and on into drawing and building my own models I have spent countless hours of pleasure. There is nothing like drawing, building a model and then to see it take to the air, fly and then land successfully. I have many drawings with MODEL AIRPLANE NEWS printed on them. I would like to see more not less. Each one is a learning project.
    Many thanks, Glenn

  48. Keep up with the plans. There are a lot of us sho LOVE TO BUILD!!! Don’t let this become a ‘forgotten languange’

    Grumpy Gorilla

    1. HAY GREG

  49. I think the plans should continue, however, I suggest it would be more useful if you added some of the aspects of the British publishers,such as the ability to order a particular kit/plan and receive instructions and laser cut parts biweekly until the model is completed. This would accommodate the expert builder as well as the beginner. This would give the newer pilots experience in building along with confidence in repairs after crashes of the ARF. For me not with years experience in building it is too intimidating of a project. otherwise.

  50. Ed
    Absolutely! Please keep the hobby of building models going. While I like the looks of the ARFs, well for the most part, there is nothing more satisfying then building your own – from plans or your own design.

  51. I have been involved with flying model airplanes simce I was 12, (i’m now 56), my dad got me started. Back then all you could do was build, and I think the hobby is worse for all the ARF’s, and ‘puter flying. Half of the hobby to me is being proud of the plane you built, and how you customized the color schemes. Nowadays, the flight line is filled with the same planes…exactly alike?!?
    That said I have 6 of the UMX Park flyers and enjoy just stepping outside and flying in my smallish yard. On the ‘net the other day, I found a website that makes kits for these 2.4 Ghz micro radio systems, I jumped to order one of their kits, and I can’t wait to build this little 20″ WS plane, and tear down that flimsy Extra 300 3D, and use the electrics in the kit.

  52. Even though I have not yet built a model from plans, the aircraft plans are the first thing I turn to each month. I love to study them and the construction techniques. I have ordered a set of plans for a Peitenpol Air Camper and someday will build it.

  53. I have never owned an ARF or RTF airplane and will not do so. Ihave building for more than 55 years and will continue unitl the day i die. Put more building in MAN before I decide to cancel.

  54. My very first kit, a Contender, went together rather easily and I thought this building is easy. However, the iron-on covering has had me scratching my head and I have struggled over it for some time. As soon as my ambition returns I plan to finish it up and get it in the air. Maybe with a little more experience on my part the covering will cooperate better.

  55. My very first kit, a Contender, went together very easily and it was fun seeing it take shape. However, when I tried the iron-on covering I struggled making it lay down flat. Maybe after more experience on my part the covering will cooperate better and I can finish it and go flying. I will definitely try another kit before long.

  56. Every time I find plans in MAN it is for me a special issue!
    There is by now a big modeler community in which people have never built a model and, sometime, they are neither able to repair it. I understand the market pressure, but aero modeling is not only buy and fly, it is also, particularly, “make”! So please put the plans every month, even more than one and you will be sure that I will subscribe for ever.

  57. I like others that have posted to date have been involved in this hobby for almost 40 years. I really enjoy the monthly construction articles. I have built some and get ideas from others.

  58. Leave the plans in. I look forward to seeing them! I do have ARFs, but still really enjoy building from plans. There is a hands on satisfaction that you can still get from building and flying something you built yourself. My dad used to hand carve sillhouette’s from blocks of balsa for the aircrews and gunners to identify during practice when he was in high school during WWII. He got into free flight and control line and passed it on to me. I am a big fan of all things scale.

  59. I like seeing the plans every month. building from plans gives you more complishment seeing that plane will fly . I building corsair from topflight.

  60. I am now 65 and have been building from plans since I was 16. A great many of my models were built from MAN and RCM plans. A time when a planset for the month consisted of three different planes, usually a freeflight, control line and an R/C plan. Building from plans is the foundation of our hobby and many of us get great satisfaction and pick up on new and different building techniques from the plans provided in the monthly Model Airplane News Magazine. The construction articles and plans are far too few now. Please keep them coming. Don’t let that facet of the hobby die.

  61. Like many, I have been flying (and building) models since the early 70’s. First, it was kits, then plans, and then scratching. Although I also own plenty of ARFs, I thouroughly recommend that anybody who can find a little time, should go through the process of building a model – even if it is only one time. Building your own model gives you a better feel for the aeroplane’s strengths and weaknesses, a better idea of how to fix what is broken, and a greater sense of satisfaction at the flying field, where your model is “one of a kind”.

    Please, by all means, keep up the plan service, and make it every issue.

    Greg Thompson

  62. I’ve been building models for some 30 years now and from my point of view constructing and building models is a very important part of our hobby. Although I don’t have enough time to build all my models from scratch and therefore have a few ARFs, I like my homebuilts better… and reading what the others do is a great source for useful tips and tricks, so from my point of view it would be great to have the plans every month

  63. I subscribe to magazines that have plans available in them. I have only purchased six ARFs since I started flying back in 1970. Most to all of my building has been from plans. Either from kits or scratch building. I even have club members that ask me if I could repair their ARFs? I do what I can and charge them what it cost me to fix it.
    When our club has a swap shop (clean out the garage time) I have no problem selling all of the planes I bring. They know how well the planes are built, have been flown, and taken care of with TLC (no extra hard landings — crashes). And some been flown very little.
    Some in the club knows that I like building more than flying. For me, the building part is the reward. Flying your creation is the icing on the cake. I am a good flier. I have received many awards and trophies (from the AMA Nats, LSF, and local contests).
    I will not knock a flier that shows up with an ARF, but if he needs help building that first plane, I’ll be there to help out if I can. The guy/gal showing up with that ARF just increases out numbers of our fraternity.

  64. Definitely continue to provide plans! I liken a good set of

    plans to buying a good book. One always learns a new

    technique or method of building. I will always remember

    thrill of seeing the many plans in the M.A.N.’s and Flying

    Models in the past. (50’s) There is no greater thrill than

    flying your own handiwork.

  65. I look forward to the plans; keep them in every issue. You can stop the helicopter articles, remember the name of the magazine!

  66. I’ve attempted a few scratch built planes in the past. Had a few unflyables but those that did fly, flew quite well. One of the techniques I’ve used is to take photos with my digital camera of an ARF, plan view and side view. I take measurements from the photo and enter it into a spreadsheet. I multiply the measured values by a scale factor. By adjusting the scale factor I can get the desired dimensions of the plane that I’m building. Then it’s a matter of designing the structural framework using techniques I’ve learned by building kits. It’s like copying someone else’s work but I have the satisfaction of flying a “scratch” built.

  67. I have been building and flying airplanes from kits and plans since I was introduced to the hobby by my father in 1970. I would love to see this type of craftsmanship continue with a plans built article every month.

    If you drop the plans built articles, the hobby will truly suffer. I think that part of the allure of our hobby used to be the pride in saying, “yes, I built this myself.” With the ARF’s and RTF’s out there today all you do now is open the box, charge the batteries and go fly.

    It is a little depressing to go to the flight line and see ten of exactly the same aircraft sitting there. It will soon get to the point that when you do have a minor mishap and need to repair a ding, you will not know how to fix what you fly! Please keep the planes built articles coming in each issue. Let’s keep craftsmanship alive in the skies.

  68. I’ve been in this hobby for 6 years. I do have a few arfs but I enjoy building from kits and plans more. It take longer but the satisfaction of seeing something you built from a box of wood or just the plans can’t be beat. Even the guys at the field with arfs enjoy seeing a good scratch or kit built plane.The next to off the building board are a cl-215 and a bf-109. Keep the plans.

  69. I don’t buid many planes from the plans in MAN but plans in every issue provide more variety and options than only 4 times a year would. I’m picky and a reduced number of plans would not have a high probability that I would be interested.

  70. I was introduced to this hobby by my father over 20 + yrs ago, and like many others scratch building was the only way to have a flyable plane at the time. Thanks Dad! i like ARF’s only because they give me the chance to fly while i am building my real airplanes. Dont get me wrong ARF’s a re great for their intended purpose but I prefer to scratch build with plans only. It is a great feeling to take a giant scale plane to the field and see the young faces drop their jaws in amazement and you can tell yourself, ” I built that” and it flies!!!

  71. I’m a younger generation model airplane builder and prefer to both design and build my own aircraft. I really enjoy the sense of accomplishment when one of my planes takes to the sky for the first time, and the ability to compare the results with the intended performance. I have been designing, building and flying for 25 years now and am disappointed that so many people are going for the instant gratification instead of learning the science behind flight. While it takes a lot of time to “build up” a plane I have gained a great amount of respect for those who have gone before us, even loosing their own lives, to advance our understanding of flight.

  72. I have been modeling for 55 years and yes I still have planes and starships hanging from my ceiling.
    It is ashame that their is a whole generation that has never felt the joy and thrill of building a plane by hand piece by piece!
    I will admit that I like Arfs, but nothing can compair to the smell of balsa dust and CA!

  73. I’ve been building from plans for 35 years and love the sensation of having a plane come to life on my building board. My biggest complaint today is the lack of modern plane designs or having to redesign older plans to fit modern building techniques, especially electric. I fly a precision aerobatics addiction ,my one arf ,and would love to be able to get plans to build planes on this level. By the way the Addiction is an incredible airplane. I think arf’s have a place in introducing new pilots to the sport, but I always wonder if after the introduction ,some of those new pilots would like to try a plane from plans ,if those plans were modern plane designs for modern power systems.I would love to see plans in every issue, even plans for flat foamies that anyone can build inexpensively and are very resistant to crashes.

  74. I have been building from plans and kits for 70 years and still enjoy doing so. It’s a shame that almost all so called hobby shops have abandoned the builders. The only real sources are all on-line now. Sorry to say that the best magazine for supporting the original hobby is “Flying Models” Model Airplane News hasn’t completely abandoned the builders as yet but is getting close. Unfortunately the ARF kits and RTF kits have been coming on the market cheaper than a build it yourself kit. I will continue to buy plans and kits and continue enjoying the hobby of building.

  75. I subscribed for the plans. I build and fly with my kids 6 and 13. The 6 year old is already soloing with a Cox Sky Ranger. The 13 year old does acrobatics.

  76. Keep the plans coming in the magazine. I am now building a 38-Special from plans that have been enlarged by 125%. I think building either from a balsa kit with plans or from plans to guide you. Most people will find that this is gift that all can enjoy and accomplish as I enjoy building and flying both RC and line control.

  77. Aircraft plans are a key element of the technology of our hobby. Whether you build from plans or not, they show you how to design and engineer an airplane. Aircraft plans can introduce young and old how to think about technical problems. Model aircraft are loaded with different engineering decplines and technologies. This includes materials, mechanics, aerodynamics. electronics,etc. These are critical skills we need in this country. For me and many others, it was airplanes and airplane plans that led to a career in engineering.

  78. Keep the plans in each issue! Look at the number of kits that have come about from someone’s hard work to produce a plane. Arfs are good when you are in a hurry, kits are great too, but building from plans make the winters shorter. There is a lot more knowledge shared through plans and flight design.
    No plans=No need for MAN.

  79. I kit built and flew rc for 10 years…1 scratch build….and then life overtook my hobby.

    That 1 scratch build wasn’t my best…but was probably one of the highlights. At that time…you never saw a Fokker in kit…plans building opened up a new world of airplanes we couldn’t readily get.

    After a 11 year hiatus, I’m back and look forward to scratch building again.

    Like it was said above, building keeps our minds working, problem solving, engineering and sometimes backwards engineering until I can see it in my mind’s eye.

    I love that part of the hobby.

    Keep the plans and tips coming!


  80. I doubt that kit builders have convereted to ARFs. However, I beleive that the growth in the hobby today is in response to the availability and cost effectivity of the ARF kit. I love the engineering that is necessary to build from plans and the satisfaction of seeing it fly. There must be room in the pages of MAN for both plans and ARF reviews.

  81. Actually I wish you would have MORE PLANS, not less. This hobby has changed so much over the years, and for me, not for the better. TOO MUCH FOAM!!!

    I am old school and prefer kits and plans to ARFs.

    PLEASE, PLEASE keep the plans and build articles coming.

  82. I can assure all of you that the plans will continue to be published in Model Airplane News each week. This overwhelming response here has confirmed what we believed was true, people still wanted to see plans in the magazine each month.
    To that end I agree, I started out building from scratch with plans then moved to kits. It actually wasn’t until I started at Model Airplane News that I started building ARF’s on a regular bases. I remember building my first ARF I could not believe the kit did not come with set plans included in the box. I mean, how are you supposed to repair it? There is a real sense of pride that come when building from plans that you don’t get from ARFs, but with an ARF I have to say that it is really nice to get a plane in the air in a matter of days as opposed to months.
    The ARFs today are truly nice, look great, and fly really well. It is now at a point where we have a hard time finding a bad ARF in all the review planes we do through-out the year. However, I can say that I have a Fokker Tri-plane kit sitting in the shop that I hope to be starting soon. When time allows, I do enjoy building, but because of my schedule I many have to rely on ARFs to get me into the air, at least for now. Hopefully, when I do have some time for building, there will still be a kit manufacturer or two out there.

  83. true today there are very few flyers who build from kits or
    from plans. I for one enjoy that phase of the hobby…in fact
    I have about 20 kits, and I know at my age I will never live to
    fuild all of them ????, but I think the plans deal should continue for the few of use who still build. the ARF’s have really taken over the hobby…rarely do you see a
    bad flyer in these as in the beginning.
    so, don’t drop the plans, keep them running


  84. Gary

    Just got back into models, RC’s, and while there are plenty of good ARF planes and I will use them , I really like the building. I built loads of kits and plans built planes when a kid , some of which through me for a loop but the learning potential is really great. Like all things one gets a sense of gratification when finish a plane and the thing flies . etc. Not to mention the ability to reconstruct a plane after a day at the field. Just a newbe at RC and have already moved or tried to move the earth out of orbit three times but going to keep plugging at it. So after all this, please keep articles about plans built planes. That is one reason I just subscribed to the magazine. Thanks

    1. Thanks for writing in Gary! Be asured we will be continuing the construction articles in both Model Airplane News and Electric Flight magazines!

  85. OH YES. We must have plans. My first scratch built was the Quicker combat model from M.A.N. back in ’57. Did the U/C route for years and the RC route thru the early 70’s. Free flight bug bit and the majority since then have been from plans. You get to choose your own parts by weight, density and use. The building to me is more than half the satisfaction of model airplanes. Now retired I will comtinue on that path. Thanks for the chance for input.

  86. I started with airplanes about 5 years ago. I thought I would ever only own 1. Well now it seems like I need one of every class(i.e. warbird, pylon, 3d etc…). I now consider myself an avid flyer. But coming down to plans/kits, I have just started my first kit of the Top Flight DC-3 and enjoying it so much I now purchased the Corsair kit as well. I now consider myself a modeler! I know it must be on the bloodline because my 2 1/2 year old son sits beside me while I work and he wants to help out so badly. Maybe it will comeback bigger then ever!

    Keep up with the plans!

  87. plans building is our hobby’s CRAFT!!!! keep it up

  88. Plans are good, like Chuck, been in the hobby for quite some time. It would not surprise me if you could start a building focused publication and have sucess. By all means keep the plans and goodies coming, the craft is very much alive.

  89. I don’t read the magazine very much precisely because it is dominated by ARFs and advertisements for ARFs. I don’t have a lot of time for my hobby, but building is an important part of the hobby for me. Without plans and discussion of building techniques, the magazine is just pure advertising in my opinion.

  90. Buiilding from plans is an art form. You can scale it up or, down depending on ones preferance. I personally like to work from plans and blue prints of the aircraft I am modeling theirby building a miniture version of the full scale aircrafts stucture.
    ARF’s, RTF’s have there place but building from plans or scratch building is the way to go. Keep the plans comming

  91. Plans are the same to me as a kit, a kit might as well be an arf, someone else did the legwork for me, including supplying the material in full to boot? It takes me longer to build from a kit, then from scratch, and plans are all super helpful, and the only reason I’d ever shell out bucks for a magazine.

    Ditch the plans and build guide, you have just send your operation to the grave. Sure, not all readers even build, but those plans are what makes the printing worth holding onto. Don’t lose them, nor cut back, each issue is going to be held onto and purchased far too often because it has plans in them…. even by the likes of me who has no formal use for them, they are good to stockpile in case I opt for the ez road some day.

  92. I have been in the hobby for over 55 years and have subscribed in the past to MAN. in the 1940s thru the 1970s, there were construction articles in each issue along with 3-view general arrangement drawings (my father Leonard Wieczorek was a contributing editor doing a GA drawing each month). Model Airplane News without a construction article each month, and how about a full size plan like many of the UK magazines provide, is not the MAN that nurtured so many individuals in this hobby. Getting back to construction will give everybody a better understanding of this wonderful hobby. MAN, keep up the good work.

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