Frog Gliders


Wren


I think this 25 inch span glider is one of the prettiest Frog models, and it should be a very simple build. You have 8 A4 sheets to tape together to create the plan, or you can download the whole thing and chop it up yourself! 3 sheets of parts patterns are also provided.

In case you are wondering how well the model can fly, here are some great reminiscences from Peter Redhead:



At the tender age of 11 in summer '55, I built my first FROG kit, the 'Wren'. What a contrast to the rock-hard printed sheet wood in the other brands - beautiful white wood, cleanly die-cut, and everything fitted! I was suitably inspired to a new high of neatness in building, with no blobs, lumps or strings to spoil the covering, and I even sanded it!

Along with two school friends, we took the newly finished model (still smelling of dope!) to the local park in Preston on a balmy Sunday morning with just enough breeze to make it easy to tow the model on a 50 foot reel of button thread 'borrowed' from mum's sewing basket. We spent two, maybe three hours taking turns to tow it up, straight as an arrow, top of the line every time, for a long wide glide circle back to earth. Finally, the luck ran out and we 'tree'd' it, although it was easily retrieved with only a small hole in the left wingtip.

We decided that it might be wise to pack up at that point, as refreshments suddenly seemed like a good idea, but we'd only just started to wind up the towline when I spotted my mum and dad walking towards us across the park on their way to catch a 'bus to Blackpool for the afternoon. 'Do you want to see my new model fly?' - of course they did! (they got no choice!). Off it went, the hole making no difference to the towing, but this time when it came off the line it started to go up, and up...When it finally disappeared over the trees at the edge of the park, my dad was so impressed that he immediately asked, 'how much was it, son?' '7s & 6d', I replied. He put his hand in his pocket and gave me a ten-bob note. I was speechless, as the only active interest he'd ever shown in my models before was the day he sat on my newly finished KeilKraft Hunter!

Later in the afternoon, there was a knock at the door, and one of the girls in our class at school stood there. 'Have you lost one of your models?' she asked. When I confirmed that I had, she went on to say that she had been playing in the backyard, and had seen a red and white model glide down to land in the yard of the corn mill which backed on to their house. When we got there and looked over the wall, there it was, with no further damage.

Of course, I forgot to mention it to dad - I hid it in the bedroom for a month, and then announced that I'd built another one, exactly like the first....As you can see, I have very fond memories of that model - my first thermal encounter, a successful retrieval (in spite of no name and address!), and a profit!



Download Wren pdf file (A4 sheets) here (240 KB)

Download Wren A4 bmp files (zipped) here (278 KB)

Download complete Wren plan as a single bmp file (zipped) here (187 KB)






Many thanks to Harry Sokol in Australia for sending me a picture of his completed Wren. He says it was a spur of the moment effort - The Wren looked so nice that he just had to make one!



Thanks to David Stapleton for sending this photo of his and Ken Ings' Wrens. David's is the one at the front and was his first attempt at building from a plan. Both the models look very well finished. David says the Wrens needed quite a lot of noseweight but flew well, his nearly ending up in the trees.



Guiye Re from Spain sent me a picture of his see-through Wren which will look splendid flying overhead on a sunny day.



I was very pleased to meet Gray, who some of you may know from his regular column for RC Model World magazine, at the Oxford Dreaming Spires meeting in 2011, where he showed me this very nicely built Wren. It was nice to hear that the part templates proved accurate, and that the model was a straightfoward build.



Thanks to Sean Meeghan for this picture of his Wren which is the larger Brankit version, stretched to 30 inch span. He says it flies very well, so much so that he intends to fit a D/T so he doesn't lose it.



The Wren continues to be a very popular plan and several more pictures have arrived - here is one buit by Dieter Notti, who added the following comments: "Thanks a lot for your great work of collecting and presenting all these models and plans. I cannot remember, how I found your website, I was looking for balsa models because I do not like foam. I loved the Wren at first sight and built one. Building from your plan, including the parts, was pretty straightforward. This was my first non-kit-model and the parts fit better than on any other model I ever built - even though I had to use metric-size balsa. Actually, there is a mistake: On the outer two formers of the wings, the slots for the main spar are completely off. Or, perhaps, I didn't look properly and used them back to front; I cut the formers oversize at both ends to adjust for the difference in inch- and metric size of the other parts. There might be changes in the finish, I want to add a blue stripe across the wing centre at the fuselage and the wooden/doped fins lack a counterpart, the nose doesn't help that. Wooden wing-tips would be the solution, but Wren doesn't have them. Perhaps coating the outsides in blue is enough. And I do want to make decals, "WREN" and the frog logo - for wings and fins. The maiden flight has to wait, because there is way too much wind here at the moment. However, I could not resist a few trimming attempts and I have to say, the Wren handles even strong wind quite well! Once it even flew slightly backwards and made a nice flat landing".



This one is by Dave Miller in the USA, who comments: Here are some pictures of the Wren that I recently built from the plans you offer. It was great fun building the Wren as I have not built a stick and tissue model in several years and never a glider. We are having the harshest winter in about 20 years here in Illinois. It will be great when we get some gentle spring weather so I can try to fly the Wren. I enjoyed Peter Redhead's reminiscence of his Wren flying and it gives me hope that my Wren will be a good flier, too. I covered the Wren with tissue wrapping from a Christmas present and gave it a lacquer clear coat. I also reinforced the nose area with wood, since it needed nose weight anyway. The wings are attached with magnets".



Here's another Wren from the USA - this one from Bob Martin, a keen member of the Flying Aces Club. Nice to see so many Frogs being built in foreign parts!



Thanks to Alan Mountford in Australia for sending details of his double sized R/C Wren. Alan comments as follows:

"I have finished a 2x size Frog Wren glider with RC control aileron and elevator. I have used half the dihedral angle of the original since I have aileron control. Today I took it to a local soccer field (actually two fields side by side) which has about a 12 foot embankment on one end where I was able to launch from. I am pleased to say that the model glided very well, reaching the halfway mark of the field launching it from that elevation. The ailerons gave good positive direction control too. Next time we get a calm day will launch with the Up-Start bungee to get more altitude. I have not flown radio control before- but have a flight simulator on which I have practiced extensively for the past year or so and have the flying towards me co-ordination well sorted."

I wish Alan success with his future flights.


Diana


Here is a rather larger, and equally pretty glider model, with a wingspan of 36". Frog described this one as a high performance lightweight sailplane. I guess Lightweight can be a relative term, but for a Frog design, this one is reasonably restrained in terms of balsa wood content!

This is the model I attempted to build during the Wilmot Mansour exhibition at Solent Skies museum, and failed miserably. It has got a little bit further, but unfortunately is still not finished. If you can do better, please send me the photos!

I have drawn up most of the parts on the five sheets, but there will still be a few bits and pieces for you to work out for yourself. If there are any serious fit problems, please let me know.

I think the fin parts are 1/16" sheet, so have labelled them accordingly. If this is wrong, again, please let me know.



Download Diana pdf file (A4 sheets) here (355 KB)

Download Diana A4 bmp files (zipped) here (405 KB)

Download complete Diana plan as a single bmp file (zipped) here (390 KB)




Thanks to Tom Ready for sending me this photo of his completed Diana. It really is a rather elegant design, as you can see. He certainly has put me to shame, as mine is still not finished!



The nostalgic among you may appreciate this photo of an original kit which was sold on Ebay (for a considerable sum!)



When you put plans up on a site like this, you obviously have no idea where in the world they are going to end up, and just to show what a great thing the internet is, here are some photos kindly sent to me by 14 year old Tibor Kertesz all the way from Venezuela. Here is his Frog Diana, and have a look below at the spectacular scenery at his flying site!









Grzegorz Ryszawy from Poland has become a fan of the old Frog designs and has built several including this nicely made Diana which he wrote up on the rcclub.eu web site.


Slingsby Skylark


Here is another pretty glider from the Frog range, this time a 27 inch span scale model of the Slingsby Skylark.

As well as the formers shown on the plan, I have drawn up the missing ones as well as creating a set of ribs on the parts sheet. The parts are ready to be transfered to a 3 inch wide sheet of 1/16" balsa. I am afraid you will have to mould yourself a canopy for this one.



Download Skylark pdf file (A4 sheets) here (200 KB)

Download Skylark A4 bmp files (zipped) here (274 KB)

Download complete Skylark plan as a single bmp file (zipped) here (193 KB)



Thanks to Andrew Darby for this photo of his very neatly finished Skylark. Andrew says hand launched glides look very good - I'll let you know when I hear how it behaves on a towline.

There was a problem with the shape of some of the formers on the printwood patterns I originally posted for this plan, but thanks to Simon Rogers, who supplied me with correct patterns, I have now updated them.



Two more Skylarks to admire - the one above was built by Chris Murdoch and the one below by David Stapleton. Thanks to both for sending me the photos.





Vespa

The Vespa dates from 1953 and is handily sized between the Wren and Diana with a 30 inch wing span. Frog seem to want it both ways, describing the model as both sturdy and lightweight - construction is typical Frog of this era, so a fairly robust airframe.

I've drawn up the wing and tailplane ribsets, plus the fuselage formers. All other patterns can be copied from the plan.

Thanks are due again to Andrew Darby for scanning the original plan in one piece for me. The pdf of the complete plan is scanned at 300 dpi, whereas the digitally cleaned up bitmap file is 150 dpi, as are all the other smaller sheets.

Download Vespa plan on one sheet as a pdf file here (627 KB)

Download Vespa plan on one sheet as a zipped bitmap file (150 dpi) here (268 KB)

Download plan on four A3 sheets as a pdf file here (372 KB)

Download plan on eight A4 sheets as a pdf file here (388 KB)

Download plan on four sheets suitable for printing onto A3 paper (zipped bitmaps) here (291 KB)

Download plan on eight sheets suitable for printing onto A4 paper (zipped bitmaps) here (297 KB)

Download parts on two A4 sheets as a pdf file here 41 KB)

Download parts on two A4 sheets as zipped bmp files here (22 KB)



David Stapleton was first off the mark with a Vespa - here is his nicely finished example. At the time he sent me the photo he was waiting for the wind to drop so he could give it a test glide.



Wasp

Here's a Frog glider you can probably make in an evening. Thanks to the efforts of of Les Saxby, I'm pleased to present the 12 inch span Wasp glider.

Les told me he was surprised (and delighted) to come across four of these kits on sale in a country garage on a holiday in Wales in the 1970's - price? Just 1 each. Needless to say he bought the lot!

The part patterns are copied from an original kit. I suspect you can get away with a hard balsa fuselage instead of obeche

Download parts, plan and instructions as a pdf file here (211 KB)



Petrel

Here's a nice simple 33 inch span glider from 1964 designed by C.T.Buffery. I've drawn up a set of wing and talplane ribs - everything else you need is shown on the plan.

The plan is presented as a single pdf which can be printed tiled to suit the paper in your printer using Acrobat reader X or newer. Alternatively you can take the file to a copy shop and they can print it on a single sheet for you. The parts sheet will print on two A4 sheets.

Download Petrel plan on one sheet as a pdf file here (2330 KB)

Download parts sheet 1 as a pdf file to print on an A4 sheet here 11 KB)

Download parts sheet 2 as a pdf file to print on an A4 sheet here 9 KB)



Len Bridge was the first to send me a picture of a finished Petrel, and very smart it looks too. Finish is Esaki tissue apart from the white Modelspan wing panels featurng ink jet printed logos.



Junior Sailplane

Many thanks to Gary Button in Australia for finding a 50 year old plan for this little gem, then getting it scanned and sent to me. The plan was in two halves, with brown sellotape marks along the join, but thanks to the editing skills of Steve at Outerzone, I am pleased to present the restored plan as one sheet, looking as good as the day it was printed. The icing on the cake is a tracing by Gary of the tailplane, which was supplied as a die cut part in the original kit.

Keep it light for best results, and I would suggest using the absolutely lightest 1/16" balsa you can find for the tail surfaces and then giving them a good sanding.

I drew up a rib set, which wasn't too onerous a task as there aren't very many of them.

If you build one (it won't take long) - please send me a picture or two and let me know how it flies.

The plan is presented as a single pdf which can be printed tiled to suit the paper in your printer using Acrobat reader X or newer. Alternatively you can take the file to a copy shop and they can print it on a single sheet for you. The rib set will print on an A4 sheet.

Download Junior Sailplane plan on one sheet as a pdf file here (337 KB)

Download rib patterns as a pdf file to print on an A4 sheet here 11 KB)



Simon Rogers was quick off the mark and built this neat example in a week, just after the plan went on-line. I await news of its flying performance with interest.



Juerg Mueller from Switzerland built this colourful example while on a skiing holiday. It was his first attempt at building such a small model and I think it looks great. One modification he did was to make a built-up tailplane to reduce the amount of noseweight needed. First flights were waiting for better weather.



Here's another nice Junior from Graham Culver, who commented: "Just thought you would like to see my first [for a very long time] attempt at stick and tissue. A Frog Junior from the plans on one of your pages. Im a keen builder of RC models, but with the recent cold weather the shed is uninviting and so I decided to amuse myself by building something on the dining room table. Its far from perfect, but flies well. I used what I had to hand and covered it in pound shop tissue with water based PU varnish. No pre shrinking - just brush on the varnish and the result was fairly nice tight covering!


General notes on printing the plans

The pdf files should print off exactly full size if you set your printer to the correctly sized paper - so A4 or A3 as appropriate. This should work even if you do not have exactly the right sized paper in the printer, as the margins have been left deliberately large. Also, remember to set the zoom to "none" or "100%". The large full plan pdf files can also be tile printed within Acrobat, and you get the option to decide how much, if any, overlap to have between sheets.

You will need Acrobat reader to view the pdf files, which is a free download from the Adobe web site

Bitmap files are also provided in case you prefer to work with those. Scanning was done at 150 dpi, and most A4 pages are 1000 pixels wide. So, for example, to print one of these out full size, you need to set the page width in your graphics program to 6.67 inches (1000/150).

The complete Wren plan is 3375 x 2640 pixels, the Diana 4900 x 3100, the Skylark 3396 x 2607 and the Vespa 4410 x 2956 - I'll leave you to do your own sums on those.




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