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Fiat G.91 for Rapier L2 power

The Fiat G.91 makes a very attractive modelling subject, and I am slightly surprised no one has tackled it before. It is not the simplest shape to recreate, and the drawings were being constantly tweaked during construction. Hopefully the plan here has had all the modifications incorporated, so everything should fit together correctly. If not, please let me know!

The wing fixing method was a way round the problem of trying to generate a flat surface on the fuselage to add the wing roots. Instead, the wings are made first, covered, water shrunk and doped, then fixed to the wing mounting plates which form part of the motor trough sides. The lower fuselage stringers are added afterwards, and sheeting added round the wing roots. This also has the benefit of making them extremely strong.

Because I wanted to finish the model as one of the colourful Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team aircraft, I covered the upper surfaces with blue Esaki tissue, and the lower surfaces in white. I hoped this would minimise the amount of paint I had to add later.

The trickiest bit of the model is probably shaping the nose correctly. In some areas you will be able to fill-in with 1/16 sheet, but in other places 1/8 will be needed because of the high curvature between stringers. I shaped the inside of the chin intake fully before assembly. Hopefully these construction photos will be helpful.

The rear block is added in two halves, one either side of the keel, and must be hollowed before assembly. Final shaping is done after glueing them on. You can also see two small balsa finishing pieces at the rear of the trough, which are not shown on the plan.

In this view you can see the motor trough lined with Halfords self adhesive aluminium foil. The paint finish is my usual Humbrol enamels thinned with cellulose thinners. The fuselage markings and canopy framing are all cut from painted decal sheet, and the fin markings are home made decals.

With a long nose, and quite a bit of balsa up front, I had to add a bit more negative incidence to the tailplane to prevent it gliding nose-heavy. The set up now is roughly plus 1 degree on the wing, minus 3 on the tailplane. This has now been incorporated into the plan.

Total weight without a motor was 23 grams, which I was very pleased with.

First flights took place at the Old Warden Aeromodelling weekend in May 2006. As usual, a small drag tab was needed on one wingtip trailing edge to straighten the glide as much as possible, but no nose or tail weight seemed to be needed.

The first flight was with an 80 mN rated Rapier L2 LT, which had enough power to give a very pleasing sortie, with the model settling into a wide right circuit and gently climbing. This was followed by two flights using 110 mN rated standard L2 motors, which showed a similar flight pattern, but gaining a bit more height. The model looked very stable and showed no tendency to drop a wingtip.

Click here to see a video of the model's second flight taken at Old Warden Aeromodelling weekend May 2006 (3.3 MB)

Thanks to Graham Potter for the video footage.

Although I chose the Frecce Tricolori scheme, there are plenty of other possibilities. Germany, Italy, Greece and Portugal all flew the G.91, and there was even one painted in US markings when the Army were trying it out. If you really want to show off, Portugal had some gorgeous tiger meet aircraft painted up in full stripes. Do a search on to see some examples.

Just another thought. This model is 13 span, so you could think about adding a prop and flying it rubber powered as a peanut!

If you have any specific questions about building or flying the model, just drop me an e-mail .

To read and print the pdf file you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from

The plan should print off full size if you set your printer settings in Acrobat Reader to A4 paper, even if it has got different sized paper in the printer, and page scaling to "none" (or 100%) . If in doubt, check against the scales or small T shapes on the parts sheets which are spaced 50 mm apart.

The bitmaps in the zip file are all 1000 x 1600 pixels, and scanned at 150 dpi. So if you print the images with a page width of 6.67 inches (1000/150) they should come out full size.

Click here to download the plan as a pdf file (176 KB)

Click here to download the plan as zipped bitmap files (177 KB)

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