Plan Download Page

Portsmouth Aviation Aerocar

It's taken a while, but I'm pleased to finally be able to present the plan for my much missed Portsmouth Aerocar, which flew away at the 2013 Oxford Dreaming Spires meeting. It's on three A2 sheets, plus an extra sheet with parts for the card jig I used to assemble the fuselage halves.

Here is the jig in action. The base pieces of the jig are glued between the vertical keel and formers to keep everything square when viewed from the top. The base of the jig can be pinned to the building board to keep it flat. The fuselage uprights are simply taped to the card formers to pull the fuselage frames to their desired postion before inserting the 1/16" sq. cross pieces. When the glue is dry, carefully remove the tape, and cut away any bits of the card formers you need to to release the fuselage.

A couple of bare bones shots will hopefully help prospective builders, as there are some areas not fully detailed on the plan. I added an instrument coaming on top of the nose block for instance, which you can see in this view. Note also the local balsa fill-in where the upper engine intakes sit.

The wing must be covered, shrunk and doped before fitting to the fuselage, and before fitting the tail booms, otherwise you can't hold it flat while shrinking the tissue. Note the fuselage was covered on the sides and bottom with black tissue so that it looked dark inside when you peered through the windows.

The view should help with the cockpit framing details, plus the fairing pieces between the wing and upper canopy windows. These were carved from soft balsa. The grey areas have been given an undercoat to give an idea of what the various joins and blocks will look like under a coat of paint. The interior cockpit framing was also painted grey. Only the left and right upper windows have to be plunge moulded - all other panels were cut from the Tesco cream doughnut packaging window material and attached with Formula 560 canopy glue. The grey paint helped to fill a few gaps between panels. Final canopy framing was applied using strips of silver painted decal film.

This shot shows the semi-retracted mainwheels (just make one from balsa and cut it in half) plus the blue cheat line. Vents on the engine cowlings were simulated with squares of grey painted decal film. Note the intakes on the right hand side of both engine nacelles.

If anyone builds it and has any questions about construction or finishing, then please drop me an email and I'll see if I can remember what I did!

The four plan sheets are A2 size, and can be tiled to suit the paper in your printer using Acrobat reader.

Click here to download plan sheet 1 as a pdf (19 KB)

Click here to download plan sheet 2 as a pdf (25 KB)

Click here to download plan sheet 3 as a pdf (186 KB)

Click here to download plan sheet 4 as a pdf (5 KB)

Portsmouth Aviation used to have a very nice pdf document available on their website all about the Aerocar, with photos, history and a 3-view. It seems to have been removed now, so I'm hoping they won't mind if I include it here - it's a very useful reference. Click here to download (2.83 MB). I used this 3-view for my model, but tweaked it to better match the photos I had. You will notice that the cockpit and cabin windows are different, amongst other things. Another point I noticed - the prototype Aerocar seems to have had a modification done to the rear fuselage at some stage, presumably to give more headroom. This changed the simple pointed shape of the rear fuselage, and altered the rear window shape. This is illustrated by the two photos below:

The photo above also illustrates clearly the colour transition in the tail booms between metal at the front and silver-doped fabric at the rear.

To read and print the pdf files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free download from Make sure you have version X or higher to obtain the tile printing facility.

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