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1/20th scale Vought SBU-1

This model was built back in 2013 for the open scale electric class (using a Voodoo 25). I entered it at the Indoor Nats in 2013 and 2014, and both times, after a smooth take-off and climb out, the model smashed head on into the wall. The second time the motor flew out of the model tangling all the wires around the prop and pulling off the battery tag. On getting home, the SBU went straight in the loft where it has sat for the next 6 years.

In 2021 I decided to rescue it and convert it back to rubber power, which only took three days, and added another model to the lockdown fleet of models waiting to be trimmed. At the same time I had a go at sorting out the partially drawn CAD plan I had used to build it. I know the model flies OK, so here is the result. Only the rubber powered version has been drawn up but conversion back to electric would not be complicated. I rather wish I had built in the rear peg anchorage points right from the start just in case they were needed later - it would have saved a certain amount of butchery when I did the conversion to rubber power!

This photo shows the model structure, with the covered and doped lower wing installed in the fuselage. One change I made on the plan was to get rid of that sloping former in front of the pilot - it doesn't look great. With the revised version you can mount a vertical instrument panel on F6A. I also adjusted the position of the rear interplane strut location on the upper wing to a more scale-like position.

This photo shows the lower fuelage keel in position. To ensure a straight, sharp edge at the centre I used a piece of 1/64" ply with soft balsa block glued to each side. Note also the slots for the rear undercarriage legs to slide into.

Here you can see the notepaper wing fillet in place. You could equally well fit these after covering the fuselage.

On the original electric version I reproduced the distinctive ribbing on the crankcase using strips of thin plastic card. It looks quite good if you have the patience. I confess I didn't do it again for the rubber version.

The three 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

Click here to download plan sheet 2 as a pdf

Click here to download plan sheet 3 as a pdf

Click here to download 1/16" parts sheets as a pdf (A3)

Click here to download 1/8" parts sheets as a pdf (A4)

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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