MUSKETEER is an excellent first radio-controlled model glider, being
both easy to build and straightforward to fly. Although it is primarily
a slope soarer, it has also been used successfully as a thermal soarer.
Musketeer is economical on building materials and is therefore cheap
to construct. It’s ideal for car or boat enthusiasts wishing to
give R/C gliding a go, since the servos and radio gear used are standard
size and can be transferred easily from an existing car / boat operating
on 27MHz. Musketeer employs rudder / elevator control.
the Musketeer plan MAG93 from MyHobbyStore. Alternatively, search
the internet for old copies of Radio Modeller, November 1995 as this was
where the plan first appeared as a free pull-out.
Even after 17 years, the prototype is still being flown for relaxation,
though originally it was designed (and indeed has been used) for training
The Musketeer has rather docile flying characteristics, while its relatively
simple design allows rapid construction (the first prototype was built
in just over ten hours - not including covering or radio installation).
The prototypes have stood up to some hard knocks and have also proved
to be easy to repair! So if it's a trainer you need or if you just want
a relaxing sports model now's the time to get whittling that wood.
Like all gliders in the Armada range, simplicity is the key note of the
Musketeer and conventional balsa wood construction is employed throughout.
Note: pdf INSTRUCTIONS are available - just "contact
us" for a copy.
MUSKETEERS FROM AROUND THE UK
Sunlight breaking through the cloud provides a wonderfully picturesque
canvas for Dave
Wheeler's Musketeer video. Dave made some modifications to his Musketeer
and flew it at the Cat and Fiddle near Macclesfield and the Mermaid,
Leek. Dave's adventures didn't stop there however: "After flying
on the slope for a while I converted it to power by simply slicing part
of the nose off and bolting on a PAW Diesel engine. This took it up
to a respectable height on a few CCs of fuel where it would thermal
In May 2013 Nick Hughes emailed the photo below, saying "I thought
you might be pleased to know that your Musketeer design is alive and well
flying off the South Downs! I came across the design while clearing away
some old magazines; it was a really nice build and it flies beautifully."
- Thanks for that Nick!
Shortly after publication, Stan Garry of Solihull sent us the photograph
below along with this comment about his Musketeer model. "I hope
you agree it looks fine and if it flies as well as it looks I'll be more
The following item is an extract from the late Reg Heath's on-line publication
"modelflight". The article details how John Wheater used a modified
Musketeer model as a test bed in preparation for the maiden flight of
his model DC-3 Dakota. John set out to confirm that the Profilm 'Chrome'
covering material used to emulate the Dakota's aluminium panels did not
cause problems with 2.4 GHz radio systems.
"I thought of building a balsa box and putting it below my oldest
model, a 'rudder/elevator' vintage type as it would be stable if the radio
connection was lost. However, seeing it hanging on the wall where it has
been for twenty three years I decided I couldn't commit it to such a potential
fate. No, I would have to build a completely new model and cover the whole
of it in Profilm 'Chrome' if I was going to do a proper test. So, I thought,
a flick through the old 'free plans' box should provide something and
it did. The Musketeer, a shoulder wing elevator/rudder slope soarer from
1995. It was very simply converted to electric power and the build from
cutting the first wing rib to shoe-horning in the radio gear was two days.
Full days, don't you know, happiness is retirement. The motor I used was
entirely unsuitable for a glider as it had a very high Kv (1000 rpm per
volt) and the only prop I had in stock to keep the current draw down to
a sensible level was a Master Airscrew 6 x 4 three blader! Off to the
field then. A gentle lob and it was away, checks for left and right circuits
then up towards the clouds. No problem, no problem at all. Off then towards
the North Pole, well, in that direction anyway. It was a lot further off
than I had any intent on flying the Dakota. I did a bit of stooging around,
enough to make me decide to buy the little Musketeer a proper motor, and
back down to terra firma. Summary? 100% successful. Whatever Profilm uses
in its 'metallicised' coverings it either is not metallic or if it is
it doesn't prohibit the 2.4 GHz signals getting to the receiver. That
was the last of my excuses for not flying the Dakota. Mind you, I wouldn't
recommend using the film to cover a model without toning it down. As you
will see, the static photo of the Musketeer gives it the air of having
been built from those very shiny Valentine's Day helium balloons."
John Wheater's beautiful Top Flite Dakota DC-3, converted to electric
flight and ready for its maiden in 2009.
Electric Power Pod. Fitting a power-pod is an easy way
to add a detachable electric motor to your Musketeer. It's not difficult
to modify an existing pod or even create one from scratch. The important
thing is to ensure that the model's fore-aft centre of gravity (CG) location
is maintained, compensating for the motor installation by using ballast
In 2012 the Musketeer prototype was fitted with a power-pod from a model
airboat - modified to incorporate a simple elastic band fixing method.
To reduce a model's tendency to pitch-down on power application, it is
important not to make the power pylon too tall. In this case, an APC 8x4
propeller was used and the pod fitted such that the clearance between
the propeller and the rear fuselage was just a few millimetres. A 1200
kV electric motor was fitted in "pusher" configuration to the
rear of the pod, and an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) was housed inside
the pod. A new nose hatch was constructed with apertures cut out for the
wiring from the pod and the old flight pack was replaced by a 1200mAh
3S Lithium Polymer battery. The resulting model can be seen in action at sunset
in the video below.