Many of the models flown by SAM600 were originally designed for free flight. So they almost fly themselves, but you might need to walk a long way to get them back after a flight. Fortunately radio control developed and now pilots can at least land in the same vicinity as they took off. There's no need to be intimidated by the flyability of these aircraft.
Given the nature of the models, they are rarely mass-produced or available as ARFs. Most are built either from laser cut kits, scratch built from plans, or re-cycled from another old timer flyer. Our newsletter includes information about where kits can be purchased, locally and overseas and a search of the web will also show up sources for plans. Some of these are free and can be downloaded. To check if a model you like is an eligible design, see the "Approved Lists" on the SAM international chapter website (link here).
Considering when they were designed, construction techniques are generally quite basic by today's standards. Often referred to as 'stick and tissue', these craft are built mainly from balsa, a little hardwood and an occasional ply component. Doped tissue has been replaced by modern shrinkable film coverings.
Walking around old timer meetings it becomes obvious that there are a few very popular designs and that's because they are quite build-able and perform well in the air. They are good candidates for newcomers to the discipline and would make a great introduction to this facet of modelling. Here are three alternatives to consider and all are suitable for electric or IC power. Electric power is an emerging force amongst old timers and has been pioneered by the AEFA (Australian Electric Flight Association). Click here for a flyer on Electric Old Timers with more information on electric options.
By Chester Lanzo, 1938. 96" wing span. Often scaled down to 70% or 87% of full size.
By Joe Elgin 1940. 80" wingspan. Sometimes scaled up to 110%
By Donald Broggini 1940. 56" wingspan Plan has some options for wingspan and has been scaled up.