Last Updated
August 16, 2020

Delta Dart Model Building Classes

The State College Radio Control Club (SCRC) has been involved with local area youth for over 35 years.  The first activity started when the Penn State Model Airplane Club requested help organizing and running a model airplane contest using the Delta dart  models.  As the Penn State club lost its leader members, SCRC picked up the annual contests.  For many years, the Delta Dart contests were carried on by SCRC and the Centre Region Parks and Recreation Department.  Each year, contestants up to 16 years old participated in these Delta Dart contests.

In 1985 Mrs. Lilly Nichol, a school teacher at Corl Street Elementary School, was searching for a way to make the aviation studies more interesting.  She knew about the activities at the Delta Dart contests and realized that the Delta Dart model would fit well with the students aviation class studies.  Realizing the potential advantages that would accrue to her students if they could build and fly a Delta Dart model, she contacted George Gurney to see if he would support a model building class at the school.  George agreed, and with the help of other SCRC members, was able to hold the first model building class.  The class was  followed  with a flying demonstration of R/C models.  From this beginning, the Learning Enrichment Teachers soon began to schedule classes at the State College Area elementary schools.  The classes were and are continuing to be held in conjunction with the 3rd and 4th grade students' aviation studies

A series of 3 one hour and forty five minute classes are scheduled for building and flying the Delta Dart airplanes.  The classes are held one day a week for three weeks.  The class periods are made up as follows:

The first class includes instructions and initiation of the model construction:

  1. Description of the parts of an airplane and what makes it fly.
  2. Description of the contents of the model airplane kit.
  3. Description of the tools that will be used.
  4. Instruction on the use of the Delta Dart Worksheet.
  5. Students cut all the balsa wood strips needed for the airplane.
  6. Instructions for gluing the motor stick and balsa strips  to the plans.
  7. Students glue the parts to the plans.
  8. Students cleanup their workspace and return to their home room.
  The instructions are given in small doses.      Are there any questions? Is everybody ready? Lets start building!!!     Gib Sanders giving that bit of extra help that is often needed.  
  Just like an assembly line. Everybody is busy gluing the wood strips to the plans.     Carefully apply the glue to the wood then place the wood on the plan.     Chuck Paulson giving one of the students personal attention.  


At the second class construction continues to the point where the airplane structure is completed:

  1. Instruction and demonstration of cutting the parts from the plans.
  2. Students cut the three major airplane parts from the plans.
  3. Instructions on the assembly of the plane.
  4. Students assemble the plane and prepare it for storage.
  The parts are separated and ready to be trimmed     Trimming the parts     Start the wing assembly with lots of glue in the wing joint  
  The unique design insures that the final assembly results in a structure that has the proper dihedral and alignment     An important aspect of the assembly is the alignment of the wing, rudder and tail        


At the third and final class:

  1. Instructions on final assembly and preparation for flight.
  2. Students complete final assembly and do an initial wind of 100 turns.
  3. Test flights are made outside, weather permitting, or in the all purpose room.
  4. Once trimmed, the students continue to fly their Delta Dart models.
  Chuck Paulson helps one of the students with the initial winding of the rubber motor on his airplane     Al Niessner demonstrates the proper way to hold and launch the delta dart     Getting 100 winds into the rubber motor requires a great amount of concentration  
  Many of the airplanes flew all the way to the ceiling. The one shown here circled nicely just below the ceiling.     Keeping an eye out to be sure the student's launches are good     George Gurney giving some helpful hints before the airplane is launched  
  The 3rd and 4th grade students that were not in the class lined the perimeter of the all purpose room during the flying session     Several dedicated SCRC members spent time during the flying session making sure that the airplanes were repaired     The student on George's left with the green shirt is going to be sure he gets a fast start  


The class ends with the R/C model flying demonstration.

  A pre flight checkout     A radio Controlled enlarged Delta Dart     Getting ready for a great flight