Update: 25 NOV 08

The 20 3/4" span Trenton Terror from AALmps' Mini Series 2, fitted with a tiny receiver/esc/bec/servos plus motor/prop, landing gear and battery from the Vapor Bind-n-Fly model.

Click on the small pictures to see them full size.

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lamtips.jpg (137300 bytes)

To save some weight, wing and stab tips were laminated from 2 pieces of 1/32" X 1/8" balsa.  I laminated parts for the body front end but decided that more strength was needed there. The semi-kits come with print wood sheet tips.

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The working parts.

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The tiny pager motor is mounted with a bit of downthrust on a scrap of 1/32" ply with balsa triangles arranged as a cradle. Thread was tied around the motor through holes in the mount. Motor and thread were glued with SIGment. 

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The radio is mounted with tiny pieces of foam servo tape to a sheet balsa base.

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Spare carbon pushrods from a Vapor have .012" wire extensions at the back end.

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Control horns are 3/32" X 9/16" of 1/64" ply. As seen here, the pushrods are in holes 3/8" from each surface. With the transmitter set on low rate, control response is just right. Surfaces are hinged with clear tape.

Note .012" wire tailskid but 1/64" ply would work as well.

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Phoenix cat holds down the plan while the Trenton Terror's structure is weighed: 6.7 grams.

All up finished weight is 20.4 grams.


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Molly cat  poses with the model and the Spectrum DX5e transmitter.

The model is covered with Esaki Japanese tissue with 2 coats of non-tautening nitrate dope.


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The Trenton Terror is a little heavier than  the Vapor and so it must fly a little faster. 

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This is the radio/servo unit from a Vapor. It also has esc/bec [electronic speed control plus battery eliminator circuit - one battery supplies the radio and the motor]. Those are tiny pager motors driving linear servos. The motor actually plugs into the back end [left side of the pic] of the radio.

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Big and little brothers - both Trenton Terrors. The big one has a 28" span and is sold as a laser cut semi-kit [$22.95 plus postage] - see full info on the AALmps home page

and the catalog listing at:

Additional information:

Sources for Equipment:

A local hobby shop had the 2.4 Spectrum DX5e transmitter packaged with a full range AR500 5 channel receiver [without servos, dry cell power for the transmitter] for $94.99. You can also buy the Vapor with its own transmitter although the range with that combination is limited. 

Here are links to Horizon Hobby's Vapor listings. The RTF version, includes the short range transmitter:


Complete Vapor plane plus charger - the Bind-N-Fly version, no transmitter:


DX5e transmitter only:


Note that one can buy a Vapor body with radio, motor, battery holder and pushrods:

Other parts such as the prop are also listed.


Bob Selman Micro RC sells the 2.4 Vapor airborne radio separately plus other small receivers and servos that work with 72MHz transmitters. 

He also sells more powerful motors that will run with the Vapor equipment. Bob advised that the Vapor motor would fly a model weighing one ounce. I bought the stronger 'yellow' pager motor and a carbon prop he recommended when he heard what I was building. As it turned out, the Vapor motor and prop are plenty of power for the Trenton Terror and should work well with any of the AALmps Series 1 thru 4 mini old timer models. Those are packed 3 semi-kits [plans and printwood] per set so there are a total of 12 models available. Most should have enough room for the radio.

Mini old timer semi-kit info listing, with some pictures:

and the catalog listing with more pictures [ go to Mini-set 1 through 4 ] plus the shopping cart [Minis are $22.95 plus postage for each set of 3 models]:



The small Trenton Terror turned out to be a little tail heavy so there's no need to buy and use the Vapor landing gear and wheels. Small plastic or balsa wheels on a gear made from .025" or .032" wire should work fine. A wire LG will also be stronger and more flexible - I broke one of the carbon struts on a hard stall landing on the sidewalk and had to splint the repair with wire, shrink tube and CA.

Not knowing just how this thing would balance, the radio was mounted right at the desired CG - moving it forward will also help the balance. BTW: motor, radio and pushrods were installed before covering as I couldn't figure out how to get things in there afterwards. The battery slips into the space  under the windshield and behind the motor.

Laminated tips were made but I wonder if one could really measure a weight savings compared to sheet balsa tips.


If you have a site for indoor flying, these small old timers will work just fine. If you'll be flying outside, watch for quiet times near daybreak or sunset. You can also fly at night under a street light as I do.





Copyright 2008 A.A. Lidberg, All Rights Reserved.