Retro RC 1951 Flying Wing

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Written by Terry Dunn Retro RC 1951 Flying Wing As seen in the October 2020 issue of Model Aviation.

Bonus Video

At a Glance



Type: Laser-cut balsa kit

Wingspan: 56 inches

Wing area: 423 square inches

Length: 22.3 inches

Radio: Spektrum iX12 2.4 GHz transmitter; Spektrum AR6110 receiver; two Emax ES9051 4.3-gram digital servos

Minimum flying area: Sports field Price: $99.99

Components needed to complete: Building supplies; three-plus-channel radio with two submicro servos; 60-watt power system or 1/2A glow/diesel engine

Power system: Cobra 2203/52 1540 Kv outrunner brushless motor; Master Airscrew 8 × 4.5 MR-series propeller; Maytech 12-amp ESC; E-flite 2S 800 mAh 30C LiPo battery

Flight duration: 10-plus minutes

Flying weight: 11 ounces

Wing loading: 3.7 ounces per square foot

Full throttle power: 7.8 amps; 59 watts; 86 watts per pound



  • Nostalgic styling.
  • Graceful flying traits.


  • Limited space for electric components.
  • No hatch grips.

Manufacturer/Distributor: Retro RC

(248) 212-9666

IN 1951, THE EDITORS of Air Trails magazine challenged its readers to design a Free Flight (FF) model that could be any variation of a flying wing. The winning submission was elegantly simple in design and graceful in appearance. It featured a slender, swept profile with pronounced elevons. The model’s defining trait was its large, centrally located, vertical stabilizer.

That victorious flying wing is still relevant nearly 70 years later! Retro RC offers a rendition of this nostalgic model in kit form as the 1951 Flying Wing. The modern variant stays true to the original design in most respects, but you have the option of building it as a FF or RC model. You can also choose between glow, diesel, or electric power.

Building the 1951 Flying Wing

Opening the kit reveals laser-cut balsa and plywood parts, along with some balsa sheets and a variety of sticks. Most of the necessary hardware is included. Given the 56-inch wingspan of the completed model, you might be surprised by how few parts are required. That’s one advantage of omitting a fuselage!

The model is built over full-size plans. A printed manual guides you through the construction steps. Before you begin assembly, you will need to decide how you want to spin the propeller. I went with a Cobra 2203/52 brushless motor, paired with a Maytech 12-amp ESC. Both are available from Retro RC.

If you are going to build the wing for RC, you will also need a mini receiver, as well as a three-plus-channel transmitter that is capable of elevon mixing. I used my Spektrum iX12 transmitter and an old (but trusty) AR6110e receiver.

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