Good Tern

Designed by Bill Noonan Read the entire plans-build article and order plans.

The Good Tern was a straightforward, reliable, easy-to-adjust Embryo-class model, built with the option of floats for ROW (rise-off-water) or wheels for ROT (rise-off-table).

Construction followed conventional FF model practices. Fuselage parts and tail surfaces were medium square balsa; wings and ribs were cut from straight-grained, soft balsa.

Author Bill Noonan stated that assembling the floats was much like building two more fuselages. He used waterproof glue to cement all pieces of the floats, and attached them to the fuselage with wire legs.

The front legs were cemented into the floats; the rear were cemented inside the fuselage, bent and sprung to engage aluminum tubing cemented inside the float. The floats could be disengaged from the airplane by forcing the rear struts from the tubing. Wheels should be retained by pinching 1/32-inch ID aluminum tubing at the wire ends.

Peck-Polymers white tissue was used for covering and lightly sprayed with rubbing alcohol. After it had shrunk, unwanted tissue was lightly sanded away. Diluted clear nitrate dope was followed by an airbrushed coat containing a small amount of silver powder. Red and blue trim was obtained by masking and using an airbrush. The port float was painted red; the starboard, blue.

Bill found that two loops of 3/16-inch rubber at approximately 18 inches long worked well during the test flight. He thought that it was a fun model offering versatility, noting, “After you build it, you may agree with that old axiom: one Good Tern deserves another.”

This model was featured in a construction article in the November 1983 MA.

Order Plans

To order these plans, please contact the AMA Plans Service Department at 1-800-435-9262.
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