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Website: Article by Bill Kuhl Special Thanks.

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1 Website: Article by Bill Kuhl Special Thanks to Darcy Whyte for all his help !

2 No one that I know of in recent years has done more to promote model aviation both in person and over the Internet than Darcy Whyte, the designer of the Squirrel rubber powered free flight model airplane. The Squirrel design is so simple yet its design is ingenious in that it can be built so quickly and helps novice builders avoid many problems common to other beginner airplanes. I have never met Darcy in person as he lives far away in Ottawa Canada but we converse regularly via the Internet. Darcy Whyte is a software developer specializing in Social Media and Internet systems, his model aviation website has been a great candidate for experimentation in honing his Internet presence. His website URL is Darcy has provided most of the pictures for this article and has been wonderful about answering my questions. Please pass the link to this article on to anyone that might be interested. Bill Kuhl - AMA Cub/Delta Dart website and Scienceguy.orgAMA Cub/Delta Dart website

3 The Ideas that Became the Squirrel

4 Darcy tested the winglets in a sheet balsa plane.

5 Darcy experimented with tip dihedral before trying the winglets.

6 At this point he was building by pinning to building board but later glued balsa directly to tissue.

7 Prototype with Wing Spar

8 Build process with wing spar.


10 Close up picture of a winglet, winglet eliminates the need for dihedral.

11 Wing is flat which makes for easier building and less breakage.

12 A really novel feature that is used with the vertical fin and stabilizer is to use only a leading edge of balsa and no support for the tissue on the trailing edge, this eliminates at least two additional pieces of balsa for each surface.

13 Popular AMA Cub plane uses dihedral, wing halves angle upward from the center.

14 With dihedral joint, wings often break in the center joint.

15 AMA Cub stab requires three pieces of balsa with angle joints.

16 Squirrel Website The website for the Squirrel is a wonderful resource for building information, ordering Squirrel kits, and interesting information about model aviation.




20 Kit components

21 Darcy delivers Squirrel kits by motorcycle in his local area.

22 Box of Squirrel kits

23 Novice builders often have trouble cutting and fitting angled joints but the Squirrel has no angles in the balsa joints.


25 Building the Squirrel

26 The Squirrel is built with fast drying craft glue and glue stick which are easy to find, dry relatively fast, and is safe to use.



29 Flying the Squirrel

30 Flying indoors



33 Flying outdoors



36 The Groups that have Built Squirrels

37 The Squirrel model plane has been popular with scout groups throughout the world.






43 Darcy has given speeches to professional groups such as inventors and creative thinkers about design, manufacturing the kits, and marketing.



46 Slater Harrison During the summer of 2009 Darcy visited Slater Harrison who's a school teacher in Pennsylvania who has been building Squirrel model airplanes as part of his science classes. They met on-line when Slater discovered the Squirrel design and started to build them with his students.Slater Harrison

47 One of Slaters happy classes that built Squirrels.

48 Darcy and Slaters son build Squirrels

49 Slater and Darcy

50 Slater holds a walk along glider, glider rides on a wave of air provided by a person walking with a piece of cardboard.

51 This glider was built almost entirely from paper.

52 Slater prepares to release the glider and begin walking.

53 Darcy has brought his Squirrel model airplane design before more diverse groups than anyone I know of. He has managed to combine model airplane building, adult beverages, and socializing to coed groups in the local pubs of Ottawa.









62 Darcy has been building model airplanes with a variety of groups for many years, in the above pictures he had not yet perfected his Squirrel design at this session for nursing home group.




66 Mods

67 Several people have sent Darcy pictures and descriptions of how they have modified the Squirrel design including biplane versions and Squirrels that are much larger. See website Gallery for further details.



70 The End Bill Kuhl

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