Sig Mfg. Co., Inc....401-7 South Front Street....Montezuma, Iowa 50171

The Citabria Story

In the early '60s the venerable Champ was fighting a losing battle in the marketplace against the new crop of nosewheel trainer aircraft. Champion Aircraft Corporation of Osceola, WI had brought the design of the popular little Champ from Aeronca several years earlier. As it's popularity dwindled, Champion decided to make one last attempt to save the Champ. The structure was "beefed-up" in critical areas, the rudder and wingtips were squared off, and the aerobatic Champ was born. The final touch was to apply a marketing gimmick to its name. By spelling "Airbatic" backwards, they came up with Citabria.

Since the end of World War II, aerobatics in this country had virtually disappeared in sport flying. The introduction of the Citabria was a gamble that not only paid off, it totally revitalized the aviation community's attitude towards aerobatics. The new spring steel landing gear brought a few complaints at first, but it tended to make better pilots out of the students who flew the airplane. The Citabria quickly became popular as an aerobatic trainer. Most of today's aerobatic pilots can trace their career back to the Citabria.

Champion aircraft eventually merged with Belianca Aircraft Corporation of Alexandria, MN. Bellanca expanded on the design with the Decathlon, Super Decathlon, and Scout. In 1974, Bellanca redesigned the cowling, the most obvious difference being a large airscoop for induction air.

Sport pilots fell in love with the Citabria because, even though it now has more horsepower and aerobatic capability, it is still a Champ at heart. It's big, flat bottomed wing makes it easy and gentle to fly. On the other hand , the Bellanca Decathlon uses a totally redesigned wing with a symmetrical airfoil for more advanced aerobatics. Although the Citabria and Decathlon appear almost identical, Decathlons generally have larger engines with inverted oil systems and a sturdier structure. Citabrias have been powered with engines from 100 to 150 h.p. and some were even built with flaps. The most numerous is the 7ECA Citabria with a 115 h.p. Lycoming built from 1966 to 1980.


The Citabria can certainly be called this generation's barnstormer. It's place in general aviation as an inexpensive, sport aerobatic trainer is equalled by no other airplane. The same qualities that have made the Citabria so popular among full-scale pilots have been duplicated in this 1/6 scale model. The Sig Citabria will bring you many enjoyable hours of flying. Even though it can be (and has been) flown successfully in sport scale competition, it has been designed especially to handle the rigors of day to day (or weekend to weekend) flying.

About The Sig Kit

The Sig Citabria, Ki No. RC-30, was originally introduced to the public in 1968. That original kit appeared with a fully-symmetrical airfoil which was great for aerobatics, but proved to be hard to handle for the average flier of the time. In 1972, the kit was introduced with several changes, including the flat bottomed airfoil which it still has today. The new airfoil made the airplane much easier to fly and still allowed it to perform scale-like maneuvers. When that kit was introduced, it still had all of the building and flying instructions printed on the plans.

Since that time, the modeling industry has changed dramatically. Kit builders wanted clearer instructions and Sig Mfg. responded by becoming the first model company to include photo-illustrated instruction booklets with their kits. These booklets have become the standard for the industry and represent the current state-of-the-art in kit instructions. Rather than discontinue the outdated kit, we decided to bring the Citabria kit up to current standard by writing a brand new instruction booklet for it. The basic, rugged structure has been retained along with its gentle flying characteristics.

During the course of writing the instruction booklet, several changes were made to the kit. Some of those changes are a new decal sheet, new style wheel pants, a new airscoop for the cowl, a formed tailwheel wire, and a new set of plans. Of course, the old instructions were removed from the plans and replaced with detail drawings and hints on how to build a better model. Unfortunately, the new plans were not completed when the photos for the instruction booklet were taken. Please keep in mind that although several pictures show the old plans being used, the main point of the photo is to show the construction of the structure. To avoid any confusion, just ignor the plan sheets in the photos and refer to your kit plans for any information you may require.

Any references to right or left refers to your right or left as if you were seated in the cockpit.

To build good flying models , you need a good straight building board. Crocked models don't fly well! The building board can be a table, a workbench, a reject "door core" from the lumber yard, or whatever- as long as it is perfectly flat and untwisted. Cover the top surface of the building board with a piece of celotex-type wall board or foam board, into which pins can be easily pushed. Don't hesitate to use plenty of pins during assembly to hold drying parts in their correct position.

When pinning or gluing parts directly over the full-size plans, cover the plan with wax paper or plastic kitchen wrap to prevent gluing the parts to the plans.

Don't use a ball point pen for making marks on the model during construction. If not sanded off these ink marks will show through the model's final finish. Use a pencil instead of a pen.

The balsa die-cut parts have identification numbers printed on them. Use the "key to Plywood Parts", included towards the end of these instructions, to mark the identification numbers on the corresponding plywood parts.

Leave all the die-cut parts in the sheets until needed for construction. Remove pieces from the sheets carefully. If difficulty is encounted, do not force the part from the sheet. Use a modeling knife to cut it free.


All of the other kit parts can be identified by the "Complete Kit Parts List". Sort the different sizes of sticks and sheets into individual piles to avoid confusion during building. Cut all long pieces of balsa first, followed by medium lengths, before cutting up any full length strips into short pieces.

Die-Cut Balsa Pieces
1Sheet No.1 Fuselage Parts 1Sheet No.2 Fuselage Parts 6Sheet No.3 Wing Ribs 2Sheet No.4 Wing Ribs
Balsa Sheets
41/6"x2"x36" Leading Edge Sheeting and Bellcrank Area 11/6"x2"x24" Middle Sheeting 11/6"x3"x24" Middle Sheeting 11/6"x3"x36" Center Section Sheeting
13/32"x3"x36" Fuselage Sheeting, Wing Gussets 15/16"x2"x18" Stabilizer, Elevator, Fin and Rudder Parts 21/4"x4"x2-1/4" Side Firewall Extensions 13/8"x4"x2-1/4" Top Firewall Extension
Special-Cut Balsa
21/8"x4-1/4"x36" Fuselage Sides 13/8"x1-3/16"x9" Filler and Doubler 13/8"x1-1/2"x6-1/2" Tail Platform 11/8"x1-1/2"x2" Dorsal Support
23/8"x3/8"x36" Tapered Trailing Edge 11/8"x3/8"x6" Tapered Trailing Edge (For center Section)
Balsa Sticks
71/8"x1/4"x36" Stringers 71/8"x5/16"x36" Stringers, Diagonal Ribs, Cabin Frame 11/8"x3/8"x36" Cabin Frame 23/16"x5/8"x36" Leading Edge
21/4"x5/8"x36" Leading Edge Caps 21/4"x3/8"x36" Rear Internal Wing Spars 11/4"x3/8"x15" Rear Center Section Spar and Rear Spar Splice 21/4"x3/4"36" Front Internal Wing Spars
11/4"x3/4"x15" Front Center Section Spar and Front Spar Splice 111/4"x1/4"x36" Top and Bottom Wing Spars, Crossbraces, Longerons 45/16"x5/16"x36" Stabilizer, Elevator, Fin and Rudder Frames 15/16"x1/2"x8" Elevator Tips
13/8"x1/2"x4-3/4" Front Cabin Crossbrace 13/16"x3/8"x8" Cabin Window Wedges 23/16"x1"x14" Aileron Leading Edge 23/8"x7/8"x14" Aileron Spars
13/8"x1"x2" Trailing Edge Fill-In 101/16"x3/16"x36" Capstrips 41/16"x1"x36" Trailing Edge, Wing Panels and Center Section 11/2"x1/2"x15" Triangular Stock for Firewall Braces
Balsa Blocks
23/4"x1-1/4"x8-1/2" Wingtip Blocks 23/4" 1-1/4"x1-1/2" Wing Blocks (Wing L.E. at Cabin)
Die-Cut PlyWood
13/32"x6"x7" F-2 and F1 13/32"x6"x7" Cowl Former and F-1 13/32"x5-1/2"x9" F-4 Aileron Bellcrank Mounts, Tailwheel Mount
Sawn Plywood
11/8"x4"x2-1/4" Bottom Firewall Extension 11/8"x1-5/8"x5" P-1 (Fuselage) 11/8"x1-1/4"x5" P-2 (Wing) 21/8"x5-1/16"x3-3/8" Landing Gear Mounts
21/6"x3/4"x1-1/4" Wheel Pant Attach Plates
11/8"x5/16"x14" Spruce-Stabilizer Center Brace 23/16"x1/2"x20" Spruce-Front Wing Struts 23/16"x3/8"x20-1/2" Spruce-Rear Wing Struts 21/4"x3/4"x1" Basswood-Wing Anchor Blocks
13/8"x3/8"x4-1/2" Basswoood-Cowl Anchor Blocks
2Medium Aluminum Engine Mounts 46-32x3/4" Bolts for Engine Mounts 46-32 Blind Nuts for above 28-32x1-1/2" Bolts for Landing Gear Axles
2#8 Flat Washers for above 68-32 Hex Nuts for above 84-40x3/8" Bolts for Attaching Wheel Pants and Landing Gear 84-40 Blind Nuts for above
21/4-20x1" Nylon Wing Attach Bolts 290 deg. Nylon Aileron Bellcranks 23/32" Brass Eyelets for above 23-48x3/4" Bolts for above
2#3 Flat Washers for above 23-48 Hex Nuts for above 4.032x1/4"x1-1/4" Sheet Brass for Wing Strut Upper Ends 2.032x1/2"x1" Untempered Aluminum Strut Attach Tabs
13/32" O.D.x1" Brass Tubing for Pushrod Splice 13Molded Poly Hinges 1Small Nylon Control Horn for Rudder 3Medium Nylon Control Horns for Ailerons and Elevator
4#2x1/2" Sheet Metal Screws for Control Horns 1Nylon Tailwheel Bracket 13#2x3/8" Sheet Metal Screws for Tailwheel Bracket, Cowl, Struts 42-56x10" Threaded Rods for Control Surface Pushrods
42-56x3-1/4" Threaded Rods for Strut Ends 82-56 Nylon Clevises for above 16" Length Copper Wire for Binding Cabin Brace Wires
Bent Wire Parts
11/8"x9" Left-Hand Cabin Brace Wire 11/8"x9" Right-Hand Cabin Brace Wire 13/32"x4" Elevator Joiner 11/16"x3-3/4" Tailwheel Wire


Plastic Parts
1.090 ABS Left-Hand Cowling Side 1.090 ABS Right-Hand Cowling Side 1.090 ABS Cowl Nose Bowl 1.030 ABS Airscoop
2.070 ABS Left-Hand Wheel Pant Halves 2.070 Right-Hand Wheel Pant Halves 1.030 ABSx1/4"x8" Plastic Joiner Strap 1.010 ABSx1-1/2x1-1/2" for Pushrod Exit Reinforcements
1.015"x.8"x12" Clear Plastic for Windshield 2.015"x4"x14" Clear Plastic for Side Windows
1.093"x1-1/2"x6-7/8" Left-Hand Aluminum Landing Gear 1.093"x1-1/2"x6=7/8" Right-Hand Aluminum Landing Gear 21/16"x24" Music Wire Pushrods 138"x50" Plan - Plate 1 of 2
138"x50" Plan - Plate 2 of 2 1Photo-Illustrated Instruction Booklet 13"x5" Decal
Plan Correction - Callout for Horizontal Stabilizer Braces should be 1/8"x5/16" Spruce not 1/8"x3/8" Spruce.

About The Building Sequence
The quickest and most efficient way to complete a model is to work on several pieces at the same time. For example, you could start working on the fuselage or tail while the preliminary parts of the wing are drying. It is suggested that you read the instruction book and study the plans carefully before beginning construction.


An assortment of different size sanding blocks are indispensable tools for model construction. A good general purpose block can be made by wrapping a 9"x11" sheet of sandpaper around a piece of hardwood or plywood. Use three screws along one edge to hold the overlapped ends of the sandpaper. Put 80-grit paper on the block during general construction. Switch to 220-grit paper for final finish sanding just before covering.
Another handy block can be made by gluing sandpaper onto a 24" or 36" long piece of aluminum channel stock. Most hardware stores carry a rack of aluminum in various sizes and shapes. This long block is very useful for sanding leading and trailing edges accurately.
Finally, glue sandpaper onto different sizes of scrap plywood sticks and round hardwood dowels. These are handy for working in tight places and for careful shaping where a big block is too hard to control.

There are many different glues available today for model construction that it can be confusing for the newcomer. To simplify matters, most glues can be classified as one of four basic types:
  1. Easy to use water-based wood glues such as Sig-Bond (yellow) and Sig Super-Weld (white).
  2. Super strong two-part epoxy glues such as Sig Kwik-Set (5 minute cure) and Sig Epoxy (3 hour cure).
  3. Traditional solvent-base model cements such as Sig-Ment.
  4. Fast cyanoacrylate "super" glues such as Zap, Hot Stuff, Jet etc.
Each of these types has different characteristics and advantages. Often times, the choice of which type to use is strictly a matter of personal preference based on your experience with a previous model. If you are new to the hobby and not sure what type to use, we recommend that you try Sig-Bond glue for the majority of the general Citabria framework construction. It is a great all-purpose alphatic resin glue that is easy to use. You should also have on hand some epoxy glue, either slow dry or 5-minute, for areas subject to unusual strain or involving metal pieces. Some of the steps in this book call out the type of glue to use for that particular assembly. In other areas you can use your own judgement as to which type is best suited to the purpose and to your building schedule.

CAUTION: Some people have experienced allergic reactions when exposed to epoxy or cyanoacrylate glues. This is very rare. However, it is always important that such glues, and also paints, thinners and solvents, be used with adequate ventilation to carry fumes away.

There are also a couple of places ahead in these instructions where it calls for "model putty" or "wood filler". We recommend Sig Epoxolite Putty, regular household spackling compound (DAP, Red Devil, etc.) or automotive body putty (Bondo, etc.) for these instances.


Radio Requirements
For best results, we recommend that you install 4-channel radio equipment in your Citabria to operate the ailerons, rudder and engine throttle. The Citabria's fuselage is spacious enough that any common brand of radio equipment with standard size servos and battery pack can be used. Be certain that your radio system's frequency is approved for use in R/C model aircarft. Using a frequency assigned to R/C model cars not only endangers your model to interference from model car drivers (who may not even be in sight), it is also against the law.

Engines and Mufflers
The Citabria can be flown with a wide range of glow model engines,either the 2-stroke or 4-stroke type. Because the Citabria is a scale model designed to fly at relatively slow airspeed, a lot of high-revving power isn't necessary - or desireable.

In a 2-stroke glow engine, we recommend .35-.50 displacement. A strong .35 or non-schneurle .40 is adequate if the model is kept light, preferably 6-3/4 pounds or less. If you fly off a grass field, live at high altitude, or just prefer a little reserve power, a good .40-.50 size engine may be a better choice. Be sure to use the propeller sizes that are recommended by the engine manufacturer.

The scale-like sound of a 4-stroke engine swinging a big propeller at lower r.p.m. is perfectly suited to the Citabria. Since 4-stroke engines don't produce quite as much power as the same size 2-stroke engine, we recommend using a .45-.65 size 4-stroke.

There is no one type of muffler that is best suited to the Citabria. It all depends on the particular engine that you have elected to use. Most 4-stroke engines don't even require a muffler since they are typically quieter than 2-stroke engines. It may be necessary to use a muffler extension to get the muffler supplied with most 2-stroke engines to the ouside of the wide cowling.