The covering material included in this kit is Litespan, by Solarfilm. It is a strong, tough, heat-shrinkable synthetic covering material. Litespan is very light weight, approximately 32 grams per sq. yard. Litespan is heat shrinkable, however it does not have glue already on it. You must first apply adhesive to the model structure where you want the covering to stick, using a heat-activated liquid adhesive such as SIG Stix-It or Solarfilm Balsaloc (not supplied).

The following parts of the Deperdussin need to be covered:
  • Wings - cover top only
  • Stabilizer and Elevator - cover top only
  • Fin and Rudder - cover both sides
  • Fuselage Sides - cover from former F1 to the tail post
  • Fuselage Top - cover from former F7 to the tail post
Note: When covering the stabilizer, study the plan carefully to determine which side is the top. The determining factor is the location of the control horn. It must end up on the left side of the airplane.

Refer to the "COVERING DIAGRAM" to see how to make best use of the covering material provided.

Surface Preparation

Lightly sand the parts to be covered, removing any bumps and unevenness that would show through the covering. Start with 80 or 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block, and finish with 220 grit or finer sandpaper. Fill all cracks and hollows with light weight model filler and sand smooth. Coat the areas where you want the covering to stick with the heat-activated adhesive, following the manufacturer's instructions. On both wing panels, apply adhesive to the leading and trailing edges, the tip and root ribs and to the top surface of each wing rib. Allow the adhesive to dry to the touch.


Litespan is capable of shrinking a great deal. We have tried several methods to control this tendency, including preshrinking the material. Doing this tends to take some (not all) of the "shrink" out of the material. This can be desirable when trying to minimize any tendency to warp the part being covered. To do this, first cut the piece to shape (such as one of the wing panels), leaving at least an inch or so of material around all edges. Place the material on a clean, flat heat-resistant surface (dull side up). With your iron set to about 200 deg. F, iron the material smooth, shrinking it in the process. The piece is now ready to apply as described below.


Set your covering iron temperature to between 195 deg. F and 210 deg. F. Lay the Litespan on the framework and smooth out the wrinkles. Tack the Litespan in place at a few points around the edges, using the toe of the iron. While tacking, gently pull the Litespan to get a smooth fit without large wrinkles. Do not try to pull the Litespan drum tight, just smooth and wrinkle free. Reheating and peeling back while hot allows the Litespan to be repositioned. Then seal the Litespan all around the edges of the wing with the iron. Trim surplus Litespan from around the edges with a sharp blade and reseal the edges if necessary.



Increase the iron temperature to between 250 deg. F and 285 deg. F. Shrink the Litespan by slowly sliding the iron across the surface of the Litespan - just lightly touching the surface. Be very careful not to over-shrink the Litespan because it will warp the light weight structure of the Deperdussin. Do not try to shrink out every last little wrinkle. Just get rid of the largest ones. Remember; the full-scale Deperdussin also had wrinkles in the covering.

Notes On Covering Irons

We've found that a small "trim iron" works better than a full-size covering iron when working with the Litespan on light weight model structures like the Deperdussin. In fact, we use a trim iron for the entire covering process, both adhering the Litespan and then shrinking it. The small size of the trim irons' shoe places heat in a small area, allowing a lot of control. We can also tell you from experience that using a heat gun on Litespan is not a good idea. The heat from a heat gun is difficult to control and can cause uneven shrinking, which in turn causes warps.


After you have covered the fin and rudder, put the decals on those parts. It's a lot easier to do it before the parts are installed on the model.
The decals provided in the kit are self-stick mylar stickers. They should not be dipped in water! Simply cut out the decal design with a sharp hobby knife or scissors, cutting as close to the image as possible. Remove the design off the backing paper with a tweezers and carefully place it position on the model part. Gently rub the decal onto the part with the tip of your finger.



A single SIG Easy Hinge, measuring 3/4"x1", is provided for hinging the elevator and rudder. Cut the Easy Hinge into 8 pieces that measure 1/8"x1/2".


Refer to the plans and mark the locations for (6) Easy Hinges on the leading edge of the elevator and on the trailing edge of the stabilizer.


Using a sharp #11 hobby knife, carefully cut small slits in the parts to accept the Easy Hinges.


Insert an Easy Hinge halfway into each slit in the stabilizer. DO NOT GLUE THE HINGES IN AT THIS TIME.


Now carefully slide the elevator onto the exposed half of the hinges. You will find it easiest to slide the part onto the hinges at an angle, one hinge at a time. To set the proper amount of gap between the parts simply deflect the control surface to the maximum amount of travel desired in each direction. This will automatically set the proper hinge gap.


Place a single small drop of Thin CA glue directly onto the hinges in the gap. You will notice that the glue is quickly wicked into the slit as it penetrates both the wood and the hinge. Because the hinges are so small, there is no need to put glue on both sides. The glue you put on the first side will flow around to the other side. Let the hinged parts dry before flexing.
CAUTION: SIG Easy Hinges are designed to be used with any THIN CA adhesive. Make sure you are using the thinnest variety. Do not use medium or thick CA, or any other type of glue, on Easy Hinges. Also, never use CA accelerator on Easy Hinges.


Repeat step 53 to hinge the rudder to the back of the fin with (2) Easy Hinges. Also cut a slot near the bottom of the rudder for the 3rd rudder hinge, but don’t glue that hinge in yet.


55. Notice at the center of the elevator, near the front, that there are two small slots in the balsa underneath the covering. Cut away the covering material over the slot which will be on the LEFT side of the airplane, so the plywood control horn CHN can be put in place. Insert CHN into the slot, center the horn, and then glue with Thin CA.

Repeat the process to install a CHN control horn in the rudder.


Slide the stabilizer/elevator assembly in place in the fuselage. Align carefully, and then glue in place with thin CA.


Slot the tail post at the back of the fuselage to receive the bottom rudder hinge.


Trial fit the fin/rudder assembly on the fuselage, inserting the bottom hinge into the tail post at the same time. Align carefully, making sure the fin rests squarely on the stabilizer and that everything lines up properly.


Glue the fin to the stabilizer. Also glue the bottom hinge.




Study the side and top view plans and cross-section F5 to understand how the rudder servo is mounted in the fuselage.


A piece of 1/8"x3/16"x3" long basswood is provided for making the rudder servo mounts. Cut one piece 1/2" long for the rear mount, and cut another piece 2-9/16" long for the front mount.


Glue the 1/2" long rear mount onto the front of former F5. Center the mount, left to right, on the former. The top of the mount should be 1/8" below to top of the former, making the bottom of the mount flush with the opening in the former.


Measure the length of your rudder servo's case and install the 2-9/16" long front servo mount in the fuselage accordingly.


Install your rudder servo on the basswood servo mounts with the screws that came with the servo. Be sure to drill pilot holes in the hardwood mounts so the screws won't split the wood.


Pull-pull control lines are used to connect the rudder servo to the rudder control horn. A 10 foot long piece of monofilament fishing line is provided for the pull-pull lines.


Cut the monofilament fishing line into two 5 foot long pieces, one for the rudder and one to use later for the elevator.


Begin by slipping one of the 1/16" od aluminum swage tubes over one end of the monofilament line. Slide the tube up the line a little ways, leaving you about 4-5 inches of line to work with. Now stick that short end of the line through the hole in left side of the rudder control horn. Then loop the end of the line back through the aluminum swage tube. Slide the tube up close to, but not touching, the control horn. Use needle nose pliers to crimp the swage tube flat, tight against the lines. Trim off the short end of the line close to the swage tube.


Next poke the other end of the monofilament line through the outermost hole on the left side of the rudder servo control arm. Take the line all the way across the top of the control arm and down through the outermost hole on the right side of the arm. Then run the line back to the right side of the rudder control horn. Swage the line to the right side of the control horn in the same manner you did the left side. Make sure you pull all the slack out of the monofilament line on both sides of the rudder servo before you crimp the swage tube flat. Snug it up, but not so tight that you distort the airplane's light structure. And don't worry about getting the rudder exactly centered at this time. That's the next step.


After you have your radio system hooked up and functional, you can adjust the pull-pull lines to center your rudder in neutral position. First center your rudder servo arm in neutral position. Then adjust the rudder to neutral position by sliding the monofilament line through the servo arm, lengthening one side while you shorten the other side at the same time. When you have the rudder properly neutralized, secure the pull-pull line by placing a single small drop of glue on the line where it passes through one of the holes in the servo output arm.


In all the hours of indoor flying we've done with the Deperdussin and other models, we've never found it necessary to re-adjust the neutral position of the rudder or elevator once they were secured in position. If your rudder servo is perfectly neutral (including the trim lever on your transmitter) and your rudder is perfectly centered when you glue the line to the servo arm, the trim lever on your transmitter will easily cover any flight trimming adjustments that may be needed. If you ever need to replace the pull-pull lines, it's a simple matter to chip the glue off the nylon servo arm, re-drill the hole if needed, and put in new lines. Or simply replace the output arm with a new one.



Study the side and top view plans and cross-section F5 to understand how the elevator servo is mounted in the fuselage.


A piece of 1/4" x 3/16" x 3" long basswood is provided for making the elevator servo mounts. Cut two pieces 1/2" long. Mount your elevator servo on the basswood servo mounts using the screws that came with the servo. Be sure to drill pilot holes in the hardwood mounts so the screws won't split the wood.


Make a 5/16" - 3/8" dia. hole in the left fuselage side for the elevator servo output arm to come through. Notice on the side view plan that the hole should be the same height as the rear wing mount tube, and just far enough aft of former F5 to fit your particular servo.


Install the elevator servo inside the fuselage, gluing the hardwood servo mounts to the fuselage side.


Install monofilament pull-pull control lines to connect the elevator servo to the elevator control horn. Use the same procedures you used for the rudder hookup.


Install your radio receiver between formers F3 and F4. For the receiver antenna, drill a small hole in the bottom of the fuselage right in front of F6. Run the antenna through the hole and use a couple small pieces of clear tape to secure it to the bottom of the fuselage.


Velcro is supplied to mount your battery pack to the balsa BTM battery mount located in front of former F3.

Control Movements

Control Movements
Rudder2" Right, 2" Left
Elevator3/4" Up, 3/4" Down

The control surface movements are based on our many hours of flying time with our Deperdussin models. Note: These measurements were taken at the rearmost tip of the rudder and elevator.




A laser-cut 1/16" plywood Motor Mount is used to adapt the SIGEPU001 electric motor for "firewall" mounting in the Deperdussin. To install the Motor Mount, we need to partly disassemble the motor's gearbox. Use a small screwdriver to remove the gear shaft split ring and washer from the back of the motor assembly. Pull the gear shaft and gear out of the plastic housing. Set aside these parts for re-assembly later.


With a small Phillips screwdriver, remove the four screws from the front of the motor's plastic gearbox. Also remove the two smaller screws that hold the motor to the front of the plastic gearbox. Then separate the front of the plastic gearbox from the rest of the motor unit.


Set the front of the plastic gearbox in the cutout in the plywood Motor Mount - it will slip in place and bottom out against the face of the Motor Mount. While holding the plastic part tight against the plywood, place a single drop of Thin CA glue at the three points shown in the photo. This tack glues the plastic part to the plywood.


Turn the assembly over and place a small drop of Med CA at the points shown and set the glue with CA Accelerator. The plywood Motor Mount is now adequately attached to the electric motor for normal flight, and yet, it can be easily broken loose and removed later, if the need should arise.


Re-assemble the electric motor and plastic gearbox assembly.


Mount the electric motor assembly to former F1 using the four #2 x1/4" Sheet Metal Screws provided. Notice that small pilot holes for the screws are already laser-cut in former F1.

Tip: Put the bottom mounting screw in first! The big gear on the front of the motor partly blocks access to the bottom mounting screw. So while you still have the motor assembly in your hands, put a screw through the bottom hole of the plywood motor mount, angling it past the gear. Flex the plywood mount just enough to get the screw all the way in the hole. Then mount to F1.

Scale Dummy Engine

Two identical 7-cylinder engine moldings are provided for making a scale-like dummy engine for the nose of your Deperdussin. They are molded from .010" thick ABS plastic. One molding is used to make the front of the dummy engine, the other makes the back.


Cut out one of the 7-cylinder plastic engine moldings as shown in the picture.


Trim as close to the sides and tops of the cylinders as possible, leaving just a small flange around the perimeter. The flange will be an aid later when gluing on the back halves of the engine cylinders.


Leave a web of flange plastic in the deepest part of the vee between each pair of cylinders, to provide an area for the screws that will mount the dummy engine to the fuselage Drill a tiny (1/32" dia. or less) hole in the middle of each web for the screw.


c. Make a 5/16" dia. hole in the center of the crankcase for the prop shaft to go through.


The second 7-cylinder plastic engine molding provided is used to make the back of the dummy engine. We will only use a portion of the top of each cylinder on the back of the engine. The crankcase is not used, so that the dummy engine will fit over the nose of the airplane. Look ahead at all pictures in this manual that show the dummy engine to familiarize yourself with how it should look then it’s finished and how it mounts to the fuselage.


Use a fine-point felt-tip pen to mark each cylinder according to the dimensions shown in the last photo. Also number the cylinders 1 through 7, so that you can tell later which cylinder is which.


Hold the molding in position against the nose of your fuselage. Check all the way around and then adjust the marks if necessary.


Carefully trim out the cylinders. Note: A sharp pair of miniature scissors works great for cutting these light weight plastic dummy engine parts.


Glue the backs of the seven cylinders onto the back of the dummy engine assembly as follows:


Working on one cylinder at a time, hold the rear portion of the cylinder in alignment with the front. When properly lined up, tack glue the parts together with a tiny drop of thin CA, placed right at the top of the cylinder. The thin CA will flow along the flanges, instantly gluing the parts together. Apply additional tiny drops of glue as needed. Use glue sparingly! Too much glue will run under your fingers and stick you to the parts! When dry, reinforce the seam by applying a little thick CA glue on the inside of the cylinder. Let dry.


Continue on gluing all the rear cylinder portions to the front engine molding. Be certain that you are locating the rear cylinders in the proper order, according to the photos. When done the back of the dummy engine should look like this.


Trial fit the dummy engine assembly on the front of the airplane and alter any of the rear cylinders as needed to clear the fuselage.


The dummy engine will be mounted to the front of the fuselage with the seven #1 x3/8" sheet metal screws provided. First drill a 3/64" (.046") dia. hole in the deep vee between each engine cylinder for the mounting screws. Then hold the dummy engine in place on the front of the fuselage while you mark the locations of the mounting holes holes on F1. Drill pilot holes on the marks. Trial mount the dummy engine to the airplane with the screws. If all is OK, proceed to the next step.


The dummy engine as provided in the kit is now basically complete. Take it off the airplane and paint it with a coat of flat black paint. Let dry. Then apply the "Gnome" engine decal to the front of the crankcase.

Many modelers will consider the basic black engine as good enough at this point, and they will want to move on. However, there will also be those who want to add a few more scale details to their engine. For these folks, we'll share some additional detailing tips that we used on our dummy engines. Note: Materials for these additional details are not provided.

The spark plugs were made from 1/32" K&S™ Aluminum Tubing. Spray or brush the tubing with Flat White or Flat White Primer and allow to dry. Cut 1/4" lengths of the painted tubing for the spark plug bodies. Cut 3/8" lengths of .031 music wire for the spark plug tips. Glue one of the music wire pieces into each spark plug body, leaving 1/8" of wire exposed. Use medium CA glue to install the spark plugs into pre-drilled holes in the top of each cylinder head.


The spark plug wires were made from ordinary light gauge black or gray R/C hook-up or antenna wire. Cut the seven spark plug wires to length, plus an extra inch on each one to work with. Use a pliers to pull the metal wire out of the plastic insulation. One end of the plug wire is placed over the wire tip of each spark plug (warming the tubing with a little heat relaxes it enough to do this). The other end of the tube can be inserted into a small hole drilled into the side of the crankcase. Done neatly, the overall effect can be very convincing!

The rocker arms were made from .010" thick ABS plastic leftover from the dummy engine molding. We used pieces of .060" O.D. aluminum tubing to simulate a pushrod on the front of each cylinder.

To make the propeller more realistic, we painted ours a wood color.

First balance the prop with a prop balancer. If needed, sand the backside of the heavier blade to bring the prop into balance. Lightly sand the entire prop with worn out 220 grit sandpaper and wipe it down with alcohol to clean the surface. For our props, we used Model Master spray paints - either Light Earth or Sand Beige will create a nice wood look.


Cabane Struts


The cabane struts on our model Deperdussin are decorative only. They do not contribute to the strength of the wing, therefore they can be made of balsa wood with simple butt joints.


Cut pieces of 1/8"x1/4" balsa stick to build the cabane struts. Glue the pieces together over the plan to achieve the proper angle between the struts.


When dry, remove from the plan and sand the edges smooth. Build two sets of cabane struts, one for the right side of the fuselage and one for the left.


Drill a 1/32" (.031") dia. hole near the top of each cabane strut for the wire rigging hook.


Glue the cabane strut assemblies in place on the fuselage.


Cut a piece of .020" wire for Rigging Hook #1.


Bend a half loop in one end of the wire as shown by the full-size pattern on the plan. Note: A small round or "snipe" nose pliers (such as X-Axto #75070) is the best tool for making a smooth perfectly round bend.


Insert the unbent end of the rigging hook through the holes in the top of both cabane struts. Carefully bend a half loop in the unbent end of the wire, making sure that this loop is bent in the same direction as the first one.

Plastic Top Deck


The first step in preparing the molded plastic top deck for installion is to cut open the two spots, one on each side, for the wing leading edge tubes. Follow the guidelines that are molded into the top deck. A sharp hobby knife works well for making the preliminary cuts, and then finish the edges with a rolled up piece of fine grit sandpaper.


75. Trim the edges of the top deck according to the dimensions shown here.


At the rear end of the top deck, leave a 1/8" wide flange of plastic.


On both sides of the top deck, from the rear end forward to the wing tube cutouts, leave a small 1/32" wide flange.


From the wing tube cutouts all the way to the front of the part, on both sides, leave a 1/8"+ wide flange.


At the front of the part, leave a 1/4" wide flange.


Trim the corners as shown.


Trial fit the top deck on the fuselage and adjust as necessary to get a good fit.


With the plastic top deck off the model, glue balsa part FT1 to the top of the fuselage as shown on the plan side view. The purpose of FT1 is to hold the front of the plastic top deck in place. When the glue is dry, trial fit the plastic top deck back on the fuselage, slipping the front plastic flange of the deck under FT1.


At the rear of the top deck, determine where balsa part FT2 should be glued to the fusalage to provide a similar hold-down for the rear flange of the plastic top deck.


The plastic top deck is flexible enough that it can be bowed slightly when taking it off and on the fuselage to engage the FT1 and FT2 hold-downs.


Refer to the PAINT section for advice on what types of paint can be used on the top deck. We painted the rear section of our top deck red to match the rest of the fuselage. The front section, which is meant to simulate the fuel tank of the real airplane, is painted copper color. The two straps over the tank are black striping tape. The gas cap is made of scrap balsa, and painted red.

Steering Wheel

The large "Captain's Wheel" and control yoke add so much to the vintage look of the Deperdussin that you won't want to leave this scale detail off your model. While the parts are very small and a bit tedious to assemble, the results are well worth the effort.


The first thing to do is to gather all the parts:

2FD31/32" plywood laser-cut fuselage doublers 100-90x1/2" Brass Rd-Hd Bolt
1SW11/32" plywood laser-cut steering wheel core 200-90x1/4" Brass Rd-Hd Bolts
2SW21/16" balsa laser-cut steering wheel grips 100-90 Brass Hex Nut
1SW31/8" Lite-Ply laser-cut control yoke 400-90 Brass Flat Washers
1SW41/8" Lite-Ply laser-cut steering wheel post


79a. Glue a FD3 plywood doubler inside each fuselage side, behind the top rear corner of former F5. Let dry.


From the inside, poke a pin through the hole in FD3 and on through the fuselage side.


From the outside, use a 3/64" (.046") dia. drill bit to enlarge and clean up the hole.


Glue a balsa SW2 steering wheel grip on each side of the plywood SW1 steering wheel core. Align the edges carefully. When dry, sand the edges of the balsa steering wheel grips to a pleasing, round shape. Drill out the hole in the center of the steering wheel with a 3/64" (.046") dia. drill bit.


Glue steering wheel post SW4 in place at the top center of the control yoke SW3. Put a good size fillet of medium or slow CA glue around the joint and set with accelerator.


To give it more strength, saturate all the edges of the control yoke assembly with thin CA. Let dry.


Lightly sand all the surfaces of the control yoke assembly until smooth. You can round the edges of these parts a little bit if you desire, but not too much as it can weaken them.


Drill a 3/64" (.046") dia. hole at the bottom of each leg of the control yoke.


Drill a 3/64" (.046") dia. hole through the length of the steering wheel post.


Paint all the steering wheel and control yoke parts at this time, before assembly. We painted the center spokes of the steering wheel "brass" color, and the crip part of the wheel is painted dark brown. The control yoke looks good painted either brown to look like wood, or silver for metal.


Bolt the steering wheel in place on the control yoke with the 00-90 x1/2" brass round-head bolt provided. Use a flat washer under the head of the bolt, and another washer under the hex nut.


Insert a 00-90 x1/4" brass round-head bolt, with a flat washer under the head, into the hole at the bottom of each leg of the control yoke. Put a small drop of thin CA glue on the bolt to keep it in place. Let dry.


Install the control yoke on the airplane by carefully spreading the legs of the yoke just enough to allow the two bolts to go into the holes in the fuselage sides.


Hold the control yoke at a slight forward angle (see side view plan) while placing a small drop of thin CA glue on the shank of each bolt inside the fuselage.



Cut the parts of the printed cardboard pilot from the sheet with a sharp #11 hobby knife or scissors. Cut as accurately and close to the image as possible.


Glue the mating parts of the pilot together with a common glue stick, being careful to keep all the edges matched up.


86. Drill a 3/64" dia. hole in the shoulders and elbows of the pilot parts, where indicated by the black dots.


Assemble the arms to the body using the 00-90 x1/8" long brass bolts, hex nuts, and washers that are provided.


Cut a piece of 1/8" sq. balsa stick to fit between formers F5 and F6, at the top of the fuselage. Glue the stick in place, in the middle of the fuselage. Then glue the pilot to the stick. Bend the pilot's arms outward so his hands are on the steering wheel.

Optional Rigging Wires

Installing scale-like "rigging wires" on your Deperdussin is well worth the small effort it takes ... and it really makes the airplane come alive! The process of installing it is easier and quicker than you may think.

For reference, we've included a 3-view "RIGGING DIAGRAM" of the Deperdussin on the last page of this manual. This drawing shows and identifies the basic rigging locations. The "rigging wires" are actually black elastic thread, and an 8 yard long piece is included in this kit to make all of the rigging you see in the diagram. You will also need the remaining 1/16"od x1/4" aluminum tubes, a good pair of small needle nose pliers, a sharp #11 blade, and some thin CA glue.

TENSIONING: A little information about the elastic thread and how to use it will be helpful. Because it's difficult to convey "how much" to stretch this thread during the rigging process, we'll tell you that we use a 2:1 ratio. This means that to get adequate tension on all rigging lines, stretch them to approximately twice their relaxed length. For example, a relaxed 12" length of thread is stretched to about 24", providing the right tension. With this in mind, the 8 yards of rigging thread included in the kit is really 16 yards in actual use - more than enough to complete the model.


Before you begin installing the rigging wires, you need to make and install four wire rigging attachment points for the bottom of the landing gear. These are called Rigging Hook #2 on the plans. You will need four of them, two on each side of the airplane.


Cut and bend four #2 Rigging Hooks from .020" dia. wire, according to the full-size pattern on the plan.


Drill a 1/32" dia. hole at the bottom of each of the four main landing gear struts, approximately where shown on the side view plan (corresponding to locations B and C in the RIGGING DiAGRAM). Try to judge the exact location for each hole so that when the rigging hook is poked through the hole in the next step, the shank of the wire will lay against the 1/8" sq. balsa cross bars.


Insert a #2 Rigging Hook in each hole. Orient the rigging hook with the looped end pointing down, and while you hold the looped end in that position, apply a single drop of medium or slow CA glue to other end of the rigging hook to bond it to the landing gear. Set the glue with accelerator.


In preparation for installing the rigging wires on the wings, you must first pierce a hole in the covering material over each aluminum tube rigging point in the wing to allow the rigging lines to pass through the tubes. The easiest and neatest way to do this is with a sharpened metal point, such as an awl or a thin nail. Use a lighter or torch to heat the metal point and press it through the covering, into the aluminum tube. This makes a neat, perfectly round hole that is sealed around its edges. Open all eight tubing holes on both wing panels.


Referring to the RIGGING DIAGRAM, the first rigging wire we're going to install runs from rigging point A at the top fo the cabane struts, through tube E in the left wing panel, and then down to rigging point B at the back of the landing gear. We will put loops on both ends of this rigging wire so that it can be detached from the fuselage when you want to take the wing off. Proceed as follows:


Cut a 13" length (unstretched) of elastic thread. Tip: When cutting the elastic thread, avoid fraying by using a sharp new razor blade.


b. At one end of the elastic thread, apply a single drop of Thin CA glue to the tip of the thread and harden it with CA Accelerator. Use a razor blade to cut the hardened tip at a sharp angle, leaving a "point". The pointed end of the thread will be used as a needle to route the rigging thread through the various rigging point locations.


Push the needle end of the elastic thread through the aluminum tube at location E starting from the bottom, and out to the top surface of the wing. Pull approximately half of the elastic thread through the tube to the topside of the wing.


Get a short (6" or so) length of scrap monofilament line leftover from the pull-pull control installation. Hold the two ends of the monofilament line closely together and insert them both into one end of a 1/4" aluminum swage tube. Push the two ends through the tube, leaving a small loop of monofilament line sticking out of the tube, as shown here.


Insert about 1" of elastic thread through the monofilament loop and back against itself. Hold the elastic thread loop tightly with your fingers. Pull the monofilament loop through the aluminum swage tube, along with the elastic thread loop until about 1/4" (relaxed, not stretched) of looped thread is showing from the end of the tube.


Remove the monofilament line and use small needle nose pliers to crush the middle of the swage tube, locking the thread loop in place. Trim off the short length of excess thread. This end of the rigging wire is done.


Repeat steps 91e, 91f, and 91g to make a swaged loop on the other end of the rigging wire.


Hook the loop ends of the rigging wire to the Rigging Hooks at points A and B. Adjust the elastic thread to equalize the tension above and below the wing.


Repeat Step 91 in its entirety to install a 14" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point A at the top of the cabane struts, through tube D in the left wing panel, and then down to rigging point C at the front of the landing gear.


Repeat Step 91 in its entirety to install a 24" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point A at the top of the cabane struts, through tube G in the left wing panel, and then down to rigging point B at the rear of the landing gear.


Repeat Step 91 in its entirety to install a 24" length (unstretched) of elastic thread from point A at the top fo the cabane struts, through tube F in the left wing panel, and then down to rigging point C at the front of the landing gear.


Now repeat Steps 91, 92, 93, and 94 to install the same rigging wires on the other wing panel.


As you know, the pull-pull control lines that you installed from the servos to the elevator and rudder are clear monofilament fishing line and nearly invisible. So to simulate the pull-pull control cables that were on the real Deperdussin, we used the same elastic thread as we just used for the wing rigging.


The first step is to make a small disc out of scrap balsa to simulate a pulley for the elevator cables on the left side of the cockpit (point K in the RIGGING DIAGRAM). For the rudder, make and install a small 1/8" sq. scrap balsa stick on each side of the the cockpit to simulate a rudder control bar (point R). We painted both these items black.


Take some more scrap 1/8" sq. balsa stick and install a dummy elevator control horn at the middle of the leading edge of each elevator (point H in the RIGGING DIAGRAM).


c. Install elastic thread from point K (the dummy elevator pulley), back to H (the dummy control horns), and then from H to points I and J. All it takes is a small drop of CA glue to adhere the elastic thread to the structure.

Do this on both top and bottom of the elevator.


Install elastic thread from point R (the dummy rudder bar), back to point L (the tip of the rudder control horn), and then back to points M and N.

Do this on both the right and left sides of the rudder.


Now that you've finished the wing rigging and the dummy control cables, you are well versed in the basic methods we used for adding these eye catching details to our prototype models. You can stop here, or you can continue to add more simulated rigging wires to your Deperdussin for even more scale "wow" factor.

If you study the photographs in this manual of our finished models and of the full-size Deperdussins, you'll discover that there are many more rigging wires that could be added using the elastic thread techniques. For instance, we also put rigging wires at the front and rear of our main landing gear struts. These are in the form of the typical crossed "X" from on corner of the structure to the other. These do not have to be removable, so they were installed simply by drilling a tiny hole through the wood struts, hardening the end of the thread to create a needle point, poking the point through the hole, stretching the thread an appropriate amount, applying a tiny drop of Thin CA glue to the thread at the hole, and then cutting off the excess thread flush with the outside of the strut.

You can add as much or as little extra scale details are you desire. It's your option. If you run out of the elastic thread, you can buy more wherever sewing thread is sold. It's a common item.


As shown on the plans, your Deperdussin should balance approximately 3-3/8" back from the leading edge of the wing, measured at the fuselage sides. We've achieved this balance point on all our prototype models, without having to add any additional weight, by mounting the battery pack on the forward BTM mount in front of former F3.


Whether or not the Deperdussin is your first indoor R/C model, we strongly suggest that you pay close attention to the following information! If you have access to an indoor basketball court or a clear gym space of about the same size, you can quickly get the take-off and landing procedures understood with little problem. If you don't have this kind of indoor space available, find a large paved surface outdoors, and remember you cannot fly this airplane in any kind of wind! In all of the following instructions, remember that altitude is best controlled with the throttle. As you gain experience flying the Deperdussin, you will do this automatically. Finally, remember that the flight controls are on the right stick (for Mode II transmitters) and that trying to correct with "rudder" on the left stick will do nothing! This might seem a little obvious but if you are normally a 4-channel pilot, it can be a very real issue.

Taking off the Deperdussin could not be easier. Simply throttle up smoothly (do not "punch it"), correcting the take-off run with a little rudder, if needed, and it will lift off by itself in a very short distance. Typical take-off runs for the Deperdussin are about 6' - 10'. As soon as the airplane lifts off, smoothly throttle back the motor, WITHOUT TURNING IT OFF, allowing the airplane to lightly settle back down to the "runway" for a landing under power. All of this should be done in a straight line. Repeat this exercise enough times to become familiar with the way the airplane responds to throttle and your small control inputs. If you learn nothing else, learn this; the Deperdussin will not continue flying with the motor off. With the motor off, it will almost immediately stop flying and drop to the ground. This characteristic is shared with the full-scale Deperdussin, as well as most, if not all, early pioneer aircraft.


Once you've mastered the take-off and landing techniques, you're ready to fly the airplane. Take-off and use the throttle to establish a "cruise" altitude of about 6' to 8' in the air. Make the turns smooth, keeping the nose level or slightly down to avoid stalling and to maintain forward speed. This turning technique is very useful throughout the Deperdussin's flight envelope. After making just a few turns, you'll realize that the control authority, provided by the full-flying tail group, is remarkably smooth and sure, without being "twitchy". If flying indoors and the ceiling height permits, take the airplane up higher, using throttle to seek and then hold any given altitude. This is a good exercise in learning how to fly this model. It won't be long before you're perfectly comfortable with this very nice flying scale model. Make a few low, slow passes and listen to your flying buddy's comments!

When you're ready to land, remember the landing technique that you practiced earlier - you must land under power! Set up for a landing by lowering the throttle setting just enough to let the airplane begin descending on its own. Line-up the final approach to take advantage of the longest part of your "runway", keeping the airplane straight while it settles to the ground under low power. Use elevator input only sparingly to avoid killing off too much forward speed and to flare very slightly immediately before touchdown. Turn the motor off, allowing the model to stop. On the smooth wooden floors of indoor gyms and basketball courts we've learned to "taxi" our Deperdussin back to the flight station, using coordinated rudder and throttle inputs.

As you gain air time and experience, you'll be able to perform wingovers, touch and go landings, and of course, those lovely low, slow fly-bys. We've tried to loop the Deperdussin many times but its relatively low speed, high-lift airfoil, and lack of mass tend to combine, making a loop nothing more than a powered stall. Hey, the full-scale Deperdussin didn't loop either! Remember, we're talking 1909 - the first loop wasn't done with any airplane until 1913!

Finally, make it a habit to check over the airframe of your Deperdussin after each flight. Check for any loose joints, etc. Bringing a little CA glue to your flying sessions is highly recommended for the first few outings. We sincerely hope that building and flying your Deperdussin has been a rewarding and interesting experience. We also hope that you now have a little better appreciation for the very real contributions that early aviation pioneers made in refining and furthering one of man's grandest dreams!

Good luck and safe flying!



Jules Vedrines
This boisterous French pilot was the fastest man alive in 1912, often breaking his own world speed record day after day in his Deperdussin.
January13 1912 Sets new world speed record of 90.9 mph.
February22 1912 Sets new world speed record of 100.2 mph - the first man to fly faster than 100 mph!
February29 1912 Sets new world speed record of 100.9 mph.
March1 1912 Sets new world speed record of 103.6 mph.
March2 1912 Sets new world speed record of 104.3 mph.
July13 1912 Sets new world speed record of 106.1 mph.
September9 1912 Vedrines wins the prestigious Gordon Bennett Race held in Chicago, setting a new world speed record of 108.1 mph. Second place was another Deperdussin flown by Frenchman Maurice Prevost. Upon landing, Vedrines was quoted as saying, “The force of the wind blew the buttons off my hat!”

Rene Vidart
Like other wealthy young French sportsman of the era, Rene Vidart became fascinated with aeroplanes the first time he saw one. He took his first airplane flight in June 1910 at Rheims. Three days later he was issued French pilot certificate no. 133. He quickly gained notoriety for his flying ability.
December 1910 Set speed record “with passenger” in a 2-place Deperdussin.
June 1911 Won 3rd place in Circuit of Europe Race with Deperdussin.
August 1911 Winner of Geneva air meet with Deperdussin.
August 1911 Set Swiss altitude record of 2,132 ft. with Deperdussin.
1912 Opened his own flight school.
A military pilot in World War I, a severe arm wound ended his flying career.


Jules Vedrines rounds the final pylon to win the 1912 Gordon Bennett Race in Chicago at 108.1 mph. Second place was won by Maurice Prevost in another Deperdussin at 102.2 mph. The next year Prevost would set a new world speed record of 126.6 mph while winning both the 1913 Gordon Bennett race and the Schneider Trophy race.
Beautiful old picture of a Deperdussin 2-seater at sunset.
Armand Deperdussin, Founder and President of the company building the world’s fastest airplanes in 1910-1913. His legal problems killed the company at the height of it’s success. From the ashes came the SPAD company of World War I fame.

Customer Service

SIG MFG. CO., INC. is totally committed to your success in both assembling and flying the 1910 DEPERDUSSIN kit. Should you encounter any problem building this kit or discover any missing or damaged parts, please feel free to contact us by mail or telephone.

401-7 South Front Street
Montezuma, IA 50171-0520
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Warning! This is not a toy!
Flying machines of any form, either model-size or full-size, are not toys! Because of the speeds that airplanes must achieve in order to fly, they are capable of causing serious bodily harm and property damage if they crash. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND YOURS ALONE to assemble this model airplane correctly according to the plans and instructions, to ground test the finished model before each flight to make sure it is completely airworthy, and to always fly your model in a safe location and in a safe manner. The first test flights should only be made by an experienced R/C flyer, familiar with high performance R/C aircraft.
The governing body for radio-control model airplanes in the United States is the ACADEMY OF MODEL AERONAUTICS, commonly called the AMA. The AMA SAFETY CODE provides guidelines for the safe operation of R/C model airplanes. While AMA membership is not necessarily mandatory, it is required by most R/C flying clubs in the U.S. and provides you with important liability insurance in case your R/C model should ever cause serious property damage or personal injury to someone else. For more information, contact:
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SIG MFG. CO., INC............Montezuma, Iowa 50171-0520
LIMIT OF LIABILITY: The craftsmanship, attention to detail and actions of the builder/flyer of this model airplane kit will ultimately determine the airworthiness, flight performance and safety of the finished model. SIG MFG. CO's obligation shall be to replace those parts of the kit proven to be defective or missing. The user shall determine the suitability of the product for his or her intended use and shall assume all risk and liability in connection therewith.