Jan 2017 Model Aircraft of the Month — Gary Hodson’s “Peanut Scale” 1926 Stout Ford Monoplane

At our January Indoor Flying event we were all blown away when Gary brought out his “Peanut Scale” 1926 Stout Ford Monoplane. Gary completed the model around 2010.

The formal designation for the full sized aircraft is the ‘Maiden Dearborn’ Stout 2-AT Pullman all metal monoplane.

gary-hodsonGary confided to us had been so long since he last flown the plane that he couldn’t remember if it had a right or left hand circle flight pattern before he launched it for the first time at the session. No matter. For its first test flight, when he let the propeller go with the tiny rubber motor wound about at a third of its breaking strength, the aircraft came miraculously to life circling to the left after being stored away after all those years. After a few “trimming flights” we were all amazed to see the plane circling close to the ceiling of our 40′ tall indoor auditorium in Osawatomie KS.

FYI: Our HAFFA Aeromodeling Club holds monthly Indoor Flying Events during the winter months at the Osawatomie Auditorium, 425 Main St Osawatomie, KS.

Peanut Scale Model Aircraft have a specific set of rules. A “Hip Pocket” version of them can be found here: http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/ff_in_peanut_rules.htm

The first of these rules state that the “Models must be built-up reproductions of actual man-carrying aircraft”. With that in mind a little background about Gary’s choice of aircraft is in order.

Germany started producing all metal aircraft in ww1 when the Junkers firm started using corrugated steel, then switched to aluminum which was lighter, rigid, and strong. This firm went on to produce the Ju-52 Trimotor Bomber


Stout Air Transport 2-AT Pullman “Maiden Dearporn, circa 1926

About this same time Henry Ford became interested in in aircraft building and hired aeronautical engineer and designer William Stout to design a new transport for their new aviation division.

Stout based much of his design on the Junkers technology—especially the use of corrugated aluminum sheeting. Stouts first attempt at a design took the form of a single engine monoplane, the 2-At Pullman shown above. As history has it—the plane was under powered and the Fords, Henry and Edsel, were not impressed and had Stout try again, this time producing a successful Ford Trimotor.

ford-stout-right-side1000Unlike the Fords—we are very impressed with Gary’s monoplane!

In my research for information covering the real plane, I came across an excellent photo of one of the four ‘Maiden Dearborn’ Stout 2-AT Pullman all metal monoplanes being towed toward a hanger at the Ford Airport factory. Click HERE to view this photo. When you get to the page, click on the photo for an even larger view!

Gary pointford-stout-tail-group-1000ed out that the “Maiden Dearborn” designation was a play on words at the time because the plant was located in Dearborn, Michigan.

Gary explained to us that he likes to build up to the largest wingspan allowed under the “peanut scale” specifications which is 13″. What’s amazing about Gary’s model is that it was built by Gary using his own interpretation of the drawings of the real plane. Built from scratch, there is no ready made “kit” involved, just a desire and his patience to replicate the real thing down to an incredibly small scale. The result turned out to be an unbelievably accurate and a very interesting scale model aircraft to view. Add the fact that it flies like a champ makes for an unbelievable bonus! A huge factor in its ability to fly so well is its ultra light weight. Gary said it comes in at just under 7 grams. Given all the weight of its propeller, rubber motor and the other parts, that is quite a feat into itself.

ford-stout-left-side-600He went on to to explain to us that he was able to keep the weight down by the process he developed to add the graphics to the model. His solution was to print all the graphics directly on white tissue paper on a desk jet printer. Through a countless trial and error method, he hit on the perfect combination of the right printer and the correct ink to use. You see, some of the ink is water soluble which won’t work at all. Lightly spraying a removable spray adhesive on a piece of tissue then placing it on a sheet of copy paper is the process he found worked best for the printing process. “The great thing about this way of doing things is that it adds little weight to the plane.” In fact, after Gary weighed the tissue on his digital scale (accurate to .01 gm) and then weighing the printed tissue after it was dry, “It amounted to a negligible amount of weight. The scale didn’t even pick up the difference.” Gary said.  Having built the model approximately 6 years ago, he brought in a graphics program at the time to replicate all the lettering, windows, and even lines to indicate the aluminum sheeting of the actual plane, as shown in detail at left.

Thanks to Gary Hodson for sharing his peanut scale model aircraft with us.

Below is a photo album celebrating this great model aircraft. If you click on any of the photos of the album, you will go to a slide show showing enlarged versions of the same photos. Press the back arrow to escape.

Members of HAFFA—if you have a model you would like to showcase like this, let Jeff Nisley know (jeffnisley@ymail.com) and he will try his best to make it happen.

Jeff Nisley is an editor of the website Flyhaffa.com and would like to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions at jeffnisley@ymail.com. Thanks

If you liked this “Model Aircraft of the Month” here is a list of the latest installments:

Evan Guyett’s F1D Indoor Model Aircraft — Feb 2018 Model Aircraft of the Month
Oct 2017 Model Aircraft of the Month — Lynn Chaffee’s Aircraft Models
Feb 2017 Model Aircraft of the Month — Jeff Renz’s A6 Indoor Model Aircraft
Jan 2017 Model Aircraft of the Month — Gary Hodson’s “Peanut Scale” 1926 Stout Ford Monoplane
Nov 2016 Model Aircraft of the Month — Mike Basta’s 1995 “Souper P-30”