Photo by Al Lidberg


2004 Nats Valhalla

Red Buzzard by

Devon Sutcliffe


Jim O'Reilly Model Plans

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My love for modeling started when I was six years old. I began competing in 1974 after a change from an engineering to a sales engineering job, where I had more control of my schedule. I had worked as a mechanical systems and propulsion engineer at Aero Commander Aircraft, Mooney Aircraft and Gulfstream Aerospace.

I began competing in 1974 with Coupes, 1/2A Gas, F1H towliners and Unlimited Rubber. I have won Wakefield at the Nats in 1986, 1987 and 1994, and P-30 in 2002.

I joined the Society of Antique Modelers in 1981 and competed in most of the rubber-powered events and in gas free flight.  Successes included a win in Class A Gas Cabin with a Cabin Ruler at Bong in 1983 and Rubber Cabin at Madera in 1985 with an Altimeter and a Eugene.

After years of sales calls in various engineering departments where computer aided design (CAD) was being used, CAD looked like enormous fun.  It came to pass in 1993. The model, plans business started as a means of drawing my own plans, but evolved into the business it is today. It was and is a "labor of love". The number of items in the catalog is just over 200 plans. This number will grow in the future!

The relationship with Bob Holman and his laser-cut parts started before the SAM Champs in 1998 when Charlie Reich suggested that someone who did CAD ought to get together with someone who had a laser-cutter and do short kits of Ernie Linn's Kansas Wakefield, which was the 1998 SAM Champs one-design rubber powered model. That relationship continues to this day.

My goals include the highest quality and accuracy of airplane model plans I can produce. I draw plans incorporating current practice by competition builders, as opposed to "museum quality" plans. For example, dethermalizers, tubular rear motor anchors, injection molded engine mounts are routinely shown on plans as being legal deviations from actual 1940-era models.

It is my intention to produce model airplane plans for all "one-design" events possible, with sufficient lead time for a builder to show up at the contest with a complete and tested model.


Jim O'Reilly

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