Hi and welcome. Here on this page are just some of the sketches that I done over the years since being in school, right up till now, which were all to do with aeromodelling. I work in the design industry and so I have always enjoyed drawing. I think the best thing though about designing then making your own aircraft, is seeing them fly. There is just so much joy in that.  I hope your enjoy my sketches as much I have done putting this page together!


This was the documentation book that I mention further down the page that featured the Grumman Bearcat. Amazing photos and diagrams. At the time I really wanted to build a super-detailed model of this plane, and this book had all the info I needed and packed with amazing photographs. Its  great book. Check out the date!

When I started thinking about designing my own ducted fan model, I wanted to build something simple. Of course I completely abandoned that line of thinking as the sketches below will show! Never-the-less, I did chose a simple subject - the Saab J29 fighter jet from the 1960's. Here are some of the earlier sketches that I drew, which was to create a sort of semi-scale model. Who knows, maybe one day I might actually get round to building it 🙂

More Saab J29 madness! Some of the sketches that don't appear here have all sorts of crazy mathematics scribbled onto the sheets which were obviously all part of the design process, something of which is  scary since I was hopeless at maths in school. But strangely I suddenly managed to understand it all when I applied it to designing model planes. Weird that...

sam welfair designed F16 ducted fan model airplane

During the mid 1980's after leaving university and just before landing a great job in a design studio, I worked as a freelancer designer- illustrator. When work was a little quiet I spent my time (when not going out) dreaming up all sorts of model aircraft that I hoped one day to build. This wicked little sketch is just one of them and is the F16 jet for Cox 049 powered ducted fan. Good times!

F14 Tomcat sketch model airplane

Not content with messing about sketching ideas for the F16, i saw some cool photos in a magazine for the F14 Tomcat. I thought "wouldn't it be cool to do a twin duct fan model!" bearing in mind I hadn't even built one yet. You gotta have a a dream though haven't you? 🙂

I found a whole bunch of design sketches for working out a twin duct fan arrangement for the F14 Tomcat - absolutely loads! Too many to put here. This is just one sketch. I must have been really determined to build this model, even though I never did - yet! what I can remember however, is just really enjoying the process.

When I was in senior school I bought a control line plan of the Grumman Bearcat for 1.5cc motors from Aeromodeller plans handbook. A few years later I bought one of those super-document-style books about the full size Bearcat. This book was incredible (I still have it) filled with amazing pix, drawings, diagrams, colour side views, and a 3D drawing of how the undercarriage works. The book was written in, I think, mandarin. I couldn't understand it. Still, It didn't stop me from designing my version for control line! Hmm..I wonder if it would work...

I bought another great book while still in school. It was called Flying Scale Models by R.G. Moulton. This book was the single biggest influence in generating my passion and enthusiasm for aeromodelling, and in particular, teaching you how to design your own models. It taught me that anyone could do it! And with that in mind I started sketching ideas for a small 0.8cc powered control line scale model - The Typhoon. This was my first sketch. It was going to have a retracting undercarriage. I drew up the plans and built the model. The retract system even worked! I damaged the motor though and it would never run properly, so I never flew it. Even worse the plans were lost when my parents moved from the house that we lived in.

I found this page recently while looking for something entirely different. This was, if I remember, part of a magazine that featured the Typhoon when I was building the model. Having found this, I keep hoping that the original drawings will miraculously turn up!

typhoon sketches - Sam W

This is just one of the many sketches that I would do daily at home when I returned from school if I wasn't playing after school football, basket ball, or table tennis. This was a preliminary working-out sketch when I was designing the first Typhoon model. Notice how tatty the cartridge paper is!

It's now the 1980's and I thought it would be great to design a range of models that people might like to build, so I went to work! Yeah I know, it's a bit cringe! It was during this time that I had just left university and got my first design job. It was a very creative company that really encouraged very free and energetic sketching styles that would form an integral part of their presentations, so that's the direction my sketching took. I really enjoyed it too 🙂

This is one of several sketch pages of the the retract system I mentioned earlier, taken from the Flying Scales Models handbook, only this time I was trying to put it into the Hawker Tempest design. I went on instead to place it in a Hawker Typhoon. All levers, pulleys, rubber bands and springs. I'm still amazed that it worked.

Whoops! more ducted fan sketches. These were development ideas for the F16 model that I was thinking of designing, which I eventually went on to draw up the plans on a drawing board (remember those?!!) that had a version of this unit. It had a Cox 049 Babe Bee engine and the whole unit was to be removable, the idea being that you could swap the fan unit from model to model - Sweet!

Thanks for checking out my sketches. Stay tuned for more uploads!