F-105 Thunderchief Instructions

​The F-105 Thunderchief RC Rocket glider kit is based on the cold war era mach 2 nuclear bomber that was utilized in Vietnam for bombing and SAM supression.  It was the largest single seat single engine jet aircraft of the time.  It features a mid mounted 9mm depron wing with spar installed,  2.6″ white tubing for the body pre-slotted for the wing and tail, rear of body tube pre-cut to simulate afterburner/speed brake petals, and the depron  tail surfaces have the spars pre-installed.  Rail buttons holes are are pre-punched and comes with a white plastic nose cone. Specs:  34″ length, 26.5″ wingspan, 11.5 oz rtf, for 24mm E-6 single use or reloadable motors.    High quality cut vinyl decals are available HERE:

CG location for rocket flight with battery and loaded motor installed 15″ forward from the rear of the body tube: 

Please refer to the General Information Link above then read the instructions completely before starting assembly. The assembly photos are for general reference but may not include every step in the instructions. If you want hardcopy to work from, all you have to do is click/drag/select and copy all of the text below, open word and paste with “keep original format” and it looks exactly like it does online then you can print it.

Unpacking your kit:

The kits are packed to protect them in shipping, but the contents are fragile so unpack carefully.  Carefully cut the tape holding the tubes in the box, then unwrap/lightly cut the plastic wrap to free the tubes, the spar may be packed in the tubes and the baggie with the little parts and nose cone will be in the tubes as well.  Carefully cut the tape holding the cardboard wing protector in the box and carefully remove it, don’t pull hard or bend it.  Then carefully cut the tape holding the cardboard top piece to the bottom.  There may be some sticky tape holding the cardboard to the bottom cardboard piece, carefully peel it being sure not to bend anything.  Once the top cardboard is free you can see the foam wing/tail parts, there are little fragile pieces in here, so unwrap carefully.  It may be best to use an exacto to lightly cut the plastic wrap and carefully remove it without cutting into the foam.  Make sure everything is free before you remove the pieces to avoid breaking anything.  Kits contain one or two scrap pieces for repairs if you damage anything in construction or flight, just cut and patch in a spare piece of the foam if needed using foam safe CA+.

Welcome to the world of rocket boosted radio control gliders.  This is not a model for a novice RC pilot, but anyone who is comfortable with RC flying of a medium speed model should be fine.  Read through the instructions, look at the photos and be sure you understand the step before commiting to cutting or glue.

F-105 Thunderchief Rocket glider instructions

Identify all pieces, the kit should contain:

1  wing  taped together

1 Nose Cone

1 vertical stabilizer

2 control horn​s w/pushrods

1 spar

2 2.75″ long motor mount supports

2 2″ long motor mount supports

2 Body Tubes​

1 coupler

Motor mount

3 cockpits

1 horizontal stabilizer with elevons attached

Velcro(for battery and rx/bec attachment)

Lead weight

Spare depron

Notes before starting:

Reference to glue, CA, or CA+ means foam safe CA+, normal CA+ will melt the foam!  Normally you need to use accelerator to get the CA to set on the foam since there is nothing for it to soak into and activate.

Epoxy is not needed in this model.  Weight is critical and the model is designed for the thrust and flight loads.


  1. If you want to sand the foam edges, use 320 grit paper on a hard block and do small amounts at a time using a very light touch.   On straight surfaces I cut a slight 1/16″ bevel on each side before I sand to save time.  
  2. Glue the two short motor centering strips on opposite sides of the motor mount even with one end, use guidelines on tube as a reference.  Glue the two longer motor mount strips 90 degrees to the two short strips on the motor mount tube even with the same end as the two short strips.
  3. Unfold the wing and apply glue to the wing at the taped joint and set it on a flat surface to dry face down.   
  4. Glue the spar in the wing slot then tape over the spar and joint with blenderm tape.
  5. Install the front rail button at this time in the rear tube with hole pre cut.
  6. Join the body tubes using the coupler, note the two tubes have arrow marks, make sure these are aligned as you glue them together. The coupler will stop against the rail button t-nut and go in about an inch on the rear tube, glue that in first then add front tube.
  7. You will need to trim the coupler out of the front of the pre-cut wing slot after it is installed.
  8. Insert the horizontal stabilizer into the slot in the body tube.  Make sure the spar is facing down and the rail buttons are also facing down and the vertical stab slot is facing up.  You need to insert it at an angle and pull it back slightly into the motor cutout portion, then rotate it and slide it in the rest of the way, it will go, see picture for clarity.
  9. Make sure the stabilizer is centered in the body tube at the front and rear and glue the stabilizer in place.
  10. Test fit the wing into the slot in the body tube, then make sure the wing is centered front and back and glue in place when correct. The foam may have some minor curve to it from the factory, this does not affect flight.
  11. Glue the vertical stab in place in the rear keeping it perpendicular to the wing and horizontal stabilizer.  Apply a fillet inside the tube and on the outside.
  12. Test fit the motor mount into the rear of the model.  You may need to sand the tabs on the mount so it will fit into the rear.  The two short strips will be horizontal and the motor tube will recess into the slot cut in the horizontal stab.  The motor mount should insert about 1/2″ recessed into the rear of the model.  Glue in place when correct.
  13. Glue the three cockpit pieces together then sand the upper edges round. 
  14. Wrap some sandpaper around the body tube/nose cone and sand the bottom of the cockpit so it matches the contour of the tube/cone.
  15. Glue the cockpit in place on the nose cone and body tube so that the rear is about even with the front of the wing intakes.  Make sure not to glue the nose cone to the body tube!!! When cured use a sharp exacto to slice the cockpit at the nose cone/body tube joint so that they can be separated.
  16. Glue each control horn in place on the bottom of the control surface using the pre made holes.  The control horn holes should be pointing toward the front of the model.  The pushrod should be closest to the center of the fuselage, there is a left and right control horn. Repeat on the other side.
  17. Put some CA on the top of the control surface where the horn prongs stick through, this locks it in place

The basic construction is now complete.

Radio Installation

Note:  Your radio needs to be configured for Delta mixing, this means that the servo arms will move the same direction during elevator stick movement and opposite for aileron stick movement.  Connect your servos to the receiver one in the aileron connection and one on the elevator connection and apply power.   Use a servo arm at least 9/16” long and with holes small enough that there won’t be slop with the pushrod wire when installed.  I use the hole furthest out on the servo arm, to maximize movement. On some servos there are a long two-ended servo arm, you can trim off one end if needed to get sufficient length.   Zero out any trim settings on the transmitter.

  1. Connect a servo to each pushrod.  If the pushrod is too tight, you can use twist an exacto knife in the servo arm hole to make it larger, but be careful and do not make it too large.  Once connected, tape each servo in place near the bottom of the stabilizer temporarily so that the control surfaces are centered.  Flip the model right side up and look at it from the rear.  Moving the transmitter stick back(up elevator) should move both elevons up.  Moving the transmitter stick to the right should move the right elevon up and the left elevon down.   If you can’t get the servo reversing to give you the right polarity try swapping aileron/elevator inputs to the receiver or turning the servos over and swapping the servo arms to the other side of the output shaft.  If that is correct, continue.  
  2. Attach a servo extension that is 18-24″ long, long enough to reach to the front of the model and attach to the battery.
  3. Flip the model upside down and supported.   Mark where each servo would go to have the control surface centered, then cut a slot into the body tube to fit the servo and insert the servo so that the pushrod makes a straight path to the elevon.  You’ll need to route the servo wire through the hole and re-attach it to the receiver at the front.
  4. With the radio still on, put a small amount of glue on the bottom of the the servo, being careful not to get any near the output shaft then re-insert it into the pocket in the body tube and gluing it to the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer.  Keep the surface level as you do this.  Do the same to the other side.  Make sure the glue is set before continuing.  See pictures for help.
  5. Flip the model back right side up.  Make sure the control surfaces are centered, use trims if needed.  Now measure the control surface movement.  Full elevator movement should be 1” to 1.25″ in each direction, aileron movement should be 1″ to 1.5″ in either direction.  Since the model will be nose heavy, extra elevon movement helps to give sufficient authority during glide.
  6. If you have a flap/elevator mix you can program up elevator to a switch setting.  The model needs approximately  1/2″” of up elevon during glide.  If you can’t set the up elevator trim to a switch on your radio you’ll have to manually put in boost and glide trim which is hard to do while flying the model.  
  7. Attach the receiver inside the nose cone with the provided velcro.
  8. Attach the flight battery into the nose cone with the rest of the provided velcro.
  9. Finish the model as desired, see general instructions for paint recommendations and warnings.  I used a sharpie pen and clear drawing triangles to make panel lines and it adds a lot to the model and doesn’t take that long.   I painted the cockpit and rear of the body tube with silver and the camo with flat OD and flat brown from testors. I left the bottom of the model unpainted.  I don’t recommend trying to mask over the painted foam surfaces, the tape will tend to pull up the paint and then you have to touch it up, when the paint is pulled off it can pull off a little of the foam surface and then the brushed paint can eat into the foam so be careful.  If you use acrylic this probably won’t be an issue.   I used cutout paper masks and overlayed them onto the wings and tail and sprayed over them with the brown paint.  Instead of brown if you can find model master enamel afrika mustard it is closer to what was used in vietnam.
  10. Balance the model after you have painted it.
  11. Insert your heaviest loaded rocket motor into the motor mount and install the flight battery as if you were going to fly it.
  12. Support the model right side up at the balance point indicated for boost.  Glue pieces of the included lead weight  in the nose or tail as needed to balance it.  Do not try to fly the model with it balancing it behind this point or significantly nose heavy.  The adage is, a nose heavy model flies poorly, a tail heavy model flies once.

Flying:  See the General Information link at the top for flying instructions.  Be ready on the first few flights to keep the model straight till you have the trims set perfectly for boost and glide.