Building And Flying the Waco CG-4A Combat Glider












Waco CG-4A Home

Project Update: Done!

Project Background

This site is intended to provide information to those seeking to build and fly remote controlled (R/C) scale and semi-scale models of the Waco CG-4A airborne assault glider that was flown by the Allies in World War II.

I became interested in modeling the Waco CG-4A in a rather roundabout fashion. My first and most enduring love as regards aircraft is the P-51 Mustang, but at the time I began the CG-4A project, there were no satisfactory EPP P-51 Mustang kits available. The main reason I found the available kits unsatisfactory had to do with the inherent paradox of the PSS discipline, specifically, that of expecting a truly scale model of a powered aircraft to make a decent slope soaring glider.

Granted, at a slope with powerful lift conditions, almost anything can (and has!) been made to fly. And many PSS planes fly extremely well, provided suitable conditions. But these planes almost always feature elongated wings and fuselages which are designed to improve their gliding capabilities--often at great expense to their scale fidelity. At the time I began the CG-4A project, I felt that the available EPP P-51 kits left very much to be desired in terms of both their flight performance and scale accuracy.

Thus I decided that, rather than settling for an unsatisfactory rendition of my favorite airplane, I would try a different alternative. Thanks to inspiration received from numerous individuals on the RCGroups forums, I decided to try my hand at scratchbuilding an airplane.

So why the Waco CG-4A and not the P-51 Mustang?

Branching out from my realization of the PSS Paradox, yet still desiring to model something from the WWII era, I wondered whether anything such as a "combat glider" had ever existed. In fact, as I recall I even did a Google search for exactly those terms. Upon seeing the first picture of the Waco CG-4A, I became convinced that I simply had to build it. The CG-4A was just so unusual and unique--some might even say ugly--that there could be no other alternative.

It wasn't till after I had done more research into the CG-4A that I learned of the largely unknown heroism and service of the Glider Pilots and Glider Troopers. Their story is every bit as impressive, riveting and exciting as that of the fighter pilots, and often even more so because of the near suicidal nature of many of the glider missions. I became so interested in the history of the CG-4A and the men who flew and rode it that I eventually tracked down a copy of Gerard Devlin's "Silent Wings", a very thorough (and out-of-print) account of the Allied glider effort in WWII. Many of the photographs found on the Internet of the Waco CG-4A are from his book. The book of course also made an excellent reference for scale photographs and other details pertinent to building the model CG-4A.

So, without really intending to, I managed to learn about a fascinating and often horrifying aspect of WWII that I'd previously had absolutely no knowledge of. Over the course of the project, my building skills and general confidence have increased by orders of magnitude. There is nothing quite like scratchbuilding an airplane to deliver that kind of experience! And there's nothing like choosing an unusual scratchbuild project to teach you something new about history!

I hope that this site will prove useful to people interested in modeling the Waco CG-4A, and inspirational to those modeling other uncommon aircraft.

Steve Lange



Learn about VTPR and slope aerobatics at my other sites: and