Osprey Sports Glider | 20" Balsa Kit

(3 Reviews)
In stock

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Wingspan (inches)
Ease of Build
Ease of Flight
Product Details


The Osprey is a high wing, cabin sports glider model designed for fun flying. This is not a scale model based on a real (or what modellers call "prototype") aircraft, but is designed purely as a flying model.

Sports models come in many guises and are often flown in competitions that are purely about flying duration, with many different sets of rules and regulations governing their size and shape. Often these models bear no resemblance to a real aircraft at all, with thin tubular fuselages, no undercarriage and very long thin wings. A cabin sports model means one which has a cockpit where a notional pilot could sit, with fewer compromises to the size and shape for duration. Therefore it sits between a scale model and a pure duration model, both in the way it looks and the way it performs.

These types of models are much easier to build and fly than their scale model counterparts and therefore form an ideal starting point for a new modeller.


Construction of the model from this kit uses the traditional method of "stick and tissue", that is to say a built up balsa wood skeleton (framework), covered with a tissue skin. The balsa frameworks are built over a plan printed at the exact scale of the model which is in essence a real engineering drawing. The glider can be launched by hand on flat terrain for short and simple flights or on a slope for longer flights. It can also be "towed" into the air.

Free flight means just that - once the model is launched it is on its own. It must follow a predetermined flight path established when the model is initially adjusted for flight or "trimmed". This type of traditional building technique and flying requires a degree of patience and skill ñ but is extremely rewarding. Although not a "seriou" sports glider model, if built correctly and in the right hands, the Osprey is capable of surprisingly long flights. I

n the spirit of the old kits additional items required to build the model are things that can be found in the kitchen drawer or are easily available on the high street.



Most orders are shipped via Royal Mail’s Tracked 48 service.

For larger or heavier orders, we use UKMail/DHL to deliver your package on a Next Working Day service.

Shipping is free to UK Mainland addresses for orders over £30.00, otherwise we charge £6.00 for Royal Mail Tracked 48 parcels and £12.00 for UKMail/DHL Nest Working Day.


Smaller items

Items that fit within Royal Mail International Tracked Medium Parcel parameters (59cm x 17cm x 15cm weighing less than 2kg) can be sent to most countries outside the UK.

For example up to 3 of our smaller 18” wingspan kits can fit into one of these parcels.

A parcel like this currently costs around £14 to Europe and around £18 to send to the USA and will take up to 3 weeks to arrive. This is because Royal Mail hands over the parcel to the local Post Office service for your country who have to clear it through customs and then deliver it to you.

The Royal Mail tracking code also transfers over to the tracking for your country’s postal service.

Larger items

For items that do not fit within Royal Mail International Tracked Medium Parcel parameters, we use standard international couriers such as DHL, FedEx and UPS.

These companies use something called volumetric weights to calculate the cost of shipping.

For example, a Balsa Basics RC bundle kit that measures 102cm x 34cm x 16cm and weighs 2.5 kg is actually calculated at 14kg!

This makes these very expensive to send outside the UK - a large kit can cost nearly £40 to send to France.

Reviews (3)
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3 Reviews:

VMC Osprey
22 April 2024  | 

Bought this a while back and finally finished it. Loved the new instruction booklet, so much better than just a sheet of paper of being printed onto the plans. I did find the build easy but like a previous reviewer had warping in the tailplane, first time ever and to be honest I doubt it's the fault of the kit. Something to be praised is the use of a biodegradable plastic bag to hold the laser cut sheets in. A nice build, definitely something to practice and improve your skills on. Overall a kit to be recommended.

A real joy to build. Bending the fuselage parts was tricky.
20 May 2019  | 

VMC - Ospreys Sports Glider

It is advertised as ideal for a new modeler but , you must know some tricks. Since this was my third model I hoped to do it flawless. But that stil was not the case:

My observations with this build and recommendation to VMC to add in the instructions are:

1e. Issue of glueing the rear of the two fuselage parts together.
I would recommend to ‘score’ right after the F9 section. I discovered that one fuselage half would bend easily and the other one did not !
Very strange but it resulted , despite my good intentions, not in the shape according the fuselage gauge line on the plan.

2e. Due to the fact that one fuselage part hardly curved the same crooked thing happened by glueing the nose tip. Looking back again most likely scoring was the best option . Because now trying to bend the fuselage it broke at position F9 at the top.

3e. My method of fixing the acetate windscreen to the fuselage was to drop first cyano on the balsa and then attach the acetate.
In the video of Rob Brennan ( VMC: make reference on the box / website to his YouTube build video ) I saw him doing a different (and of course) better approach: He First put the windscreen in place and Then dropped a few cyano.

4e. The tailplane was still straight as a ruler after covering it up with the tissue.
But , after sprinkling with water it dried up crooked.
So better idea is to advise to pin down this wet tailplane part to the board .
PS: I fixed the tailplane on the board after doping it but the twisted curve remained.

5e. The model definitely needed balancing. VMC please add for a novice builder :
Use a tiny piece of clay ( to put in the noose tip ) and a nylon fish line wire with a few lead drops attached (I needed :8 à 9 gram).
Even better of course would be if the box contained these materials. Balancing is so a piece of cake.

Again , a lovely little model airplane. I enjoyed building it a lot. And it flew nicely even with the curved tailplane.

PS: It’s a pity that VMC doesn’t put a little piece of paper in the manual with reference to the corrections to be made ( as was indicated by an earlier reviewer)

Next model: A Relatively small RC glider. Not sure IF VMC has this in their catalogue ( The plan must include how and where to add the receiver / servos etc ).


Thanks Johan for another comprehensive review.

We will do our best to improve the kit with the suggestions you've made.

We have a completely revised 50" (1270mm) wingspan Minimoa glider coming soon that is designed to take RC gear. This might work well for you.

Osprey Glider Kit
14 April 2017  | 

If you haven't done any aero-modelling since Keil Kraft were in their heyday, then laser cut kits are quite a revelation. No fuzzily printed part outlines requiring you to make additional templates; everything is precisely cut to size requiring only the lightest smoothing with the sanding block to smooth the cut stubs. It's almost too easy and a tiny part of my conscience thinks it's cheating, but only a tiny part.

The part layout on three sheets of balsa is neat with very little wastage. I was expecting the fuselage to be a traditional longeron and spacer construction so was a bit surprised by the flat "panel" fuselage sides. However they do make perfect sense when supplying a kit using only sheet balsa. It also allows for a more "realistic" fuselage profile to be obtained easily.

A nice touch is that the additional bits (tissue, acetate, piano wire and dowel) aren't supplied as the bare minimum quantities necessary. There is enough material to allow for a modeller getting it wrong once or maybe even twice depending on the operation that he or she makes a muck of. Don't ask how I know this.

There were a couple of minor typographical errors in the instruction manual, but the instructions are generally very good. However, like any kit, a couple of careful readings and a mental run through of assembly steps before starting on a section are necessary.

Previous modelling experience is helpful but isn't vital. A first time modeller should be able to get a good, flyable aeroplane out of this kit providing he or she is patient and careful.

I think the recommended lower age limit of 14 is probably set too high. I'd happily give the Osprey to an unsupervised 12 year old and I think some 10 year olds could make a good job of it but would probably benefit from a bit of help with the build.