link to Tarheel Nova III box Tarheel Nova III


Width (wings out)

16.2 cm
11.8 cm
5.6 cm

6 3/8 in
4 5/8 in
2 3/16 in



Variable-geometry wings

Cockpit hinges open

Friction drive

Tarheel Nova III origin

The Nova III is a simplified version of one of the designs for a Thunderbird 6 craft proposed by Brains in the movie of the same name. This movie was first released in July 1968 in the UK, followed by dates later in the year and into early 1969 for the rest of the world.* This provides us with a clue for dating the Nova series, and to my mind makes it rather unlikely that the Nova series was produced before the Spacex range was introduced in January 1969.

*: See entry in the IMDB. (opens in new window)