How to Make a Flying Model Plane from Scratch

RC Airplanes Knowledge

How to Make a Flying Model Plane from Scratch

Postby clark1965 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:05 am

Sure, making a model of an F-22 is fun, but as James Dicky once said "Flight is the only truly new sensation than men have achieved in modern history." So, once you finish that wood model, it is time to make one take to the sky!


The Material

Choose your material. There are many things you can make a plane out of, but it must have two properties: lightness and stability. There aren't too many materials that satisfy this (and that are cheap!), but a few that do are cardboard, and depron foam, famous for r/c planes. You can make the plane as small or as large as you want, so buy the material accordingly.

The Body

You generally want to make the body flat, because it is hard to curve the material. You can look at pictures of planes and create the shape from the picture. You could even just make a rectangle with two wings if you want!
When you are ready with your design, draw it on the material you have chosen.
Then, you can use a coping saw, or a circular saw if you want, or for softer materials, a box knife. When you are done you should have a plane looking cut-out.
You can also file down the edges to a slant to improve aerodynamics.


Look at pictures of different planes and see the different types of tails. Normal passenger jets have one vertical tail, while some jets have one vertical tail, two, two slanted ones and so on.
Choose the type you want and cut it out the same way you did with the body, and file it down if you want.


Now before we put on the motor and battery, we need to paint it. You can paint it black, or camouflage or any color you like! You can also add insignia, or a flag.


Now for the tough part. Find the center of gravity of the plane, you can do this by balancing it on your finger. When you find it, cut a square about 2-4 square inches. This is where the motor will go.
Next, buy a small motor such as a motor in this link:
Next, get some wire, it doesn't have to be too long.
Last, get some light batteries, lithium batteries would be best, but AAA and AA batteries will be fine too.
Now we need to prepare the motor before we fix it. There should be a place where you can attach wires on the motor, find those and attach the wires, but be sure to strip the coating first!
Then measure out the length from there to one end of the battery, and cut it off leaving a little bit extra.
Now, strip the wire again, but if you cut off the wire instead, you have a little bit extra. Then tape the wire to the battery.
Do that for the next end of the battery too.
Now you will notice that the motor starts, so you can add a simple on/off switch by removing one wire from the battery. Or you could get a battery holder that you can place the batteries in and attach the wires to the appropriate places.
Now all you need is the propeller. You should make this out of balsa wood, and shape it in an infinity symbol, and then shave down the edges. Make sure it has a large surface area.
Now find the diameter of the motor's shaft, a.k.a. the thing that spins. Then drill a hole in the center of the propeller and attach it to the shaft. Now you are ready to attach it!
You should be able to just tape it on with some duct tape, either on the top or bottom (the top will make it less likely to fall off. Test it to make sure it will have enough "push power". If it doesn't, you can add more batteries or get a larger motor, or larger propeller. Take it out and test it, it should fly if you do it right, but you might have to throw it to get it started.
Have fun! If you make a small one, you can attach it to a string, then to the ceiling in you room, and it will spin around!
Here is a picture of what one might look like:[1]

Edit Tips

You can just glue or tape other parts on if you want, though invisible tape and scotch or duck tape have been used by many.

Edit Things You'll Need

any light material such a depron or cardboard ex.
balsa wood (something light)
duct tape
a small motor
saw/knife or scissors
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:04 am

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