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Old Sep 21, 2008, 01:48 AM
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Joined Sep 2008
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How Do You Go About Building An RC Plane From Scratch?

Well i was just wondering how do you all build an RC Plane from scratch? I guess yeah certainly many factors to consider. But my question is mainly about how do you fix one up and what do you need? Once you have gotten what you need, what do you need to do? I'm particularly wondering about how do you manage the tailfins etc or how do you manage where the plane turns to and speed. Thanks there all. Im not sure if theres an FAQ on this around, but im still gonna ask as i need some sort of support all into one thread :S

Thanks there,
Gabbro!
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 03:16 AM
Deletedfor proving Nauga wrong
Joined Mar 2005
15,855 Posts
Carefully






OK... that was a bit facetious...

You need a plan of what you want the plane to be able to do... then you design its shape... then you determine what structure is needed...

Or you buy a set of plans that tells you the shape and struture.

To design your own requires a bit of experience (or a lot of copying of other plans, just altering shapes a little for appearance, maintaining basic areas and proportions)

There are a LOT of calculations we could go into... But which ones you need to worry about depends on what you are doing.
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 04:07 AM
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Livermore, CA
Joined Sep 2004
8,583 Posts
Its the wing that flys, everything else just helps it.
So start with a wing, stright is best, and balance it at 30% back from the leading edge. Add body and tail and then weigh it to see how much power you'll need, making sure you keep it ballanced at 30% as you go!
Its easy! If it looks like a plane, it will probably fly! Butch
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 08:28 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,763 Posts
Now I'm not trying to be funny, but the best place to start with model planes if you want to do just about everything yourself, and learn as you go along, start with chuck gliders.

Not radio control, or the ready to fly models, but chuck gliders.

A chuck glider will teach you more about how and why a models flies, what flies best, and what happens when you get it right, (usually a great big grin from ear to ear).

A few weeks or months, (or even years if you really get hooked), will give you a really good idea about model design, building techniques, repairing, (very important), and best of all it's very very cheap.

It's easy to then take the next stage of building a bigger glider and adding radio control. A lot of fun can be had from RC gliders.

The next step would be to add power to a glider. All the time you are learning and building up your experience, and building up your 'bits and pieces' that you need. Eventually you will probably be a proud model builder and flier, getting much enjoyment out of the hobby.


Or the easiest route, (which a lot of people prefer these days), is to buy a ready to fly model, go out and throw it in the air and hope you wont break it too often. Eventually you will probably own a lot of broken models that you don't care about as it's easier to buy a new one........you will also be a lot poorer in more than just money.

Enjoy your hobbying future.
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Joined Sep 2008
4 Posts
I'm serious about all this. I only tried experimenting with my old motors from my tamiya racing cars that i got in sets in the past. Well i was actually just trying to build an electrical set with it so it can easily connect to batteries with just a wire or so.

Anyway, back on topic, thanks for all that, but specifically would anyone mind giving me a set of instructions following 'where, how, which' on your instructions. For example, you guys said to get started on designing the shape but how do i even design the shape? Get the 'foam' or those carbon boards and draw on them then carve it out?

My second question would be as well, different motors have different speed and weight so what if i tried a dual motor on two sections on the plane, maybe the wings (one motor per wing), would the balance and aerodynamics be affected by that situation?

Much thanks,
Gabbro!
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 10:07 AM
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xwingnut's Avatar
The Great NorthWest
Joined May 2007
1,029 Posts
Check out this section. You may find a lot of the information that you are looking for in there.
If you are looking to build with balsa then it may be a good idea to start with a few kits. That way you'll learn a lot about the construction methods and also learn some of the "why's" and "what's" of aircraft. The important thing is to have fun with it!

Regards,
Xwing
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Where do i get balsa? I live in singapore and i hardly hear from around and model stores here are little and would they even sell balsa wood? Yh, very much i'm more concerned about constructing the shell of the plane and structure from scratch. Especially the method and do you actually carve the balsa wood after drawing on it?
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 10:28 AM
Build it, don't buy it
foamnpacktape's Avatar
Calgary, AB, Canada
Joined Apr 2008
2,201 Posts
I build all my aircraft from scratch, but I had a few kits under my belt before I started. These kits were balsa though not foam, my knowledge of working with foam I have picked up by reading and experimenting.

For most of my aircraft I really don't need a hobby shop. I use styrofoam acquired from packing that my family and friends save for me. I use packing tape for covering, adding strength and aesthetics.

I do use balsa for my control surfaces ie: ailerons, elevator, and rudder, and framing the tailfeathers. However, it is a very small percentage, and any light wood would do for these purposes.

I start a project by finding three views of the aircraft I want to build, or just start with a wing (as mentioned above) and build a plane around it.

Build yourself a hot wire foam cutter, tell everyone you know you want styrofoam, get some packing tape, and start experimenting.

foam.

Welcome to RCG. Everything you need to know is here, you just have to search for it.


Here's a plane built with scrap foam, and colored packing tape.
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Old Sep 21, 2008, 12:07 PM
Visitor from Reality
United States, VA, Arlington
Joined Dec 1996
12,788 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabbro
Well i was just wondering how do you all build an RC Plane from scratch? I guess yeah certainly many factors to consider. But my question is mainly about how do you fix one up and what do you need? Once you have gotten what you need, what do you need to do? I'm particularly wondering about how do you manage the tailfins etc or how do you manage where the plane turns to and speed. Thanks there all. Im not sure if theres an FAQ on this around, but im still gonna ask as i need some sort of support all into one thread :S

Thanks there,
Gabbro!
Well, if you read some folk hereabouts, it starts with applying for a credit card

Seriously - honest, I am being serious - you start with the aerodynamics. Every flying surface has to adhere to the laws of aerodynamics - break them and there's no court of appeal. However, as model aircraft don't follow the same criteria as, say, airliners, it isn't all that hard. Lots of searching and reading will see you just fine. If you wanted a good, solid source of info, I'd suggest anything written by the late Chuck Cunningham - he did a series of articles on how to size the various parts of a sports RC model some years back - mid 1980's perhaps? - in RCM magazine. If they haven't appeared someplace on the web, I'd be amazed.

Structure - pick your fancy - 'traditional' wood, 'traditional' foam, thin sheet foams, whatever and go read up on them.

Flying - vastly under-rated by some present-day folk who think a landing that leaves their foamie in one piece is good, never mind where it occurs, but if you're going to make the first take-off with a multi-motored, multi-winged canard floatplane autogyro, best you be a pretty good pilot all round

"Own Design" (OD before the Politically Correct Police showed up ) is addictive, however. The pinnacle is when you line up your creation on the runway for flight one, knowing that no-one has ever flown this model before -sure beats being the first to buy one of a zillion cheap crappy copies that just came off the boat from you-know-where. OD does't even have to involve complicated, offbeat, unusual or scale modelling way-out fullsize aircraft that should never have gotten out of the hangar - that it's all yours, from concept doodle, though buildable plan to flying model is what it's all about.

Heck, with modern foams, you can even have some instant gratification too

So - Go forth and read up

the attached image is of my latest - it's a 200% 'super large scale model' of a rubber powered FF model, sublty fudged to take radio and fly behind a handy spare outrunner. It's not technically my 'own design', but pretty close. Foam does not play a large part in this one

Regards

Dereck
Who is up to maybe forty original designs, but is too busy on the next one to count up...
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Old Sep 22, 2008, 09:20 PM
AMA 125691
wmcneal's Avatar
Jacksonville Florida
Joined Jul 2002
2,240 Posts
I would also suggest finding someone near you who flys, to help teach you about aviation. I found this forum site. Maybe someone there could hook you up.
http://www.rc-ms.com/forums1/index.php?

edit: just found this web site too:
http://sp.edu.sg/SPweb/appmanager/ho...CS_LSP_SC_H_AV
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 09:44 PM
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Joined Apr 2013
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N00b to n00b

If you want to scratch design i found a website today http://www.easyrc.com/airplanes/. And http://www.skyhighhobby.com/
you need to do some work on the second link to find stuff, but it has a lot of i formation. Best of luck and i hope you have a plane before i do.
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 10:03 PM
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United States, FL, The Villages
Joined Oct 2010
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You are 4 and 1/2 YEARS too late!
Don
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dkrhardy View Post
You are 4 and 1/2 YEARS too late!
Don
There is the awesaomenss of it though. Why did he use that instead of foamies-scratchbuilt and beginner training area? So close, yet so far. Maybe like beginner-scratchbuilt-foamy. That sounds good to me.
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 10:56 PM
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Joined Aug 2007
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Question is, how to fly the foamy after a complete kit out and plans.
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Old Apr 13, 2013, 10:57 PM
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A Sim!
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