ICON ...NEW KIT CONCEPT & BUILD THREAD from Jarel Aircraft Design - RC Groups
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Jun 01, 2009, 11:30 AM
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ICON ...NEW KIT CONCEPT & BUILD THREAD from Jarel Aircraft Design

ICON Concept:
"Star-Date": November 7, 2009... I just learned from a friend who purchased this kit, that he began building with the intent to build the flying wing version but did not realize that the wing plan form is DIFFERENT! He had every intention of building the flying wing, built this wing and these tail booms and wondered why it took so much weight to balance...

Both planes (actually several planes and I will be coming back to add additional separate building threads for each!)... At this time, if you are wanting to build the flying wing version, when this build begins construction of the wing, switch over to the flying wing build at this link:


There you will find everything needed to complete your ICON kit as the flying wing in the photos and videos I've posted...

Also know that the plans that are inlcuded in your ICON kit are for building the stock (the one in "this build") ICON

Sorry if there was any confusion...

The ICON was developed with “fun” in mind: Inexpensive; easy to build; easy to fly; great looks and easy to replace! Think of the ICON as a flying “Tinker toy” “Lego” or “Erector Set”… Only this “set” comes with style!

ICON makes for a great second aileron plane, capable of slow flight within the confines of a baseball diamond. ICON is also quite capable of shooting straight up performing blistering aerobatics across an open sky on only a 2S 800mah LiPo! How about an inexpensive one-design entry-level pylon racer for your club? (Ask about our group discounts!)

The ICON was particularly designed for those builders interested in “Kit Bashing” or those wishing to experiment with designing and building their own creations. Maybe you’re not completely ready to take off on your own design but still want to taste the rewarding experience of creating your own original flying machine. Maybe you’re an accomplished scratch builder appreciating the sleek aerodynamic styling of ICON’s thermoformed plastic components. The ICON’s design and construction offers a truly flexible building platform, providing the builder with an unlimited number of possible configurations. (At the time of this release, several different configurations have been built and flown with many other designs waiting to be tried! On the drawing boards are a high aspect ratio powered sailplane, a twin pusher, an ATF styled jet fighter, a delta wing, a canard and even a floatplane!) What can you do with your ICON? Remember the fun we used to have as kids with those “dime store” $1.50 rubber band planes that we used to “alter” into our own designs? That is what the ICON is all about: FUN!

As we revamp our website and Jarel Aircraft Design returns to the RC hobby industry in full force (re-introducing the Telos (and possibly others) while introducing many new designs including the “Crossbow” (composite/carbon fiber slope/electric ship),a trainer, an aerial photography platform, sailplanes, jets, war birds, incredible helicopter bodies and more!), we will be hosting and promoting periodic ICON design contests promoting the imaginative interpretation and modification of this unique kit with prizes offered for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Keep your eyes open for early contest announcements on websites like www.rcgroups.com .

One of the greatest features of the ICON kit is our “replacement plan”: If you break, destroy or otherwise decide that your molded plastic parts are “unusable” FOR ANY REASON, return the plastic parts in the original box and we will replace them for $10 (plus shipping) (This replacement plan includes the 2 fuselage components and the two cowl components.) Cockpit/pilot molding, clear canopy and wing tip replacement are covered separately as a set for an additional $7 (plus shipping) (They usually don’t break and require separate moldings.) With this kind of replacement plan, how could anyone go wrong?

The “fine print”? The damaged parts must be returned in the original box (with the exception of “lost” cockpit/pilot/canopy hatches). How far does this replacement plan go? Let’s say you’ve built an ICON, but want to build a flying wing or other ICON variation… Just remove your parts and if they don’t come apart as clean as you’d like, send them back if you think they are unusable. For $10 (plus shipping), we’ll replace them no matter what… Even if your dog chews them up! It’s that simple!

The ICON was designed, and is manufactured in the USA in our own facility (everything is produced in-house). With a history that is backed by over 20 years of remarkable design and engineering triumphs combined with a designer’s core passion for excellence and fun, it all adds up to the kind of development that should have gone into RC aircraft design a very long time ago… Well… We’re back and the innovative features found in our new ICON kit, represents a new level of expectation for fun and perfection: ICON… We provide the path… Where you go is up to you!

Unlike other kits, I have waited until everything was ready to go before posting here... The build thread is complete with over 90 photos and detailed instructions... We are currently working on our new website and readying for the second production run of 100 kits (The first one sold out by word of mouth and locals who saw the prototype flying.)

I have a couple more posts to place here and will be back with installments on the build thread... I'll have the entire build thread posted before the end of the week. until then, I hope you enjoy the photos and videos...

Richard Jarel
Jarel Aircraft Design

PS: I'll include ordering information in the next post or two...

Thanks for stopping by!

Here are some videos of the stock built ICON flying... specs, power system info on this particular plane to follow...

ICON, rolls, inverted, high speed flight in small field (2 min 9 sec)

ICON small field (1 min 54 sec)
Last edited by jarel design; Nov 07, 2009 at 03:01 PM.
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Jun 01, 2009, 11:42 AM
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ICON Specifications and kit contents

Price: $39.95
Wing Span: 35.5”
Area: 237.6 sq/in (1.65 sq/ft)
AUW (*): 11.5oz
Wing Loading: 6.9oz/sq/ft (and up!)
Length: 24.5”
Prop: GWS EP-7060
(*) With Suppo B2208/14 1450KV and E-flite 7.4 800ma 2-cell Li-Po (The Icon has been flown “quick” with a 3-cell 1320ma weighing in at over 15oz AUW and a wing loading over 9oz/sq/ft) Suppo motors and ESCs are available at www.lightflightrc.com and www.rchotdeals.com (These Brushless motors are incredibly inexpensive ($15.95 for the Motor and the ESC together!) and provide an amazing amount of power and efficiency!)

Suggested Components:
Suppo B2208/14 1450KV (130 watts) Brushless motor (cruises at half power)
12 amp to 18 amp ESC
GWS EP-7060 propeller
3 Channel radio (elevator, ailerons, throttle) 72MHor 2.4GHz
Servos: Micro servos (3 each, 2/ailerons, 1/elevator)
Y-Harness for ailerons if mixer is not available

Kit Contents:

Molded Parts:
· Thermoformed fuselage top with motor mount and canopy lip
· Thermoformed fuselage bottom with molded launch hand grip/landing skid
· Thermoformed removable Cowl
· Thermoformed wing tips
· Thermoformed cockpit interior and pilot (removable hatch)
· Thermoformed clear canopy

Foam Parts:
· Three sheets of Dow High Performance 3/8” Blue Foam (11” x 17”)

Additional Parts:
· Three 3/16” x 18” hardwood spars
· Brass spar joiner
· Two 1/8” x 18” hardwood leading edges
· 1/8” Light Ply motor mount doubler
· 1/32” Birch Ply control horn material
· Three .32” piano wire pushrods
· Nyla-flow pushrod guide tubing
· Two Bamboo fuselage stiffener dowels
· Two 11” x 17” sheets, full sized plans

Additional required:
· 5-Minute epoxy
· Gap filling CA adhesive
· Mylar packaging tape
· Xacto blades
· Sandpaper
· Small inexpensive manicure scissors

The first production run has already sold out by word of mouth alone and we are currently waiting for materials for the next run or 100 kits. If you’re interested in getting on the list, please email me at richard@jareldesign.com and title your email ICON Park Flier. Just let me know you want to be placed on the list. I’ll get back to you with an announcement regarding payment; shipping etc…(I won’t be accepting any funds until the kits are in the boxes waiting only for shipping labels (It should be less than two weeks). And of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to post here!

Richard Jarel
Jarel Aircraft Design

Here are some more video clips:

ICON electric RC plane by Jarel Aircraft Design (1 min 49 sec)

ICON, small field, 2 (0 min 34 sec)
Jun 01, 2009, 11:53 AM
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About the Designer and Jarel Aircraft Design:

More than 20 years ago, Richard Jarel started a small company called J.A.D.E. (Jarel Aircraft Design & Engineering/ now: Jarel Aircraft Design). Three of his unique designs (the Telos, Shogun and Impulse) took the hobby industry by storm. Jarel’s designs appeared in just about every major modeling publication over the course of 5 years with multi-page reviews, front-page photos, double page spreads, trade show coverage, editorial commentary featured in publications like: Model Aviation, Model Builder, RCM, RC Soaring Digest, Slope Soaring News, Flying Models and Model Airplane News. The Telos in particular set a mark for excellence that (based on it’s recent limited release) has stood the test of time by setting a standard for innovation, aesthetic as well as aerodynamic design and quality that is still considered “ahead of it’s time” 20 years later.

Telos return after 20 years:

Building thread including $10 vacuum bagging system tutorial:

Companies like Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Company, Northrop Grumman and others noticed Jarel’s professional and innovative approach to design and his standard of excellence, which resulted in his entrance into the high paced world of corporate prototype development and motion picture special effects.

After spending 16 years as a professional prototype developer for companies like Mattel, Playmate Toys, Wild Planet, Kenwood, Nordic-Track, The Headblade Company and many others, chief designer Richard Jarel has earned international acclaim with his work as a designer receiving top place awards from Business Week and Time Magazine. One of his industrial design projects is on permanent display at the New York Museum of Modern Art. His work has been featured in ID (Industrial Design) Magazine with one of his designs featured in the book: “50 Top Designs” (Published by ID magazine). One of his full size vehicular designs currently holds a world land speed record.

Jarel’s background also includes producing special effects props and models for such motion pictures as Star Trek Insurrection, The Power Rangers Movie, Jingle All the Way, Jungle Book II, Beloved and The 5th Element. (More can be learned about Jarel’s corporate, television and motion picture work at: www.jareldesign.com )

His love for flying machines never dwindled over the years and after moving from the high paced Los Angeles design world to the peaceful surroundings of his Oregon pond-side studio, Jarel re-discovered his passion for designing and producing radio controlled flying machines. His first new concept vehicle (The ICON) is the culmination of over 20 years of professional design & engineering experience supporting his never ending search for “fun”!

More video clips:

(Notice the hand grip molded into the bottom of the fuselage... lots of details like this in the ICON kit...)

ICON, stock build on a windy day, 1 (5 min 35 sec)

I'll be back later to begin the build thread... got to get back to work for now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Jun 02, 2009, 10:15 AM
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BUILD LOG:Trimming the Fuselage, post 1:

I've taken photographs of each step of construction and numbered them to correspond to the description of what task is being described in the instructions. Example: The first written instruction is numbered: 1.1. This will correspond to the photograph numbered 1. The next instruction will be numbered 1.2 matching photograph numbered 2. (The first number corresponds to the first post (Trimming the Fuselage, post 2) The next entry will be post number 2 with instruction numbers beginning with a 2 (2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc.) Let me know if this works for you!

1.1 Create the fuselage flange trimming tool as pictured using four pieces of 1/8” thick (or two ¼” thick) x 1” x 2” pieces of balsa and a #24 Xacto blade or heavy duty box cutter type blade. Do NOT use a standard #11 Xacto blade!

1.2 Glue them balsa pieces together with thick CA sandwiching the blade in the middle as shown in the photo.

1.3 Add a 1/16” piece of balsa to one side ONLY. With this 1/16” of balsa on the “bottom” side of your trim tool, the tool is at the correct height to trim the top fuselage shell. With the 1/16” piece of balsa on the top, the trim tool will be at the correct height to trim the bottom fuselage shell. Mark the top and bottom to help prevent confusing the two.

1.4 From the full size plans, cut the paper wing saddle template to mark the inside of both the top and bottom fuselage wing saddles. (NOTE: to save time and to allow you to make replacement parts more easily, copy the 11”x17” plans so that you have duplicate copies.) If you think you will be building more in the future, I transfer these templates to a .040” thick piece of plastic to help speed cutting the foam pieces later on.)

1.5 Using a pair of scissors, trim the fuselage flanges (top and bottom) to within ¼” to 3/8” of the fuselage body (Inexpensive curved manicure scissors available at a drug store work really well on the inside corners.)

1.6 On a SMOOTH, FLAT surface GENTLY scribe the plastic with your trimming tool using the BACK side of the blade to “scrape” rather than “cut” the plastic with the sharp side of the blade… Doing this many times lightly will produce a straighter line and cut through faster than trying to use the sharp part of the blade. Occasionally you may want to use the sharp edge to cut the plastic especially near the nose and corners where the plastic is thicker. Do this to the nose section (forward of the wing saddle leading edge) and the trailing edge of the fuselage wing saddle (the rear straight edge of the fuselage behind the motor mount).(REMEMBER: THERE IS A TOP AND BOTTOM TO THE TRIM TOOL!) This tool is SHARP! Take your time and be careful!

1.7 After trimming the top, continue to trim the bottom as you did the top shell.

1.8 Continue trimming the flange per photo 8 using scissors to cut off the corners near the wing saddle.

OK, that's it for today... I'll be back tomorrow with part two, completing the fuselage.

Jun 04, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Trimming the Fuselage, part two:

I had planned on posting this yesterday... Got really wrapped up in fine tuning two of my vacuum form machines to keep up with orders...

Ok... This section will complete the trimming of the fuselage and cowl:

2.1 Using a pair of small curved manicure scissors, trim the wing saddles following the lines you drew along the inside surface earlier using the full size wing saddle template removed from the plans.

2.2 Remove the pieces and sand the edges smooth. Rough sand the inside surfaces for future gluing. (NOTE: ALL plastic surfaces that require gluing should be rough sanded using 120grt to 150grt sand paper. The plastic coating on the foam sheet is worth lightly sanding where 5-minute epoxy is used to adhere plastic or foam more securely.)

2.3 This photograph show the trimmed fuselage shells fitting the wings you will be cutting and sanding later on in these instructions. When you build the wings (later in the instructions), you will be instructed how to shape the leading edges so that your fuselage shells perfectly.

2.4 Using an Xacto blade, cut along the inside corner of the cockpit opening per photo.

2.5 On the inside surface of the top fuselage shell, you should be able to make out two scribe lines along the ridge located to each side of the fuselage towards the rear where the motor will be mounted. Use an Xacto blade and/or Xacto mini saw to cut two 1/64” wide slots, taking care not to cut the slots too long. These will be used to mount the motor cowl.

2.6 Fold a piece of 150grt sandpaper and sand the inside of each slot. (The inboard edge will never show, the outer edge will.)

2.7 Using an Xacto blade and small scissors, follow the molded edges and scribed lines (penciled in for clarity) to finish the right and left motor cowl shells.
Jun 04, 2009, 10:35 AM
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Building the Cowl

Ok... with the benefit of a second cup of coffee and realizing that if i were reading this (or building this!), I'd want to see something "built" after cutting and trimming and sanding... so, here's the next building step... (consider this my attempt to make up for missing a post yesterday!)

3.1 Using a piece of scrap plastic strip 3” x 3/8”. Rough sand what will become the bonding surface.

3.2 Using an Xacto blade handle (REMOVE BLADE!), force a curve along the length of the strip so that the sanded bonding surface is on the outside. (Holding the plastic near a light bulb for a few seconds will help make this easier as warm plastic bends more easily.) This curve will follow the lines of the molded cowl halves and become a joining splice/strip for the two.

3.3 Glue the bonding strip to one half of the cowl along its length per the photo. Use a Q-tip to remove any excess glue from the seam where the second cowl piece will be fitted and attached.

3.4 Glue the second cowl shell on to the joining strip per photo.

3.5 Trim the plastic joining strip and sand the surfaces smooth.

3.6 The cowl should attach to the fuselage per photo, feeding the forward end into the slot first with the pointed tip resting on top of the fuselage shell and the tab being inserted into the slot below the fuselage surface.

3.7 When fitted properly, the cowl should look like this. The friction alone should hold it in place but there is a mounting point built into your ICON fuselage molding where a screw could be used on top to hold a loose fitting cowl firmly in place. You will want to keep the cowl removable for easy access to your motor.

3.8 An inside view of how the cowl tabs look when the cowl is in place.
Jun 04, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Definately put me down for an icon !!! too bad you don't offer that impulse anymore, looks like it would be a blast to fly also
Jun 04, 2009, 08:37 PM
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*smiling here*

The DaVinci kit (in the tooling stages) will take the Impulse to a whole new level! First version is a 1.5 meter (could up it to 2 meter with a longer tail boom)... but basically taking that design and adding a lot of what I've learned over the course of 20 years of toy design and special effects work...

If you're serious about the order, could you please do me a favor and email me at:
richard@jareldesign.com and title your email: ICON, Parkflyer... (That way I won't loose track of you!)

Jun 05, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Trimming and mounting the Cockpit, Canopy and Motor Mount:

Ok... Enough trimming (not that there was much...? ) Let's start building...!

4.1 Using the small curved pair of scissors, trim the cockpit along the molded scribe line. (NOTE: Although the scribe lines in your ICON kit are accurate, ALWAYS trim any piece larger than the line (better inside than outside… you can always re-trim until it fits “just right”… You can’t re-add more plastic once you’ve cut too far.)

4.2 Use the same scissors to trim the clear canopy on its scribe line. DO NOT glue the canopy to the cockpit yet (even if you elect not to decorate the inside!) The clear canopy will be attached to the cockpit much later in the build!

4.3 To make the forward hatch hold-down, glue a small piece of Popsicle stick (or other scrap wood) under the cockpit/pilot shell per photograph and open up the scribed box slot to receive the Popsicle stick. (NOTE: cut the slot slightly lower than the scribed lines and slowly trim the top edge up to keep the cockpit shell as tight as possible. Too large or too high an opening can create a loose fit. If by accident you do create an opening that is too high, glue a piece of scrap plastic to the top surface of the Popsicle stick to make up for a loose fit.

4.4 When the cockpit shell is fitted properly, the cockpit’s outer surface should sit slightly lower than flush with the fuselage surface.

4.5 Using the piece of 1/8” light Plywood and the template provided in your plans, cut the motor mount doubler per photo. Following the scribed lines just below the plywood mount, count out the slot to provide motor wire feed access into the fuselage. (NOTE: Curved edges in plastic openings (as shown) break less than sharp corners!)

4.6 Using the scribed “cross hairs” molded into the plastic “firewall”, determine the center to line up your motor mount and install you motor mount per photo.

Those of you vising from the flying wing build thread building your fuselage from these instructions will be finding the foam parts specifically designed to create the flying wing version of the ICON over in that original built thread in the flying wing forum, soon... (Those of you here who are interested, will fined some extra photos and videos of the flying wing modification of the ICON there too!)


NOTE: 11-22-09 The instrument panel graphic that was originally included here in this post was incorrectly scaled. I've since re-scaled it so that when it comes out of your printer it is now the correct size. I've also included a PDF format version for those wishing to obtain the graphic that way.

Thank for your patience!

Last edited by jarel design; Nov 22, 2009 at 10:27 AM.
Jun 08, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Preparing the Main Wing:


The foam sheets supplied in your ICON kit have printing on one side... Before you begin, choose the foam with the least printing to be on the top of your wings and/or inside each boom. To clean the printing ink off, use a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of lacquer thinner dampened onto a paper towel to wipe the ink off... do NOT use too much!!!!! Turn the paper towel frequently as you wipe off the ink. I have not received any reports of the thinner dissolving the foam, but have received reports of the thinner warping the foam if too much is used... (Test first on a corner that you are certain will become waste once all the foam parts are marked to be used in your build.) If you discover a better way of removing the ink... PLEASE share it with us here!


After shipping out a lot of kits and re-supplying, I discovered that some of the 3/16" dowels obtained by a secondary supplier are about .007" thicker (the thickness of a sheet of paper) than the original dowels supplied with the kits... I've gone back to the original supplier... In reality, I don't know that any wood dowl manufacturer can hold a tolerance of .007", so... in the event that your dowels do not slide easily into the brass coupler, bevel the inside edge of the brass tube so that it slides more easily onto the dowel... Glue may not be nessessary and if needed, feel free to sand the dowel a little thinner to fit the brass tube.

At this point, we've been focusing on the fuselage... Unless someone comes up with an extraordinary design concept for a major modification (I'd LOVE to see!), the fuselage as trimmed will fit many of the design concepts we've toyed around with so far...

From here on in this thread, the build will be for the stock ICON as pictured... The Flying wing variant, will be started over in the flying wings ICON build thread...

5.1 Cut both right and left main wing panels from one of the 11” x 17” blue foam sheets following measurements on photo.

5.2 Wrap a 2” piece of .100” plastic/brass or carbon fiber tube or rod with 150grt sandpaper and sand a groove into the leading edges of the foam wings centered along the edge as seen top to bottom. A standard Q-tip stick (with the fuzz removed) can be used instead of the .100” plastic tube/rod.

5.3 Pull the two 1/8” hardwood dowels from your kit and glue them into the leading edge slots using 5-minute epoxy so that they are flush at the opening. (See drawing #5.6).

5.4 Use masking tape to hold the leading edge dowels in place while the foam wings are held down on a FLAT/STRAIGHT surface while the epoxy cures so that you do not put a warp into them as the epoxy cures… the longer the better! (Although I have both wings pictured curing, I glued the leading edge dowel to only one wing at a time!)

NOTE: Your ICON was designed to be an inexpensive, “fun-toy”… Although you are welcome to replace the wood dowels included in your ICON kit with more expensive Carbon Fiber, you could easily invest up to 50% of what you paid for your ICON doing so. IF I wanted a “higher performance” ICON with a hopped up motor powered by 3 Lithium Polymer cells, capable of producing high “G” maneuvers that might collapse the wings, I’d Opt for thicker wall 3/16” diameter CF tubes on the main wing bottom spars leaving the 1/8” wood LE dowel to absorb the shock of impact.

5.5 After the leading edge epoxy has cured, use a sanding block to round the leading edge of each wing panel. Do so with the wing panel sitting on a flat hard surface. (Note: Try to “pull” the sanding block towards you rather than push away from you. This will help the thin plastic skin on the foam stay put, which helps contribute to the foam’s extreme rigidity. (We will tape over this raw edge of foam later on in the build.)

5.6 Make every effort to keep the leading edge truly round and free of sharp edges of facets.

5.7 After you’ve rounded the leading edges, cut and/or sand off any dowel that protrudes past the tip or root. (Sand the ends flush to the roots and tips.) On a STRAIGHT, FLAT surface, lay down a strip of masking tape a little longer than the chord of the root. Use 5-minute epoxy to glue the two halves together using masking tape to keep them tight against each other and weights to hold the two panels flat. Let them cure until the epoxy is hard!

More tomorrow!


(FINAL NOTE HERE I've had a few emails asking me about the use of Carbon Fiber... (This is a personal opinion here and totally open for other "personal" opinions.) If the price tag of this kit ($39.96) is part of your attraction to purchasing it, then why spend an additional 50% replacing the hardwood dowel leading edges and wing spars with Carbon Fiber?... Even if you wanted stiffer wings (ALL videos of the ICON flights I've posted were stock builds... no carbon fiber, ONLY the contents of the kit and no use of Mylar or strapping tape to re-enforce the wings...!) The only place I might consider using Carbon Fiber would be the main wing spars and then, only if I were using a larger motor and larger battery... In the spirit of this kit, it's totally up to you!
Last edited by jarel design; Dec 30, 2009 at 02:15 PM. Reason: New information
Jun 09, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Building the main wing:

NOTE: Many of you with experience building with foam sheet, have your own special or favorite methods of creating spar slots in your foam sheet aircraft. From routers, to soldering irons, the methodology is endless. What I am providing here is a quick, safe and fairly effortless way of creating spar slots without the need for expensive tools or risking melting your wing with a heat source if you are not experienced creating these slots. If you are experienced, go for it, if you are not, here’s a fairly “non-invasive” tool and method to creating spar slots that works!

6.1 Cut a scrap piece of balsa to: 1/8” x 1” x 6”. Round the edges per the photo so that the ends look like a snowboard.

6.2 Make the slot wide enough to insert a piece of 120grt sandpaper folded over itself.

6.3 Wrap the 120grt sandpaper around a 5/32” section of carbon fiber, plastic or brass tube and insert the edges through the slot you just created in the 1/8” balsa “snowboard”. The sandpaper that extends up through the slot will serve as a “handle”.

6.4 Make sure that the wrapped tube protrudes no further than 3/16” from the bottom part of your “board”. (Test it on a piece of scrap foam before slotting your wing!) Having the sandpaper wrapped dowel extend too far out will produce a slot/groove too deep, not far enough and when you install your spar, it will not sit deep enough into the wing and will extend out beyond the wing’s surface.

6.5 Mark your wings spar slots per the measurements in the photo.

6.6 Using a straight piece of wood or other straight edge (preferably higher than a flat ruler) to guide the ‘snowboard” slotting tool before it has a chance to lower itself down as it sands the groove deeper and deeper into the foam.) When you begin, “glide” the snowboard so that it “skims” over the foam like a ski with the leading edge higher than the following edge. If the edge digs in, it will rip the foam. By pressing harder on the trailing edge of the snowboard tool, it will sand it’s way into the foam rather than dig, catch or gouge the foam.

6.7 The completed spar slot/groove should provide a depth to allow the 3/16” dowel to set in flush with the wing’s surface.

6.8 Use the 3” brass tube as a spar splice to create one long spar. De-burr the inside opening of the tube using an Xacto knife to remove any sharp edges. You may have to lightly sand the end of the wood dowel in order to get it to fit into the tube. Glue them in place with CA (do not use regular CA adhesives on or near the foam… it will DISSOLVE the foam! Use 5-minute epoxy to glue the long and short spars in place. (NOTE: although this photograph shows wing tips, they are not installed until later!)

6.9 For the record: Yes, you can use power tools to build your ICON… There are many builders that are not as privileged to own such luxuries (I’m privileged to own tens of thousands of dollars worth of professional tools which are part of my profession… “Luxuries” I personally would consider necessities!) This kit was designed and instructions created for those who have a minimal amount of skill and/or limited number of tools. This picture shows a common “Dremel” type of rotary power tool mounted on a router stand being used to slot the ICON’s spar slots.

More tomorrow!
Jun 10, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Building the Main Wing, assembly of Wing Tips and Fuselage Booms:

Here we go with completion of the Main wing and the begining of the twin ICON fuselage booms...

7.1 Create the wing tip trimming tool using 1/8” thick balsa pieces (similar to how you created the fuselage trimming tool). Glue a #24 Xacto blade in between the two pieces. Trim the base flange of the molded wing tips to within ¼” to 3/8” from the wing tip base. On a FLAT, STRAIGHT surface, use the back of the blade to lightly scrape a line along the edge repeatedly before cutting forward with the trim tool as you did when trimming the fuselage shells. Usually, scribing the plastic with the back of the blade several times is enough to break through or at least provide line for the plastic to snap off cleanly.

7.2 This photo shows the two wing tips properly trimmed. Trim the trailing edge of the molded wing tip following the full size plans. (Cut this longer than you need! You can always sand it closer!)

7.3 Mark a line 3/16” into the wing from the tip. This is your glue line. Dry-fit the molded tip to test the fit in place on the foam wing. Sand the inside of the molded tip where the glue will be applied for attachment.

7.4 Use 5-minute epoxy to glue the tips in place. (NOTE: Cut and trim the molded tip’s trailing edge AFTER you have built and attached the ailerons. This happens much later in the build. At that time, use gap-filling CA to glue the wing tip’s trailing edges together per photo. (I wrapped masking tape over the trailing edges to hold them together and inserted some glue. This keeps from distorting the trailing edges while trying to hold them “closed” waiting for the glue to cure.)

7.5 Cut the fuselage booms and boom doublers from the second sheet of foam per the full size plans. The doubler can be used on the outboard or inboard side of the boom. In this build I used them on the inboard side of the boom. (In hindsight, I think they might look better on the outside.) Sand the inside trailing edge of the boom per photo. Sand the boom doubler from the wing slot aft to the narrow tip so that it is tapered per photo. This sanded surface will be the surface that will be glued to the fuselage boom. (Make sure you have the top and bottom as well as inside/outside surfaces figured out and marked before sanding or gluing!)

7.6 Remove the two Bamboos skewers from you kit. Sharpen the blunt end of each to match the sharp end. Cut these sharp pointed ends to 1 ¼” long and set them aside (You will use them later to attach the horizontal stab to the twin rudders.). Cut the remaining skewer lengths per the measurements in photo 7.6

7.7 Create slots to accept the Bamboo stiffeners/spars so they are flush to the boom surface. The boom doubler will be glued over these pieces. The lines on the bamboo spars represent 1” of Bamboo length extending forward from the wing slot end. One spar will extend 2 ½” aft and the other 1” aft. These are intentionally two different lengths to help disperse impact shocks more effectively.

7.8 Use 5-minute epoxy to glue the boom doublers to the fuselage booms covering the Bamboo spars you just glued in place. Use weights to FIRMLY hold these parts down FLAT until the epoxy has THOROUGHLY cured! The tapered boom doubler should be up while the constant thickness boom should be FLAT against the table surface.

Although we're not there yet, the subject of tapering and sharp trailing edges always comes up... In this case, do you really have to taper the boom doubler? no... Do you hae to taper the vertical fin trailing edges? no again... in fact, the original ICON prototype was built without tapering anything just to see what kind of performance would be had... It flew pretty well! (Being a sailplane enthusiast, not having an airfoil or sharply tapered trailing edges would be like an electric enthusiast asking if you really need a brushless motor and could some AA flashlight batteries work? There are tons of perfectly suitable can motors that would fly this plane just fine! There are also some batteries that "could" work...

In this case, non-sharpened trailing edges will work better than the above theoretical equivalents... the only case in which I was NOT happy with performance, was when I rounded off the trailing edge of first elevator... it flew well, but when forced into a vertical dive, it would slowly go inverted and would not pull out... (This was NOT a "tuck" associated with a CG that was too far back!) it was because the elevator had lost it's leverage/authority... I then made the levator chord a little longer than the original and even with a "rounded" trailing edge, the elevator worked fine...

However.... with sharpened trailing edges all the way around, there is less drag... this means more speed, longer flights and a flatter glide ratio... Your choice...

Until next time,

Jun 10, 2009, 10:02 PM
Registered User
jarel design's Avatar

ICON Production Vacuum Forming Video!

I've received emails asking what, how etc and thought I'd share a behind the scenes look into ICON production here at Jarel Aircraft Design.

The machine was designed in house over 12 years ago and is the predecessor to an even earlier machine. We have three... This one is an 18" x 30", also in house are a 24" x 24" and a 24" x 48" machine...

Here are some clips of the cockpit/pilot moldings and the clear canopies being made. These parts get formed 8 at a time... The fuselages get made 2 at a time with a much thicker plastic...



PS: The sound is horrible but it also give you the audio part of pumping and sucking and valves etc... (The sound does not match to the actions!)

Until next time,


ICON Production Vacuum Forming (1 min 21 sec)
Jun 14, 2009, 02:05 AM
Registered User
jarel design's Avatar

Got Parts? ICON Kits in FULL production! No Waiting!

Well, EVERYTHING is now done! What a Loooong time it's been in the making... The goal: To design kits that can be produced without having to wait to be put on a list and then contacted to be just a few to send payment to then wait again... (A HUGE thank you to all those who did pay in advance for the first production run!) Know they are all packed and will be shipped out on Monday with more kits already being produced...

If you are on "The List", you will be getting an email from me regarding payment, shipping etc in the next day or two... Other than waiting for payments to clear (unconfirmed pay pal, Money orders, checks etc... Expect shipping within a couple of days of payment... All vacuum formers are hot and cranking out kits... ALL materials are in stock for another 100-150 kits with new orders for more materials ready to send out... I'm shooting for seamless production without any waiting...

Ok... back to work on the Crossbow!


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