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Feb 18, 2015, 02:45 PM
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Common parts and equipment I use

Hi, here is a quick rundown on common parts I use, the foam, servos, etc are all needed, the micro horns or carbon rod may or may not be needed depending on the model. You can always use cheaper parts, this is what I use and I know they work, ymmv.

Foam safe CA+ with accelerator for most glue joints.

3M-77 spray adhesive for laminating if needed.

Servos, I have used HS-55 servos for allmost all my gliders, they are light and I've had little failure using them. The hs-65 carbonite gear and HS-82 MG and HS-81's are all good too, heavier but more torque, not really needed for most of my rocket gliders.

Transmitter: I use a DX7, but this Dx6i has most of the same features, 10 model memory, mixing, flap switch for glide trim...pretty inexpensive.
Receivers, whatever you are comfortable with. I fly spektrum and use the AR400 now as it is full range.
Most receivers can run with 3.5V or better input so a larger capacity 1S battery(450mah) should work fine. Servos can run a tad slower at lower than 4.8V so you should check and make sure you are happy with your setup if you go with 1S. The 1S batttery should have a plug that is compatible with your RX.

You can go to Grayson hobbies and find most of these items or check your local hobby shop.

Transmitter: Spektrum DX-7 or DX-6i

For rocket flight:

1s battery: need to put a compatible connector for your rx)
receiver: Spektrum AR-400
servos: 2 Hitec HS55

For electric flight:

apc 6x4E prop
Grayson hobbies microjet V-3 motor with 30amp speed control
800mah 3s battery lipo battery
AR-400 spektrum receiver
2-HS-55 servos
Connector to match your battery to the speed control.

Paint, I use model master flat black, red, OD, titanium, etc, it doesn't melt the foam, but will peel off a bit if you have to mask over it. I haven't found a better foam for direct to depron application. Testors small rattle cans are also good.

Stars and Bars, 4" versions from sig manufacturing, only place I've found them.
Or I've had good luck with Callie Graphics Cut vinyl stars and bars, specify 4" with the red stripe, and they can do the cut lettering as well. is my go-to person for cut vinyl, he has excellent turnaround time, does great work based on just an idea, and his prices are very reasonable.

Lettering, vinyl in black 1/2, 1, 2" from staples or similar.

Self adhesive Monokote trim, tower and the local hobby shop carries it, you can cut and make all sorts of trim from it.

I have found that some self adhesive decals on the model master flat paints doesn't adhere well, so I spray them with 3m77 and apply them wet.

Rocket motors:

The recommended motor is the Aerotech E-6 reloadable motor available from Red Arrow hobbies, balsa machining services, and aerotech directly. It gives a gentle 7 second burn and allows easy control on boost. The casings are not cheap, but they are machined from one piece and don't have a forward closure. They are easy to use and clean, just grease, insert propellent, insert nozzle, insert o-ring, screw shut..You can also use the E7, and D7 motors which are just shorter burn versions of the same motor. Cost per flight for the reloads is as good or better than Estes Black powder E motors and they are a full 40 ns E motor at lighter weight. You can always use Estes D12 and E-9/E12 motors as a substitute, they won't go as high and you'll have to put some epoxy in the front end to block the motor from ejecting and blowing hot gas forward, if you eject the motor, the model will be too nose heavy to glide correctly. This is a non approved modification according to NAR rules so you can only do this if you fly from a private site. shows some of the prices. (aro91242) is the casing.

Balsa Machining services, Aerotech, Bay Area Rocketry, Apogee components also carry the 24mm rc motors.
If the cost of the casing is really bothering you you can use estes E-9 motors, but you need to cap the ejection charge end with epoxy to prevent the motor from ejecting and/or burning the model. This is a modification that may not be approved by NAR or your flying site. If you allow the motor to eject your glider will be too nose heavy to fly correctly.

If you want to build them as electric pusher planes or build an adapter to fit into the rocket mount and have it convertible....
I've used the grayson hobbies microjet V-3 with an apc 6x4 and the 20 amp speed control that comes with it,(I prefer the thundebird 18 from castle since it is lighter) if the plane weighs about 16 ounces or less it is really good, I'm getting 5 minute run times with a 12 oz plane using only an 800mah 3s battery. The grayson V-2 2212-06 parkjet motor is good if your plane weighs over 16 to about 25 ounces, I use a thunderpower prolite battery of 2200 3s that weighs only 5.6 ounces and get 9-11 minutes of runtime with the same 6x4 or 6x5.5 prop and the 30 amp esc that comes with the motor(or use a castle thunderbird 36 which is lighter). Grayson hobbies also carries 22, 20 and 18 ga silicone wire for the motor leads that is not very expensive and very flexible.

For building from scratch:

6mm depron in 26.5x39" sheets, most will fit on one, some take two, from or local hobby shops.

1/8"Tube is slightly lighter, and can be slid onto music wire pushrods to stiffen them if you are trying to put the servo weight more forward. Also from or midwest or local hobby shops.

Sometimes I use .157 or .118 by .039 strips as well for reinforcing splice joints or in the tail or for spars on very narrow wings, just slit the foam, press in place and run thin ca in the joint and tape over with dubro hinge tape.

.125 ID aluminum tube, used for torque tubes for full flying tails, I get it at the local hobby shop.

.039 music wire from the local hobby shop for pushrods.

Dubro hinge tape(3M blenderm) it is useful for taping spars in place for reinforcement, or for hinge material on ailerons or delta wings. or get bulk medical supply 3m blenderm tape as a cheaper alternative.

Dubro micro servo horns, I drill these out and glue them onto the aluminum tubes to make the torque tubes for full flying tails.
They come in white and black,

Balsa machining services stock a 24mm heavy duty motor tube that is white and is only 25 cents each and their motor hooks are lighter than most. BMSEH275 2.75 inch Long hook for Estes A to D and T50H-EMT .990x.950x.020x2.75 Motor Tube

Dubro micro control horns used for ailerons or delta wing surfaces, only get the kind with two prongs:

Dubro micro servo mounts, they allow you to screw the servo to these little stake pieces, then you push them through the wing and use a slide on zip disk to lock them in place, I only use these when using the larger servos that need a bit more secure mounting.

Dubro self adhesive velcro, it sticks well, or get 3m brand.
Last edited by burkefj; Nov 18, 2015 at 10:19 PM.
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