Carbon Arrow Shafts - Deciphering specs - RC Groups
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Sep 02, 2005, 11:23 AM
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jvander's Avatar

Carbon Arrow Shafts - Deciphering specs

While assembling the bits to build a "Fry" SAL glider from Steelhead Products I've been looking for a carbon arrowshaft for the tailboom. When the broken shafts from my friend who is into archery didn't pan out it was off to the local sporting goods store to look at their selection.

However, upon perusing their archery section I had no clue as to which of the arrows might work for my plane. The plans specify 17" long boom weighing 7.5 to 8 grams, but how to figure out which of the arrow shafts might fit the bill?

The key info that I was lacking is that arrow shafts are specified in grains per inch, grains being an archaic weight measurement (see definition at ) . After Googling for carbon arrow specifications I got a few long lists of arrow specs and got an idea of the typical grains per inch that are used for archery. After applying some unit conversions to my specific case (17" long @ 8grams) I find I pretty much need the lightest commonly used shaft weight.

From one of the many conversion pages out on the web, there are about 15.43 grains per gram.

The range of commonly available shaft weights appears to be around 6.5 grains/inch to over 10 grains/inch. This works out to .42 grams/inch to .64 grams/inch.

So, if you're the type who doesn't want to wait for the fancy tapered carbon tube via mail order, now at least you can decide if a locally available shaft will meet your needs.
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Sep 02, 2005, 01:27 PM
Registered User
Rather than an arrow shaft, you might try a carbon kite spar. I've had much success. Also it is easy to cut a slit for the vert stab.
Find the specs here…

Buy'em here… under "framework"

or here…
Sep 02, 2005, 10:49 PM
I went to an Archery shop and checked out a couple hundred shafts. They were all light so I did naot care about the weight. I wanted stiffness and found what I was looking for. I built several molded fuses for some Avenger wings and the arrow shafts worked great. They are just as stiff as the Alegro booms on my Blasters with a much smaller profile. I mounted the rudder on the side.
Sep 02, 2005, 11:04 PM
Magicsmoke maker
Inflexo's Avatar
maikukai - I checked out a few kite shafts but found them all to have excessively thick walls, which of course is appropriate for their needs.

Arrow shafts are certainly the items to look for. I use 10grains/" shafts of about 0.250~0.260".

Sep 04, 2005, 07:04 PM
Registered User

Which ones did you look at? The pull-truded spars have very thick walls. The tapered wrapped carbon spars do not. All five of my gliders have Avia g-force UL or SUL tapered spars (including my FRY) and I've never had a problem with weight or durability. Avia even makes one tapered spar, the Skinny ULT, that is 7.5 grams x 36 inches long.

That being said, you've got me curious. I'll certainly check out carbon arrow shafts for my next DLG.
Sep 06, 2005, 04:17 PM
Registered User


Go look at:

Here is the direct one to the wide diameter type X-cutter Pro:

These are sometimes available on eBay but they normally sell in units of 12 arrow shafts which makes it pricy.

I have one on my Avenger2 rebuild and it works flawlessly. It is less weight than the original boom and 3 times as stiff.

Easton arrows also makes the "line Jammer" type of target arrow which has the same diameter (.385") and works just as well. Very few archery shops will sell just one-two arrows. Minimum buy is typically 6 arrow shafts.
Crazy Ted
Feb 02, 2006, 03:58 PM
steelhead's Avatar
I use Carbon Arrowshafts for most all of my personal FRY's and DLG's now. Just purchased from the local Sporting goods shop. PSE has some new ones called the "HUNTER 100" Most of the "100" series carbon arrows are around 6.6 grains per inch, which works out pretty well for HLG sailplanes.

Feb 02, 2006, 09:26 PM
No drugs to fly high
oracle_9's Avatar
Carbon/Aluminum arrows dont shatter as easily as regular carbon ones too. But come to think about it....we are not slamming DLG into a piece of hard wood at 300ft/second...hehe.

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