HOW TO MAKE A RC PLANE FOR BEGINNERS
Aero-modelling is the activity involving design, development and flying of small air vehicles like model airplanes, helicopters and multicopters. It is a very exciting and interesting way to learn, apply and understand science and engineering principles.
Flying models borrow construction techniques from full-sized aircraft. Model aircrafts are built using a variety of materials including paper, foam board, depron, balsa wood, coroplast sheets or composite materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber.
In this tutorial, we will be building a radio controlled model airplane using foam board. This RC Plane is easy to build and fly with help of things that are easily available.
Things you need to make a RC plane:-
- : CF 2822, 1200 KV Electric Motor
- : 30 Amp Electronic Speed Controller
- : APC 8 x 4 Inch Electric Propeller
- : 11.1 V, 3 Cell, 1300mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
- : 9 grams Servos x 2
- Depron/ Coroplast/ Foam Board
- Lite Ply (for Motor Mount)
- Cycle Spokes(1.5mm/ 2mm) as Pushrods
- x 2
- 3.5 mm
- Nuts and Bolts
- Screw Driver Set
RC Plane Specifications
- Wingspan: 20 inches
- Length: 22 inches
- All Up Weight: 425 grams
- Center of Gravity: 5 inches from the Leading Edge of wing
How Does it Work?
Fig. 1-Forces in flying
Gravity, Lift, Thrust and Drag are the forces acting on an airplane in flight (Fig. 1). Maintaining a steady flight requires a balance, often described as equilibrium of all the forces acting upon an airplane. By varying this equilibrium, we can make the plane accelerate forward, upward, downward, etc.
The thrust for our aircraft is provided by an electric motor and the wings generate the lift. The shape of the wings and the aerofoil decides the lift generation. The lifting force is provided by the difference in the pressure of air flowing above and below the wing and is governed by Bernoulli’s principle (Fig. 2). Here, we are using a flat bottom, airfoil.
Fig.2 Bernoulli’s Principle
Printing the RC Plane Plans and Getting the Parts Ready
- In this step, we lay out the plan as shown in Fig: 1.1
- We then take the full plan and lay it out on the foam board and cut the foam board accordingly to get the required parts as shown below Fig: 1.2
- Also, cut the motor mount out of Lite Ply and drill holes as required by your motor (Fig 1.3).
Building the Power Pod and the Wing
To build the Power Pod (fuselage), start by cutting the foam and remove the foam in-between the lines as shown in Fig 2.2. Fold the sides of the pod together and put glue in between to keep them firmly in place. Glue the Motor Mount of the Lite ply that we have cut, to the front end of the fuselage with glue (Fig 2.3). Bolt on the motor to this mount using the 3.5 mm nuts and bolts (Fig 2.4).
The next step is to build the wing of the aircraft. Cut half way through the foam on the line as shown in the Fig 2.5 so that the foam can easily bend on the line. Cut a bevel edge on the elevator so that it can move freely. Cut all the necessary slots (marked in black in the Fig 2.5) for the servos, tail fin and power pod to fit into the wing. Fold the sides of the wing, so that its tips are pointed upwards at 1.5 inches (Fig 2.6, 2.7). This provides stability during flight.
We will next cut a bevel edge on the tail fin so that the rudder can move freely (Fig 2.8). Then, we glue the tail fin into place on the wing.
We use Glass Fiber tape and hinge the tail fin and rudder ( it is a primary control surface used to steer the tail) together. We then install the servos in place, which are necessary for controlling the elevator and rudder of the plane.
At the end of this step we will have four parts.
· Power Pod
· Tail Fin
· Motor Mount
Assembling the Airplane
Once we have the Wing and Power Pod ready, we go ahead and glue them together as in Fig 3.1. Then, we install the control horn on the elevator and run a control rod from the servo to the elevator’s control horn as in Fig 3.2. We follow the same step for the rudder (Fig 3.3).
Installing the Electronics
We now install the RC receiver, battery and ESC into the Power Pod. And connect your servos to the receiver as in the below wiring diagram. Note the channels you use for each servo and control them correspondingly from the transmitter. Now your RC Plane is all set for flying.
Flying Your New RC Plane
We will use a Radio Controlled Transmitter working on 2.4 GHz frequency to fly this airplane. Beginners can learn flying on a simulator, before actually flying the airplane. There are a lot of simulators available in the market to start learning how to fly airplanes.
Your RC Plane is all set to hit the sky!!! Grab your controller and fly your self-made plane!!!