Step 1: Materials
-1/16x1/16" Balsa Strips/bass wood strips
-1/32x1/2" Balsa Strips
-1/32x4" Balsa Sheet (I also used a 1/32x4" "light" balsa sheet that bends easily, I'm sorry I don't know the exact name)
- 1/16" plywood
-Hinge tape (or even clear tape will work for rudder and elevator controls)
-Cardstock or paper
-CA Glue ( I used medium)
-sharp craft knife
-electronics of your choice
What I do when I'm making a plane or glider from scratch is draw up some basic plans and designs of what I generally want it to look like. Measurements include, wing span, wing chord, fuselage legth, width, higth, etc. Then I go to drawing the airfoil. I used an airfoil that I made up but there are surely several and more efficient airfoil designs than the one that I have.
Wing Chord: 5"
fuselage hight:1 1/2"
fuselage width:1 1/4"
hight: 4 3/4" tapered up to 5 1/4"
fin length: 2 1/2"
rudder lenght: 1 1/2"
Step 2: Wing
I start out with cutting out the basic shape of the ribs, a stencle is nice. Then I go back and cut out slots for the spar, leading, and trailing edge. In this case the spar STARTS at 1 1/2" back from te leading edge. Cut the spar 1/8" basswood spar at 10" in length and CA it to the ribs at 2 1/2" spacing between each rib. It helps if you dry fit everything first so you don't pull your hair out later (trust me...) Then CA the 1/16" basswood strip lining up with one end to the front, this is your leading edge. Trim off the excess strip on the other end. Then repeat the same process with the 1/32x1/2" balsa strip on the trailing edge of the wing, trim off the excess like before. You now should have a 10" segment of your wing. repeat this for the other side of the wing.
These are kind of tricky to explain but I set it (mock set up of the wing tip) against a square and measured 1 1/2" down from the leading edge, this is were the spar will go so it will line up with the main wing segment. The first three ribs you see ( left to right) is generally tapered from 5" to 4" then the last 2" is from 4" to 3". I spaced the ribs on the wing tips every 2". The trailing edge and spar are both 8" and the leading edge is cut into 6" and 2" segments. All I did to the ribs is cut the leading edge of the ribs in 1/4" increaments. then the very tip of the wing is 2 1/2". Then CA it all togeather.
Step 3: Fuselage
hight 1 1/2"
width 1 1/4"
I also had a top made out of the same balsa sheet for the fuselage, but no bottom to save weight.
Also dowls or something else for tying the wing down with rubber bands.
Step 4: Tail
Step 5: Covering
-Cover the wing frame that will be TOUCHING THE TISSUE with a small amount of white glue (I take my finger and smear some on) you don't want to load on the glue, just enough so the tissue sticks well. Wait for it to dry then trim the excess off. I chose black and green for my color sceme. Then you can go ahead and tighten the tissue paper with water or rubbing alcohol.
Step 6: Finishing Up...
Using bass wood I made my own control horns but you are welcome to buy some or use your favorite ones. Drill holes through the fuselage down to the tail and install control linkages.
cut out a cardstock flap that will cover the top of the electronics and tape it down in place.