Picture of Electric S.P.A.D. Drone 0.1
I've always wanted to build one of them R/C Aircraft but never knew how to start off. Then I heard of this great website called spadtothebone.com which for some reason has been closed down, over there they had this lovely little plan for a Glow engine plane called the GNAT. I loved the plan but it was a Glow plane so I decided to convert it to an Electric. Despite no previous experience in Aero-modelling, I embarked on a quest that took me back and forth to a few places, hunting for parts that are no so readily available in the state of Qatar and Voila! I did the unimaginable.

NOTE: Unfortunately I finished my aircraft shortly before beginning this instructable so I decided to make Diagrams of the steps involved. also this is my first instructable so guys, please be polite in the comments section. Thanks in advance.

This is what I consider to be an Easy-Intermediate build on account of the Aluminium parts involved so I would recommend this build to somewhat experienced aero-modellers. Hope you guys enjoy building this wonderful aircraft like I did. The original plans to the S.P.A.D. GNAT are available here (http://spadtothebone.net/freeplans.htm) and I take no credit for the original plans. What I have here is a heavily spliced and somewhat simplified version of the GNAT. Also the plane's dimensions have been altered along with some building steps. It is built for power and is more heavier than conventional foam or balsa planes. I take no responsibility for any damages or injuries resulting from attempting to build this plane due to carelessness, negligence or otherwise. Have fun building this Plane but also do keep safety in mind, especially when using drills, saws and blades. Let's get started then, shall we?

UPDATE:  I just went to my local Hobby Club and they told me that there were a couple of problems with MY plane... Here's what the upgraded SPAD looks like... I've lso rechristened this instructable based on the color scheme of the plane. A drone is a male bee and bees are yellow and black. Also, being my first plane I decided to make it an 'experimental' aircraft so voila! The Drone 0.1
manstrom3 months ago


For those asking about sourcing R/C parts. They have two US warehouses and one international warehouse. Shipping can sometimes take a bit (time and financially) but might be an option for those that don't have local sources.

profpat3 years ago
nice project!
erwxyz (author)  profpat3 years ago
CameronG23 months ago

cool r.c. airplane

stevenzhang3 years ago
Can you email me the plans plsplsplsplsplsplsplspls
i am building a uav, and i am stuck with the desigh, so i was thinking if u could help me with the design.

btw, i voted for you
erwxyz (author)  stevenzhang3 years ago
Well actually I personally don't recommend this plane for aerial photography and UAVing because it is too unstable for such purposes. I recommend you try out the plans at This site. This plane is very stable and suitable for the above applications.

If you still insist then temmie if you want the Gnat plans or the Electric Drone plans.
To make it more stable, you could try reworking the wings to have more dihedral. I'm not sure if its possible to rework the wing after its already finished, but it would greatly increase the stability. From what I can tell from the pictures, it looks like your wings are even bent down a little, this leads to unstability...
erwxyz (author)  Jedrokivich3 months ago

That's an optical illusion lol. Wings are straight.

maboy2 years ago
what's the range? the battery life?
maboy maboy2 years ago
how much can it carry? payload?
erwxyz (author)  maboy3 months ago

Approximately 100g but the plane is meant for acrobatics not for cargo.

erwxyz (author)  maboy2 years ago
battery life is 6-10 mins on full throttle. Range, it is not possible to tell.
BhashitheA made it!10 months ago

Thanks mate, I am trying out this for the first time. This was a project in our university for device interfaces.

I am still configuring the plane. I have used Arduino platform to make the receiver and the transmitter. I still have a long way to go. Wanted to thank you :)
Your guide helped me a lot.

erwxyz (author)  BhashitheA3 months ago

You're very welcome.
Using Arduino is a difficult approach as the weight of the board and cables makes for a tough and unnecessarily expensive build. Using XBee may present problems due to the lack of range.
Using ready-made parts is the way to go right now since they are cheaper, easier, more robust and smaller. It also saves you days of time and lets you focus on the building aspect. It will take you several top several hundred hours(at times) to build a plane but only a second to crash it should things go wrong.

mkhurram1 year ago
Did you buy all the components online??
mkhurram1 year ago
Hi erwxyz, nice instructable...I livein qatar too....where did you get all the components??
erwxyz (author)  mkhurram1 year ago
Thanks mate. Pro Hobbies
JimRD2 years ago
So how did the maiden flight go?
yanadica3 years ago
superb instructable!!!!!!!!!!!it is very deatailed .....pls make more instructables
RCFORALL made in India ! im from India
erwxyz (author)  Avadhut.Deshmukh3 years ago
Haha, some of the parts in there are from RC4ALL only!
nmoraga3 years ago
still planning to do this proj, but the way the peoples reacted made me feel that i should do this :D nice project bro
jason10kv3 years ago
I made it and it just flyed like hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
erwxyz (author)  jason10kv3 years ago
Thanks man! Could you post pics of it? We'd love to see it!
scoochmaroo3 years ago
Brilliant! You should consider entering this in the Father's Day Challenge!
erwxyz (author)  scoochmaroo3 years ago
I did! Thanks for the heads-up!
deathwisher3 years ago
please make more ins
erwxyz (author)  deathwisher3 years ago
Sure will Mayur!
dchall83 years ago
I kinda like the idea of the rubber band holding the prop on. If the prop hits something, maybe the rubber band will let go before the prop gets damaged???
erwxyz (author)  dchall83 years ago
Thanks, yeah, that's the point. My Prop comes with a built-in prop saver. The original rubber washer to hold the prop DISINTEGRATED. That was sad. So I used Rubber bands simply twisted back on themselves. The Idea is that if the Propeller collides with the ground, it either bends back to it's position, or saves itself thus destroying the easily-replaceable rubber bands or destroying the propeller without damaging the rubber band.