Introduction: Desk Aerobatics

About: I wb in Belgorod Russia. In 2002 I graduated from Belgorod STU mechanical engineering and CAD. In 2004 I'v defended the dissertation "CAD for ball mill". I am a lecturer in BSTU. My hobby is 3D and &…

If you want to fill as professional aerobatic pilot but the weather is not rather suitable to fly... Make a simple on-desk training unit, connect power, hold the handle tighter and OFF WE GO (video)!

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • office knife
  • screw drivers set
  • soldering tool
  • brushes set
  • sandpaper
  • rasp
  • thin rasp (needle file)
  • drills set
  • handsaw
  • pliers
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • awl
  • pencil


  • electric motor (from CD/DVD drive, extension mechanism)
  • micro-button (from CD/DVD drive, extension mechanism)
  • cable (telephonic e.g., L ~ 2 m)
  • USB cable (unnecessary, L ~ 1 m)
  • power supply (5 V, 300 mA)
  • wooden bar (70х28х18 mm)
  • wooden bar (90х50х12 mm)
  • wooden bar (105х30х6 mm)
  • wooden bar (40х30х6 mm)
  • wooden cylinders (d = 20 mm, L = 26 mm), 2 items
  • wooden cylinder (d = 20 mm, L = 40 mm)
  • plywood pieces (t = 1 mm)
  • pin
  • old pens (bodies and pen refills)
  • plastic micro propeller (ready or handmade, d = 30..40 mm)
  • bamboo sticks (L = 300 mm, d = 3 mm), 2 items
  • wooden rod (L = 350 mm, d = 5 mm), 2 items
  • large cork (champagne)
  • metal plate (10х76 mm, t = 1 mm)
  • micro screws (from CD/DVD drive, extension mechanism), 2 items;
  • tapping screws for a button mounting (1.5х6 mm), 2 items
  • tapping screws for a motor frame mounting (2х8 mm), 2 items
  • tapping screw for a flexible element mounting (2х40 mm)
  • rubber piece for a flexible element (50х80 mm, t = 2 mm)
  • hose clamps (d = 25 mm), 3 items
  • acrylic paints
  • shrink tube (d = 5 mm, L = 50 mm)
  • PVA glue
  • small table clamp
  • brazing alloy

Step 2: Airplane Model Making

Make your favorite airplane model using plywood pieces and old pens. Size up to: 50х50 mm, weight up to: 4..5 g. Front side ('engine') I recommend to make of cork (for a pin usage for propeller fixing). Cockpit window you can make of old pen body. Connect parts with a PVA-glue. Paint model with acrylic paints.

Step 3: Airplane Fixing

Mount airplane model on bamboo stick (L = 250 mm, d = 3 mm) with help a small plastic tube (appropriate pen refill).

Step 4: Making of Airplane Bushing

Reduce the length of a large cork (up to 30 mm). Make first through hole (d = 3 mm) on a side surface of a cork. Make second through hole (d = 3 mm) on a top surface of a cork.

Step 5: Airplane Rod Mounting

Fix airplane rod in the side hole (d = 3 mm) of the bushing using PVA-glue.

Step 6: Airplane Counterweight Making

Prepare counterweight for airplane using bamboo stick and a wood cylinder (d = 20 mm, L = 40 mm). Fix counterweight in the side hole (d = 3 mm) of the bushing using PVA-glue.

Step 7: Handle Making

Make body of a handle using wooden bar (105х30х6 mm). Make hole (d = 3.5 mm) on the side face on the bottom of this part (for a rod mounting). Cut inside volume of the handle to provide cable passing. Make top part of the handle using wooden bar (39х29х6 mm). Make groove on this part to connect the handle body. Make through hole in the handle top to provide cable passing. Connect handle body and the top of the handle with PVA-glue.

Step 8: Handle Mounting

Connect a handle with a handle rod using PVA glue.

Step 9: Button Mounting

Prepare two-wires cable (L ~ 500 mm) and solder it to appropriate contacts on a button. Fix button on a top face of a handle using small tapping screws.

Step 10: Motor Base Making

Prepare wooden box (70х28х18 mm) and make two holes (d = 5 mm, h = 15 mm) on each 'small' face of it.

Step 11: Handle Rod Mounting

Place the cable along the handle rod (d = 5 mm, L = 350 mm) and put several segments of a shrink tube on it. Fix handle rod in the side hole (d = 5 mm) of motor base using PVA-glue.

Step 12: Handle Counterweight Making

Prepare counterweight for handle and handle rod using wooden rod (d = 5 mm, L = 260 mm), wooden cylinder (d = 18 mm, L = 25 mm, hole = 5 mm) and hose clamp. Fix counterweight in the side hole (d = 5 mm) of the motor base.

Step 13: Motor Frame Making

Prepare a metal frame according to mounting holes on the top side of a motor (from CD/DVD drive)

Step 14: Motor Mounting

Fix motor to a motor frame using two appropriate holes and micro-screws. Prepare two-wires cable (L ~ 450 mm). Solder one wire to the first motor contact. Solder one wire of a handle rod cable to the second contact on motor. Solder two cables using the rest free wires. Fix motor frame on the motor base using two screws.

Step 15: Making of a Flexible Element

Prepare rubber rectangle (120х200 mm, t=1.5 mm). Prepare two wooden cylinders (d = 20 mm, h = 28 mm) with a throughout hole (d = 2 mm) on their axes.

Step 16: Making of a General Base

Prepare wooden rectangle (90х50 mm, t=12 mm). Make a chamfered hole (d = 2 mm) on it.

Step 17: Flexible Element Mounting

Connect a first wooden cylinder to a motor base using tapping screw (2х40 mm). Connect another wooden cylinder to a general base using tapping screw (2х40 mm). Wrap cylinders with a rubber and fix it using hose clamps.

Step 18: USB-cable Connection

Solder wires of USB cable (red and black) to free wires of motor cable.

Step 19: Mounting of Airplane Bushing

Mount the bushing assembly on motor shaft (using CD-drive plastic gear).

Step 20: Propeller Mounting

Fix propeller on front face of airplane using pin.

Step 21: Device Fixing

Mount the general base of our device to a desk using small table clamp.

Step 22: Connection to a Power Supply

Put USB-connector to appropriate power supply (5 V, 300 mA)

Step 23: To Fly!

Hold the handle, press the button and OFF WE GO! Change the flying trajectory using handle.