Introduction: Scratchbuild RC Powered Glider
Here you will learn to easily make a Powered glider,pod & boom style. If you already have an RC plane (Hobby grade. not one of those cheep ones from your local store) it will be cheaper and you can substitute the servos suggested to the ones you have, you can also use your own Tx/Rx system, even if it is not a high end one. I used my 2.4ghz skyartec system, but I will soon upgrade to a Turnigy 9XR, 9ch system. This plane is modelled of the Hobbyking mini breezair and the FT simple soarer. You can look at the breezair and model your tech specs of what comes in the RTF version.
I DO NOT RECOMEND THIS FOR BEGINNERS OR FIRST TIME SCRATCH-BUILDERS.
Please vote for me in the Tech Competition sponsored by Little Bits, as it would mean a lot to me.
Thanks for reading and happy flying!!!
Step 1: Materials
To build this plane you will need:
1x Large sheet of Plastic Corflute or Foamboard or depron (at least 900mm x 900mm)
1x wooden dowel (8mm thick, 660mm long, if longer cut to size)
1x RC Brushless outrunner electric motor
1x 3-4s Lipo batttery (lithium polymer)
3x 9g servos (suitable for RC can be found at hobbyshop or salvaged from other RC plane)
1x Plastic Propeller suitable for your brushless motor
1x Complete Tx/Rx system (Transmitter and Receiver) suitable for RC
3x push rods, easily found at hobby store, I bought piano wire with a diameter of 1.00m and length of 1m
1x spray sealer
1x spray paint
Hobby Knife or other sharp cutting tool
Sharpie/ permanent marker
Hot Glue Gun a heavy duty glue gun works
Hot Glue Sticks (lots of them)
Dremel (optional) (a dremel is optional but will help heaps with cutting across the flutes)
Step 2: Measuring the Dowel
The first thing we do is measure up the dowel. it gives us a rough idea where everything is going to be spaced out. it also makes it easy to put everything in place,. The pod of the plane is 200mm long, the wing is mounted on top of the canopy so it takes no dowel space, The tail plane (rudder and elevator takes) up 50mm of the end of the dowel. For a sense of component size, mark the pod size and tail plane size on the dowel like in the picture. zoom in to see the markings more clearly.
Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Main Wing Basic Shape
The wing is 900mm long and 75mm wide. First cut a rectangle to these dimensions. we will shape e wing in a later step.
Step 4: Measuring and Cutting the Tailplane Basic Shape
The two elevators are 150mm long and 5mm wide. The Rudder is 150mm long and 150mm wide. remember that this is only the basic shape, and we will shape everything later.
Step 5: Shaping the Wing
Now we are making the basic shape of the wing. A square wing looks boring and doesn't work too well.To shape your wing use a pencil to draw a curve from the top of the wing to the bottom edge which will work as your wing shape.
Play around with your design and be sure that it works. Next mark it on both sides with the permanent marker and cut it out.
Your wing is complete!!!
Step 6: Shaping the Tailplane
The tailplane consists of the elevator and rudder, to shape the elevator follow the same as you did for the wing.
when you are dong the rudder you must draw the design that is long at the bottom and has a normal wing shape towards the top.
As you can see I have shaped the wing in 3 steps. Don't forget that we are modelling our plane on the Hobbyking mini breezair, so the same shape should be used in the tailplane.
Step 7: Designing & Cutting the Pod
For a pod and boom styled glider, the 'pod' is the main cockpit where the electronics are housed. The glider is powered, pusher style (the motor is facing the back of the plane and 'pushes' the plane along). Therefore, the motor mount is designed for the cockpit. The pod is 200mm long, and 100mm high at the motor mount .
I made 8 different pod halves. I made 2 whole pods and 2 draft halves. the first pod was my original design. the first draft helped with bending practice, the second draft was my straight draft to see how much space there would be and how it would look. The second pod is my current design which has a more streamlined shape with a better motor mount connection. you can see that along with the pod halves there is also 2 long strips of corflute. Those strips are for joining the pod together. it is important to have the strips of adequate width, as the length does not matter too much. My strips where 35mm in width with varying lengths. The width is the most important, as the pod needs to be wide enough to house the electronics and ensure it fits in comfortably. preferably make the joining strips to fit in 3-4 parts, the top, bottom, back and over the A curve in the pod is optional, not necessary. My first pod had a bend and also a joining strip that was not wide enough, therefore I had to make another one, I saw the FT Simple soarer, which has a flat canopy. I used an adaptation of the FT Simple soarer for the pod of the plane, originally I made a curved pod but it didn't work too well, so I used a Flat Pod instead. Don't forget to use pencil to mark before you use permanent marker and cut. When curving the strip to join the pod, if you are using corflute, it is best to shave off one flute sheet as shown in the picture. It will take quite a while but the result is worth the effort as it will make the bending process easier.
Step 8: Putting the Pod Together
First you take one of your pods and a joining strip and glue them together on the edge as shown. Because The wing is our access point to the inside and electronics, it will need to be removable and completely flush. Before you connect your pod together, you need to mark where you will be cutting a groove in the pod for the wing you will need to settle the wing. To do that, using a permanent marker mark the width of the wing where you want to cut the joining strip away. cut between. make sure to look to the pics for help as they have a lot of useful notes.
to put the skewers through, first mark where you want it, then drill through with bit that fits your skewer size, also put the skewers through at a length of 20mm long from the pod wall on each side to make sure that the bands will stay connected.
Step 9: Curving Your Wing
The wing has a positive dihedral. So measure 15 cm from the wing tip on the underside of the wing and mark a vertical line and cut on vertical line. Bend wing tip upwards until there is a 160 degree angle. Once you have the correct angle, pipe some hot glue in the cut space to keep the angle. So just to recap, the cut is on the underside of the wing and you bend it upwards so that there is a gap in the bottom.
Another pair of hands will be very useful here, whilst holding the wing bent get someone to pipe some hot glue into the gaps on the bottom of the wing. Be careful not to put too much hot glue as it could weigh the wing down. Do the same on the other wing tip, make sure that the curve is even.
Step 10: Making the Motor Mount Plate
When making the motor mount plate I used a wooden coaster (the ones you use to stop a glass from scratching a table) that I found at my local bunnings( if you live in Australia), marked it out and cut it to size using a hacksaw blade. it is important to use a drill-bit that is one size smaller than your screw size, as the coaster has no thread and the mount needs to be firmly fastened. I do NOT recommend glueing the motor mount to the plate because when screwed you can always remove it and use it for another project, whereas if you glue the mount to the plate you will be stuck with it (get it?).
Step 11: Making the Flap Joins/hinges
to make your ailerons cut a 100mm x 25mm piec out of the very bottom of the wing. sorry I have no photos to show you but you can look at other RC planes and see the ailerons, and where they are. Next get two pieces of duct tape about 30mm long and put one pice at the top and one piece at the bottom of the wing, connect the other side to the flap. for the rudder and elevator cut a 20mm x 50mm piece and follow the same step for the join.
onwards! to make the pushrods
Step 12: Adding the Electronics
The last thing that you need to do is add the electronics, that bit is self explanatory. If you don't know what to do I suggest you take your finished product to your local hobby shop and ask them to show you how it is done. For your push rods you use the piano wire (or you can go to your local hobby shop and ask them what the best material is for push rods). to get the join I just bent the end that connects to the flap into an 'L' shape and put a piece of duct tape. connect the other end to the servo horn (you should know the electrical stuff! I shouldn't have to tell you!!)