In this instructables, i will be showing you how to and what you will need to build a model aircraft. I'll be telling you how to build and repair a rc plane. Now lets start with the theory, Airplane can fly is because of its wings' shape, they are usually flat on th bottom and curved on top. They are called the "Aerofoil". We will talk about the wings later.
Next to fly, you will need power, the technical term is called the "Thrust". The thrust can either pull the plane foreward with a puller propeller, an EDF (ELECTRICAL DUCTED FAN) ETC.
Now you will need the fuselage, fuselages can vary from different types of aircrafts. Most planes have a 3d scale replica of a real airplane; Some can have a completely scratch buil models sanded off with fan fold insulation foam, but the most exciting type of fuselage is he complete flat profile models, they can perform 3d aerobatics and more.
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Step 1: Wings
The aerofoil on foam planes are a tiny bit different to the aerofoils on real aircraft, the aerofoils on model planes are usually KF aerofoils, they are made from stacked up foam boards to create the basic shape and then shaped to the shape, some KF aerofoils are not even sanded and still works the same. Some wings are cut from a block of foam with a hot wire cutter.
Some wings are cut out from balsa wood, those are usually the scale models. But some wood can be heavy.
Step 2: The End
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Step 3: What to Start With?
Many people send me emails on what should they start the hobby of flying with nitro or electric. And now i'm just going to tell you, It is your choice which one you start with, but i recommand that you start with electirc parkflyer size planes, because they are the easiest and the slowest to fly.
Electric planes are much cheaper than fuel burning engines, and fuel engines need more constant care, you will need a lot of patience.
I prefer electric planes more because they barely need any maintenance and they are a lot lighter, which minimises the chance of crashing and breaking up into pieces.
Step 4: Radio Systems
Now, you can't have a R/C plane without the radio gear of course. That includes a transmitter and a a receiver
Transmitters and receivers usually come in one single package, the channels can vary from 2 channel for a glider to a 18 channel giant scale plane. The first channel is elevator, then rudder, the third channel is the throttle, and the last is the ailerons. Extra channels are gear up/down, flaps, VPP(variable pitch props), thrust vectorings, parachute dropping or bomb drops.
The transmitter usually include two joy sticks, the joysticks have different setups in different modes, there are 4 modes in total, and mode 2 is the standard mode used in america. The setups are below in the pictures.
The frequency of the transmitter and receiver is the main worry of aircraft flyers. If any two flyers are on the same frequency, it could cause a fatal accident. There are currently three frequency bands, they are
1)27mhz, it is an inexpensive way of starting to fly a plane. But there are only a few frequencies inside the frequency band.
2)35 mhz, it is possibly a good way to fly, but you will need to ask you local hobby shop owner for frequency chips.
3)2.4ghz, I think it is the best radio frequency to use. 80 people can use the 2.4g frequency at the same time without interference.
There are two types of remote,
1-analog remote, it is the most basic and the cheapest type out of all remotes, it basically does not have any computerised controls, you will need a data wire to connect to your computer to program the transmitter.
2-digital remotes, They usually have a led display or a computerised control. They can be programmed straight on the flying field without a computer, that is why i prefer a digital remote.
Step 5: Control Surfaces
Ailerons, rudder and elevators. They are the small flaps on the plane, they change the direction of movement of the plane.
Servos are the little mechanical device that pull or push the pushrod which therefore control the movement of the control surfaces.
The servos sizes can vary, from 1.7gram in weight with a torque of 200 grams to a giant digital servo motor weighing up to a few kilograms.
Pushrods are the wires that connect to the servo arm on one end, and connect to the control horn which is on the ailerons, rudder or elevators.
control horns are the tiny things that you either glue or screw in place. You will need to insert the pushrods into the horn and make a z bend. Because z bends are the easiest type of connection from servo to servo horns.
Hinges are the little things that connect the rudder, elevator and ailerons to your wings and stabilizer.They are mostly made of nylon or kevlar strips. There are reinforced special hinge tape for 3d aircraft.
Step 6: Power Source(Electric Powered)
The motors of the plane can be saperated into two groups, first is the brushed motors, A brushed DC motor is an internally commutated electric motor designed to be run from a direct current power source.and there is brushless motors,Brushless DC motors (BLDC motors, BL motors) also known as electronically commutated motors (ECMs, EC motors) are synchronous motors which are powered by a DC electric source via an integrated inverter, which produces an AC electric signal to drive the motor; additional sensors and electronics control the inverter output.The motor part of a brushless DC motor is often permanent magnet synchronous motor, but can also be a switched reluctance motor, or induction motor.
Brushless motors can be saperated into another two groups called the inrunner motors and outrunner motors. Basicly the inrunners have a inner moving axle which drives the propeller, and is suitable for fitting inside a tight space. The outrunners have a external rotating body, which create more power.
Step 7: ESC(Electronic Speed Control)
The electronic speed controls allow you to control the speed of the plane, which gives you more manoeuvrability. The size of the electronic speed control vary from sizes, fron the size of a cigarette filter for an ultra micro indoor plane to a giant 1:4 scale planesized ESC.
The ESCs have two wires connect to the battery; a port connecting to the receiver, and wires connect to the motor.
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