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Rc Airplane Guide Answered

I have been thinking about building an R/C airplane. Here are the specifications I need. L:3ft W:4ft H:6in ( 15 with prop and landing gear Engine: Chain saw motor Prop: 12in Control surfaces: 2 ailerons, elevator I don't know anything about R/C and here are my questions: 1.) How do you assemble an R/C system? 2.) What is needed to run 4 servos(3 control, 1 throttle)? 3.) Where should I buy stuff? 4.) What else should I know? I know how to connect servos to an air frame and everything, but I need to know how to connect a full R/C system together( receiver, servos, battery, etc.). Any help? Please. P.S. My air frame will be, a wing, a wooden dowel going to tail, tail, motor and muffler. I used this design because I have no weight added other than required materials.


don't you think a chainsaw motor (motor right, not engine) would be a bit heavy for an airplane?

chainsaw engines are very light. You could also use a leaf blower engine.

and they work great dor the really large scale planes 1/4 scale and up!

Since you want to fly it would be better to start on a ARF (Almost ready to Fly kit) and work up. In your case you are working it backwards. Remember an RC plane the size you want to build could kill someone if it goes out of control. Start with wing span 50" or so to give you a stable airship. Once you have the take off and landings down then you can work your way up. Remember you will most likely crash a few times before you get good enough to fly a larger plane. on Ebay you can find ARF kits for about ~$60.00 w/o radio and motor. Good luck and remember safely first

It doesn't seem like you have looked at the Instructables on RC airplanes. Your design will take much longer to try than the others already published here.

In my oppinion electric is the way to go- especialy for smaller planes. Its gotten very cheap (arround $40-50 + Transmitter) $15 Motor+Prop+ESC Combo (HobbyCity.com set) $6-12+ (2-4 servos) $8-10 LiPo Battery (2 cell "Mystery" from dealextreme.com) $8+++ Simple charger (better one recomended) $5 Receiver (bidproduct.com or included with transmitterset) $5-10 Shipping If you have never manuvered any plane before, do not build anything fast, even if it seems to be cooler and the thing you want. You can allways assemble a new plane. Flying is not as easy as remote controlled cars, unless you get one of these 8" wingspan foam-rc-toys (neat start with loads of fun for just 20-30 bucks). Also a Simulator can help- especialy with tricks, loops, rolls etc.

Good Idea. I could use that plane and then change everything so it has more powerful servos but same electronics and a new engine.

My idea was to use a big motor and get a ton of power and speed. That also allow a small but fast plane. I will post a rough design soon.


10 years ago

A chainsaw motor is out of the question. Planes of the size you're thinking about use MUCH smaller and lighter motors than that.

There are many sites dedicated to nothing but RC (like RCGroups.com) My understanding is that learning to fly RC is a well-understood process, involving a "trainer" type of model, and usually a mentor. Once you get started, THEN you can start with your imrpovised materials. There's a whole category of plane design called "SPAD" (Simple Plasic Airplane Design) that sounds like it would match up with your interests...

Well, The reason I'm using a chain saw/ weed eater motor is because I have one and after I remove all non-required parts, It will weigh 2 pounds. I'f I can get enough power out of it, I can fly with it.

For example, This airplane is about the size you ask for, weighs 5.25lb, and uses a 0.4 sized motor that weighs in at about 13oz (and delivers about 1.1BHP at 15000 rpm)


10 years ago

Save the chainsaw motor for a 1/4 scale plane, something 8 feet wingspan or so.

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/rc-toy.htm talks some about the basics. The radio transmits multiple channels; each channel controls a specific function of the vehicle (e.g. aileron, elevator, throttle, etc). You convert the electrical signals to motion through servos, which are essentially electric motors wrapped in circuitry that measures the position of the motor, and feeds back information to the motor to control its position.

There are a number of good books on scratch building airplanes (Harry Higley is one author on the subject), and you can go that route. I wouldn't advise it to begin with.

An airplane is essentially a weapon. You can hurt people with these things. The AMA (academy of model aeronautics?) is an organization dedicated to safe use of airborne R/C vehicles (airplanes, helicopters). There are many R/C clubs associated with AMA who are there to help you learn and get you started safely and right.

As far as airplanes, you can get started with something very cheap (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/parkflyers.htm), or you can spend a lot more. Many of the park flyers have custom-built hardware that is built into the vehicle, and hard to re-use. The more expensive component-based stuff (http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0093p?&C=AAB) are reusable and reconfigurable, but significantly more expensive. Also note that if you see ARF, it means "almost ready to fly". This is a fairly recent trend, towards airplanes that require almost no construction to get in the air.

There are a variety of very cheap designs for building your own. One design in particular was built from an engine and radio (the expensive parts), a foam wing, and some plastic downspout. I've seen a few nice models built from cardboard.

Another choice is gas vs electric. Batteries have been getting better, and electric motors are quiet, easy to start, and less messy than gas. Still, with a gas (or nitro methane, or diesel) you can have real smoke and sounds that are more authentic. To each his own. I have some of both.

Good luck. Please be safe.