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To Anyone Who's Made RC Models...  
User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 20
Posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8019 times:

Have any of you, when you first started out and up until now, had any type of engineering experience to assist building and flying your vehicles?

My suitemates want to build an RC airplane out of scratch this year, but they don't even know the lift equation or have any experience building a powered model RC plane. They are ambitious though.

A while back, I was told that doing calculations will/might/can "ruin the fun" of seeing whether something can work...

Thoughts, comments, warnings?

The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEclipseFlight7 From Somalia, joined Apr 2004, 519 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 8015 times:

The biggest problem is the cost, as these are as frail as an old lady. My 500 dollar trainer is screwed because I hit the tail when putting it in the car and the balsa snapped. I'd say fly a few before you should even try to build one, as flying them is hard enough as it is.

Frankly, I thought it would be an entertaining hobby, but at the end of the day it just turned out to be a nerve-wrenching experience, where I was constantly worrying about my investment hitting the ground in a puff of dirt, or perhaps the worry of seeing my plane fly out of range and gently watch it float off towards the horizon, or maybe even someone crossing frequencies and then I suddenly find that my plane has taken a 90 degree turn towards me.

I don't see the allure of it, but if you do, then go ahead.

And for the record, you can pick up plans for almost any plane easily, (I've seen some for an L-1011) but then you would have to gather the materials and assemble it on your own.

Holy sh*ts and burritos.
User currently offlineManzoori From UK - England, joined Sep 2002, 1516 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7917 times:

I started building RC aircraft after I graduated with an Engineering degree so yes. Was it necessary? No, I don't think so but then I didn't build from scratch.

My recommendation would be to build an electric powered kit as a starter and then look at using your engineering skills to improve the design. Electric becuase of the ease, cleanliness, quietness.

Again, once you've got the hang of that then move on to IC and maybe even gas turbines.

If cost and worry about damage is an issue then I would go for one of the foam models like the Multiplex Twinjet. It looks the business, flies like a dream and is very resilient to crashes though not totally impervious. Alternatively there are the small profile park fliers... Li Po powered electric models that do amazing 3D aero at very slow speeds and at low heights so crashes are slow speed affairs and the aircraft bounces!

Hope that helps!

Rez Big grin

Flightlineimages DOT Com Photographer & Web Editor. RR Turbines Specialist
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7907 times:

You could just get some plans for $15. Or for $300 you can get a decent .40 sized trainer with everything but gas.

Check the R/C version of a.net. Very good stuff in the forums.


Any specific questions on flying these let me know.

User currently offline777WT From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7897 times:

I thought of making a 777-300ER in which the cross section of the fuselage would be 3/4 of a foot diameter. Using ducted fans with cowlings to make it look like the actual 777-300ER, flat thick aluminum for engine to wing support, robart retracting landing gear, It was estimated to be a 4-5 ft long.
But after talking with my friend in engineering at a upstate college, he said according to the CAD plans, the actual wings size of the 777-300ER if scaled down, will require greater speed to stay flying than the real one., which would've been almost double.

The slats will require some heavy duty system since even the powerful servos can't withstand it due to binding. The flaps wouldn't be a problem.

Since I'm out of college already and in the testing stages of A&P certification, I've shelved the plans.

I used to have a hobbico flightstar trainer which had a aluminum spar for connecting the two wings together. After a year of flying it, I put in a almost double bigger cc engine in it. A year later after dogging it around by pulling high G's turns, the wing snapped and folded, it looked like a shark fin when it went down.

The other plane I built after the flightstar spar broke, was a Ultra Sport 40, I put in a .50 cc engine in it, reinforced the spar with carbon fiber strips.

That's still flying today and it can pull itself up vertically, hell I could launch it like that.

But I haven't been flying much with it due to lack of time, however I do fly my X-Cell .60 graphite once in a while.

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