The RC model aircraft: How to choose a scale subject

Which RC model aircraft should I design and build next?Your first attempt should be simple yet of interest to you.

If this will be your first attempt at designing an RC model airplane, then I strongly suggest you choose a simple subject.

Leave the more complex until you have more experience and confidence.

At the very least, choose a type that you have flown before, i.e. low wing, high wing, biplane etc.

Leave the multi-glow engine, swept wing bomber, until you have a couple more projects under your belt!

Having said that, I think it is fair to say, that ANY full size aircraft can be successfully modeled-especially if it is produced to a large size.

A good indication of the models ability to fly well is to find out how well the full size handled. If the real aircraft was a pig to fly, then the chances are, the model will inherit these traits.

A further consideration is the availability of good photos and 3-view drawings.

If you are considering entering competitions, with your model, then it is preferred, that a full size aircraft is available, for you to photograph and maybe even measure.



Above all else, you must have an acute interest (may be even a PASSION), in the subject, in order to carry you through the process.

A prime consideration is whether the subject has good proportions that will translate into a well behaved model.

Check the tailplane area, if it is approaching 10% of the wing area, then this could be a problem. I have increased tail area, on some subjects, to increase stability, but be careful, if you are considering competition, as this may be found, and penalized. 

World War 1 types, are famous for their short noses. This makes, this type of RC model aircraft very difficult to balance, but it can be done.

Tail wheel landing gears, can be a challenge. However, they can be mastered. In fact every plane I currently own, is a "tail-dragger" and I really enjoy the take-offs and landings!

Please note that the photographs, on this page, are of my own Fairey Fantome, designed and scratch built, by myself, a few years ago. (Still flying well!)   

Read more about this large scale model aircraft, by visiting this page. 




Look at the "State of the Art"

Having decided on the subject, it is a good idea to see what other designers have done. Visit all the websites devoted to scale RC airplanes and take note of wing areas, weights and engine or motor size, etc.

Click here for a look at what is available from Horizon Hobby


Scale RC Model Aircraft plans designed by yours truly and available for sale.

For full details , please take a look at the plans available by clicking here.




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