The design of RC planes: Create that one of a kind, scale beauty!

The design of RC planes, can be simplified, so that you can fly your own, maybe one of a kind, scale model.

Where to start designing RC planes

Can you design your own RC aircraft, possibly a unique scale model, that is the envy of flying buddies? Yes it is possible, but be prepared for a LOT of work!

You must be a somewhat experienced model builder, with a couple of kits under your belt.

If you can see how to improve things, in the kits you have built, then you will love being able to do things YOUR way, in your own RC airplane.

Where to start?-Every modeler has a favorite plane, that may not be available as a kit or plan.
I know I have a list of "to build" scale models, and I seriously doubt, if I will live long enough to complete it!

You can of course, design to any size you prefer and chose the power source you like, even go to an RC electric plane.

Choosing a subject

See how to choose the best scale RC model aircraft for you.

I have found it very useful, to have a plastic model available, during the design and build phase.
A few other useful tips, can be found ,by reading about plastic model aircraft.

Scale Drawings

A 3-view drawing, of the desired plane, is almost a necessity, read how to find the set of scale aircraft drawings you need for your next project. Click here for more details.

You may find more than one 3-view and see differences between them. The only way to resolve this is by good photographs and maybe the source of the 3-view is a  more credible authority.

Drafting of the plan

Drafting of the plan

Drafting of your own plan, may seem to be a daunting task-but it may be easier than you think.

You do not have to be an experienced draftsman-after all you maybe the only person to see the fruits of your labors! (Take a look at this page - Remote Control Airplane Plans of Scale Aircraft,) for a listing of the plans I have designed and offer for sale.

Mechanical drafting, using a Tee Square and set square, can be very rewarding. If you use drafting paper. then you can produce blue prints from the master and build from that.

A set of compasses and French curves will make the job that much easier.If you have the experience, then CAD design can be extremely accurate and some CAD programs are very good at importing scans of 3-view drawings.I have used Autocad for many years and now use it exclusively for drafting of RC planes.

The great balancing  act

One of the most important steps in the designing and building of  RC planes, is the balancing of the aircraft. If you are building from a plan or a kit, the balance or center of gravity (CG)  is usually specified. See this page- "Radio Controlled Planes and how to Balance them."

The photo shows the Great Planes CG Machine. Click here for more information.

How to calculate the balance point

If you are designing your own, then you are on your own! For info on how to locate that illusive CG, visit this page -"The Scale Model RC Airplane and how to find the Balance Point"

Desk Top Tool Organizer

When building that new RC airplane, keep your bench top tools organized and right at hand!

Click here for full details.

Recommended reading

Maybe the best advice I can give you, is to direct you to a book I purchased, several years ago, and unfortunately is now out of print. I refer to "Radio Control Scale Aircraft-Models for Every Day Flying" by Gordon Whitehead.

This reference is used every time I start a design. Some of the information is way out of date, but the majority of it is applicable and very useful. Try and find a used copy-But do not pay too much! Some of the prices I have seen are crazy!

For a look at a library of RC airplane design books-just click here.

RC Planes-6

This book, Scale Model Airplanes is by a well known British author, David Boddington. Dave is responsible for a wide range of designs, both scale and sport and is very easy to read.

RC Planes-7

This book "R/C Model Aircraft Design" by Andy Lennon, is not specifically about scale RC planes, but is full of very useful information, that can be applied to scale.

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