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shipping tube fuselage

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shipping tube fuselage

Old 11-04-2020, 02:58 PM
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Default shipping tube fuselage

Making my first airplane for a school project. Has anyone ever considered using a cardboard shipping tube for the fuselage? Like the ones made by ULINE. I am making a rather large 10" diameter fuselage to hold cargo.

They're light, and very strong. Anyone have any thoughts or comments on the idea?
Old 11-04-2020, 04:44 PM
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This being the beginner's section , you may not get any answers here . If no one answers here post your question in the area I've linked above , I'll bet they will know all the tricks of using "non standard" parts to build an RC aircraft .
Old 11-04-2020, 05:29 PM
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thanks! I'll post it there
Old 11-06-2020, 04:46 AM
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Are you doing the SAE heavy lift contest? That's held at my club field every other year.
There are 3 problems with a cardboard tube for a fuselage First, cardboard isn't hard enough to hold up to the stress that will be on the wing mount. You'll need plywood reinforcements, which will increase the weight. 2nd, you don't get an aerodynamic shape with a straight tube. You need something that tapers to the tail, otherwise you're going to have considerably more drag. 3rd, you can do much better weight wise with traditional building methods.

I've volunteered for every heavy lift contest my club has done in the last 13 years. What I see over and over is teams who refuse to learn the traditional methods that are well-proven and instead try to come up with some novel concept that doesn't work. One team in the last one built this huge wing and didn't bother learning how to design a proper spar. On the runway, the wings drooped by about 3 inches, but by the time they were airborne they had 4-5 inches of dihedral. You could literally see the wing flap as they maneuvered because it was so flimsy. They didn't do well.

My advice is to learn how to properly build an RC airplane first, then design your own. Build an Ugly Stick. It's a really easy build and easy to fix. You can learn to fly with it too (there's another rant I could get on about heavy lift teams). You will learn how to make a light and strong structure quickly, then you can apply that knowledge to meeting the requirements of your project. It will take you less time to build a Stick than it will to screw up and redo your main project by trying to figure it out for yourself.

And that's also good engineering. Engineers don't try to reinvent the wheel when making a new product. They use the methods and knowledge that's already there and create an item that solves the new problem with which they are presented. Ever wonder why all Boeing airliners look similar to each other? It's the shape that works. Their wing and landing gear structures are all similar, cockpits laid out similarly, engines mounted in the same fundamental way, etc. A new plane still uses every lesson that was learned from the old ones whenever it can. Go be like Boeing.

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