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step by step: build your own AA powered plane

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step by step: build your own AA powered plane

Old 06-17-2006, 08:50 PM
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micro_builder
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Default step by step: build your own AA powered plane

lots of people are getting into RC flight because of the AeroAce/X-Twin airplanes. i think this is very cool, especially because its micro flying, which to me is the most interesting part of the RC hobby world. the only thing better than getting into RC micro flying, is learning how to build your own plane and seeing it fly for the first time, its very rewarding. most people who are completely new to RC flight feel that making their own airplane is way out of their abilities, but its not as difficult as some might think.

this thread is meant to show a step by step procedure of how to build your own plane. this plane can be powered by either the AeroAce electronics, or with your own micro equipment if you have them already. its a good little plane, i've built a number of them and they all fly quite nicely. the plane is called a ToonRacer, a cartoonish pylon racer style plane, designed by Michael Henriksen, a long time micro RC'er and builder. i've attached some pictures of some of the ones i have done to date.

these are the tools you'll need in order to build this plane:
XActo hobby knife
CA glue (super glue) - other kinds of glue will work too, but they might be heavier
fine grit sandpaper - finger nail files work well
ruler (not really needed, but it helps cut straight lines)
balsa or foam
double sided tape

go ahead and read through all this once or twice so you know what to expect later.

nick

edit: i just realized it wont let me upload the .pdf file. so, if you want it, let me know in a post and i can send it to you.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:52 PM
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micro_builder
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

ok, lets get started!

first off, download either the .PDF file or the .JPG file. if you can, use the .PDF, it prints out much better for some reason. you can download Adobe Reader for free from Adobe's website to open the PDF if you dont have the Reader already. also, if you have cardstock, print onto that, rather than standard paper - cardstock is easier to work with when you're tracing the templates out onto the balsa or foam.

after you've printed the plans out, cut out the templates (1st picture). you really only need to cut out one wing, as you're just using it to trace with. after cutting the templates out, use a ball point pen, or a mechanical pencil to trace the templates onto the balsa (2nd picture). the more accurate your cutting of the templates out of paper, and tracing them onto the balsa, the less sanding you'll have to do later. (3rd picture) speaking of sanding, if you want, go ahead and sand the edges of all the peices so its not just a blunt edge, make them smooth. it'll shave a little weight, and make it easier for the plane to go through the air (less resistance!).

if you want to add graphics or any other drawings/markings to the plane, this is the easiest time to do it.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

next, you're going to add the wing ribs to the inside edge of the two wings. the wing rib has a certain curve to it. the fatter end goes towards the Leading Edge, the thinner end goes to the Trailing Edge (1st picture). measure 1/16th of an inch from the inside edge of the wing and mark a straight line, this is where the wing rib will go (2nd picture) lay a bead of glue along the curved edge of the wingrib, then place it down onto the inside edge of the wing on the line you drew (3rd picture). you'll do this to one wing, we'll call it wing A. on the other wing, glue the wing rib right to the edge of the inside edge (4th picture). this will be wing B.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:57 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

once the glue is dry, take one wing and flip it over so the bottom of the wing, with the wing rib is facing down. prop up the wing tip one inch in the air (1st picture). with one hand, hold the wing down, with your other hand, take sandpaper and sand the inside edge of the wing (2nd picture). if you dont have a finger nail file, use a wood block, or anything else that has a straight edge to sand with. a single piece of sandpaper wont work well enough (finger nail files are cheap and last forever!). sand the inside edge untill there is a concave curve (3rd picture). do this to both wings, and try to get the curve equal on both wings. the reason for this is when you join the two wings, and then angle them to give it dihedral, the inside edges will join all the way along the edge and it will have a stronger joint when glueing.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:00 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

next step will be to glue the wings to the fuselage. do a test fit of wing A in the wing slot in the fuselage. if it doesnt fit, either sand the slot or trim the slot a little bit at a time untill the wing can slide in. once you know wing A fits, apply some glue in the wing slot in the fuselage. slide wing A into the slot (1stpicture). next, place wing B on the wing slot in the fuselage. the glue will start setting up, and while its doing that, hold the wings tight against the fuselage and make sure the wings have an equal amount of dihedral (2nd picture). hold it there untill the glue is completely dry. when the glue is dry, the wings should have the equal amount of dihedral, around a half inch for each wing (3rd picture). getting the dihedral equal on both sides can be tricky sometimes. if you find that one wing is lower or higher than the other, just try flexing the wing up or down. if the balsa cracks, or the glue joint cracks, simply re-glue it and you can set the dihedral again. after you're sure the wings are set right, go ahead and apply some more glue around the area where the wing meets the fuselage. during a crash, this will be one of the most likely places for it to break.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:01 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

once all the glue is dry on the main wings, its time to install the horizontal stabilizer (you're almost done!). this step is easier than the others. first, do another test fit like you did with wing A. if the slot in the fuse is too small, just sand or trim like you did before, untill the stabilizer slides in all the way. slide the stabilizer into the slot and look down the back end of the plane. the stabilizer should be in line with the main wings. what you're doing is the same as you would do with the AA when it's turning on its own. apply a bead of glue along the underside the of the horizontal stabilizer where it meets the fuse. hold the stabilizer in place, making sure its still in line with the main wings, and wait till the glue dries (1st picture). once its all dry, look down the back of the plane, the wings should be all symetrical with the others (2nd picture). if its not, just give a little bend to whichever wing is out of line.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:08 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

ok, now that all the glue is dry, put the plane down on the table, take a step back and realize you just built that!
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:10 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

now for the electronics. get some double sided tape and apply some to the flatside of the RX, the motor mounts, and the lipo. i figure most people havent converted their plane to a puller, so the pics i've taken, and the test flights i've done to get the CG right were with the motors on the Trailing Edge of the wing. it started raining before i got a chance to flip the props and try it with the motors up front, maybe tomarrow.

anyway, since the motors are in the back, it makes it pretty tail heavy. only problem with this is you'll have to put the RX and lipo at the very front of the plane, along with some weight (i used a penny). where you put the motors on the TE of the wing doesnt matter. if you put them close in, it wont turn as sharp, if you put them out further, it'll turn more sharply, but it will also be easier to go into a death spiral. i put mine about 2 inches out from the fuselage. it seemed to turn well enough, but you can put yours where you want to get it to perform the way you want. as i mentioned before, i had to mount the RX and lipo at the very nose of the plane, along with a penny. i would not suggest flying it this way over cement or other hard surfaces as the lipo and RX are completely exposed during a nose-first landing. you could put a peice of balsa in the front to act as a bumper if you wanted, or, add some landing gear (which might take the weight of the penny).

i forgot to measure the location of the CG, but it was close to a half inch from the LE of the wing. try moving the RX or Lipo around to find your own personal "sweet spot" and get it flying the way you want.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

there, that wasnt so bad, now was it?

since this is your own plane, and you now know how to build it, go ahead and try experimenting with dihedral angles, and CG locations. if the plane is turning on its own, you might be able to tweak the rudder a bit to fix it. if yours fails to fly, dont get discuraged, building a plane isnt rocket science, but its close it may take a few tries, so do it a few times if you need to. once you learn all these little basic steps in building a plane, you can move on to other planes, or ones of your own design and the real fun can begin.

ok, that concludes my part here. if you have questions about certain steps in the process, or need help trimming the plane, or any other questions, this would be the place to ask, so go ahead and ask.

congrats, you just built your first RC micro airplane, so go fly it already!!!

nick
Old 06-17-2006, 09:53 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

thanx micro builder i'll try some of that tomorrow and post back on how it went.
Old 06-17-2006, 11:13 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

hey, i found a flying wing glider so i decided to make it rc. It took me around 10 mins to build and flys better then the original plane.

Old 06-18-2006, 02:39 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

[8D]
Old 06-18-2006, 06:12 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

sama, that thing looks like a boomerang, how well does it fly?
Old 06-18-2006, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

micro builder i'm going to try it tonight i got caught in to much stuff like playin video games and goin to hobbytown and playin more video games. i had a busy day. so i'm going to try it tonight and post back late tonight or in the morning. pics.
Old 06-19-2006, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

That mustang in the first set of pics looks awesome! I wanna build THAT!
Old 06-19-2006, 06:21 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

all his planes look awesome.
Old 06-19-2006, 07:10 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

@#$% right
Old 06-19-2006, 10:19 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

micro builder what size balsa did you use? whatkind of glue did you use? and where did you get the plans for it. you mentioned some stuff at the beginning but you never told me where to get it.
Old 06-19-2006, 10:22 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

actually, the mustang is the same plane as i've posted in this build. it just has a full fuselage, and a printed tissue job (i copied the graphics i did for a mustang and just transfered them to the toon racer). that particular plane was built for a ToonRacer Build Competition, i got 2nd place, beat out by a really nicely done airbrush paint job. i aptly named the plane T-51 Not-A-Stang...arent i clever!

rc18,
during this build, i just used 1/16th balsa for the whole thing. its incredibly sturdy, i'd have to crash it hard on pavement to break it probably. i used medium CA (super glue) for the construction. the plans were found online on a seperate forum. if you want the .pdf file of the plans, i can send them to you

nick
Old 06-19-2006, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

can you answer my questions......please.
Old 06-19-2006, 10:27 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

nevermind.
Old 06-19-2006, 10:28 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

ok, i want the pdf. file and plans.
Old 06-19-2006, 10:33 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

i'll find a place to post them online so everyone can access them. untill then, i'll send them to you via email.

nick
Old 06-20-2006, 06:24 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane


ORIGINAL: micro_builder

measure 1/16th of an inch from the inside edge of the wing and mark a straight line, this is where the wing rib will go (2nd picture) lay a bead of glue along the curved edge of the wingrib, then place it down onto the inside edge of the wing on the line you drew (3rd picture). you'll do this to one wing, we'll call it wing A. on the other wing, glue the wing rib right to the edge of the inside edge (4th picture). this will be wing B.
you lost me right where i began the quote. you said to lay a bead of glue on the on the curved edge of the wing rib, then place it down onto the inside edge of the wing on the line you drew. i didn't really get it.
Old 06-20-2006, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: step by step: build your own AA powered plane

alrighty,

the 1st pic in the 3rd post shows the wing rib sitting right beside the inside edge of the wing itself. the curved side (thats facting towards the wing), is the side that you'll put some glue on. apply some glue to that curved side, and place it down on the line thats on the wing. if you havent drawn the line, you dont really need to, the line is just there to give you a straight edge so the wing rib isnt put on crooked. if you look closely at the 4th picture, you'll see where the wing rib will sit when you glue it to the wing.

once you've glued the wing rib down onto the wing, you'll slowly bend the trailing edge of the wing down onto the wing rib, and it will follow the wing ribs curve. hold the wing down onto the wing rib untill the glue holds it, then, slowly bend the leading edge of the wing down onto the wing rib, and it'll follow the curve of the wing rib, and once the glue is holding that, you'll see inside edge of the wing itself follows the same curve as the wing rib.

i dont know if i wrote that clear enough, so i drew up a little picture. i hope it helps clear things up. if not, keep asking! if all else fails, experiment with it a bit till it looks like the pictures. simple things can seem complicated at first, but once you figure it out, it all makes sense

nick
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