RC Airplanes



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RC Airplane Building Tips for Beginners

When building an RC Airplane from a kit (typically an ARF) you are going to get a complete set of instructions that will take you through the whole process. But these manuals vary and there are lots of tips and techniques that you pick up over time. It comes with experience. Here are a few tips that will be helpful to you. And you will discover other neat little tips and tricks as you go along. If you have built other kinds of projects the experience will come in handy.

The best thing you can do when beginning in this hobby is to join a club with other RC airplane hobbyists. Their experience will prove invaluable.


It may sound silly but make sure you install the propellor correctly and make sure you really tighten it down! As tight as you can get it without cracking it! This is especially important if you are using a plastic propellor.


Bracing the control rod

You can improvise and add balsa wood for different purposes. In this picture you can see that I built a balsa wood brace for the Throttle control rod. That rod is particularly long and it tended to bow which affected control. This wood brace is just a few pieces of balsa wood glued into place. It holds the control rod reasonably straight yet allows it to freely move back and forth.

Some of your control rods may have wooden extensions. This achieves the same result. For example, the control rods to my rudder and flaps are half wooden.

On off switch

Typically you mount an on off switch on the side of the airplane. But they also make a neat little switch that has a charging port on it. for a dollar more. This allows you to charge up the batteries without having to take the plane apart or remove the batteries. It's a convenient little option.


Du-Bro 207 Kwik Switch And Charging Jack

Du-Bro's Kwik-Switch and Charging Jack offers a clean and simple way to mount receiver battery switches and charging plugs. Designed to mount on any aircraft fuselage within minutes, the Kwik-Switch and Charging Jack uses one single set screw to lock the charging plug into place. Universal and will fit all radio systems.


Electric starter

I also recommend you get an electric starter for your plane. Particularly if you plan and doing this a lot. It makes starting the plane so much easier and convenient. You will need a 12 volt battery to go along with it. Thunder Tiger 12 Volt Electric Starter HD 90 - 2674


gas powered ARF Plane

I have started a new series of tutorials on gas powered arf airplanes and it includes videos. I take you through all the steps to building and flying a gas plane. The plane picture at left is a balsa wood arf and this is a pretty big plane. The fuselage is about four feet in length. Intro to Gas powered ARF planes