Building Techniques

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Andy Green  |  Apr 13, 2010  |  0 comments
With the plethora of plans available for free download* or purchase and the recent surge in building from plans the problem now becomes one of how to produce the plan, there seems to be a lot of advice about how to build once you have the plan, but very little I've found on how to get a printed copy of the plan in the first place. * It is your responsibility to have proper virus scanners and firewalls in place before downloading and opening files from the internet, there are some mean people out there who hide viruses (and worse) inside downloaded files. There are 4 main types of file format you will most likely come across: Raster (jpg, gif, bmp, png, tif) Essentially the difference is Raster files are made up of fixed sized dots called pixels, where each pixel can be a different colour and shade. The problem with scaling these files is down to the fact that it’s the dots you are making bigger, this is why a small picture when enlarged goes a bit fuzzy, and why on TV the forensic team can never recreate a full colour photo fromhalf of a dark CCTV image! Vector These use a mathematical relationship between the points with lines connecting the points, so scaling becomes a matter of maths, not just making the pixels bigger and its precisely this difference that make vector images scale nicely while rasters don't.
David Ashby  |  Sep 14, 2009  |  0 comments
This is Dave's new Ultimate bipe - it'll be a free plan in RCM&E very soon. We're grateful to Dave Royds for supplying a list (below) of the material sources he uses for his fantastic models, many of which have been published in RCM&E. Don't miss Dave's new article 'Soft Stuff' published in the new 2009 Special Issue (on sale 25 Sept). In this he discusses building techniques, glues, paints and much else besides.
Gerard Feeney  |  May 20, 2009  |  0 comments
Fig. 1 Welcome back. In part. 1 we looked at preparation so let's get covering.
Gerard Feeney  |  May 19, 2009  |  0 comments
Available in a whole range of colours, Solarfilm is easy to apply once you've mastered a few basics. Over the last 30 years, Solarfilm has revolutionised the way in which we cover our models, making it possible to achieve light, durable and spectacularly colourful finishes. Unfortunately, like everything that involves a certain dexterity (and attention to instructions!), its equally possible to create some spectacular disasters! Not everyone, it seems, has discovered the secrets of a perfect Solarfilm skin, and this article is intended to help such troubled souls and iron out their models wrinkles and folds. Well look at actually applying the film later but for the moment, lets talk about preparing the airframe and the tools you'll need.
Tim Mackey  |  Apr 15, 2009  |  0 comments
There's life beyond the Li-Po as these cell types continue to prove In part. 1 we looked at the popular and versatile lithium polymer cell and this time we're going to discuss most other types of battery. Firstly, let's examine some of the many other types of cell available to us while explaining the rationale behind selecting particular types for certain roles. First off though, remember that several different manufacturers / pack assemblers use the same basic cell when making up their products, then wrap it all up in a nice shiny label with their own particular brand name.
Tim Mackey  |  Apr 09, 2009  |  0 comments
The Li-Po battery has transformed electric flight This is the first in a two-part article all about cells and batteries; the various types, how to choose and use them, charge them, discharge them and heck, in these green times - even how to dispose of them! In this first part I am going to kick things off with a description of the modern energy source that is the Lithium chemistry based cell. Borrowing a little from my previous RCM&E articles "Electrickery" (which can be read on the site here, in the archives, link below) I shall endeavour to explain how to get the best from these cells, and their unique properties compared to nickel based cells. Now I am not a chemist, scientist, or even particularly technically savvy about the manufacture of these little marvels, but I have been a user of them for well over 5 years and have over a hundred different types and sizes in my arsenal, these fulfill many different roles not only in powering my electric models and radio equipment, but likewise, assorted auxiliary gear onboard my aeroplanes. The latter includes sound effects, simulated guns, and lighting while I'm "currently" (dreadful pun intended) experimenting with making a power supply unit from the newer lithium based M1 cells from A123 technologies, to feed my hungry chargers when out at the field.
Gerard Feeney  |  Dec 11, 2008  |  0 comments
I'm pleased with the finish on my Verosonic Litespan covering material has been available for many years now, used as a heat-shrink ‘tissue substitute’ on free flight and the more petite, traditionally-constructed R/C models. Whilst the oldfashioned tissue and dope covering application hassles are absent, Litespan nevertheless presents the first-time user with new set of equally-challenging problems, and it remains a material that can be rather tricky to master – especially if you use it infrequently. A while back, I covered both a Grüner electric-powered R/C ‘Tiger Moth’ and a Veron ‘Verosonic’ F/F glider with Litespan and was quickly reminded of just how demanding the stuff can be to apply if you’re not fully tuned in! Based on that slightly anxiety-producing experience, I thought I’d pen this article to remind everybody of how best to deal with this revolutionary but challenging airframe-covering medium. LITE YOU ARE What exactly is Litespan? It’s doubtful that Solarfilm, the manufacturer, will give away its formulation secrets anytime soon, but in practical terms it’s a super-light, very strong, airtight and waterproof paper-like material that’s resistant to both glow and diesel fuels, and it accepts most paints safely without nasty reactions occurring.
Mike Beddow  |  Jul 29, 2008  |  0 comments
Probably the most tedious part is to simulate the fuel tank corrugations. This is done by sticking down thin strips of card (with photo mount spray) to the fuel tank balsa sheeting. This is then given copious coats of sanding sealer which smoothes out the sharp edges of the card. The result when painted looks quite realistic.
Ed Kershaw  |  Jul 17, 2008  |  0 comments
Following some recent threads on the forum discussing the likely output of electric flight motors, and one in which I suggested that building a dynamometer for testing this would be easy, I decided to give it a go. Some horrible wet, windy weather helped with the motivation as our flying patch is completely waterlogged, and, sadly, my S6B is still but a dream in the plans box! A chat with a mate who builds hill climb race cars suggested that a “reaction” dynamometer would be the simplest, although this is limited to measuring the shaft output of motors with a single load - e. g. a prop.
Tim Mackey  |  May 19, 2008  |  0 comments
The reliability of electric flight systems can't be understated when the model is hovering this far from the ground! In part 1 we hopefully de-mystified a little about motor and propeller selection, aircraft types, and speed controllers, so lets tackle that other old chestnut - batteries, and finish off with a bit about radio gear. First off I think I should expand a little more on how I select a battery for a particular model, because as they say there is more than one way to skin a cat and this applies to getting our required wattage too! I like to try and keep the Amp draw down to around 45A maximum and the best way to do this is by increasing the cell count. EG: if we want say 800 Watts, then on a 3s Lipo ( approx 10. 5V ) and a given motor and prop combination, that would require a whopping 76A.
Tim Mackey  |  Apr 15, 2008  |  0 comments
This is a two-part beginner's guide to electric flight basics - hopefully in a simple to understand form. It is not a complete A-Z of everything you need to know, but should help to de-mystify some of it, so put the kettle on, get the sticky buns out and come over to the dark side. . .
Colin Straus  |  Mar 19, 2008  |  0 comments
A good reliable retract system will transform a model like this Having wrung out a sport aircraft or two, many modellers decide that they want to build and fly something more challenging. This often leads to fantasies of flying a sleek scale job, a design that will more than likely date from W. W. II or later, and whose full-size counterpart will have been fitted with a retractable undercarriage.
Peter Miller  |  Mar 12, 2008  |  0 comments
Fancy some stronger metal to metal joints? Then read on. . . Im sure that every modeller will know how to solder using a normal soldering iron and a lead based soft solder.
David Ashby  |  Feb 07, 2008  |  0 comments
Designer Cyril carr has kindly taken some photos of his Depron bending technique. We've recently published three plan model designs from Cyril - the two triplanes and this months Walrus. Some of the photos show just how far you can bend Depron but as Cyril says 'pressure must very smoothly applied to avoid creases'. He adds - 'the parcel sticky tape completely avoids splitting the outer surface.
Graeme Dean  |  Jan 07, 2008  |  0 comments
You wouldn't throw away a perfectly good fuel tank would you? I'm not sure if I am the only one who suffers leaks from around the bung in the front of the popular plastic types of tank available from most hobby shops. Perhaps I’m heavy-handed with the screwdriver when tightening the centre screw to seal the tank, but in most cases the damn thing will leak at some point. At the cost of up to £5-8 or more each for these things (depending on size), it’s a little annoying as I must do my modelling 'on the cheap' because I cannot afford to lash out and spend big money on ARF’s that include all the fittings. So, what to do? As most of my models are scratch built prototypes (usually without plans – plans, who needs them!) they can be engineered to include a fuel tank made from either a empty baked bean tin or a ‘soup for one’ tin depending on what engine size is to be used.

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