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How to make a RC plane

Components of the air plane:

1. Li-Po Battery
2. ESC (electronic speed controller)
3. Servos
4. Motor mount
5. Motor
6. Receiver
7. Materials
8. Connecting rods
9. Jumper wires
10. Propeller
11. Servo horns
12. Clevis


1. First take a rough estimate of the weight of the plane

2. Equate the lift equals to 1.5 times the weight of plane
3. Now we use simple lift formula (Cl *0.5*s* rho*v^2) play with Cl / v
S: plan form area
V: velocity
Rho: air density
Cl: coefficient of lift
Table showing effect of velocity and Cl
lift = 15 N ( 1kg aircraft)
rho = 1.225
s= 0.2(only main wing)
Cl V
0.5 7.82
0.6 7.14
0.7 6.6
0.8 6.18
0.9 5.83

So this means that if your cruise speed design is 7.14 m/s then you need airfoil with Cl 0.6 at
zero angle of attack

4. Cl give what airfoil we need to use. Best till now we know Clarke-Y
5. Find Cd value of that airfoil and evaluate drag.
6. See motor and propeller specifications to evaluate thrust,
7. Now drag should be much lower than thrust. Theoretically.
8. Concept of wing loading
9. Concept of aspect ratio
10. Follow thumb rules and design plane dimensions and then cross check initial assumptions
and make new calculations and accordingly predict new performance
11. Sample calculations: in a zip files

1. Cruise conditions: non-accelerating non-climbing, constant horizontal velocity, zero
angle of attack flying condition
2. Aspect ratio: ratio of winspan^2 and planform area
3. Wing loading: ratio of weight of aircraft and plan form area
4. Taper ratio: ratio of tip chord / root chord (defined for wing)
5. Sitting angle: angle between chord and horizontal (roughly)
6. Thin airfoil theory Cl calculation:
Cl = cl_not + 2*pi*alpha
Alpha: angle of attack in radians
cl_not: lift coefficient at zero angle of attack

1. Precautions at (c: chord length)/3 of plane main wing plane should be nose heavy
2. Testing that at the designed thrust plane remain horizontal.
3. Designing should be at cruise condition.
4. Cl data can be used for selection of airfoil given at the back of introduction of flight
Or simple thin airfoil theory can be used
5. For more accurate results induced drag can be included for analysis/ selection of airfoil
and calculation real lift
6. Final weight just before flying should not be more than initially assumed so assume
more weight then expected to account for human error for initial weight calculation
7. Make wing rigid and should sit firmly to fuselage
8. Both wing and horizontal stabilizer should be parallel and should be in different plane
9. Vertical stabilizer should be exact 90 deg and wing should be made as a whole for
beginning and then innovation should follow
10. Servos placement should be such that it gives max angular deviation and control surface
deviation should be symmetric about its initial position
11. Motor mount should be straight forget thumb rule related to this for beginning
12. Choroplast will be used initially to make the body and forex for airfoil
13. Wing coroplast grain direction should be parallel to motor axis
14. Fuselage grain direction should be parallel to motor axis
Thumb Rules:

These are some rules which are based on experiences and should be followed by any beginner since
at starting we lack extensive simulation and background knowledge.

1. Wing Aspect ratio: 6 - 7.5

2. Fuselage length: 2.5 -4 time wing chord
3. Horizontal tail area 18-22 % of wing area
4. Horizontal tail aspect ratio 3-5
5. Vertical tail area 8-12 % of wing area
6. Vertical tail aspect ratio 1.5-3
7. Wing sitting angle – 0-2 deg
8. Dihedral angle 0-2 deg
9. Horizontal tail sitting angle may be – 0 – (-3) deg
10. Thrust line should be 0-2 deg down (angle with horizontal)

Some key points:

1. Less v_cruise means slow flyer plane and large v_cruise means high flyer plane
1.1 high velocity means high battery consumption and high range

2. Three types of plane based on location of wing:

1. Low wing
2. Mid wing
3. High wing

33. Types of airfoil

1. KFm series (see images files kfm1, kfm2, kfm3, kfm4)

2. Clarke Y
3. NACA series (read NACA nomenclature)

4.Types of wings

1. Rectangular
2. Delta

3. Tapered

4. swept

111. To get airfoil which give certain Cl with zero deg angle of attack. Refer : -

222. Calculation of wing loading:

333. Step by step cad model to demonstrate how things are made

444. software to use xflr v5