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RC Airplane

Robert Schuld Aakash Soni Alan Strimbu

Table of Contents
Timeline Gantt Chart Problem Statement Background Customer Scope Customer Requirements Deliverables Brainstorming Research Identify Criteria & Constraints Explore Possibilities Pros and Cons Select an Approach CAD Bill of Material Build Process Test Criteria Test Plan Prototype Test Results Lessons Learned Summary



Problem Statement
Students lack proficiency in Engineering

By creating an RC airplane:
Gain knowledge Gain experience for college environment

Gain knowledge in Aeronautics and Material Sciences Implement calculus and physics for advanced calculations Recognize properties of different materials balsa wood, foam, etc.

Mr. Pritchard

Mrs. Brandner

Create RC airplane to takeoff, fly, and land Consist of fuselage, wings, motor, servos Documented in engineering notebook Presented in technical report and Powerpoint presentation

Scope (contd)
Mr. Pritchard Mrs. Brandner Mr. Cotie

Built of balsa wood and foam Held together with various glues Create lightest prototype as possible

Scope (contd)
12-step design process Strength tests Cost estimates CAD drawings Data for 3 diff. materials Calculations for plane (thrust, drag, lift)

Scope (contd)
Expected cost to be $100
Limitations with various clubs and sports

Customer Requirements
Mr. Pritchard
3 tests on 3 different materials Strength test on material/prototype

Mrs. Brandner
Complex calculations using physics and calculus Submit engineering notebook

Must fit in technology room Must be tested outside school property

Mr. Pritchard
RC Airplane prototype Final Report Design Notebook(s) Powerpoint Presentation

Mrs. Brandner

What building materials will be used? What bonding materials will be used? What prefabricated materials will be used? What tools will be used?

Brainstorming (contd)
Plane characteristics
How will the airplane be powered? How will the airplane be maneuvered? What weather conditions are required to fly the plane? What wing structure will be used? What aesthetics will we consider? What is the optimal center of gravity?

Brainstorming (contd)
Where will we fly the airplane? What if the airplane crashes? Will we need permission to fly the airplane? How will we test the airplane?

Looked heavily into materials
Balsa vs. Basswood Foam vs. Metal vs. Fiberglass

Structure of plane
Skeleton build with thin covering Solid build

Research (contd)
Motor types
Electric, nitro engine, jet engine

Move surfaces of plane Provide turning capabilities

Propeller/Landing gear
Propeller needs to fit with motor Proper size wheels

Research (contd)
Plane channels
Ailerons for roll Elevators for pitch Throttle for speed Rudder for yaw Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) 3-channel system most practical

Research (contd)
Wing position
High, mid, and low-wing High is most stable and easiest to fly

V-tail and T-tail T-tails better with low speeds for control

Prefabricated at 72 MHz frequency band

Identify Criteria & Constraints

Applications of Calculus
Calculations for d(t), v(t), a(t) Calculations for lift force Calculations for engine torque Calculations for thrust Calculations for types of materials Optimization with different materials and structures Submit engineering notebooks

Identify Criteria & Constraints

Applications of Technology
Application of the 12 step design process Testing procedures for different types of materials and their strengths Submit final report and Power Point

Submit airplane prototype

Submit CAD drawings

Identify Criteria & Constraints

Control Panels Flying tests must be outside school property

Must fit inside technology room 3 ft. wingspan for detail, but not too large

Explore Possibilities

Pros and Cons

Balsa wood



Porous Less glue required Lightweight Cheap Widely available Stiff Easy to sand Wont crush Lightweight


Varying strength


Very lightweight
Strong Rigid Very strong Rigid Very strong Very lightweight



Hard to sand Not widely available More expensive Hard to work with Not very strong Rigid Hard to work with Expensive Relatively heavy Very heavy Expensive Hard to work with Not widely available Very expensive No previous experience Not widely available

Pros and Cons (contd)


Lightweight Less drag Sturdy Keep airflow behind wing Creates clean airflow Better pitch control

Less aerodynamic


Can break at landing

T-tail best choice

Aerodynamics Cleaner airflow

Pros and Cons (contd)

High wing


Not as acrobatic

Low wing Mid-wing

Most stable Easiest to fly Easy to build Easy to roll

Easy to turn

Hard to fly Top-heavy Hardest to fly Wings at bulk of mass

High wing best choice

Easiest to fly/build Stable Makes sustained flight easiest to attain Acrobatics not necessary

Pros and Cons (contd)

Wood Glue (Urea)

Easiest to use Low cost Light color Quick cooling time Relatively easy to use Low cost Very light Expands while setting Best for wood than other materials Waterproof Expands when dry Less glue required Cheap Water-resistant Strong flexible bond Easy to peel off Not brittle Very strong bond Often used for model aircraft Versatile Water resistant

Poor heat resistance Poor moisture resistance Bond not very strong Bond not strong Leaves residue Visible on plane Hard to work with Contains air bubbles Somewhat expensive

Hot Glue Gorilla Glue

Pro-bond Glue


Rubber Cement Super Glue

Flammable Highly toxic Expensive Expensive Can become brittle Long cure times

Pros and Cons (contd)

Dual Blade

Easily available Very efficient Easy to use Fairly cheap

Larger diameter

Multi Blade

Smaller diameter

Less available Less efficient Breaks easily

Wood Blade

Very rigid Efficient Light Dont break as easily Efficient

APC Blade (Metal)


Pros and Cons (contd)


Cheap Easy to run Clean Doesnt require gasoline Lightweight

Low power / torque


Relatively cheap Wide availability High torque and power High torque and power

Special mixture of fuel Heavy


Not as available Heavy Special mixture of fuel Expensive


Extreme power

Extremely expensive Not as available

Select an Approach
High I M P A C T Low Low Effort High
Design 1

Design 2

Design 3


Bill of Material
PART Power 15 Brushless Outrunner Motor 3-channel controller Landing Gear Servos Carbon fiber tube PART DESCRIPTION 950 Kv, 575 Watts COST PER UNIT $79.99 QUANTITY 1 TOTAL COST $79.99

Hitec Neon SS 72 MHz Elite Mini UltraStick HS-311 6.0 Volt 0.210 outer diam. x 0.132 inner diam. x 40

$67.99 $12.95 $11.99 $7.99

1 1 2 1

$67.99 $12.95 $23.98 $7.99

EPS Foam
Propeller Pushrods Balsa Wood TOTAL COST

x 14 x 48
Speed 400, 5.25 x 6.25 Fiberglass x 36

$2.13 $8.95 $0.89

1 2 2

$2.13 $17.90 $1.78 $224.20

Build Process
Part A
Layer four sheets of EPS foam on top of each other. Use four very thin dowel rods or four vise grips and stick it through all four layers in each of the four corners of the stack in order to hold it in place. Using a Sharpie, mark a rectangle that is 4 x 23 on the top of the stack. Using a hot wire, carve out the resulting box.

Build Process (contd)

Remove the cut out pieces. Clamp these four pieces together so that all of the edges are flush. Using a box cutter, shave out the shape of the fuselage. Remove the vise grips and glue the four sheets together. Sand Part A so that it is smooth.

Build Process (contd)

Part B
Obtain one sheet of EPS foam. Using a Sharpie, trace the side of Part B on the end of the foam sheet. Using a hot wire, trace this line and cut out the shape of Part B.

Build Process (contd)

Build Process (contd)v

Build Process (contd)

Build Process (contd)

Build Process (contd)

Test Criteria
Test Criteria for Prototype
Safety Functionality (in air/on ground) Ease of use Aerodynamics Velocity Weight/Size Strength

Test Criteria
Test Criteria for Materials
Strength Safety Compression/Tension Flexibility Weatherability (ability to withstand outdoor conditions)

Test Criteria
Test Criteria for Materials
Adhesive Weatherability Holding strength Drying time Motor/Propeller Thrust Torque Voltage (if necessary) Weatherability Weight/Size Functionality

Test Plan
Test Criteria Overall Plane Aerodynamics How Tested Look at the overall body of the plane and determine if any parts of the plane will decrease aerodynamics. Move all surfaces (rudder, elevators) and check for responsiveness. Check if the plane flies consistently in the air and doesnt wobble. Hang weights on the wings and see if the flex too much or break. Put weights on other critical structures of the plane. While in the air, look at distance/time to determine the speed. Measure the overall planes dimensions. Put the whole plane on a scale. Expected results The plane will have sound aerodynamics and will have minimal drag. All motorized parts of the plan will respond well. The plane will be safe and wont wobble. The plane will be able to support the weight and will not fracture. The velocity will be high enough to sustain flight. Planes weight will be in proportion to its size. Actual Results







Test Results

Lessons Learned