R/C Model Airplane Building Tips for Syracuse University Senior Design

1)     Build Clean and Light!

I know it goes without saying, but making your planes as light as possible, yet still building them with the support your design needs, is important!

2)     No Loose Pushrods!

Make sure every pushrod you use is supported wherever it needs to be so it moves smoothly from the servo to the control surface!

3)     Balance Your Plane!
Make sure your plane is balanced! Both from front to back and side to side! Allowing for the adjustment of major components (wing, motor, battery) can have major benefits when tweaking your designs. On a side note, making your plane slightly nose heavy is a GOOD thing!

4)     Batteries.

Using the included charger should be sufficient for your project. Having multiple batteries is never a bad thing! That will allow you to test more often and shake more bugs out of your design.


5)     Have a Pilot!
Having one person who is dedicated to flying and gets really really comfortable flying will help you immensely! Try not to worry about crashing. Gravity works, and sometimes our thumbs don’t! :)


6)     A Backup Frame...
Sometimes teams build only one frame and expect everything to go smoothly. I would seriously consider making backup components that you can swap in and out with modular sections that can be popped out and installed quickly on both testing and flight days.


7)      Clean, Tight Hinges!

Make sure, whatever hinges you work with, you make the gaps tight and the gluework clean. Also, make sure the hinges move freely without the pushrods hooked up!

8)     Allow for Test/Flight Day Adjustments!

Make sure you allow yourself the ability to adjust your plane on flight day! You never know what tweak might make your plane the best one out there! ALSO, Make sure your planes are tight and secure in the build! If they are loose, and haphazardly built they will not perform well!


9)     Computer Models Are Not Reality!(!!!)

Modern CAD and Simulation software are great tools, but nothing beats actually going out and crashing wood or foam! Get out there and test as often as you can!

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