Hey, I'm still a beginner on RC flying, still doing loops and stuff, taking off by myself but not landing yet. But one of the things I really like is building stuff.. Soooo.. Ive been thinking about building an RC plane from some kind of plan. I have a good number of plans from the net, and would like very much to build scale planes, but my guts tell me that I should probably start with something simpler, something like an acrobatic or even a trainer. What do you guys think? Does anyone have some good plans for me to start with? And most important, does anyone have some good tips for me to start, webpages, books, reports and stuff?
I'd start with a kit or two before you dive into scratch building. While most of the world has gone to ARF's there are still kits out there. I know that Sig still sells them; I think that Goldberg, Hobby Lobby and Top Flight still do, to.
Kits will come to you engineered to be easy to build, so they'll help you learn techniques without having to learn design, too. I probably build half-and-half kits and scratch-built. Having said that my latest plane is my first ARF, to replace some planes lost to little boo-boos -- assembling ARFs is a good way to validate the wisdom of building from the ground up...
I'm currently building a SIG Riser 100 and having my fun with that :-) The kit is not as good as a modern CNC-kit from Hoellein, but the original poster asked for some woodwork anyways and it is still good - just not excellent. And it's quite impressive to build your own 100" wing!
Btw, I really building it without too high ambitions, doing everything very quick and without a woodworms accuracy. Still, everything looks quite solide and flyable :-)
Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
As has been mentioned, start with a kit or 2 first. After you have a couple of kits under your belt, then go for the scratch built.
Scratch built can be done in a couple of ways - You can cut all the parts yourself, or you can have a "kit cutter" cut the parts for you.
If you decide to cut your own parts, go over the plans VERY CLOSELY AND WITH A GOOD RULER to record the wood thickness, width and type of wood you will need (balsa, lite ply, basswood/spruce ). From this list create your "bill of materials" so you know what to order. When you order allow several extra sheets and sticks of each size to allow for "oops" :-) .
At a minimum, you will need a scroll saw, PLENTY of sandpaper and #11 blades (get a pack of 100 ). If your budget will allow, also get a Dremel, bandsaw and bench mounted combination disk/belt sander.
For first time scratch building, I suggest plans DESIGNED for RC and something basic in design - Piper Cub, Bingo, etc.
At present I am in the process of building a Boeing P-26 (Pea Shooter) from Cleveland plans. These plans were done initially for rubber power, so a fair amount of "re-engineering" is required to convert it to an RC plane. Previously I have scratch built a FW-56 (designed the plans, etc ), Bellanca Airbus (Cleveland Plans ) and a Bingo (RCM Plans ).