Model Airplane Workshop Tips

Model Airplane Workshop Tips

MAN readers are the best, and they send in the best tips, too! These four useful tricks are easy on the wallet and will help make your RC life a little easier. Enjoy!



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Model Airplane Workshop Tips

Custom wheel spacers will prevent tires from rubbing against the wire struts of the landing gear. To make a wheel spacer, drill out the center of a common servo output wheel and cut the center hub off the servo wheel with a fine-tooth razor saw. A little work with a sanding block cleans off the saw marks before you slip it over the axle. Made out of nylon plastic, these collars last a long time.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Model Airplane Workshop Tips

With some radio-controlled models, you have to pull the LiPo (lithium polymer) battery pack out of the model to recharge it. Many people simply tug on the battery leads, but this can lead to their solder joints failing. To relieve the stress from the leads, simply tape a piece of 12-gauge wire to the pack with some strong, high-tack shipping tape and a few drops of CA glue. Tug in the new wire and the important wires won’t be damaged.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Model Airplane Workshop Tips

It is much easier and more accurate to balance your model by making a sturdy balancing stand. One solution is to use a Workmate stand from the hardware store with two common pencils clamped in it at a proper distance and height for the model. Place the pencils eraser side up, and set your model into place. The erasers provide enough “grip” to prevent the model from slipping out of position as you adjust the nose ballast.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | Model Airplane Workshop Tips

While transporting or storing model airplanes, it is easy to get poked with a propeller tip—especially dangerous are the sharp and pointy carbon-fiber composite props. I find that inexpensive pipe-insulation foam tubes protect the tips well, and they’re readily available at home-improvement stores; for big propellers, you can also use mini swimming-pool noodles. Just snip them to length and slide them onto the prop blades.

Updated: January 4, 2018 — 12:39 PM


  1. These ideas are new to me. I thought that I had seen them all!
    Great Tips!

  2. I specially like the BALANCER idea – gonna use it !!

  3. I use a similar “budget balancer,” but I drilled holes in a board and put the pencils in the board. I also use the wedge shaped replacement eraser tips to get a more accurate balance location. The balancer stays close to my building bench and is very convenient when I need it.

  4. I use propeller adapters for wheel spacers, always have heaps of spares lying around and it saves time having to make them

  5. I use strapping tape “handles” on my battery packs. Takes virtually NO space in cramped compartments.

  6. That plane balancing tip is brilliant, so good I shared it to all my club members

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