ZAP 900x250

Model Airplane Reader Tips

Model Airplane Reader Tips

Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks? Here at Model Airplane News, we learn something every day — usually from our readers, the best RC’ers on the planet. Here are four of our favorites.


Simple Crush Plate

Purchase Lucite at the hardware store and pick up a 1 1/4-inch hole cutter.  Use the hold cutter to cut out some Lucite 1 1/4-inch disks. Then use a drill press to cut out a 1/4-inch hole in the center of the disk.  This large Lucite disk can be used with the wing retention bolt and it will not crush the trailing edge of the wing. Because the disk is transparent, it will be hardly visible when installed.



Cheap And Easy Wheel Chocks

A quick way to keep your plane in one spot is to use these wheel chocks made from 1/2-inch PVC pipe. You can vary the length of the side pieces to accommodate different sizes of wheels.  Before gluing the final pieces, fill the assembly parts with sand.  You can make several of these for about $4 or $5 and a few minutes of your time.



Looking Good
Protect your aircraft’s cover scheme! Before you fuel it up, apply a thin coat of clear dope to the trim surfaces.  This will also keep the trim from coming loose when you clean your aircraft.



Custom fit for your wing
Looking for a less expensive, effective and truly custom wing bag?  Try Reflectix foil insulation that can be found at any hardware store.  It is like bubble wrap with mylar on both sides and comes on a roll.  Start by laying your wing on half of it and fold it over the top.  Then, cut off the excess but leave a few inches around and a little extra for a fold over flap.  Use a regular stapler, spaced as close as you can, to seal up the edges.  You can staple the edges with the wing inside to give it a sung fit.  Add handles made out of flat nylon cording purchased at a fabric store.




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  1. Reflective foil wing bags. I have made several of these and they work great. If you make them open at both ends, inserting and the removing the wing is much easier.

  2. For extra support on your wing bags have you handle straps go all the way around the bag and align with the other handle loop.

    Lucite washers—if you get the right hole saw with a centering bit you won’t have to try and hold the disk while trying to drill it. You may also want to fine sand and flame polish the edges of the disk for appearance.

  3. A note about machine screws or bolts.

    The weakest point of a machine screw is just under the head.
    I use a lot of nylon 101 1/4-20 for wing and main landing gear.
    To eliminate the weak point I epoxy a 1/4-20 hex nut, also nylon 101 under the screw head.
    This also makes it easier to screw in by hand.

    Nylon 101 screws, nuts and washers can be purchased in bulk, but cheap, at McMaster-Carr,

    I use this system up to 120 engine size. planes.

    PS: They still break on hard bad landings to save the gear mounts.

  4. If using those wheel chocks on a carpeted surface, such as the floor of a carpeted SUV, glue the prickly part of Velcro to the bottom for added purchase and prevention of sliding.

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