RC Model Tips & Tricks

RC Model Tips & Tricks

The best readers have the best tips! Here are four workshop tips submitted by MAN readers that we think will make your life easier.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Model Tips & Tricks

Here’s an easy way to prevent those aileron and flap Y-harness leads from slipping inside the fuselage or wing. When the leads are disconnected from the wings, use the little plastic tabs that keep plastic bread bags closed and clip them over the end of the servo leads to prevent them from falling back into the fuselage. Everyone has at least a couple of these things lying around, so you might as well put them to good use.


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Model Tips & Tricks

Flying small lightweight airplanes means that you have to know what the wind is like at the flying field. To make a portable windsock, use a dowel rod and drill a hole in one end so that you can epoxy a nail in the bottom end. Then install a grommet in the end of a length of ribbon and use a wood screw to secure the ribbon to the top. It works like a charm!


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Model Tips & Tricks

For attachment screws on my molded foam fliers, use old servo wheels as protective hard pads so that the screws do not compress the foam. The plastic wheels also help prevent damage should your screwdriver slip while tightening the screws. It works great on wing bolts and on top of T-tail glider stabilizers.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Model Tips & Tricks

There are lots of great little scale details that can be added to a scale model, but they can often get snagged on something when you move the model or when it’s in flight. Small magnets available from the hobby shop and home-improvement stores make great “attachers” for things like antennae, pitot tubes, and machine-gun barrels that stick out of the wing’s leading edge. Install a brass tube where you want the antenna or gun with the magnet glued inside. Then glue the matching magnet in the base of the detail and slide it in place, where it stays put. When you are ready to fly, simply remove the fragile part.


  1. I like the portable windsock however, that only tells you at or near ground level. I use a collapsible fishing pole (14′) with a 4 foot strip of surveyors tape tied in the loop for attaching the fishing line. I use a piece of Velcro through the door handle of my car to keep it upright.

    1. Great idea!

  2. I have a collapsible flag pole (16 ft) and that I put into a removable trailer hitch on my van to hold it upright. I have a 1/4 size national flag to show the wind direction.

    Before my R/C days I was, and still am, a kite builder/flier. No wind, out comes my plane. Windy, out comes my kites (the serious kind). Win-win!

  3. We have used the portable wind sock for years and love it. You can just take a quick look at the sock just before final approach. Thanks for the tips. Terry

  4. I have been flying over50 yrs. and checking winds aloft I ALWAYS send up at least four bottle rockets every 2 to 3 min. apart. Wait for the report from the rocket and watch for the smoke . Works every time.

  5. Old VHS tape works well as a wind direction indicator and as a thermal indicator.

  6. Back in my day, we used a length of 40ft old growth oak timber and an old plastic bag. Worked a treat!

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