Important Things You Should Know Before You Build a Model Airplane

Important Things You Should Know Before You Build a Model Airplane

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced modeler, building a model airplane can be an enjoyable hobby. Regardless of your skill level, there are a few important things you should know before you begin.

Having a model airplane that doesn’t fly properly will be frustrating. Using the tips in this article will ensure that you get your plane flying smoothly and safely.

Material

If you’re planning to build a model airplane, you’ll need a few different types of material. Balsa wood is a standard material used for building aircraft models because of its great strength-to-weight ratio.

You can find balsa sheets, sticks, and blocks in a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from at most hobby shops. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the weight of each piece will vary slightly, so it’s a good idea to select the lighter grades for lightly stressed parts and the heavier ones for load bearing structures.

Another popular material for aircraft modeling is plywood. This is made from thin layers of wood veneer glued together and can be purchased in several types, including model-grade light plywood and aircraft-grade plywood.

Plywood is usually used for wing ribs and fuselage formers, although it can be used to create the fuselage, too. Choosing the right type of plywood is critical for making strong, durable, and light-weight model airplanes.

Tools

Building a model airplane can be a rewarding hobby. It’s a great way to exercise your creative and technical skills, learn how to use different types of tools, and develop your confidence as an aircraft designer.

As with any craft or hobby, the right tools make the job easier. This is particularly true when you build scale models, which involve constructing replicas of real-life and fictional vehicles on smaller than life size.

In the beginning, it’s important to stock up on the basic tools and supplies you need to get started. You can find a variety of inexpensive sets at hardware and crafts stores or at your local model hobby shop.

Parts

When you build a model airplane, you need to buy the parts needed to complete the project. These parts can include balsa wood, ply wood and hardware such as radio gear and engine/motor.

The standard material for model plane construction is balsa, which is a hardwood. It’s a popular choice because of its strength and light weight.

Many balsa parts are pre-cut using CNC machinery, although this isn’t always the case. Other parts such as wing ribs and fuselage formers may be cut by hand.

Once the building is completed, the airplane parts are covered in a covering film (typically an iron-on plastic film). This covers the model and prevents the wood from being damaged by moisture.

The covering is usually applied using a heat gun or iron. You will need to read the instructions carefully before you begin applying this coating. You will also need a protective mask to protect your eyes from the fine dust that can be released from the iron.

Assembly

The assembly process of a model airplane involves using the parts in the kit. You should read the instructions carefully before you start assembling your model.

The model plane itself is made from a variety of materials including plastic, wood, metal, paper, and fiberglass. It can be built from plans or as a kit.

Many kits include a detailed set of plans, but some do not. You can also build your model from scratch.

Assembling a model aircraft from plans or a kit can be a labor-intensive process. The kit may not contain all the necessary tools, and it can be difficult to source all of the components needed for the project. If you notice gaps between the model pieces, fill them with modeling putty. This will prevent paint from adhering to the gaps later. It is important to use only a small amount of the putty, so that it will not damage the model.