Introduction: Homemade RC Cessna Skyhawk Plane EASY BUILD
Ever since I was a kid, like every other kid I was fascinated by RC planes but could never buy them or make them as they were very expensive or difficult to build but, those days are behind now and I am going to share how I made my first RC plane( inspired by Cessna Skyhawk model) under $80 made mostly with easily available recyclable items at home and really easy to build with amazing flight characteristics and beautiful design. I really enjoyed making it and I hope you will too!! so, enjoy building and happy flying!!
For the Plane:
- Foam Board ( easily available in packaging boxes or available in stores for $5-7)
- Some cutting tools like cutter and scissors
- Hot glue gun or any other strong glue and white tape
- For landing gear & control surfaces flexible metal wires, some straws and wheels from old broken car toys
- control horns for control surfaces( or you can make them from ice-cream sticks, really easy!!)
- RC transmitter and receiver 2.4 Ghz at least 4 channel ( I used Flysky fs-i6 about $45, its a one time investment and you can use it for your other RC projects too, so its worth it.)
- 980-1400 KV Brushless DC motor, ESC (electronic speed controller) and 1045 propeller (you can get it in a set for about $10)
- 4 micro servos ($5)
- lithium polymer battery, 11.1 V, 3S, 30C at least 1000 mAh ( about 10 bucks)
- some servo extensions and Y harnsess extension
Step 1: Designing the Wing
- Cut out a rectangular piece of 85" by 28" and 6 airfoils of length 12 cm for wing ribs from the foam board.
- Next stick the ribs on the rectangular foam as shown in the picture and make some angle cuts for easy bending of the foam board
- Fold the wing and stick it with a hot glue gun then cut 30cm X 2cm ailerons from both sides of the wing using an angle cut
- Cut to servo size holes on the bottom of the wing in front of the ailerons for later attaching the servos
- Next , we need to make wing dihedral ,so make a straight cut in the bottom center of the wing and bend the wing about 5 degrees and stick the wings using the hot glue gun
- Look at the images for more references .
Step 2: Making the Fuselage
- Cut the sides ,bottom and top part of the fuselage according to the measurements shown in the images .
- Sticks the bottom and sides parts to make the body of fuselage , we will stick the top parts after installing the electronics
- Refer to the images for dimensions
Step 3: The Tale Section and the Landing Gears
- To make the horizontal and vertical stabilizer cut the parts as shown in the images
- To make the radar and elevator make angle cuts as we did for the ailerons
- Stick the horizontal and vertical stabilizers together and glue it to the back of the fuselage
- For the rear landing gear bend a steel wire in V-shape and bend the ends 90 degrees to make the axle for the Wheels and bend top of the V-shape horizontal to make it easier to attach it to the fuselage .
- Put 2 wheels from old toy cars in each of the axle and lock them by putting a bearing or by bending the ends of the axle . stick the landing gear to the rear bottom of the fuselage using hot glue gun .
- For the front steerable wheel take a 15cm steel wire and bend it in a P-shape with horizontal axal at the end and put the 3rd wheel in and lock it with bearing .
- Make a hole with the front wheel wire in the front bottom of the fuselage and put the wheel assemble in the fuselage and lock it by using bearings so that it doesn't come out , stick a servo clip to the steel wire inside the fuselage 90 degree to the front wheel so that we can later attach servo for steering the front wheel .
- To reinforce the front gear so that it is stable stick a rectangular form piece on top of the steel wire securing the axis please refer to the images for better understanding .
Step 4: Installing the Servos for Control Surfaces
- For this step you need to attach control horn to the four control surfaces 2 ailerons , 1 radar and 1 elevator . we will be using 4 servos 2 for ailerons , 1 for elevator and 1 for radar , connects the servos with the control horns using flexible wires and straws
- Note that the radar wire will go through the servos till the front gear and will be connected to front gear so that the front wheel moves with the radar
- For proper installation refer to the pictures
Step 5: Installing the Brushless Motor and ESC
Screw the motor to a 4 by 4 cm plywood or hard form board and stick the motor assemble in front of the fuselage firmly with hot glue gun (make sure that the motor is strongly attach to the fuselage )
To connect the ESC to the motor connect the 3 wires from the motor to the 3 wires of ESC , just make sure that the center wire of the motor is connected to the center wire of ESC, you can switch the two wires to make the motor spin CW or CCW .
Step 6: Connecting All the Electronics and Receiver and Attaching the Wings to the Fuselage
Now we need to connect all the servos and the esc to the receiver, aileron servos are connected to a Y harness and then connected to channel 1, elevator servo is channel 2, ESC or throttle wire is channel 3 and rudder is channel 4. after these connections place the receiver firmly inside the back of the plane. You are good to go after you connect the battery to the ESC.
NEXT, we will be attaching the main wings to the fuselage, we will do this using wellcrow and rubber bands so that we can easily detach the wings for portability.
Stick wellcrow on wings and the fuselage on and make 2 holes to put old pens inside to attach rubber bands as shown in the pictures.
Step 7: Placing the Battery, Finding the CG and Finalizing Everything
In this Plane the CG should be around 5cm from the front of the plane, so you should put the battery there and balance the plane by holding it with the wings and check for the plane to balance, it is okay if the plane is slightly nose heavy, but is should not be tail heavy.
Finally cover the open top of the fuselage using foam board and to make a removable front covering using magnets or wellcrow to facilitate removing and placing of the battery which will be placed in position using wellcrow.
Decorate it to your imagination!
CONGRATULATIONS!! you are done just connect a propeller to the motor when you are ready to fly, you might crash sometimes if you are new to flying but the repairs are easy just using the hot glue gun and some tape maybe. You can also check out some beginner RC plane flying videos before flying, it really helps, but as i said the flying characteristics of this plane are very good so you should not have any problems flying it.
I couldn't upload a video yet because of issues uploading to YouTube, but I'll be uploading a flying video really soon.
Enjoy Making and Flying !
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