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The Bird Man

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All articles are based on electric flying machines.

 | Design Knowledge | Design tools | Foam cutting | Alternate  materials | Electronics | Electric motors | Radio noise |

Design Knowledge

For some of us, are new in this process....     So....   Where to find help?
It all depends on your interest and what type of concept you have dreamed up.

About EDF Jets  By Carl Tulanko  An article given to me That helped me understand some basic requirements for EDF (Electric Duct Fan) aircrafts. This article addresses the characteristics of flying electric jets and some suggestions for suitable power plants.

Radio Control Model Aircraft For Everyone   Model aircraft design course you may want to look into.

See How It Flies    A great source on how a plane flies.

Handley Innovations    An incredible source on aerodynamics with all sorts of design tool software.

Tips worth trying  Great site full of tips and tools for designing

Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links    A large source of links that may help with your design process.  A large collection of links for different topics on R/C planes

The Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company and Museum of Pioneer Aviation is a forum for early aviation historians and enthusiasts, a living document that grows and evolves.  Here you will find drawing of the Wright brothers planes and the basics..

More KNOLEDGE Advance

Dan's Page of Radio Control Model Aircraft  Building hints and tips for R/C. Structures, composites, foam wings and the modification of engines, and his personal experiences with R/C flying

Design tools

It all starts with an idea and conceptualized onto paper with pencil, ruler and eraser.  Or....

CAD Programs - Are the tools for the modern builder, see my page  on
design tools.
For viewing drawings only you may be able to access free viewers to view the CAD drawings. these are supplied by the software companies. Also an other alternative is PDF. Have some one convert the file to PDF for you.

MAD     (Model Aircraft Designer) shareware a simple CAD program to assist in designing airplanes

DUCTED FAN PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS                        by Kress Jets software

Air Foil plotting program  Free

Profili 2  An airfoil program to assist you with wing design

NACAGEN  NACA 4 & 5 digit foil Generator

MotorCal  Electric flight performance prediction system for the hobbyist

WINGS 2.11 CAD software to design models planes and sailplanes

Alan Tong Hobby, Model & RC Web Links  A large collection of links on any topic

Static Thrust Calculator   Ever wanted to know how much thrust your engines giving ?

Foam cutting
Some may find that foam planes are easier to build and quicker to assemble. With all the new materials available this is possible.  I'm not an expert in this field, but have learned some valuable trick. Now a complete airplane can be created from these materials.  What I like the best is the resiliency (invincibility) of the craft. How often can you crash a plane and make quick repairs and fly again?  With basal build-up this is not often possible. When I go to a flying field I would like to put in as many flights as possible, and this is only achieved with my foam planes.

 A good source for ready made tools is Feather/cut and Compufoil, by SoarSoft Software. The Compufoil is a good source of airfoils. You can also buy additional airfoils. It can also help you with your wing designs. There is also a tutorial on how to cut foam, making templates, and more. is THE place to find out anything you could want to know about BlueCor, Fan-Fold, Foam-Core, Depron, you-name-it foam, for building radio-control aircraft.  This material is not available in CANADA, however you can order it with a link provide by this site.  This type of construction is unique and resilient to being damaged with a great potential for new designs.

The Ductling II is built from DEPRON, interesting results and findings.

DEPRON now becoming a favorite with building model planes because of it's unique properties, however it is not readily available in North America, it has to be imported.

Foam cutter details  A good article on how to build a foam cutter and power supply

Alternate  materials
I have encounter an individual with the same interest in building processes and discovered a new source of materials readily from a most unlikely source, yet common and similar hobby.  "Rocketry"   The nose cones of rockets are a perfect example. I will let you think of the possibilities you could use them for.


I have found in the pass a valuable lesson to treat your batteries with care.

  • Not to overcharge them, for this will over heat them and possibly explode.

  • For Nickle-Cadium let them run the full duration of the charge. (discharge them completely before recharging) This will reduce the possibility of forming a memory allowance.

  • You may want to log your flight durations, to have a benchmark of your battery performance. This will help with maintenance.

  • If battery pack is showing signs of decreasing duration. This may be caused by poor charging habits or  bad cells. A recycling process is can determine if it is memory allowance problem. If not then a bad cell is the cause.

  • Consider a good investment in purchasing a digital charger with dual power source AC/DC, charge/discharge, multiple battery pack configurations, fast/slow charging, and most of all indestructible and reliable....

Below are some topics I found interesting.

A new source of power up-coming  Using micro fuel cells. The focus on providing up to 100 watts of power.  This has potentials for electric flight. Read this....By Gregg Keizer, TechWeb News

Taking care of your batteries. By

LiPo Wiring  By Common sense RC  a very comprehensive tool with diagrams to wiring you LiPo

The Battery Clinic  Specializing in R/C Battery systems.

Something on managing electrical current

Desktop Power Supply from a PC converting power supplies for the purpose of driving field chargers

Tech Talk : Maintaining Your Batteries

Tester for NiCad's  This is a electronic building project witch connects to the parallel port of your PC and with the included software makes it possible to measure the capacity of your transmitter and receiver battery

The Battery 

What About All Those NiCads?  by Tony Van Roon   An understanding the mechanics of batteries.

Ultimate Guide to Lithium Polymer Batteries  

Electric motors

My knowledge of motors is limited, however there are many good resources I have found that help me understand better.
I am interested is using brushless motors with duct fan units as a more efficiently power source.
I discovered this site in the effort to work with DEPRON and found this:


Using modified CD-Rom motor for RC models

A Brushless Motor You Can Build

Protect your plane from radio noise for brushed motors

With all the new RF towers sprouting up around us you may want to consider this option for protection.

A solution to minimizing motors generated radio noise in smaller planes with tight fuselage compartments is to ensure the electronic speed control (ESC) is located away from your receiver as far apart from each other and that all wire leads are twisted (braided) to help with isolating the radio frequencies. This  some time is all that is required to do.

Motors generate radio noise which can interfere with your receiver and cause problems. A solution is to filter the noise by using capacitors and a Schottky diode. Two .10uF (104) and one .047uF (473) non-polarized, ceramic capacitors. These capacitors should be used at all times, and on every motor to help reduce the radio noise generated by the motor and prevent possible damage to your electronic speed control (ESC).
The Schottky diode will provide a slight increase in the ESC efficiency and reduce its operating temperature. The Schottky diode must be installed correctly. Installing it backward will destroy it.

Correct installation of the Schottky diode:

  • Solder the lead closest to the silver band on the diode body to the positive (+) terminal on the motor.

  • Solder the lead opposite to the silver band to the negative (-) terminal on the motor.

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