Radio Control Airplanes

by Michael Myers

Rolling Sukhoi
Billy J's Sukhoi


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Radio Control Airplanes is a most rewarding and enjoyable hobby with no limits to the skills one can develop both in building and flying. My planes are generally 5 to 6 foot wingspan with engines ranging from 6.5 to 15cc (.40 to .90 cubic inches).

Here are some fully airworthy scale models I've built:

Click on a thumbnail to view the larger image:

Glow-powered Models:
Static photo In-flight photo In-flight photo Ryan STA- Exact 1/5 Scale
with functional steel flying wires.
In-flight photo In-flight photo In-flight photo Liberty Sport Biplane, outfitted with a smoke system.
Yak54: In-flight photo Yak54: In-flight photo A Yak 54.
Gets great smoke from a .91 4-stroke.
RC Model RC Model RC Model Cirrus Moth- a biplane from the 1920's.
Build photos here

Electric Powered Models:

RC Model RC Model Morane-Saulnier Type L
First flown in 1913, this model like the original uses warping for lateral control
Build photos here
Video demonstration of the wing-warping here
RC Model RC Model RC Model DeHavilland DH.82 Tiger Moth
A 1930's British primary trainer
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Nieuport 17 from the movie, Flyboys
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Cessna 172-
The most produced airplane ever.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model DeHavilland DH.1
WW1 fighter flown just 10 years after the Wright Brothers first flight.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Aeronca C-1 From the 1930's
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Ercoupe/Aircoupe, from Jack Stafford plans.
In the 40's, this airplane was advertised as spinproof and like driving a car.
The model has the same rudder system as the full-scale.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model RC Model Cessna JRC-1 the Navy version of the T-50 Bobcat, also the original "Songbird" from the Sky King 1950's TV series.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model Electric Ryan ST-A All wood built from plans.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Buhl "Bull Pup" Scale model of a 1930 sport airplane, 76" wingspan
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model Proctor Antic Biplane A museum-quality kit constructed like the WW1 era airplanes.
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model Pietenpol Air Camper A homebuilt airplane 20 years after the Wright Brothers.
It originally used the engine from a Ford Model A.
Build photos here showing also:
•Shock-absorbing landing gear
•Spring-loaded wheel chocks
•Ding-filling technique
RC Model RC Model Piper J-3 Cub from the 1940's.
With "Swing-Away" pilot. Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Stinson Reliant- A gull-wing airplane from the 1930's
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model Curtiss Jenny- A biplane from the golden age of aviation.
Build photos here
Here is a page showing how I built the spoked wheels
RC Model RC Model Cessna 310B, famously known as Sky King's "Songbird"
Twin electric motors, retractable landing gear
Build photos here
RC Model RC Model RC Model Globe Swift
Electric motor, retractable landing gear.
Finished with Polyspan and dope. Build photos here
RC Model RC ModelRC Model Sky Ranger 40, a sport kit.
Electric motor, hand cut graphics, head-turning pilot.
Build photos here
More Glow-Powered Models
Bridi XLT: Static photo Bridi XLT: In-flight photo Bridi XLT: In-flight photo A Bridi XLT.
Tuned pipe muffler under canopy, retracts- slick and clean.
Here's a link to more photos of this airplane.
Static photo In-flight photo An Extra 300S finished to resemble this full-scale airplane.<-- cool picture
Static photo In-flight photo Stearman N2S-2, U. S. Navy markings.
Static photo in-flight Zlin An exact 1/6 scale Zlin 526A Akrobat with smoke and retractable landing gear.
RC Model British S.E.5- a World War I biplane. Very realistic flyer.
RC Model Beechcraft Bonanza- This plane will do 100 mph, but I prefer half-throttle.
RC Model Gee Bee Sportster- an old-time racer
RC Model DeHavilland Chipmunk- a wonderful aerobatic model
Clipped-Wing Piper Cub Clipped-Wing Piper Cub Clipped-Wing Piper Cub- Very scalelike and fun to fly.
Here's this Cub on skis in the snow
In-Flight Photo A Classic Kaos- designed for graceful precision aerobatics.
Smith Miniplane Smith Miniplane Aerial shot A Smith Miniplane proving that you can put a smoke system on a small engine!
Here's an explanation of the plumbing system that makes the smoke.
Smoke Pretzel Here is a short movie (388K) showing the Miniplane drawing a smoke pretzel in the sky!
Smoke Takeoff Here's another short movie (220K) showing smoke on after takeoff.

New! The Head-Turning Pilot

Check out the in-flight videos of the pilot who looks where the plane is going!

New! Now shot in in 1080p HD!

head-turning pilot head-turning pilot The pilot's head is electronically coupled with the rudder and ailerons,
making his head turn with the plane's direction.
Great effect!


 Autogyros use an unpowered rotor on top to provide the lift instead of a conventional wing.
There is an engine-powered propeller on the front to provide thrust.

Cierva C.4 Autogyro-
This difficult to fly autogyro uses a servo-controlled tilting rotor.

C.4 static C.4 in flight In-Flight Photo Here is my model of a 1923 Cierva C.4 Autogyro.
Here is a link to two movies of this Autogyro.
The first one shows the C.4 in flight and the second one shows the C.4 landing.
In-Flight Photo Here is Dave's Kellett Autogyro.

The Tango Autogyro-
Dual contrarotating rotors provide stability.

Static photo In-flight photo My Tango Autogyro, built from plans and a pleasure to fly.
Static photo Here is a movie showing the Tango hovering down to a tailwheel-first landing
Joe's Tango Joe's Tango, modified from the same plans.

Here's a short movie (160K) showing the Tango doing a roll

Here is a link to more pictures of the Tango

RC Flying in the Snow

For many of us in the northern latitudes, RC flying is a year-round activity despite the winter cold and snow.

I find that as long as it's sunny, 35°F is quite tolerable with a pair of gloves with the tips of the thumbs cut off. At 40°F you don't need the gloves.

What I like best is doing "touch-and-go's" in pristine snow. The snow is very smooth and absorbent of shock.

In-Flight Photo In-Flight Photo My Tango Autogyro and Clipped-Wing Piper Cub flying on snow skis.

Check this out:

Here is a page with two short movies showing touch-and-go's in the snow

How to Make Spoked Wheels for RC Aircraft

Here is a technique for making scale wheels for your vintage airplane

How to Make an Arming Plug for Electric RC Aircraft

Here is a technique for safely arming and disarming your electric motor without accessing a battery hatch.

A Great RC cartoon:

(Click the thumbnail)


My Workshop Air Fleet

Flying Things:

Besides propeller driven airplanes of all types and sizes, you can build and fly helicopters, gliders and jets. You can even build a flying lawnmower (see below)- it motors down the grass by itself, then takes off for the sky!

Here are some pictures of my buddy Joe's flying witch. She is lifesize and it is quite eerie to see her flying around with her cape flapping in the breeze. If you click on the first thumbnail below, you will see a propeller at the tip of her broomstick. The cape is black cloth on three spars and the broom "bristles" are really a rudder and elevator.

Click on an RC Model to view a larger image:

RC Model Joe's flying witch
RC Model RC Model The witch taking off.
RC Model This photo really captures the moment.
Here's an enlargement of a portion of this photo.
Here's how she looks on Halloween
RC Model Here is a video clip of Joe's witch in flight (260K) taken from a TV newscast. It is 3-1/2 seconds long, complete with sound.
* If your browser cannot play back this video, click here for an animated GIF version (196K).

Here are a few more "flying things":
RC Model RC Model Joe's flying American Flag.
RC Model Joe's Flying Doghouse
In-Flight Photo In-Flight Photo Here is Larry's flying lawnmower.
RC Model How about a flying Stop Sign!

Please note: The October 1980 issue of RCM Magazine has a construction article for Vroom Hilda, the Flying Witch.

Also plans for the doghouse are advertised in the Dec. 1996 Model Airplane News on page 86.
and plans for the Yard Bird which is a .60 size Flying Lawnmower can be found in the April 1977 issue of RCM on page 56.

Radio Control 3D Flying

This style of flying demands extreme concentration and skill. The model planes with their high power-to-weight ratio can do maneuvers impossible in full-scale planes.

The planes have powerful engines and large control surfaces and are able to hover and even roll with the nose up and tail sometimes touching the ground.

Here are some photos of 3-D flying in action:

3-D RC Flying 3-D RC Flying 3-D RC Flying 3-D RC Flying 3-D RC Flying

New!An amazing 3-D helicopter. Note the exhaust showing the direction the helicopter is flying:

in-flight 3-D Helicopter in-flight 3-D Helicopter in-flight 3-D Helicopter Here is a link to more in-flight photos of this 3D helicopter.

Other excellent scale models

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image:

RC Model RC Model Helicopters.
RC Model Matt flying his helicopter inverted inches from the ground!
One way to trim the grass!
RC Model RC Model Rudy's 12 foot DC-3. With working parachutist.
1/4 scale Cub Here's Warren's 1/4 scale Piper Cub coming in for a landing.
RC Model RC Smoker These planes have realistic smoke systems.
RC Model Austin's Antic.
RC Model Alex's beautiful de Havilland Tigermoth.
RC Jet A gorgeous scratch-built Tigermoth.
RC Model Charley's Fokker D VII.
RC Model Here's an in-flight shot of Dan's Fokker D VII.
RC Model RC Model Al's AT-6 Texan. and an in flight shot of his Clipped Wing Cub.
Cap 232 Billy with his 43% Cap 232.
RC Model Tigercat Billy's Grumann F7F Tigercat.
Cessna 182 Here's Mike's Cessna 182, modeled exactly after his friend's full-scale version. This is a model, not a full sized airplane!
Cessna 182 Here, Mike set up his model next to the full-scale Cessna 182 it was modeled from
RC Model Dave's 1/3 Scale Laser 200. Handmade graphics.
P-51 Mustang P-40 Warhawk Two more of Dave's beautiful scale models:
a P-51 Mustang with handpainted nose art. and a P-40 Warhawk
P-47 Thunderbolt Here's Dave's P-47 Thunderbolt coming in for a landing.
PT-19 A PT-19 on a low flyby with flaps down and the pilot waving.
Spitfire Dee's Spitfire.
RC Model RC Model A magnificent GeeBee Model R

Radio Control Jets:

Jet The Bandit: A genuine turbine jet that flies at 200mph.
You can have one for under $10,000.00.
RC Model Here's some of what it takes to start up the Bandit's turbine.
Note the leaf blower, compressed air and propane tanks.
It sounds as awesome as a real one! Here's more info on this model.
Mig Mig A fine scale turbine jet, a Russian Mig
A more modern RC design allows the startup with the push of a remote button.
  Here's Gene's HotSpot with a Jet Cat turbine. Very Hi-tech.
RC Jet  Turbine Helicopters!.
RC Model F-15: This is a different kind of RC jet called a ducted fan. Less complicated than the one above, a standard engine fits inside the fuselage with a fan for a propeller. Sort of like a flying vacuum cleaner, but very realistic in flight.
RC Jet This is a twin ducted fan electric powered jet made of styrofoam.
RC Jet Here is an F-16 with a conventional engine driven propeller on the front for power.

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