The Robin – 4 Channel RC Model Plane Design
A complete tutorial on how to design your own RC model airplane
The Robin is a four channel electric powered radio control model airplane. The Robin has a 20 inch wing span, is made from 1/8 inch square balsa and some light plywood, and is finished with a lightweight iron-on covering. The Robin is my seventh RC model airplane design, and uses the electronics and motor from the E-Flite 4-Site biplane. The Robin is easy to build and flies extremely well.
I will use the Robin to take you from start to finish on the complete design process for a radio control model airplane. I begin with the proverbial “clean sheet of paper”, draw up an outline plan and use this to construct a prototype. I then take this initial version of the Robin on a test flight, discuss needed changes, and show you how to incorporate these improvements into the final design.
The concluding stage will be a step by step discussion on how to prepare a final set of TurboCAD plans for the Robin. The full size plans of the Robin are available as a download from an e-mail attachment and can be purchased here.
The first phase of designing the Robin is a discussion of how to determine aircraft parameters. Note that these parameter guidelines for determining a model’s wingspan, motor, nose moment, tail surface area, etc. are rules of thumb that can be varied as the model airplane designer sees fit.
But one has to start somewhere, and this dialogue regarding the Robin’s model plane design is a very useful beginning point. This approach can be used for a variety of projects, such as my design of the 1911 Fokker Spin semi-scale model plane.
The next phase of the Robin’s design will focus on preparing a TurboCAD outline for the prototype aircraft.
Author: Gordon McKay