How to Build Simple RC Airplanes

Updated February 21, 2017

Model makers create radio-controlled planes either from a kit or by crafting one out of wood. Designing and building your own RC plane without a kit can be a challenge. A simple non-kit-created RC plane can be made using some light plywood, screwdrivers, light screws and light model aeroplane engines. These materials can be found at most model shops.

Draw the design of your plane onto your plywood. This should include the plane body, the wings, the rudder, elevators and any other aspect of the body. Keep the designs simple and basic to avoid over-complication.

Use your saw to cut out the plane pieces. A jigsaw would work best for precision cuts. Use your sandpaper to smooth out the edges and stain your wood to give it a nice colour. Let your plane pieces sit until the stain is dry.

Open your RC plane kit and take out your mechanical plane parts. Take out the plans and use them as a guide when making your plane.

Nail your wings, plane body, tail and nose of your plane into a simple plane shape. Add any extra details you like to the plane, such as extra wings or extra parts to the body. Avoid adding more than a few extra pounds to the plane.

Add your mechanical parts to your plane. This will include your propeller, your wing control mechanisms and the fuel tanks. Use your wiring tools to add all wiring essential to your plane. Use the plans with your kit as a guide, but adapt them according to the needs of your plane.

Put batteries into your remote, add RC plane fuel to the plane and start your plane. Test whether your remote control controls its actions. The propeller should slow and accelerate according to your control and the wing controls should move properly. Make any adjustments to your plane that you find necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Light plywood
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain
  • Screwdriver
  • 1-inch nails
  • Wood glue
  • RC plane kit, including engine and control mechanisms
  • Wiring tools
  • Batteries
  • RC plane fuel
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About the Author

Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.