How to find the center of gravity on an RC plane

Written by matthew cote
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How to find the center of gravity on an RC plane
An unbalanced aircraft will not fly correctly. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

The physical attributes of your radio-controlled (RC) aeroplane will directly impact the overall performance of the aircraft. One of the most important aspects of the aeroplane is its centre of gravity. This point is where all forces exerted on the aircraft are equal. Finding this point is essential to balancing your aircraft. Learning how to find your aeroplane's centre of gravity will enable you to adjust your aircraft and maximise its performance.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Airplane
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Measure the wing chord of the aircraft --- the width of the wing from the leading (front) edge to the back edge (not the distance of the wingtip to the body).

  2. 2

    Divide this figure by 3 to calculate one-third of that length. Place three tiny dots with the marker on the wing to indicate three-thirds.

  3. 3

    The centre of gravity is located along the first dot from the leading edge. Draw a line across the aeroplane's fuselage to outline this point along the wing. Measure the width of the plane's fuselage. The centre of gravity appears at the centre of the fuselage where it intersects the line you traced from the wings.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult your instruction manual. It is standard procedure for manufacturers to print the precise centre of gravity for your aircraft.

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