RC Airplanes May 6, 2009
These tips and tricks will save you time and money flying your RC model airplanes.
- Clean Your Transmitter - Everyone loves the way brand new transmitters and other RC equipment looks, but after a few trips to the flying field it can accumulate dust, grass, and other debris, You can make your transmitter look like new by brushing it off with some stiff paintbrushes. Get the dirt trapped in hard to reach places using compressed air, available from most computer stores in canned form. A soft cloth and some glass cleaner solution can be used to wipe off any displays.
- Secure an Antenna – Many RC model airplanes have long wire antennas, which need to be fixed to the fuselage to prevent them from dangling in the wind. Make a secure and adjustable attachment by taking a short (~1 inch) length of fuel tubing, and passing the wire through. Then push a small pinhead into the fuel tubing so that the wire can’t fall out easily. You can then glue the fuel tubing onto your airplanes fuselage wherever it’s convenient. Tighten the antenna by gently pullign on the end.
- Safe Storage for Wings and Fuselages – Keeping RC model airplane wings and fuselages out of harms way can be a hassle. Many hardware stores sell portable shelving units, which you can use to safely store your RC model airplanes. Install the shelves on a wall, but leave off the solid wood planks that create a surface. What you will be left with is a series of protruding beams, that you can set RC model airplane wings and fuselages on. The shelves let you stack several aircraft on top of each other for efficient storage.
- Securing Screws with Silicon – Ordinary silicon gel can be used to prevent screws from vibrating loose. As an added bonus, you can peel the silicon off easily when you need to undo the screw.
- Prevent Parts from Rolling Away – You can prevent small screws and other metal parts from rolling off your workbench by taking any large, flat container and gluing some magnetic strip material to the bottom. Metal parts will stick to the magnet and will not be able to roll away.
- Remove Thread Lock Compound – Thread locking compounds are great for preventing parts from vibrating loose in flight, but removing screws secured with thread lock compound can be a pain. Avoid stripping screw heads by first touching a hot soldering iron to the screw for a few moments. The heat will melt the thread lock compound, allowing the screw to come loose easily.
- Cheap Wingtip Protectors – Model airplane wingtips can get scuffed on grass and pavement runways. Prevent this by adding small strips of plastic, obtained from soda bottles. The plastic can be attached using glue or small wood screws.
- Secure Servo Leads – Having a servo lead come off in flight can be disasterous. Prevent this by tying the servo cable in a loose knot after you plug in the leads. This will prevent the cable from coming loose in flight, and removing them is a snap.
- Avoid Pulling The Connectors Off Servos – Pulling the wire off a servo connector is annoying. Prevent this by bending in the ends of ordinary tweezers, to make a tool that can grab on and pull of a servo lead. The bent ends can grab right on to a stubborn connector.