Why is building model airplanes such a popular hobby?
Maybe because it is a great combination between exciting adventure and educational experience. There is no surprise that this hobby is as popular within adults as it is within children. It can be easy enough for a child and challenging enough for an adult to build a model airplane.
Some people like to build static scale models. They require very precious work and great attention to the details. But for me the most glorious building experience is to make model airplanes that really fly. Seeing your model soaring in the sky is the true reward to all your efforts. Sounds tempting? Let’s start!
Here are your options to build a working model airplane:
Build a Free Flight Airplane The free flight model airplanes are simple to build. The most important thing to watch when building is the symmetry of the wings and the aerodynamic. You can build free flight models from wood or plastic.
This kind of model aircraft is a good place to start for beginners. Just don’t get disappointed if your first model doesn’t fly very well.
Build an RC Aircraft Building a remote control airplane requires deep technical knowledge. So should you skip this option? Not necessary – even if you are technically challenged, you can simply use a ready remote control tool and engine. Then, just build the parts of the aircraft together, paint and you have it.
Even with a ready engine, this option is more appropriate for more advanced aviation modelists.
Build a Rubber Band Powered Airplane You must have seen this kind of models when you were a child. They are so cute and simple – a great project even for kids!
Don’t underestimate the complexity of these models however. Just like with the free flight aircraft, aerodynamic and symmetry play a big role here. Again, balsa wood and plastic are the most appropriate materials to use.
Build a Flying Helicopter Helicopters are really a different category. If we talked about static models it wouldn’t matter so much, but building a flying model helicopter is a real art! In this case your only option is an RC helicopter, because I still have to see a free flight one that flies good.
The remote control of the model helicopters is much more complicated too, so unless you have a lot of experience with electronics, you would prefer to use a ready one.
And there are three ways to build any of the above model airplanes:
Get a Kit The most popular and the easiest option to build a working model airplane is by using an aircraft kit. The kits contain all the parts you need plus detailed instructions what to do with them. Some kits are called almost-ready-to-fly which means they are, well, almost built. You just can’t go wrong with them! Well, you can, but it takes some talent.
If you have never build a flying model airplane before, using a kit is the most recommended option.
Use Plans What, building with a kit is not challenging enough for you? You are not alone! A lot of people prefer to build everything themselves. They only need a detailed plan since they are not aviation engineers. Many plans can be found online for free and some are sold for just few bucks.
How hard is to build an airplane like that? It depends on the model complexity, the material and your experience.
Build Completely From Scratch And if you are really truly enthusiastic and experienced in building model airplanes, you would certainly enjoy the idea to construct and build it entirely yourself.
Of course to do that you must know avionics, aerodynamics and physics – and you’d better have built many models with plans or kits before.
Are you ready to start the journey? You have so many options to choose from. If you feel confused and don’t know what to choose, learn more about the model airplanes.