Continuing on our Sketchup Tutorial we are finally going to start drawing in some lines. We’ll start with the side view in this case as it has the easier outlines with no duplicated parts. In the next section we’ll cover the top view which will involve duplicating parts. If you have missed the first few sections it would be good to go back and review them before moving forward with this tutorial.
Now that we have Sketchup configured we can start working on our design. Many people like to work on a scale design and use reference drawings or 3 views to start with. Sketchup allows us to import a drawing that we can trace over to get a scale outline of our design. So to start off we need to go find some reference drawings! Just keep in mid the complexity of the aircraft you are drawing. If this is your first design it’s best to srat with something simple such as a single wing single engine airplane with fairly straight lines.
Continuing my tutorial on using Sketchup to design RC aircraft we will look at how I customize Sketchup with the Toolbars and Plugins to be able to draw and work with our designs. There are many options to customize Sketchup so I am going to just cover a few to get started and as we go down the road I will add others and will cover them at that time.
If you are new to Sketchup and missed the first section on Sketchup basics you may want to read that first before moving on. You can find that article here: Introduction to Sketchup
I have been working with Sketchup for a few years and have enjoyed creating my own designs and then cutting them out on my CNC machines. There is something really exciting about seeing your own design take flight and then have others build your airplane as well. Since then I have had a number of people ask me how to use Sketchup in creating plans for model aircraft. So I have decided to make a bit of a tutorial on what I have done in the hopes that it can help others play with designing aircraft as well.
I normally post about airplanes and occasionally about rotary flight with helicopters or multirotor aircraft but today I want to talk a little about surface RC vehicles. My first RC vehicle was a toy grade RC car. It was a little black corvette my parents picked up at Shopko and I loved driving it around the living room floor. A few years later my dad started building an RC sailplane and my interest was peaked and off I went with RC aviation.
My boys have always had RC around so it’s nothing new to them. Love it or leave it to them it’s like having a TV in the house it’s just there. So sometimes it’s hard to get them interested in the cool things you can do with RC. I don’t want to push them into hating it so I offer to let them play and sometime they will bite. Other times they just want to grab the iPod and play Minecraft. Oh well you win some and you loose some. However this year was different. My oldest son started telling us he wanted a RC car of his own to be able to drive around. Once I heard this I was excited and more then happy to find him a good starter car but something that was hobby grade so we could get replacement parts and upgrades along the way. While I really hope someday to be able to fly together with my sons I know the surface RC can be the gateway to RC aviation. So for now we’ll race around the backyard together!
I got my first look at the Flyzone Micro P-38 at E-fest this past February. It was still in development but Hobbico had one at the event and had Frank Noll fly it a couple times. Being a fan of warbirds and twin engine planes like the P-38 I fell in love right away. Who wouldn’t love to have a micro fork tailed devil to fly around in their backyard or at the next indoor fly-in?
I finally got the chance to fly one at WATTS over Owatonna. Hobbico had brought one to demo and it didn’t take much convincing from Chris and Greg to take a turn at the sticks. But we’ll get to the flying later. All I knew was I needed to grab one and luckily I was able to find one available.
Last year Hobbico brought out a great new product with the Anylink radio adapter. The AnyLink allows you to use your favorite transmitter to fly any airplane with a Tactic SLT receiver like those found in the Flyzone TX-R airplanes. This opens up many aircraft to pilots without the need to buy a brand specific radio. This year Hobbico has brought out a new option in the Tactic TTX650 6 channel computer radio. This radio is full of features that will allow pilots on a lower budget to still have a radio they can grow on for years. But don’t let it’s low price make you think it’s not worth a look for the experienced modeler. Just check out these features.
One of my favorite segments of the RC hobby is 3D / IMAC flying. I’m nowhere near the skill of the pro pilots such as Andrew Jesky or Joe Smith but I have fun with it and find it challenging to try out new maneuvers. It helps keep things fresh when I go out and fly. I have most flown 3D Hobby Shop aircraft and have been very happy with them. However sometimes I love to have something smaller and durable to fly and that is where EPP comes in to play. I had heard about Twisted Hobbys airplanes but I never really took a close look at them until a few guys were flying them at WATTS over Owatonna. I was impressed at how well they flew but retained the durable and flexible qualities of the EPP foam. They also impressed another club mate of mine and so much so that he had to have one. Lucky for me he does not like to build so after some talk about which one he wanted we struck a deal that I would build it for him. Continue reading →
However it is still aviation and might inspire a smaller scale project in the future.
The local EAA club in town sponsored the Kalamazoo Air Zoo Ford Tri-Motor stop at the local airport. They were here for four days showing the plane and giving rides. I have stopped out to see other aircraft that have come in to town but often the price for a ride in them is just too much to justify. However this time was different. The cost for an adult was only $80 and kids under 6 rode for free with a paying adult. My middle son is still 5 and he loves riding in airplanes so my wife suggested that I take him out to the airport and check it out.