How to make an RC Plane: The Best Tutorial

From our STAR Maker: Chetan Kumar

RC Plane

Aeromodelling is the art of designing, building and flying model airplanes, helicopters and multicopters. These models might be powered or unpowered. Powered aero-models use Electric Motors, IC Engines or Jet Engines to generate thrust to make them fly.

Flying models borrow construction techniques from full-sized aircraft. Model aircrafts are built using a variety of materials including paper, foam board, depron, balsa wood, coroplast sheets or composite materials like fiberglass or carbon fiber.

In this tutorial, we will be building a radio controlled model airplane using foam board. This RC Plane is easy to build and fly. It is also a good platform for beginners to learn about flying. You can also skip to check the build video tutorial of the RC plane by scrolling down this page.

What are the stuff required to do this?

1. Motor: CF 2822, 1200 KV Electric Motor

2. ESC: 30 Amp Electronic Speed Controller

3. Propeller: APC 8 x 4 Inch Electric Propeller

4. Battery: 11.1 V, 3 Cell, 1300mAh Lithium Polymer Battery

5. Servos: 9 grams Servos x 2

6. Battery Charger

7. Depron/ Coroplast/ Foam Board

8. Lite Ply (for Motor Mount)

9. Radio Transmitter and Receiver

10. Cycle Spokes(1.5mm/ 2mm) as Pushrods

11. Clevis x 2

12. Control Horn x 2

13. Linkage Stopper

14. Hobby Knife/Blade

15. Epoxy 5 min (Araldite)

16. Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue Stick

17. Glass Fiber Tape 3.5 mm Nuts and Bolts

18. Screw Driver Set

19. Nutball Plane Plan (by Flitetest)

RC Plane Specifications:

Wingspan: 20 inches

Length: 22 inches

All Up Weight: 425 grams

Center of Gravity: 5 inches from the Leading Edge of wing

How does it work?

RC plane - DIY Hacking

Fig.1 Forces in flying


Gravity, Lift, Thrust and Drag are the forces acting on an airplane in flight (Fig. 1). Maintaining a steady flight requires a balance, often described as equilibrium of all the forces acting upon an airplane. By varying this equilibrium, we can make the plane accelerate forward, upward, downward, etc.



Wings - DIY Hacking

Fig.2 Bernoulli’s Principle

The thrust for our aircraft is provided by an electric motor and the wings generate the lift. The shape of the wings and the aerofoil decides the lift generation. The lifting force is provided by the difference in the pressure of air flowing above and below the wing and is governed by Bernoulli’s principle (Fig. 2). Here, we are using a flat bottom, Kline–Fogleman airfoil.


Build Video Tutorial:


Step 1: Printing the plan of RC Plane and getting the parts ready

RC Plane - DIY Hacking

In this step, we lay out the plan that we printed before and tape the sheets together as shown in Fig: 1.1

We then take the full plan and lay it out on the foam board and cut the foam board accordingly to get the required parts as shown below Fig: 1.2

Also, cut the motor mount out of Lite Ply and drill holes as required by your motor (Fig 1.3).

Step 2: Building the Power Pod and the Wing

RC Plane - DIY Hacking

Fuselage Setup

To build the Power Pod (fuselage), start by cutting the foam on the red line and remove the foam in-between the lines as shown in Fig 2.2. Fold the sides of the pod together and run a bead of hot glue to keep them firmly in place. Glue the Motor Mount that we have cut, to the front end of the fuselage with epoxy (Fig 2.3). Bolt on the motor to this mount using the 3.5 mm nuts and bolts (Fig 2.4).

RC Plane - DIY Hacking

Wings Setup

The next step is to build the wing of the aircraft. Cut half way through the foam on the red line so that the foam can easily bend on the line. Cut a bevel edge on the elevator so that it can move freely. Cut all the necessary notches(marked in black) for the servos, tail fin and power pod to fit into the wing. Fold the sides of the wing, so that its tips are pointed upwards at 1.5 inches (Fig 2.6, 2.7). This provides stability during flight.

We will next cut a bevel edge on the tail fin so that the rudder can move freely (Fig 2.8). Then, we glue the tail fin into place on the wing.


RC Plane - DIY Hacking

We use Glass Fiber tape and hinge the tail fin and rudder together. We then install the servos in place, which are necessary for controlling the elevator and rudder of the plane.

At the end of this step we will have four parts.

  • Wing
  • Power Pod
  • Tail Fin
  • Motor Mount

Step 3: Assembling the Airplane

RC Plane - DIY Hacking

Once we have the Wing and Power Pod ready, we go ahead and glue them together as in Fig 3.1. Then, we install the control horn on the elevator and run a control rod from the servo to the elevator’s control horn as in Fig 3.2. We follow the same step for the rudder (Fig 3.3).

Step 4: Installing Electronics

RC plane tutorial for beginnersWe now install the RC receiver, battery and ESC into the Power Pod as shown in Fig below. And connect your servos to the receiver as in the below wiring diagram. Note the channels you use for each servo and control them correspondingly from the transmitter. Now your RC Plane is all set for flying :)

RC Plane - DIY Hacking

Step 5: Flying

We will use a Radio Controlled Transmitter working on 2.4 GHz frequency to fly this airplane. I highly advice beginners to learn flying on a simulator, before actually flying the airplane. There are a lot of simulators available in the market to start learning how to fly airplanes, check this link for further info.

Flight Video:


Chetan Kumar

Chetan Kumar – STAR Maker at DIY Hacking

-Tutorial submitted by Chetan Kumar. He is an avid technology enthusiast and has interests in computer science, robotics, aeromodelling, IoT and 3D printing.






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Showing 16 comments
  • mlondi

    that is a good project thank you a lot. I want to build it in my class.

  • David

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  • Samuel frimpong

    hi I love your project electric plane’s. my problem is my location,am in Ghana in west Africa.. Getting the materials is very difficult especially the battery and the that type of electric motor but for the propeller am done with it…..i love to built my own aircraft but am lacking some technical idea and the material….please I need all your Help thankyou

  • prabhu

    I want to make rc plane for my project, please tel me where i get from all accessories, board, layout design etc. i am from bangalore.

    • Ki

      Abe kutte saale tu khilona dukaan se kharid na be anpadh gavaar ittna bhi nahi maalum

  • bipul nag

    Dear Chetanji,
    I want to make rc plane for my little daughter, please tel me where i get from all accessories, board, layout design etc. i am from kolkata.

  • kewal kalsaria

    new hobby store for rc aircraft is now online,

  • Sasindu

    I want to make a small flying aircraft with my 9 year old child. Could you please send engine servo,and other items or let me now from were I can purchase them thank you.

    • Daniel

      You can buy it in Hobbyking or RcBazaar.

  • Aman notiya

    From where I can get foam board, In

  • Bob

    hi mates just wanna say hi, top banter am i right hahahah
    cringe :L

  • Abhishek Kuksal

    Hello Mr Chetan could you please hep me how to find CG (Centre of Gravity).

  • Vijeet Raut

    I’m 12th science student studing in kirti college my dream is to make RC aeroplane but I doesn’t,have knowledge I want to prepare RC plane in resonable expenditure
    Plz guide me

  • Narayan Bhowmik

    Dear Chetanji,
    I want to make a small flying aeroplane with my child. Could you please guide me from the scratch. I am an Electronics Engineer.
    Thanks & Regards.

    • BJN

      ok you can make that. paper me chapwa den kya ?

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