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How much do you engineer youre builds?

After doing quite a few builds following peoples plans, Wanting to do some full custom plane builds.
Wondering how much time people put into designing put into calculations, and theory to get it flying right. Or is it mostly guess and check. Going what feels right, and trying again if it doesn't work?

Are there basic rules you follow when designing from scratch. Or do you just build something that looks and feels right, and hope it works out?
We all know it's a question of power to weight and CoG so basically you can make a board fly :)
As for looks and feel I always go with 'If it looks right,it probably is' that being said anyone who scratch builds usually goes into it with some idea of what they are wanting too achieve.
Me personally,I'm a build it and see kinda guy :)


I do to an extent. I select airfoils that are appropriate to the desired characteristics of the plane, model the wing/plane in xflr5, determine cg placement and determine component locations to achieve that cg prior to building. Its more than necessary, but I enjoy doing it.


Got Lobstah?
Site Moderator
I overdo the thinking part to the point of almost complete stagnation on the project. Once I come to the end of my thoughts I can move fairly quickly though but then in the end often need to make adjustments anyway. I think much would be easier if I just put more forth in an actual physical practice build and not try to overthink every mistake that could happen mentally. I frustrate myself often.


Posting Elsewhere
They are all 100% engineered. Most of it done with analytical tools (math). But there is also a large visceral component (gut feel). Some might call that artistic evaluation.

All the best,


Old and Bold RC PILOT
I personally do not do the math too much but rather choose what I want to build and see then how others completed their models.

From there I determine what wing span and design my own version in my own materials and using the techniques I am comfortable with.

I have a formalised test flying regime and a well proven development process to remove the "Bugs" in the design.

When it flies as envisaged I either give them away, sell them or throw them in the bin. Too many planes and so few takers.

Every now and then one exceeds expectations right from the beginning and those I tend to keep for a little longer before they are also discarded. My hangar will not hold any more than 20 aircraft and I build about 25 different designs, (Mine and those of others), each year.

As a note I do not sell anything made to someone else's design.

Do not get hung up in the maths but do learn what to do if your design does not reform as you expect!

Have fun!
I usually just think through how I will design it, draw up a rough sketch- then WING IT! This also may explain my lack of consistant success.:confused: