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Making your own runway ?

#1
Since I have a 2 acre next to the lot my house is on I want to make my own little RC field unfortunately it is mostly dirt and rocks, I was thinking about buying a large piece of conveyor belt to use for a runway has any body ever done it before?
I found a place that sells used conveyor belt fairly cheap, I was thinking about getting a piece 36" wide by 80' long and cutting it in half and putting it side by side for a 6' x 40' runway, it would cost about $500 in the long run. I wish I could plant grass but it won't grow here very well and would use too much water.

Casey
 

FDS

Well-known member
#2
That would be a good material to use. I have used a couple of large cardboard boxes, weed matting and carpet offcuts to make temporary runways on uneven grass. Conveyor belt sounds like a good cheap(ish) option. Might make very good snake habitat over rougher ground, if you have any in your area. Just something to consider if you leave it down.
You can get hard packed dirt pretty flat with some work.
 
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Merv

Well-known member
#4
Our club just uses a dirt runway. We have 2 - 20'x200' runways, laid out in sort of an X. It works great.
6x40 is going to be very hard to hit when landing. You might try marking it out and trying to land in the space before you invest $500
 
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sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#5
Using the conveyor belt would be good material. Only thing I would suggest is before you lay out the conveyor belt, get the area where you're going to be laying out the runway as flat as you can get it. Take out any big rocks, fill in any gopher/squirrel holes, and just try to level it out nicely. That way, the belt has a good base to lie on, and it'll make life that much easier for when you go to land. There's a runway here in San Diego that I've flown at that had a tree right next to it, and a root was growing right in along the runway, causing buckling of the asphalt right in front of the taxi areas. Even for the planes that had the big Tundra style wheels, hitting those bumps would cause the plane to jump and go in directions we didn't want the plane to go. It might mean a bit of shoveling and raking to get it all smoothed out, but it makes a HUGE difference in something like that. :)
 
#12
What a gorgeous place to fly.
Its nice but when I took this picture it was 100° out and its not hot yet, we only get 1 or 2 days a week the wind is not blowing like hell. We have those big recycle garbage cans they pick up with the claw machine trucks, they weigh about 50lbs empty, I have have seen them blow across the yard at about 20 mph. we had two weeks with 30 mph winds a while back that ripped half the shingles off our roof, there must have been gusts about 50mph, it was a nasty couple of weeks. Regardless of all that I still love it here, there only about 2200 people here and were only 40 miles from Las Vegas.

Casey
 
#13
Its nice but when I took this picture it was 100° out and its not hot yet, we only get 1 or 2 days a week the wind is not blowing like hell. We have those big recycle garbage cans they pick up with the claw machine trucks, they weigh about 50lbs empty, I have have seen them blow across the yard at about 20 mph. we had two weeks with 30 mph winds a while back that ripped half the shingles off our roof, there must have been gusts about 50mph, it was a nasty couple of weeks. Regardless of all that I still love it here, there only about 2200 people here and were only 40 miles from Las Vegas.

Casey
Wow that’s always fun to fly in 🥴 lol
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#14
been in your neck of the woods a few times (something about what happens there... ) Looks to me like you could do some hand picking and run a rake over the rest and have a pretty decent setup, save the $!

I've built corrals for some friends/neighbors out of belting... you can find it used, well, in our case, for the cost of hauling it away some times... My $0.02 is to work with what you've got there. My bet is you can get it pretty ship shape in no time. If you do that and still think you want more improvement, then look into other means (Belting, coating... whatever)
 

skymaster

Active member
#15
You could always use a couple of 4x4's and a couple of boards. you could make the runway as wide as a full sheet of plywood and then cover it with shingles. just an idea. you could also put some wheels to remove when the wind is not behaving . have fun
 
#16
I found a place that sell old AstroTurf from soccer and foot ball fields but they are in Atlanta and wont ship, I wouldn't mind a piece about 20' x 50'. For now I am going to pull a few of the rabbit bushes and pick out the big rocks and sweep and build some thing with landing gear, I am working gear for my Tiny Trainer right now, Do you think 1/8" aluminum TIG wire would be too heavy?

Casey
 

FDS

Well-known member
#17
No, that should be fine provided it doesn’t flex too much. I used 3mm piano wire for my undercarriage. Just don’t make it too long in the leg.