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Willy Nillies "Eaglet 250" Beta Kit Build and Flight

The kit was ordered before Thanksgiving and it finally arrived undamaged today. :cool:(y)
First thing to do is take inventory to see what is needed to complete the build. One thing that jumps out is there are no wheels. They aren't mentioned in the included parts or required parts lists. Fine for a belly lander but this kit is clearly intended for tricycle landing gear. I wonder what size wheel will look best?

The second thing I'd like to have is a rough guide to how Willy Nillie assembles these kits. This is not like any balsa kit I've built. No, wait... Flashbacks of the Hobby King Sunbird. :eek: If you can build that you can build anything. :LOL: There's no labeling to indicate fuselage, wing or tail. Many pieces are obvious. Generic looking rectangles not so much. Is there another Willy Nillies airplane that's built roughly the same that has a guide?

Here's what we got. Complete order:


What's in the Eaglet beta kit:


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Elite member
Being a beta kit, yeah, some things are left to the builder to decide on like the wheels. I got 1.75" and 1.5" wheels and I think the 1.5" look best on this size bird. The bigger wheels make it look like a bush plane. You'll find that the majority of the fuse and wing parts are grouped on the same sheets.

Plans and instructions really aren't needed. Just DON'T GLUE ANYTHING until you have decided for sure it is where it is supposed to be. You can dry fit almost everything together. I complicated my build by making unnecessary modifications. Just build it as designed and you'll be done in no time. Look at my thread to see if I posted any pictures that will help you. If not then post pictures of what concerns you here in your thread and I'm sure myself, Doug or someone else that has built some Willy Nillies kits can help.

Once you get started you'll be surprised how fast it can go together. Doug isn't kidding about being able to have one built and ready to cover in two hours. I honestly think it can be done.

Looky what I found: Willy Nillies Basic Assembly Instructions

This is what I was asking for. I'm posting it so anyone besides me looking for a basic assembly guide can hopefully find it.
We're sorry, we thought you were aware of this. We'll do our best to make sure it's much more obvious and mentioned more often. Thank you for pointing this out for us.

Doug and Becky
Sorry, I thought my request was obvious. I also found your YouTube channel where you have some assembly videos posted. Now that I have an understanding of how you intended this to go together I can begin mucking it up. I've never built anything by sticking to the plan so not having a plan will be an advantage. :)
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We are working on more videos and hope to have some uploaded Sunday/Monday. But, we hang around here and the other forums and can answer any questions fairly quickly. We are gathering as much feedback and questions that arise and trying to compile a very good construction manual for the planes. Luckily there is a lot of similarities between all of them.... on purpose. :)

Doug and Becky
I finally get to start building this. First I separated all the parts I think will be needed for the fuselage. By looking at photos of Turbojoe's and Doug's Eaglet and I think I have a good idea of where everything goes.


I see there is a choice of two firewalls. The firewall without any holes must be for a glow engine and the firewall with holes for electric motor. I'm guessing the smaller rounded off squarish bits of plywood next to the firewall are motor spacers. I won't be needing motor spacers because I have the dummy .020 glow engine motor mount.

Are the doughnut shaped plywood bits reinforcements for the wing hold-down dowels?
First step is dry fit the four bulkheads. Looks like they fit here:


Dry fit the servo-battery tray:


I'm trying to think 3 steps ahead. I'm going to attach the motor and landing gear wires to the firewall and bulkhead before gluing the bulkheads in place. It'll be easier to do on the workbench than inside the fuselage.
Larger plywood washers are optional motor spacers. Smaller plywood washers are wheel retainers.

The main gear bulkhead should have the engraving facing forward. MLG gets mounted to the forward side of it. Makes it really easy to get all lined up with the engraving.

Much easier to mount nosegear and nosegear doublers before installing firewall on fuse. Can be done after firewall is in place, but way easy to do so before hand.

The blank firewall is for motors/glow that do not use our standard mounting pattern.

Everything else looks great!

Doug and Becky
Everything else looks great!
Thanks! Very encouraging considering I haven't used any glue yet. :) I'll reverse the MLG before gluing it in place. I identified the "funky piece" that Joe modified. Good name for it, Joe.

I have a couple of 1.5" airplane wheels. This is a tricycle so I placed an order for Willy Nillies SuperLite Wheels.
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I avoid epoxy because it's heavy but for the Eaglet landing gear it's the right stuff. You want no gaps around the wire. The front gear mount is a ply-balsa-ply sandwich. The main gear is ply-balsa-blasa. I would prefer all these parts were cut from plywood.


My favorite method to secure landing gear in light airplanes is to sew the wire to the plywood then coat with CA. It's very light and very strong. But this is a beta build kit and I want to stick to the Willy Nillies methods as much as possible .


There is a slot in the servo-battery tray but no corresponding tab on the bulkhead at the LE of the wing.


I take lots of photos during a build. For my own archive and maybe they'll help someone else. Willy Nillies asked the beta builders to show them anything that they might improve upon. So in no particular order...

I enlarged the cutouts on the side of the front landing gear mount with a Dremel sander so the blind nuts can fit in their holes. I ground off the blind nuts where they extended above the top of the firewall.


Bottom view showing main fuselage bulkheads dry fit in place. Front gear mount faces the rear and main gear faces the front. It is a lot easier to assemble the landing gear and motor mount before the bulkheads are glued in place.


Top view of the main fuselage bulkheads. That glow engine motor mount makes me smile. :)


I put the side supports flush with the fuselage sides. I think they'll look better if you decide to use transparent film than if glued to the stringer supports.


Aft end of the bottom stringers.


Here is the forward end of the bottom stringers. I noticed there would be an open space under the covering film where circles are in the photo. The bits of scrap stringer fill the open spots so the film has wood to stick to. A little sanding will close that gap at the bottom sheeting.


Question: Look at the next photo. I stopped building for a bit to think about this. Why not move the rudder and elevator servos forward? I don't need the hole where throttle servo goes and it will help keep the CG forward. What do you think?


This is that "funky piece" (as Turbojoe named it). It looks like there is a cut-out for a tab but no tab present. It doesn't really affect the assembly process as it is but it's a detail I can't overlook.


And last, a full length fuselage photo. That motor is so cute :love:


Suggestion: I like the tab and slot assembly for ease of construction and keeping everything perfectly aligned. I wish the tabs were a fraction of an inch longer so they stick out from the fuselage sides and can be sanded smooth with the fuselage. As they are you will need to fill the depressions or sand the fuselage sides flush with the tabs. Sanding the tabs down smooth would be easier.

Question: Where do most people put the receiver and ESC? I haven't decided yet. I think the battery goes in the bottom hatch right behind the motor and the ESC goes behind the battery. Maybe the receiver fits under the nose and windshield or do I have the ESC and receiver positions reversed in my mind?

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Master member
My preference from back in the day is to have the servos all the way in the back, or in this case, installing the electronics tray backwards and upside down, radio in the front, esc under the battery or above the battery depending on battery hatch placement. That's just me and my old odd radio stuff that doesn't play well with modern ESCs.


Elite member
Lots of great suggestions Jon. Especially the forward mounted servos. I have the Jr. Skylark laid out and was thinking the same thing about having them as far forward as possible. I pulled out the 3D printed servo plate I came up with about a month or so ago and may make a few changes to better fit the Skylark while it's still in pieces. If I come up with something that keeps good linkage alignment I may retrofit it into my finished Eaglet 250 too. After the Eaglet 250 maiden last week I moved gear as far forward as I could. Too bad the CC Micro 10 ESC is a little too wide to fit up there beside the Lemon RX. :( Moving what I could allowed me to remove 1/4 ounce of lead from the nose though!

The wiring in the pictures is really ugly but I'll likely do a lot of ESC wire shortening once I can find a final location after the new batteries get here.

I also whipped up some short aileron servo extensions as the wiring on the servos is way too fragile to be pulling off of the RX if you remove the wing a lot. I already had to re-pin one servo. Luckily I have the tools and pins. (The old dental floss trick would help too.)

That original servo plate in the picture is up on my Thingiverse page. LINK Now that I have kits to see what is actually needed I'm going to make a few different versions probably without those pushrod stands. The width is already perfect and just slides right in. The opening in the center will hold a servo but I added it mainly to save weight.


. Ugly but functional.JPG 3D servo plate.JPG
Thanks for the photos of your electronics bay. I want to keep as much distance between the RX and ESC as possible. As Piotrsko pointed out,
sometimes the RX and ESC don't play well when too close. I'm going to move the servos forward and use your wood servo rail support idea. If I take the plastic cover off the receiver it'll probably fit easily up under the windshield like yours. Then I can put the ESC below the tray aft of the battery. Nice looking servo tray BTW.
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Elite member
I used to have ESC/RX location glitch issues with 72 mhz but haven't had with Spektrum. That doesn't mean it can't happen and if it can it will happen to me for sure. I'm probably just lucky so far........

I've already made a new servo tray without those stanchions and just printed up a few. They slide right in both fuses. I'll put the .stl file up on Thingiverse in a bit. I may add a small lip to the plate first to better support the balsa plate where it gets cut off. Man, I wish I really knew what the heck I was doing with 3D design...

USPS tracking my order from Willy Nillies WITH the batteries is coming later today along with the JST connectors from Amazon. I'll finish up the wiring, CG etc on the Eaglet before going back to the Skylark.

You're a big help with photos of your completed Eaglet, Joe. Here's where the rudder and elevator servos are mounted and the receiver position. The piece I cut out is on the bench next to the fuselage. I removed the plastic case from the RX. It'll get stuck in place with a drop or two of low temp of hot glue. This airplane actually has lots of room for electronics. I've crammed gear into much tighter spaces.


I always spend more time thinking than doing. I like what you did with the top hatch. I'm stealing that for certain. :)
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