One of the most satisfying aspects of a hobby is to be able to move from plans to a completed project. Building a free-flight model glider or rubber-powered airplane allows enthusiasts young and old to watch their hard work take flight.
- Decide what you want to build. Free-flight model plans and kits are available in every style from near replica to unique designs.
- Join a modeler’s club or participate in Internet discussion groups.
- Discuss kits and plans with more experienced modelers.
- Choose a model at your skill level. Beginners should first build a simple model, one that flies slowly and is easy to adjust.
- Understand component terminology. Read and learn about ailerons, airfoils, dihedral, center of gravity, elevators and vertical stabilizers.
- Select a clean, well-lighted area to work. An area that can be closed off when work is left in progress is best.
- Secure a large table or building board.
- Make sure it is smooth and clean.
- Work only with clean, sharp tools. Use quality sandpaper.
- Cut straight lines and proper angles. “Measure twice. Cut once.”
- Cut outside the designated lines and sand to fit.
- Cut by using multiple strokes rather than trying to cut with a single, hard-pressed stroke.
- Use the minimal amount of glue.
- Be neat in the entire assembly process.
- Make sure the material covering the frame is smooth, tight and unwrinkled.
Use the Internet to interact with other free-flight enthusiasts.
Find a mentor among model club members to give you tips on lubricating and winding the rubber bands that can power propeller-driven free-flight models.Take along a camera or video recorder to preserve memories of your free-flight adventures.
Sharp tools in the hands of youngsters need adult supervision.
Glues and doping fluids used to assemble parts and seal fabric coverings to frames should be used in a well-ventilated area.Be prepared to trim and adjust your free-flight aircraft to enhance performance.