Welcome to the Projects page, where we share what modeling projects our members are currently working on. 


Mike Unger's Winter Build Log:

11/27/17- Mike is building a 4S LiPo-powered pylon racer! Mike says it will do 100+ mph (far faster than anything we flew this summer!)
12/27/17- Mike has done a great job with cutting and applying graphics on the wings, especially the checkerboard.

Dave Marenberg's Winter Build Log:

11/13/17 - Dave has started using his new workshop for building planes. He recently purchased a steel welding table and covered it with a 60"x120"x1/4" steel top. Wow. That's a table worthy of a grand project.

In fact, Dave reports that he has begun building a Ziroli-designed, 1/5 scale, 100" wingspan SBD-3 Dauntless dive bomber. The wood kit is produced by National Balsa. 

Here he has started framing the fuselage on his new work table. It's going to be fun to see the progress of this project!


Dave has the fuselage partially framed up. It's taking shape quickly.

He has progressed with the framing, adding in stringers
The horizontal stab is framed up.


Dave has started framing up the wing. You can see his magnetic jigs on the ribs.

The project is coming along- Dave has built the center section of the wing and started sheeting the fuselage and stab.

Richard Kaczmarek's Build Log:

11/13/17- Dick has a good start on his Balsa USA 1/3 scale Boeing Stearman P-17 Kaydet/Super Stearman. His will have ailerons on both the upper and lower wings. The fuselage and wings framed, and he has started to fit together the pieces. The Stearman has many separate pieces that have to be in near-perfect alignment to assure good handling characteristics, so the building is slow at this step of the project.

He has started setting the dihedral angles of the top and bottom wings. The cabane struts and wires are in place for the upper wing. The plane is almost too large for his work shop, with a ten-foot wingspan and 87" fuselage length.

Working on the incidence angles for the top and bottom wings. He's also installed three of the ailerons on the Super Stearman. He designed and 3-D printed a marking/drilling jig for the Robart hinges used.

Dick has the flying wires and N-struts made and installed on one half of the wing. The struts were difficult to make and install, because geometry had to be exact.

The horizontal stab is in place and the elevator test-fit.

He has the tail wheel installed and the pull-pull system set up. That's a 2.5" tail wheel.

Dick has the vertical stab and rudder installed and the stab wires.

He has made 3-D printed seats for the Stearman.
The ABS plastic tail cone halves were welded together using a plastic welding pen and ABS plastic filament. Note that the rudder has also been covered with polyspan, and the flying wires installed on the horizontal stab.

  Rob Crawford's Build Log:

He's been working on a Stearman biplane printed by Dick K. Yes- that's 3-D printed out of PLA plastic...and it has 3 flights on it! It has a 48" wingspan. Rob is currently working on a second Stearman, to which he is adding scale details.
The model doesn't have a motor yet or the WWII stars on the sides and wings. He's dressing up the Stearman in post-1943 colors.

Rob is framing up a Stinson SM-2 Detroiter from plans published in the early 80's in Model Airplane News. It is a detailed scale model with a 40" wingspan. Unfortunately, the plan's author left a few details out on how the balsa block nose attaches to the framework, so some improvising needs to take place. Back to the drawing board!

Instead of using a balsa block nose, he framed the nose using 3/32" stringers and birch formers shaped from the plans. The formers were attached to each other using 1/2" balsa sticks for strength.
The formers were sheeted using 1/32" basswood. Dick K. printed a small 7-cylinder radial for the plane, which has a 920 kV, 200 Watt GensAce motor hidden inside. The original plans called for a dummy radial made from machined aluminum!


The interior is installed. The instruments are printed and have aluminum tube bezels, and the controls are made from aluminum tubing. The seats are carved from balsa and have aluminum legs.

 All the formers and stringers have been added, including the windscreen frames. The gap around the firewall sheeting is to let air pass into the nose, cooling the speed controller.

The doors have been framed, but won't be hinged until the model is covered.


The vertical stab and rudder have been framed and the hinges fitted.

Rob is starting to build both wing halves. The wing tips have been laminated, and he's waiting for the glue to dry. All the ribs are cut and ready for gluing once the tips are ready. The fuselage is finished, and so is the tail. He skinned the forward section of the fuselage where the prototype has metal skin. The tail will be mounted when he covers the plan. 

 The landing gear for the Stinson is pretty complex. In this photo the wires are aligned and ready for epoxy.
 The gear are in place and ready.
 The tail gear was fabricated from aluminum tubing.
The tail has been glued on, and the wing halves attached to the center. The plans do not include a spar, so he added a balsa spar that extends through the center and attached to the spars of both wing halves. The servos, receiver, and speed controller have been installed. 

The plans state an 17 oz. flying weight- this one comes in with a 1000 mAh LiPo battery at 15.5.  The dummy radial is test-fit in the photo, and contains the electric motor.  Next step is covering the plane.

The fuselage and wings are covered. The black is Monokote, the orange is a low-temp covering from Hobby King. Because the orange activates and shrinks at a lower temperature, it was applied after the Monokote. 

The Stinson SM models had louvers behind the engine. The plans call for making the louvers out of thin aluminum sheeting. Rob used a pie pan for the aluminum and a bladed screwdriver to simulate the louvers.
 The plane is now covered and the windows have been installed. Next step is using dabs of JB Weld to hold all the landing gear pieces in place. The last step will be making and installing the wing struts.

Landing gear have been JB Welded in place, and balsa fairings added to the front wing struts.  

DONE! All the struts are in place.Rob powered up the plane and did a taxi test in the living room. Just waiting for a way to make the vinyl N-numbers and lettering. 

Urbana RC Flying Assoc. club house

Urbana RC Flying Assoc. club house