Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Free RC-Aircraft Plans

  • Finding a proper plan to begin your construction by searching the internet for free model airplane plans is a time consuming process, that many of you may not like.
  • Thankfully, many people have gone before us and done the hard work of building and organizing large collections.
Sources of Plans
  • There are two primary sources of free plans.
  • The first and more popular source is old model airplane magazines. These plans are all professionally and beautifully drawn.
  • These are almost all traditional balsa built-up construction designed to be powered by IC engines.
  • Now modern IC engines are much lighter than the old ones and many people prefer Electric Flight, so some adjustments would need to be made with old plans to convert them in to Electric Powered Models.
  • The conversion details for these plans are rarely available. So you have to use your expertise to convert some of these plans for electric flight.
  • If you want to start with Electric Planes, start with a plan exclusively drawn for electric flight.
  • Some of these plans were originally published in magazines long back when scratch-building was a lot more popular than it is today.
  • It will be time consuming to put one together, but your efforts will be rewarded with a nice looking and flying model.
  • It is very difficult to find one of these old designs in the public domain free of cost. copyright laws are complicated and they have changed many times over the years.
  • So for beginner scratch builders starting with latest plans are always good.
  • The second major source of free plans are in the public domain.
  • These are airplane designs were the result of of love for Aero-modelling.
  • Plenty of designs based on modern construction materials are avialiable.
  • The authors never expected to make any money from their designs. They often retain the copyright but permit copying by others.
  • In many cases the designs are released into the public domain from the start.
  • Most of these airplane plans are nothing more than the outlines of their major parts or design ideas.
  • Many of the designers provide a detailed step by step building instructions.
  • One important thing is that, do not assume that it is a well-tested design. Most of the times authors release first prototypes in the hope that others will improve upon it.
  • So when a beginner select a plan make sure that it is a proven and well tested design.Try to follow the reviews and comments of fellow builders.
Copyright Law
  • The 1976 Copyright Act increased the protection to copyright owners.
  • So what you have to do is, be careful. If you are downloading a plan for personal use, it is unlikely that the copyright holder (if any) will go after you.
  • Please do not use the free plans provided by designers and builders for commercial purpose.
  • I have compiled a list of websites containing freely downloadable plans. 
  • These websites contain plans and concepts for all sorts of different model airplane types.
  • I do not take into account the quality of the plans given there, some of the smaller websites contain some of the highest quality free plans.
  • Some plans will be just design ideas.
  • Some of them are supported by builders forum with detailed step by step construction sequence.
  • The designers only allow personal use of these designs.
  • So stick to it and "Happy Building".
Some of the websites offering Free RC Airplane Plans.
Viewers are requested to give feedback about above mentioned websites, so that I can add, remove or give additional information.