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Why do I build free-flying rubber band engine models?

Last night when I was in the backyard flying the "Sparrowhawk" rubber motor plane, the idea for this blog came up.


Warm and almost calm summer evenings, the children have went to sleep. You step into the backyard with an airplane in your hand. You start to spin turns on the rubber band and think about how to adjust the rudder for the turn. You bend the trim tab slightly to the left, about 300 turns in the rubber band. You quickly check that the wing, rudder are in place and you raise the aircraft to the take-off position. You release the propeller and the plane, the plane begins to rise upwards and begins a calm turn to the left. For the next 10-20 seconds, you will follow the flight with a wide, relaxed smile on your face.

After landing, you may need to make a small adjustment to the rudder trim tab. Then start spinning more turns on the rubber band again...


Especially everyone who lives during the "peak years" knows that it is not always so easy to take time and go and fly. The rubber-powered aircraft can easily fly even in a smaller space. Here is perhaps one of the reasons why I like to build and fly these.

Most kits sold today (Dumas, Guillows and Vintage model company) are laser cut.

The compatibility of the parts is usually really good, and the balsa is quite light.

The reputation of rubber-powered aircraft may have been ruined by the old Guillow kits that had been cut by punching. This works well when the punches are new and sharp. The kits were often more balsa crush than anything else.


What accessories are needed?

As a construction platform, I use a small piece of 60x20cm frost board. To protect the drawing, I use either fresh film that I stretch over the drawing or transparent packing tape.


In addition, you need sandpaper (160 and 400) and a sharp hobby knife.

As glue I use either Deluxe Materials Super Phatic or ZAP CA Pink. With Zap, I recommend using Zap Flexi tips. in this case, you can dose the glue much more precisely to the right place.


I have used Deluxe Materials Eze dope to tighten and finish tissue paper. This is waterborne varnish and can withstand 20% nitro after three coats!

The kits usually have good construction instructions and the drawings are clear.


Why build?

  • Rubber engine planes are quite inexpensive, take up little space so you can usually build more of these.

  • You will learn to apply the glue exactly (a light plane usually flies better)

  • You learn to trim an airplane to fly well. This also helps with larger radio controlled models

  • The building is relaxing (can also be addictive)




Feel free to try :o)

Regards. Ville

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