Building The Turtle Deck For The Bonanza RC Plane

After the last post I have completed the turtle deck for my radio control airplane building project (the beechcraft bonanza from topflite). Having taken the time to make sure the fuselage was built true and straight, adding the balsa stringers to form the skeleton for the turtle deck was quite simple. All I had to do was cut each stringer a little oversize and I was ready to glue them in place. One thing that I noticed before gluing the stringers, it was still important to use a square to make sure the formers were very straight. What I realized was that when building a rc plane that uses formers, especially when the model airplane is of a larger scale, such as with the bonanza kit, the formers tend to be flimsy until they are secured with stringers.

RC Building Tip: Take the time to level and true as best you can when you are dealing with parts that tend to bow or are not rigid enough to hold their shape. I found that this made for an easier sheeting job when it came time to cover my rc airplane with balsa sheeting.

After I had glued in the stringers (as shown in the photos here). It was time to sand the ends that would lie on top of the V-tail of the model airplane tail surfaces. This was a simple job to match the v-tail surface because I used an old technique that I picked up from a good friend who has been building rc airplanes for years. It makes the difference to get nicely formed parts that conform the a curved surface. You can see this technique below in the pictures of sanding the stringers.

Stringers Glued To Model Airplane Fuselage and Vtail.Fuselage construction using plywood formers and balsa stringers for a rc airplane.

Here are the pictures of sanding the stringers to conform to the tail surfaces of the model airplane (beechcraft bonanza).

Building Tip: Use a piece of 150 grit sandpaper, I shaped it to the tail surface. Now I sanded the balsa stringers as shown, and it shaped them perfectly to the desired curve, angle etc…

Sanding Balsa Stringer For RC Plane Fuselagerc airplane balsa stringer sanding tip

Now with my stringers for the fuselage glued in place, I was ready to sheet the fuselage turtle deck with 3/16 inch balsa sheets. These sheetst that I used were made from smaller sheets that were glued together. In the next blog post I will be writing about how to make large balsa sheets for rc airplanes.

About Carl Baer

I am a rc airplane guy, have been for almost 30 years and I grew up around rc airplanes. My dad built them and I used to watch him build, then we built together and then I built my own. I love to build rc planes and see what modifications I can make to create a real scale and functional look to the finished plane. This love, turned into this blog to share my experiences with model airplane building.

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