General Hints and Tips

23rd March 2014

Plugs and sockets
Make sure that plugs and sockets will not come apart. There are several ways to do this. Tape, cotton bound or preparatory fittings that you slide the connected joint into and it locks the assembly into place. You remove it by unclipping tongues.

Always ensure you propeller is balanced. Buy a prop balancer and check the balance of the prop in all directions.

Using a scalpel blade, shave the leading edges of the heavy side until it balances. NEVER add weight to a prop. In extreme cases you may need to shorten the TIP of the prop in order to balance.

Always fully charge a new battery (not lipo) for around 24hrs using the standard wall charger that comes with your radio set (see later).If you fly on a weekly basis a charge of about 4 hours is sufficient. If it hasn't been charged for a while, then extend that time to accordingly. Periodically it's worth cycling the battery to keep its performance.

Always use a battery checker and check each flight that the green lights are showing when the servos are all under load.

Always use a minimum of 3 hinges per surface, that way if one fails the control surface will continue to operate.

There are 5 types of hinge that can be used

Split pin: These are very popular and consist of two pieces of plastic with a pin down the centre. They are fitted using epoxy glue.

Robart: These are barbed hinges and circular in shape, they are also glued using epoxy.

Hairy hinge: These are thin strips of plastic with a hairy film which when glued with super glue assist with helping to wick the glue deep into the hinge

Film hinge: This is less common but is used to hinge the top half of a control surface as part of the covering on the aircraft.

Mylar Strip: This is a mylar strip that is cut to size and glued in place.

Take care with mylar or hairy hinges as they can fracture with vibration. Most ARTF models come with these type of hinges.

Always pin the hinge from the underside; this adds extra security should the glue fail. Use small map/dress maker's pins.

When building a model most people use PVA wood glue.

For certain high stress applications such as wing joining, engine bulkhead and tail fitting, 2 pack epoxy glue is used. This comes in a variety of drying times. 5min, 30min, 1/2hr, 1hr, 2hr, 12hr and 24hr.

For all high stress joints always use 24hr epoxy.

Generally a glue is stronger the longer it takes to dry.

Super Glue or (Cyano) sets quickly and is generally used for minor repairs, and construction in low stress areas.


Never switch on your transmitter until you have checked for definite that the channel is free!

Never take your eyes off the plane!

If in doubt keep the aircraft straight and level and with some forward speed!

Always balance the prop either electric or IC using a prop balancer, gently shave the tip using a scalpel until balanced.

You fly the plane, don't let the plane fly you!