Airlight RC is aimed at those interested in super light and indoor flight aircraft and other light RC, generally made from Depron but with an open mind with regards to creating the models from some less obvious or unconsidered source materials. Airlight RC began as an idea I had when I bought my nephew a 'book' of push out airplane designs. It was very difficult to make them fly well, and it spurred me to wonder 'how difficult can it be to produce something that flies better than this?'.
When I started looking at foam building, I realised that there are a lot of quite large (very smart looking) designs out there, but having a limited time and money budget (along with space restraints) I decided to try and modify the design to give much smaller scale models. I started out by simply printing the layouts on A4 and A3 size, to see what would come out. The A3 stuff turned out to be ideally sized to use 2mm depron foam, which gave a relative stiffness the same as the original size model. Try somewhere like www.parkjets.com for these (fantastic) designs.
Moving on from these designs, I looked at producing layouts from a 'standard' template. This was from an original idea to minimise the amount of waste I encountered when I was looking into parkjets. When I looked at the setting out that people were proposing, the amount of depron foam given to the bin was surprising. However, the parkjet designers are trying to offer a decent looking replica of the particular aircraft, and this will drive the laying out to a large degree. Looking at the types of designs available in toy shops and hobby stores, the standard of easily built 'flyable' designs was very poor, and I needed a starting point.
I wanted to see what you could do with a size limited template, so the A5 template gave me a good starting point for sizing the designs, and the project went on from there.
The majority of designs shown here are driven by the requirement that they should take up one A3, A4 or A5 sheet of 2,4 or 6mm Depron foam, or a pizza foam base, and that they should use this to the fullest possible extent. Some of the designs are extremely efficient in this criteria, with no waste at all, while others are more 'lazy' in their fit. There are various files which I have given a different designation, as they would build poorly at small scale. Some of those given A3/4/5 designation are based on the template size, but extend outside of this to produce a more complex or complete design. All of the designs can obviously be printed out at larger or smaller scales than I designed for, so they can be made at almost any size required.
You are in control of the positions and type of any stiffening or control mechanisms you might wish to use. All of your ideas about this are welcomed.
When this project started, I found that a huge stumbling block to the micro flyer was the expense that could be layed out getting hold of small enough components for these types of aircraft. When I began to look around these designs, I have tried to use things that you can either : buy in large quantities cheaply, or could make from items you have around the general household. This way, the casual flyer needn't be daunted by acquiring a whole list of bits needed before they can have any fun. You can get into such things later if you want to, I just want people to 'have a go' with the designs, and maybe contribute some knowledge along the way. The only basic requirement is to get hold of some Depron or similar, but I'm open to suggestion on the materials used.
These designs are in the process of being flight tested, though time constraints mean that it will be a while before all of them can be flown (if ever). Anyone who wishes to give feedback on any design they have built should contact me here. The designs are given freely, so if you enjoy them please tell others, if not please tell me.
As part of the design process, I have come across several useful sites and suppliers to gain the right materials for the job, and these as I have found them will be included later for your ease of discovery. In future, my intent is to put out a request for others to offer their designs for inclusion on the site, with the possibility of some incentive given enough interest.