May 10, 2010
How can a RC plane fly without ailerons?
I have an RC kit with only rudder and elevators in the instructions. How is the plane supposed to maneuver without ailerons? Would it be worth it to make my own ailerons and install it on the plane?
The plane is built with a lot of dihedral. Dihedral is where the wings are at a positive angle relative to the horizon. This provides stability. With a lot of dihedral, if the plane starts to bank the center of gravity will still be below the aerodynamic center of pressure so gravity natrually wants to pull the center of gravity back below the center of pressure. Also, when the plane banks, the lifting force from the higher wing is less in the vertical direction than the lifting force from the lower wing so naturally the lower wing lifts back up (or the higher wing drops back down whichever way you want to look at it) and it levels the plane back out. Most kits with no ailerons have the wings centered above the fuselage and with the wing being higher than the CG, it ensures the CP is above the CG. With planes like these, you do not need ailerons because of the inherent stability. This saves weight because you don't have to add in servos, control rods, wiring, etc… With no ailerons you are only limited to level flights, hammerheads, and maybe a loop if you get brave enough. If you want a good plane with ailerons for your next model, I recommend the F-27 from Horizon Hobby. This bird is very forgiving and lets you do rolls, loops, and inverted flight.
I kind of lied, the F-27 doesn't have ailerons, but elevons… control surfaces that act as ailerons and elevators.
Filed under RC Plane by James