At this point, we have done analysis and determined the materials that will best simulate our real plane. We have not yet determined exactly how we will power or control the scale model, so those materials will not be analyzed yet. Instead, we will discuss exactly why each material was chosen as a scale substitute. In the full-scale plane, 6061 t6 aluminum will be used, in square tubes, round tubes, and sheets, for the truss systems, spar, and any other metal parts. We will be using 6061 t6 aluminum for these parts in the model as well. Once we have determined how thick these will be in the full-scale model, through detailed stress analysis, we will use aluminum with a thickness that would provide exactly 1/12 of that strength. To cover our wing and fuselage, we will be using Dacron fabric (approx. 3 oz/yd). Silk and tissue paper, possible scale alternatives, proved to be too difficult to fix after damage. AeroKote was not available in the way we needed it. Therefore, we chose Koverall, which proved to be the most durable and easiest cover to apply, while still mimicking properties of Dacron. Our wing ribs will be made from a homemade composite consisting of house insulation foam sandwiched between two sheets of e-glass and epoxy resin. The exact same composite will be used in the scale model. #7500 E-glass will be used due to its superior strength to weight ratio.
Similar to the ribs, the windshield will be made of the same material in the model as in the real product: clear acrylic. The real plane will use ⅛” acrylic, and the scale model will use a slightly thinner sheet.
*Editors note: the thought processes and design choices presented in this article don’t necessarily represent those implemented into the final design and are subject to change. Flight Club Aerospace is a group of amateur students with no formal education in any fields of engineering. We present this information for educational purposes only, with the understanding that it is not to be re-created without adequate professional oversight and mentorship. For our latest designs and updates, please see our most recent blog posts.