Talk:Model aircraft

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I belive there is a missing scope for model aircraft: it left the pure hobby long ago, as the discussion below indicates. For the german entry the scope was extended to scientific and military use, e.g. military drones, and simulation models. Those historic model aircrafts referenced below would be (scientific) simulation models for study of airodynamics or planned manned aircrafts.

regards PeterD

First line of first page is not true model aircraft have been around since the Phaeroes of ancient Egypt. Even in 1902 Langley flew a steam powered aerodrome across the Patomac river, aeromodelling has been around a long time and it is man who cannot fly. Carlo Godel

Thanks Carlo. I am working on including a link that will pre-date Langly. Chendrickson 01:06 Feb 10, 2003 (UTC)

Well, the article was first written as Model Airplane. But if aircraft as a whole are to be included, I guess the chane needs to be done.

Antonio Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!! Martin

I deleted:

"The Hobby is not the most popular among pilots, former pilots, or aviation afficianados. Absolutely not! However, the hobby is also available to those groups of people, and it has been widely popular among babies since its beginning. It is also becoming increasingly popular among sexy women.

Aircraft catwalk models come in a wide array of types and sizes.

" GRAHAMUK 10:37, 23 Sep 2003 (UTC)


The section on static models states that the company Ertl is no longer in business. This is incorrect. Ertl is still very much alive, and producing all sorts of models. You can find new Ertl models at Texaco Collectibles and you can visit cricut cards to find Ertl

fast brite lens restorer

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:21, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

Technical correction[edit]

It should be noted that fuel for model glow engines is methanol-based. Nitromethane is added as a performance enhancer. Also, nitromethane is really not very volatile, being much less so than methanol. These days, synthetic oils are the lubricants of choice for most users.

HTH, Steve S

So fix the article aready! ;-) Graham 23:24, 19 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The nitro has a lot to do with timing, too. --David R. Ingham 01:21, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

...Out of curiosity, what about gasoline (and diesel) powered engines? I thought I read about large (1/4 scale) models sometimes using these engines (instead of glow.)

...I think I also read something about experimenters installing turbochargers/superchargers on internal-combustion engines, though that's far away from mainstream.

Actually, the air compresses a considerable amount, thus the power source is mixed.... both air AND rubber powered.

"filling a baloon"[edit]

No, that is a form of rubber power, the air doesn't compress much.

anonymous -- DOH! You're right, my brain wasn't working when i put that in there, thanks!


I don't think whether they are scale has much to do with which power source they use.


You're right. I think choice of powerplant only makes a difference to the ambitious and advanced modeller -- the most-authentic scale-models of jet-powereed military jets (F-14, F-15, F-16, , etc.) use ducted-fans or turbines.

The article could probably go into more detail about model-types and classification. Model aircraft can be classified in many different ways. Control-type is one way -- that's already in the article! Then we also have "application" oriented classifications: "sport", "scale", "trainer" (there're probably more -- should park-flyers and '3D-flyers' count as separate categories?)

Trainers emphasize durability and stability (with the idea that a beginner will crash more often than not), sacrificing top-speed and manueverability. The structure of trainers often accomodate low-speed, low-angle crashes (rubber-band attached wings, rear-mounted propeller, etc.) "Sport" aircraft emphasize aerobatics (loops, rolls, turns, speed), which implies they are less "self-stabilizing" than trainers. "Scale" model, in the above classification, refers to model aircraft which are facsimiles (reduced size) of full-size aircraft. Since scale-models emphasize the replication of an actual aicraft's appearance (and form), scales handle very different from trainers and sports. Quite simply, aerodynamic behavior does NOT scale, and scale-models often suffer from control and stability challenges not apparent with sport models. (And it has to be said, a 1/8 scale-model won't fly anything like the full-size example!)

The flight behavior does not scale, because of the Reynolds and mach numbers. Maybe I'll try to add something aout that. --David R. Ingham 18:25, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

earliest airplane power[edit]

I am the one who said it was steam, but I am not so sure now. Perhaps Sir George Cayley used bent wood or stretched leather?

--David R. Ingham 01:25, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

I must admit when I read the steam mention my eyebrows went up a notch - I never heard of a practical steam-powered aircraft, and I doubt that it could work. Steam engines are at their very best, just 10% efficient, and they require water, which is very heavy, as well as the fuel... However I left it in because it would only take one example to prove me wrong, and I can't say with absolute certainty that nobody ever made it work. I daresay there were plenty of plans and proposals, but did anyone make it really work? Graham 12:49, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes there were important pioneer flights powered by steam and some were before Alphonse Penaud invented rubber powered airplanes in April 1870. (Penaud sold some, which makes him the founder of the aviation industry.) John Stringfellow (mid 19th century) and Samuel Pierpont Langley (turn of the 20th century) are among those who have flown steam machines. The question is whether something else was before steam. (Aviation, the Pioneer Years, edited by Ben Mackworth-Praed, Chartwell Books, Inc.)

I'll try to add some of this to the article.

It can work, like rubber power, because of the scaling laws. It is easier to get speed and range from a piloted aircraft, but it doesn't take much to keep a small, light model in the air. The main problem must have been to get such a light engine to run at all.

In 1894, Sir Hiram Maxim did actually get off the ground under steam power in a "piloted" biplane. (The world's Strangest Aircraft, by Michael Taylor, MetroBooks, 2001)

--David R. Ingham 20:10, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

6,000-20,000 rpm[edit]

The old Cox TD I have turns 25,000. --David R. Ingham

Possible split?[edit]

Is there a case for splitting this article into separate static and flying model articles? It's now getting quite long and in reality the two hobbies have very little to do with each other. Graham 00:52, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Maybe if it is too long, but scale flying models do connect them. They often don't fly much like their prototypes do. I have one that barely flies. --David R. Ingham 17:03, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and transferred most of the RC material over to the Radio controlled plane page. That way the hobbies have a level of separation, but still show commonalities. I also moved the model aerodynamics to a separate page altogether since it is necessary for both topics and it is really a topic by itself. --Brian Grayless :30 Aug 2005

Hrrrmmm... I think a little more consultation and thought would have been appreciated. Where has all the stuff about powering models gone? This pertains to all sorts of models, not just radio-controlled ones. Most of the material here didn't really belong in radio-controlled model, since it is of a general nature. To my mind this change has seriously ruined the article as it stands. While it was definitely becoming too long, any break-up should have been done in a much more thoughtful way than this. I will revert it back to the previous version until some CONSENSUS is arrived at - I know the idea is to be bold but the reason that this question was asked here and has stood for a while unresolved is that the best way to proceed wasn't obvious - otherwise it would have been done already. This attempt was probably one of the worst possible ways to have butchered the article. Graham 23:16, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Incidentally the more obvious break-up I had in mind was between static and flying models, which this change did not address.Graham 23:20, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have posed some discussion before making changes. I apologize for the confusion. I was finding all kinds of varying information in Wikipedia in regards to Radio Controlled craft. There had been discussion about splitting the article and much of the info was very specific to RC craft (some of it being useful for non-RC powered models as well), so I thought I would move it over. The great thing is that the information is very good information, but doesn't seem to all fit within model aircraft..... it just seemed too broad since "model aircraft" doesn't explicitly mean "powered" or "RC". I believe people looking for "model aircraft" will often have an interest in in powered and RC models, but the hobbies are quite different. Perhaps a mention of "powered" and "RC" should be in this article, but then link to the information where it would be more appropriate??? For example, the section about "Model Aerodynamics" is great information, and although it can be quite different from full scale aerodynamics, it is common to all model-size aircraft, so I made it into it's own article. I figured, that after making changes, this article wouldn't be in the best condition, because I am not an expert in "model aircraft", however, I also know that people that are more knowledgeable will come along and fill the gaps and add info as needed. I was hoping however, that the article would be refined by someone after me.... not reverted back. I tried to leave information about "powered" craft that was not RC specific in this article, seeing how many people make rubber powered planes and gliders without RC controls. I will hold myself back from making any more massive changes to this article, but I'd like to propose that the article be "slimmed" to adequately cover "static" model aircraft and do it well. All of the valuable RC information could then be moved over to "Radio Controlled Airplane". Then any information that is specific to "powered" model aircraft be put in it's own article, with links to relevant information at "model aircraft" and "Radio Controlled Airplane". The "Radio Controlled Airplane" article is also growing quickly and covering many potentially diverse aspects and will probably have to go through this same process soon. Opinions welcome...... --Brian Grayless :1 Sept 2005
I think the main problem was that so much information simply vanished altogether, or appeared to. Maybe it got moved, but the trail of where it went was non-obvious. I do think a split would be worthwhile, but we need a consensus among several contributors, not just you and me. I feel that the section on plastic/static modelling and flying models is the first starting point, since in the main these hobbies are quite different, or at least have a very different primary aim. To my mind that alone would probably cut the article down to a manageable size. The changes you propose have merit, but the problem as I see it is that there is no clear separation between RC and "the rest" because there is so much overlap - in fact RC can be considered as an extension of free flight. While there is probably no such thing as RC rubber-band power, almost any other type of powered or unpowered design could be RC, so you can't lump the power stuff in with RC, since it pertains to all types of models. So either the RC article will contain a great deal of duplication of this article, or else should be designed as a much smaller auxiliary article which only discusses the differences that are found ONLY with RC models. I guess the section on model aircraft power could be a separate article, but at this stage I think it's better left as part of this one. Graham 23:37, 1 September 2005 (UTC)


Model aircraft and Radio controlled airplane. Maybe we should use one term to avoid confusion? --Phatmonkey 15:15, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

More on static modelling techniques?[edit]

Nice article. I think there is much more to be said about static models, especially with regard to techniques for brush painting, Airbrush, construction, applying decals, weathering and super-detailing.

No, WP is an encyclopedia, not an instructional site. Such material would soon be removed - Adrian Pingstone 20:50, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
However, that is not to say that such items have no place here. It could do with a part like the "Construction" section for flying models. Most of the techniques used are very different so it would not be redundant. As it is, the article is very flying model heavy. AviatonIsLife 23:00, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


In the control line section tit says the planes are flown "anti-clockwise" at least in America we say counter-clockwise. Unless it is different elsewhere I think it should be changed. Foil Fencer 15:35, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

It's Anti-clockwise in proper (i.e. not American) English ;-).AviatonIsLife 23:39, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone have any thoughts on splitting the page into two down the lines of Flying/non-flying? It seems the page has become unwieldy and flying model heavy. I suggest splitting into two, "Static Model Aircraft" and "Flying Model Aircraft". The latter may need a bit of integration, with this current page retained as a link to both of them. Opinions? AviatonIsLife 23:07, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree that they should be split. The two hobbies are vastly different. Static models usually focus on accuracy (historical and manufactured appearance) and attention to detail. Flying models are more of an engineering/designing hobby. For instance most, if not all, static models are models of real-life aircraft. Many flying models do replicate actual aircraft, but it seems that a lot of them are designed just for flying (that is that they don't resemble any real-world aircraft). -NatureBoyMD 17:24, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

"exponential reduction"[edit]

This description of rubber power seems to be based on an over-simplified physical model of the model. Looking at a wound rubber motor, one sees knots and sometimes knots of knots, so things are more complicated than for a bent spring. I am willing to agree that it becomes exponential near the end of the run, but it appears more like constant early on.

Bold texthow old is the glider when was it build who build it who helped —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


I came across this article by accident. It seems at times like a enthusiasts' convention and so is in need of a clean up. As a generalised article on model aircraft, it has too much detail on specific areas. For example there is a whole paragraph on the Jaguar Wakefield aircraft without saying why this one aircraft requires such a detailed description in a general article. The most popular entry level models are described like a consumer guide and rules of team racing are also are discussed in great detail. Ducted fans get mentioned twice. JMcC (talk) 21:08, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I have removed it. It was completely unnecessary. I agree with the first two observations, and fixed the third. The team racing is much to site specific. A model aircraft competition link, perhaps may be best.

As for ===Entry Level=== i am just learning to edit, but should there not be a Piper Cub instead od a P-51.

I would much rather a young man start with a Piper because he saw it pictured as "Entry Level"

A styro P-51 might be ok, but it's still a low wing. I'll do what I can. Maxchillin (talk) 08:17, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Split the hobbies![edit]

Maxchillin (talk) 08:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC) (newbie editor), what is most obvious to me, is that we must observe that radio controlled and static models are two distinctly different things ~ the articles could be much more concise. One model is built for viewing only, the other model is intended for actual flight. Usually with power. I consider that to be a substantial difference, as do the model car, and R/C car buffs.

I'll do what I can. Maxchillin (talk) 08:35, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm agreeable, it has seemed a little forced to have the two different hobbies in a single article. I don't know how best to title the articles, the terms used overlap considerably. In honor of my local shop, disambiguate with "(left side)" and "(right side)". :-) Stan (talk) 15:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
How about [[Model aircraft (flying)]] and [[Model aircraft (static)]], with [[Model aircraft]] disambiguating the two? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 17:20, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
It's better than nothing - "static" I'm not fond of because no actual human says "static". Magazines and such tend to say "scale modelling" for the non-flying types, notwithstanding that there are flying models that are also to scale. Stan (talk) 14:12, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
How about "display" instead of "static"? __ Just plain Bill (talk) 14:29, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Does anybody say that in real life either? :-) It would work to have model aircraft (scale) or scale model aircraft and model aircraft (flying), and simply have a note at the top of the scale article mentioning that some flying models are to scale, but that this article focuses on static models. Stan (talk) 13:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Pretty sure I have heard "static" in this sense, as well as "static display" both together. May not be said every day, but either one is understandable, which is the point of written (or spoken) communication. I favor [[Model aircraft (static)]] for this purpose. Even though hardly anyone says "parenthetical disambiguation," you can still get the meaning from it, especially in this context. __ Just plain Bill (talk) 14:54, 11 November 2010 (UTC)


ARF models ready to fly in under four hours? Certainly not true currently, takes considerably more time investment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

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