How To: Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

I decided to make a quick banner for my RC plane. It was basically free, but you might need to get a few materials if you don't have them. My plane is a Hobbyzone Champ, which is a hardy but tiny plane, weighing only 1.3 ounces with the battery. My how-to is modeled after this, which is intended for the Super Cub. It is the bigger version of the Champ, weighing a total of 25.2 ounces, which is more than 18 times the weight of Champ. As you can see, I was faced with a problem.  How was I going to make the weight 18 times smaller than the one in the video?

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

Materials

  • A RC plane (of course).
  • A thin trash bag.
  • Colored Sharpies or permanent markers.
  • A washable marker, any color.
  • String, any type is fine, but I used nylon.
  • A large paperclip.
  • Duct tape or packaging tape (preferably packaging tape)
  • Three to five plastic coffee straws, I used five.
  • A small metal washer, for the weight.

Tools

  • Pliers
  • Scissors

Step 1 Prepare the Garbage Bag

When picking your plastic bag, try to pick the lightest color and most lightweight bag. Cut the bag open to make a rectangle. Find the size that fits the words you are going to use and cut it. The width can be any amount, but I found it easiest to use the length of the plastic straws.

The cut open plastic bag.

Step 2 Connect the String to the Banner

There are two parts to the string: the part connecting to the plane, and the part connecting to the banner. You will need to know the two half hitches knot, so you can adjust the lengths. Here is a diagram:

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

I used about three feet of nylon string, but this will depend on how large your plane is. Here is a diagram on how to tie your string:

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

If you can't tell, the loops go around the wing and can be tightened. Now to actually connect the string to the banner... But first, you have to bend the paperclip. Unbend the paperclip, then bend it around the washer. The washer should be very small!

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

I should have used packaging tape instead of duct tape, because it is lighter. I started taping the string at the top, went to the very bottom, and then went two-thirds back up so most of the weight is on the bottom.

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

Step 3 Write the Letters

First, you have to outline your letters with a washable marker, so you can correct your mistakes. I chose to write "Hi everybody" because I didn't know what to write. Then you color your letters in with permanent marker. I got creative with my letters and put designs on it.

(4) Empty... (5) ...full!, (6) The connection to the string.

Step 4 Attach the Straws

Basically all you have to do is glue the straws evenly over the surface. This will prevent the banner from crumpling on the width, and the wind will keep the length straight.

How to Make a Banner for a Lightweight RC Plane

Step 5 Cut Down on the Weight!

This is the most important step!!! If you don't cut down the weight, the plane won't take off or will take off and then drift back down. No, I am not exaggerating. Why would I be, I used bold print! This is very important! Here is what I did to cut down my weight:

The banner started at .8 ounces, way too much! I cut down the length of string that wasn't necessary. Next, I replaced all of the duct tape with packaging tape. I also cut parts off of the sides that didn't have writing on it. Last, I replaced the washer with a lighter one. When I weighed it again, it was a striking .3 ounces, which is barely the weight of the wheels!

Finished Pictures

(1) All spread out!, (2) All rolled up!, (3) Connected to the plane. (4) This is before I reduced the weight, the coil would be gone if it wasn't.

These pictures are taken during a flyby. They are pretty bad because it is very hard to fly a plane, hold an iPhone, and take the picture (as you can imagine).

14 Comments

Great How-To. Very thorough and well written.

I believe it takes more time and effort to actually write them rather than making a video, but making a video is generally easier to understand. Anyway, what's the point of making a how-to unless it's close to perfect?

second that!! :)

:)

Awesome. What size engine do you need to pull such a banner?

The Champ's engine is this and it works fine. The Champ is a micro plane so the engine doesn't have to be too small but shouldn't be one of those tiny indoor planes.

Very cool. Would be great to see a video of it in action.

I'll try, but for that I'll need another person to take the video.

You should secure a minicam to the tail end of the plane to record the banner flapping in mid-flight. You wouldn't need another person for that (though you'd probably need a pretty lightweight camera—and it'd have to be really small).

I'm going to be getting this one soon- it seems to work the best according to lots of forums. There are updated sample forums on this forum.

That'll be so cool

Oops I meant sample videos...

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