Wings are what makes an airplane fly. Their particular shape directs the air current downward and gives the airplane its lift. To better appreciate this concept, this article will give some guidelines on how to build airplane wings for toy aircrafts with the use of balsa wood.
- Gather everything you will need for the project. Firstly, you need to acquire a good set of airplane model plans. Secondly, some balsa wood from your local lumber store has to be acquired. Make sure that it’s not too dense and heavy. Add to that an X-acto knife that has #11 blade size; coping saw; CA glue; safety goggles, dust mask and gloves; sanding block of various grits; some old magazine, cardboard or newspapers; masking tape or dressmaker pins; the smallest tub of lightweight spackle you can find; and wax paper. Make sure that the table or workbench you will be working on is flat, level, and free of any bumps.
- Cut the balsa wood. Based on the plan, trace the airplane wing onto a paper and cut this out afterwards. Next, lay the pattern on the balsa wood. Place wax paper on top of it so as to save the pattern from getting destroyed by the glue. Afterwards, secure the pattern and wax paper with the use of masking tape or pins. Cut the wood with the use of the X-acto knife, making sure that the surface you’re working on is protected and covered with old cardboard or newspaper. Repeat these steps for cutting out wood needed for other parts of the airplane wings.
- Glue them together. Airplane model plans vary so you will need to refer to it for information on the exact sequence of putting the parts together. In most cases, positioning the bottom spar and trailing edge comes first. Based on the instructions on the plan, position these two together and pin them in place. Next is to put the wing ribs vertically in place with the use of CA glue. Afterwards, glue in the top spar and leading edge respectively. Once the glue dries up, turn the wing over so that you can make the sheeting on top with the help of CA glue. Repeat the process for the wings’ bottom sheeting. Fill in any gaps on the joined parts preferably with wood.
- Put in the wings’ tip block. Cut out the tip block with the use of the coping saw. Before attaching it in place with the glue, make sure that the spars and sheeting at the edge of the rib are sanded smooth.
- Excess wood should be cut away and sanded smooth. Do the finishing touches. Start off with an 80-grit sanding block to roughly sand the entire section. Repeat the process using finer grits of sanding block to finish up. Hold against bright light to check the wings’ surface quality. A well sanded airplane wing made of wood should look and feel smooth.
After building the airplane wing, you can continue constructing the other parts of your airplane model according to the design plans.