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The purpose of the RC aircraft design was not to address a problem that has not been solved, but to redesign an aircraft with the intent to understand the practical applications of the building process. Our approach to completing this project involved two phases; the planning phase and the building phase. In the planning phase, we made selections for the airfoil, wing, fuselage, tail, elevators, and ailerons. These choices were made using aeronautical engineering concepts and theory. For the building phase, we focused on materials selection, fabrication, and testing.

During our design process, a lot of time went to choosing the airfoil. While researching, we considered three governing factors: drag coefficient, lift coefficient, and manufacturability. Each airfoil offered a variation of these parameters.The Eppler 423 airfoil was picked for its low drag coefficient. There were issues during fabrication. These issues mainly stemmed from the lack of quality equipment. For example, initial attempts to cut the balsa wood into the airfoil profile caused wood splitting. This happened because the saw was too coarse for that grain of wood. If this project were redone, we would utilize tools that are commonly used within the hobbyist community to optimize fabrication.

Our project focused on the application of the engineering design process that we have become familiar with as undergraduate students. In terms of purpose, our project would identify most with the R/C aircraft hobbyist community and FSAE community that also engineer and build aircrafts for personal or competition uses.

Publication Date



Mechanical and nuclear engineering, Airfoil, Aerodynamics, Fuselage, Elevator


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Jayasimha Atulasimha

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2016

Remote Control Aircraft