If you have not worked
with foam before, it is strongly recommended that you read the
How To section
Do not discard any foam pieces that came with the kit, until
after the construction is finished.
The Wowplanes B17 is a
builder's kit. We assume that the builder has at least an intermediate skill
level in building RC flying models and has built kits and ARFs before in
balsa, if not in foam. The objective of this manual is to illustrate the
features and construction techniques that are unique to this model.
It is not the intent of this
manual to show the basics such as installation of motors, radio, servos,
linkages, etc. which are common to all models.
Wowplanes kits lend themselves
to finishing the model in multiple ways. The model may be left as bare foam
and painted with foam safe paint, or covered with low temperature heat
shrink covering, or fiber glassed and painted, or sheeted with balsa and
Before you start building it
is recommended that you decide what option you plan to pursue. Depending on
the finishing option, you may have to alter the sequence of construction
outlined below. e.g. if you plan to sheet the model with balsa, it would be
easier to build and sheet the individual sub-assemblies before assembling
the whole plane.
1.0 The Fuselage
2.0 The Wing
3.0 Attach the Wing and Fuselage
4.0 The Tail
5.0 Attach the Tail and Fuselage.
6.0 Install the Plastic
7.0 Motor wiring
8.0 Finishing ideas
9.0 Center of gravity.
- Glue the seams that run along the underside of
the two fuselage halves.
- Glue a 1/8" x 1" plywood in the slot on the side
- Insert 1/16" balsa in the wire cuts between
the plywood cutouts and the top of the wing cutout.
- Cut a foam piece shown and glue it
to the plywood.
- Sheet the wing saddle with 1/32" balsa,
but DO NOT sheet the leading side as yet.
- The inner core of the front fuselage
comes in 3 slices.
- Glue the upper slice in place to form
the cockpit floor and the top of the nose cone.
- Discard the middle slice.
- Cut the bottom slice equal to the length
of the battery and glue it in place to form the floor
where the battery will sit.
- Position the canopy in
place and mark the front edge.
- Position the nose plastic bubble in
place and mark the outline.
- Sand the nose cone sloping it forward
from the canopy line all the way around the fuselage to look like the
- Position the tail gunner plastic in
place, mark the outline and sand the foam to conform.
- Sand a fish belly as shown in the picture
1.1 Battery Hatch
The battery is hidden behind the nose
bubble, which is held in place with 4 small magnets. This method avoids
hatch lines and hinges and is completely concealed.
Cut a 1/8" sheet larger than
the dimensions of the nose.
Apply epoxy glue to the
exposed side of the outer magnets and glue the balsa sheet to them.
Trim and sand the balsa to conform
to the outline and slope of the nose.
This is the balsa former
that will be glued inside the nose bubble.
Paint the front side of the
balsa sheet with the color you like.
Slide the plastic nose
bubble into place and check for fit. When satisfied, use 30 minute epoxy
to glue it to the balsa edge.
When cured, twist the nose
bubble and it will come off.
1.2 Battery Cooling
Make a small hole in the
nose plastic bubble for air intake.
Make 3 slits in the balsa
former just in front of where the battery is located.
Make a slanted air exit hole
under the tail cone.
2.0 The Wing
- Lay the nacelles side by site with their rear
ends in line. Note that the outboard nacelles are shorter than the inboard
- Mark and cut off where shown.
- Trim and sand the rear ends of the nacelles to
look as shown. The front ends should not require any trimming or sanding.
- Use the nacelles as templates to trace and cut the firewalls from 1/8"
- Cut a slot as shown and dig out some foam to make compartments for the ESCs.
2.2 Main Wing
- Trim and round the tips.
- Cap the aileron cut outs with 1/16" balsa.
Extend the liner on the servo side all the way into the servo cutout.
- Insert a HS55 servo in the servo cutout until
flush with wing bottom. Insert the servo plug from the top and glue in
place. Slice off the excess servo plug with a sharp
- Make two spars from 1/8" x 24"
stock plywood according to the dimensions shown on the picture above.
- Pour a liberal amount of 30 minute epoxy in
the spar channel and glue them in place.
- Glue the wing sections
together with 30 minute epoxy, with the mid section resting on a flat
surface and each tip raised by 2 3/8".
Make a wiring harness and use the
channel provided to route the wires. The channel can be capped with a
strip of scrap foam.
- Sheet the top and bottom
sides of the ailerons with 1/32" balsa using M77 spray glue and trim.
- Do not sheet the ends as yet.
- Sand a 15 degree angle on the hinge face as
shown in picture.
- Cap the hinge face with 1/16" balsa.
- Fit ailerons to the aileron cutouts in the
wing leaving a 1/16" gap at each end.
- Sheet the aileron ends with 1/32" balsa.
- Do not attach the ailerons as yet, it
will be done during final assembly.
2.3 FIXED MAIN UNDERCARRIAGE
- Cut two U/C mounts from 1/4" x 1 1/2" x
- Drill a 1/8" hole along the center line, 1/2" from the shorter side
closest to the fuselage.
- Attached the U/C wire with straps, and bend then in to compensate for the
dihedral angle of the wing.
The wing is done.
3.0 Attach the wing and
- The wing cover has 3 parts. Glue the
inner core inside the outer cover.
- Cut a 1/8" x 1" piece of plywood. Insert
it in the slot and glue in place.
- Sheet the trailing face of the cover
with 1/32" balsa.
- Place the wing in the saddle.
- Make the distance X=X and make alignment
- Glue the wing cover over the wing.
- Bore a 1/2" hole all the way to the
plywood insert, along the center line and 3/4" in from the trailing face.
- Cut two pieces of 1/16" plywood to the
profile of the leading face using it as a template.
- Tape the two pieces together and drill
two 3/16 holes as shown.
- Cut 3/16" dia dowels 1 1/2" long each
and shapen one end like a pencil.
- Glue the dowels to one of the pieces
allowing them to protrude 1/4" on one side.
- Pierce the foam with the sharp ends of
the dowels, align the plywood and glue in place. Use the second plywood
piece to keep the dowels straight.
- When dry, insert a sheet of wax paper
between the plywood pieces and push the second piece flush. Tape the dowel
ends with masking tape.
- Set the wing back in the saddle, using
the alignment marks that you had made. Make X=X again and glue the front
plywood to the fuselage face using 30 minute epoxy.
- Allow to dry.
- Drill a hole for a 6-32 size screw,
vertically in the plywood at the trailing side, all the way through to the
plywood insert in the fuselage.
- Remove the wing and install a blind nut
in the fuselage plywood insert.
4.0 The Tail
- Round the edges of the
Insert a 1/8" plywood spar
in the channel provided in the stabilizer and glue it in place.
Cap the elevator cutouts
with 1/16" balsa.
Sheet the elevators with
Sand the hinge face at 15
degrees and cap with 1/16" balsa.
- The elevators are driven separately by a Y control rod configuration.
The tail is done.
5.0 Attach the tail and
5.1 Horizontal Stabilizer
Dry fit the horizontal
stabilizer in place and make the dimensions Y=Y
Sight from the rear of the
model to see if the elevator is level with the wings.
When satisfied, glue it
back in place.
5.2 Vertical Stabilizer
- Slide the vertical stabilizers onto the
ends of the horizontal stabilizer.
- Use triangulation to square
the vertical stabilizer to the horizontal stabilizer. Make X=X.
- Rudder is optional and if
desired can be cut, and a HS55 servo imbedded in the fixed portion.
6.0 Install the Plastic
Use the pictures below to
locate and install the plastic.
7.0 Motor Wiring
8.0 Finishing ideas
Wowplane models can be
finished in a variety of ways. Please click here to go to the
Final Finish section.
9.0 Center of gravity
- The Center of Gravity is
located 2 3/4" back from the leading edge of the wing measured at the root
where the wing enters the fuselage.
- The model should be balanced at
this point after all the equipment and finish has been applied. This must be
the final step. Use the battery location to achieve the balance.
HAPPY LANDINGS !!