The complete radio control model airplane FAQ.  


How do I make Carbon Fiber (CF) control rods and flying wires for my radio control model airplane?

A brief article on Carbon Fiber Pushrods by Marty Hammersmith.

This was emailed to my by Darrol Cady:

Here is the information about how to get and use the Carbon Fiber Rods. While you are building your next airplane, look for places to use them in the building process. They have more uses than pushrods.

The pushrods are carbon fiber tubes, and are 29.5" long. They are 5/32" outside diameter and are the best thing I have ever found for pushrods. They are lighter than the 1/4" square balsa I used to use. I use them in my racers as well as my giant scale airplanes. The hole in the center of the tube is a slip fit for a 4-40 threaded rod (not all-thread). I clean up the metal rod, and cut it to the length that I want it to be +1" to glue inside the pushrod. Then I sand the outside of the 1" to get a good gluing surface. I glue them in with medium cure epoxy, and just make sure that you work glue to the entire gluing surface. When it is dry, I cut a 3/8" piece of 3/16" aluminum tubing and glue the collar at the end of the carbon rod with ca to insure that the rod does not split. It cannot split if you have a perfect glued surface, but it makes sure that the rod will never split. Check your hobby shop for K&S #104 3/16 aluminum tubing.

I also stock a Carbon Pushrod that the center hole the right size for a slip fit for a 2-56 threaded rod. The outside diameter is 1/8 inch and is perfect for an application that you are satisfied with using a 2-56 clevis.

I also have a 3/16" X 36" Carbon Pushrod for those installations that require a long pushrod without a support. The 3/16 X 36" Carbon Pushrods are $5.00 each.

Now we have found a product that is even better for the flying wires. It is .060 x 29.5" solid carbon rod. A 1/16" Dubro threaded coupler and Ca or epoxy makes a perfect attachment. They are small, and extremely strong in tensile strength. I wish I had a gram scale, because a Dubro threaded coupler and a 29.5 inch piece of the rod weighed one tenth of an ounce. When you use the Dubro threaded couplers, clean the inside of the hole before you glue the rod in. Some of them still have machine oil in them and the Ca or epoxy will not bond.

All of the 29.5" rods are $4.00 each, and the postage is $6...$3 for the box, and $3 for the postman... It costs the same to ship 1 rod as it does 10 or 20. Don't worry about buying a pig in a poke or to many, because they are great. I have sold hundreds of them. If for some reason you do not like them, do not be afraid to send them back to me. I have yet to find anyone that doesn't love them.

I am a trusting soul, and until someone burns me I will continue to be. Send me your mailing address, and tell me how many you want, and I will mail them to you. When I notify you that they are in the mail, you send me a check. Easy! Huh?  Darrol Cady 

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Revised: April 18, 2006 .

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