More Capactitors


These capacitors are for experiments with model airplane propulsion.

I’m not convinced its simpler than a rubber band but it might be educational.

I am betting pager motors are the answer but then I can imagine I need to come up with a gear box and propeller.

What is this rubber?


I received this rubber in the mail from a person who’s interested in the Squirrel model plane project. They say they don’t know where it’s from.

What is it?

Any ideas?

Is it from the textiles industry?

Circle Plane (Origami airplane)

As many of you may know the Squirrel model airplane project has been a great success but it’s still a model airplane which requires some skill. It has made model planes accessible to an even wider audience than with traditional model planes.

I am working on a project to start children even earlier with simple aviation.

Meet Circle Plane! I’ve been making this as long as I can remember and recently I am refining it for younger children.

Here is a glimpse of V1. You can download it at Circle Plane.

As you can see it’s a printable design. There is the Outer Message, Inner message and Secret message area. The planes can be pre-printed, printed for colouring/marking or printed as blanks for children to be creative (children as old as decades).

They are great flyers and I will be publishing some video on how to make the three folds (numbered 1-3 in the printed version). If I have not made a video by Wednesday, then I will attempt t make on at Ottawa Modlab this Wednesday.

Here’s a “beginner flying session” at the office today (Dec 20).

Squirrel Model Airplane

I do a lot of volunteer work at community centers and such. I do workshops to teach people how to make simple rubber-power model airplanes. The issue was that the designs that fly well were all complicated to build.

I would prefabricate some of the parts so that the children would not have to carry out the more complicated or dangerous steps.

One day when I was preparing a workshop for a bunch of children at Jack Purcell Community center (I was in a rush because my ballroom partner Susan was picking me up soon), I cut myself.

It was a nasty cut and I should have gone to emergency. I didn’t want to miss my ballroom so I did that instead. The next day I was able to carry out my workshop but it was obviously quite difficult with a huge dressing on one of my fingers.

I decided to re-invent the simple model plane. After a couple of months (or a month) of contemplating, I finally sat down to finish the design. I started with a list of all the current issues (I had a lot of experience with the various models). For each issue I made another list of candidate solutions. I spent about 80h doing prototypes over the holiday season of 2004-2005. It was fun. I made prototypes with friends, at parties and at home.

I eventually settled on the design that is now known everywhere as the Squirrel. It’s a great flyer and is very easy to make.

If you want to make one, here is a video of how easy it is:

If you want to build one, you should try the video series at The 6m build is to show off and it’s not the best way of building for a beginner.

You can get a kit at

Here are a few flights:

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