1/8th inch wheel collars


These will help with mounting things on small stepper motor shafts.

I will eventually make stuff like this or buy it local. Actually I got it at a better price than local. Even with the high shipping cost (the provider sent it in a box when they could have sent it in an envelope.

Nikon P7000 working out

I was doing some Squirrel model planes yesterday. In the past it has been very difficult to get pictures of these sorts of events.

The new camera has proven to be very much better. It’s faster, works better in low light and has better battery capacity.

Model airplane experiments

I made 30 model planes out of foam.

This is the stuff of egg cartons and meat packaging.

Pound for pound, this stuff is as strong as steel. Well that is after being combined with balsa.

Stand by for a report of how this went. 🙂

Interlocking parts on model plane


Yesterday I made up some Squirrel kits with interlocking parts.

I bagged up some prototypes so I could bring them along with my meetings for the day.

I was able to find a taker to make one of the prototypes at Buster’s Pub where I had one of my meetings booked.

The build took place during my meeting and I kept an eye on it to see what I could learn.

Ian was able to get a plan running fairly quickly.

The Squirrel design is usually built right on the tissue (BOT — Build on Tissue). This method is only shared by one other model plane design (AMA Cub) which is the major competitor of the Squirrel.

With the interlocking parts the BOT technique may not be the right choice. When you put the parts down for the wing, they stick to the tissue using glue stick. You can’t easily reposition them to make sure the interlocking parts mesh.

Ian mentioned that he didn’t like using the glue stick. He prefers to use the craft glue for the whole process.

The Inventor

Documentary by Abby Vara and friends. This was a lot of fun to shoot. Met lots of new friends. We’ll be doing a Squirrel building party this summer for sure!

Motor Challenge


Here’s a challenge.

Rubber power airplanes us a special elastic band. The stuff at the business store is only 50-60 percent rubber.

It works well and isn’t too expensive.

Does anybody have any ideas for an alternative?

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).