DIY Landing Gear

by FliteTest | October 23, 2012 | (47 Ratings) Posted in How To

Here's an easy way to add landing gear to almost any RC airplane! Josh and Josh share one of many ways you can add landing gear as well as how to make your own wheels!



Our landing gear design is going to go on our FPV Bixler and will be an internal/external landing gear design. This is the same deisgn used on our swappable scratch built series.

 



These measurements may vary slightly depending on the airplane you're attaching yours to.

Start with 2mm Piano wire, cut the length to 40 centimeters and bend it in half at 20 centimeters.

 



The center bend we just made needs to be measured to the width of the fuselage, in our case it's 8 centimeters. The grid cutting board is very helpful for projects like this!

Continue to bend the wire and flare out the 8 centimeter ends while keeping the center bend at a 90 degree. Next we'll bend the flanges for our wheels. 



 



We secured a popsicle stick through the foam fuselage and another short piece inside of the fuselage to secure the zip tie from pulling through the foam.



Position your wire and zip tie the center bend to the middle and zip tie it. A good tool to have on hand is a pair of hemostats, these are long plier/scissor like tool that will help fishing zip ties and placing internal support inside your fuselage.



Then, zip tie the wire to the outside of the popsicle sticks. 
Next, you'll need some wheels!
 


We made our wheels from slices of foam 'pool noodles' and caps from some old water bottles!



These are some of the easiest and cheapest wheels we've come up with yet, and we could probably make 20 more sets from the rest of the foam! 


 



Hot glue the caps into the foam but be sure to let the glue cool for a moment before inserting, otherwise you'll melt your foam.

When drilling the holes in the caps, don't drill all the way through! You'll want to drill each side of the caps to be sure that the hole is center on each side.

 



To secure the wheels on the wire, you can use wheel collars. If you don't have any wheel collars available you can simply use zip ties on the wire and secure it with hot glue.




This is one of many ways to get some landing gear on your FPV Bixler or any other RC plane!




More information about the Bixler here: Hobbyking Bixler EPO 1400mm (KIT)







COMMENTS

tramsgar on October 27, 2012
Great metric effort guys! You kept clean until 6:01 =). Fun to see that the more excited Bixler got the more Scott was aching to get back to the studio instead.
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Deke7005 on November 4, 2012
Check out this variation using pop cans and foam backer rod

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9Aat8EAW3Y&feature=watch_response
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Hasersys on October 23, 2012
AWESOME! I have actually been doing this same thing for a while now. The only difference is that I use the bigger gatorade bottle caps. I hot glue two of them together. I just use a bead of hot glue instead of a zip tie to hold the wheels on. I was going to wright an article on it but I can't seem to post pictures. I have yet to put a swimy noodle over them the way you guys have.I may have to upgrade my caps on my cub now thanks! Great minds think alike.
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Pauloar on October 24, 2012
Really Nice Guys!!!!
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House Of Noob on October 24, 2012
Landing gear has always been my bane. I like the style: simple, easy, inexpensive. I've also seen some videos of people making a more traditional "box" sandwiched between old credit cards.

Hmmm. You know, the swappable could use one. Think I'll hit the garage this weekend with that in mind.
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Benn Gunn on October 23, 2012
cool as always guys thanks.......
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Rcplaneguy on October 23, 2012
Is there a thread or article on cutting the bixlers nose off? If so can somebody link me to it?
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azgar on October 24, 2012
My son just put a piece of plywood onto Bixler's belly with a double-sided tape (great stuff, BTW) and hotglued a bicycle spoke onto it. Just flat.
And a pair of HK foam wheels came onto it.
Not so clean aerodynamical wise, bud simple and works fine.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MHlHtdiUNu8/UIeUrSAKzII/AAAAAAAABf4/tUuWYI_bTfk/s800/IMG_8697c.jpg
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richardh on October 23, 2012
Strait forward and simple nice tip!
I would rond off the wheels a bit to make e'm more wheel like.
Glue the temporarily to a small jigg wich wil fit in your dremel or similar tool .
Works perfect for my depron wheels!
thumbs up and keep up the good work ;)
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flitetest_argentina on October 23, 2012
good tip, I will male one of these
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Varmit57 on February 26, 2013
Very nice Job. I like the idea and will be using on some upcoming projects! Can't believe I missed this article when it can out.
Just my 2 cents on something Bixler said. He stated that you don’t want any Toe-in or Toe-out but I always put in a bit if Toe-in in my landing gear. It makes the leading wheel drag a bit so it helps taxi straight kind of like dihedral helps a plane fly level.

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43marcus on May 7, 2013
hemostat not hemeostat
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Hell2Go on November 11, 2013
I made the same kind of wheels but I used beer bottle caps as they are lighter and I can make narrower wheels. I put the pair of wheels on a straight wire and use my belt sander to round the corners and make the tire concentric, then paint it with a sharpe.

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lionheart5898 on January 25, 2016
if you have a hobby store near by they should have them they are piano wire.
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rynomum on October 22, 2014
where do you all get your wire for landing gear and push rods?
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Shakeyjake on August 19, 2017
Bicycle or motorcycle spokes depending on
plane size.
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