Hobby on undeveloped country: Lockheed U2

by AeroErgo | November 7, 2014 | (11) Posted in Projects

Hi, my name is Lucas and I am trying to enjoy the hobby here in my country, ARGENTINA, it is not an easy thing nowadays, we are suffering from a lack of components because we cannot import many items, usually the servos and other electronic components that we can buy are only from someone who brings them with him when comes from abroad (or from the smugglers)
That´s why to start the hobby is very hard, mostly because you cannot spend much money.

Some items cannot be replaced easily if you are a beginner (this was the 3rd plane I made), such as the 9grs servos, TX and Rx. Other components I replaced with what I could get, like a battery from an old phone and servo extensions made of computer parts. Here is hard to find special glues for foam, so i use just hot-glue gun, horns i had two since i was a kid, i never use them. and i made other with a credit card plastic. Of course is a glider, because was hard for me find a place to buy a engine+ESC+lipo battery+charger. (all that togheter is more that half basic salary here)

With this plane i learn how really fly, was the first that use ailerons and because i learn how to fly by myself is that my learning proccess was slow, (only my 4th plane had engine). Thanks to the guys of Flite Test this was easily.

So, I used these items:

3 9grs servos

Futaba T6EXAP (FM 72Mhz) Tx

Futaba FP-R127DF Rx (Both second-hand)

Li-Ion 3,7 v battery from an old Nokia Cellphone.

Coins to add nose weight.

Usb cables and hard disks connectors to make servo extensions.

First, a recommedation: Do not use a single Li-Ion battery for a plane, this works fine with me (it was 4v full charged but i know it is below safety standards) 

This proyect started when i was drawing and i though: "why not make this bigger, i had few servos donated by my first model" (crashed).

Some Videos of the flights:


And few more flights on winter...


Here some photos of the contruction proccess:

The first drawing... as you can see I was looking for a PSS (Power Slope Soaring) shaped plane. The only problem: I don't have slopes close to my city with easy access, so finally the glider was hi-start launched.

I have a special need: This plane is 1,6 m long from wing tip to wing tip, and must be easy to transport because i don´t have a car. So the rudder and the wings are swappable.

I use 5 mm foamboard for tail and fuselage, sadly, the only foamboard i could find was quite heavy with paper on both sides.

For wings i use Depron, called here "Polyfan" and Armin Wing style, as you can see the influence of having discovered the Flite Test channel on YouTube is clear in the design.


First mistake: I used just a piece of balsa for the main spar on the wing, after many flights finally it got broken by a hi-start missfortunate take-off.


3 mm depron wings.

Piece that support the wing, into the fuselage. Made of 10mm depron.

Servo extensions made of hard disk connectors and USB cables from a old computer.

Cockpit made of a coffee cup:

Finally all the parts together.

On the firsts flights the plane had a servo rudder, but after I decided to take it out cause i used mostly ailerons and the elevator, the rudder didn´t work that well for my taste.

I made a trip to my birth town to make the test flights, is a pitty that I didn´t have the video of the maiden flight.

Anyway... i have met the tip stall for the first time:

But soon i fixed it up, checked my CRAP and i flew it again.

Here, the U2 is ready to come back home: (you can see the zip tie that fixes the rudder in position)

And once i came back to the city i use the tape to make it more visible and reinforce the structure:

City bus transported plane, believe me, is not the best way to carry the plane...

As i said before, the main spar was not hard enough, so I replaced it with a pinewood spar inside a pen tube. No carbon spars here! that´s a luxury. 

In any case, after all the challenges that someone who wants to start the hobby in a undeveloped country had, with many difficulties and hard situations to resolve I can say it is not impossible start the hobby and enjoy the RC flight!


PS: I learn my english moslty from the Flite Test videos, so thanks again Josh and Josh!!! Extra education to add to your videos and podcasts 

anyway, scuse me for the languages mistakes :)


fl_rider on November 8, 2014
Congratulations on your success!!
I forget how blessed we are here in the United States to have everything we need to build our planes. Keep up with the great work that you do.

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AeroErgo on November 9, 2014
Yes, you there are very lucky to have access to many hobby items that here are rare to find. That´s why we are so sad to see some intentional chash videos...
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Yogenh on November 8, 2014
Love it and would like to know if you are going to post the plans for it? You did great on it.

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AeroErgo on November 9, 2014
Actually, i don´t keep the plans with me, but i still have the mold papers i used to transfer the shape of the airplane, maybe i can re-build it for you if you are really interested, then scan it and upload it here. Also, sometimes i am thinking to make it again with an engine.
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Yogenh on November 9, 2014
I would love to have one but only if you want to do that. Would like to know what size engine you would put in it or do you mean electric? would like to know all about them.
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AeroErgo on November 9, 2014
Yes, it will be electric engine. 1Kg trust +/-
I will try to make the plans for you :)
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Yogenh on November 9, 2014
that will be great I know that a lot of others would like them too
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canuck on November 8, 2014
Amazing what you've done with the resources you have at hand. You've done a very credible job and should feel proud of this project.

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AeroErgo on November 9, 2014
Thanks Canuck, is not the best plane i made, but is the plane who teach me how to flight :) There is more on my YouTube Channel, (Lucas Ergo)
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Sidlaw Soarer on November 14, 2014
Hi Lucas
Your model looks great and I am sure it would go really well as a slope soarer. Well done :-)
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AeroErgo on November 14, 2014
Thanks :), that was the original idea, the only problem: i don`t find any nice slope close to my city yet, hehe. I will try to make another one, with all the improvements that i learn on this months.
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AeroErgo on November 14, 2014
OH my ... i put ON instead of IN en the title.... i am so shame abou my english skills...
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Leslie Newhouse on November 22, 2014
No problem. You communicate well. Good plane. Good build.
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AeroErgo on November 25, 2014
thanks, my english comes from the FliteTest videos mostly, lol.
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Yogenh on November 28, 2014
And you do it very well

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pekote on November 14, 2014
Hola Lucas!!

Well done!

Really like the design you developed for the swappable wings and rudder.

In case you need a really hard stick I can recommend you a "tent sticks". You can buy it in Camping shops. They are really resistant, built with fiber glass. In fact I built a plane called "Tent Stick" jajajaj.

I'm Argentinian too. I have a few articles here... I also started like you with flitest and RCG about 2 years ago. I produced a lot of foamis during my career jjajaj and I also have a lot of videos.

I share with you the lack of resources from our country, this is what I used to call "una mierda" but anyway... keep posting your advances.


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AeroErgo on November 14, 2014
Thanks, i try to find your articles but i couldn´t.... any link?
Btw, what do you think about "Flite Test Argentina" ?

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pekote on November 14, 2014
Flite Test Argentina is really nice, but there is not too much scratch build material as I'd like to have.
Here you have->
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AeroErgo on November 18, 2014
Yep, i think the guys try to do something similar to Flite Test but don´t catch "the spirit" of it. Its a pitty.
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science for fun on November 23, 2014
You are at least lucky to have foam board I am building using cardboard and it is really difficult.
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AeroErgo on November 25, 2014
Ohh that´s more difficult indeed. When i start i used the foamboard that comes like packaging material and at least it fly. Luck with that material. What about balsa?
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SnapPunchRobert on November 26, 2014
Looks great there bud. Hope you had a great time building it. Seems nice up there in the sky. Peace man.
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AeroErgo on November 27, 2014
yeah, is the best of this plane: how it looks in the air. I hope one day i will be able to flying in a slope maybe the best enviroment for this model.
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amcknight31 on March 24, 2016
Nice build! The U2 is a great plane to fly.
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AeroErgo on November 16, 2016
Yeah, it was.... sadly after a year with no flights i launched with the high-start ..... but i forget to turn it ON ... :( very bad crash, now is history.
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Dannyboy7101 on October 19, 2021
Reading this 7 years later and wow what an inspiration
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AeroErgo on October 19, 2021
I still glad to hear that ;) . I can´t believe already pass 7 years since this plane. You can check my humble YT Channel, there are few more videos of this an another planes i made.
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Hobby on undeveloped country: Lockheed U2