Ultra Micro Nutball Scratch Build- 13" diameter- w/ flight video!

by Take2RC | July 16, 2012 | (8) Posted in Projects

First of all, I give credit to Josh Bixler and the Flite Test Crew for getting me started in scratch builds. 

The nutball is such a simple concept and easy plane to fly that I couldn't resist building one. I have had various micro planes and their electronics are perfect for salvaging for micro scratch builds. I took out the electronics from a Gemini RC Edge 540 which actually has separate servos, esc, and receiver. The parkzone bricks will do just fine in a build like this too.


Truthfully, for such an easy build like this, you don't need specific plans, you just need simple instructions!

1) Ultra Micro Electronics- For the motor I used an 8.5 mm brushed motor that is the standard for most ultra micros. Most ultra micros come with standard micro servos and power systems, etc. so just use those.

2) Dollar Tree Foam Board- Other foamboard has heavy laminate, but the dollar tree readiboard is light and cheap. Just a buck! 

3) Cut out a circle with a diameter of 10-13 inches- My nutball has a 13 inch diameter, but i found that it is a bit under powered with the tiny brushed motor. Anything smaller than that may be too unstable, so I opted for the larger diameter. 

4) Dihedral- Find the front and back of your plane so that you can start with the dihedral, and rudder. The dihedral of a nutball is formed by those little lifts on the edges of the main circle. I measured 2 inches in from the perimeter on each side and drew a straight line through that point parallel to the center line of the aircraft. Then I cut half way through the foamboard, cracked the board back then filled both of the slices with hot glue. You want to make sure each side has the same amount of dihedral by setting the main body on an object with about a 1 inch height and then pressing the dihedral flaps down to the ground. Josh Bixler explains how to do this in his nutball build.

5) Rudder and Elevator- Draw an elevator with its leading edge perpendicular to the center line, and cut the outer edges. Cut half way through the foamboard and chamfer the edge to make a simple hinge.  You can easily free hand a sketch of a rudder and cut it out. I had to be generous with the size of my rudder because of the fact that the aircraft was underpowered. You can see the shape of my rudder in the pictures. Cut half way through and chamfer the edge to make an easy hinge. Glue the rudder parallel to the center line of the aircraft. 

6) Add control horns, servos, battery and esc in appropriate places. COG is supposed to be pretty far forward. You should try and experiment with your aircraft to find out the perfect place for the weight.

7) Motor Placement- Because my plane was a bit underpowered i had to position my motor so that the thrust ran over the top of the wing in order to pull the front over on its central axis so that it didn't just fall out of the sky. Motor placement should vary for your planes.

AND REMEMBER- Scratch builds are supposed to be unique, take advice, but put your own spin on things!

Thanks for reading. Have any questions? Either comment on the youtube video I posted or comment right down here. I will be happy to answer as many questions as I can.


madmatt on July 24, 2012
I am going to have to try this will post vid thanks for ida Matt
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XFlyer on July 25, 2012
I AGREE all scrathbuilds should be unique!
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Ultra Micro Nutball Scratch Build- 13" diameter- w...