Design + Full Build of a Balsa Wood RC Wing

There is a quality to balsa wood that foam model airplanes won’t achieve, the structures inside a wing, the technique used, the look in general… I will never stop fascinating me. This time I’ll build a small RC wing under 250g to fly legally almost anywhere you want.

What are you getting yourself into?

This design is not been tested properly yet and is not recommended for beginners, in fact, if you want to cooperate in the improvement of this design, you’ll be able to download all the files if you want to give it a go. But as you would see it flies, but is not as stable as it should be.

About the design

The wings of this design were made with a software called Wing helper (v1.5.0) to test its capabilities, once the design was ready it was then exported as a .DXF drawing to Nanocad (a free CAD software like AutoCad) and finished the details, then rearranged the parts to be cut with my new laser cutter machine, more details of that machine here. The software (Winghelper) is still under development, but it was a great help to design the wing really fast and accurate. The middle section of the wing that we can call “the fuselage” was the only part that was made afterward, since the software only deals with wings for now. Finally, the winglets were drawn directly in NanoCad.

Wing Helper has other interesting features that allow you to export a 3D files (that need to be converted with another software to .obj) so you can use them for 3D designs or renders, it’s really interesting what you can do with it.

Cutting the Wood

It’s great to have a machine to cut it for me, laser cutting and engraving technology is the best for precise and fast cutting, I’m using a laser cutter from the brand NEJE, which turned out really good (powerful, fast and precise). Small form factor and even portable. To send the file to it I’m using another software called Lightburn which takes the DXF files directly to be cut.

Download the design
Technical information
joywing balsa zagi balsa wood
  • 723mm
  • 280mm
  • 235 with battery
  • Balsa Wood
  • Medium-High
Components used in the wing
The project's video
  • Reply ynqjwfb

    January 25, 2022, 2:32 pm

    I am intersting fly wing diy

    • Reply Eric Johnson

      February 19, 2022, 10:48 pm

      The flying wing design has a blunt airfoil in the center section, and relatively sharp leading edge at the wingtips. This results in wing tip stall, before the center section of the wing loses lift. That makes the model unstable and difficult to control. To improve stability at high angle of attack, the center section airfoil shape should have a relatively sharp leading edge, and the wing tip section airfoil shape should have a blunt, rounded leading edge.

  • Reply Lawrence Shan

    April 17, 2022, 4:32 am

    With some modifications to my JOYWING.

    No problem at maiden flight.

  • Reply Alain

    May 16, 2022, 8:04 pm

    Hello, thank you so much for your inspiring videos on flying wings. I have nearly finished the building based on your Joywing 1.1 design (with a few modifications), and the first flight will be soon. I am interested in flying wings design for a while, and had some more or less sucessfull projects.
    A great improvement for me was about CG (hat is so sensitive for flying wings) when I began to use an Excell calculation sheet that always give me a very precise starting CG that helps a lot in the wing tuning. The tool is PredimRC and is developped by a french guy, but I found an english version here :
    I use the tool when I design a new wing to choose the position of the equipment to get the right CG for the very first flight.
    Another interesting item for me is the use of Spektrum receiver with fully programable gyro SAFE function (or equivalent but the goal here is not to compensate wind but compensate a badly trimed new model), because it enables to have a very smooth first flight, and then disable the gyro when the wing is at a high altitude to trim it, even alternating with and witout stabilization until trims are perfect. For my flying level it help a lot for very new models that are not yet well tuned.
    Thank you again for the videos and the inspiring projects, good build, and good flights.

  • Reply Lawrence Shan

    June 21, 2022, 11:30 am

    JOYWING even cancel the vertical fin still flight stable.

  • Reply Scott

    January 31, 2023, 11:40 pm

    Love the website and the content! Keep it up!

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