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Building a Carbon Flyer
A Carbon Flyer airframe uses carbon rods for the airframe structure, joined with silicone tubes. The airframe is then covered with Mylar film to give a very light weight glider airframe. Here, we show you the building techniques you will need to design and build your own Carbon Flyer.

1.2 grams all up flying weight.
(More info on this design HERE)

Overview
The basic airframe construction is accomplished using carbon rods and silicone tubes of various thicknesses. The silicone tubes are used to hold the ends of the carbon rods together and also to join one piece of carbon to another. The silicone tube is very flexible and at the same time soft enough to be pierced by a sharpened piece of carbon rod.

Mylar is used to cover the flight surfaces, and this is glued on with a UHU Por Expanded Polystyrene mixture. The yellow tape is 2mm Kapton electrical tape and this is used to brace the carbon to keep it in place at a set width.

Product Links
Kapton Tape UHU Por Glue Mylar Carbon Rods
   
   

Bending Carbon Rods
Carbon rods can be bent to form wings and horizontal and vertical stabilisers. See this guide to find out the minimum recommended diameter bend and breaking point of various thicknesses of carbon rod.

Carbon Bending Guide Link

   
   
Using Silicone Tube for Joints
Silicone tube can be used to join various airframe parts together. This comprehensive guide shows which thickness of silicone tube to use for each type of carbon rod as well as the range of joint types which can be achieved using this method.

Silicone Tube Joints Guide Link
   
   
Useful Techniques

Building Airframes
Airframes are constructed from carbon rods. However carbon is difficult to glue so we instead use silicone tubes to join the various pieces of carbon together. It’s best to work on a cork board or pin board when building your airframe parts. The airframe carbon parts can be pinned to the board to keep them in place as the Kapton electrical tape is put in place to hold the airframe to the required shape.


Preparing Mylar Frames
It is best to prepare a frame to hold the Mylar sheet tight while the carbon airframe parts are drying. This same frame will also assist by keeping the Mylar tight which will allow easier cutting out of the pieces. Some scrap foam or balsa can be used to make a Mylar frame.


Attaching Mylar to the Flight Surfaces.
A mixture of Shellite (similar to lighter fuel) or otherwise known as White Spirit can be used to thin out the UHU Por Expanded Polystyrene glue. This makes for easier application to the carbon and less weight. Once applied to the carbon parts they are put on the Mylar frames to dry.


Removing Airframe Parts from the Mylar Frame
The tightness of the Mylar in the frame assists in keeping the Mylar stretched tight while we cut the airframe piece out. This gives a good clean close cut around the frame.