The large model airplanes can be several feet long and occupy the space of a small car or a motorbike.
The costs of creating or buying a large model aircraft is of course much higher than the cost of buying an ordinary small model with scale 1:144 or so. It’s not an exception to pay $500 for such a model. But these airplanes are obviously so cool that they can’t be compared to a small toy. In fact they are so cool that people join associations of large model fans like this one.
Here are some examples and details of the different types of large model aircraft:
Big RC Aircraft
70% is really huge scale and rarely RC airplanes are that big. The typical scales however are 1:18, 1:20 or 1:32, and in some exceptions 1:9. For even larger models the scale is given as percentage, for example 27%. As RC airplanes need to fly you can imagine that the bigger the aircraft is, the more power it needs. Often they do not follow exact scale for the purpose of better flying with less energy.
So, while exceptionally cool, these large RC models have serious downsides:
They can be very expensive. For example this 27% scale RC aircraft costs ~$900. And you have to pay $250 on top for shipping, because it’s an oversize box.
A lot of power required – the one above uses 10 cell 6000 mAh battery to fly just above 10 minutes.
Serious security risks – if you drop such one somewhere it can break things or even hurt a person.
This does not mean to discourage you of course. If you want a big RC model, prepare the cash, get to know where you can fly it safe and go ahead!
Big Static Scale Models
These models don’t have the problems of the big RC airplanes. They don’t need to fly so no need of power and no risk to break anything. Just like the regular-sized static scale models they represent real aircraft in great details. Due to the large scale they can be even more detailed, often including the tools in the cockpit for example.
The prices of these models are lower than equally sized RC airplanes. For example planes with scale 1:18 can be bought for between $80 and $200. And because they don’t have aerodynamic requirements to meet and fit in small weight, better variety of such models is available.
Large Paper Airplanes
Of course you can simply get an existing paper airplane like the Dart and make it with a large sheet of paper. But as you can see from this video this approach has one big problem. Paper can hold its shape when the model is small, but once you use a bigger sheet the gravity forces will make your wings and shell lop. A basic solution is to use cardboard from packing boxes. It’s rather robust and will support a paper airplane – 1 m wing span or even larger. Of course before throwing such one out of your window you have to make sure it won’t hit someone.
Building Large Models Yourself
Building large scale models does not differ much from building smaller ones. You just need more materials and larger tools. In fact building will be easier because you won’t be working with very small parts. You just have to find plans for your model and then recalculate the scale for the parts.
Keep costs in mind – if you use expensive materials like balsa wood your airplane may cost quite a lot. Think about buying the wood in economy bagsor blocks