The Jayhawk RC Rocket glider kit is modeled after the Mach 4+ AQM-37 Jayhawk target drone. It features a clipped delta wing, and swept wingtips. It has a light wing loading giving it a very nice glide and easy/stable boost. It comes with a plastic nose cone, 2.6″ white tubing for the body and depron wing and tail surfaces. Construction is very simple and takes about an hour and a half. The only hard part on this model is cutting the slot for the wing after you assemble the body tubes, however the slot locations are pre-marked for you. You will need two 10 gram type servos, two 12″-18″ servo extensions, a receiver, and a small 500mah single cell lipo battery. You will need a transmitter with delta or elevon mixing.
CG location for rocket flight: 13.5″ forward of the rear end of the body tube.
Welcome to the world of rocket boosted radio control gliders. This is not a model for a novice RC pilot, but anyone who is comfortable with RC flying of a medium speed model should be fine. Read through the instructions, look at the photos and be sure you understand the step before commiting to cutting or glue.
Jayhawk Rocket glider instructions
Identify all pieces, the kit should contain:
1 wing taped together
1 Nose Cone
1 wing spar(carbon fiber)
1 Laminated Foam Conduit/Keel
2 control horns
2 Centering rings
2 Body Tubes
Velcro(for battery and rx/bec attachment)
2 Rail buttons with t nuts/screws or 1 Launch lug
2 landing skids
3M blenderm tape
Notes before starting:
Reference to CA+ means foam safe CA+, normal CA+ will melt the foam! Normally you need to use accelerator to get the CA to set on the foam since there is nothing for it to soak into and activate.
You may use 220-320 grit sandpaper and a sanding block to slightly round the edges of the foam if you prefer that look. It will not markedly impact the flight performance either way. Be very careful and use a light touch, it is very easy to catch the foam on the edge of the paper and tear the foam. Do any sanding before assembly.
Epoxy is not needed in this model. Weight is critical and the model is designed for the thrust and flight loads. Weight in the rear end is bad and will require additional weight in the front of the model.
- Body Tubes. One tube will have a coupler glued in place, that is the rear tube. Glue the front tube onto the coupler, make sure the small arrow marks are aligned on the two tubes, that will ensure the wing slot mark and rail button marks are properly aligned. Use CA+ sparingly, as you will need to cut through the coupler to cut the wing slot.
- Glue the two centering rings on the motor mount. The mount is marked for the two rings, and the rings have a notch cut to clear the motor hook. Note the front of the motor mount has the ring closest to the end.
- Cut the slot for the wing. I used a piece of angle aluminum to do this as it won’t slip while I’m cutting. Take your time and be careful. Make sure to look at the thickness of the wing and cut the slot to just fit the wing thickness, the foam thickness can vary slightly so double check the pre-marked lines before you cut.
- Unfold the wing and glue the joint using CA+ and accelerator, make sure it is flat
Glue the wing spar in the pre-slotted area on the bottom of the wing with CA+ and then tape over with the included blenderm tape.
- Test fit the wing in the slot, if it is snug, sand or trim as you don’t want it to drag/damage the wing as you are inserting it.
- Make sure the wing is centered and glue in place with foam safe CA+. The wing slot is marked slightly longer than the wing, this is to allow sufficient room to slide the wing and and rotate it in place. You can slide the wing forward so that the front of the wing is flush with the end of the slot and any small gap at the rear won’t be super obvious. You can use a small amount of the spare foam to fill this gap if desired.
- Insert a pushrod into each control horn, make a left and a right, use the outermost hole.
- Glue the control horns in place on the bottom of the surface, the holes face forward and the pushrod should be closest to the body tube.
- Put some CA on the top of the control surface where the horn prongs stick through, this locks it in place.
- Glue the motor mount into the rear of the model, the motor mount will butt against the wing inside the tube. You don’t need a lot of glue here, just enough to keep it from falling out, the wing will keep it from moving forward.
- Glue the keel onto the bottom of the body tube using the alignment line as a guide. The rear of the keel(the flat end) is flush with the rear of the body tube.
- Make a vertical hole 3″ from each end of the keel to fit the plastic rail button plug. Make sure they are straight. Add CA+ to each plug and insert/glue them into the keel. Use the screw, plastic collar and washer to mount into the plastic plug to create the rail button. If you are using a launch lug mount the lug centered on the CG location nestled in the joint between the body tube and keel. This will prevent any interference with servos or wiring.
- Mount a skid in front of each rail button or 3″ from each end of the keel if using a launch lug. The skid makes sure there is enough ground clearance for the wing tips. Make sure they are centered and aligned with the rail buttons. Glue in place with CA+. The skids should fit into the slot in the rail and not drag, and should contact the ground before the rail button to protect them on landing.
- Glue the two wing tips to the wing using the tabs/slots. The shorter portion points down to have clearance on landing. Make sure they are perpendicular to the wing.
The basic construction is now complete.
Note: Your radio needs to be configured for Delta mixing, this means that the servo arms will move the same direction during elevator stick movement and opposite for aileron stick movement. Connect your servos to the receiver one in the aileron connection and one on the elevator connection and apply power. Use a servo arm at least 9/16” long and with holes small enough that there won’t be slop with the pushrod wire when installed. I use the hole furthest out on the servo arm, to maximize movement. On some servos there are a long two-ended servo arm, you can trim off one end if needed to get sufficient length. Zero out any trim settings on the transmitter. The model once the motor has burned out is nose heavy and flying wings lose pitch authority when nose heavy so you want as much up elevator travel for trim/flare as possible.
- Connect a servo to each pushrod. If the pushrod is too tight, you can use twist an exacto knife in the servo arm hole to make it larger, but be careful and do not make it too large. Once connected, tape each servo in place so that the control surfaces are centered. Flip the model right side up and look at it from the rear. Moving the transmitter stick back(up elevator) should move both elevons up. Moving the transmitter stick to the right should move the right elevon up and the left elevon down. If you can’t get the servo reversing to give you the right polarity try swapping aileron/elevator inputs to the receiver or turning the servos over and swapping the servo arms to the other side of the output shaft. If that is correct, continue.
- Flip the model upside down and supported. The servos may be attached to the model using double back servo mounting tape(not included) or by directly gluing the servo to the wing with CA+ or a small amount of epoxy. Double back servo tape can loosen over time and with exposure to heat, I prefer to glue the servo in place. With the radio still on, put a small amount of glue on the servo, being careful not to get any near the output shaft. And set it in place on the model keeping the control surface centered. Do the same to the other side. Make sure the glue is set before continuing. The servo and pushrod should be at 90 degrees to the hinge line so that it moves easily and fully.
- Flip the model back right side up. Make sure the control surfaces are centered, use trims if needed. Now measure the control surface movement. Full elevator movement should be 1” in each direction, aileron movement should be 1/2″ in either direction. Since the model will be nose heavy, extra elevon movement helps to give sufficient authority during glide.
- If you have a flap/elevator mix you can program up elevator to a switch setting. The model needs approximately 3/16″ to1/4” of up elevon during glide. If you can’t set the up elevator trim to a switch on your radio you’ll have to manually put in boost and glide trim which is hard to do while flying the model.
- Attach a 12-18″ servo extension to each servo.You just need to be able to route the wire to the front of the tube to attach it to the receiver.
- Make a 1/8″ wide by 1/2″ long slot in the bottom of the wing/fuselage on each side and pass the wires through to the inside and toward the front. On my model I just made a U shaped cut, folded the cardboard forward, inserted the wire then folded the cardboard back over the slot/wire. I then taped over that with blenderm tape to avoid having a large open slot. See photo for more clarity. You can also just cut the slot out completely and cover it over with tape after inserting the wire.
- Attach the servo wires to the receiver and make sure they are going the right direction. Tape down the servo wires to the wing and tape over the slot in the body tube.
- Use the included Velcro to attach the receiver 2″ from the front of the body tube(or enough to allow the wires to clear the shoulder of the nose cone). This allows you to be able to remove and replace the receiver if needed for repairs or for removing the servo wires. I attached the battery inside nose cone on the shoulder.
- Insert your heaviest loaded rocket motor into the motor mount
- Support the model at the balance point indicated for boost. I use two pencils with the eraser pointed up and held in place with a small hand vice. Place the model upside down on the pencil erasers on the balance point indicated in the kit spec sheet. Use the included lead weight to balance it. Do not try to fly the model with it balancing it behind this point. The adage is, a nose heavy model flies poorly, a tail heavy model flies once
- If you paint the model, make sure you test it on scrap foam first.
- If you are going to paint the model, you can mask off the servos. Make sure no paint will get on the servo output arm. I only use Model Master(testors) or testors enamel small rattle cans for painting directly on the foam and cannot recommend any others as you may melt the foam. Do not spray too close or too thick as the solvents can damage the foam, spray in light coats.
- I used flat black and flat red testors rattle can paint. I then used decals from Stickershock23 to finish it. With the vinyl from stickershock23 it helps once applied to use a hair dryer on hot to soften the material and then push it down onto the model with a towel. It helps it confirm and stick much better, especially on painted surfaces.
- Use a silver sharpie to add panel lines if desired
- Re-install the receiver and battery
Flying: See the Instruction/Information link at the top for flying instructions. Be ready on the first few flights to keep the model straight till you have the trims set perfectly for boost and glide.