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What makes up an RC?

Airplane

Top view of an airplane

Fuselage

This is the aircraft equivalent of a car's body plus the skeleton of the chassis. Generally centrally-mounted, it includes everything from the nose to the tip of the tail boom. On most single-engine prop-powered aircraft, the engine is attached directly to one end of the fuselage. With jets, the engine is integrated into the core of the fuselage.

Wing(s)

Birds have 'em. Bees have 'em. Planes have 'em. Wings are the wide, thin surfaces that enable most flying things to fly. In high school you may have learned about Bernoulli's Principle which has long been used to explain the lifting force that wings create as they pass through the air. It says that the curved upper surface of a wing makes air travel faster as it passes over it, creating a low pressure zone that pulls the wing, and thus the entire, plane, straight up. This would be all well & good if really did explain flight. The problem comes when you try to explain how many planes can fly upside down indefinitely. Aerobatic planes have wings that are equally curved on the top and bottom. There are ultralight craft that look like powered hang gliders, using two sheets of cloth stretched between spars with a bit of slack to make a wing. Suffice to say, there's more to wings than Bernoulli can explain. You can read more on the subject here and elsewhere on the Web.

Continued: Control Surfaces >