TurboCAD for Model Airplane Plans

Detail of Electro Aviator nose section drawn with TurboCAD

Detail of Electro Aviator nose section drawn with TurboCAD

TurboCAD is an amazing computer aided design (CAD) program, ideal for anyone to prepare a set of model airplane plans. TurboCAD was first developed in the late 1980s and has evolved and grown in capabilities since.  TurboCAD remains an affordable and capable CAD program and is ideal for a wide range of drafting activities.

Fokker Spin RC plane

Final version of the 1911 Fokker Spin

I tried several computer drafting and illustration programs since my introduction to CAD in 1998. I discovered TurboCAD in 2004 and have not looked back. My five most recent model aircraft plans were prepared with TurboCAD. Once you understand how TurboCAD “thinks” you can quickly grasp and employ the design and drafting concepts built into the program.

Click box below to purchase a copy of TurboCAD Deluxe for just $129.99.  This is an incredible value – includes both 2D and 3D drawing tools.

TurboCAD Deluxe 20

In this section of the website I’ll describe various tips and techniques with TurboCAD that you can use for your modeling projects. Preparing a set of plans is an obvious task.

But other CAD uses pop up. For example, it is easy to import an aircraft picture or three view into TurboCAD. You can size the image for whatever type of model you wish to create. On a new “layer” you can use the TurboCAD line tool to trace over the image. Once this is done, you have the correct CAD outline for your next modeling project.

I am in the habit now of using this “CAD sketch” to build my prototypes. I fill in the rough basic structural items such as wing ribs and fuselage cross struts to the outline. I I then build the prototype directly on the full size sketch. As I test fly the prototype, changes are easily incorporated into the final version of the model’s plan.

I followed this design path with the Fokker Spin and it worked out fine. This is just one example of how when you learn a program such as TurboCAD you can adapt it to other projects and uses.

Fokker Spin CAD plans

1911 Fokker Spin plans drawn with TurboCAD

Purchase TurboCAD training CDs at Store tab

Purchase TurboCAD training CDs at Store tab

Perhaps the biggest initial challenge to the aspiring TurboCAD user is in understanding how a CAD program works. CAD programs have unique features and capabilities that are not well understood from using other illustration programs.

The good news is that TurboCAD is well organized with an intuitive user interface. To save time with learning this exciting new drawing capability, consider purchasing my video tutorials on how to use TurboCAD.

The two CDs cover two hours and 50 minutes of narrated instruction. You can follow along as I go from a clean sheet of paper to a finished model aircraft plan. You will save hours of manual study with the use of these CDs. See below for a sample lesson!