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Hurricanes & Magnets

1/8" Diameter x 1/16" Thick Disc Neodymium Magnet (10)
Product #
Suggested Retail Price
$1.00 USD

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Ensign writes:

those in the uk should see their catolog is huge, and the rare earth magnets come in a very wide range, and they state the pull of the magnet, so you can judge which ones to get.

Revision Log
10 September 2008page first published

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Comments or corrections?

Commenting on the Litko acrylic flight stand article, Cold Steel said: some 1/8" magnets from K&J Magnetics. Glue one to the top of the peg and a 2d to the bottom of the fuselage of the a/c. You can countersink the magnet into the hull for 1/285 and larger, if you wish. This has the added advantage of securely storing the a/c on large cookie sheets. The magnet holds the a/c in place, even if you make a panic stop and the storage box falls on the floor of the car (a painful story!). Put a d6 in each corner and you can stack the cookie sheets on top of each other safely.

Well, as it so happens, I have some 1/8" magnets from K&J Magnetics on my workbench for another project, so...

Magnet on the peg

...I superglued one to the top of the flight stand peg...

Magnet on the plane

...and glued another inside the previously drilled hole in the underside of the Hurricane.

Make sure you check the polarity of the magnets, or the plane might be repelled by the flight stand! I put my magnets in a stack, marked the top magnet with a Sharpie market, took off the top magnet, marked the next magnet with the Sharpie, etc., until all the magnets had one "black side" so I could keep track of their polatity.

And when the glue dried, I brought the plane near the flight stand - and the flight stand leapt off the workbench and plugged itself into place!

Plane on flight stand
Plane on flight stand

A Word on Surfaces

One thing to point out is that the flight pegs do not have level "tops" - the ends are flat, but sloped to one side. I decided to use them as-is in order to get some variety in aircraft poses, but you might want to sand them level for best results with the magnets.

Similarly, be careful when gluing the magnet to the underside of the aircraft. I put some superglue in the hole, then dropped the magnet in place. However, it's important to follow up by poking the magnet with a stick or toothpick to make sure it lies flat - otherwise, you'll get a plane with a permanent bank, or worse, you won't be able to get good contact between the magnets.

Plane on flight stand

How Well Do the Magnets Hold?

Test #1: I wiggle the flight stand, and though the plane wobbles, it stays on top.

Test #2: I nudge the plane to see how easy it is to knock it off the stand. Fortunately, the plane has a tendency to "right itself" when knocked. A careless knock will send the plane plummeting, but not an accidental touch.

Test #3: I pick up the stand and move it across the workbench, as if I was moving the plane in a game. As long as I don't slam the stand too violently, the plane stays in place.

So it looks like the magnet system will work for planes of this size and weight, as long as you're not too klutzy...