THE EVO RC LAUNCH RAMP
Build by Evo RC
I’ve build a few wooden launch ramps in the past, mostly for smaller scale buggies and offroaders. That wasn’t that difficult but building a ramp for 5 scale RCs is no easy task.
Starting off, I set some requirements:
(1) The ramp has to be large enough to be able to hit it with ease. For 5 scale that should be around 4 feet wide.
(2) The final angle should be a maximum of 45 degrees The ramp has to be adjustable so that angle can be reduced.
(3) The ramp has to start at a low angle of incline and the angle is increased exponentially. That gradual incline is quite important. It reduces the impact on the RC’s suspensions as well as on the surface of the ramp.
(4) When calculated, the ramp has to be 8 feet long.
(5) Ramp construction has to be tough enough to handle a 5 scale RC weighing around 16kg and hitting the ramp at around 30kmph.
(6) The ramp has to be easy to carry, foldable and light.
As you can imagine, this was not easy so I got in touch with a friend of mine who knows about metal fabrication and sent him a few requirements and pictures.
For the ramp to be strong enough it just has to be made of a metal frame. But metal is heavy, so we used hollow sections. Welded the frame together and bent it into shape. For the ramp to be light and easy to carry we decided to split the ramp and have two ramps of 2 feet wide instead of one 4 feet wide ramp. The two ramps would be joined together on location with 2 bolts. This halves the total weight.
We cleaned the frame with thinner and applied black Hammerite paint. Hammerite is a tough paint and protects the metal from corrosion and rust.
The ramp folds into itself and the supporting link has different anchor points to set the ramp at different angles.
The surface was primarily covered with a 1mm fibre board and coated with a sticky plastic layer for reinforcement. After a couple of hard hits the board started giving in and it seemed clear that we needed a stronger material.
The next logical option was a reinforced aluminium 1mm sheet. This added some extra weight but it wouldn’t have worked any other way.
To improve portability, we fixed wheels to the ends of the ramps so that when the ramps are folded in you can carry them like a luggage. Hence the weight all goes on the wheels and you just pull along.
The ramps have worked well so far and are a blast every time we set them up. It’s just too tempting not to try it out. In the future I’d like to try out constructing another ramp with the exact same design but on a smaller scale.