YF – 23 Black Widow II Model Aircraft USB Flash Drive

Written by: roboguru

Picture of YF - 23 Black Widow II Model Aircraft USB Flash Drive

I had two of the same boring model aeroplanes and, while I don't usually cut up any models, I have better ones to take up the space of this pointless one on the shelf. The aircraft has played no significant role in history and is not a very good looking one. The cockpit, however, looks Hi-tech enough to be reused. I thought it was time for me to make something a little more practical, so this is what I did . . .

Step 1: Cut away what will not be used

Picture of Cut away what will not be used

Mark where the model will be cut, then start to make small grooves with a file or blade along this line so that whatever you cut it with doesn't slip and cut something which should not be cut. Always cut off a little more than is needed so that it can be more neatly trimmed/filed at a later point.

Step 2: Make space for the USB inside the fuselage

Picture of Make space for the USB inside the fuselage

There isn't enough space for a USB to be glued is as is, so adjustments will have to be made. For this step, I use a soldering iron, a hand-operated grinding wheel (with an angle grinder disk attatched for finer detail on small objects) and a small blade (like a scalpel) to push and cut away plastic from the sides for the circuit board to fit inside. I also grind the circuit board edges away a little for an easier fit.(I DO NOT RECOMMEND GRINDING AWAY FROM A USB UNTIL IT FITS, I only ground about 1 mm off and wouldn't dare go further because the USB may be rendered useless.) 

Step 3: Fibre-Optics and gluing USB inside

Picture of Fibre-Optics and gluing USB inside

To make it look better, I cut about 2cm off of some plastic fibre optic strands from a small torch-like decorative LED. I then glue them in from the point where the USB's LED will be located and the cockpit ( I cut some holes in the cockpit floor so that more light will be let through into the cockpit. (In the previous step you may have seen the plastic strands glued together and to the cockpit floor. Sorry, I didn't take any pictures of the gluing in of the USB because I used quick-drying super glue and everything must be done quickly.) Before the USB is glued in, make sure you have something to block off the back of the cockpit with. Here I use foam-rubber with a rectangle cut out of the centre for the USB plug to be housed in.

Step 4: DONE!

Picture of DONE!

This is a 4GB USB with a 2.0 connection. Additional features are the cockpit lighting up in blue when plugged in and the nosewheel can be pulled out or retracted. Also attatched are pictures of the "leftovers" from the model.