Complete Guide to Building Your First RC Foamboard Plane

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The third video I have of the plane flying was a very old video I took with my really bad camera. As soon as my new camera comes in the mail I will make a better video of the plane fly. Also the complete video instructions will be out in within another month or so! So stay subscribed!

Now I'm sure the main question you have right now is why would I make your plane over somebody else's? Well let me explain why I feel my plane is the right one for you, a beginner.

"When I began to get land sick and wanted to get up in the air I was all pumped and excited about RC flying! So I saved up about 100 bucks and I went to my local hobby store but was sadly disappointed when I noticed that all the decent sized planes were $200+. So I spent some time researching RC planes, and decided to make one myself. But what material should I use? I need something easily available and pretty cheap. After seeing guys like Experiment Airlines and Flight Test I decided upon using foamboard. It cost a dollar a sheet and was at my local Dollar Tree. I had my material, and they suggested using to purchase products from. Although HK is cheaper quality stuff I knew that spending 10$ on a battery was definitely better then spending 60$ for a name brand battery at a hobby store. So far all my of my HK parts have been working fine, especially the motors! I've had this same motor for a year now, and I've crashed it so many times and that thing just keeps on working!"

Finding material and electronics for a plane is just half the story. You need to have a design! After browsing on Experimental Airline's page I absolutely loved his Armin Wing and his tape-covering technique. But I wasn't to happy with the method he used for making his fuselages. So I looked over at Flight Test, and I really liked their foam-folding technique, so I decided it was time to mix and match and to design my own plane. Combining techniques from FT and EA, as well as using my own head, I made my own foamboard RC plane.

Here is a list of the many advantages of my particular plane.

  • Step-by-step instructions with video (coming soon!)
  • Very inexpensive
  • Easy to build
  • Not very time-consuming
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Easy to repair
  • Simple design
  • Fully modifiable
  • Fairly large
  • Easy flying for beginners
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I'm not sure if I missed it but could you please tell me the size of the propellers???
FoamboardRC (author)  Matthew___S2 days ago
Sorry if you click on the link in the ingredients it will take you to 9x5 propellers. I will fix that.
SteveT14 days ago

Great presentation. Where do you buy music wire? BTW you list it as .47 in, I believe you mean .047 in



FoamboardRC (author)  SteveT13 days ago

Haha yes that's what I mean!

Um I dunno a hobby store? I've had so much trouble trying to order it online. Maybe off a RC website.

TabithaM4 days ago

Impresionante!!! Eres muy talentosa!

Hm,m... nice...

I have a question, do you have any CAD drawing ? please :)

FoamboardRC (author)  safiullahtariq17 days ago
Nope, don't have one, and know how to make one.

I can help in making a CAD drawing... would you like to do so ?

tomgarty22 days ago

i hope i woould manege to bild it!!

tigerbomb823 days ago

For the price the 9x would be a better radio.. Especially after flashing the firmware to er9x..

coryativ27 days ago
Hello! Thanks for this instructable, so far I have the fuselage built as well as the elevator and vertical stabilizer. I'm really excited about getting into this hobby, so thanks again.

One thing, on 'pic 2a', aka Exhibit 1, the 4" and 6" measurements end on the wrong red line. I followed those instead of following your written explanation and had to erase all my lines and start over.

Other than that the whole instructable is written very well. Thanks again.
FoamboardRC (author)  coryativ24 days ago

OMGosh it took me a while to get this but now I see! Thanks! I'm very sorry about that. I get on that right now. I will have a full video up hopefully by the end of the month!

FoamboardRC (author)  FoamboardRC24 days ago

I'm so glad to know that somebody is actually making this! Let me know how it goes and send me a pic when you are done and if you have anymore questions please PM me or comment below!

FoamboardRC (author)  FoamboardRC24 days ago

Okaydokey that's all fixed up!

Good design ... but there is not flying video ?

FoamboardRC (author)  laith mohamed24 days ago

Sorry! I am trying to it's just I have 2 jobs and my brother works full time, so it's hard to find time to record!

I loved your 'ible! I'm actually planning to build 3-5 of these for my family to all get into the hobby. (I've been flying rc helicopters for years) In your BOM you listed wheels which I assumed you were going to use for landing gear, but you never covered how to attach these. Can you possibly add this step? Also I noticed that your fuselage tube construction is slightly different than that of ExperimentalAirlines which you referenced. Do you see an advantage to your design over his? (the missing seam plate) It seems you kind of combined the designs of ExperimentalAirlines and FliteTest (their swapable series of power pod planes). Thanks again for your post and I look forward to your reply!

FoamboardRC (author)  rwestbrookjr24 days ago

That's awesome!

Yes if you examine EA's fuselage his has rounded corners, which makes the fuselage very weak as far as pushing it side to side. Also I don't need a seam plate and that seam plate adds a extra weight. Look hard at my fuselage, then EA's again, then you'll see the difference.

As far as the wheels go I forgot! Thanks! I will try to work on that!

ihart28 days ago

Another great Instructable!

Can you add an actual flight demo? I was thinking of making one of these but I'd like to see if it actually flies first.. ;-) Keep up the great work and I hope that you are considering a career in engineering..

FoamboardRC (author)  ihart24 days ago

YES I am trying it's just I have 2 jobs and my brother works full time, so it's hard to find time to record!

boxcarmj28 days ago

Hi, very nice thank-you for posting it!!!


FoamboardRC (author)  boxcarmj24 days ago

No problem! It's my joy to post!

stumitch28 days ago

I was impressed with the whole 'ible and when I saw that you were 16 I was even more inspired. Fantastic job.

FoamboardRC (author)  stumitch24 days ago


Neat, I'll have to try this sometime.

cheapo28 days ago

Hey people! Please! Please, keep your hands and arms AWAY from the propeller when connecting the battery!!! If you make a mistake with that, and the radio is off or is set for the motor to run, a prop powered by an electric motor of this size won't stop when when it hits you, it will cut you!

I had eight cuts in my hand from not doing it right.

Apart from that, this is an excellent instructable. Good job AJ! Everyone should try flying RC. It's a laugh!

FoamboardRC (author)  cheapo28 days ago
Haha cheapo I didn't need to add that! All of the new ESC have a safety feature and they WILL NOT start up if you plug the battery in with the throttle stick up :D. That's only on the old systems.
My ESC beeps continually until I set the throttle back to 0.
radim041 month ago

This instructable is exactly what I was looking for. My 11 years old son would like to build an RC plane from scratch with me and so far I could not find an instructable/tutorial containing a list of needed items, which fit together. Great work, thank you very much!

FoamboardRC (author)  radim041 month ago

That's awesome! Thank you! I'm working hard on a step-by-step video so I should have that up before the month is up!

spikeseller1 month ago
Outstanding instructable! This is the next project for me and my 10 year old daughter to tackle. You have excellent teaching skills! Good luck in the contest, you definitely have my vote.
FoamboardRC (author)  spikeseller1 month ago

Thank you very much! I'm working hard on a step-by-step video so I should have that up before the month is up!

bricobart1 month ago

This is the I'ble I've been waiting for since the day I bought a lot of stuff - years ago - without the knowledge what to do with it (it happens to all of us after too much beer). Time to recover it all from under the dust and get into that build! Two words: THANK & YOU!

Wow, this is a phenomenal project! Awesome job!

Cats are such good helpers, aren't they? haha

seamster1 month ago

Excellent instructable! I wish I'd seen something like this when I was first getting into RC planes. You've compiled a ton of useful information into one place. Very nicely done.

FoamboardRC (author)  seamster1 month ago

Thank you very much! Since this is my first instructable on RC planes please let me know if I have left out something!