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 $200+. So I spent some time researching RC planes, and decided to make one myself. But what material should I use? I need something easily available and pretty cheap. After seeing guys like Experiment Airlines and Flight Test I decided upon using foamboard. It cost a dollar a sheet and was at my local Dollar Tree. I had my material, and they suggested using HobbyKing.com to purchase products from. Although HK is cheaper quality stuff I knew that spending 10$ 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

Step 1: Ingredients:

So you've decided upon making an awesome foamboard RC plane, but it's time to do a little e-shopping! Now all of the parts listed below are from HobbyKing.com, the cheapest website to get RC equipment. If you go to the hobby store (like HobbyTown USA) for a 3S 2200 mAh 20c battery you would pay $60 and up. On HobbyKing you only pay around or less then $10. So far all the pieces I've gotten from them have worked very well, and none of them were cheap or nonfunctional.

All the parts below are from the global warehouse, which takes 20-30 days to ship. They also offer most of the same parts from the US warehouse, but they might be out of stock. To find a piece in the US warehouse set your location at the very top bar of the website to US. Look at image 1

Oh and by the way I will be explaining use of all the electronics later in this i'ble. Just click on the description of the part and it will open a new tab to where you can buy it on HobbyKing.

Now before I give you the list of items I need to tell you something. I am going to give you two lists, the first list, the Premium package, has a better battery charger (Turnigy Accucel-6) and the OrangeRX Trasmitter and reciever. Both of these items are highly recommend. The Premium Package also includes a handy tool, wheels, and some coloring equipment (not crayons :).

However, if you are short on money like me you can go with the Money Saver Package, which includes a HobbyKing brand 2.4 Ghz radio and a 5 dollar Turnigy battery charger. Now I have both these cheaper items myself, and they work great! What they lack in features, the make up in price! I will explain more about these items later.

Note: The packages only include the items that you need to order (except the foamboard). The rest of the pieces can be found at local hardware and grocery stores. For the list of these items please look under "Additional Items"

Premium Package:

Adam's Foam board. This can be found at Dollar Tree or Dollar General for a dollar per sheet. It must be Adams Foam Board because it is very cheap and the paper can be removed. It is also lighter than other foamboard companies.

Transmitter and Receiver ------------------------------------------------ $59.99

160 watt 1450 KV Outrunner Brushless Motor ------------------------$8.95
3s 2200 mAh 20c Li Poly Battery ---------------------------------------$8.50
Turnigy Accucel-6 Battery Charger --------------------------------------$22.99
20 Amp ESC (electronic speed controller) -----------------------------$6.70
Propellers (9x5) (5ps) --------------------------------------------------------$2.38
4pcs Servos (9-gram) -------------------------------------------------------$8.36
Control Horns (10pcs)--------------------------------------------------------$0.97
2 mm Gold Connectors (10 pairs) ---------------------------------------$2.85
XT60 Male/Female battery connectors (5 pairs) ---------------------$3.99
2mm Heat Shrink Tubing ---------------------------------------------------$0.25
11-inch Servo Lead Extension ------------------------------------------- $3.24
11-inch Servo Lead Splitter (Y servo lead) *2 -------------------------$4.52
Z-Bend Pliers ------------------------------------------------------------------$6.49
Wheels (5pcs) -----------------------------------------------------------------$1.50
• Colored Packing Tape
• Push Rods (Music Wire size 0.047" (1.19 mm)

Grand Total ----------------------------------------------------------------------- ≈ $180

Money Saver Package:

Adam's Foam board. This can be found at Dollar Tree or Dollar General for
a dollar per sheet. It must be Adams Foam Board because it is very cheap and the paper can be removed. It is also lighter than other foamboard companies.
160 watt 1450 KV Outrunner Brushless Motor ------------------------$8.95
3s 2200 mAh 20c Li Poly Battery ---------------------------------------$8.50
Battery Balancer Charger --------------------------------------------------$4.49
20 Amp ESC (electronic speed controller) -----------------------------$6.70
6 Channel Transmitter and Receiver ------------------------------------$25.10
Transmitter Programming Cable ------------------------------------------$2.99
Propellers (9x5) (5ps) ---------------------------------------------------------$2.66
4pcs Servos (9-gram) --------------------------------------------------------$8.36
11-inch Servo Lead Extension -------------------------------------------- $3.24
11-inch Servo Lead Splitter (Y servo lead) *2 --------------------------$4.52
Control Horns (10pcs)---------------------------------------------------------$0.97
2mm Gold Connectors (10 pairs) ---------------------------------------$1.83
XT60 Male/Female battery connectors (5 pairs) ----------------------$3.99
2mm Heat Shrink Tubing **--------------------------------------------------$0.25
• Push Rods (Music Wire size 0.047" (1.19 mm)

** You will also need a few inches of a larger size of heat shrink tube. Buy a variety pack.

Lovely Total of ---------------------------------------------------------------- ≈ $85

Additional Items:

  • 1/2" sheet of balsa or 1/4" sheet of basswood (for 2" x 2" motor-mounting squares)
  • MiniWax Polyurethane Oil-Based Semi-Gloss -----------------------$6.47
    . . . or. . .
    CampDry (water proofing spray)
    . . . or. . .
    Clear packing tape
  • Multi-colored spray paint.
  • Paint Brush
  • Spray Paint
  • Kabob Skewers
  • Rubber Bands
  • Duct Tape
  • Clear Packaging Tape
  • Old Bonus Card or Credit Card
  • 6-12 inches Velcro! (awe, he got da velcro!)


• Box Cutter (more on this in step X)
• Metal 3-foot ruler
• Metal 1-foot ruler
• Metal Square
• Pens/Pencils
• Hot Glue Gun
• Drill
• 3/16th and 1/16th inch Drill Bit
• Little Clips or Clamps (more on this in step X)
• Wire Strippers/Cutters
• Pliers
• Soldering Iron
• Various Sizes of Heat Shrink Tubing
• Electrical, Packing, and Duct tape.
• Paper Towel, (napkin, or a few tissues)

*For the music wire it is kinda hard to order the correct type unless you've seen it before and used it, so hit up your local hobby store and check out their collection of music wire. The guage wire I found to work great is (size X).

<p>Great Project!!!! I constructed this RC over the past few weeks and I am super excited for my first flight!</p><p>One Problem,</p><p>My throttle and elevator work great, but my ailerons are reversed! I have searched for hours on the internet on how to fix this problem to no avail. </p><p>HELP!! How can I switch polarity in the reciever?? I have Digital Radio software(Registered).</p><p>P.S. I am new to the RC world!</p>
<p>That's awesome! Alright, it's a very simple fix! </p><p>Yes, you can actually reverse the servos, but here's an easier way. </p><p>In <br> the digitalradio software all you have to do is change which ever <br>channel you need changed to the either N or R. See this photo. That's <br>it! Lemme know if it works alright. </p><p>https://www.dropbox.com/s/4uzrjvtfk1sofv0/Screen%20Shot%202015-05-04%20at%204.48.06%20PM.png?dl=0</p>
<p>Awesome plane!!! And congratulations on winning first prize!!! It is well-deserved!</p>
<p>Thank you! I was so happy! :D</p>
A great instructable . You must have felt really excited flying it. I have some queries... <br><br>1. How to connect two servos to one channel of receiver (Like you did in the ailerons) . Did you use a servo splitter ? ( If not, please mention the way you did it)<br><br>2. Can i use 7.4 V LiPo Batteries instead of a 11.1 V one? To which minimum level is it safe to use a 7.4 one?<br> <br>Will be glad if you help... <br>Thanks :D<br>
Yes I used a servo splitter. See step 37. <br><br>You can use 2 cell lipos you just need to go with a much larger prop, since the motor will not be spinning as fast.
<p>what is the difference between analog servo and digital servo?</p><p>and which is the best should I pick</p>
<p>i find planes better a maked me and mi friend a f22 plane rc but i want mi self to make one better or my own but this is tooo wors than and my friens has 13 years!!</p>
<p>awesome description,thanks</p><p>i cannot find foamboard anywhere, is there anything else i can use</p><p>What is the weight of foamboard sheet you used? also what is the total weight of plane?</p>
http://store.flitetest.com/flite-test-foam-50-pack/<br><br>I'm not sure what the overall weight is, I think it's around 500 grams, but not sure.
<p>i live in india(UP), i searched foamboard everywhere,couldnt find it.</p><p>besides, can u tell why everyone including hobbyking doesn't provide anything to sort motors with respect to thrust they produce, i am a newbie i just know how much thrust i need for my plane, what the hell am i supposed to do with the dimensions of motor...</p>
<p>Screw the dimensions, you just need to to know the voltage, amp draw, and thrust produced. If you go to the comment section most people will tell you what propeller they used and what kind of thrust they got out of it. </p><p>Yes, the struggle is real!</p>
<p>yeah, got it.</p>
<p>Do you think I could use plastic cement to mount the control horns?</p>
Hot glue is best. I'm not sure how well plastic cement works on paper.
<p>Yup, Hot glue works better. I just got the CG down, and I am almost done! :)</p>
<p>Post a pic when you are done!</p><p>Good luck!</p>
<p>Just a tip, if you cannot find music wire, you can use paperclips. To make a long one, get 2 plastic covered paperclips, untwist them, and glue them so they overlap.</p>
<p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>Still building it will do!</p>
<p>on what based calculations are the made btw the brushless outrunner motor and body weight of the plane</p>
First you build your plane, and then you weight it. Then you find a motor that can pull about 120 percent of that weight. That way you should have enough power to keep the craft in the air.
<p>how to decide which specification motor to b used ???</p>
<p>sorry to interrupt but what software am I supposed to use to program the transmitter</p>
You can find all the information on the radio page from hobbyking. You have to download a few drivers and use digitalradio software. Go to the product, and go down to the files tab. You'll see everything you need.
<p>Thank you so much! I was stuck on this part for quite a long time already</p>
<p>Last question...I hope: do you need that cable? What's it for? I mean what do you need to program on the tx?</p>
If you buy that particular radio then yes you need that cable to program it.
<p>Do you think Elmers foam board work? its 5/32 inches according to staples live chat :D No luck with dollar tree locally I'm afraid and I dont want to bust 25 bucks online for a pack.</p>
No you can't use elmers. The paper won't separate from the foam which means you can't make bends, or the 90 degree fuselage joints.
<p>How much flight time do you get with your build and battery choices?</p>
Between 10 and 15 minutes depending on your flying style. I've gotten up to 18 minutes going in circles :D
<p>plzz help me.. if want to make my plane from a corro sheet .. nd it should be a maximum of 600 grms .. what should be the length of my wing span and the aspect ratio.. I want the plane to maneuver types ..it can have a maximum wing span is 90 cm m</p>
This would be a great question for the scratchbuild forums on RC groups.
<p>so where would I get my solution ???</p>
Hi , <br>How much thickness of foam board we need to make a rc plane ....
The foamboard is 3/16&quot; thick
<p>hello! </p><p>i am new to rc planes and intend on building your model! thanks for the plans!</p><p>however ,i recently won a motor and esc combo on ebay for a great price ,i was hoping i could use it..</p><p>the motor is a 2212 930kv with a 30a esc.....do you think this motor would work for this plane?</p><p> also would i still want to use a 9x5 prop? i can provide more specs if needed.. thanks in advance for any help!</p>
That motor is super overkill for this plane. If you were to use that motor you are going to have to use a 10x7 or 12x6 prop which is waaay to big for this plane. You need a faster KV motor and a smaller prop.<br><br>Now if you try to build this plane and you use that motor with a 9X5 prop you will notice that you don't have any lift, because that motor is meant to swing a bring prop at slower speeds. So yeah, it won't work. Sorry bud!
<p>Ah! I always wondered what the kV stands for. So simple once you know :-)</p>
Hey, quick question, for charging my battery I plug the four pin plug on the battery into my balance charger, and the alligator clips are used to hook to the power supply, right? This is my first time doing anything like this, sorry
Oh, thank you. Sorry, I completely forgot about that
<p>Hey, great project, I'm having a ton of fun with it, but I'm confused about one thing. On my receiver my slots are formatted like this</p><p>Battery</p><p>6</p><p>5</p><p>4</p><p>3</p><p>2</p><p>1</p><p>My problem is, when I hook my esc up to the battery, battery port, and the motor, I can't control the motor. Port three is controlled by the throttle stick on my remote. I ordered all the parts on your money saver package. The receiver will control the servos. This is my first time soldering, so idk if it could be caused by a bad connection. please help</p>
I'm sorry, I don't think I made it quite clear in my instructable. <br><br>The ESC lead goes into whatever channel you have mapped for the throttle. For instance, the receiver you got should be ordered like this. . .<br><br>Channel 1: Aileron <br>Channel 2: Elevator<br>Channel 3: Throttle<br>Channel 4: Rudder<br>Channel 5: Aux1<br>Channel 6: Aux2<br><br>The receiver will then be powered through channel 3. The reason why they have a separate channel for battery is because when using a gas plane there is no ESC. There is a just a battery to power all the electronics and then a servo to control a lever which is on the engine that lets in more gas/air. So on a gas plane you'd plug the battery to the receiver in the battery slot and then you plug the throttle servo into the channel 3. <br><br>But since we are using electronic motors we don't need to have a separate battery source to power the receiver. The receiver can get powered through any channel. But since channel 3 is the one that the throttle controls we plug the ESC into channel 3.
<p>Hey there , my ESC does not accept li-ion, i have made a ni-mh battery pack, but my esc just beeps and then does not move, my nimh battery pack is about 9.6v 3800 mah.</p>
<p>I bought the battery charger you suggested in the money savers package and I don't know how to charge it. Do I just attach it to a 12V car battery?</p>
That may work but that's a little bit risky. Buy a 12v 3A power supply

About This Instructable




Bio: ¿Qué tal? I'm 16 and enjoy learning about electronics. I am self-taught. I love programming my Arduino and soldering circuits. My newest hobby is ... More »
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