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>
i made it but all i can do is crash it so far im no pilot
Oh nice!!! Just take it slow and make sure you always go 2 mistakes high before you try anything new :D
<p>my ailerons both move the same direction what did I mess up or miss</p>
<p>both servos are turning in the same direction, just flip the appropiate servo 180˚</p>
<p>Can you use NiHM batteries instead of Li POLY batteries</p>
what did u do for wheel mounts
I don't ha
<p>Can I use copper wire for push rod ? </p>
Probably not strong enough
<p>Will the 1450kv brushless outrunner motor with 8x6 propeller work with a glider that has 1.3 meter wing span?</p>
Is it possible to use this remote/receiver for tailerons? If so, how would I do this?
I'm not totally sure that on that. Search your model of radio and search something like custom mixes. You might not find something specific to tailerons, but you might find out how to mix channels.
<p>1 layer of spray paint made all the paper peel off the foam board. Anyone else have this problem?</p>
As long as you don't spray it on too thick it should be fine. Make sure to tape up the ends, cause that's where it likes to come off.
This is a image of my foam plane first started from a extra 300 pdf from rc powers. This is a great article and flitetest and rc powers has gotten me where I am today...<br>Thanks all.
<p>Awesome buddy!!! That extra looks like a really fun flyer! </p><p>You're more than welcome, keep building!</p>
For anyone scratch building. Push rods i use are at lowes as 22 inch orange flags 100 in a pack for like 10 dolars and are used as dont dig here kinds of things. But with alittle extra drill out holes fit most horns and ez connectors..
<p>Hi! Thankyou very much for the tutorial! I am making for a school project, and was wondering if you could inform me of what sort of transmitter/receiver I need? The one you have listed above is not availibalbe in HobbyKing Australia, and postage from the US would take me past the due date for the project! </p><p>Thank you so much</p><p>Jack Woodman</p><p>Albury, Australia</p>
I'm not to sure about for Australia man! You could try looking for the FlySky FS-i6.
<p>Sweet man cheers. I have talked to my local RC guys, they have several different types of transmitters/receivers. Are there any certain properties needed? For example, recommended amount of channels, certain frequencies that you can recommend?</p><p>Thanks again man, </p><p>You've been great help!</p>
<p>Yeah you'll want at least a 6 channel, and the standard radio frequency is 2.4ghz. If you want, search for a radio you can buy in Aussy, then PM me the link, and I'll take a look at it. </p>
I'm glad you like it! No problem man it's my pleasure.
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.

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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