Picture of Foam RC Airplane
If you are like most RC enthusiasts you have spare spare motors, servos & batteries. This instructable shows you how to make a flat foam airframe in a couple hours.

I've modified free plans from for a faster build that is also stronger.
This requires just 1 foam core board that can be purchased from a craft store.
I used the 1/2" thick board instead of the more common 3/16" version I've used in the past.
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Step 1: Airframe Layout

Picture of Airframe Layout
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Print out the full scale design available free from
Put the design on poster board so you can easily trace out the design for future builds.
I've found that making just the vertical profile of the fuselage, the whole wing and the tail is all you need.
Trace out the designs on the foam board.

Step 2: Cut it out

Cut out the design using a jig saw. You could also use an Exacto knife but the jig saw is much faster and easier. Cut out the slots where the wing fits and the tail fits as well. We'll cut the servo mounts out later.

Step 3: Making the wing control surfaces

Picture of Making the wing control surfaces
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I do limited stunt flying so all I use are ailerons and the elevator. You can make a rudder for more advanced flying but I left it out of this instructable but you can apply the same techniques. The simplest control hinge is made from packing tape.

Using the jig saw cut both ailerons at a 30-45 degree angle where the control surface meets the wing. To make the hinge, mate the control surface to the main wing body at the cut angle and apply the tape along the length. Then fold the control surface the other direction and tape under side of the wing and aileron.

Next, slide the wing through the slot in the airframe. Apply glue to the center of the wing and slide in place. Allow the glue to dry then repeat the taping procedure on the other side of the wing.

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DocMat1 month ago

Central New York doesn't give many "perfect" flying days, so I've been flying the crud out of multirotors, I'm just getting into planes. I'd rather build and fly foamies because I know I'm going to crash. And you can pick up 20" x 30" sheets for $.99 and Dollar Tree or Dollar General. There's tons of free plans out there, things that aren't for beginners and things for the more advanced pilots. If you want a good amount of plans for free (with the option to purchase kits)- check out I flew a Nutball for the longest time. They're easy to fly and they take a beating. As far as electronics go- check out Amazon. I picked up a set of 4 motor/ ESC sets for $30. They're more for multirotors, but they work fine on smaller foamies. I've seen cheaper receivers on Amazon, but you'd need your own transmitter. You can also pick up smaller 5-9 gram servos for cheap as well. Which are perfect for foamies. As long as you do the research, anything can be found cheap enough.

NazyaT1 month ago

u can give me the cm of this diagram plz my bro

sarvesh79 months ago

I am a starter guys, somebody pls tell me what is 'ESC' and 'radio' in this instructable

ESC = Electronic Speed Controller Radio = remote control The radio sends signals to your flight controller, the flight controller controls servos and is connected by a plug into the esc. The esc is hooked to the battery and flight controller unless it has more than one motor. The esc connects to the motor giving it the power it needs.

ashwintunga3 years ago
how much is the range of cost of making this
I guess somewhere around $400 dollars if you have to buy everything.
dagob jwestenberg11 months ago

$400? No way! If you are a very beginner and have nothing yet to start in the hobby, this is +- what you gonna need: Transmitter and receiver $40, 3 servos $10, Esc $10, motor+ propeller $15, Lippo battery $10, few extra things $15. So around $100. All this you can find at ebay, hobbyking, banggood and many other online places.

what do u use to glue it together???
pva or hot glue gun?
Hot glue is not too heavy, as long as you dont overuse it.
David97 simonyu2 years ago
I would think that hot glue would be too heavy and pva on foam, too weak. I would buy a contact glue.
Oh man you did a great job i really appriciate you for this foam RC airplane ypour post is very helpful and this is great way to build an cheap Rc plane thanks for shairng this post.
ashwini111 year ago
Hey do we have to do any programing while conecting electronics to transmiter and reciever...??
No, unless you create a custom flight controller, you rarely ever have to know any programming in the R/C hobby, hope this helped
tak145 (author) 1 year ago
For this size plane a mini servo works well. Approximately 11-15 grams
TomGFuller1 year ago
What type of servis
White_Wolf2 years ago
If you get a chance check out this guy's technique for using dollar store foam board.
With your talent with this foam you could do some awesome work with foam board. :0)
tomtortoise2 years ago
I have never built an airplane before but i have made robots so i have a Hitec Laser 4, a few standard size servos and some Ni-Mh batteries (1600 mah 9.6v and 8.4v) im wondering if these servos and batteries are too big, if so what ones should i use, and also what size motor should i get, i have no clue what to look for in a motor or prop.
what kind of motor do you use?
cillianm5645 years ago
I want to build one which material would be better balsa wood or foam
Foam is easier to fix, and if you ask me, more fun. A crash with foam means tape and glue. A crash with balsa wood means a full repair job.
Couldn't agree more. I love to build but I would rather fly than repair. A little tape or foam glue is hardly a repair and your up in three minutes. Although, Just for the sake of arguement, and to be fair, Balsa repair really is not as bad as some would think(for a minor crash), but it does end your flying for the day.
Exactly. A balsa plane crash ends your day. Foam planes, it's time to get out the foam-safe super glue and the fiberglass reinforced tape and stick the pieces together.
Newbie question: What is the foam safe super glue?

(I've had good luck gluing foam with Gorilla glue. I also tried Shoe Goo when I was out of Gorilla glue--it ate up an inch of foam, oops.)
UHO POR is the glue to use.  This is a contact adhesive which doesn't eat the foam and is great for other jobs too.
duct tape3 years ago
It might be easier to cut the foam with a hot wire foam cutter, like this:
awang84 years ago
Can this plane actually fly? I've notice that the wing lacks the all-important aerofoil property that provides lift.
tak145 (author)  awang84 years ago
Yes. The motors are so powerful there is no need to have an airfoil. Check out the videos in this link.
rjoshua2 tak1453 years ago
from where do you get these motors.All the electronic shops i have been to had no Ac, Dc or any kind of motors. please reply back
yes. you do not need an airfoil to create lift. all you need is to turn air down, and by newtons 3rd law, the plane will go up. a flat wing IS an airfoil, just not as efficient as airfoil's youre thinking of. it is a very simple, and good airfoil for a smaller, 3D RC airplane
where would one go about getting these parts? and how expensive is the plane made in this 'ible?
google "hobbyking". cheap rc equipment from china. use paypal on orders though. ive had problems with credit cards through them.
tak145 (author)  absolute zero4 years ago
There are lots of online rc hobby stores. If you are getting started with a first plane i recommend you buy a brushless plane that has all the components. When you crash, and everyone does, you can salvage the parts and build a foam plane.
Hi I can you explain in detail how you actually cut the foam? What kind of knife, technique?

I am also trying to cut foam that is as thick as yours and the edges are not coming out straight. I don't mean the long edge, I mean the short edge that are on the side of the foam. The reason mine are not straight is because I find it hard to keep the knife at a 90 angle to the cutting mat.

Do you have some tips on how to keep the knife perpendicular to the cutting surface?


plz help me, how can i make foam wing rc plane, email me on, plz
tak145 (author)  mathursharad3 years ago
I use an electric jig saw. See step 3. In that picture I'm showing how to cut the bevel on the control surfaces. The jig saw makes the process go quickly. I used to use and exacto knife but unless its extremely sharp you'll have to take several passes to cut through the board.
i am the member,but i can't download it.what's that...............
snaqvi13 years ago
i have no rc only foam motors and battries wires what isthey needed to made this plane
Im kind of a newb with rc stuff so would u recomend I build this model, or should I build a different/easier model?
sham19903 years ago
Nice & simple! But its better to make the wing and elevator wing boarder smooth curve for better aerodynamic. Your design good for indoor.
eieio7064 years ago
what size motor ? thanks Ray
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