Introduction: Foam RC Airplane

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.

Step 1: Airframe Layout

Picture of Airframe Layout

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

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.

Step 4: Making the Elevator

Picture of Making the Elevator

Cut out the slots to fit the elevator in the airframe. See photo for locations.
Instead of angle cutting the elevator (#2), cut the stationary piece labeled #1 in the photo at the 30-45 degree angle just as in step 3.

Slide and glue piece 1 into place. Slide part #2 into place and tape the elevator hinge just as described in step 3.

Step 5: Install Servos

Picture of Install Servos

Find your servos and control linkages. The length of the control linkages dictate where the servos should be mounted.

Simulate the locations of the control horns then make an outline of the servo on the airframe. Repeat this for the elevator. Cut out the servo locations.

Use a hot glue gun to fix the servos to the airframe. Screw down the control horns or hot glue them in place.

Step 6: Mounting the Motor

Picture of Mounting the Motor

Use a table saw to cut out a slot in a block of wood to mount your motor on. Pre-drill the mounting holes in the block. Glue the block to the airframe. Mount the motor to the block.

I recommend using a folding prop so you can belly land the plane and you won't need landing gear.

Step 7: Mounting the Rest of the Electronics

Picture of Mounting the Rest of the Electronics

You now need to mount the ESC, Radio, and Battery.
I just use tape to mount the electronics.

Use the battery to balance the plane. Make sure the plane balances about 1/3 to 1/2 the wing cord length back from the leading edge of the wing. The further back the more unstable the plane becomes. Its also easier to do 3D aerobatics.

Step 8: GO FLYING!!!

You are done. Go flying. These planes are light and have very little surface area resistance so they fly well. With the right brushless motor these planes can takeoff vertically right out of your hand.


Atgarva (author)2016-07-16

Plz reply

24lee.lonell (author)Atgarva2017-09-27

I replied

Waagzz (author)2016-09-10

just use plastic core flute... Any bottle shop or realestate place should have old signs they can give u for free.... I made a 3D plane and it flys amazing... 1000kv motor($5-$10) with 9x6 prop($1.50) , 30amp ESC($5-$10), 4 x 9g servos($2-$3each) and radio and reicever ($$$Sky's the limit)

24lee.lonell (author)Waagzz2017-09-27

that is useful information

clanswez (author)2017-06-26

This is a great little project that I would like to try. But the foamyfactory website doesn't appear to have any content anymore, so is there a way I can get the plans from you? Thanks!

pikapikaman (author)2016-11-04


Waagzz made it! (author)2016-09-10

core flute 3D plane ?

carmineW (author)Waagzz2016-10-30

i made it

Waagzz (author)2016-09-10

hot glue gun was only thing use to stick plane together... And zippy ties were used to make all the flaps.. It's been crashed multiple times and still flys awesomely ??

Atgarva (author)2016-07-16


Atgarva (author)2016-07-16

Where is the radio and where is the servo for aileron and how is the servo for tail fixed

Atgarva (author)2016-07-16

Can u tell me how r the parts mounted

AnaM10 (author)2016-06-01

Hey! I need the link for making this model!

ajchains (author)2016-04-25

Hi Can you give me detail plan for making this plane

snitz13 (author)2016-04-20

pretty cool

ramibatman (author)2016-01-21

can i get the model imean how much centimiters or inches

just that it's p coooooool

MohammadR4 (author)2015-12-30

can I use android and USB dongle in plane to control

DEEJAY642 (author)2015-10-09

this is epic tho it doesn't look very strong and a crash would mangle it

samratdeb (author)2015-09-10

While this is really nice one some things that will make it better is if the front edge of the wings are made less thicker, at-least not flat. That will help the lift and also speed. But overall its good.

SteveMiner (author)2015-08-17

how many money did you spend for this

jkinser (author)2015-08-11

Just a thought... 1/2" dia. Balsa Half-Round on the leading edges would significantly reduce drag.

imranayaz (author)2015-05-01

how many kv motor and how many amps esc anf how many v battery is been used to make rc plane

and wht is the correct name for that form please let me know

imranayaz (author)2015-04-30

What kv brushless motor , what amps esc and how many v battery should be used for making a small rc plane

Assabit (author)2015-04-09

A nice RC aircraft . Very easy to make

vipul.tak (author)2015-04-07

will you give me design and requirement

darshan.deshpande.96 (author)2015-02-11

which pcb have you used??

Michael.Vizner (author)2015-01-13

I'd like to make your model. I am having trouble getting the plans to load from foam factory. Is there any way you could send me the drawings so that I can print them out.


ssuseelan (author)2015-01-09

Is it necessary that the wing should be aerofoil in shape??????

likestobuild (author)2011-03-12

Im kind of a newb with rc stuff so would u recomend I build this model, or should I build a different/easier model?

remzak (author)likestobuild2015-01-05

This is a fine trainer but there are better models out there. Google "Foam Trainer Homemade"

snaqvi1 (author)2011-04-12

i have no rc only foam motors and battries wires what isthey needed to made this plane

remzak (author)snaqvi12015-01-05

Transmitter, reciever, servos, lipo battery, brushless motor, brushless speed controller

duct tape (author)2011-09-18

It might be easier to cut the foam with a hot wire foam cutter, like this:

remzak (author)duct tape2015-01-05

I use a foam cutter for similar planes and it works great.

tomtortoise (author)2012-02-04

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.

remzak (author)tomtortoise2015-01-05

The servos are too big but the battery could work though no optimal. For a motor look for a brushless 1100kv motor around 60g with a 30A speed controller.

TomGFuller (author)2013-04-25

What type of servis

remzak (author)TomGFuller2015-01-05

Use 9g micro servos. They are about 3$ on hobbyking.

ashwini11 (author)2012-12-22

Hey do we have to do any programing while conecting electronics to transmiter and reciever...??

remzak (author)ashwini112015-01-05

If you spend around 60-70$ you can buy an Orange Rx computer radio. With this you can program deflection and change what happens with certain stick inputs. For the beginner though a cheap 25-30$ radio should be fine.

alexw2150 (author)ashwini112013-04-29

No, unless you create a custom flight controller, you rarely ever have to know any programming in the R/C hobby, hope this helped

ssanz aranda (author)2011-12-08

what kind of motor do you use?

remzak (author)ssanz aranda2014-12-19

Brushless outrunner ~1000kv

DocMat (author)2014-11-16

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.

NazyaT (author)2014-10-27

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

sarvesh7 (author)2014-03-04

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

jcraddock1 (author)sarvesh72014-07-22

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.

ashwintunga (author)2011-03-07

how much is the range of cost of making this

jwestenberg (author)ashwintunga2012-09-18

I guess somewhere around $400 dollars if you have to buy everything.

dagob (author)jwestenberg2014-01-18

$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.

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