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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which pcb have you used??

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.


ssuseelan2 months ago

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

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

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

snaqvi13 years ago
i have no rc only foam motors and battries wires what isthey needed to made this plane
remzak snaqvi12 months ago

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

duct tape3 years ago
It might be easier to cut the foam with a hot wire foam cutter, like this:
remzak duct tape2 months ago

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

tomtortoise3 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.

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.

TomGFuller1 year ago
What type of servis
remzak TomGFuller2 months ago

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

ashwini112 years ago
Hey do we have to do any programing while conecting electronics to transmiter and reciever...??
remzak ashwini112 months ago

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.

No, unless you create a custom flight controller, you rarely ever have to know any programming in the R/C hobby, hope this helped
what kind of motor do you use?

Brushless outrunner ~1000kv

DocMat4 months 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.

NazyaT5 months ago

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

sarvesh71 year 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.

ashwintunga4 years ago
how much is the range of cost of making this
I guess somewhere around $400 dollars if you have to buy everything.

$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 simonyu3 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.
tak145 (author) 1 year ago
For this size plane a mini servo works well. Approximately 11-15 grams
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)
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.
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
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