Introduction: $1 Rc Scrap Plane!

So a while ago, maybe 6 months ago, I wanted to build an rc plane of my own design. Since then I have developed several designs that fly but are kind of scrappy looking. Each design I make either from cardboard or foam board and with the help of my hotglue gun I cut and glue away. Not only that each design I reuse the electronics.

This plane was based off of my favorite paper airplane. The paper airplane was designed to pitch up slightly hence why I love it so much. You don't need a strong arm and it goes so far. Anyways enjoy!



  1. One sheet of 20" by 30" dollar tree foam board.
  2. Piano wire.
  3. Brushless Motor:
  4. Servo:
  5. Props:
  6. Receiver:
  7. 3D Printed Control Horn:
  8. 3D Printed Motor Mount:
  9. Jst connectors.
  10. Spektrum Transmitter.
  11. 3s 70 - 40 gram jst lipo.

  12. 5040 props.

Step 1: Cutting and Gluing!

Grab a sharp knife and cut the foam board to the following length. Make sure you keep all scraps. They will be used later.

Then glue the two scrap pieces side by side so they are one thick piece. Glue it on the bottom of the plane so that it forms a right triangle from underneath the motor to the tip of the nose. Make sure the bigger piece is facing the back.

Step 2: Elevons.

To make the elevons you are to cut a very light cut onto the foam board. You will do this 1 inch from the back of the plane. Then you will fold the foam board backwards on itself where the cut was and you will cut a chamfer on one of the two edges on the fold.

Then you will cut the elevons in half so there are two flaps on the plane. Then cut a little bit of space between the two elevons. That way they aren't touching each other as they flap up and down.

Step 3: Electronics!

  1. Solder a jst connector the correct way on the esc and make sure you put a female connector on the esc not male. Also there are 5 wires on the esc. Make sure you solder the jst connector on the red and black wires correspondingly.
  2. When you solder on your motor if the motor is spinning in a direction you don't want unsolder two wires on the motor and reverse how the wires were connected previously.
  3. Plug one servo into channel 2 (aileron) on the receiver. Make sure known of them are not on backwards.
  4. Plug the other one into channel 3 (elevator) on the receiver
  5. Hot glue the 3D printed control horn on roughly the same spot on the elevons.
  6. Once when you do that grab some piano wire and bend it so one piece of the piano wire is on the elevon control horn and the other piece is on the servo horn.
  7. Plug the esc into the receiver on the channel 1 (throttle) on the receiver.
  8. Hot glue the servos near the elevons on roughly the same spot each side. They should be even so that the center of gravity isn't off.
  9. Hot glue the motor mount with the motor on it perfectly straight with the hole you cut that is square in the plane and on the plane itself.
  10. Hot glue the receiver next to motor mount and make sure there are not flying wires that could get caught on anything. If there are tie them down with hotglue.
  11. Glue the esc next to the receiver as demonstrated.
  12. Don't attach the battery just yet. That is for the next step.

Step 4: Getting the Center of Gravity Right...

  1. Hot glue a rubber band to the plane near the nose of the aircraft.
  2. Tie a battery to the nose of the aircraft with the rubber band.
  3. Test glide the plane by throwing it slightly downward gently to see if it glides. If it glides it will fly without trim if it doesn't it will need to be trimmed or have the battery removed to a different part of the plane.

Step 5: How I Binded the Aircraft

You need to bind the aircraft if you are to communicate with your rc aircraft from your transmitter. If you followed the directions and got a spektrum transmitter and receiver you will receive instructions on how to bind the transmitter to the aircraft. If not you will be on your own for doing so.

  1. Put the bind plug into the bind port on the receiver. The bind port will be labeled.
  2. Plug in the battery into the plane.
  3. Hold the bind button down on the transmitter and turn it on. If everything worked it should be binded. If not unplug the power on the plane and do the whole process.

Step 6: Transmitter Setup.

Setup the transmitter channels so that the throttle controls the esc, the left and right elevon are controlled by there corresponding servo.

Step 7: Throttle Cut.

In your transmitter and this will vary upon model to model make sure you set a button that you can easily access to disarm the throttle on the flick of a switch. You can look this up in your transmitter manual if you have to.

Step 8: Transmitter Controls

Left stick: Up and down is throttle. Left and right does nothing.

Right stick: Up and down is pitch. Left and right is roll.

You can change these by switching modes from the back of your transmitter. Check your manual for more details.

Step 9: Powering the Craft.

  1. Follow these steps to power on your craft exactly as said. Failure to do so could result in your motor spinning uncontrollably leaving the only way to stop it being to unplug the power. You can easily cut your fingers this way.
  2. Power on the transmitter.
  3. Keep throttle cut on.
  4. Power on the plane by plugging in the battery.
  5. To turn it off unplug power from the plane and then turn off the transmitter.

Step 10: Launching It!

Put the throttle on halfway. Then throw the plane and pitch up with the hand you just threw the plane with. This takes practice. Don't expect this to not take time.

Step 11: Landing It.

The best surface to land it on is tall grass. Softer the surface the less likely you'll do damage to the craft. Don't fly this on a rainy day. You don't want this to get wet especially for the foam.

Step 12: Conclusion!

If you didn't take these parts from a scrap plane like I did this plane would have been under $20. I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Thanks for reading and bye!

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