Balsa Wood Biplane




About: I'm a Industrial Product Design student at Howest (Kortrijk). Enjoy my projects and have lots of pleasure making them!

This is a guide to make a Biplane aircraft.

This will be the result if you make it with care


- Balsa:

* 10 x 10 sheets of 2 mm and 100 mm long;

* 2 x 1 mm plates

* 2 x 3mm x 3mm bars

- Glue:

* Glue gun

* Wood Glue (quick drying)

- Iron Wire

- Hollow metal rod 6mm (= diameter)

- Full metal rod 5mm (diameter =)

- Lead

- Rubber bands

- Cutting blade Stanley (as in the picture)

- Propeller

- Pearl

- Pliers

- Extra :

* Aerosols (to give your flyer a color): primer + color of your choice

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Step 1: Cutting Out All the Pieces

First, all elements must be cut from balsa
wood. Most of the instructions are available in the two pages above.

These are the instructions for the wings:

- Cut 15 cm of each following plate: 2 x 2 mm and 2 x 1mm

- Repeat this on the 2 sticks of 3 x3 mm

Instructions for the tips (wings):

- The following steps must be performed four times:

- 7 and 5 cm in the length measure. The 7 cm is the center and the edges 5.

Then draw an arc of 7 cm to 5 cm on the left and right.

Additional plate (lower wing tip, to fasten with body):

- Cut out a piece of wood about 14 cm long and 8 mm wide.

Step 2: Curve the Wings

Now the wings have been cut, they must be folded.
They are curved because the wind needs to curl beneath it.

The following steps need to be done with all the wing plates just like the tips:

  • Wet the wings (let the water flow abundant)
  • curve them around a large pole (with rubber bands)
  • Let the wings dry.

After these steps, everything is slightly curved.

Step 3: Glue the Parts Together

In the pictures you can see what parts you need to glue on together.

The other (same) parts (like the tail parts) are next.

Then you can glue them perpendicular.

How to glue the wings (picture):

  • Glue the sticks and the 2mm plates together.
  • strengthen with glue gun in the corner
  • now glue the 1 mm plates
  • Glue the tip at each end of the wings. Put it in a slight angle, and fill with hot glue

After you have all the pieces glued together, scrub them to make them equal.


  • use quick-drying wood glue
  • press the pieces well together (if you are using a bench clamp, place a piece of wood between the plates and the bench clamp)

Step 4: Installing the Prop

we need the rods, propeller, pearl, pliers and the glue gun.

  1. saw off the hollow rod at 3 cm

  2. saw off the full bar at 8 cm

  3. Curve one off the outer ends of the full bar into a hook (to attach the rubber band)

  4. Put the hollow rod in the body with glue around it

  5. place the pearl in the hole of the prop

  6. Insert the bar in the body (hollow rod), pearl and propeller

  7. Fill the space between the full rod and the prop with the glue gun.

Now the prop is installed on the body

Step 5: Glue the Wings on the Middle Piece

To attach the wings we first slide the wing middle part on the body. (do that along the tale side).

If you want to glue the wing on the middle you have to be sure to glue the center of the wings;

  • glue the upper wing on the middle part with wood glue
  • wait and press lightly
  • reinforce with hot glue (glue gun)
  • Repeat the above steps with the lower wing

Now, the sticks as reinforcement. Make four sticks of about 9 cm long. Secure them with hot glue from the glue gun with a good solid border around it.

Step 6: Last Steps on the Way Up (in the Air)

Here are some final steps to make a proper biplane,

  • glue a hook on the end of the body to secure ( as in the picture ) the rubber band
  • Now the wings are positioned , it is possible to glue the tail on the body. Make sure it is straight and strong by enforcing with glue between the body and the tail
  • As an extra touch, you can spray color on the plane. First with a primer , then the tips or other parts of your choice in color.
  • Add two little rubber bands to attach the wings on the body
  • In order to have a balanced plane, you have to hang lead on it. ( the center of gravity of the biplane is at one quarter of the wings )
  • As a final step you span rubber bands and you turn the prop . ( if you're holding the plane with the propeller left , you turn him to your side .) (the good rubber bands are normal kitchen rubber bands,

    ou can attacht 3 bands together 2 or 3 times)

Now you can throw him from on high point in a straight line . You should let the propeller turn a second and then he will go nicely in the air.




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    18 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for posting this in English! Got my vote. Beautifully made, and very well-documented.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I am confused by the first item in your Balsa list; it says "10 x 10 sheets of 2 mm and 100 mm long" - I assume the second '10' is the width, but '10' what?

    Also, the plans call for the body to be 700mm long, but your balsa list does not contain any balsa of that length - are we supposed to make-up that length somehow, or is there an/another error in your list?

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I think it means - 10 pieces of balsa wood which are 10 mm wide, 2 mm high and 100 mm long


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I thought so too, for a while. But there's simply not enough material there to create 4 body sections 50mm wide/deep by 700mm long - even allowing for the 'cut-outs' for the rubber band. And that's to say nothing of accounting for the wing material.

    The 'ible is obviously aimed at more experienced builders than me - maybe I'm missing something(s) somewhere.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    What's the carrying capacity? How large would it have to be in order to carry an adult? And what kind of power you'd need to overcome drag?


    5 years ago on Introduction


    You do beautiful work. I second the request for a video of it flying!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    nice job.....Ive done one like this back to the years where i was student. I added also radiocontroller and motor......someday my big brother toke it to make show to her girlfriend and i never seen that plane ever!!!!.....i forgive him some months later.....!!!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    AWESOME! You might want to enter this in the launch-it contest, it has high chances of winning :)

    The Fettler

    5 years ago on Step 6

    Superb! A "proper" balsa wood flying model - just the sort of thing I spent many happy days as a youngster making :-)



    5 years ago

    Really nice, would be a fun build. Great job.