Polystyrene Throw Airplane





Introduction: Polystyrene Throw Airplane

Airplane from polystyrene fruit/meat plates. Cheap quick fun.

Step 1: Cut the Polystyrene

Cut the edges off the polystyrene plate so that you have a flat rectangular piece.

Step 2: Draw and Cut Out Plane

Draw and cut out your plane. Use approximate dimensions as per picture. Experiment with different shapes and sizes. You may be inclined to do some reading on flight (use it, don't use it).

Step 3: Put Together and Balance.

Take the cut out bits and slot them together. You can use tape if you have cut the slots too big.

Balance the plane by putting some clay/paperclips/stuff on to the nose. Make a 'V' with your fingers and balance the plane about 1/3 from the front of the wing. Add or subtract the stuff you put on the nose for balance.
Now chuck it!



    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    14 Discussions

    go and get those zip zap motors from radio shack and use those. There light and powerful.

    How about attach a electric engine in this plane? I have some little engines and i guess it can fly by itself using it. What do you think?

    1 reply

    The weight on the front of this sized plane is about the weight of a bottle cap. The plane would have to be scaled up appropriately and perhaps use a few more materials to exploit the lightness of polystyrene and the power of your engine. Try it!

    is that polystyrene you used different from expanded polystyrene?

    Yes about 40 paper clips should do it but after the first landing they will jump off. I use a folded over beer cap or "press stick" (blue tack?).

    you left out decalage, a slight incidence between the stab (rear wing) and the wing. You could just bend the trailing edge of the stab up. You also need dihedral. a bend at the center of the wing. Or basically, bending the tips up. see how the wings angle up on the model in my pic. It's fun to work out the trim on a glider. moving weight around, bending surfaces to effect roll, pitch or yaw. Look up the terms and see how to effect them.

    park 01 001.jpg
    6 replies

    Where did you get the knowledge to build that plane? I looks really good but I havent been able to figure out how to make 'em

    If you talking about the R/C plane you can buy kits at the store that have precut wood and plans to follow, start small and work your way up. If you talking about the polystyrene plane, I saw them being sold at air shows when I was younger and decided to copy them for free when i got home. As i said before tho, do some research, there is so much out there (excluding the internet!!!).

    I was meaning the Basla plane. Looks like a lot of fun! What do they normally cost in the US? (Inc servos, reciever, ESC)

    for this just a 3 channel radio. a single conversion reciever is all that's needed. A radio is an investment that lasts for years, hopefully.
    This plane is balsa with plastic cling wrap covering. the tail is blue foam with tape hinges. can fly really slow. check out these sites.

    Iv never heard of "decalage" but i will look it up. Iv been involved with building balsa models for years (never quite had the time/space to properly get the hang of RC flight tho). The instructible is meant to inspire people to try different configurations and do some reading! Tx for the comment.

    Nice.When I was a kid they used to print these on the lids of egg cartons.