RC Foam Plane

This is an instructable on how to build a RC Plane. I made it for a school project.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Materials

Step 2: Building the Wings

Building the wings is one of the hardest parts of this build. It is the difference between your plane crashing or flying. That’s why I made this guide, to help you do the latter. I started by drawing my wings to scale on a sheet of paper (you could do this on a computer too). For this plane I wanted a 40 inch wingspan, and because the foam board is not long enough for one long wing, I decided to make two separate wings the connect them later. You also need to decide the chord of your wings, I made mine 9 inches. (Flitetest has great videos on making wings if you want to check them out) After cutting the design out on foam board, I proceeded to make support for the wing. Then I bent the foam board in half and hot glued it, creating a nice airfoil. You can also cover the ends with poster board, they will otherwise be left open. Make two of these and hot glue them together, I used popsicle sticks for support. There you go! You’ve got yourself a nice set of wings. The rudder and elevon were also made by scaling up a Cessna 172 design. They were made from foam board, and the control surfaces for the rudder were 1” by 6.5”, and the elevon control surface were 1.5” by 13”.

Step 3: Making the Fuselage

For my fuselage, I decided to use insulation foam board because I have a handy foam cutter. Visit this (link) if you want some foam. Each foam board is an inch thick, so I decided to cut 4 of them out in pieces and then glue them together in a stack. Before that I cut the 2 inner pieces hollow to hold the electronics. Then, I glued them all together. Next, I cut a few holes for electronics and pushrods. I first cut a small hole towards the front so that the esc and motor could connect. I also cut a few holes for the servos controlling the rudder and elevon, and another hole so that they could connect to the receiver. I also cut 2 long slits so that the pushrods for the ailerons could move. It is now optional to paper mache the plane. I would recommend it if you are going to paint. Put wooden dowels through the top so that you can connect the wings with rubber bands.

Step 4: Test the Electronics

Step 5: Setting Up the Servos and Pushrods

This was the hardest part of the project for me. There wasn’t many YouTube videos showing how to do this, so it was mostly trial and error. I also probably should have gotten thinner push rods. It was really hard to bend them, even with a vise. It was also really hard to position the servos in the right place so that the flaps could rotate fully. I think the reason there weren’t many videos about this, is because it really depends on the plane.

Step 6: Motor and Mount:

Buy 4 mm pins to connect the motor and ESC. Solder the connections and cover them in heat shrink so they don't short circuit. Next, we have to build the motor mount. On my second test flight my motor got destroyed because my mount wasn't secure. It pulled its self out of the foam and ripped itself in half. To fix this I decided to 3d print a whole cone to cover the nose of the plane. The motor was bolted from the back, and sewing pins held in on from all sides. The files are on thingiverse.

Be the First to Share


    • CNC Contest

      CNC Contest
    • Make it Move

      Make it Move
    • Teacher Contest

      Teacher Contest

    4 Discussions

    Dollar Tree has $1 sheets, Hobby Lobby has $4 sheets with better laminating, and Flite Test sells water-resistant foam board.

    Are you in the US? If so you can get for cheapest at Dollar Tree ($1 each) or you can get a better quality (better finished surface) at Hobby Lobby for just under $4 per sheet. The Owens Corning foam you can get at any home store such as Lowe's or Home Depot


    1 year ago

    Links are broken (due to shortening).