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Post  ian1954 Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:28 am

I have now watched quite a few "Flite Test" videos, builds, tests ...... on You Tube and have been intrigued by the rapidity by which they can contruct flying aeroplanes from foam board.

This is an example of a build and a flight test.






The two Josh chappies portray real enthusiasm for out hobby.

Anyway, I am now looking at the possibility of replacing balsa for certain build parts with foam board. It is lighter and very easy to cut. It doesn't like most glues. Josh uses hot glues. It is also deceivingly strong.

Foam Board Foambo10

As you can see 1/8" balsa tailplane weighs 22g - the foam board equivalent (exactly the same size but thicker 5mm) only ways 14g.
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Post  andrew Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:14 pm

I build quite a bit with several types of foam, but there is a lot of difference in foam board.  The Dollar Tree foam board used to be my board of choice, but their current board uses a different adhesive to attach the paper to the foam and it will easily pull away.  Walmart has a better board, albeit more expensive, that is fairly stiff and the paper sticks quite well.  

The newer hot glue works very well and its strength exceeds the strength of the board, whether you're applying glue to the paper or stripping the paper and covering the seam area with packing tape before sticking it down.

Foam Board Full_v10
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Post  batjac Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:19 pm

Darn you Ian!!!! Now I have to add another plane to my queue. I have three sheets of Dollar Tree foamboard sitting in the corner, and now you made me designate them for one of these OT planes! I guess I'll have to look at the Flite Test website for the plans.  Mad 


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Post  microflitedude Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:41 pm

I've built many planes with Dollar Tree Foamboard and BluCore. Hurts way less when you smash the plane in the ground.  RC Plane 
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Post  Surfer_kris Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:41 am

It is getting harder to find some good lightweight balsa around here. It seems nowadays most shops just sell it as if it was a well defined homogeneous item, like plastic or something. For a real lightweight construction it is very hard to beat selected balsa sheets though, or built up structures made from balsa...
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Post  andrew Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:38 am

microflitedude wrote:I've built many planes with Dollar Tree Foamboard and BluCore. Hurts way less when you smash the plane in the ground.  RC Plane 

LOL!!!

It usually goes something like, " Whoops!! Dang it, there goes another $2.00!!"  Smile 
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Post  roddie Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:38 am

Surfer_kris wrote:It is getting harder to find some good lightweight balsa around here. It seems nowadays most shops just sell it as if it was a well defined homogeneous item, like plastic or something. For a real lightweight construction it is very hard to beat selected balsa sheets though, or built up structures made from balsa...

I agree Kris.. foam-boards' strength is in solid-sheet form. Yes it's lighter than the same size solid balsa part (re: Ian's photo comparing the weight of 2 stabilizers) but.. a same-size, properly "built-up" balsa stabilizer will be almost as light as foam-board..(possibly lighter) but much stronger than foam-board, once covered.

"Builders" love balsa... and don't mind the extra fabrication time involved with "built-up" structures. "Flyers" like to get in the air ASAP... and there's tons of quick-building "flat-foamie" kits/designs for the more popular electric power (EP) systems currently available.. The difference between the 2 types of construction lies in airfoils. Solid-sheet-wing foamies vs. solid-sheet-wing balsa models.. there is no comparison... the foamie will be lighter and thus fly better. One "could" build an air-foiled foam-board wing.. but a built-up balsa wing of the same size/shape.. using conventional construction techniques, will be much lighter and stronger.

A scale flying model will always use built-up construction techniques.. whether balsa or composite.

Roddie








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Post  batjac Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:45 pm

Surfer_kris wrote:It is getting harder to find some good lightweight balsa around here. It seems nowadays most shops just sell it as if it was a well defined homogeneous item, like plastic or something. For a real lightweight construction it is very hard to beat selected balsa sheets though, or built up structures made from balsa...

Funny enough, I have a hard time finding hard and medium balsa at the local shop.  The shop does not segregate by grade of balsa, so when I need a sheet of a certain type, I just pull it all out on the counter and sort for myself.  Lately, I've needed the harder balsa for some c/l builds, and all that the shop has is good, light weight balsa in those sizes.  Used to be all I could find was medium to hard, and the light stuff was scarce.

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Post  ian1954 Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:40 pm

I have a hard time finding balsa at all other than mail order. Then I get what I am sent - there aren't any options for selecting density.

I have and still am building models from balsa - three on the go at the moment and three kits waiting to be started.

However, my point is in this topic that there are alternatives to balsa that are cheap, readily available (I just bought 4 sheets 10 minutes walk away!) and you can build a model and fly it perhaps two hours later.

The guys in the video use a "power pod" contructed from foam board that is self contained and transferable from model to model. Brilliant idea! Another hour slashing foam board and glueing it and you have another model at hardly any cost.

My power pod

Foam Board Power_10

This is a good way to get into the hobby and get out and fly. Break it and "Oh dear, how sad, well never mind!." Spend two years building a full scale replica and smash it - heartbreaking!

The variety of planes is endless - look at the Delta wing above.

and look at this



Learn to fly on one of these - a lot to gain and little to lose!
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Post  Surfer_kris Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:47 pm

For me the building it-self is a big part of the hobby, especially this time of the year, so I've never really been interest in the fast foam builds...

I think I have enough planes to fly already, so I like some challenge in the build and don't really mind the extra time it takes. Here's what's on my building board right now;

Foam Board Img_1410
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Post  batjac Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:03 pm

ian1954 wrote:
My power pod

Foam Board Power_10

I looked at the Flite Test website for those Old Fogey plans, and kinda like the power pod design.  I just don't understand why they don't go ahead and put the servos on the power pod also.  If I do build one of those, I'll mount the elevator and rudder servos on the power pod.  Then just make a coupler for the elevator and rudder pushrods.  I'm thinking a 1/2A clevis would work for the coupler.  Just keep the clevis whole on the power pod side, and on the plane side I'd cut off the pin side of the clevis and leave the side with the hole for the power pod to hook up to.  Should work fine.

I also need to try their hot glue method for holding wheels on.

Man! My mind just never stops coming up with half baked ideas...

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Post  duke.johnson Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:57 pm

I just spent about a hour looking at the Flite Test website. Awesome!
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Post  statorvane Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:40 am

I enjoy the building aspect this time of year as well. Never fails though, I am usually ready to fire up the compressor by late Jan or early Feb. However, it makes such  a mess that I usuallty spend most of the time vaccuming up the overspray.

Surfer_kris wrote:Here's what's on my building board right now;

Wow. That is pretty slick  Cool . A racer?
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Post  Surfer_kris Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:59 am

Yes, it is a "sheet wing" racer of my own design.
I wanted something faster than my "Yellow Jacket" from Morris Hobbies, but I might have outdone myself on this one though, it will be pretty small...

I don't know if/how it flies, but I really like making things out of balsa. The feeling of a sharp razor blade cutting through basa, like a knife in butter, is very addictive. Wink
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Post  fredvon4 Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:38 am

Tower Hobbies latest sale flier has a cool Flyzone set up called Air Core where a power module with servos for $59 can fit any of several park flier foam birds... I immediate though of several ways to just buy the power module and adapt to simple balsa or foam board aircraft
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Post  batjac Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:58 pm

fredvon4 wrote:Tower Hobbies latest sale flier has a cool Flyzone set up called Air Core where a power module with servos for $59 can fit any of several park flier foam birds... I immediate though of several ways to just buy the power module and adapt to simple balsa or foam board aircraft

I looked at one of those a couple of months ago when i was at the hobby shop.  Those things are tiny.  And, the connections to link the power pod to the control surface pushrods are just magnets.  More of a micro warbird power module.  I decided it'd be easier to make a larger one myself.  Wouldn't be too hard.

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Post  ian1954 Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:19 pm

After watching this video



I couldn't resist a build.

2 hours - start to finish. Just needs a propeller and the battery fitting (5 minutes).

Foam Board Bloodi11
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