...plus useful hints for working in foam board.

On this page are the links to the planes I've built from foam board. As you visit each aircraft page you'll find out if I've prepared plans for the build. I'll try and get plans for them all, but it does take time. There's also a few tips and techniques for working in foam board. The original articles are also available on the Flite Test website where I posted them with the nickname alibopo. These builds use many of the basic build techniques demonstrated in the Flite Test videos. The Flite Test website is also a great resource for scratch builders in foam board and those new to the hobby. All my videos are available here on YouTube.

Embedded in the text are occasional links to various products, there to give you an idea what I'm talking about and where to source items. Basically I just chose the items I use, but often a quick search can find a similar or the same  item at a cheaper price.

One of the things I like about this build method is the use of simple construction materials like; BBQ skewers, lollipop sticks and rubber bands. The build system of using foam board and a hot glue gun is also very fast and forgiving. Foam board or foam core is a sandwich of paper-foam-paper. The paper lends a lot of rigidity to the foam, and is a surface that can be painted. The board I use is heavier than the board many builders use in the US. I've also found it's a lot more pricey. In the US it is often referred to as DollarTree foam board, because it is bought from that store chain for a dollar a sheet. In the UK, similar prices for single sheets are anywhere from £5.00 - £8.00. Even at this price it still means the planes are relatively cheap, but you probably won't regard your plane as 'disposable' an item as many US builders seem to. I found the best way to buy foam board in the UK is in a bulk pack of 10 x A1 sheets. It's an investment of about £22.00 - £28.00 depending on where you buy it, but that usually includes to-the-door delivery. The UK foam board I've managed to source tends to be heavier than that available in the US - usually because the paper on the outer surfaces is heavier. The disadvantage is an increase in weight of between 10% - 25% in the finished model, the advantage is a more robust model. Also this extra weight, in certain situations, helps the plane fly in stronger winds, and we have plenty of that in the UK!

There is also a scaling effect to consider; building models up around the 1000mm wingspan range, the weight issue usually becomes less critical as there's plenty of lift to allow good slow-fly (scale) performance. And there's other ways to deal with the extra weight - just carry a smaller battery load. Someone flying one of my planes built in lighter foam board might carry a 2200mah battery, where I might fly it with a 1500mah battery. Same flying weight, same flight performance, but they get 18-20 minutes in the air to my 14-15 minutes. I can cope with that.

If you do decide to use my plans to build one of the models, get it flying and enjoy it - please consider making a donation for the plan through Paypal, using the email shown on the plan. To give you a feel for each plane's potential, I have flight video for most of the planes.


Polikarpov Po-2  Polikarpov U-2 Po-2

AVRO 539b  1919 AVRO 539b

Velie Monocoupe  1927 Velie Monocoupe - Type 70

Morphocoupe  Morphocoupe

Tribewt  Tribewt

Tribewt2  Tribewt2

GeeBee Sportster Tribewt   GeeBee Sportster Tribewt

GeeBee Sportster Model D  GeeBee Sportster Model D

GeeBee Sportster Model X  GeeBee Sportster Model X

SE5  SE5

The Lazy Fogey

Sopwith Pup  Sopwith Pup

Pilatus Porter  Pilatus Porter

Porter Hitop  Pilatus Hi-top

Frankenplane 1  Frankenplane 1

Smash Drone  My build of 'The Smash Drone' by CStence

Frankenplane 2  Frankenplane 2

Old Fogey Surgery  Surgery on an Old Fogey

Old Fogey Biplane  Old Fogey biplane

Lazy Gnat  Lazy Gnat

Mini Staggerwing  Mini Staggerwing


Simple Tail Steering  Simple Tail Steering

Old Style Wheels  Creating Old-Style Wheels

Hole Repair  Repair a skewer mount hole

Rebuild that wreck  Rebuild that wreck

FT Flyer repair  Repair a weary FT Flyer

Cabanes for foam board  Cabanes for foam board planes

Baby Blender cabanes  Baby Blender Cabane assembly

Balance and Moments  Sorting out your balance

Find TRUE CG  How to find your TRUE CG

LiPo Battery Modification  LiPo Balance Lead modification

Heavy Foam does fly  Building with heavier foam boards

Lemon Planes  My Lemon planes

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