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Old Mar 21, 2009, 08:32 PM
Pronounced "High Duck"
haiduk's Avatar
Marysville, WA
Joined Oct 2008
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Scratch Built Dollar Tree Foam Planes

The more I work with cheap Dollar Tree foam, the more I like it. 20" x 30" x 3/16" sheets for a buck. Considerably less expensive than EPP or even Depron. Thought I would start a thread to see what other people are building out of this material.

Here's my pops Aeronca L3. Less than $10 worth of materials including everything but the power train and radio. No carbon fiber used. We had a chance to take her up for flight testing today. She flies very stable for a 40" trainer class plane.

For flight testing today he had built up a wing with a KF airfoil and one with a built up clark Y (type) airfoil.

On the maiden flight we used a wing with the KF wing, 2S Lipo and a 10x8SF GWS prop. Had plenty of thrust, but the airframe was somewhat unstable. Tried again with the built up clark Y wing it was beautifully stable. Little trim was needed for straight, self-correcting, flight.

We also tried the plane with 3S Lipos with 10x4.7SF prop and the plane just "came alive."

My dad is currently working on plans to post. I will upload them when they are ready.

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Old Mar 21, 2009, 08:46 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Wake Turbulence's Avatar
United States, FL, Coconut Creek
Joined Aug 2007
319 Posts
Looks good. I like the Dollar Tree foam when I can find it not warped. I also use the hot glue gun with it.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 08:54 PM
"Fly, yes... Land, No"
OutcastZeroOne's Avatar
United States, CA, Santa Cruz
Joined May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wake Turbulence
Looks good. I like the Dollar Tree foam when I can find it not warped. I also use the hot glue gun with it.
I found that once you rmove the kraft paper from it the foam tends to flatten out.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 08:58 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
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United States, FL, Coconut Creek
Joined Aug 2007
319 Posts
I leave the paper on. On large glue joints I use gorilla glue. this is my latest project. It's got a 50 inch wing and a 50 inch fuse.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:03 PM
Pronounced "High Duck"
haiduk's Avatar
Marysville, WA
Joined Oct 2008
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Nice plane.

Seems like every sheet of the Dollar Tree foam that I have looked at has a good deal of warpage. Not such a big deal if you build up the wings and fuselage. It straightens back out. I haven't tried to pull the paper off. Will have to see how that works. Hot glue does work very well too.

EDIT: I think I'm going to try to build something like a Mini Ultra Stick with this stuff next. I do have a motor and ESC to use.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:12 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
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United States, FL, Coconut Creek
Joined Aug 2007
319 Posts
You can get low priced servos from RCdollar store and fast shipping.
http://www.dollarrcparts.com/8gservo.html
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:28 PM
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eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
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Hot glue gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wake Turbulence
Looks good. I like the Dollar Tree foam when I can find it not warped. I also use the hot glue gun with it.
Just wondering-I haven't yet built a foamie but isn't hot glue heavy? Or do you just use dots of it? Seems as if a glue that evaporates while drying would be a lot lighter, like ca or white glue.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:31 PM
Pronounced "High Duck"
haiduk's Avatar
Marysville, WA
Joined Oct 2008
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Hot glue isn't too heavy if used in moderation. This 40" Aeronca was built up using the fairly heavy cheap Dollar Tree foam exclusively with hot melt glue. Weighs in right at 16 ounces with the 2S lipo. A bit too light for flying with any wind at all. With the ballast of the much heavier 3S battery, it penetrates the wind and has plenty of power to motor through it.

If I were building a high performance model, I don't think I would be using Dollar Tree foam and/or hot melt glue.

EDIT: If you are building a 16-20 ounce model, a few extra grams of weight from Hot Glue is not going to make a whole lot of difference. If you are building a 2-5 ounce plane, it might make a difference then.
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Last edited by haiduk; Mar 21, 2009 at 09:37 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:38 PM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haiduk

If I were building a high performance model, I don't think I would be using Dollar Tree foam and/or hot melt glue.
No, I wasn't refering to high performance stuff. Just wondering about foam construction in general. And the 45" foam Lanzo Bomber in particular. I guess it would work for that, no?
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:40 PM
Pronounced "High Duck"
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Marysville, WA
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Guess it all depends on how much Hot Glue you use. Would probably work just fine if you use "just enough glue."
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:40 PM
Pompano Hill Flyers
Wake Turbulence's Avatar
United States, FL, Coconut Creek
Joined Aug 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeronca52
Just wondering-I haven't yet built a foamie but isn't hot glue heavy? Or do you just use dots of it? Seems as if a glue that evaporates while drying would be a lot lighter, like ca or white glue.
I think your right but I am not all that worried about it. The difference don't bother me, I just put on a bigger motor. I look at it this way, one dollar-one sheet of foam throw it together and fly to heck out of it. If it breaks or falls apart, just get out another dollar. I'm thinking about getting a bigger hot glue gun just to glue faster.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:44 PM
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eastern pa
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Good thoughts, thanks.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:46 PM
Pronounced "High Duck"
haiduk's Avatar
Marysville, WA
Joined Oct 2008
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Also comes down to time and expense involved. I think my dad has less than 5 hours invested in his Dollar Tree plane and that includes all of his CAD design work. Probably less than an hour total invested in the build itself. Less than $10 worth of materials. Hot glue works just fine here.

Now on the other hand, I already have over 200 hours of design and planning invested in this scratch build. There's no chance that I will be using hot glue anywhere in that model.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 09:52 PM
have foam, will fly
waqa's Avatar
San Diego
Joined Dec 2008
278 Posts
My 2 favorites are 100% dollar tree and hot glue. Both weigh around 8oz with 800mah 2S's.

I miss named this one a BB33, it is actually a 30 inch wing made from a single piece of $ tree foam. I left the paper on and only cut through it where the leading edge airfoil bends. The trailing edge section is cut and hot glued the same way I did for the airfoil shape.

BB30

The 30 inch, 48g, 10 minute wing

Funjet, also done with a 30 inch wing, built the same way as the BB30 but with some taper and flaperons. At the end of the video I nose it into the ground real hard, and the damage is minimal, I suspect thanks to the paper left on the foam. Motor is a 4200+Kv Outrunner in a EDF55 on 2S from here . On 3S it flies level at 1/4 throttle. 8.5 oz's AUW.

funjet
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 10:03 PM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
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Hi haiduk, Didn't have time to read the whole post on your other build but just wanted to type my two cents in here. Long time ago I worked for a Piper distributor and knew quite a few people at Piper. One day I was talking about cooling vents and their design. The tech said the Tomahawk fresh air vent (which is an innie) was more effective than an outtie. The vent they used was actually some sort of NACA design. Look here just ahead of the door, it's about 10" big. http://www.pipertomahawk.com/N2468N.jpg Perhaps the outtie will work better at the speeds we fly, but this worked for them. Again my two cents .
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