Pizza Box (corrugated cardboard) Planes? Scratchbuild - It Flies!!! - RC Groups
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May 12, 2010, 06:16 PM
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Pizza Box (corrugated cardboard) Planes? Scratchbuild - It Flies!!!

Just wondering if anyone here's tried to make planes out of pizza boxes before. I've searched around, and haven't found too much. Most say it's too heavy to use, but that was when brushed was the norm. With brushless nowadays it seems like it could be a viable option. I know another issue would be any moisture would kill it, but as long as it's completely dry out it should be ok right?

I've only been able to find one person that's actually used the pizza box to make a plane, but he just left it as a Papa John's pizza box, and made some foam wings for it.

I started cutting up a box and making a plane. My first scratch build ever, so it probably won't fly, but it's been fun and interesting so far. I'm trying to make it as cheap as possible, and no foam. Just cardboard, BBQ skewers, floss, and elmers all purpose white glue. Wing span's a bit restricted because of the size of the pizza box, but it's got a 32.5" wingspan 195 sq in wing area, and AUW is about 14 oz. I'm thinking with those specs it should be able to fly. - And it flew!

Anyways, I'd love to know if anyone else has ever tried this before, and if it succeeded or not.

Here's the video of the maiden. I thought it would have flown faster from the feedback I was getting from Webocalc.

rc cardboard pizza box plane maiden flight (1 min 47 sec)

Sorry no sound. Windows movie maker drops the sound from mov files for some reason.

Pictures of the completed plane in post #20
Last edited by Mujiber; May 17, 2010 at 02:16 AM. Reason: updated specs and added maiden video
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May 12, 2010, 07:17 PM
Xpress..'s Avatar
Welcome to the Pizza Box Flyer world. There should be threads around here somewhere..
May 12, 2010, 07:33 PM
Wake up, feel pulse, be happy!
Piece's Avatar
You know, it's funny.... I've built 3 PBFs, all out of foam.

Of course, the BamBam and smaller Baby BamBam (you've probably never heard of either) were both made out of corrugated plastic, and the Baby had a fuse made from a whiffle ball bat. It did great on a $6 HC brushless motor.

Cardboard seems like quite a possibility, and it's easy to obtain.....

PBFs work better if they're not completly square. I've had good luck around 20" span and 17" length everywhere from 80 to 200W. Just might be helpful.

The moisture issue could be solved by wrapping the plane is packing tape or even iron-on covering.... Heck, the plane could be built like a balsa model, but with cardboard replacing wood

Why on earth would you get me started on this....
May 12, 2010, 08:02 PM
Retardedly intelligent
foam and tape's Avatar
I belive the OP was refering to building an acutal airframe out of Pizza boxes... NOT a PBF AKA ''Square plane". Yes it is possible to build an airframe out of pizza boxes to awnser your question!
May 12, 2010, 11:45 PM
Registered User
Yeah, my searches always came up with the PBF. The only similarity the PBF has with a pizza box is it's shape. I was talking about the material, that's why I put corrugated cardboard in brackets. Anyways, here are some pics of what I've got so far to give you an idea.

I've never designed a plane before, so any comments on it are welcome. It's just going to be rudder/elevator for now. I've mounted the servos so far, finished the tail, and will be mounting the motor soon. The main wing has a slight dihedral and the wing tips are about 45. I made the main wing to have something like a KFm2/3 airfoil. I'm hoping that will be enough to give it some lift.
May 12, 2010, 11:57 PM
2 no or knot 2 no!
looks like a plane. I'm just wondering about your twin vert. stabs. they don't look like enough. Why not a single one, closer to proper dimensions?
May 12, 2010, 11:59 PM
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TLyttle's Avatar
In my 55+ year collection of model airplane magazines, many, many models made of corrugated cardboard are featured, usually (but not always) control line models, often scale models. With the power available with the new electrics, card is perfectly viable as a construction material.

Looks like you are on the right track with what you have now; good luck!
May 13, 2010, 01:54 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by tmb55
looks like a plane. I'm just wondering about your twin vert. stabs. they don't look like enough. Why not a single one, closer to proper dimensions?
For ease of construction. The cardboard was about 14 inches wide, and I wanted 10 inches for the horizontal portion of the tail. I didn't want to try to cobble together two pieces of cardboard for the tail, so thought turning the sides up may be a better way to make the tail from one piece, and it would be easier to glue straight onto the top of the fuse. I was assuming though that as long as it's the same area for the vertical stabilizer, that it would be ok. I just visualized stacking both on top of each other, and thought that would be a big enough surface for the vertical portion. Both are about two inches high. Do you guys think it won't be enough? I could try to extend it if need be.
May 13, 2010, 02:10 AM
AMA #953123
WOW! That is very interesting. I'm very curious to see if it flies or not.
May 13, 2010, 03:03 AM
Registered User
Hopefully I'll be able to get it done by the weekend, and if weather's good will try to give it a go. If it doesn't fly, I'll just blame the pizza stains. :P This was supposed to be from just the cardboard from one large pizza box, but I had to cheat a bit to get some extra cardboard for the tail. Got them from a 2 for 1 pizza place anyways, so had two boxes on hand. :P
May 14, 2010, 04:12 AM
Registered User
This guy has been building many nice planes out of corrugated cardboard for a long time.
May 14, 2010, 05:07 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by groundfx
This guy has been building many nice planes out of corrugated cardboard for a long time.
Yeah, ran into his site before while looking for others. He's made some really nice stuff. I probably won't make anything that elaborate out of cardboard, but it's amazing what can be done with it.

I see you're in Delta, are you in the Ridgeflyer's club?
May 14, 2010, 07:15 AM
Registered User
earlwb's Avatar
It is pretty neat to use cardboard for the airplane. A number of guys have done that. If I remember a year ago, in Model Airplane News, they published pics of someone having built a flying huge four engine airplane using electric motors of course, all made out of cardboard.
There were a few guys trying to get a six pack box to fly as well. But I lost track of their threads on it though.

usually the Pizza Box flyers are actually referring to the square shape of the wing. They typically use foam board, fan fold foam or stiff insulating foam. The other group makes the PBF's using coroplast board, which is a plastic designed to look like cardbooard, but much more strong and longer lasting.
Check out our SPAD category here in the forum, just below the RADIOS category.
Also check out website for more ideas too.
May 14, 2010, 10:14 AM
Registered User
RCG member "Greenseasnips" has been heavily involved in this type of construction for sometime (he's done some really nice work btw). I think he usually posts in the "Parkflyers" and "Scale Electric Planes" RCG forums.
May 14, 2010, 02:50 PM
Registered User
Yeah, I've looked at the SPADs before. Looks like a nice cheap way to make a plane. I think it'd be neat to have some sort of "contest" to see how many people can make a plane out of one large pizza box. Maybe have a box laid flat and show all the cuts on it to make the plane. I'll try to see if I can do that for mine.

I went to look up Greenseasnips. Thanks for the tip. He did a good job with the JU-52 and the P-40. Looks like he's got quite the workshop as well.

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