96 inch Dollar Tree Foam C-47/DC-3 - RC Groups
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Jan 05, 2012, 12:48 AM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
Build Log

96 inch Dollar Tree Foam C-47/DC-3

I have always loved the history and look of this airplane and wanted to build something in the 8 foot range. Having never flown a twin before I thought this would be the perfect one to build. This is a big challenge and I will be pulling from this forum A LOT.

I plan on mostly using the Dollar Tree Foam and will also use the home depot foam for the thick pieces.

My build style will be mostly borrowed from another high quality craftsman who built a P-40 from fanfold foam. His thread can be found here. My build will not be as high quality as sparks. I want to fly this a lot and I expect damage from transport and my kids .

I am just starting to put it together. I have built a table to work on, built a jig, and cut out all the formers. Removing the paper from the foam is pretty easy. I used Windex. You just wet the paper, wait 20 seconds and it comes off in one piece.

I found a dwg file of a dc-3 and have modified and stretched the plans to be 96 inches. I also modified the formers to be used in my building method. This is still a work in progress, but I have enough done to do the fuselage and nacelles.
Last edited by charlesconklin; Jan 05, 2012 at 01:42 AM.
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Jan 05, 2012, 01:44 AM
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I will be watching with great interest. I like the jig idea may have to borrow this idea.can't wait to see more.Rick
Jan 05, 2012, 01:59 AM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
Thanks Rick, the jig idea came from sparks. I am hoping it works out well. Here are some of the CAD pics.
Jan 05, 2012, 06:39 AM
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I'm working on a waco cg-4a combat glider thats a foamy, a C-47 foamy would be nice to tow into the air with
Jan 05, 2012, 08:49 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
It's a bit late to suggest another method for fuselage construction, but the box method is now my favorite.

Basically start with a box, (it's where all the gear can fit quite easily), then just add the outer formers, (can be done in smaller pieces so reduces waste).

Any way great project. I still fly an old GWS C-47 occasionally.

Here's my method -
Jan 05, 2012, 10:50 AM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
Rick, That glider is what I wanted to do next. Do you have any CAD files for it?

Ray, I like that building technique, I think I can apply it to the engine nacelles.
Jan 05, 2012, 04:30 PM
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glad to here your going to do the glider i found free pdf plans and printed them off,if you go to flyrc.com on the main page there will be a picture of the waco glider and you can just click the download button. you will have to tape the pages together but hey heck its free
Jan 05, 2012, 04:34 PM
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Also if you get fly rc mag.there is an article on the waco cg-4a in the november 2011 issue..If you cant find the plans on the site let me know,Rick
Jan 08, 2012, 09:03 AM
Good job!
Jan 08, 2012, 11:32 AM
Foam Av8r
RogueTitan's Avatar
sorry to get off topic but I am liking your fuse Jig.
any pics or any drawings of your Jig?

Nice build also BTW
Jan 08, 2012, 06:33 PM
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this is a very good thread on technique. I like the box jig for the fuselage.
Jan 08, 2012, 11:16 PM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
Well, not much progress has been made. I have glued up some strips to keep all the formers from moving around when I put the skin on. I ran out of glue so I still need to do one side. I started putting the strips on sticking out thinking that I'll just trim the extra to the right size. Now i think that will be more work than needed. I put the side strip flush and it will need no trimming. I might just cut the others off and do them the other way.

I have attached the dwg file for the jig. I didn't draw out the bottom part of the jig since it is just a rectangle piece. The conduit tube jig is sparks idea, so I am giving him credit for that.

I am using DraftSight to view and modify the CAD files. It is Free 2D CAD software. It works okay for what I need.
Last edited by charlesconklin; Jan 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM.
Jan 10, 2012, 12:43 AM
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davemcp's Avatar
Lowes has fanfold 6mm / 1/4" foam that comes out to about $1.50 per 2'x4' sheet. It is fanfold and a 50' bale is around $34. Could be cheaper than the stuff you're getting from dollar tree.

Jan 10, 2012, 12:03 PM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
I had half a bale of the blue fan-fold stuff. I chose not to use it due to it's poor quality. It was very wavy throughout each sheet. The dollar tree foam is, well, a dollar a sheet. It is uniform, smooth and for forming it curves very well. I doubled up the formers to increase the rigidity making it a little thicker than the blue fan-fold foam. To date, I have only used 2 1/4 sheets and I purchased 10. I am sure I'll need some more, but the cost of all the foam will be small in comparison to other costs (motors, esc, servos, tires).
Jan 22, 2012, 09:34 PM
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charlesconklin's Avatar
Not a lot of work got done. Being sick for 5 days is really not fun at all.

I cut out the strips that were sticking out and glued new ones in the right (and smarter) way. I glued the largest piece of exterior skin in place. It is starting to look more like a fuselage. I've got 2 more pieces of skin ready to go. You can see them in the picture. I found an easy way to get the pieces to curve. Place the cut piece on the carpeted floor in the basement. Then take a round wooden handle from a broom or paint roller extender and roll it over the foam while pushing down a little. Curl in the foam and put a rubber ban around it for a while to allow it to better hold shape.

I am still contemplating whether I should build the wings the old fashioned way or hot wire cut them out of solid foam. I still have some time to decide.

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