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Mar 12, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Thread OP

4-ft span foam glider from Wal-Mart, converted to R/C?

After my Lanier U-2 crashed, I felt sorry for myself and so threw the radio into this thing, with an old motor and a spare battery from a helicopter. Surprisingly, it flies quite nicely. Has to be one of the cheap-and-easy-est planes there is. And it's slow and light enough, that it's pretty sturdy during rough landings, too.

Has anyone else done this? Share the experience!
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Mar 12, 2008, 03:27 PM
Old F-4 Crewchief
fuzzyhead's Avatar
Pretty neat. Any guess what the auw weight is? I've got a 22g motor and TB9 looking for a home. Would like to see a close up of your motor mount. Can't tell from the picture, but are you using ailerons or rudder? I've seen other builds like this on the site but don't remember where.
Latest blog entry: The first F-4 I crewed.
Mar 12, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Hope this helps. All-up weight is 12 oz. on my postal scale. Climbs and glides very nicely, and is fairly slow. It has an old "Troll-35" brushed motor I got from Peck Polymers like 15 years ago, newer prop adapter and 6-3 electric prop. 1/8" plywood mount, with exclusive aviation-grade natural-elastic retaining device from my morning newspaper. It uses a Pixie-14 ESC with BEC (on the other side of the pylon, in the breeze from the prop where it can keep cool, held on by that lower rubberband). The wood pylon damps vibration (which might have caused the U-2's demise), and hasn't fallen off yet.

Rudder and elevator (and motor speed) only. Should have made it an all-flying stab, can't loop it with this one, though elevator power in normal flight is excellent. Might be a smidge noseheavy, could be the cause, but that's a good thing in a beginner plane. All I wanted to do, was get something that flew.

Last edited by Little-Acorn; Mar 12, 2008 at 04:08 PM.
Mar 12, 2008, 05:14 PM
Retired USAF
cynjon's Avatar
Looks like some good cheap fun! If you do a search for "chuck glider" you'll find where lots of others have done conversions similar to yours.
Mar 12, 2008, 07:21 PM
Old F-4 Crewchief
fuzzyhead's Avatar
Thanks for the pics. Looks like a cheap way to make a little fun. I'll keep my eyes open at my local Walmart.
Latest blog entry: The first F-4 I crewed.
Mar 12, 2008, 07:58 PM
Fully Sending It
Xpress..'s Avatar
Looks nice and fun. Also appears that it wil run on the hceap stuff, like 4/5 AA NiMH, 450 mah?

Anyhoo. Looks like a simple and cheap foam glider. Crash one, and just go get another one
Mar 12, 2008, 08:00 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
They're seasonal. Usually can't get them in December, but stores might be getting them now. Hobby shops around here also have them. And check the usual suspects, Kmart, Toys-R-Us, etc. Tower Hobbies has several kinds, year-round, if you don't mind paying more than it's worth to ship it.

Hobby People have an odd 4-footer made of blue foam. It's a straight-wing, but the wings are narrower than the white straight-wing ones, with the trailing edges apparently cut back. I took a look and passed on them. Was happy to find the "normal" white straight-wing ones at Hobby Central.

Radios are getting so small, I wonder if I could put on in one of the 2-foot span ones.
Mar 12, 2008, 08:08 PM
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Thread OP
Originally Posted by Xpress..
Looks nice and fun. Also appears that it wil run on the hceap stuff, like 4/5 AA NiMH, 450 mah?
Yes, I put four 225mAh NiCad coin cells in my first one, many years ago, and it flew fine (glider only, no motor). And I put four AAA NiMH's, 700mAh, in this one just to test it. Seemed OK.

Anyhoo. Looks like a simple and cheap foam glider.
Zackly. That's the whole idea.

Crash one, and just go get another one
Actually they are surprisingly crash-resistant. The wings plug into sockets in the fuselage. Hit the ground hard and they pop out, absorbing a lot of the impact, and you just plug them back in again. I haven't dived it in from 100 feet or anything (only my U-2 did that, R.I.P.), but I've stalled it in from about 10 feet, no harm done. And the plane's so light it doesn't get dinged up much.

The one I did years ago, used a fuselage and tail from a swept-wing version (same as is shown in the pic above), and straight wings from a straight-wing version. The swept-wing fuselage has the wing sockets farther forward than the straight-wing fuselage. The swept-fuse-straight-wing combo gets you closest to a workable plane IMHO, though the fuse sockets are slightly smaller than the wing roots, so you have to shave the wing roots a little.

I just picked up two of the straight-wing ones from Hobby Central. Now to find some swept-wing ones....
Last edited by Little-Acorn; Mar 13, 2008 at 09:53 AM.
Mar 12, 2008, 08:19 PM
Registered User
I went by the local Walmart the other day to pick up a couple of these foam planes to experiment with and they don't carry them anymore. Did you get them recently??
Thanks, Butch
Mar 13, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Thread OP
I just got two of the straight-wing ones at Hobby Central, a LHS here in northern San Diego in the Miramar area (they used to be in the neighboring town of Poway). Their website is .

These things are seasonal, and if you live in the snow country your stores may not have them yet. Call them and ask, and maybe they'll get a move on. Also check at Kmart, Imaginarium, KB Toys and Hobbies, all the usual suspects, and your LHS's. As a last resort you can always order them (swept or straight) from Tower Hobbies if you don't mind paying a shipping charge.
Mar 13, 2008, 05:28 PM
Registered User
NW PILOT's Avatar
Try big lots. They usually have them seasonally, should have them coming out if they don't already.

Mar 13, 2008, 05:46 PM
resU deretsigeR
PaulVi's Avatar
Ya they show up about the same time the kites do...
Mar 14, 2008, 01:10 AM
Registered User

Ultra Flyer

My first attempt at anything resembling a conversion or scratch kind

Biggest problem so far is getting everything inside the fuse. It's alot smaller than it looks. I still have to add the elevator servo and linkage but hopefully will be ready for the weekend..minus finishing and paint. If it actually flies, I will be more inclined to dress it up a bit
Last edited by NightTrain0128; Mar 14, 2008 at 01:30 AM.
Mar 16, 2008, 07:34 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
NighTrain, very cool! Shades of the F6F Hellcat!

Yes, Slopemeno, it's the COmet. I've seen a practically identical one under the name Flying Eagle.

Yours weighed 30 oz.? Mine was twelve, ready to go. What on earth did you put in it?

I've been searching for these 4-ft foam gliders now, both straight wing and swept wing. The local BigLots has the straight-wing version, so does a local hobby shop. Toys R Us has a swept-wing version, but it's not quite the same as the one shown above. White foam, looks the same at first glance, but the foam seems to be of poorer quality, it has an odd plastic retainer clip over the top of the fuselage that puts a round plastic peg down thru the root of each wing, to hold them on I guess. Sort of defeats the pop-out feature of the wings in hard landings, doesn't it?

But my son has an older Flying Eagle with swept wings (no radio or motor, just what came out of the bag, with an extra nose weight for balance). He's rough on it, and I've glued various parts back on many times (tail, wingtip, 2 fuselage halves etc.). It's had its wings pop out innumerable times (he's 9), and now they slide in and out with almost no force. Maybe that's why the plastic pegs?

The local Hobby People has an odd four-footer, whose foam is blue. I don't mind that, it could be pretty. But the wing trailing edges are cut back, almost as though someone were cutting off the tailing edges to make ailerons and then didn't put them back on for some reason. So the wings in the package are narrower, and the trailing edges are cut off flat like a block instead of tapered. Very strange.

Local Wal-marts and Target both told me they don't have these 4' span foam gliders, and don't plan to be getting any in. Spoilsports.

Has anyone found one of the swept-wing ones recently, in white foam, that doesn't have that plastic retaining device ove the fuselage at the wing roots? What store did you find it at?

Anyone know if K-mart still has these? How about KB Toys and Hobbies? Any place else?
Last edited by Little-Acorn; Mar 16, 2008 at 07:41 PM.
Mar 16, 2008, 10:54 PM
geek from Cow Pie AZ
I found the Guillows Comet swept-wing at a local Ace Hardware in Gilbert AZ, $8. Was inspired by a guy who was flying one with a cheap brushed motor. Flew well, did loops. Was stamped "Comet" into the foam, but had "Eagle" decals.

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