Canopus - Forward Swept Wing Scratch Build

by Cyberdos | January 26, 2016 | (9) Posted in Projects

Design Challenge

Have been continually building foamies with intent to improve build techniques as well as answer the question from some colleauges if these designs will fly well. One of my desires is building forward swept wing airplane.

To me they are not only exotic, they are beautiful works of art and science.


Here are my recommendations to make this flying beast with speed as it cries in the skies, powerful vertical included.

aircraft dimensions:   30x40x7 (LxWxH inches)

          aircraft type:   simple elevon flying wing, rudder (no controls, serves as stabilizer only)

          power setup:  DYS G-power series 2300Kv motor, 3S 2200 mah 25C battery, 30 amp ESC

               propeller:   6x5E

                  servos:  2 x HXT900 9g servos

                 receiver: GA7003XS FASST RX with 3 axis stabilizer - compatible with Futaba SG14 Tx

               materials:   EPP foam (fuselage), standard 6mm sheet (wings/rudder). 3mm carbon spars/stiffener,                                  foam safe glue.

                    color:   Acrylic epoxy spray paint.


Techniques for The Foam Works


Made using two layers of standard 6mm foam sheet, reinforced with carbon fiber spars in between. No need to remove the papers on the surface for tougher wings. Here is the wing pattern designed in visio to pdf > CanopusWingDesign and TiledA4_CanopusWingDesign

Smooth beveling method - with a pattern about 1 inch from the leading edge of the upper layer, use cutter to make the outline of 1mm deep. Pass through the pattern using a ball point to make the cut deep and wide enough for the hot wire to run through. This method will provide a smooth slope.


Used layers of EPP foam then reinforced it with a carbon fiber tube.

Using masking tape as patterns for cutting - i found it easier to use paper masking tape to simply stick directly on the epp and outline the shape of the epp portions to cut whether symmetrical or not. The material does not burn easily with foam cutting wire while the epp melts. So it reduced the burden of creating intricate actual patterns from boards and etc.

Battery Space Using a Conventional Soldering Gun

Creating a battery space beautifuly can be made easy by using large clipit and a soldering gun.

Paint Job

Since fudelage is EPP, it does not melt using acrylic epoxy spray paint, it can be applied directly without worries using the proper method. Honda Blue color is preferred for extra sheen.

The wings are not compatible with the same paint. The paper cover on the surface helped as protection. As you can see on the tip of the left wing, there has been a bit of melt when acrylic paint is sprayed directly. It can be done but be careful to apply the paint moderately. CTM Yamaha Orange is used for this for brass appearance.


The Maiden Flight

Although the Orange flight stabilizer GA7003XS is optional for the setup, it helped a lot in the maiden flight, it could have been so different without this for a test anyway.

Forward swept wing design usually have CG far way forward of the actual wing surface, this one, the battery is installed just the trailing edge of the canard (which is static). Its advantage is having more space in the fuselage, the canard helps compensate for lift should the fore part is heavy. Happy to see that the Canopus is set up right on the first flight.

These pictures reveal the beauty of a forward swept wing aircraft like the Canopus, thanks to my friend photographer, rc enthusiast and pilot Ferrari Miranda.

Unique design that is wonderful to the eye. 

 Hope you are inspired with this project and additional build techniques, enjoy the maiden flight video:) 

Flight Video


Thanks for watching, looking forward to your build ideas to share with too...


jimmyp39 on January 31, 2016
What a neat looking plane. Flies great as well.
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Cyberdos on January 31, 2016
Thanks jimmyp39! I guess we got the right setup for a prototype☺
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1959cutter on January 31, 2016
looks like you guys have fun!
are you going to produce them for sale? or at least downloadable plans?
this is one of the best looking designs since the bat plane.
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Cyberdos on February 1, 2016
Nice idea, I will consider this. For now if you need the wing pattern file it is attached to the corresponding section. The fuselage I will make a plan for this. Thanks a lot 1959cutter.
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1959cutter on February 1, 2016
sorry,i didn't see the attachment,it was late and i was half asleep/baked.
i tried the canard/bloody wonder re-design,further down the article section.
it was too heavy for the wing area,for the motor and battery set up,but this looks promising.
thanks again.
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Cyberdos on February 2, 2016
The battery recommended is maximum, it can be from 1300 to 2200 maH. I am considering developing patterns or kit.
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rick_harriss on February 1, 2016
Love the scifi look. great build. Klingon Bird of Prey look about it. Nice.
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Cyberdos on February 1, 2016
Thanks a lot, I guess i got lucky for this one from concept to build in two days it was made real☺.
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jdfilkins on February 4, 2016
I saw the Klingon look myself! Very good looking airframe.
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TPaine on February 5, 2016
Really cool looking plane. I have the powertrain from a Fanjet Ultra and reckon it would work well in here. Can you give me the CofG position please? thanks TPaine
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Cyberdos on February 6, 2016
Good day TPaine this plane is built ad hoc so I don't have the proper calculation of CG, however during setup i estimated and marked it just an inch forward of the aft edge of the battery compartment. Hope to provide more detailed pattern in the future.
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Canopus - Forward Swept Wing Scratch Build