Quick and easy foam fuselages from scratch!

by RustyMustard | October 31, 2013 | (4) Posted in How To

Hello everyone, this is my first FliteTest article.   I follow the show, have built a few of the planes, and have often found incredibly useful, entertaining, and inspiring information and articles here.   But today, i've got something i feel is worth sharing.

This tutorial is a look over my shoulder as i build a small foam box type fuselage for a micro sized plane.   For the larger airframes, the flitetest method of foaboard with paper on works great, but if you've ever wanted an easy way to scale down the plans for micro planes, this video will show you how to build most conventional fuselages beginning from only a template of the side profile, which can be obtained from plans or from any side view of the airplane you wish to build.   The need for only one template cuts down on build time complexity, and tedium of prepping and cutting out plans, and speeds up the build process.

These techniques can be adapted to a wide variety of fuselage, and makes it easy to build directly from an idea simply by sketching out the side profile you want and starting from there.   It's also a great design tool, as you can build a small scale prototype of a larger design to work out the fitment issues before committing more materials.   It means you can turn all your little foam scraps from larger buillds into beautiful micro foamies, and even use this technique to make a plug for doing the 'lost foam' technique.

In this video i'm demostrating the technique on a 50% version of the OSG (One Sheet Glider) from springer over at RcGroups.com.   Here is a link to the plans and build thread there.

60" span motor glider - OSG!

I've also included some pics below of an Aeronica Champion fuselage built using the same techniques i'll show you in this video.


Here is the completed fuselage, ready for electronics and a tail. 




And here's a look at the champ using te same build technique, the only template i used was that of the fuselage side, everything else just falls into place once you have your sides.


 Here i added a couple of extra bulkheads to the cockpit so i can cut out the windows and still have support.


The fabric covered fusealge with skeletonized tail and built up wing.   The tail and wing ribs are Hefty 'Extra Strong' foam plates.   The spar is 1/8" square balsa, the leading and trailing edges are 1/16" sheet balsa cut to 1/4" strips.  Wingspan is 23".   I still haven't decided if it'll be RC or free flight yet.


That's it for now.   If you like this tutorial and want to see more, let me know and i'll share more of my techniques, and expand on some more advanced methods of turning an idea into reality, or converting vintage balsa plans to foam as i've done with the Champ.   I hope i can inspire others to take their ideas and experiment using these simple methods that anyone can do with a few simple hand tools to create their dreams with success.   I'd love to see what you come up with.


hunterradiocontrol on December 31, 2013
weeelllll done

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CivicEX5Speed on January 31, 2014
I have a Micro Spitfire that bit it and hardly flies anymore. I'll be using your technique and make a new plane. Thanks very much for sharing.
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Quick and easy foam fuselages from scratch!