Best foam for rc build

agupt108

Member
I was wondering what would be the best foam for rc builds. I built a few planes with hobby lobby white foam, 3/16". It works greats for planes with minimal bending in forming of curves like the scout, but for something like the Trainer or Cub, what would be a good cheap foam to use. I heard that DTFB has become white paper and less bendable and easy to use than it used to be. I can't use the Maker foam because the tutorial said that for the bends the Adam's is better. I am confused as to what foam board to get. Thank you
 

Foamforce

Well-known member
For all of the Flite Test plans, you should use either the Dollar Tree foam board or the foam board that Flite Test sells on their store. The stuff from Flite Test is (mostly) waterproof so that it doesn’t warp when you fly it on wet grass or when you paint it. Both are the correct weight. If you use other foam board, such as Ross foam board from WalMart, your plane will be heavier, but also the center of gravity will be off because the design is balanced for that specific foam. Generally, if you use a heavier foam, the plane will be tail heavy because there tends to be a lot more foam behind the center of gravity than in front. The design is made so that the weight of the motor and electronics balances it, so if the tail has a bunch more weight than expected you will either have to add additional dead weight to the front, scootch the electronics further forward if possible, or make a longer nose.

Short answer, use DTFB or FTFB.
 

AIRFORGE

Elite member
DTFB (Adams Readi-Board), FTFB (brown), and FT Maker Foam (white) are all made by RL Adams. All of them can be used for curving/forming.
All are approx. the same weight. FTFB, and FTMF are water resistant. Readi-Board is not.
For pretty much all of the FT designed planes, if you use heavier brands of FB, you'll need to make CoG adjustments, and/or build with less internal paper.
 

agupt108

Member
DTFB (Adams Readi-Board), FTFB (brown), and FT Maker Foam (white) are all made by RL Adams. All of them can be used for curving/forming.
All are approx. the same weight. FTFB, and FTMF are water resistant. Readi-Board is not.
For pretty much all of the FT designed planes, if you use heavier brands of FB, you'll need to make CoG adjustments, and/or build with less internal paper.
Thank you! Where do you get FTFB from? I cannot find it on the store...Also, what is the price diff., for me DTFB is $1.25, and I don't want to get into the higher priced foams yet because most planes I make are still crashing! :)
 

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AIRFORGE

Elite member
Thank you! Where do you get FTFB from? I cannot find it on the store...Also, what is the price diff., for me DTFB is $1.25, and I don't want to get into the higher priced foams yet because most planes I make are still crashing! :)
Usually, it's listed on the FT Store in 25 and 50 count. It's about $2/sheet. Dollar Tree and some other dollar stores have the Adams Readi-Board.
 

Merv

Site Moderator
Staff member
I was wondering what would be the best foam for rc builds...
Use what ever brand of foam you have that is easily available to you.
Adams fb from the dollar tree, Ross fb from Walmart, Brown or Maker fb from Flite test. They all work well. Even plain old cardboard from an old box will make a great flying plane.

Ross fb may be slightly heavier than adams, but the weight difference is insignificant. I use both and can’t tell much difference. I use whichever one is in stock. Now Elmer's fb is significantly heavier.

...I heard that DTFB has become white paper and less bendable and easy to use than it used to be....
Not that I have noticed. Take the paper off one side, it will bend easily.
 
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Piotrsko

Master member
Over the years, my dollar tree has had black, orange, day glow green, red, chocolate brown. If you like the color, get the whole box because you'll never see it again.

The bendy part is only important when you crash, but I prefer clean breaks because they are easier to fix
 

agupt108

Member
I am looking through options and I found that the dollar trees near me do not have Adams. For pickup it takes a month to come. Does anyone know any other foamboard that can be used other than DTFB and FTFB; ross shows as 4.37 per sheet for me so I think that is not a great candidate. Thank you!
Edit: would it be possible to cut through a thick foam board and then make foamboard using the article (https://www.flitetest.com/articles/making-my-own-foamboard). But I do not have a hot wire cutter...any other way to cut?
 
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Brian B

Elite member
I am looking through options and I found that the dollar trees near me do not have Adams. For pickup it takes a month to come. Does anyone know any other foamboard that can be used other than DTFB and FTFB; ross shows as 4.37 per sheet for me so I think that is not a great candidate. Thank you!
Edit: would it be possible to cut through a thick foam board and then make foamboard using the article (https://www.flitetest.com/articles/making-my-own-foamboard). But I do not have a hot wire cutter...any other way to cut?
The reply is a little late, but I've switched from $1.25 DTFB to a new cheaper and better product than Adams, PEN GEAR in WalMart. It is not as wavy, and the paper doesn't separate at the slightest hint of moisture the way DTFB does, but it will peel off nicely when you want it to. Maybe very slightly heavier than Adams, but way lighter than the Ross or Elmers sold alongside it.
 

AIRFORGE

Elite member
Choosing the right foam board for your RC build can be tricky, especially with the recent changes to DTFB.
Dollar Tree Foam Board (DTFB):
  • Used to be the go-to foam for many RC builders due to its low price and good bendability.
  • However, recent reports suggest that DTFB has become less bendable and easier to tear, making it less suitable for complex builds.
FliteTest Foam Board (FTFB):
  • Sold directly by FliteTest, this foam is a good alternative to DTFB.
  • It's slightly more expensive than DTFB, but it's more consistent in quality and easier to bend.
Adams Readi-Board:
  • Another good option, this foam is available at many craft stores.
  • It's slightly heavier than DTFB and FTFB, but it's still very lightweight and easy to work with
Hobby Lobby White Foam:
  • This is a good option for planes with minimal bending, like the Scout
DTFB (Adams Readi-Board), FT Foam Board, and Adams Readi-Board are all produced by the same company, RL Adams.
They also make the FT Maker Foam.