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Foamboard in Australia

#1
It is a massive problem, you watch these videos on youtube where they go out and but foam for $1 and build there plane and fly it and have fun but then you go out and buy $13 foam board that doesn't work very well and you don't have fun because it doesn't fly. Us Australians need some cheap durable high quality foam-board that we can use to make our model planes and not be as worried about crashing and just have some fun with them.

Heres a failed mini FT flyer out of Australian foam board, skip to about 1:00 for the good stuff...

:

i know this same question has probably posted a number of time in a lot of places if you know anybody or anywhere where we can get cheap foam it would be good if you could post here.
 

DavidH

Junior Member
#2
Don't be too discouraged, it is possible to build FT (and other) planes from local foamboard that fly brilliantly, but in some cases you may need to beef up your motor to overcome the extra weight of the local stuff compared to Dollar Tree Foamboard.

I'm having a blast with my foamboard planes (BIG thank you to FliteTest for introducing me to the hobby) and all of the below perform extremely well.

These two FT Flyers were built from foamboard from Riot Art & Craft and both are running Turnigy D2822 1450kv motors.

FT_Flyer.jpg

FT_Flyer2.jpg

The rest were built from foamboard from Foamboards Australia (https://www.foamboards.com.au/). Cheaper and lighter than foamboard from Riot Art & Craft, Eckersley's or OfficeWorks but you have to buy in bulk (i.e. commit to 25-30 sheets for ~$200).

FT Bloody Wonder with an NTM 2826 1100kv (which I fly on a 4S battery).

FT_BWonder.jpg

FT Delta. Pictured with a Turnigy Park300. It flew, but only just. Has since been upgraded to a Turnigy D2822 1450kv.

FT_Delta.jpg

FT Tiny Trainer with a DYS BE1806-13 2300kv. Didn't think this motor would have enough "go" but I was wrong. Magic. LOVE this plane.

FT_TTrainer.jpg

FT Tiny Trainer 125% (not-so Tiny Trainer?). I love the Tiny Trainer so much I decided to make a bigger version. Didn't think the Turnigy D2826 1400kv motor would be enough for the weight of this plane, but again...WRONG! Plenty of power and this is my "go to" plane now.

FT_Trainer.jpg

Not an FT plane, but another example of a foamboard plane that performs well. Red20RC CrashE with an NTM 2826 1100kv.

CrashE.jpg

This Brio was also built with Foamboards Australia foamboard and is a blast to fly. Running a Turnigy D2830-11 1000kv.

Brio.jpg

Daniel - don't give up!

Cheers,
David
 

Torf

Senior Member
#3
As David stated... Don't give up!

One thing you don't want to do with heavier building materials: Scale down. The smaller you scale, the more importance you have to place on lighter building materials. Some of that thick and heavy foamboard can be made lighter, but that might not be the right solution for strength.

Potential solves:

1. Add power - Without enough wattage the model won't fly well. That 75% flyer looked like it needed more power.

2. Scale up - This will help with lift. While the 75% flyer might not fly well given the material, a 100-125% might perform better. Same caveats about power apply.

3. Explore ways to lighten the material - Sometimes you can add lightening holes to heavy board, and then re-cover with packing tape. This can reduce overall material weight, but can alter balance and reduce strength.

4. Find Depron, or similar material and avoid the heavy and expensive board.
 

Tater76

Senior Member
#4
I am relatively new to the forums and the foam board aspect of the hobby, but have read other posts about the struggle to acquire Adams board in other countries. That said, I went to work to see what I could do to help as I own several online businesses and ship globally everyday. Sadly, I must report that even with my steep shipping discounts, getting a case of foam board to Australia is quite ridiculous. It's not the weight that kills it (it weighs next to nothing), it's the size of the box.

My suggestion, depending on how passionate and determined you are about building and using Adams or similar foam board for your planes, is to contact a Japanese manufacturer. In my experience, there are many awesome Japanese wholesale companies that are more than willing to help fill your needs if they know you will be returning to buy more. You will need to purchase large quantities to get the discount, but you can get together with other interested friends to split the cost of a shipment. Japan is your closest option from the looks of it. I will do some more searching to see if they have a comparable product to Adams.
 
#5
Awesome planes

Oh wow, you have certainly built a fair few planes, i was thinking of getting the foam boards Australia foam because my mum also wants some for here cakes and i have 2 friends so we could split it 4 ways, think for my next plane im going to use corflute for a 100% FT-Flyer as i have never owned a plane that has flown, im using a Turnigy SK3 1500kv 2836 motor and think its gonna fly good as-well as being strong.
 
#8
Maybe get really serious about it and think about obtaining a small shipping container full of foam board. Then resell it in Australia. Make enough to retire and then fly all day long! ;)
 
#10
The weight of a European foam board airplane compared to a gas model aircraft of the same size still does not even come close. The one made from foam board is much lighter. I'm in Europe and I believe our foam board is about twice as heavy as the dollar tree foam board.

When you have issues it probably will be the center of gravity that has been shifted to the back (because that is where extra weight will add up quickly). You just have to compensate for that (a bit bigger engine, heavier battery).

I made 7 designs (on the picture you'll see 6) with this foam board. They all fly without any issue.

2015-06-08 21.53.46.jpg
 

Tater76

Senior Member
#11
Okay, I just got done with an email back and forth with a Japanese exporter that I have used in the past, and he is going to help locate a comparable product to Adams. I will be sending him a sample piece, and did express the importance of it needing to be lighter than the Elmers board, and other similar products found in Europe. I hope to hear back from him this week, and I will let you Aussie folks know how to proceed :)
 
#13
The weight of a European foam board airplane compared to a gas model aircraft of the same size still does not even come close. The one made from foam board is much lighter. I'm in Europe and I believe our foam board is about twice as heavy as the dollar tree foam board.

When you have issues it probably will be the center of gravity that has been shifted to the back (because that is where extra weight will add up quickly). You just have to compensate for that (a bit bigger engine, heavier battery).

I made 7 designs (on the picture you'll see 6) with this foam board. They all fly without any issue.

View attachment 52493
They all look really nice, i think coreflute is the way to go for me, really cheap too
 
#14
Okay, I just got done with an email back and forth with a Japanese exporter that I have used in the past, and he is going to help locate a comparable product to Adams. I will be sending him a sample piece, and did express the importance of it needing to be lighter than the Elmers board, and other similar products found in Europe. I hope to hear back from him this week, and I will let you Aussie folks know how to proceed :)

Oh thanks, that sound really good:cool::cool::cool::cool:
 
#15
#17
Finally! Some good news for scratch builders in Australia!

Hobbyking is now selling foamboard in 500mm x 700mm x {3mm, 5mm, 10mm} and 500mm x 1000m in the same thicknesses from their Australian warehouse. The 500x700x5, which is closest to the foamboard used by Flitetest is only AUD$20.34, which with shipping works out to just over AUD$2 per sheet.

Edit: Forgot to mention, 20 sheets per box.

Go to Hobbyking, set your warehouse to Australia, and go to Hardware & Accessories > Model Building Material to get yours.
 
#18
Maybe get really serious about it and think about obtaining a small shipping container full of foam board. Then resell it in Australia. Make enough to retire and then fly all day long! ;)
The shipping costs to Australia regardless of what you put in the container might kill that ambition.

Full disclosure...I'm speaking from experience as I do sell foam boards in Australia.

I'd had the discussion with Gilman Brothers in the USA about landing stock from the US. Gilman's are the original manufacturer of foam board and during that discussion we talked about the freight costs as being prohibitive towards importing product into Australia. Gilman's most likely manufacture a number of the foam boards in the US and they may "whitelabel" them under different brands. http://gilmanbrothers.com

At the time it cost around $10K to land an "empty" container in Oz.

We weren't talking about foam for planes but for large signage and other commercial applications because the use of foam boards for scratch building RC planes is only a small part of the market in Australia.

Over the years my business had tried to get the quality to a point that satisfies the Aussie market uses and as part of that progress there has been some consideration to the guys building planes.

On a personal note I'm a boomerang thrower who currently has the Guinness World Record for the world's longest throw of anything without a tail. 427.2m

For any of the flitetest guys we are happy to have you collect loose sheets and also pack up 5 sheets for you to either collect or arrange for your own courier to collect. Aussie Post is not great for the larger sheets as they exceed their current size restrictions.

I'm not here for self promotion as most of our business is to large multi-nationals and it is only because of my passion or hobby for building boomerangs and other flying toys that I started to break up cartons of foam board for people to use in smaller quantities.

Hopefully as we move forward we can start to produce some revolutionary products locally for the Aussie domestic market that compete favourably on both price and features.

If you need any help, advice or samples...even long thin off cut packs that might suit, please let me know.

I'm not always on the forum but will check in from time to time.

I just wanted to put a personal face to the solutions that are available in Australia.

best regards,

Ozi