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Help! Reducing Weight

So as to not run afoul of the drone laws, I’d like my aircraft to not be over the 250g limit. I’ll probably be stuck to gliders until I take the test.

What are some tips for reducing weight?

If I scale the plans I have down what issues do I run into?

For example the Se 5 and Dr1 are neat, but dry weight is already at the limit. What to do?


4s mini mustang
Some stuff that you could do is removing the paper from the inside of the fuselage before building and using different glue for building. You could use glues like white gorilla glue, the only drawback is that it takes longer to dry, and I don’t know how much lighter it is (if at all). Another glue is uhu por, it is lighter, but it costs more. If you are good at it though, you could just try to use very small amounts of hot glue. Good luck and welcome to the forums!
I figured those would be the tricks. Are there build materials I could substitute for foam board?

The Flite Test guys drilled holes in their planes, but I don’t really like that look...


4s mini mustang
I guess you could try using different types of foam that are thinner, but you would have to modify the plans and it won’t be as strong.


Old and Bold RC PILOT
You can also build your FT design in Depron using a glue similar to POR-UHU and you will find the weight id markedly lighter.

For most of the minis you would not need to scale down at all.

In addition if building in Depron you can reduce motor and battery sizes and thereby make even greater weight savings.

here is a pic of my Depron mini scout that weighed in just over 200grams ALL UP including battery and wheels. (coloured packing take for colour!


It was given away a few years ago now because I finally found a source for FB and do not build in depron any longer, (it is too hard to find now)!

Have fun


Legendary member
If you shell out a bit more money for 5g servos, this will take a bit off. There is also trifold 2mm foam board available at most dollar stores right next to the regular 5mm. Certain components that don't need high strength can be made out of 2mm or even poster board, like the canopy on the Scout. I make use of a few PB parts on my own designs, please excuse the beat-upness.



Elite member
My SE5 runs 3.5g servos, a 9g receiver (Lemon RX) a lighter 1806 motor and a slightly smaller 3s battery. Weight is 248 ish grams ready to fly and painted. You will save more weight in electronics more easily than in foam.
Also, I would be very surprised if any enforcement officers will come equipped with scales. I suspect that unless you are flying like a yob or over an airfield nobody is going to question a few grams.
My other response to stupid unenforceable laws is the free, sub 250g middle finger.


Legendary member
Depron is really no longer unless you are in the UK and then there is limited sources. There is MPF (Model Plane Foam) available , not as pretty as the Depron but it works fine. My main glue is UHU Por and Beacon Foam Tac especially for hinging and where I want something to flex, there also is BSI (Bob Smith Ind.) foam glue but it cures rigid. A few months ago another person lead me onto Craft Medley Premium Craft Glue which is sold through the Dollar Store, 50ml bottle for $1.25 CA, works great , super cheap but cures hard like the BSI glue. I now use it everywhere except hinges.

Hot glue and paper is heavy, I use hot glue but very sparingly same as epoxy . The lighter you build it the less strength you need and if you crash usually less damage. Downside is harder to fly on a windy day