Storch Control Surface Warping


Junior Member
I just built the Simple Storch from the water-resistant foam board speed build kit. I also copied each part and built a second Storch along the way out of Elmers foam board.

Although I've been flying R/C for more than 20 years, this is my first foam board build. My speed build Storch has about 3 hours of flight time on it in New England fall weather... ie, not humid. I'm finding that the horizontal control surfaces are becoming badly warped. :( Dang.

Of course, I'm going to try de-warping, but this foray into foam board building that was immediately rewarding... has become a bit disappointing. Rapid building is great, but what good is it if your plane destroys itself? I've got balsa monokote planes that are still airworthy after 20 years.


Still Learning
There is a technique involving gluing 1/8" dowels to the control surfaces and stitching the hinges. That will result in a stiffer surface that may result in less warping.

I'm going to try using 1/8" dowel split length wise, glued with dabs of hot glue and white gorilla glue to save on weight. Actually, I have a router bit that should allow me to make these.

I used these hinges on a Sea Otter and they built fine. Sadly, the vinyl covering I used and possibly excess hot glue resulted in a plane that is too heavy to fly reasonably. I may wait until I have more four channel experience and try a water take off. It certainly can not get enough speed for either a ground or hand toss takeoff.

I also bought "Tape Brothers" colored tape for my next build instead of the vinyl.



Posted a thousand or more times
This method of building isn't intended to be permanent in my mind. It is a way to try new concepts with minimal investment so that you're not afraid to try something new. Spending $20 and 5 hours on a "fun idea" out of foam that doesn't work out is much better than spending $150 and 3 weeks on the same plane out of balsa.

I use the foam concepts to flesh out an idea and work out the kinks. Once I'm happy with the air frame (or bored with it), I tear it apart, salvage the electronics, and either build a more permanent plane out of wood and monokote or build another foam concept.

There are some things you can do to extend the life of a foam plane but ultimately, they will fall apart over time.

My opinion.


Master Tinkerer
I use some of that colorful lightweight packing tape on my planes. That way, the edges and surfaces get sealed, and you can do a simple "paint" job- Red wing, blue tail, simple stuff.


Biplane Guy

I've got a baby blender that's almost 4 years old (will be this November.) The "paint" (actual or packing tape) adds a lot of water moisture resistance, as it seals to pores in the paper. Sadly, naked foam board does tend to warp and delaminate if it's just left to the elements, but you can make the airplanes last a lot longer by using a rattle can, even if it's just clear coat. The other option is to use a skin from Rasterize. There's a few for the Mini Mustang, and one coming soon for the mini corsair. You adhere the "skins" to the foam a lot better (using 3M77) than the paper is adhered at the factory, which is simply hot pressed on.