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Wing Construction Choices?

JasonK

Well-known member
#1
I didn't see a better place to put this question, if there is one, let me know.

Because of the quarantine, I am avoiding any non-essential shopping trips, which means I don't have access to foam board (nor got any radio equipment yet). So I am trying out various wing/body/etc designs with what materials I have on hand which is Card stock, 3D printer w/ PLA, 1/2" thick pink foam insulation, Grafix Medium Weight Chipboard, BBQ sticks, printer paper, various glues and various crafting supplies. - But no foam board :(

For various reasons, my goal is to keep my plan mass under 250g, so I have been weighting the resulting tests with the goal of being able to add 100-120g worth of electronics/battery's/etc (been adding about 100g dead weigh for throw tests).

I am curious, is foam board the hands down best build choice for the low weight builds? If there is something different, I would be interested in hearing about it.

I posted a few photos of my first chuck glider that I basically carved the wing out of the pink foam in my "hello" post here: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/hello.62906/

I just got done trying 3D printing ribs and using BBQ sticks and then covered it with printer paper, to see if I could come up with anything lighter - however the full plan only came up a few grams lighter, but I am sure that came out of not using the chip board for the tail surfaces and using a single width of foam for the fuselage instead of 2. (this one does fly ok, but the dihedral could be slightly stronger)
GliderFromFormers.jpg WingFormers.jpg
This method also looks like it would be much harder to add ailerons/flaps to then a solid foam wing.

Has anyone done any testing of various wing construction methods? IE is there any value in continuing to try out different wing construction methods? Would be curious on any other testing/etc that has been done here.
 

Aireal Anarchist

Well-known member
#2
Ive built planes for many years and this foam board is pretty much the easiest and fastest way into the air for a builder
some guys use cardboard
I ordered Foam Board online and had a case of FB delivered from dollar tree and have built 4 planes already to teach my buddies to fly when lock down is over
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#3
I have been playing with different materials and construction methods. Foam board is definitely not the lightest material or construction for a RC model aircraft.

When it comes to strength for weight Balsa is hard to beat due to its simplicity in use with CF second simply because of its cost.
You should consider the selection of construction materials on suitability for purpose and not just push ahead with one single material. Some materials are better suited in handling structural loads than others whereas some are better at covering large areas than others.

FB models tend to carry the majority of their loads in the skin of the aircraft whereas Balsa models use a structural skeleton in the main, (there are exceptions to both).

Other construction materials I have tried include Plastic cling wrap, sheet plastic, Plywood, Oak, XPS foam, Paper, card, cardboard, Various veneers, PLA, CF, Fibreglass, Cast Epoxy, PET bottles, Aluminium Tubes, PVC conduit, and just about anything else that is to hand at the time.

In other words almost anything can be used as long as you know its properties, strengths, and weaknesses.

FB models are the simplest to build by far but they are no where near the lightest or strongest.

Just what I do.

Have fun!
 

b-29er

Well-known member
#4
If you don't have the means of obtaining a hotwire, i'd say your best bet would be DTFB, at least in terms of local supply, as construction techniques are simple, and at your scale a spar could be kept pretty minimal, just more foam and a few folds. If you had a hotwire, pink foam wouldnt be a bad option, you could 3d print some profiles for a Clark Y airfoil, double sided tape to the end of a chunk of foam as large as you want, and add a couple of divots on the top/bottom of the wing to put a skewer, or just cover in tape, but i'm not sure how much you'd save in weight, more a versatility thing.
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#9
I'd say its worth finding something easy for a first build, even if you have extra time on your hands. Get someone to stop by a dollar store or Walmart maybe (there's one around here that has Adam's board) or oder some and wait on shipping. foam board is by far the cheapest, easiest, best way to start building and flying.
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#10
part of the 'lock down' for me is limiting my exposure... my parents are in the 'high risk from age' category and I am a single parrent, so they are helping out with kids through all this and don't want us out doing any unneeded contact (which is a reasonable request).
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#12
I am in US - Florida. one of the reasons I want to keep under 250g. near enought to one of the airforce bases to be in the controlled space from it and anything bigger means traveling to be able to fly anything - at least if I was able to correctly understand what I was reading. (nearest AMA field is ~45 minutes away, second is ~60 minutes away).
 

slowjo

Well-known member
#13
I didn't see a better place to put this question, if there is one, let me know.

Because of the quarantine, I am avoiding any non-essential shopping trips, which means I don't have access to foam board (nor got any radio equipment yet). So I am trying out various wing/body/etc designs with what materials I have on hand which is Card stock, 3D printer w/ PLA, 1/2" thick pink foam insulation, Grafix Medium Weight Chipboard, BBQ sticks, printer paper, various glues and various crafting supplies. - But no foam board :(

For various reasons, my goal is to keep my plan mass under 250g, so I have been weighting the resulting tests with the goal of being able to add 100-120g worth of electronics/battery's/etc (been adding about 100g dead weigh for throw tests).

I am curious, is foam board the hands down best build choice for the low weight builds? If there is something different, I would be interested in hearing about it.

I posted a few photos of my first chuck glider that I basically carved the wing out of the pink foam in my "hello" post here: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/hello.62906/

I just got done trying 3D printing ribs and using BBQ sticks and then covered it with printer paper, to see if I could come up with anything lighter - however the full plan only came up a few grams lighter, but I am sure that came out of not using the chip board for the tail surfaces and using a single width of foam for the fuselage instead of 2. (this one does fly ok, but the dihedral could be slightly stronger)
View attachment 166610 View attachment 166611
This method also looks like it would be much harder to add ailerons/flaps to then a solid foam wing.

Has anyone done any testing of various wing construction methods? IE is there any value in continuing to try out different wing construction methods? Would be curious on any other testing/etc that has been done here.
I've used 1/4'' pink foam from home supply before that worked like depron
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#14
yup, my first chuck glider I made was mostly that and even with my bad airfoil carving it flies quite well... The foam didn't work as well for the fuselage in the dimensions I cut it in (keeps snapping infront/behind the wing on any bad landing).
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#16
@The Fopster - Link? I do have a bunch of cardboard.

Also, I want to keep under 250g for various reasons, or I probably wouldn't even be that worried about all of this "what can I make it out of".
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#17
I just finished building a Piper Arrow out of 14mm styrofoam. It has a 70cm wingspan, and it weighs 240 grams (including 140 grams of electronics). It flies quite nicely, here's a flight video. Sorry about the bad video quality.
Your pink insulation foam could be used in the same way to get light weight airframes. If you want to find out more about how I built mine, here's the build thread.
1587471274294.png
 

JasonK

Well-known member
#18
Thanks, that looks useful. One thing, given that I haven't flown anything yet (I have a radio and power pack A, batteries/etc.. ordered), so what I make will be my first built/flight, I believe i want a diheadral (or other 'self leveling' wing) and my wing to be above my COG. I was looking at the Tiny Trainer, however I am not super clear if I can get that built under the 250g with electronics/etc level (if I can get a hold of some foam board).
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#19
Thanks, that looks useful. One thing, given that I haven't flown anything yet (I have a radio and power pack A, batteries/etc.. ordered), so what I make will be my first built/flight, I believe i want a diheadral (or other 'self leveling' wing) and my wing to be above my COG. I was looking at the Tiny Trainer, however I am not super clear if I can get that built under the 250g with electronics/etc level (if I can get a hold of some foam board).
Good idea, I was just showing the construction technique you could use with your insulation foam. What batteries did you order? The plans for the Tiny Trainer say the weight without battery should be around 193 grams (6.8 oz). Good luck!
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#20
The only tiny trainer I've measured was 260 grams without battery but it was made with no effort to be light weight. I'm sure it could be sub 250 if you tried.

Ive done a lot of converted foam "chuck gliders" that are sub 250 with FPV. They are very durable, great to learn to build and fly with too. The advantage there is you at least start with an airframe that you know flies well so long as you keep the GC correct they usually work great once converted.