Flying RC plane models

Discussion in 'Extended Mediums' started by copertura, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. copertura

    copertura New Member


    has anyone never built with cardboard and paper a flyng RC plane (for example a glider)?

    What do you think about it? Is it possible to use cardboard (perhaps quite thick one) instead of wood like balsa (the one usually used with RC planes)?

    I'm thinking to try to build a glider ....

  2. jmueller

    jmueller Member


    try searching for Indoor RC flyers or Parkflyers or Slowflyers. Lots of them are made from Depron which is some type of sheet styro foam. And I have seen people converting cardmodels using this material.
    One starting point might be

  3. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    First, a link. A. Suzuki's Paper Aircraft Laboratory. Found it very quickly using Google searching for "RC paper aircraft". I have not perused it.

    Second, I'm sure I've seen photos of, I think, an Albatros WWI scale model, built in paper, and being converted to RC. Not the finished version, however, and no report on flight tests, if there ever where any.

    Third, just to hook on to the idea of styrofoam and paper, I have been toying with the idea, and suggested it on this site, that paper scale models could, and would deserve to be enlarged and used as the outer cover on a structure of balsa planking or styrofoam, in order to create a superb scale effect. In such use, you would not need to use thick paper, in fact the thinner the better. The objective would be to use it instead of paint.

    Generally, paper compares unfavourably to balsa for weight vs. rigidity - you get a much more durable structure in balsa for the same weight of material used. Even if used only as covering, there still would be a weight penalty for small and light aircraft. That why I think the best application would be for large scale models, 1/8 and upwards, particularly if electric (no need for heavy coats of fuel-proofing). At least that's my thinking.

    Luckily, the quality of present paper model aircraft would easily stand enlarging from, let's say 1/33 to 1/8 or 1/6. The effect would still be far superior to any painting effort, and easier to achieve.

    Also, a number of small details, such as air intakes, exhaust stubs, canopy details, hatchets, etc., is much easier to model in paper than in other materials. Or the paper model could at least serve as a template & covering for modeling such details in other materials if that is deemed necessary.

  4. copertura

    copertura New Member

    .... I was thinking ...

    ... to use thick cardboard (the "holed" cardboard used for boxes) instead of balsa for the structure and the usual material used for RC models for the coverage.
  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Try contacting Tim (Wunwinglow) by PM.

  6. cecil_severs

    cecil_severs Member

  7. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Cecil and others,

    Turns out people have already done what I was thinking about (enlarging card models and use them as skinning on foam models to achieve an easy scale model without need for elaborate painting).

    Follow this link.

    Should've guessed somebody had already done it; such an obvious thought. Although I think theres a lot more to be accomplished to get rid of the ugly gloss, and prettier glueing on of card parts. Not for me, though. Somebody else will be sure to develop that to the state of the art.

  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Some of the Depron (Zepron) foam is thin enough to pass through some inkjet printers. Has anyone (are you listening Tim?) tried printing on it yet? The surface will probably need to be coated to allow the ink to adhere...,

  9. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Turns out that the material used is exactly that: "3mm […] depron manufactured by swedish Ebeco". See this link.

    These guys are obviously making the FG planes more or less "as is" (but substantially enlarged), and installing electric engines and radios. Thus the ungainly shine (comes with the depron, I presume). Although in this case, the shine doesn't matter too much:


    Sometimes they paint them; I'm not too sure that they run the depron through the printer at all:


    Images above from here (same thread as before)

    You'll find more depron links here. (Although some of them unfortunately are dead.)

  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  11. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    So, who comes up with the best method to glue thin paper on to 2 mm depron? Either to pre-print the paper and then glue it on; or print the sandwiched paper-depron sheet?

    Below is 2 mm. Should be doable, perhaps?


    Certainly does open up the field. Imagine a Halinski model (the Airacobra comes to mind, for one, but imagine your own favourite) with the internal structure already there, all made up of sandwiched paper/depron (thus maintaining detail and awesome visual impact), and all of it enlarged to 1/10-1/8; plus the electric motor, batteries, and radio. There's a project for ya'!

  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    A coating consisting of 50% PVA and 50% Gloss Acrylic Medium should be compatible with the foam allowing direct inkjet printing on it's surface.

  13. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Further on the subject: A Swedish RC-flyer reports that white glue is OK for depron. This is getting better and better. (No link provided, since this description was in Swedish). Also water-based contact glue can be used (although some report that might come apart eventually). These modelers make wings for indoor flyers by bending the sheets under a hair dryer to correct curvature.

    Depron is a floor-insulating material, sold in Sweden by Ebeco for their under-floor heating systems. They only have 3 & 6 mm (the US source of this originally Dutch material had 2 mm, plus also thicker).

    Weight is 40 kilo/cubic meter, which would make a 3 mm sheet weigh (if I'm doing my math correctly) 3 thousands of 40 kilo per square meter, equals 120 grams per square meter, equals medium weight paper for modeling, right?

    If you coat it with paper, weight soon becomes an issue, wouldn't you say? And if I can't have a printed paper surface, it loses much of its attraction, at least for me. I want the crisp details that only printing on paper can provide.

    In addition to Gil's US source, here's a Canadian source.

    Here's a thread about one guy making a 3.5 meter span Airbus, no less, all in depron.

  14. Renaud

    Renaud Member

    flying paper planes

    The website selling the flying Albatros is a wonderful site which seems to be over now, I have just been back to have a try some minutes ago. What happened?
  15. Renaud

    Renaud Member

  16. cecil_severs

    cecil_severs Member

    An inexpensive alternative to Depron mentioned on a lot of the foamie sites is a product from Dow called BlueCor. It's a fanfold product. Very large sheets are folded down to 4 foot by 2 foot sections and sold as building insulation. Comes in varying thicknesses down to 1/16th inch I think. Used to be available at Lowes but now seems to be a hard to find item. Anybody know where we might find this stuff?

  17. Renaud

    Renaud Member

    This is probably the plane Leif told about
    1/36 scale, span 10", weight 11.5 gÂ
  18. Renaud

    Renaud Member

    I intended to post an image, I try one more time....
  19. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    That's Steve Bucher's site. He's a member of this group I believe..., His site has been out of commision for some time now. Good to see it's back.

  20. magnus

    magnus New Member

    hello im new here. i've been a long time rc modeller and built kits out of balsa. i got interested in paper models when a number of people in the rcgroups foamies forum built flying rc models using fiddlergreen paper models as templates. they would enlarge the plans to bring the wingspan to around 30" and cut out the parts from depron or blue foam.

    for those interested head for the forum and do a search for a modeller with the user name yctseng. he recently built a flying scale He111 using a GPM HE111 as his template. he also built a flying scale Ju-87 and B-25 both based on GPM paper kits. another great modeller is vceroy who uses fiddlergreen models.

    i recently purchased a marek Do-335 and plan to convert this to an rc project. i plan to scale this up to around a 35" wingspan and use electric motors to power her up. i'll work on the paper model first to determine the feasability of converting the plane.

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