BP Hobbies Fun Foam

BP Hobbies sells these 25" foam-plane ARF kits for $12:

Fun Foam SU-26 25" Kit $12.00

Fun Foam Extra 25" Kit $12.00

Fun Foam BP Flyer 26" Kit $12.00

One of these can be put together for a total cost of $60 to $70. They're very agile, can handle wind well, and (using the motor and ESC noted below) have lots of power.

In my flying club we've been taping streamers onto them for fun mini-combat sessions. The foam tends to crack on impact, but a bit of tape or glue fixes it right up. Putting a strip of tape, sticky side out, on the leading edge of the wings can make it easier to score hits on the streamers.

The build is easy and can be done in an evening or two. I used 6-minute epoxy; others go with foam-safe CA. When beveling the control surfaces, the LightFlite Easy Bevel (lightflite.com) works well. On my plane I beveled both the control surface and "plane" sides to get more throw; others have done just one side. Using 3M Blenderm Hinge Tape works really well. I put it on both sides of the hinge, holding the surface at about 90 degrees while taping. (Dubro #916 is 3M Blenderm, though is can often be found cheaper from other sources.)

I also used Blenderm tape to reinforce various areas of the plane, like the bottom of the fuselage (and rudder), the "fingers" around the motor, the main wing leading edges and wingtips, and the front cantilevered part of the elevator. When gluing the wing, it's better to not glue the leading edge to the fuselage because it will make the wing more likely to crack there. I used Blenderm there instead.

For servos, three of the HXT500 5g can work, or two of the HXT500 5g and one HXT900 9g (with the 9g servo on the ailerons). I installed the servos with hot glue, and connected the rods to the servo horns with Dubro Mini-E/Z Connectors (#915). The holes in the E/Z connectors and the holes in the servo horns need to be opened up a bit with a drill. I used the outermost holes on the servo horns and the innermost holes on the control horns to get the maximum throws.  The kit comes with 0.098" carbon rod for wing reinforcement, and 0.050" (or maybe 0.040") carbon rod for control pushrods (with z-bended music wire attached to one end using heat shrink).

On the motor mount, I drilled holes in the wood piece for the mounting screws before gluing it in. For a prop, 7x3.5 works well. I taped the 72Mhz receiver antenna along the bottom of the main wing (it seemed glitchy when I had it along the bottom of the fuselage).

To make some decorative lines I used colored markers, using a scrap piece of balsa as a straight-edge. The balsa absorbs excess ink from the markers -- with tape or a metal ruler, the ink bleeds messily onto the foam.

I put a long strip of velcro on the fuselage for the battery. The plane flies well with the battery in a wide variety of balance-point positions. With the battery placed far back, the plane can do 3D hovering. I recommend using a battery monitor alarm.

Click here to view an album of pictures I took during the build.

Here is a parts list:

FC 28-12 Brushless Outrunner 1534kv 16A 39g FC2812 $5.95

Hobbyking SS Series 18-20A ESC (card programmable) HK-SS20A-HW $7.38

Turnigy 800mAh 3S 20C Lipo Pack T800.3S.20  $7.09

HXT500 5g / .8kg / 10sec Micro Servo $3.49

HXT900 9g / 1.6kg / .12sec Micro Servo $2.99

Corona RS410 Full Range DSP Receiver $11.00

UM5 Micro Crystal $2.50

GWS EP Propeller (DD-7035 178x89mm) (6pcs/set)  $3.35

3mm Prop Saver w/ Adapter & 3 bands 3MPRPSVR $1.99

Hobby King Battery Monitor 3S HKing-3S $3.99

Here are some parts alternates:

BP 21 Outrunner Brushless Motor 1400kv 13A 50g $12.50

Hobbyking SS Series 15-18A ESC HK-SS18A $7.80

ZIPPY Flightmax 800mAh 3S1P 20C 73g Z8003S20C $8.66

Rhino 750mAh 3S 11.1v 20C Lipoly Pack 66g R750-20-3 $8.99

Dynam 6CH CCPM Receiver - Futaba $12.99


Instruction Manual:

Here's a great pic of the fun foam planes in action (photo by
Erin Dack):

Click here to contact me

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