What do you do when you have a whole warehouse sized facility and an industrial sized CNC foam cutter? Clearly, the only choice is to build giant RC aircraft, and that’s exactly what the folks at [FliteTest] teamed up with the illustrious [Peter Sripol] to accomplish. Did it work? Yes. Did it work well? We’ll let you be the judge after taking a gander at the video below the break.
[Peter Sripol], known for building manned ultralight electric aircraft from foam, was roped in as the designer of the aircraft. A very light EPS foam is used to cut out the flying surfaces, while a denser green foam board is sourced from the local home building store to construct the fuselage.
The build is anything but ordinary, and kids are involved in the construction, although the video doesn’t elaborate on it very much. You can see evidence of their excitement in the graffiti on the wings and fuselage- surely a huge success on that front! As for flying? Four large motors provide locomotion, and it’s barely enough to keep the beast flying. A mishap with the Center of Gravity demands a last minute design change which renders the rudder almost useless. But, it does fly, and it is a great step toward the next iteration. Just like every good hack!
If you want to see a manned foam electric aircraft, check out [Peter Sripol]’s DIY Electric Ultralight MK4.
17 thoughts on “World’s Biggest Foam RC Plane Takes To The Skies, But Only Barely!”
i don’t think lift is this plane’s problem. it seems to want to leave the ground at a very low speed. with more motors, or a lawnmower engine, it would be a lot better.
Could use an RC jet engine
Totally under-powered, and somehow lacking rigidity. Would put much bigger electric motors and some tension cables for the wings.
I fully concur that it needs more power. Power to weight ratio seems abysmal. All in all a super cool build though.
This is the less environmentally friendly version of the Spruce Goose.
I am fairly sure there are larger foam composite UAVs in operation, so maybe largest foam board RC.
Barely gets airborne, control not optimal, gives me Spruce Goose vibes, what shall we nickname it, Foam Loon??
It needs to rhyme…
Maybe in his accent, it does.
Your recommendation for better rhyme of “construction material” – “well enough known bird that you don’t have to explain it’s the local name for it in the Soloman Islands or something” is?
I mean I considered really really mispronouncing gyrfalcon to rhyme with styrofoam but nah.
seems to be tail-heavy. anyways, as a long-ago rc model pilot, it made me very uncomfortable to see the nose keep coming up like that. obviously not powerful enough motors for intentional high-alpha flight :)
i wonder if they screwed up the CG location or if they’re getting enough lift off of that front wing they mounted the motors on that it throws off the rules of thumb.
i have a lot of experience screwing these sort of things up :) and there’s obviously something mismatched about the power too, i wonder if there’s a mismatch between the RPM of the motor, the forward velocity, and the pitch of the prop…
this is definitely one where i would have enjoyed the write up but there’s no way i’m gonna skim a 20 minute video for technical trivia..
I think control effectiveness was hampered by flex of the structure too. Might have flown better if you chopped a third of the wingspan.
Seems like something you would see at SAE Aerodesign
Isn’t anything you build something with “construction material”?
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