Skip to main content

Foamboard Spitfire Build

AREA17 Foam-board Spitfire (Night Flyer Addition)
Based on The FliteTest Spitfire
Find us on Facebook   AREA17

CoG on Wing Spar line (65mm from leading edge)

Tools Required
* Sharp Blade               * Clear tape
* Ball Point Pen            * Optional 10mm x 0.5mm carbon blade
* Hot Glue Gun            * Icy pole sticks
* Set Square

Hardware Required to Finish
* Motor Brushless 2826 to a 2836 around 1300/1500kv 8x6 prop (looking for 180-220 watts)
* 1500-2200 mah 3s lipo min 40c Not suitable for 4s.....
* 30-40 amp ESC
* 3 Mini servos 1.6kg to about 2.6kg or 4 with an optional rudder eg HXT900/EMAX ES08A
* 4 Extension leads
* TX and min 4 Ch RX
* Velcro for battery
* Control linkages and horns
* Paper ribbon attached to fin for combat
** Optional carbon blade spar reinforcement (10mm x 0.5mm)

Parts Supplied
* Three  Laser-Cut Foam Board Sheets
    (Depending on supply can be the brown or white Flite Test foam board)
* Canopy
* Ply Motor and Battery Box

Type of operations
* Crease Line
   o Use a ballpoint pen to create a groove allowing a bend, Typically used for turtle decks
* Cut Lines
  o Use Blade if necessary to out exterior shapes
* Fold Lines
  o Use a blade to cut through the foam only not the paper backing
* Chamfer Lines 45 deg
  o Leading edge 45 deg both sides to allow the leading edge to fold back
  o Ailerons, Rudder, Elevator 45 deg on one side

Getting Started

Note in some cases we have removed the backing on one side as this will be a night flyer, a standard flyer you can leave the paper on.....

Start with the back Turtle deck:
* run a ballpoint pen down the crease lines to allow for folding. Note: by controlling the angle of the pen you can increase/decrease the groove width. You need a wide "V" shape to enable a smooth folded curve.

* peel the foam off the outside edges, this should just leave the paper. This paper strip acts as a glue tab when gluing the turtle deck to the fuselage. 

Now the front Turtle Deck
*as above run a ballpoint pen down the crease lines to allow for an even fold.

* peel the foam off the outside edges, this should just leave a paper tab.

On to the Fuselage
*pick out the foam to create the fold lines and tabs. We find by removing the backing paper first makes the removal of the foam strip easier. We made a handy machine to remove the strip but it is easy remove the strip by bending and prizing out with your fingers or a tapered icy pole stick.

Note leave the wing section cutouts in place, they get removed later

Now we use the power pod as a guide to hot glue the fuselage sides

*Next is the fuselage former's
 *Use a piece of scrap to separate fuselage sides

Note the led lights on this model mounted inside...

*Next Tailplane and Rudder
 45deg chamfer on tailplane side
Use clear tape as a live hinge
The Rudder control surface is optional, if you elect to use the rudder use the same method to create a control surface.

*Its time for the wings
First up chamfer the leading edge about 60 deg on both the inside edges, keep testing making sure it will fold back on its self without pressure. Use clear tape on the outward side to keep the parts together. * Note you do need to remove a lot of foam to get it to fold back with pinching.

Use a pen to create the two crease lines, followed by a 45deg chamfer on the ailerons, the Ailerons need to operate up and down without pressure, use clear tape as a live hinge on the top.

Prepare the two wing spars,  you can simply fold and hot glue. (Optional if you intend hot dogging a flat carbon blade (10mm x0.5mm) sandwiched between will ensure high G maneuvers are safe.) Note the standard foam-board spar is fine for general aerobatics.

Glue the spars into the wings making sure they align when the wings are mated.

The false trailing edge piece is then hot glued in place, using a pen squash the trailing edge down creating a "V" shape to give the right angle when the wing is folded back.

**Special note: When you are happy the wing folds back on itself without a lot of pressure, we can firstly put hot glue on the top of the spar and fold back aligning the trailing edges. Let the hot glue cool and then run a bead along the trailing edge. Fold over and hold in place until set.

The wing servos can now be mounted with hot glue, mouse the servo leads down the wing exiting just in front of the spar, cut a small relief to exit the wings on the top.

Special note: glue the two sides together allowing for 60-70mm dihedral in total, ie 30-35mm each side. This picture shows the assembled with one wing flat on the bench and the other showing the total dihedral on 70mm

 Use hot glue and clear tape on the outside to join the two wings halves.

The next step is to glue the Wing and Tailplane/Fin in place, turtle decks happen when all flying surfaces are aligned and glued. Note: take your time and make sure all the flying surfaces are aligned before gluing. You can put blocks under the wing to help align the tailplane, use a set square to get the fin and tailplane at 90 deg.

Next up is the rear Turtle deck
Start by putting a dob of glue on the peak of the rear formers, we glue the middle first and let dry, then glue the sides.

Now the front Turtle deck
Glue one side of the back section, let dry then glue the other backside. Repeat for the front section

Fitting the canopy
Trim the back turtle deck flush with the former
Trim the front turtle deck at a slight angle
Make a canopy base out of scrap, glue in place
Add pilot if required
Hot Glue canopy onto the base, back former, and front turtle deck

The motor pod is held in via a 3mm ply plate/tongue at the front and a removable bamboo stick at the rear. You then need the hold the motor/battery box in place with the tongue engaged and drill a hole(s) for the rear bamboo stick. This is done with a long drill or by marking and drilling from each side. The location for the rear bamboo stick should about 150mm from the front of the ply box or about 170mm from the front of the fuselage. The stick should penetrate near the top of the box to ensure the battery is not fouled.
The Battery can be placed inside the pod, or for quick changing can be Velcro-ed on the underside.


Under-hand launches holding the top of the fuselage are the safest method. This way the model is released in and upward direction.... about 2/3 power is about right.

The CoG is on the front of the wing spar. 63-65mm from leading edge.

Some aileron differential is required suggested starting percentage is around 30%.

Control surface throws should be on 3 rates, however normal flying does not need large travel 5/6mm is enough.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

  Combat Monkey Build Wingspan 750mm Laser cut 5mm Foam Board $15   The kit includes: Foamboard airframe components Ply and popsicle sticks for the motor mount. Corflute fuselage underside   What you need to complete: 3 x 9g Mini Servos  HXT900, MG90 etc Motor 2830 1200 kv to 2836 1500 kv 8x6 Prop (folding is better) 1300mah 3 cell lipo 30 amp ESC with BEC Sticky tape for hinges 3 control horns and 1.6mm piano wire 4ch RX Paper Party Streamers  about 40mm wide and at least 5m long   Tools: Hot Glue Gun and Sticks Box Cutter Scrape pieces of foam board to wipe off excess glue. Z bender Build With a sharp blade release all the foam board components from the backing sheet. Carefully deepen the hinge lines on the ailerons and elevator without cutting right through then bend back to form a hinge.  If you cut through, just tape the component back in place with clear sticky tape. Bevel the rearward side of the hinge surfaces forty-five degrees
  The full size  SZD-30 Pirat  is a single-seat multipurpose  glider aircraft  from the  Polish  firm  PZL Bielsko  which first flew in 1966, and started production in 1967. This RC scale version of the SZD-30 Pirat is 3.2 metre wingspan or 21% scale. Wing area:  62sq/dm, 960 sq ins Weight: 2.6/3kg CoG: 76 to 80mm from leading edge Servos: 2x Aileron min 5kg, 1x Elevator min 2.2kg, 1x Rudder 4kg, 2x Airbrake 2.2 kg, Tow Release 4kg (based on deflection at 70kph)  This kit  includes: *Fuselage – CNC Foam cores ready for 2mm balsa planking. $50 *Wings –Built up, kit includes ribs, leading and trailing edges, main spars and shear webs. $60  or EPS foam version cores, jackets and end ribs $50 *Tailplane – EPS foam core ready to be laminated with 1.0mm balsa – $10  *Fin – EPS foam core ready to be laminated with 1.5mm balsa $10 *3d Printed canopy frame $10 *PVC Clear Canopy $10 *12mmx10mm Ali Joiner Bar $5 This kit does not contain electric/electronic components, balsa planking, wing skins,