View Full Version : Plans for floats?

07-20-2007, 01:46 PM

I've been flying my Ultrafly Super Decathlon on GWS floats for the better part of this summer. They "do the job" but I actually think they are a little small for this plane. See my video thread here:

From my research, I've learned that floats should be 75% of the prop-to-rudder hinge length. My plane's 30" so that works out to a float length of 22.5". GWS Floats are just about 21". Close, I know ... but it is enough that I feel like the plane sits a little low in the water, and I wish I could have the tips a little further out past the prop.

I'd like to build my own set ... perhaps a balsa build-up or foam build-up. I'd also consider foam cutout, but I don't have a hotwire, etc... Really, I'd like to do a build-up because I have the GWS floats for the moment, and have the time to build them right. I think it'd end up lighter and better looking in the end.

Does anybody know where I can find a decent set of plans/patterns for built-up floats in the size I'm looking for? Also, can anybody discuss the relative merits of a flat-bottom design vs. Vee hull?

I'd also consider buying a kit or a pre-fabricated set if the price was reasonable enough. ($50 or less... the lesser the better!)


07-20-2007, 05:32 PM
Try these sites:

Designing & Building Floats - Chuck Cunningham

Design Calc - Lee Van Tassle's RC Airplane Design Calculator inc Floats, Canards, CG etc - email Alan for winzip copy of original

Float design

Foam Float Core Construction - by Ironsides

Floats - CG position .jpg.

Floats for electrics - J Spencer

Floats, plans and downloads etc



07-20-2007, 05:46 PM

The only one of those I hadn't seen before was this one:

He's got a pretty good solution for a solid-core float. I may use this as my first home-build attempt.

Still looking for a built-up balsa and/or depron (or other foam) version though.

09-30-2007, 04:42 AM
If you can find an old Berkely Aeronca Sedan kit, the plans detail building balsa floats. They measure 16 5/8" but you could blow them up to suit your size on a photocopier.

If you can't find them locally and you want me to send you a copy, e-mail me at