About “foamie” planes and plans: there is a concept that I learned from people like Shelly The Red Hot Haired Pilot that goes like “it’s good to be able to quickly cut blue foam, and to “frugally” (with foam-friendly CA, adhesive tape) snap wings and fuse and (light) gear together and be out flying in one hour”.
Ok, this is the hyper-micro-tiny-tiny-servos and RX’s generation, my childhood’s dream made true (stick-and-tissue planes with tiny motors and rc control, or helium balloons through the living room!!!), but the info accompanying each of the thousands of “fomie plans” in the net is close to none! People don’t care to clarify the noob that their foam design is for “blue foam”, which is a totally different approach from “Elmer’s Board” construction, or that his/her design is for “3D”, for instance, this awful stunt-flying that so many seem to love. As an old school bird, I enjoy realism. (grumpy confused mumbling)
All my life flying never took precedence over building. Those were two pleasures on their own merits. As I always do with things I do not understand, I will concede that the blue foam approach may be a good quick fix for fast lives’ needs –what do I know?
Elmer’s Board is all I could get as construction material, and I tell you: it gives a whole new meaning to “scratch building”. I started wondering about designing a profiled-fuse Piper Cub, then I figured it would take too much weight to fasten servos to a thin marine plywood backbone (any resemblance with rc choppers?), so I went for a semi-profile minimalist design, so the side panels would hold the servos in place, not screws. The cowling however turned into a wonderful “problem”. I simply love the triangular-shaped cowling of the Pipers, so I would not let a semi-profile fuse prevent me from having it! Sanding foam to achieve the cowling I had in my mind turned out being one of my happiest hobby-related moments in years. Creating/ sculpting a part for a model (think about the motor covers of a Constellation) has to be somehow connected to the same subject (or “goal”) in “Zen and the Art of Fixing Motorcycles” (or a close enough name).
I had grits ranging from 60 (coarse) down to 120, 220, 400 and 600, leftovers from a diy speaker project, and had a ball sculpting foam. With foam and multiple rc motors, I imagine what can be done scale-wise, like a Douglas dc3, or a Junkers “Tante U”. Even boats seem feasible, and painting them would not be a weight–related concern as it is in model aircraft. Wow!
Finally: if there is something like a “Foam RC Hall of Fame”, I would vote for the inducement of the guy (or girl) that invented the tape hinge! Tape hinges are the cleverest use of a readily available material (adhesive tape) that I have seen!
But I’m in love with the EB’s foam construction possibilities for electric, multi-engine scale rc, so I will keep my old school hat on and see what else this brave new world has in store to marvel me – and help us build ‘mo better planes’.
I hope to hear from other Elmer's Board builders, read your threads and learn from your experience.
Aharon, "An Israeli Do or Die" (a Jewish Doodle Dandy!)