A quick thought about foam

flexibility

Foam has some very interesting properties. Here is a foam Squirrel that is being passed around in a pub. This young lady is showing some writing that she and friends have added to the Squirrel.

See’s had no experience or coaching with handling of model planes. I was very impressed with the survival of this plane.

I the picture, she is stretching the winglets apart to make sure we can see the writing.

The plane got a lot of bending when it was being written on to. Not only did it not break or stress, it had good memory and came back to it’s original shape.

I know foam is not a traditional material but this is a serious benefit if it can survive this sort of manipulation.

She left the pub with the plane and I’m wondering what happened. I’m sure I’ll get a report sooner or later!

3 thoughts on “A quick thought about foam

  1. Has anyone experimented with foam board, also known as foamcore? I created a workable design quite by accident while trying to create a durable-yet-affordable solution to the brittle, throwaway Guillow planes that have disappointed my children too many times with their one-flight, one-crash way of making products. Foam board has a great surface-to-weight ratio and will hold its shape, even if the flight was less than perfect. I incorporated a simple notch slot construction technique, making assembly easy. Then I add nose weight by inserting a 3 inch finishing nail, which also reinforces the nose, thereby protecting it against those “oops I accidentally flew it into the side of the garage” flights that hopelessly deform or compress the nose beyond repair. No motors have been used, as of yet, but the initial testing and market response is hopeful. Yes, I started a company that manufacturers these plans. I would be happy to provide a sample for review.

  2. Good point. Foam is water proof/resistant.

    Um, to be frank, I’m not sure what that young lady did with her Squirrel. We had a lot of fun so I’m sure she’ll be in touch with me so I can find out.

    Yeah, the general public has a lot of problems dealing with a motor that’s longer than the plane. I think I will start using a shorter motor so that it stays hooked on. Less flying capability but one less thing to be going wrong during outreach activity.

  3. Another nice thing about foam is that it is not sensitive to humidity. I flew my foam Squirrels at the park right after the lawn was watered. They got wet, but there was no sagging tissue paper and no shrinking paper and twisting structures when they dried out.

    The motor is wrapped around the tailplane in the picture. Hope she doesn’t wind it up that way. Fortunately the foam is easy to fix or replace.

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