Foam Plate Planes go Rubber Powered

It had been suggested that the foam plate and plastic straw gliders I had been building might be better with the addition of a propeller and rubber motor. After making the modification to an existing glider I was really pleased with the results. With the tension of the rubber I assumed the fuselage would need to be stiffened so I ran a bamboo skewer through the straw that worked well. I few the plane outside in the winter over snow and the plane flew well right away.



In the spring I taught a workshop class at the Wisconsin Afterschool Convention using these ideas. First the teachers built a foam plate and plastic straw glider and then added the propeller and rubber motor. My idea was to show how an idea can evolve.



This summer I had kids build rubber powered foam plate planes in both a College for Kids Class and a Winona Parks and Recreation Summer Camp. The airplanes work well for the most part but like with any model airplane sloppy work results in an airplane that does not fly well.




Bill Kuhl

Additional Articles Relating to this Article:

Foam Plate and Plastic Straw Gliders

Rubber Powered Foam Airplanes

Basic Aerodynamics With a Lesson

Wisconsin AfterSchool Conference Update

College for Kids Report First Two Days

Spatial Ability and Building Models

My Booth at STEM Day at MN State Fair

2 thoughts on “Foam Plate Planes go Rubber Powered

  1. Foam Plate Rubber Powered Contest
    Bill Kuhl and myself (Ronnie Espolt) are putting together ideas for a postal contest primarily targeted at students but we will have adult classes. We will have the simplistic rules that allow for much inventiveness .

    Contest will run the full month of May and can be submitted and received seven days into June.

    The wing and stabalizers must be made from commercially manufactured foam dinner plates. No reinforcement like wood or carbon spars, tape, stickers. Glue and foam plates only. You may use paint and markers for designs and identification. No limit on size or wing span.

    No limit on propellers.

    The motor stick / fuselage is limited to wood only no coatings or reinforcements. 1/8X3/8″, no limit to length. This is the limit factor on motor size and number of winds.

    We hope that like the Sky Bunny Contest we will see a running dialog of ideas and material sources. Age classes are Preteen, Teen, 20-64,65-dead. On the first day of May.

    We look forward to your support.

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