RC Powers Foam Jets: Lots of fun with minimum cost

RC Powers foam jets are very easy to build and can be ideal for the beginner or the 3D flyer!

Su-34 flyingPhoto is from the RC Powers.com forum

Dave Powers sells a range of "build it yourself" foam jets. Please note that all the designs are 'prop-in the-slot" electric motor powered, semi-scale jets.

Plans are available to download in PDF format. These are in the form of full size templates that are pasted to 6 mm. foam and then cut out and glued together. The design has been simplified to the smallest number of parts and instructions are included so as to make the whole process as easy and as simple as possible.


There are 4 models available and each one has a specific purpose including a trainer, beginner type as well as a 3D high alpha type for the more experienced flyer.

I would think that this is more of a second model rather than a first attempt, although some may prove me wrong! 

All models are intended to be inexpensive and easily repairable. All planes eventually crash (especially when learning) and waiting around for parts can be frustrating! When YOU are the manufacturer then you can build new parts and be flying again in no time!

The most expensive parts are the electronics, motor and radio. The idea is to move these components from plane to plane, which can be done fairly easily.

Su-34 V4 sitting on tablePhoto is from the RC Powers.com forum

Note that I an no expert in this type of RC airplane! I  just came across the RC Powers website and am intrigued by the concept of foam jets.

I have purchased the "V4 Pro Pack" of 4 plans and have decided to build the Su-34 V4. As I proceed through the build I will keep the site updated with my progress. So we may be learning together!




Printing the plans of the foam jets

There are two ways of printing the plans-

  1. On your home printer (Using the "Tiled" format)
  2. From a print shop ( one piece 27" (685.8mm)x39" (990.6mm) (Untiled format)

As long as you have access to a print shop, then I think this is the way to go. Staples or Fedex/Kinko usually have 36" wide printers.

Copy your PDF files onto a USB flash card and take it to the printers. Ask for it to be printed in black and white at 100%. Measure the scale in vertical and horizontal directions and if it is not to scale ask if this can be adjusted. 

You do not have to be super critical about this, as all parts will be slightly smaller or bigger, by the same amount.

If you choose the 'Tiled" format you will have to tape the sheets together-but you will arrive at the same point!


Foam

The best foam to use is apparently 6mm thick Depron. This is a foam underlay, used in Europe under house flooring. Unfortunately it is not used in North America.

There are a few companies that import the stuff and sell it. RCFoam and Grayson offer it, but with the shipping costs it can be quite expensive.

There are alternatives. The Dollar store sell a product that is approximately the same thickness, and is covered with paper, on both sides. Walmart have another one. Some chaps leave the paper on (easier to paint?) and some peel it off. (Makes things lighter). Bear in mind that water makes the paper peel off, so if you leave it on do not fly on wet grass!

The alternates are slightly heavier than Depron and of a different texture.

For your first attempts use what is readily available to you.



Glue.

5 minute epoxy is the adhesive recommended by Dave Powers, in the "Master Parts List" (part of the download). I have used this for years in conventional building, so I should have no problem. It is suggested that only hobby shop grade be used.

A glue gun can be used, at least for repairs and gap filling. Be careful because the glue can be heavy.

You will need something to fix the plan templates to the foam and spray glue is recommended. Use lightly and make sure it does not melt the foam.


The Master Parts List (MPL)

Dave Power with the Su-34Photo is from the RC Powers.com forum

The MPL is part of the download and shows all the components required to build foam jets. It conveniently has hot links to various suppliers. All the electronic parts are listed, with specifications, so you can substitute if required.




Su-34 flyingPhoto is from the RC Powers.com forum
Su-34 flyingPhoto is from the RC Powers.com forum


Models available

  1. The Su-30 V4 Hovering Parkjet PDF plans-$15.99 USD
  2. The Su-34 V4 Super Trainer PDF plans-$15.99 USD
  3. The F-18 V4 Multirole Parkjet PDF plans-$15.99 USD
  4. The Mig -29 V4 Speedmaster PDF plans-$15.99 USD
The 4 V4 RC Power foam jets

Click here or on the above images to visit the RC Powers web site, for full details including the V4 Pro Pack that contains all 4 foam jets plus full instructions and more. ( Price =$49.00 USD)

I recommend you register on the site and then you will have access to the forum, where lots of flyers will have the answers to any questions.




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