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Building a foam wing from scratch

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Old 11-22-2004, 02:47 PM
  #1
aitm001
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Default Building a foam wing from scratch

I have build balsa models before but with the new eclectic there is a lot of foam. I have found some plans for scratch building a plane but most of them have foam core wings. I was wondering if there are any techniques for building a foam core wing yourself? I know there are many places that cut for you but what about do it yourself? Anyone know of any tricks?
How would the plan look like for foam wings? Would it give a few cross sections that could be used to build the wing in sections? Obviously, I have not clue on this.

thanks
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Old 11-22-2004, 06:50 PM
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wrongwaywayne
 
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Default RE: Building a foam wing from scratch

Search the threads you will find your answer. I was going to do the same some months ago, but instead bought some precut foam wings from Dynamic Balsa. Worked great. They even send directions/instructions for finishing them. I would reccomend that route first. Then if you are still interested then buy the necessary equipment to do it yourself. You can find plans for foam cutters some where on this forum.

Good luck
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:07 PM
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patternwannabee
 
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Default RE: Building a foam wing from scratch

In a nutshell, foam wings are "cut" with a hot wire.

Usually, nichrome wire is held taut by a bow (like a hunting bow), and a current is run through it. The nichrome wire gets just hot enough to melt the foam..

On a foam wing plan, all that is supplied is the planform of the wing (shape viewed from above), the Root template, and the Tip template. These are the same shape as the corresponding ribs on a built-up wing. You can cut these templates out of formica or plywood.

You would first cut out the foam "blanks" (the wing planform) using the bow/nichrome hot wire. Then you would somehow attach the root and tip templates to the sides of the blanks. Last, you would cut the foam core by passing the hotwire over the templates from trailing edge to leading edge (or reverse).

Usually, all that is required is the root and tip templates. In fact, some more exotic designs such as blended airfoils where the root is a different airfoil than the tip, can easily be achieved by cutting foam. Only when you have multiple wing panels such as the Cessna wings or a commercial jet, would you need more than 2 templates.

Everyone has their own method of cutting foam. There are lots of good ideas on RCU.

Here's a link that gets into the nitty gritty.
[link=http://www.charlesriverrc.org]Charles River RC[/link]

Don't be afraid to try it.
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Old 12-20-2004, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Building a foam wing from scratch

If you are still interested in cutting your own foam wings drop me a line at robear1053@aol.com I have cut foam wings for years for CL combat and stunt flyers in my club and would be glad to give you a few hints but it is easier to compose a lengthly response off line.
Bob Furr
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