Getting to know “foamies”

Fun & Games

One of the things we talk about in the new issue of MAKE, in my “Remote Control State of the Art” piece, is foamies, R/C planes made out of foam building material, often carved from blueboard insulation foam. They have getting started info, videos of foamies in action, project articles, and they even sell plans for building foamies of your own.

Build a Foamie Blog

From MAKE magazine:

MAKE Volume 22, Remote Control Everything
Automate your world with remote control. From pet care to power outlets, from toys to telepresence, we’ll show you how to add a joystick, push-button, twist-knob, or timer to just about anything. Don’t forget, subscribers can always read the digital edition here.

8 thoughts on “Getting to know “foamies”

  1. Kevin says:

    Why do foam when you can do JET-POWERED FOAM!!! (Kiss the next two hours good bye)

    I built two of these bad boys a few years ago (F16 and F22 Raptor with vectoring thrust). My god were they fun!

    If you do it right you can actually get some good power out of them (My F16’s power to weight ratio was almost the same as my friends actual jet turbine F16 RC)

  2. EdK says:

    About a year ago my uncle started designing, building and flying super fast foam pusher jets. Some of his planes go 90 mph+. Anyone interested can check out his planes (w/video) at

  3. RocketGuy says:

    I’ve got a Mini XE EPP Foam flying wing with a brushless/lipo setup. Combatwings did a great job on the airfoil, it’s an astoundingly good flier. The XE2 is a great first plane if you like flying wings.

    Carbon fiber arrow shafts are a great spar material, necessary if using EPP since it’s not really stiff enough on it’s own. But it is just about indestructible, unlike the stiffer styro. I crashed my first one about 50 times, and only had to do one repair that took 15 minutes.

    I loved it when I “landed” and folks all around me would say things like “oh, sorry about your airplane”, and I’d just go over, pick it up and toss it right back into the air.

    I was kinda proud of my mcguyvering an air cooling scoop for the ESC out of the plastic packaging for some xacto blades. Just happened to fit perfectly, and now it’s happy tooling along at 100Mph. I get tired before the lipo batteries do, really amazing stuff (Thunder Power is my favorite so far).

    Before the house remodel trashed my timeline, I was hoping to build a much bigger, somewhat slower “mothership” flying wing drone by now. It’s going to have to stay in the box a while longer, but I will document the build when I get to it.

    Thank Cisco for all this wonderful foam, it resulted from their packaging research. After losing multi-million dollar routers to shipping damage, they put a few million into packing foam research, and here we are!

    Happy Skies Foam Flyers!

  4. jimmydemello says:

    I build foam flying wings with 9mm EPP foam. If you cover it in iron on laminate that you can buy from a copy shop, it increases the foam’s load bearing strength by about 10 times. No need for additional carbon spar reinforcement. And they bounce if you happen to hit the ground.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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