A practical approach to RC planes

F22 Build – Day One

Maden flight on my first F22 scratch build

Maden flight on my first F22 scratch build

One of my favorite scratch built planes is 6mmRC’s F22. This easy to build, cheap, light aircraft is a blast to fly. Over the next few posts I’ll be taking the time to document the build process. We’ll start with my version of modified plans and walk through the full process to the first flight. So lets get started.

workshop Brooklyn apt style

Living in a Brooklyn, NY apartment tends to lead to a less than ideal workspace…

Living in an apartment in Brooklyn adds some extra challenges to the process but highlights the limited space needed for the build. Currently all my build magic takes place on the kitchen counter. Not a glamorous workshop or hobby space by any mean but functional in all the right ways.

What you’ll need to build your airframe:

  • Foam board – easily available in most craft stores; I like to use Staples 40×30 inch board as I can cut all of the parts from a single sheet. 1 Sheet = 1 Plane; approximately $7
  • Exacto knife and blades – I use cheap knifes and #11 blades. Nothing fancy here
  • Cutting surface – hobby cutting board (not needed but really extends the life of your blades)
  • Hot glue gun – steal you moms or get your own; the whole plane is held together with hot glue
  • Plans – Download your a few and see what you like. I recommend these plans for a first go at a scratch built plane; but I’ll be using these plans from this build (

Step One: Print/cut out plans

Plans F22

Head to Staples or Kinkos and have your plan printed on a single sheet. Saves a ton of pain working from solid temples rather than taped together sheets.

Assuming you have downloaded and/or modified your plans print them. I recommend taking the files to Kinkos or Staples and having them printed to scale on one sheet. This allows you to cut them into single reusable stencils used to mark the foam board. And only cost about $5.

Take extra time to cut each stencil with care. The more accurate you are from the start the easier the entire build and repair process will be for the life of the plane.

Note :when cutting the interior slots the plans are created for a certain thickness material. Foam board is much thiner than the 6mm Depron foam intended to be used in the default plans. Cutting too wide of slots leads to a need of excess glue and therefore excess weight on your  airframe. Mark and cut the thicknesses using a scrap of foam board.

I have spent much of my time modifying the plans. With revisions after each build I can tighten tolerances, add additional adjustments, and cleanup the plans. I am currently at version 6 which includes corrected slot sizes for staples foam board, modifications to accommodate a new enhanced motor mount, enhanced battery protection, KFm2 Step airfoil, servo installation points, CG markings, and electronic placement indicators. In a future post I’ll share these plans, highlight these enhancements, and show the software I use to keep it all up to date.

Step Two: Mark and cut all foam parts

The key here is to take your time and use sharp blades. Typically I go thought 2 blades just cutting out all of the parts. Then another 2-3 cutting and fitting all the parts together and a brand new blade for cutting the final wing edges.

Tech Tip: Mark the coroners of your plans only with a pen and use a straight edge to cut from mark to mark. Marking full lengths and free hand cutting makes for a very unfinished look.

Once you have all the parts cut. Start to align the upper and lower vertical parts. Taking time to trim until there is a nice solid fit.

something to be added

Main airframe section

A little added time and percussion here will lead to tighter fits and less glue.

A little added time and percussion here will lead to tighter fits and less glue.

Next week we will move on to fitting all of the pieces together.

CHeck out part two here



4 responses to “F22 Build – Day One

  1. Pingback: August 8th Recap | BackyardRC

  2. Pingback: F22 Build – Day Two | BackyardRC

  3. Pingback: Fall Sneak Peek! | BackyardRC

  4. Pingback: Labor Day Weekend Fun! (Friday) | BackyardRC

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