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A Cardboard RC plane.

Just how hard can it be?

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Graham Stanley 303/10/2018 22:55:33
11 forum posts

I can dig out a copy of the instructions for you. That is a Craftsman 60 Mk2, which has veneered leading edge D section and Spruce spars. You will need PVA glue, Solarfilm or equivalent heat shrink glossy film covering and metric ruler. All the (card) parts are identified by their length in millimetres.

I will try and remember which moulded cowls fit it too. Power can be anything between a four stroke 40 (scale like flying), two stroke 40 for normal sport flying, upwards. One customer fitted a 90 four stroke, but the model is designed to balance correctly with a 40 two stroke.

It may take me a while to dig them out, please send me your email so I can forward copies.

Graham Stanley

Graham Stanley 309/10/2018 10:23:11
11 forum posts

Instructions for the Craftsman can be seen here -

Alan Gorham_09/10/2018 10:28:09
1321 forum posts
146 photos

Or here if you don't want to cut and paste:


Nigel R09/10/2018 10:29:18
4081 forum posts
694 photos

interesting stuff graham

a true ancestor of the fanfold type foam board models that are around in abundance these days,

I see a few other things - like the depron wings made from a single sheet scored and bent around a depron spar, which strongly resembles your methods (rear of wing, tailplane).

what sort of all up weight did the craftsman come in at?

ChrisB09/10/2018 11:33:15
1220 forum posts
34 photos

A good mate of mine, now sadly departed, Dave Orton used to fly a cardboard plane from Lawford Heath and then Rolls Royce Ansty.

I think that was a Craftsman. It must have been back in the 90's when he flew it. From memory it had a Laser 70 up front.

Graham Stanley 309/10/2018 23:10:03
11 forum posts

Sorry I can’t remember the all up weight. 6 lb rings a bell, but that sounds a lot for an aircraft with such a good low speed flight capability.

We did fit anApprentice with a 20 size four stroke. It was exceedingly economical, but very marginal on take off. I recall it flying for an hour on 6ounces of fuel.

Dave Cooper 310/10/2018 21:06:37
65 forum posts

I use card a lot mainly for making 'template' structures out of other materials - old birthday, anniversary cards etc are great for this as you get a wide variety of strengths, weights and thicknesses. However, for primary structure on models I think it needs the following :-

1. Extra support in key load-bearing areas eg wing 'D-box' structures, fuselage former and stringer coverings.

2. It needs some form of water-proofing - even a slope soarer will get put down on wet grass occasionally.

3. IC power models need careful fuel proofing from the inside out - not easy in difficult to access areas, but, fuel will probably find a way in.

4. For longevity, the card will probably need to be quite thick if you want to avoid a lot of time on repairs /maintenance - need to watch the weight when it is 'distant' from the CG.

5. May need surface sealing before adding paint etc.


1, 2 and 3 above apply depending on the adhesives / joining methods used.


My "Wildthing" (largely EPP) had a Correx fin and elevons as built from the kit. After about 5 seasons the Correx began crumbling away even though it was stored out of direct sunlight when not in use.

I could have just replaced same with more Correx, but, it now has a balsa /ply /carbon fin and elevons....there's a moral there somewhere !


Graham Stanley 310/10/2018 21:41:46
11 forum posts

Hi Dave. I agree with your comments. On the Craftsman instructions (link above) there are a number of illustrations showing exactly how we added local bits of spruce and ply where needed.

Graham Stanley 310/10/2018 21:46:21
11 forum posts

We also added veneer to the leading edge D foam, not for structural strength but for cosmetics and to make it easier to cover. Solarfilm was best, the extra weight of Solartex wasn’t worth it. I thought the Solartex versions didn’t fly as well. Weight of surface finish?

Dave Cooper 311/10/2018 21:58:21
65 forum posts

Hi Graham - I'd heard that Solarfilm and Solartex was no longer available ? However, on researching other coverings for my next models I found a reference to 10 Micron Melinex (film) covered with 'Jap' tissue which they say is light and very durable /takes paint etc. (ref: George Stringwell's "Radio Controlled Gliders". I think this will also be suitable for small, light card models.

For the larger, heavier models, Ceconite is also worth considering but you need to search for the very lightest cloth. We use this on full-size gliders !

I believe prices for the above are very reasonable but may require a bit of hunting down...


Graham Stanley 312/10/2018 00:17:20
11 forum posts

Hi Dave

You are correct, Solarfilm ceased trading a few months ago. However there are other model coverings that can be considered direct replacements, such as Oracover and Oratex.

The covering serves two main functions..... To make the cardboard water and fuel proof, and make the model a colour that is pleasant to look at and easy to see in the air.

Coverings that use separate adhesive or dope are not suitable, as they add too much weight or alter the characteristics of the cardboard. The cardboard we used was chosen as the best combination of bounce-ability and lowest weight.

For best appearance the covering is only stuck on the edges / corners of our models, and shrunk tight with an iron or hot air gun without pressure on the flat portions of the cardboard. Trying to make it stick to all of the flat panels spoils the appearance and reduces the strength of the cardboard , as it doesn't stay flat when exposed to too much heat.

Extra heat on the cardboard can be used to change the shape to good effect, i.e. make trailing edges more streamlined can be done with a hot iron and perhaps a little PVA. To get the same profile with wood it would have to be sanded, and a thin balsa trailing edge is not as robust as an ironed card one (when using our corrugated card). The card we specified was craft paper both sides, "B" flute normal corrugated between.

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