12 Foot Flat Plate Styrofoam B-17

by Ran D. St. Clair | June 14, 2017 | (3 Ratings) Posted in Projects

The 12 foot Flat Plate Styrofoam B-17 is the first in the “Go Big at Flite Fest” series. The idea is to provide a set of reference designs that can be built using locally sourced and inexpensive materials and flown at Flite Fest. These designs either break down for transport, or can be quickly assembled and discarded when the event is over. They are all 8 ft. span or larger and serve to demonstrate a set of build techniques that can be used to create large and inexpensive aircraft of any design.

The primary build materials are 1” Styrofoam insulation, packing tape, Velcro, and cable ties, all available from the local home improvement store. Standard RC electronics are used, and all of the electronics are reusable for other projects.

The B-17 is the largest and most complex of the builds, and is not suitable for assembly from scratch at the event, but it can be broken into pieces suitable for transport with as little as 1 hour assembly time. Some of the other “Go Big at Flite Fest” designs are simple enough that they can be built from scratch at the event.

The B-17 can be built in 3 sizes. At 12 ft. span and 13 pounds it is impressively large but underpowered and very docile. At 10 ft. span and about 9 pounds it should be more maneuverable and have a better rate of climb. At 8 ft. span and about 6 pounds it should be capable of mild aerobatics. Only the 12 ft. span model was built to test the design.

The B-17 is suitable for intermediate to advanced builders and pilots. The build techniques are not difficult but a general understanding of structures and RC techniques is assumed. The B-17 is also not difficult to fly but its large size and light weight means that it reacts slowly to control inputs, and should not be flown in high winds. It also needs to be flown efficiently or the 12 ft. span version will not climb well.


  • Wing span: 12 ft. 2 in.
  • Wing Area: 2,556 sq. in. or 17.75 sq. ft.
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Recommended CG: 2 ½ in. ahead of the wing spar
  • Batteries: 6 each, 3.3Ah, 3S (11.1V), 3.51 lbs. total (or equivalent)
  • Motors: 4 each Emax GS2215/09,1180KV (or equivalent)
  • Propellers: Emax 10x4.5 or APC 10x5.5 for Multi-Rotors, 2 CCW and 2 CW
  • Maximum Power: 220W per motor, 880W Total
  • Maximum Current: 20A per motor, 80A Total
  • Flight Time: 25 minute

The detailed build instructions are too large to be included here but can be found here:



Raccoonworks on June 17, 2017
Nice! A real one flew over my house yesterday and I've been thinking about the plane since. Really appreciate the video, plans and electronics list!
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Air-headed Aviator on June 23, 2017
This is real cool. I get that is lumbery but it flies super scale with that level of speed and climb. Makes for a nice scale experience.
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naitikkumar on July 3, 2017
This is very cool. so thank you.
we can see around us

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