Alamo Radio Control Society, Inc.

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Affordable Simple Plastic Airplane Designs

If you've been flying RC for a while and want to try something new, you can join some of ARCS' members for RC dogfighting. You'll get to see how your flying skills stack up against our guys. Contact us in San Antonio, Texas, for more information.

Creating Planes With Inexpensive Materials

Simple Plastic Airplane Designs (SPADs) are an inexpensive aircraft built from corrugated plastic (Coroplast) and a ½" x ¾" x ½" aluminum U-channel, which is available at most home improvement/hardware stores. Several ARCS members are planning to build, fly, and dogfight SPADs at the ARCS field. By dogfighting, we mean towing 10' of string tied to 30' of crepe paper streamers. The object is to cut the other competitor's streamer with your propeller (not to crash into the other person's plane).

The best resource for SPADs is the website SPAD TO the Bone, which has plans for 30 different aircraft. It also has detailed drawings and AVI files showing many of the aircraft in flight. The average cost of the planes — excluding servos, receivers, engines, and fuel tanks — is $10 to $15. On average, one of these planes can be built by a beginner in 4 or 5 hours. An experienced builder can build one in under 2 hours. The following ARCS members have already built planes and competed:

  • Dave Bailey
  • Jim Agnew
  • Harrold Saults
  • JD Smith
  • Jim Noblett
  • Bill Fahey
  • Bill Ponsiego
  • Phil Everman

San Antonio Resources

Political campaign signs are perfect for SPADs. After the election, you can usually get them for free. ARCS also suggests using:

  • 96" Of ¾" x ½" U Channel — Home Depot (Makes 3 Planes)
  • 4' x 8' Sheets Of 2mm Or 4mm Coroplast - Regal Plastics — Available In White Or Colors (Makes 6 To 8 Planes)
  • Engine Mounts Made From Poly White Kitchen Cutting Board — Available At Walmart (Makes 10 To 15 Engine Mounts)