Easy-Build RC Airplane Plans

Find plans for balsa wood and other aircraft with basic structures

Whether you are a longtime flyer of RC (radio-controlled) planes or just beginning to explore the activity, these easy-to-build, balsa-made trainer plans will move your hobby to the next level. These airplane plans, some of which are available to download for free, are great for beginning builders because they feature fairly simple construction techniques with minimal frame components. The plans are not necessarily beginner planes for flying, but the construction process is less complicated than some RC airplanes. And once you've mastered these, you can move on to intermediate and even advanced RC construction plans. Also see these intermediate to advanced RC airplane plans.

This UK-based website with hundreds of plane plans is fun to surf and easy to search. There are over 1,000 RC plans on this site, which you can look for either by category or by photo. Enthusiasts also send in photos illustrating their work, so this is not only a great place to find a plan but also to browse finished projects. The UMX Tristar, for one, is a simple build that results in a great-looking plane.

It doesn't get more simple than this balsa wood propeller plane originally featured in the October 1955 issue of Model Airplane News. A great first plane, it is designed for control line flying, but you can outfit it with an RC motor.

Another popular free build available on Outerzone is this cool biplane design by Dick Wickham, a well-known hobby plane designer. Its straightforward balsa-wood design results in a 29-inch-long plane with a 38-inch wingspan that looks great in the air and is fun to fly.

Want to try your hand at building a plane with Depron Foam instead of balsa? This site lists a number of foam-based plans, along with in-depth specs and difficulty level. The Prair-E-Duster Biplane with a 16.75-inch wingspan is a great introduction to the world of "foamies," as is Charlie Fite's B-47D, a turboprop version of the B-47 Stratojet.

 

There are quite a few easy-to-build free plans available at this popular site, including fun foamies like the F-22 Raptor and the Bugatti 100 P. The site is easy to navigate and the plans are free to download, but you do need to sign up to access photos and full plans and descriptions.

A division of Wikipedia, E-Flight Wiki is an online community where RC enthusiasts regularly gather to create, maintain, and share documents related to electric RC flying. It's a great place to find plans, too. Although listed by category rather than skill level, each plane plan comes with in-depth descriptions about specs and skill level. The Blue Ripper by Gene Bond is a simple foamie, and the SimRaC Fighter, which can be built from balsa, gets a lot of enthusiastic reviews.

Plans by WaterDog
Plans by WaterDog. Plans by WaterDog

This series of RC Groups forum discussions includes instructions and links to plans (in PDF format) and videos for how to build your own foam plane from hardware store materials—a great resource for the new modeler. This page includes PDF files with instructions along with the the plans in full page and tiled formats.