A lightweight new foam called Excelobatics is being produced in
0.1mm, 0.25mm, and 0.50mm-thick sheets. It is available in inkjet-ready, coated sheets as shown on the right, and uncoated on the left.
The author constructed this 4-inch Corsair
airframe to test 0.1mm Excelobatics foam. It has
qualities similar to Durobatics foam.
For years, I have written about models constructed using Durobatics foam. Unlike anything
on the market, the foam allowed me
to build some ultralightweight micro
RC models. I could also print beautiful
graphics onto the foam by applying
several coats of inkAID and sending the
foam sheets through an inkjet printer.
The thin foam sheets became
precious to me after they were no longer
produced. Fortunately, I had a good
supply of them, but I knew that my
supply would run low some day and I
would have to find a replacement.
I planned to make a foam slicer to try
to cut my own foam to approximately
the same size and thickness as
Durobatics foam. As I was about to
do this, however, a new company was
formed to manufacture foam with the
same properties as Durobatics. This was
wonderful news to me and to everyone
who wanted to try working with
Durobatics foam, but I could not find
any available for purchase.
Harsha Wijesooriya resides in Sri
Lanka and has come up with a new
foam product that he calls Excelobatics.
I had the chance to test some
samples of the
foam to see if it
would be a good
foam. He sent
me several sheets
some that were
ready for printing
using a standard inkjet printer.
The foam sheets that I received
measured 8. 1 x 11. 5 inches. They are
available in 0.1, 0.25, and 0.50mm
thicknesses. The 0.25mm sheets
weigh 1. 2 grams and are lighter than
Durobatics foam of the same size and
thickness. That is good news!
I wanted to try the uncoated
foam with my proven technique of
applying inkAID to print my graphics. I
airbrushed four coats of inkAID thinned
with water and allowed each coat to dry
before applying the next. I printed one
of my designs. The result was beautifully
printed graphics of the same quality as
those printed on Durobatics foam.
I was excited to try the thin and
lightweight 0.1mm sheet. I coated it
with inkAID, and
made a test print of
a super-micro 4-inch
wingspan Corsair and
had similar results.
The inkAID adds
some stiffness to the
foam. The foam was
so thin, however,
that I had to tape the
edges to a sheet of
paper so it could be
fed through my inkjet
I think the 0.1mm
sheets will be great
for building small,
lightweight models. I
have some other ideas
for how to use the thin foam sheets,
such as making a fully formed wing
with printing on both sides. The weight
should be the same as using a single
piece of 0.25mm foam. I think that the
0.1mm sheets could be used to make a
nice, indoor slow-flying model.
I will write more about my test
results with the Excelobatics foam in
future columns, but is it great to have
a new product such as this on the
market! Harsha has other products on
his website including kits, receivers,
actuators, motors, and more. See his
website for more information.
John Krouse sent me some photos
of his latest micro RC projects. One
that interested me was his 7-inch twin
canard pusher design. The airplane is
constructed of balsa and Depron foam,
and weighs roughly 5 grams. It uses two
4mm motors and a 20 mAh LiPo battery
for power. John used a Plantraco two-channel Butterfly receiver for throttle-only control.
George Harris constructed a model
for the new E- 20 Free Flight (FF) event
that he calls Igneous. The aircraft uses
an E- 20 timer/dethermalizer (DT) from
Bob Selman Designs (BSD Micro RC).
The new event sounds like fun for those
interested in FF competition. These are
the basic rules:
The maximum projected wingspan
is 20 inches, and the minimum weight
85 Model Aviation JULY 2016