Foam CanadAir, from Francesco Mele

How much more scale, look alike, this could be ?


I happened to read many threads, on the Ezone. Time to time, you come across one of these very special ones on foamy "home build planes". What happens when a Traditional Modeler, used to work with Balsa, starts to get into using foam ?

Well, pictures are better than 1000 words :)
You will read below on the work done by Francesco Mele, on this Canadair. The Way it build it would certainly remind Balsa modelers about something familiar... ;)

Francesco was kind enough to spend some time to write the story about this plane, and here it is.


From Francesco Mele, April 26th of 2005:

The Story of the CL415

This model origin came from a question a club mate made to me “ did you ever build a boat “ ?

My answer was “ I like to build airplane model however who knows “ ?

The moment arrived when I accepted the challenge to build a model using a material like depron but not a profile plane nor flat wing, simply a traditional model. So I selected a plane not too complex i.e. high wing rectangular shape, possibly no dihedral, boxy fuselage etc. Initially I thought to a Piper Cub but you can see one of them in each club and then I remembered the boat so let’ go on.


First of all a good three view is necessary in order to define overall outline dimensions.. got it ! A depron sheet both 3 and 6 mm thick…got it !

Then since I’ve access to a CAD P.C. software I started to draw lines and designed more or less what had to be formers, ribs, fuselage sides,  keel panels, wing panels in order to cut depron panels both 3 and 6 mm thick.  


Started with the fuselage gluing upper and lower formers and cabin nose profile to an intermediate floor using UHU glue, in order to have a good joint it is important that all the former edges are  flat and square. To get this I coupled all formers and sanded the surface to be glued all at once.

After that the sides ( 3 mm thick) have been glued and carefully folded to the front nose up to the junction point.

Roof glued to the top and it started to looks like a boat,… well done ! Note that I use polyuretane glue wherever the joint is not externally visible cause this glue foams and protrudes outside the joint.( if you don’t want this glue to foam you have to continuously scrub it until cures)

Once the main carriage has been installed and glued the keel has been completed.



The tail has a very big size compared to the plane size and also very thick. To be as much to scale as possible I laminated three 6 mm depron sheet in order to have a thickness of 18 mm, the inner layer has been lightened and a channel for the servo lead hollowed, then sanded and sanded to shape. Same for the elevator but for this I laminated a 6mm depron for inner layer and 3mm for upper and lower layers; again lightening the inner one and once achieved the tile a balsa LE for stiffness and TE taped to shape by sanding.


As far as the wing is concerned you can see that has been built as a traditional balsa wing using two 6mm depron panels 75x18 cm glued end to end to make the entire wing panel and a 5mm balsa spar see sketch below.

The upper covering has been made using 3mm depron panels cut to shape.


The nacelle sides have been treated as ribs havig appropriate shape and slots and glued to the wing panel and then covered on the top after having glued a mid floor where the EPS 350 mounting hard wood has been attached. Once completed, aileron detached and servo installed, the entire model has been painted by brush in its more common livery with acrylic water based paint .

The model  is powered by two GWS EPS350 ‘C’ geared (5,33:1) spinning SF 8x4,3 props which have been black painted; fuel is given by 8 cells Ni-Cd 600 AE battery pack for a AUW of 31 oz. and a 420 square inches wing area.


Finally the maiden day arrived. Strong gusty wind but I already delayed the maiden so I had to fly. After pre-flight check open the throttle up to maximum, a short run on the track and a slow scale take off. A couple of clicks on up elevator and a couple of minutes of fight against the wind. I have to say however that the CL-415 went very well, is stable and can fly at half throttle. After a couple of minutes I decided for a landing circuit and smoothly with a bit of throttle took her down, everything went well.

Some more on this plane:

Latest Update: Monday, 19 September 2005