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Is it Ok to fly foam...? 

Just look at the culture of SAM clubs. You'll find it's the same the world over.

It's you, the builder, who gets the kudos. The "Oohs" and "Aahs". You bring a new plane to the field. It's you, and the plane, that get all the attention. "Howja get that finish?"   What kinda covering?"    "Are those wing tips laminated?"

It can go on all morning...  

Everyone on the field is watching, hoping your have a great maiden flight.
The Old Days
Flying foam used to be like flying trash. The foam would get battered and chipped, and attract dirt and grime like a magnet. But people actually flew these dirty, ugly, models. Because they couldn't be bothered to build a decent airplane.

In Old Timer clubs (and others) were at the bottom of the pole.

To illustrate the point, there should be a photo here of the kind of ugly, dirt impregnated foam people used to fly. However those with finer sensitivities might puke...

Today the stores carry much improved foam models. The foam is stronger, less porous and more dirt resistant. Often sealed by a high quality paint job.

The EPP foam, which will bounce rather than shatter, is also a big winner. For obvious reasons!

Below are shown some "foamies" that have provided great enjoyment to their SAM owners, as well as spectators.

Common sense says they are here to stay.

Do you agree with the consensus?  See bottom of page.

Here's a couple of shots of a good looking Stinson, as Jay Beasley puts it through its paces. The left photo shows the signature "gull-wing" look. The right photo shows the massive radial engine. Many folks were astounded when they first saw it close up. Wow. It's a foamie!    Mike Sidwell photo.
 Here's President Chip Buss's AT6, complete with pilot figure. The model is beautifully finished in his personal colors..   Krylon H20, foam safe,  water based spray with easy clean up.              Mike Sidwell photo

  Sheet foam. Ed Solenberger's Cub-like creation. The high dihedral makes it look cute, and very model like.      Mike Sidwell photo  

The Handyman. EPP foam that will bounce, rather than shatter. Club members Jay Beasley, Greg Huffman and Andrew Tickle enjoy this plane.

It  has a zero/zero setup. Meaning wing incidence and downthrust are zero. And the wing airfoil section is symmetrical. Hence it can fly the same, upright and inverted. It can perform the full range of aerobatics.   Mike Sidwell photo
This one is Andrew's practice plane with well over a hundred flights to date. It stands  in for his ancient all balsa Sig Hots to reduce the wear and tear.

Details: Our favorite $9 Hobbyking 3 x 2200 LiPo, $24 Super Tiger ST 10,  Eflight 10 x 4.7 prop, approx 23Amps at 7000 rpm. Unlimited vertical. Flies 12 to 15 mins.    Mike Sidwell photo

What is the consensus? 

SAM 27 has never had a rule, written or unwritten, banning any type of airplane, or type of flying. Nor has there ever been an 'Old Timers only' rule. There are purists who would like to (literally) stamp out foam. (And others who would like to ban noisy 2-stokes, helicopters, etc, etc...) 

But the fact is there is a high level of tolerance. And everybody gets along together at the field.

What is frowned upon is the member who comes to this Old Timer club and never brings anything but a toy store airplane, ignoring the purpose of the club.


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