I was eating a few pancakes and sausage from my local global syntho–food mega corp and realized that I might be able to get more fun out of the packaging that the food. Has this happened to you? I bet it has. Any way, at first I was thinking that the Styrofoam packaging would make an excellent airplane. Its lightweight, sturdy, easy to work yet durable, and best of all absolutely free. Ok, I have to buy the food that comes in it first but there is nothing stopping you, except sanity, from dumpster diving to find a few. After a quick search of the ‘Net I found a few plans for some planes that used the same idea but it involved attaching things together with glue and to be perfectly honest it was early and I didn’t want to run the risk of gluing my fingers together with white glue (it could happen!). Plus adjoined parts are a failure point waiting to happen. I wanted unibody construction in my aeroplane! I first considered the plate that the food was served on, the bottom, but it was all full of knife marks and I knew that would jeopardise the structural integrity of my craft. The top, however, was in pristine condition. The area between the contents markers (little nubs that would be pushed down to indicate the type of culinary joy contained within) was big enough to use as a fuselage and wings. The natural shape of the container lends itself to a nice dihedral wing configuration. As my father taught me this added stability is a must for any glider!
So, your going to need a few things before we start:
- Tape – Clear tape is the best but I suppose you can use Gaffers if you want
- Hobby knife – You need a VERY sharp blade and I’ll explane why
- Top of your breakfast tray – This should be obvious
- Paper clips – Nose weight
- Pen – To make the foam
- Paper – to make the template
- Markers – Used to make your plane yours
First thing to do is make a template that is roughly plane shaped. I have one here if you want to use it but I encourage you to make your own.
Clean the Styrofoam out, it’s hard to work with sticky plastic.
Tape the template on the container and trace the outline with a pen. Once this is done use your hobby knife to cut along the lines. The containers have a food safe plastic coating that will tear and bunch up if you don’t have a darn sharp blade.
Give the tail a slight ‘V’ bend. And add some paper clips to the nose for balance and weight.
Add decorations to your craft. Air group numbers, slogans, ads for shoes, etc…
Test your creation and have some fun. This is great indoors and out. My daughter Katrina has been playing with this plane all day.
I did discover that if you keep the tail a bit wider it has more stability and also if you move the nose weight around you can get a better glide out of the plane. Also, adding flaps to the trailing edge of the wings help a lot.
Now if I could just find something to do with the eggs that came with the breakfast…
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