You can build the plane from 1 sheet of home insulation foam, which is available from a store like Home Depot or Lowes very inexpensively. I used 1/2" foam for this, however you could probably make it from other sizes too. This foam is used for siding on houses being constructed, and I'm sure it comes in many varieties. The truth is, there is no specific right type of foam for this. Some varieties will be heavier, and some might be more durable, but in the end the plane really doesn't care. You could even make it from Walmart foamboard or just plain cardboard.
Next is the electronics. I always order my electronics from www.hobbyking.com, a cheap but popular hobby store with a good variety of parts and very slow shipping. Your local hobby store will also have everything you'll need for this, at a premium.
You will need a good brushless motor, rated for about 20 amps. Brushless motors are part and parcel of the electric rc world, as they are far superior to traditional brushed setups. These motors, combined with high capacity and lightweight lithium polymer batteries are really what enabled electric planes to become a realistic alternative to nitro gas aircraft. I recommend the brushless motor, speed controller, prop and prop saver in the links below for this trainer.
Prop (Order Spares!!)
To move the rudder and elevator of your plane, you will need 2 servos. You can buy very cheap ones, however I suggest you upgrade and get the metal geared ones below, as they last longer. You will also need control horns and servo pushrods. I have posted links for those as well, however you can make them easily out of wire and popsicle sticks if you want to save a few bucks.
Durable Metal Gear Servo
Alternative: Cheap Plastic Gear Servo
In terms of a radio, you have several options. I would suggest something like this if you are looking for your cheapest option, however if you plan to get heavily involved in the RC hobby, and want to be able to fly larger and more complex aircraft than this trainer, I would highly recommend you purchase a more advanced system. I use the Spektrum DX6i, but you might want to do some more research or possibly check local classifieds for a used system. You will also need a battery and charger. Check the links below for my recommendations. A smaller battery will give you a larger payload, while a larger batter will give you better flight times.
Small Battery for Higher Payload
Large Battery for Long Flights
Other items that are optional:
- Landing Gear for taking off and landing on the ground
- Servo extensions in case the servos can't reach the receiver
- Misc. electronic connectors, depending on what your motor, speed controller and battery come with
- LED lights for nightflying
- Keychain Video Camera for aerial video