Building Tiny FPV Wing out of Pizza Boxes

Flitetest came up with the idea of turning cardboard pizza boxes into small RC wings. They kindly shared the plan of the plane and that’s what we are building today!

If you too accepted the challenge, please share your build and video on our intofpv.com forum! This build log is written by KonradS.

Download Pizza Wing Plan

You can find the pizza wing plan here: http://bit.ly/2RRmanE

Simply print them out, stick them on the pizza box, and carve the shape out.

Pizza Wing Parts List

Flitetest Parts

For reference, here are the official recommended components by Flitetest:

  • Motor: 1106 4500KV Brushless Motor
  • ESC: 30A with 5V 1A BEC
  • Servos: 3g Plastic Gear Digital Servo
  • Prop: Gemfan PC 3035×3 Propeller
  • Battery: 3S 450mAh 50C LiPo Battery

Our Recommendations

However, I think these parts are even better:

  • 12A ESC with integrated 5V 1A BEC – The recommended 30A ESC is simply an overkill and extra weight. 12A is more than enough for the motor/prop combo we use
  • 9g plastic servos – light weight, torquey and durable; I know the recommendation are 3g servos, but they are much harder to find and much more expensive!
  • GEPRC 1206 motor – impressed efficiency and thrust (tested here)

What We Actually Used

You don’t have to copy these parts list exactly, similar spec parts should work just fine. In fact, we are going to use some completely different parts in our build – just whatever we can find in our toolbox. :)

  • MG90S Metal gear servo – more torque and durability than needed, but heavy at 13g each
  • Racerstar BR1108 6800kv motor (thrust tested here)
  • Racerstar MS35A ESC – 35A is definitely an overkill LOL
  • 3A 5V/6V BEC – because the ESC I use doesn’t have 5V output, so I had to use a dedicated BEC. However it’s pretty bulky
  • Flysky ia6b RX (because I am using Flysky radio with this model)

You may use any receivers with at least 3 PWM outputs. For Frsky Taranis, these are a couple of good choices:

Wings don’t need flight controllers to fly, you certainly can if you want. But we are aiming for simplicity here, and weight saving makes a huge different in a tiny aircraft like this when it comes to flight time and stability.

Building the Pizza Wing Air-frame

It doesn’t have to be pizza boxes :) You can use almost any cardboard to build this wing’s airframe as long as it’s not too flimsy. My first trial was using heavy duty cardboard. It worked, but it was quite heavy.

The pizza box I got was way too big LOL, I could probably cut 4 micro wings out of it if I wanted to :)

Join the plans we printed earlier together with a bit of tape, then stick the whole thing on the pizza box. Use a sharp blade to cut along the lines.

Then make a light crease following the lines using a ruler (or anything rigid and straight) and your thumbnail.

And fold the cardboard along the creases.

Glue in a small spar to add some rigidity to the airframe. It should probably be a bit longer, but even something like this will be enough for such a small wing.

Now would be a good time to cover entire cardboard with some packing tape for added protection (a bit like lamination).

Do not glue both sides of the airframe just yet.

Connecting Components

The wiring should look something like this:

Basically, your LiPo connects to the ESC (with BEC), and both the ESC and servos connect to the RX.

This is what it looks like when they are all soldered up:

Note that my RX setup has AETR channel mapping (Aileron, Elevator, Throttle, Rudder), it could be in different order with your radios system.

Servos are connected to channels 1 and 2 (Aileron, Elevator), and ESC is connected to channel 3 (Throttle).

Setting Up Mixer

Follow this guide to setup your mixer in the radio.

Control Surfaces – Elevons

Ideally, the push-rod should be placed perpendicular to how the elevons bend. Place the servo on the wing, mark and cut out a hole to install the servo.

Make sure to leave enough space needed for the servo-horn/push-rod to operate.

Grab a big zip-tie and cut two 2cm pieces – these will be our control horns to use on the elevons.

As the push-rods, I used some 0.8mm copper wire. These are firm enough for this micro wing. The length of the wires depends on where you install the servos, mine was around 7cm long.

Bend the ends on both to create hooks. I used two pieces of wires for each push-rod.

Now you can install all the electronics inside the wing, fold it, but leave the servos hanging outside while connected to the RX, and glue both sides of the wing.

Make a small hole at the top of the control horn and push the hook through it.

Attaching pushrod near the servo shaft gives you more fine control, attaching near the end of the servo horn causes more elevon throw – gives you ‘higher rates’. I used second hole from the end on the horn which gives me higher rates.

In the ‘neutral’ servo position, your elevons should have a few degree of “uptilt” – this is called reflex which helps to take off.

To join the two wires in the push-rod, I simply used a drop of CA glue under the heatshrink tube and then apply heat.

Everything’s done! Now go outside to test it.

Test Flight

If that is your first wing, don’t let any initial failures let you down! Here’s a short video of my Pizza Wing:

Here is a simple FPV setup I added to the wing:

Both are powered from the onboard 5V BEC; If you are using an ESC with 5V BEC, make sure it’s powerful enough to power all the servos and FPV setup, otherwise you might need a dedicated 5V BEC like I did.

I was able to get a pretty decent FPV experience out of it:

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