Okay so the problem with planes is this: SMG and rail fire will disable you quicker than you can say flying pig. I have tried so many times to make a plane work, and yet I could never quite get the evasive quality of resilience.
Finally, within the last few weeks, I saw the light. As a joke, I built a really short but really wide plane. I added a stick from the middle with up/down thrusters on it, and the thing actually flew like a dream. Add a lot more thrust (14x T10, 8x T2), more rudders (8x), and a lot more blocks, and the thing can glide (and have thrust!) even at 26% health.
Many of the pictures of it are actually going to be of it partially destroyed, so that you can see how it responds to normal damage. I usually survive a sniper's full round, and can fight an SMG for about 5 plasma shots before being totally disabled. As I said, it flies like a dream. Flying it feels like cutting through butter with a hot scalpel.
Anyways, I will probably post a video or a tutorial on how to build it later. CUBE COUNT IS ESTIMATE