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105 flights and the FT Sportster still lives!

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#1
I keep track of all my flying with a spreadsheet and my FT Sportster (born 2-25-2017), that I modified with a better motor and reinforcements here and there, is still flying after 105 flights! At around 7-9 minutes per flight that's around 12+ hours of flight time. I have broken this plane in half, ripped the power pod out several times crashing it into the ground, bent the wings rolling into the ground and pretty much crashed and smashed it to death and it is hard to believe it still flies. I have actually destroyed two 2200 3s batteries in crashes with it. It is my park flying plane that I practice all kinds of flying with so when I fly my balsa planes I don't crash them...as much...All I have done to repair is tape it up and hot glue the crap out of it and fly some more.

In the picture you can see the motor has a lot of down thrust after many repairs and it is a bit challenging to hand launch, but once in the air it flies great!

Hats off to the FT Sportster as one of the toughest Flight Test planes ever designed!

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SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#2
I keep track of all my flying with a spreadsheet and my FT Sportster (born 2-25-2017), that I modified with a better motor and reinforcements here and there, is still flying after 105 flights! At around 7-9 minutes per flight that's around 12+ hours of flight time. I have broken this plane in half, ripped the power pod out several times crashing it into the ground, bent the wings rolling into the ground and pretty much crashed and smashed it to death and it is hard to believe it still flies. I have actually destroyed two 2200 3s batteries in crashes with it. It is my park flying plane that I practice all kinds of flying with so when I fly my balsa planes I don't crash them...as much...All I have done to repair is tape it up and hot glue the crap out of it and fly some more.

In the picture you can see the motor has a lot of down thrust after many repairs and it is a bit challenging to hand launch, but once in the air it flies great!

Hats off to the FT Sportster as one of the toughest Flight Test planes ever designed!

View attachment 130654
Sure looks like a fun plane! Looking at building one soon. Just got 2 power pack C equivalent motors.
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#3
Well, after 108 flights, and around 14 hours of flight time, the Sportster is officially dead. I have gutted the gear from it and installed the radio in a Great Planes 2 meter powered Glider, the Tori ARF... On the Sportster's final flight I was pulling some high g maneuvers and the wing ripped off the plane then it crashed and destroyed the nose and power pod, but all the electronics survived ok. Anyway it's heading to the landfill, long live the Sportster!
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#6
Nice! That’s a lot longer than any of my planes I think! Has @BATTLEAXE seen this? He just built the sportster as his workhorse plane...
I have seen this, love the paint scheme. And it looks like lots of experience under it's belt given all the packing tape wrapped on it.
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Here is mine, this is just after the maiden. Now it is collecting some packing tape of its own lol. Maybe there will be over 100 flights, maybe there will be 10 flights... who knows
 

nhk750

Aviation Enthusiast
#12
That was weird, I couldn't see it on my phone, but can now that I'm at a computer. Anyway I saw the second pic on the phone no prob. I flew mine in the snow once and when I landed the whole nose got packed with snow and the motor was packed too, so probably not a good idea...
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#14
I built floats for mine just for the snow, plus I waterproofed the plane as well, just not the electronics yet. Wasn't much snow, it's almost gone now.
Oh, forget about the electronics, I’ve only ruined 2 esc’s flying off the water... 😂 actually you’d probably be fine flying off the snow a little with unwaterproofed electronics, but do it when you get a chance.
 

BATTLEAXE

Well-known member
#20
I used epoxy on the ends of the ESC. Don't think I tried it on the receiver. All the electronics will get warm with use but I'd say as long as you have decent airflow or cool outside temps it should be fine.
I have seen other electronics covered in epoxy for other reasons but I can't see why a receiver wouldn't be a good candidate for the same treatment.
Thanks. I have some building tips on my YouTube channel with this plane if you want to check it out. Link is in my sig, all build tips are in the playlist section.