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Best plane for AMA Pattern competition

Which of the FT quick build kits would you choose for flying AMA aerobatic patterns? Pleas only answer if you have experience in AMA pattern flying. My Scout isn't hacking it (lol),
P.S. I enjoy pattern flying rather than extreme or 3D aerobatics. I would love to see FT come out with a Super Kaos of 50-60 inch wingspan.


Active member
I presented this question to Alex at Texas FF 2018. At the time we settled on the FT Edge 540. After building it, I think it is slightly better than the Scout but not perfect. Maybe the new FT 3D, but I have not flown that one yet. I guess this is not much of an answer but maybe there really is not a quick build kit that is great for AMA. I agree a Super Kaos would be an interesting kit. I may try to design one myself.


Master member
OK - I haven't flown pattern but I did just finish a 60% version of Phil Krafts Quick Fly in foamboard (with a 36" hotwire cut wing). I maidened it yesterday so still playing with it. Phil won NATS with it several times. Its called a Kwik Fly because it was easy to make (in balsa). The plane that really reminds me of the Kwik Fly would be the Simple Stick, which I have built and flown. I would turn the fuse upside down and make it a low wing plane, which would be easy to do as well as remove the under-cambered wing tips. It would be interesting to make a few wings and play around with wing chord width to find the optimum chord as I think the Simple Stick has too much chord for a great pattern plane. This is worth what you paid for it.
I have begun building a Super Kaos Junior (52" wingspan) in Ready board using FT techniques. I feel that the FT Extra 540 is too complicated for building from plans. Working on the wing now and will post picts soon.


Elite member
Any reason why the FT 3D XL would not make a good pattern plane? The FT 3D is a super easy build and the XL Scout wasn't any more difficult or complicated than the Simple Scout. One could extrapolate that the 3D XL would be similar.

I actually have no idea what the difference between "pattern" and 3D aerobatic is.


Master member
3D is pattern taken to extremes with janky being acceptable, barn door surfaces normal and extreme over thrust required. Pattern is smooth, precise execution and in theory repeatable performance. Pattern can also use a semi flatbottom airfoil because inverted flight performance isn't as favored
I took dankskis' suggestion and built a low wing plane for pattern using the FS Simple Stick plans. Haven't flown it yet due to bad weather here in KC. Modifications to the Simple Stick were low wing vice high wing, decreased control surface areas and eliminating high lift wing tips.



Master member
@model14 - wow that looks great. If it has no dihedral be prepared for an exciting first flight. I would make the aileron throws very low. Also, which you probably already know, have someone there with you who can move the trim buttons for you.

Unfortunately I crashed my 60% kwik fly 2 on a hand launch. I was really enjoying that plane too. The hot wire foam wing survived so I'm building a new fuse for it. Next will be a 42" or 46" kwik fly 3.

Take a look at this and make sure you read the article. I got to here by doing a search on "phil kraft" Enjoy

Oz : Flea Fli plan - free download (outerzone.co.uk)
I did build dihedral (1" high gauge at each wingtip) into the wing. I learned my lesson earlier with previous designs that I am not calm
-fingered enough to fly smoothly with no dihedral. Also, my control surface throws are set very conservative.
Did you cover your foam wing with anything or just leave it bare foam? Years ago, when I flew gas pattern, everyone used thin balsa sheet or thin fiberglass and epoxy resin to cover the foam.

charlesrc2, I am also anxious to hear more about your plane, especially wing construction.

Looking at the Phil Craft Flea Fli plan, my dimensions (Simple Stick wing and fuselage) are very close to the same. I'm going to put aside the Super Kaos Jr. build for now and concentrate on making this build as scale as possible. I have a spinner and larger wheels on order. The Flea Fli would be an ideal plane for FT to kit.


Master member
I used XPS foam for the wing, blue/pink foam which is very hard and not light. I covered it with Doculam and put one bamboo skewer spar in it although I don't think it needs the spar. Doculam was OK and free but it wrinkled a lot because it doesn't shrink and I"m not very good at covering.
You don't want a rapid roll rate for pattern. Everything is done with a smooth controlled motion, unless a snap roll is called for in the routine. Control surface area is on the low side for pattern planes.