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Don't try to learn to fly rc on an airplane you built yourself. There are too many variables involved with that. Get yourself a good RTF airplane like the Bixler or Hobbyzone Super Cub. And, be prepared to turn that one into a pile of foam bits. It is all part of the learning curve.

Beginner is a relative term. The FT 3D would be good for someone that is new to 3D flying. But 3D flying is a long way from one's first airplane. Don't give up - find a plane better suited for your first.


Senior Member
Sorry to hear that. I, too, am a beginner and my first two "flights" ended same as yours. I took another look at the plans, and turns out i had my CG way off, resulting in the terrible nosedives. Not sure how much the FT3D weighs, but that battery looks really far forward of the wings, and could result in more dart-like behavior.

After correcting the CG, it was MUCH improved, though I still drove it into the ground. New plane and pod to build for me too...


Posted a thousand or more times
What part of Colorado are you in? Earthsciteach is right. The 3D is definitely not a beginner plane. I have to disagree on the other statement though. You can easily teach yourself to fly on a plane you built yourself. You just have to select the right one. I taught myself to fly on with the Bloody Wonder (powered by a 24g Blue Wonder) and the help of a cheap simulator. It flew very slow and stable, handled crashes really well and was easy to repair or rebuild. I'm not saying this is the right plane for you, but the great thing about FT is; you have several planes to choose from. I would also start with a simple build. The thing is, you have to be willing to crash. It is the only thing that is guaranteed. Once you start getting the hang of it, the feeling of reward will be incredible. Hang in there.


Crashing Ace
well that plane is a beginner 3d plane 3D is not something that is meant for beginners its more intermediate. its for people who are a good strong intermediate that want a new level of flight. ive been flying for 2 years and i still don't want to start 3d


creator of virtual planes
I see that you deleted the rant, but judging from the comments you were having issues starting out. Don't worry, every one has those issues. No need to apologize about the rant (that I didn't get a chance to read). There are a lot of people who have done something similar to your experience and gave up. DON"T! I don't know if you heard the second Podcast by Flite Test, but they ALL talk about their first plane and that horrible "I can't even fly a chunk of foam, I must be terrible" and the really bad worthless feeling of it. I know my first plane I broke right away. I couldn't really get it to fly, then I was actually doing pretty good and flew it at full speed straight into a wooden fence. The plane completely shattered.

The point is that you shouldn't give up. Everybody has a traumatic first experience, or at least at some point they have a traumatic experience in this hobby. If you have the time, I strongly suggest listening to Flite Test's second Podcast. I think it's towards the beginning where they talk about starting out in the hobby. It's nice to know that people like that have had similar pain.

But once you get to the point where you can fly, it's an amazing feeling. Knowing that you can now do it. It always makes me sad when someone gives up on this hobby. Because of the joy this hobby can be.


Hostage Taker of Quads
Compleatly agree with RCSF! First plane I built never flew right. It took a lot to get it into the air and was simply uncontrollable once it got there. Broke it several times, repaired, but it only got worse. After scrapping the plane and debating giving up, I switched to another airframe.

I built it, but feared the maiden.

When the time came, I throttled up and it lept from my hand into the air under full control! It flew for maybe a minute and a half, back and forth across the field, up and down and around, then lawn-darted to oblivion.

Pick a simpler model, get a good flight or two in. *Even if* you only get one good flight out of that airframe, trust me, it'll be worth the trouble and you'll be a slightly better pilot every time you try. The only way to never crash is to never fly at all, and who wants that?


Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Thank you all for your support.

There are several misunderstandings here. I apologize for the rant. It did not belong here. If FT has a suggestion box, I have a few, but my post was poorly worded, skipped important topics and was below my personal standards. I would delete this thread or close it if I had the authority.

The rant was not about my 3D. It was about a bad day that got progressively worse as the day went on. The crash was the high point of my day.

I have no doubt that I possess both the skill to build a 3D and to fly a 3D. None whatsoever.

I built and fly an Anycopter quad. I have cratered it many, many times and rebuilt it many, many times. Crashing and rebuilding are part of the learning curve. It doesn't fly perfectly today. My last build introduced a flaw that I will spend this weekend happily working out in the solitude of my basement.

To me, building is far more fun than flying. When you build, everyone wants you to succeed. Whey you fly, everyone wants you to fail in such a way that they can restrict you from building or flying ever again. To me, the stakes of a crash are FAR higher than the cost of the craft as the hobby is seen as a nuisance by some and as a result some are looking for ways to eliminate this hobby in the 'interest of public safety'.

It was this way in 1987 when bullies destroyed my 6' wingspan balsa (300 hours plus build time) glider, and it is the same today.

What I do not have, will never have and why the day was so frustrating is that at age 44, I will never posess the social skills to be able to fly in the park or go out to a restaurant with my wife as part of a group. I can fly my quad in the backyard where I am not in public. I cannot fly fixed wing in my yard or sit and eat in social situation with a bunch of people. I need more space or I risk melting down (as in the rant) or withdrawing (as I did last night at dinner).

Therefore I am done.

I apologize to FT and all the readers here. However, I owe more significant apologies to my wife and co-workers who I let down before and after the 3D crash. I am now withdrawing to cope, and I recommend this thread for the garbage bin if there are any admins (and after the initial rant I am sure there are) watching.

Please accept my apology and my need to withdraw.

I'm a Noob as well. I watched all the Flite Test vids I could, researched, learned, prepped, and finally ordered the basics I needed to get a scratch built swappable in the air. At least I think I had.

I had the time waiting for my parts to ship so I scratch built each of the Nutball, Flyer, and Delta airframes. I had heard the Nutball was the best place to start so I even Minwaxed it and gave it a snazzy paint job while I waited for my first parts.


Got it all setup and took it out to maiden with the wife filming and my two kids watching.

Power on, CHECK, elevator and rudder wiggle, CHECK, throttle, CHECK. Powered up and gave it a toss. It made an arc to the left and nosed in hard about 20 feet away from me. Crap. Dusted it off, checked everything, tried again. Arc to the left, nose in, 30 feet away. This time so hard it buckled part of the front and tore a layer of paper off the rudder. Unflyable.

That was the end of my very first attempted maiden. In the video you can hear my wife shout to me "Why did it crash?!?" I watched the video once and immediately deleted it.:mad:

I did some repairs and and tried it again, this time without an audience. In two more tosses it managed half a circle to the left before crashing so bad the foam was trashed. "What the $@#$% am I doing wrong?" I took it home, ripped all the gear out of it and trashed the foam. Even the power pod foam was crunched.:mad:

I took a week or so away from doing anything with the Hobby. Then I looked at the FT Flyer I had sitting there. Something that had a discrete wing and tail. Maybe the Nutball just wasn't the right airframe for me. Built a new pod and glued in everything from my trashed Nutball. I went out and had my first 'Successful' maiden.

I say successful because I think I define that as coming home with a plane that could still be flown. Because I did crash the heck out of that Flyer, you can see every bit of it in the video. BUT, more importantly, I was in the air long enough to learn a HELL of a lot.

  • I learned that I really needed to learn what servo travel was.
  • I learned that if I balance my prop with tape on the trailing edge of the prop it makes a really weird noise as it starts to pull away.
  • I learned that I can't glance away from my plane for a split second if it is lower than one mistake high.
  • The most important thing I learned was that I could do this. This was possible. I wasn't doing it well, but I knew I could do it and if that was true I could get better with practice.

After I adjusted the travel I took it out the next week and it was AMAZING! 200% better than the maiden. I even added a servo to the pod to drop one of my kid's paratrooper toys. A week or two later I was visiting my parents and wanted to show my Dad (The Balsa Goose) what I'd built. I circled it once and it felt like it was a bit off so I landed it and adjusted it and when I tossed it back up it took a nose dive directly into the concrete from about 20 feet up. Broke the airframe right in front of the tail. :(

So I stripped my plane (again) and ended up rebuilding a new Flyer. I'm very lucky to live about two hours from the Flite Test guys so I was able to get to their open house a few weeks ago. I rebuilt the flyer the night before and didn't get a chance to maiden it. So there I am, in front of the Flite Test crew and fans to maiden what is really only my second maiden. Chad Kapper came over and we chatted as I got it plugged in and ready and asked "Want me to launch it?" :D!!!

To say I was more than a little nervous would be an understatement. But Chad gave it a toss and it flew. It needed a bit of trimming but it flew, and flew. I ended up getting more air time at the open house than I had to date with my two little batteries.

This turned out to be much longer than I anticipated but I wanted to share what was my somewhat traumatic first experience and first little success. Crashing SUCKS!

But seeing that thing that you put up into the sky sweep and soar at your bidding is worth the initial bumps and bruises. Stick with it man, we're all here together. :D

There is a link in my signature to my whole parts list and such for my flyer.
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creator of virtual planes
Oh I see. You're right that this isn't the place for personal issues. But...

I hope you continue to enjoy quadcopters and use them to relax in your personal space of your backyard. I understand not having the space to just go out and fly on your own. I fly at my parents farm, so I'm lucky in that regard. If I had to join a club or fly at public fields I probably would have quit this hobby long ago, if I'd even started it at all. Maybe see if a local farmer or someone with land will let you fly at set times on set days so you can just fly by yourself. Not to pry or anything, I'm just offering a suggestion and would understand if you're completely done with the hobby.

I also want to add that if you enjoy building so much more, have you considered only building as the hobby but then selling what you have built? Maybe explain to customers, or to a local hobby shop, that you enjoy the build but don't have the space to be able to maiden them to check for bugs. That they are simply sold "as is" and "never flown". I'm sure there are some people that would appreciate a completed plane and since it's just a hobby, you could probably sell the plane for how much you paid for it. Buy one, build it, sell it, use that money to buy another one type of thing. That would make for a cheap/free hobby that you enjoy and it'll give people cheap(er) planes to fly. It would be a win win. :) You might even make a little pocket change doing that.
Take the time to get your head square on your shoulders again and get back to it when you're ready. We've all been disgustingly discouraged at one time or another; and this wont be the last unfortunately.


Rotor Riot!
Anyone here who hasn't ever had a bad day? I'm sure we all understand the situation you were in. Keep your hopes up, and you'll be flying that awesome plane really soon!


New member
When you build, everyone wants you to succeed. Whey you fly, everyone wants you to fail in such a way that they can restrict you from building or flying ever again.
Trust me mate, we all know what its like to lose a plane, my first one cost me $800 when i was 19, it was damaged beyond repair of a noob like myself. I didn't get back into the hobby until about 9 years later. Anyway, as for your point as everyone wants you to fail, I've not found that myself at all. In fact Although people will joke about it, I know my mates always say they want me to crash, the reality is that everyone actually wants you to succeed. The bullies from 1987 aren't here to pester you mate. If you're up for some inspiration,
This was my first flight, of my first plane since getting back into the hobby, i was completely nervous, and just listen to my girlfriend's (now ex girlfriend) commentary. It starts off super negative how she's expecting a crash, but by the end she is super pumped how it turned out.

So what i'm saying is, we all know what its like mate, hang in there. People aren't wanting you to fail, and if they are, you're hanging out with the wrong people.

Luckely you've come to the FT forums, all the people here are really friendly, helpful and supportive. if you cant find supportive people in real life, you've got us mate :)

Hang in there buddy



creator of virtual planes
Take the time to get your head square on your shoulders again and get back to it when you're ready. We've all been disgustingly discouraged at one time or another; and this wont be the last unfortunately.
I agree. After re-reading what Cranial wrote, my opinion would be to take a break and maybe try again with a simple build. I know one of my biggest hurdles was to accept that the plane was going to be destroyed, no matter what. And that I should have fun with the plane before it met it's ultimate demise. If you build something simple, then you won't have much invested in it. The FT Flyer is a great little plane that is simple to build. I'm currently working on writing an article about an EDF version of the FT Flyer that I built. My version is actually kind of hard to fly, but it takes A LOT to break it because I have the EDF two inches back into the plane. There was probably a better airframe for me to convert to EDF, but wouldn't have been so easy to build.

But this is all just my opinion. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. And if it isn't fun, then maybe it shouldn't be your hobby. But it would be a mistake to let one bad experience ruin the whole thing.
stick with it...don't give up. I learned to fly about a year ago I on heli.. about 2 months later a friend of mine got me into planes..he no longer flies.. I bought a parkzone ultra micro p51 mustang, he bought some cheap rtf 3ch trainer with an fm remote.. that thing was horrible and made his experience horrible, while mine was fantastic..

Anyway after about 2 months I wanted a larger plane and bought the parkzone brushless p51 .. Cost me $200.. the box barely fit into my car.. I got home charged the batteries.. bind it to my remote made sure everything was right then my brother and I took it to a local park..

I threw it up, it climbed, I went to level it out, that's when it banked hard left into the ground.. $200, in 3 pieces..the front nose, wings, and the rest of the plane.. oh and the canopy came off too.. I felt a little like you did.. but I had some foam safe CA, activator, and clear tape.. so less than 5 minutes later we had it together again.. threw it up, it climbed and again..BAM back into the ground.. this time it broke into three pieces, but in different spots.. this glue is amazing.. so we patch it up again..

I say something is wrong I lay it next to my micro and check my control surfaces.. alerons were reversed.. noob mistake.. I reverse the servo..threw it up and it FLEW.. I can't explain the excitement of seeing this huge plane fly around the park...
So lap one, lap 2 , then all of a sudden a glitch, maybe it was because of the previous crashes but into a very tall pine tree..

The battery and canopy on the ground, the rest in the tree.. we figure our best hope it's to take my air soft gun (an expensive and strong one and attempt to shoot it out) so we try, and embedded bb into the wings,etc but manage to free a large part.. however the noise with the motor and esc are still dangling.. long story short a week later after a hard and windy rain shower I go back and its on the ground.. I put it put it back together again.. check all the connections and take it to a much larger field and it flies great and true, even with holes from bb and some still embedded in it.. I get a few good flights before I totaled it flying low and inverted.. my point is I didn't give up and since then I've built the f22 raptor and flown it before destroying it while attempting to film it, I killed an mico stryker less than an hr after getting it.. bought another on sale.. with much the same results.. but it was fun, aggravating some times, but it comes with most hobbies.. I crash, repair and repeat.. I still fly my micro mustang. I bought real flight 6.5 and fly on that along with my planes, heli and my bat bone that I've rebuilt completely once already, and I just built it exactly a week ago today.. but I'm constantly getting better, even amazing myself.. so keep your head up.. you aren't the only one that's killed a plane..

Side note I can fly 3d pretty well thanks to the simulator. But I'd never advise it for a first plane.. they are like razors in the air.. docile they are not.. my choice is still ultra micro, flown over grass they tend to hold up well, and I'd recommend something like a piper cub or if you feel brave the p51 on low rates.. just expect to repair it.. good luck on your future flights.
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Dont worry i turfed my First EDF...40 inch long 25in w/s cost me 100+ with shipping, took 5 hours to build and set up... lasted about 20 seconds in the air then I trimmed it the wrong way and lost control. Nosed it in from about 100ft up. needless to say i have put another 10 hours rebuilding the ENTIRE front fuse and painting the entire plane again. Now it flies great!

Dont worry about a 36 dollar airframe, I know crashing sucks but its inevitable. I just make sure i only Fly scale with my bought EPO foamies and i do all my stupid stunts with my FT planes. inverted 3 ft off the ground full throttle with the bloody wonder? YUP, then forgot i was inverted and pulled back on the stick... DESTROYED! and that was on the 2nd flight...

The FT3d can be a GREAT plane for nice slow flying, just dial the throws WAY WAY back and it flies like any other scale aircraft.