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Pumpkin drop event

First post, first RC plane: FT Explorer


Crash Test Mechanic
Been wanting to get into RC for a long time. Stumbled across these DTFB planes through a thread on another forum I frequent. Seemed like an affordable, grassroots type of way to get into the game. I watched a ton of FT's YouTube videos, spent a few evenings cutting and gluing, and ordered some parts from FT and Amazon. And now I have an FT Explorer.


I can already tell this is going to get out of hand. Already have a stack of foam board, several more sets of plans printed, extra receivers and servos... Next up is going to be a Versa in pusher config using a Hextronic 24g.


Active member
Welcome to the club. It is so much fun. The FT Explorer is a great airplane. Have flown mine in all sorts of configurations including my first FPV. Just getting around to painting it tonight. You will love yours.


Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
If this is your first plane to fly I hope you have a friend who already can fly to help you out.
I flew a lot on a smash drone with the old fogey wing (it is similar in design to the explorer) and is a good plane design to start flying with 3 channel set up. I have not done the explorer but I can see it has capabilities for all kinds of modifications.
Welcome to the forum and our world of fun.


I like 3D printers...
Uh oh, you found your way over here. :cool:

If you have an x-box controller, RC Desk Pilot is free and might help you get orientation figured out before your first flight.

Your build looks really good for a first plane, should fly great.

Just took mine out on new years to our private fireworks show. Lots of fun.

Excellent! Welcome to the club.

The Explorer is quickly becoming one of my favorite FT designs. With the trainer wing, I found it to be a very nice flyer. Just be sure to get the balance right. I have found that the FT planes do better when just a bit nose heavy. Balancing the Explorer at the indicated c/g, I needed to add an ounce or two to the nose to get it to balance right (3 dead AA batteries did the trick) even with the 2700 mAh battery all the way forward. (which was fine, since the FPV camera and electronics I eventually want to add will weigh about that).

I even made a variant of the Explorer to accommodate an old balsa/monocote wing from a very old plane from my early days of r/c flying: http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?23584-Hybrid-plane-Explorer-XL-(Frankenplane-is-getting-overused)-)

I've since built the sport wing and a 2 meter trainer-style wing (with ailerons). Haven't tried these last two, yet, but the ExplorerXL flies very nicely. Building variations has become addictive (from left to right: Sport Wing, Trainer Wing, Balsa/monocote Wing, 2 meter Wing):



Crash Test Mechanic
I did find it pretty tail heavy. Raided my tackle box to solve that issue. Also built the sport wing today so I'll have that when I'm ready.

The transmitter I went with (FlySky FS-i6) is pretty nifty. I adjusted my throws and expos for the 3 channel and saved that as FTExp3 and then did the same for the 4 channel and saved it as FTExp4. Now when I'm ready to move up I just have to move channel 1 to 4, plug the wing into channel 1, and load FTExp4. On a $50 transmitter. Just boggles my mind, twenty years ago when I first became interested in RC it seemed like even basic transmitters were a couple hundred bucks.

Hoped to go try it out today, but we are IFR and icing conditions.:(

Local, I'll try to round one up, thanks for the suggestion.
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New member
Ours was very tail heavy. Had to add 50 grams of pinewood derby weights. It looks like the sport wing sits further back.

We are finishing up graphics. My son is a Cowboys fan. We have a 2nd kit to build. Thinking 49ers or Eagles theme?

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I like 3D printers...
And now a Versa. Will be using a Hextronic 24g and a 8x4.3. Waiting for mounts to be in stock, don't know anyone with a scroll saw.
You can cut thin plywood or plastic with a razor knife and a straight edge, or an old hack saw blade. You don't really need the interlocking parts for a versa with a 24g motor. If you make your edges straight, CA should hold things just fine, especially for a pusher plane.


Crash Test Mechanic
You can cut thin plywood or plastic with a razor knife and a straight edge, or an old hack saw blade. You don't really need the interlocking parts for a versa with a 24g motor. If you make your edges straight, CA should hold things just fine, especially for a pusher plane.
Nice, thanks.


Active member
Or just buy a cheap coping saw at your local hardware store. Will work just fine. Your Versa Wing looks nice. It is a super flyer!


Crash Test Mechanic
That is perfect daxian!

I wound up taking a coping saw to a Dollar Tree cutting board. Seemed to work pretty well.

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Explorer flight

I was reading your post and wondered if you experienced with your Explorer it wanting to fly almost directly into the ground
just after you hand launch---I am a fairly experienced RC pilot and have gone crazy building the FT planes including the Pun Jet (also a pusher) but was not expecting the push of the motor to almost drive it to the ground. Ive adapted to this by alot less throttle and giving it a harder throw. I think this might be caused by the design of how the power pod is angled
up -- What do you think
Nice build! I was using the 3 channel and 4 channel wings then decided to build an Armin Wing by Experimental Airlines. Just look it up on Youtube. I haven't flown that many planes but this wing is one of the best I have found. Very sturdy and incorporates a carbon fiber spar for added support.

I recently crashed it pretty bad.. heres a before pick with the trainer and an after pick with the Armin Wing. Made a customer nose for it as well to add an anti-vibration mount. Here is some raw footage from this past Sunday, not looking for likes or views, just sharing for those that want to see it.: https://youtu.be/5qwiq3ha9c0

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