Flite Fest 2022 Community Challenge – WWI “Dawn Patrol”


I build things that fly (sometimes)
Build, Share, and FLY with us!

The Flite Test community has a long history of “organic” events that have started here on the forums, sometimes from just one member’s crazy idea, and then grown to culminate as an exciting event at the next Flite Fest. While there have been MANY more there are a few that stick out to me. Golden Era Pylon Racing, the Blue Angels Formation Flight, World Record flights, and of course the Gotha Gaggle.
There have been too many of these events to mention them all, but several of us have been mulling over something similar for Flite Fest 22 and would like to present, for your consideration (and hopefully participation) the following:

FT Community Dawn Patrol – A Tribute to WWI aircraft

Background: After many conversations regarding FF21 several of us came to the conclusion that we wanted to see more WWI aircraft. WWII warbirds, civilian aircraft, and modern warplanes abound at Flite Fest and we love them all but there is a certain nostalgic feeling you get from admiring some of the earliest fighting aircraft. Designers were willing to try almost anything and as a result the range of unique subjects is immense. We want to see them fly!
We hope you agree and will join in the fun.

Mission: Encourage the FT Community to expand their skills and take on a new challenge, specifically designing, building, and flying a WWI aircraft.
While we hope to see all of the participants and their aircraft at FF22 this challenge is open the EVERYONE, whether or not they can attend.

Specs: Models should be 1:6th scale (exceptions can be made) and should ideally be built using common FT materials and techniques. While providing plans to the community is encouraged it is not required for participation. Unless there are changes in policy for FF22 all models should be electric powered.

Event(s): We don’t have anything locked in yet and there has been no communication with the powers that be at Flite Test. For now this is 100% community sponsored and run. That being said I would like to see:
  • Afternoon/evening “hangout” where we can display the models together, share the history of each, perhaps share some harrowing combat stories, and generally talk shop with anyone interested in the aircraft. Hopefully we can get some good “Golden Hour” shots of the old birds together, and perhaps even have a few demo flights for pilots brave (or crazy) enough to join the daily sundown furball that is Flite Fest.
  • “Dawn Patrol”: after generating interest and sharing the models during the hangout we awake bright eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning to take to the skies in a group flight. For the main flight I’m not suggesting an actual combat sortie… just a leisurely tribute flight with all participants.
  • “Dawn Patrol II: Raise the Stakes: My personal suggestion, and I’m happy to be overridden by the community on this, but I would LOVE to see some “historical” engagements, streamer combat style. This could be small groups recreating actual dogfights or any and all of the participants who are willing to risk their airframes for a little streamer combat fun. Totally optional.
  • Debrief: Following the combat join the other participants and spectators (and whatever remains of the models) in one of the tents for coffee, donuts, and comradery.
Again these are just my personal suggestions for potential Flite Fest 22 activities. I’d be willing to sponsor a prize and trophy (3D printed of course… I’m not springing for a silver cup :p) Best-in-Show or People’s Choice award, perhaps based on voting collected during the evening hang-out from the spectators.

Go BIG or (don’t) go home: While the intent here is to build models at 1:6th scale some of us have what you might call a problem 😊. As of this moment both willsonman (Joshua D. Orchard) and I have both started 1:4 scale models. Actually it is more accurate to say that I have STARTED an Albatros D.Va while willsonman has FINISHED a Fokker D.VIII. You are WELCOME to join us in our madness and build BIG with us. Both Joshua and I plan to have 1:6th models as well to fit within the guidelines of the event. If we have enough people building BIG perhaps we’ll have a separate trophy for the larger birds, but for now I’d like to give that award to one of the 1:6th models.

To date we have a number of individuals already committed to participating, many with models in various states of completion.

Willsonman (Joshua Orchard)
  • Fokker D.VIII (1:4 scale) – Done and FLYING!
  • FVM Ö1 Tummelisa BUILD THREAD
Mid7night (Ben Harber)
  • Blackburn Type D
Adrian Chupp
  • Fokker DR1 Triplane
Dan Sponholz
Keegan Sponholz
  • Fokker D.VII
Jarrod Roetenberger
  • Can’t remember
Patrick Shawn Murphy
  • Sopwith Camel (I think)
13th Squadron
  • Albatros D.Va
Wilmracer (Carl Lydick)
  • Albatros D.Va (1:4 scale) BUILD THREAD
  • Albatros D.Va (1:6th scale… probably)
  • Moraine-saulnier AI (1:6 scale)
Yankee2003 (Mike Perry)
CrashRecovery (Ryan)
  • Albatros D.Va (1:12 scale)
Baron VonHelton
The Fopster
  • Bristol M1(c) (1:9 scale)
Off-topic jes
  • Fokker dr1 or se5 (TBD)
  • Scout XL
Ryan O


Add your name to the list and join in the fun! We can use this thread to share pictures and progress of the builds and to brainstorm and refine the ideas for how best to share the fun at Flite Fest 2022. Hope to see everyone and their WWI models there!
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I build things that fly (sometimes)

Completed Entries:

Willsonman (Joshua Orchard)
  • Fokker D.VIII (1:4 scale) –


Willsonman (Joshua Orchard)
  • FVM Ö1 Tummelisa -


Spitfire76: Bristol M1(c)



S.E. 5.a



Yankee2003: Fokker D.VIII



Sponz: FT Scout XL (get yours HERE!)
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Well-known member
This is an awesome idea and cant wait to see all of these beautiful and sometimes awkward birds. the Albatros was always one of my favorites and I've never gotten around to building a proper one, only a profile plane. but since theres a few already I might have to take a cue from Ben and make something far more eccentric and less obvious, there were so many countries involved and nothing was set in stone yet to aircraft design so there were some interesting ideas for sure. In highschool I did a work placement at the aviation museum in Ottawa, Canada. Part of my job there was going through their over 300,000 historical negatives and scanning them into their computer system, translating the information on the cards and uploading it all. I loved going to the archives and grabbing a new batch everyday to discover some of the long unseen photos they had hidden away in there. the old negatives and glass slides were so eerie and creepy with their long exposure ghosts all over the place. It really made it feel like there was more to the photos than just an aircraft or balloon, like the spirits were still in the photo or something silly like that. im going to do some deep digging. I will likely not make it to the event but ill build in Spirit and try and do my own dawn patrol.

I've been enjoying this youtube channel lately maybe some more inspiration for everyone

Airplanes are cool

13th Squadron
  • Albatros D.Va
cant wait to see this one!


Builder Extraordinare
I really do hope that many folks come join the fun. These really are a special kind of airplane. You don't fully appreciate the "scale landing" until you fly one and realize just how incredibly difficult it is to land one perfectly. My Fokker is driven by the idea that you really can build large AND scale using foam board. Yes, that large bumble bee is about 90% foam board. Wood hard points and some 1/2" insulation foam was also used but the best part is how incredibly light you can build and therefore, you can fly something big and beautiful at slow enough speeds to really enjoy it in the air.

I'll be making a thread on the Tummeliasa later today. I personally have history with this particular model and thought I'd have a crack at doing it MUCH simpler than when I previously built it. I'm also not reinventing anything. I'm using FT build techniques, including hot glue and the paper on the foam, just to help others get the vision that their miserable whining about lack of "free" plans is bogus. There are PLENTY of free plans out there for balsa aircraft and so I'm showing how you can take those plans and make a on-off foam board airplane from them.

I'm really eager to see what contraptions come out of our little corner of the internet.


I build things that fly (sometimes)
I really do hope that many folks come join the fun.

100% Agreed! I'd love to see Gotha Gaggle levels of participation.

I'll be making a thread on the Tummeliasa later today. I personally have history with this particular model and thought I'd have a crack at doing it MUCH simpler than when I previously built it. .

I've seen the original Tummeliasa and it is/was an awesome build. It is funny how every time I revisit a model and am convinced I did EVERYTHING wrong on the first build. I would bet good $$ your new version will look and fly fantastic!

For my part I will start a thread at some point today on the 1:4 scale Albatros D.Va and will probably transition that thread into the 1:6th build once the big one is done.

13th Squadron
  • Albatros D.Va
cant wait to see this one!

My dirty secret is that I WAS planning to take a crack at designing this at 1:6th myself... BUT then Steve and Jack with the 13th Squadron stepped in and wanted to tackle it. Their models speak for themselves. I tend to use a lot of more complicated techniques and have a bad habit of overbuilding, particularly on smaller models, so I CAN'T WAIT to see what they come up with. If things work out I'd love to build one of their models for the actual event, painted and detailed just like the 1:4 scale. We'll see though. I have a backup plan if that falls through.

Some teasers from the 1:4 scale D.Va to help get more attention :cool: (For anyone wondering why I'm being allowed to touch anything other than the 17... don't worry. She is back in business too)

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I build things that fly (sometimes)
I’m in 1:8 scale sopwith pup
I just gotta do my builduary

I'll update the participants list tonight! If you have a link to your Builduary thread send it my way. I'll keep updating the 1st post with pilots and links.


Elite member


Well-known member
Would love to give this a go.
Is this open to someone making a first attempt at a foam board airplane?
If it is I would welcome a few suggestions at some easier to build airframes. Preferable a monoplane.


I build things that fly (sometimes)
Would love to give this a go.
Is this open to someone making a first attempt at a foam board airplane?
If it is I would welcome a few suggestions at some easier to build airframes. Preferable a monoplane.

Absolutely open to folks taking their first crack at foam board building, and you're in luck!!!

Joshua Orchard (one of the more well known builders in this community) is doing a thread and a video series specifically tailored to teaching people to take existing balsa plans (for which there are TONS of free resources) and convert them to a FT style foamboard model.

Thread: https://forum.flitetest.com/index.p...2-community-challenge-fvm-Ö1-tummelisa.69198/

As for airframe suggestions I'd say spend an hour or two googling WWI airplanes, find one you like the looks of that doesn't look TOO complicated, then check these sites to see if you can find some free plans (there are MANY more sites out there too). Then follow along w/ Joshua (willsonman on the forum).

Free Plans:

Good luck and have fun!


Well-known member
I have decided on a set of plans. I downloaded the .pdf of the plan.
How can I know the size of the print?
It is a 1/6 scale approx. 57in wingspan. Is it safe to assume a size…say 24x36 or can a print shop figure all that out for me?


Builder Extraordinare
Generally you will want to provide a scale factor for them. It helps if there’s a ruler on the plans that they can reference. In the end, this is sort of the reason I went out on a limb and got my own large format printer. I print a LOT of plans and it’s just so convenient to have it in my shop. I do realize that’s a novelty but the reality it to build a relationship with the print shop to get exactly what you’d like. Usually the big company shops are less likely to do a good job. Just my $0.02 worth.