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FPV drones to Planes :)

#1
Hey guys, long time watcher of the Flite Test YT channel and a lurker of RC flying stuff :)

I've flown fpv drones on and off since around 2016 but as of late I've been watching a lot more Flite Test than I have of the likes of Rotor Riot and I'll be honest it looks much more fun! I own a Taranis QX9 and a Xlite transmitter and FrSky R9 900mhz upgrades, along with some fatshark dom3 fpv goggles,

I've had a S800 wing in the past but after a few failed launches (and not really knowing what I was doing with it) it met a very untimely end but that was more my idiocy than the wings problem :oops:,

I'm looking to build a FT Foamboard from scratch frame (The FT Spear looks very good as FPV will be a big part of anything I build RC, but open to other options) as I feel that being able to make a frame from scratch will give me a much better understanding and knowledge of RC aviation,

I live in an odd part of the UK and will most likely have to order in some foamboard for making frames for myself, whats the ideal size of foamboard to start with? is the FT spear a good starting point or is there another frame thats better suited for a beginner?

Thanks!
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#2
I've seen a lot of comments from brits about the trouble sourcing foam board.

The problem is that most of the FT builds rely on relatively similar foam to theirs to keep the weight and balance the same. Some builds are much easier than others to modify to correct for this.

If there is some kind of hardware/construction supply store (Lowe's/home depot here) May be you could find some foam insulation there that might work. Ive seen a lot of people that use the pink foam for builds, don't be scared to get creative!

I have a phantom 3 pro I use on the ranch. Actually check cows with it mostly! Lol ... The boys and I enjoy racing our micro through the house with all manner of obstacle courses, but what I love the most is FPV planes. I've put FPV on almost every build ive ever done (even working on the micro DH-88 now) I've found I like planes over wings, especially for high speed proximity flying...

Good luck and glad to see another FPV fixed wing guy, keep us posted!
 
#4
I've seen a lot of comments from brits about the trouble sourcing foam board.

The problem is that most of the FT builds rely on relatively similar foam to theirs to keep the weight and balance the same. Some builds are much easier than others to modify to correct for this.

If there is some kind of hardware/construction supply store (Lowe's/home depot here) May be you could find some foam insulation there that might work. Ive seen a lot of people that use the pink foam for builds, don't be scared to get creative!

I have a phantom 3 pro I use on the ranch. Actually check cows with it mostly! Lol ... The boys and I enjoy racing our micro through the house with all manner of obstacle courses, but what I love the most is FPV planes. I've put FPV on almost every build ive ever done (even working on the micro DH-88 now) I've found I like planes over wings, especially for high speed proximity flying...

Good luck and glad to see another FPV fixed wing guy, keep us posted!
Heya hondo cheers for the welcome :) I honestly didn't even think of sourcing other foamboards like pink foam etc thats pretty clever! I do enjoy FPV and think I will be another FPV / Fixed wing guy :D

How destroyed is your S800? Usually a little gorilla glue or goop can salvage it :)
Heya ElectriSean :) It wasn't massively damaged but it wasn't very great in the first place the thin edge of one of the wings had gotten squashed from transit and I had ripped the servo horn out through the wing so whenever I tried to fix it I ended up just being a very weak point and didn't take much to be ripped off again, which was a bit of a bummer as the S800 was a heck of alot of fun, I'll certainly be getting a wing again albeit I'm not sure what FT kit is best for a: a beginner and b: for fpv
 

Hondo76251

Well-known member
#5
I know that the wings are pretty popular for fpv but I just can't seem to get into them. I've never flown bank and yank, I like my yaw! I started fpv basically doing photography with my phantom 3 and, as far as fixed wing goes, I learned on 4 channel so that probably affects my flying style... Makes me less comfortable with wings. (I did get along ok with the dart with differential thrust)
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#6
The FliteTest Tiny Trainer is a solid option for a first, fixed-wing build. It's small so it won't cost a ton in materials but it will tend to be more weight averse than say a Storch (also a good first option but much larger). The tiny trainer is versatile and has plans for a 2 channel or 3 channel glider with a polyhedral wing or a 4 channel "sporter".

The FT TT is simple, cheap, and well supported here on the forums.

I suggest learning to fly LOS before you add the complexity of FPV to your plane.

If you are considering going straight into FPV fixed wing, check out the FT Explorer.

Also, start a build thread and document your progress. Take photos of your build and include details. I find such a log useful when I am re-building a crashed plane and it adds perspective if you want to ask the forum for help.

Lastly, film the maiden. Show the flight control surface directions and CG prior to launch and show the flight. If she crashes, we can help you troubleshoot.

If she flies we can all cheer with you!

Welcome to FliteTest! :)
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#7
Tiny Trainers are fun planes, but as their name states, they’re small. Small planes, low weight, mean that when a breeze kicks up, they’re more difficult to fly. Think of it like trying to fly your micro drones outside...it’s possible, but it’s more challenging to fly if the wind kicks up. Bigger planes tend to do better in wind, but their disadvantages are that they need more room to takeoff and land than those little guys.

Which is better? Hard to say. But you’ll find what you feel most comfortable with at your flying location!
 
#8
The FliteTest Tiny Trainer is a solid option for a first, fixed-wing build. It's small so it won't cost a ton in materials but it will tend to be more weight averse than say a Storch (also a good first option but much larger). The tiny trainer is versatile and has plans for a 2 channel or 3 channel glider with a polyhedral wing or a 4 channel "sporter".

The FT TT is simple, cheap, and well supported here on the forums.

I suggest learning to fly LOS before you add the complexity of FPV to your plane.

If you are considering going straight into FPV fixed wing, check out the FT Explorer.

Also, start a build thread and document your progress. Take photos of your build and include details. I find such a log useful when I am re-building a crashed plane and it adds perspective if you want to ask the forum for help.

Lastly, film the maiden. Show the flight control surface directions and CG prior to launch and show the flight. If she crashes, we can help you troubleshoot.

If she flies we can all cheer with you!

Welcome to FliteTest! :)
Hey cranialrectosis thanks for the reply :)

the TT looks great but its just too windy where I am to realistically go for something that small, even a calm day here can be 10 - 20 mph winds and gusts, the FT Explorer looks great acutally! something thats easy to expand is right up my alley hahah :) I like redundancy and wiggle room, feels good to get mileage out of a build,

Tiny Trainers are fun planes, but as their name states, they’re small. Small planes, low weight, mean that when a breeze kicks up, they’re more difficult to fly. Think of it like trying to fly your micro drones outside...it’s possible, but it’s more challenging to fly if the wind kicks up. Bigger planes tend to do better in wind, but their disadvantages are that they need more room to takeoff and land than those little guys.

Which is better? Hard to say. But you’ll find what you feel most comfortable with at your flying location!
Hey Sprzout, yeah I have the problem of being in the UK we have wind more times than not, but I have a good location for take off and landing at my parents farm in the country side :)


But thanks so much guys, this has all seriously been so much good info, I found a place in town that sells some nice plastic coated foamboard (its 3mm instead of 5mm but it feels solid with the coating) and its only like £3 a sheet for some A1, which when I'm used to spending £100+ on a FPV frame seems crazy cheap, but then again I can see the appeal to flying RC, Warm community and cheap as hell to get into comparatively :) thanks again guys!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#9
@Clutchoid Buy the speed build kit if you are in the UK, our foamboard is 40% heavier than the stuff FT use and sell. You can buy the FT board in model shops and Model Shop Leeds do their own version of the power packs if you want those too, theirs are £20-30 less than the expensive Graupner versions.
By the time you pay shipping on the FT board it’s not much more to save yourself a ton of time and start with the pre cut kit. Save the frames left after building and then you have a pattern to cut out more wings with.
If you wanted to build a Tiny Trainer they are not in stock anywhere right now but if you ordered a Spear SBK you won’t get slapped with as much postage for adding some FT board to the order. You want 1.2mm K&S music wire for control rods and control horns and firewalls are available on eBay from a third party.
Our foamboard is no good for any small design or ones like the wings where all up weight and CG are critical to performance. It can be used but you need to modify the designs.
If you want to make a good trainer out of UK board then there’s plans on here for “Das Ugly Stick” which works fine with heavier stuff.
Plastic coated foamboard will make you a very nice brick, aircraft want ultra low weight. You can wrap and paint lighter board without adding too much mass but Coraplas or similar plastic coated sign boards will not work for any FT design without modifications.
 
#10
@Clutchoid Buy the speed build kit if you are in the UK, our foamboard is 40% heavier than the stuff FT use and sell. You can buy the FT board in model shops and Model Shop Leeds do their own version of the power packs if you want those too, theirs are £20-30 less than the expensive Graupner versions.
By the time you pay shipping on the FT board it’s not much more to save yourself a ton of time and start with the pre cut kit. Save the frames left after building and then you have a pattern to cut out more wings with.
If you wanted to build a Tiny Trainer they are not in stock anywhere right now but if you ordered a Spear SBK you won’t get slapped with as much postage for adding some FT board to the order. You want 1.2mm K&S music wire for control rods and control horns and firewalls are available on eBay from a third party.
Our foamboard is no good for any small design or ones like the wings where all up weight and CG are critical to performance. It can be used but you need to modify the designs.
If you want to make a good trainer out of UK board then there’s plans on here for “Das Ugly Stick” which works fine with heavier stuff.
Plastic coated foamboard will make you a very nice brick, aircraft want ultra low weight. You can wrap and paint lighter board without adding too much mass but Coraplas or similar plastic coated sign boards will not work for any FT design without modifications.
Oh man I just looked at Model Shop Leeds hahah god damnit they have a good selection of stuff too :O frustrating that the flitetest stuff didn't come up on any related google searches etc, hope postage up to obscure scottish islands isn't deadly. For the powerpack etc I was going to re-purpose some of my older drone stuff and I have a 3d printer so making up some plates to house stuff should be easy enough, the power pack isn't going to be a bother :)

Seriously handy stuff FDS thanks very much appreciated :D
 

FDS

Well-known member
#11
Lots of quad motors will work well on 2 or 3s inFT designs, all my minis run on old school 1806/2400 motors.
If you are doing a Model Shop Leeds order they sell the music wire, if they are out then Cornwall Model Boats have it, as well as the 3mm music wire for larger landing gear.