• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

FT Alpha restore/mod thread

Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#1
To begin, I wanna start at the beginning. I got the FT alpha kit as my first speed build kit around christmas of 2016 and she well over 100 flights. As you can guess this is a pretty worn airframe and if it were any other plane I'd just toss her out and build a new one but this one is special to me and "PARTS" of the plane are still flight worthy. So in this thread I'm going to be replacing parts that are tired, redoing parts that are misaligned, adding additional parts to enhance coolness, and add additional strength. Here are some pictures of the plane right now.
a.jpg


b.jpg


c.jpg


So you can see by looking at it that it needs some work and there's also some stuff that doesn't show up on camera or it's just loose and needs replacing.

The first thing I did was to remove the tail feathers because these were EXTREMELY sloppy mostly due to the paper they were mounted to was delaminating.

d.jpg


Next, I removed and replaced the little part that sticks out to mount the servo, because that area would get bashed around when the wing wasn't mounted.
e.jpg


As I said before the paper around where the tail feathers were mounted was delaminating so I peeled the paper of the paper and put down a piece of packing tape with about a quarter inch of overhang to give the future tail feathers a better surface to bond to (after proper sanding).

f.jpg


After that I decided to change up the rear belly section I always thought it was kinda bland (zero offense to the kids at MesaRC they did a GREAT job with the plane, I know, because I've built all three, and they might have left some stuff out to make the planes more beginner friendly) so I decided to add "jet engine" details similar to an F-15 Eagle.

g.jpg


That's all I've got done right now, more to come...
 

Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#2
I got more progress done today,

I've done this on my FT bravo and looked great so I did it here, I put some foam over the triangle part between the "air ducts" and the power pod mount to give it a cleaner look and the put some black tape over the rest of the edges to keep the color even throughout the area.
a.jpg


Then since my old "intake covers" were worn out and ready to fall apart I made some new ones
b.jpg


I've always thought the the intake area looked almost unfinished, because (to me at least) it looks like it's missing one side of a square so I did a quick test to see how it would look if it were a full rectangle.

(Before)
d.jpg


(After)
c.jpg


Which one do you think looks better?
 

Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#4
I just finished up making a new wing due too the old one being slightly misaligned, the wing was also getting quite warped, and the center was getting flimsy probably due to many high G maneuvers (that may or may not been on purpose:p) all of those problems seem to have been fixed.

a.jpg


b.jpg


Here you can see the carbon fiber arrow shaft spar I added.
c.jpg


Next up is the canopy, tail feathers, and reinstall the electronics.
 

JTarmstr

Well-known member
#6
So I didn't finish all of it but it's almost done.

I made a new canopy, because if you look in the fist post you can see how it's quite warped.
View attachment 116459

View attachment 116460

Then, I started work on the tail feathers.
View attachment 116461

hopefully by tomorrow I'll have the airframe done and have the servos installed/linked up.
Hey grifflyer, just a little decoration idea if your not planning to paint this. By the prop you could add small warning triangles and arrows in red sharpie marker with (painters tape so it has straight lines), it looks like a little bit more like a military jet like that. I did it on my FT Viggen and it improved the looks in my opinion.

Edit: When I mean military jet I mean from the 60s-80s the newer jets have everything faded for low visibility.
 
Last edited:

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#8
as always, well done sir. ;)

i luv this airplane. i basically cut my teeth learning to fly Alpha. it was my first FT kit and hands down the airplane i flew the most at the beginning. i still have it, it looks 10x worse than your old one. maybe one of these days...

laters,

me :cool:
 
#11
Thanks everyone I just got out to fly it and it flies as good as ever!!
Hey Grifflyer, I know this is a super old post, but I think you are around and there are not much info about the Alpha. Love your custom builds man.
I just finished one (well about to) and I was wondering what kind of motor have you tried for this bird.

I have 2212 2200kv (big and heavy) and 1806 2280KV (small and light).
I know the ideal would be a 2205 or 2206, but I would like to use one of these above as I have them already.
 
#12
Hey Grifflyer, I know this is a super old post, but I think you are around and there are not much info about the Alpha. Love your custom builds man.
I just finished one (well about to) and I was wondering what kind of motor have you tried for this bird.

I have 2212 2200kv (big and heavy) and 1806 2280KV (small and light).
I know the ideal would be a 2205 or 2206, but I would like to use one of these above as I have them already.
2212 for sure, the 1806 wouldn’t be enough to fly the alpha. This thing would absolutely scream on that motor running a high pitch 6 inch prop!
 
#13
2212 for sure, the 1806 wouldn’t be enough to fly the alpha. This thing would absolutely scream on that motor running a high pitch 6 inch prop!
Yeah, that's what I suspected, 1806 not enough.

If I could balance the 2212 with a 1500mah battery It would be perfect. Otherwise I have a few 800mah batteries that I use for the mini mustang.

Regarding the scream, that's something I am trying to minimize. Apparently if you remove some foam that is closer to the front of the prop, it should reduce the noice quite a bit.
This is the mod I'm talking about, but I need to cut the wings yet.

4cba9cc0-84e4-4db0-bf0f-72852a82b0dd.jpg

eeaa4b36-e55b-446b-a6e3-d0839a22c441.jpg
 
#14
Yeah, that's what I suspected, 1806 not enough.

If I could balance the 2212 with a 1500mah battery It would be perfect. Otherwise I have a few 800mah batteries that I use for the mini mustang.

Regarding the scream, that's something I am trying to minimize. Apparently if you remove some foam that is closer to the front of the prop, it should reduce the noice quite a bit.
This is the mod I'm talking about, but I need to cut the wings yet.

View attachment 189576
View attachment 189577
Yeah from what I remember those aren’t necessary, they form the part of the nose plate
 
#15
Yeah from what I remember those aren’t necessary, they form the part of the nose plate
Grifflyer, I hope that you don't mind that I ask you directly.

So I did the maiden of the Alpha this weekend. It took me 3 times and 2nose rebuilds to fly it properly because of very rookie mistakes (prop in wrong direction, inverted ailerons /facepalm). But it's amazing when I set it up properly. I thought the Mini Mustang was fun, but oh man, this is another level!

So my nose and intakes are very beaten and I will rebuild them at some point.
I wanted to ask something.d

How important is the airflow that goes trough the intakes to the motor and the prop? I want to get a bit creative and modify the desing of the intakes, making them smaller and closer to the nose of the plane, like the F-18 or F-22.
Will the motor reduce it's power if there is less air flowing to the back trough the intakes?


4fc631ce-4616-4cf0-88f3-23361b4060e0.jpg


A bad quality short clip of the maiden.

 
#16
Grifflyer, I hope that you don't mind that I ask you directly.

So I did the maiden of the Alpha this weekend. It took me 3 times and 2nose rebuilds to fly it properly because of very rookie mistakes (prop in wrong direction, inverted ailerons /facepalm). But it's amazing when I set it up properly. I thought the Mini Mustang was fun, but oh man, this is another level!

So my nose and intakes are very beaten and I will rebuild them at some point.
I wanted to ask something.d

How important is the airflow that goes trough the intakes to the motor and the prop? I want to get a bit creative and modify the desing of the intakes, making them smaller and closer to the nose of the plane, like the F-18 or F-22.
Will the motor reduce it's power if there is less air flowing to the back trough the intakes?


View attachment 190367

A bad quality short clip of the maiden.

That flies great!! I don’t think blocking the intakes off completely would affect the flight performance too much. So it you make them just a little bit smaller it shouldn’t be an issue. There might be a small drop in power but I don’t think it’d be noticeable.
 
#17
That flies great!! I don’t think blocking the intakes off completely would affect the flight performance too much. So it you make them just a little bit smaller it shouldn’t be an issue. There might be a small drop in power but I don’t think it’d be noticeable.
Awesome, thank you!

My next project will most probably be your Mini-Spitfire, it looks amazing!
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#20
Here is the modded alpha I have been flying the last two weekends. It is pretty fun flying especially on the day where it was windy. I think it needs more power and would like to get it to roll faster. Going to give it a more aggressive prop but have to get a bigger esc first. @TenienteDan how noticeable is the noise reduction? View attachment 190411
That is the prettiest alpha I have ever seen!