I completed my build but wanted to highlight some of the deviations I took in the build. Hopefully some of the changes will benefit someone else.
June 28th 2014
After startintg the build log I realized there isn't much point to posting step by step updates to a standard build. My FT Mustang has been completed for a few weeks now but here are some of the changes I made compared to the standard build.
First non standard change I made was to add a huge motor. I am pulling 65a and around 900w out of it with a 10x10 on 4S. My Frsky GPS clocks me at 85mph. The motor has a really nice deep sound to it and there is a faint whistle created from the scoop. It's pretty sick.
If you're anything like me and have a few planes that look like this after a few high wind landings, then you might appreciate the next change I made.
I added a BBQ skewer in the under camber score cut for added strength. It has 0 impact on flight but gives the wingtips a much needed reinforcement. I will be doing this on all my builds moving forward.
As always I've added an aluminum spar. This adds very little weight (25g) but makes the wing basically unbreakable. I have used this design on all my performance builds. On my 800mm Spitfire and Mustang I can take a 100mph 180 banked turn on a dime and the wings don't even flex.
Next change was to try something new with the 'finish' of the foam edges. There have been a few threads lately talking about using paper tape on the edges to make a clean finish. I like the idea but the ridge of the tape line that is created is not desirable for me. So here is what I did. I left extra paper on the top section of the horizontal stabilizer.
The end result really impressed me. Folding over the extra paper and gluing it for a perfect finish. No exposed foam, and it looks great.
This next change was inspired by how quickly my 800mm FT Mustang's scoop was damaged on landings. After just a few grass landings the scoop had large creases where the foam was stressed. This didn't impact flight or anything, but it didn't look good. So I decided to add some reinforcements.
The extra pieces of foam were just what was needed. No more creases.
As most you who have built the FT Mustang know, it flies great. I'm not going to cover the standard stuff that FT and others have already commented. I wanted to highlight two points.
High speed flight
At 85mph she handles very well. I would say if anything, the flight performance was better at high speeds than at sub 40mph. My build didn't require any aileron trim and even after many full speed passes spanning over 1300ft or so there is 0 roll. Tracking like an arrow is the common phrase I hear from others and it is a good description of what you see. But man, until you fly a plane that can actually do it, you just don't know.
FT has the Mustang at 453g without a battery and I'm sitting basically double that at 950g AUW. After a dozen or so packs, and even flying with a smaller, less angry motor on 3s, there was almost no performance or characteristic impact from the extra weight. I didn't notice a loss of hover or glide. At 0 throttle and full elevator I don't drop a wing tip or nose and the whole time have full aileron control. She just floats straight down. Landing is not impacted by the extra weight either. I don't land any hotter than with the lighter setup.
END OF MY MUSTANG
I had a mid air with another pilot for the first time in my 100s of hours flying. The other plane came out of no where as I was turning and I got t-boned pretty good.
Right as we hit there was a loud thud and a few pieces of our planes sprinkled down from the sky. I didn't know what happened at first but I knew something was messed up on my bird as I was quickly losing altitude. I pulled off the throttle and gave some up elevator to see if she'd respond. At full stick I was able to keep level flight so I made a straight line toward myself flying cross wind. The impact was a few hundred yards out so my only goal was to bring my plane as close to myself as possible before a potential loss of control. I came in hot and it wasn't the prettiest landing but I got her on the ground safe.
Turns out the other plane cut my fuse in half. No foam or poster board was still connected. The only thing that saved me was my control rode sheath. I glued a coffee straw inside the fuse for my elevator rode and it was still holding on strong. I have no idea how I still had elevator control of the plane, the tail is literally dangling with 0 stability.
We had a good laugh about the crash and the other pilot walked away with no damage. Oh well, time to rebuild!