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FT planes experience

docque

Active member
#1
I don't know what it is about me but I have very limited success building these planes. I have built almost all of the micros and the only two that flew were the tiny trainer and mini scout. As for the larger planes, my success rates are a little better. I think this is because the larger planes are so forgiving. Only big ones that flew were the Fogey, Sea Duck and Explorer. Oh, and any of the Bloody planes (Wonder, Baron, Brit) I have had 100% success with.

It is not my lack of flying skills, I bought planes that I love to fly. For the ones I build, I get the CG correct but some have very touchy CGs (like minis).

I love flying but to be honest, building may not be for me. I just have such limited luck. I do enjoy the build, but throwing away 90% of the ones I build gets a little frustrating.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
I know your pain! When I started the FT planes seemed a good way to go and I tried quite a number but similarly the TT and scout seemed most successful for me. Since then I have built some that behaved rather poorly but I am one that persists when it comes to getting them flying. Weight is a big problem with some designs as is the difficulty in getting proper and equal profiles in both wings.

Some models have too little tail control authority especially at low speed, (at landing), and others have a short life before they soften/weaken and become an airborne wrestling match. Others are overpowered and can be terrifying to launch with a roll and crash the usual outcome for the inexperienced.

Finally there are a couple that have little to no aileron authority at landing speeds or wing incidence angles that are less than optimal.

As with everything learn what works and what doesn't and of course avoid what doesn't work for you. As for me I have no problems modifying a design that has identified issues so that I get a plane that performs as expected or desired. Most of the work is in lightening, wing design/incidence issues and of course power train issues.

All of the FT development is done prior to release. Any post release development is done my the Forum members so read the relevant posts on the forum and be prepared to modify your model in light of the developments or improvements posted by others but only where relevant to your particular issues. Do that and you will find that most if not all FT designs can be made into reliable and predictable fliers!

Just what I have learned!

have fun!
 

docque

Active member
#3
I think that is what surprises me the most. First TT flew great. Next one was a bust. Cub was great until I put in four channels and it smashed. Latest was the Baby Blender. I asked about how it flew and I was convinced by the forum that it would be a battle so I threw it in the garbage.
I guess what I need to do is stop getting excited about planes. I build the AP Qwak and was so excited. I loved how it looked. I spent tons of time making it look great, I got the CG down perfect and it just wouldn't fly. It acted like it was tail heavy, I even checked the CG and made it super nose heavy.
 
#4
Funny story, I have mainly been a cub flyer. The FT Super Bee came out and I was like soooo excited b/c it could go up to 100mph with the high performance motors, etc etc. So I started tackling it. Built it, put in the high performance motors, and even a 4 cell battery (not a 3 cell). 1st flight, crashed it within 30 seconds. I was at least lucky enough to do a lap before crashing. Repaired, and ready for 2nd flight. 2nd flight came...almost completed a 2nd lap before total loss of orientation then fly away. Lost at our RC airfield. I just wasn't ready for it. I'm thinking if I would've tried the 3 cell and maybe turned down the control surfaces even more I may have had more success. But it is what it is, and I'm working on other designs in the mean time.

It happens to us all I'm sure at some point. Just gotta focus on the ones that bring you the most enjoyment. From my experience, I would just recommend not using the highest recommended battery (in terms of cell count) and setting up some pretty low low rates for starters.
 

DamoRC

Elite member
Mentor
#5
First TT flew great. Next one was a bust. Cub was great until I put in four channels and it smashed.
Reading into this, I think it is clear that you can build successfully, but perhaps inconsistently - which is just a practice thing. And on the Cub, adding the 4th channel and then crashing it confirms that you can build but perhaps your 4-channel flying needs practice (I know mine does). So I wouldn't give up on building - you'll get there.

DamoRC
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#6
DamoRc is correct. I went through a BUNCH of planes scratch building until it all started working. Ask my wife. She must have thought I was crazy by the fourth mini corsair I built. in two weeks. But now I have one that flies superb. An FYI, I never got the mini scout to fly well. Keep at it, it'll click. Now I like building almost as much as flying.
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding face plant!
Mentor
#7
I got the CG down perfect and it just wouldn't fly. It acted like it was tail heavy, I even checked the CG and made it super nose heavy.
Film and post the maiden. Let the forum help you out. It could be a reversed control or something equally simple that just takes a second set of eyes to see.

If she won't fly or flies poorly, maybe we can help. When she does fly, we can all celebrate with you.
 

docque

Active member
#8
I fly by myself so filming is not something I can do. The funny thing about the Cub was it flew great. I then put on the 4-channel wing and it acted like I tied a lead weight to the tail. It just nosed up. CG was a bit nose heavy which I tend to do. I can fly four channel planes because I took my Otter out last night for its maiden and it flew fine. CG on that one is a bear too because if I moved that battery 1/2 an inch it would be tail heavy. I am finding that the bigger the plane, the more forgiving it is. I tried to maiden a mini baron last night also and that did not go well at all.
 

kilroy07

Legendary member
#10
I started out with the minis too and also had similar results... (as in LOTS of failures some successes.)
The bigger planes just seem to fly better.

That said, I think some of it might be I tend to over build my projects (such as adding too much glue.)
I forget the video, but in one of them they talk about not even using half a stick of glue and I think I was on my second stick at that point... :cautious:
(And I think the mini builds just exacerbate the little things like that.)

One of the bigger planes I keep coming back to is the Simple Scout, just a solid performer.

I've found the cub either flies great, or not at all.... (and I'm not experienced enough to know why yet.)
It just seems like it says back to you "If I'm flying, leave me alone and if I'm not you screwed up!" :LOL:
 
#11
Mini planes of any kind can be tough. Stick with regular size planes. My experience building a Fogey for my nephew to fly was that the recommended CG was tail heavy - same as my FT Mustang. Based on that I might start with a bit of nose weight bias. I'd also make sure you fly in near calm to 5mph winds max. I have heard some folks say the Old Speedster is a better flying slow flyer than the Fogey, so that might be another option. Eventually it will be like riding a bike - things will just click - if you stick with it.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#12
Firstly you should know that when flying an RC model aircraft the only real friend that you have is EXPO! If you are not using it I suggest strongly that you start. It can make a beginner appear quite skillful and even calm that somewhat twitchy model.

The poor old Simple Cub is often misunderstood and the subject to a variety of build errors or mistakes. The previous comment about the cub either flying or not can be simply attributed to its sensitivity to negative wing incidence angles. If not carefully built the cub wing can provide a slight negative main wing incidence angle which will make it fly extremely poorly. Some of the symptoms can include, not being able to fly slowly, High speed wing stall, a tendency to fly with the tail hanging in level flight, and a vicious power on climb response.

If your cub suffers from any of the above then do not panic as there is a simple fix. Just add a shim or spacer to raise the wing LE when fitted to the fuselage. I use either a 1/16 inch piece of ply or a Popsicle stick at the wing LE. If you also fit a SF, (Slow Fly) prop as well then your cub will suddenly become somewhat docile and seem to float at low speed.

I struggled with my Simple cub greatly when I first flew it and found that being nose heavy was actually a frightening experience. Even though I did not crash it, mine was really terrible and showed all the problems that others were complaining about. Eventually the penny dropped and I examined the wing incidence angle and altered it in desperation and the problems disappeared immediately. Then the CG balance was tweaked and I have a great flyer with excellent STOL capabilities.

Just my experiences!

have fun!
 
#14
+1 on the hat cam! I have a bicycle helmet with velcro on top. That works pretty well. I have built several FT planes now and have had both failure and success. But keep working at it and it will get better. I built a four channel Simple Cub. It flys great. I cheated though. I put one of those three axis gyros in it. That got it in the air long enough for me to tweak the trim so it will fly decent without the gyro.
 

kilroy07

Legendary member
#15
Some of the symptoms can include, not being able to fly slowly, High speed wing stall, a tendency to fly with the tail hanging in level flight, and a vicious power on climb response.
Awesome advice Hai-Lee, all that sounds exactly like what I was seeing on my "non-flyers."
Thanks for the insight!