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FT Sparrow Builders'/Owners' Thread

Daniel Kezar

Ultimate Cheap Skate
ooohhh cool. im in!! this is my sparrow!
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it was my second build (my first being the ft flyer which wasnt maidened until last fall). i uilt it about a year ago and since then it has been through a lot. Me learning the technique of throwing a FB glider, 4-H fair projects on aerodynamics, kids that tackle each other for it, ect.. wing snapped in half, vtail breaking off, control surfaces delaminating, fuselage bending, it has seen a lot.
 
Sparrow Complete.jpg

Just finished this chuck glider as my first scratch build! Waiting for the starter kit to arrive from Flite Test (dang out-of-stock crafty kits are gonna kill me). I've heard it's really gentle and forgiving as a trainer, and I can't wait to try it out.

Next plane will be a tiny trainer speedbuild kit. I'll be curious to see how the experience from building from a kit feels, compared with scratch building.

I've also read a lot about the CG on these things. On the plans, the CG is 1.75 inches from the leading edge of the wing, but the wings are about 6.75 inches deep, and I thought the rule-of-thumb was to place the CG 1/3rd of the way back from the leading edge, which would be at 2.25 inches. Balancing it with the CG at 1.75" felt extremely nose-heavy, but I won't know for sure until I get a power pack into this thing and manage to start flying it around.
 

Daniel Kezar

Ultimate Cheap Skate
View attachment 103418

Just finished this chuck glider as my first scratch build! Waiting for the starter kit to arrive from Flite Test (dang out-of-stock crafty kits are gonna kill me). I've heard it's really gentle and forgiving as a trainer, and I can't wait to try it out.

Next plane will be a tiny trainer speedbuild kit. I'll be curious to see how the experience from building from a kit feels, compared with scratch building.

I've also read a lot about the CG on these things. On the plans, the CG is 1.75 inches from the leading edge of the wing, but the wings are about 6.75 inches deep, and I thought the rule-of-thumb was to place the CG 1/3rd of the way back from the leading edge, which would be at 2.25 inches. Balancing it with the CG at 1.75" felt extremely nose-heavy, but I won't know for sure until I get a power pack into this thing and manage to start flying it around.
well better nose heavy than tail heavy! aslo wicked paint job! how did you get that effect?
 
My Sparrow is ready for maiden.
The cg fits without additional weight.

The motor cables. Connected inside with 2mm bullet connectors.

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The flight ready weight with 60 gramm lipo is 230 gramm so the Weight/thrust ratio is 0,5. not a rocket but think enough for relax parkfly.

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And that is how it looks inside: orange receiver, 12A bullet Opto ESC, micro BEC, 2 digital metal gear 5 gramm Servo and 1200 mah 2s lipo.

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What motor is that? It's amazing that you had to make your own laminate foam board.
 

Morgan

Active member
View attachment 103418

Just finished this chuck glider as my first scratch build! Waiting for the starter kit to arrive from Flite Test (dang out-of-stock crafty kits are gonna kill me). I've heard it's really gentle and forgiving as a trainer, and I can't wait to try it out.

Next plane will be a tiny trainer speedbuild kit. I'll be curious to see how the experience from building from a kit feels, compared with scratch building.

I've also read a lot about the CG on these things. On the plans, the CG is 1.75 inches from the leading edge of the wing, but the wings are about 6.75 inches deep, and I thought the rule-of-thumb was to place the CG 1/3rd of the way back from the leading edge, which would be at 2.25 inches. Balancing it with the CG at 1.75" felt extremely nose-heavy, but I won't know for sure until I get a power pack into this thing and manage to start flying it around.
Awsome paint job!!☺
 
well better nose heavy than tail heavy! aslo wicked paint job! how did you get that effect?
It's actually pretty easy! I painted the model after assembling it, which was probably not the best choice -- but I was impatient and I had a glue gun and foamboard before I had spray paint. Next time I'll paint first.

Anyway, the pattern is just a blue/yellow base coat, with blue on the center of the wing and fuselage, with yellow out toward the tips. The red snakeskin pattern is easy to apply, just get a mesh laundry bag (about $2.50 at Walmart) and use it as a mask for the red paint. Drape it over whatever part you're applying the pattern to and hit it with the spray paint. By twisting the fabric a bit and applying from different angles, you get nice organic curves in the pattern, as seen on the right wing.

Other things I learned:

- Next time, paint before gluing/assembling.
- Paint binds well to foamboard but not to packing tape. If you have to paint over packing tape for whatever reason, put another layer of tape on top of the paint. This locks the paint in and protects it from scratching off the minutes you touch the tape with anything rough.
- Subtle patterns like the snakeskin look good on the plane's dorsal surface when it's on the ground, but you can't see them very well when the plane is actually flying. Choose a bolder pattern with high contrast for the ventral side of the plane.
 
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Daniel Kezar

Ultimate Cheap Skate
It's actually pretty easy! I painted the model after assembling it, which was probably not the best choice -- but I was impatient and I had a glue gun and foamboard before I had spray paint. Next time I'll paint first.

Anyway, the pattern is just a blue/yellow base coat, with blue on the center of the wing and fuselage, with yellow out toward the tips. The red snakeskin pattern is easy to apply, just get a mesh laundry bag (about $2.50 at Walmart) and use it as a mask for the red paint. Drape it over whatever part you're applying the pattern to and hit it with the spray paint. By twisting the fabric a bit and applying from different angles, you get nice organic curves in the pattern, as seen on the right wing.

Other things I learned:

- Next time, paint before gluing/assembling.
- Paint binds well to foamboard but not to packing tape. If you have to paint over packing tape for whatever reason, put another layer of tape on top of the paint. This locks the paint in and protects it from scratching off the minutes you touch the tape with anything rough.
- Subtle patterns like the snakeskin look good on the plane's dorsal surface when it's on the ground, but you can't see them very well when the plane is actually flying. Choose a bolder pattern with high contrast for the ventral side of the plane.
wicked cool!
 

33joe

New member
I found some older shots from a few successful Sparrow flights. I do not know why he stopped flying. He is currently without electronics and is resting.

 
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donalson

Active member
got mine built a while back but burnt up the ESC from some stupidity with the servo tester while trying to check the rotation... it got put on the back burner... then while I was in a frenzy of tracing out plans for planes I decided to trace out a new 1.5" longer nose sparrow fuselage... I finally got around to building it... this time around I used a F pack motor and 30a ESC that I pulled from my RMRC recruit when upgrading it's motor with a 5" quad prop... it went together quickly and easily, I've actually built the wing twice as I use one for the tiny trainer sometimes... the radio setup (qx7) was also super easy... no different than setting it up as elevons really, just keep the directions in mind... even with the longer nose I did need a little weight in the nose to get it to balance... although when I went out to fly I found the balance position to be a bit too far forward... nothing a little battery movment doesn't fix...

first flight was with a 2700 2s... flew well but it was a windy day and required a lot of throttle to stay in control... brought her down and tossed in a 1400 3s... she's a quick little thing... and with the torque roll she does some nice rolling to one direction and lazy rolls to the other haha... I brought her in and put another pack though her... sadly on this time the landing managed to catch the prop and pull the firewall away from the foam (ripped the packing tape)...

today I fixed that issue... I cut out the power pod, reglued and taped it this time with reinforced packing tape... I also cut off the tail skid and cut out a slightly taller one so it would be less likely to catch the prop on landing.

I look forward to getting out and flying with her again, waiting on a bit calmer day.


I also plan on putting ailerons on the wing... I cut the spare wing for them but seems I can't follow the measure twice, cut once thought... nothing a little tape didn't fix... I'll make it a point to do it again here soon... this time with more careful measurements haha