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FT3D - flying without landing gear?


Junior Member
Question was asked in Youtube comments, thought I'd throw a post here to explain a little...

In the video, I took the landing gear off. Was actually the first thing I did when I got my hands on the plane :)

Reasoning: mostly because it's just extra weight. Any extra weight means the plane has less punch from thrust input, less vertical performance, etc. thrust is important for 3D, especially learning 3D, as the more thrust you have on hand the quicker you can apply it to get out of trouble when hovering and such. On the original motor, with the landing gear on, the plane really doesn't have enough power for any kind of trust-based recovery (if your hover is going bad, usually the safest exit is straight up).

The other part about extra weight, is that more weight means the plane is using more torque to hover, which means you need to hold in more ailerons to counteract torque... so that is a smidge harder. The plane has crazy good aileron authority, so this isn't too much of a problem, but this is something that weight does.

The main reason I fly without it, is that landing gear is also a point of a lot of drag, and the wheels move the point of drag to a considerable distance away from the center of gravity. This much drag (especially with the large wheels that Josh put on there) has an impact on the coupling of the aircraft through trim changes. Because it's drag, it's also slowing the plane down.

The summary would be: I modified the plane so that it was almost totally coupling free without the landing gear simply because it's the easiest way to get maximum performance. So my personal recommendation would be to fly without the gear if you are happy to belly land or catch it.



Rotor Riot!
Hi Arron! Thanks for sharing!

My question is about the turbulators you put on the wings - why? What's their function?


Junior Member
Josh added the VG's... I wasn't using them on my own plane. Josh also added the plate on the end, which I tweaked before this latest video went out. The plate on the tips aren't SFG's (Side Force Generators, just in case anyone is unfamiliar with the term) as they don't have the area, but they are there for wingtip airflow control, namely to help stop air from spilling off the wingtip.

As mentioned in the video, Josh got the notion to use them from the trip to Joe Nall (there's a longer explanation as to why Precision Aerobatics uses them on their models that I wont get into), but the story goes that Josh had them on the plane when I visited and I *really* enjoyed the plane as it flew on the day... so may as well leave 'em on there :)

...with the VG's, you will have a truly crazy roll rate on the FT3D (because they keep the air energised against the wing, they also boost control response)... I pulled 30% off the endpoints in the radio to get a manageable roll rate that I could fly rolling harriers with.


Hey, Aaron! Thanks for you work on the FT 3D! Man, its a blast to watch you fly. I'll be building one of these, at some point. My bag log of projects keeps growing, though. :rolleyes: