FTFC Builduary 23 by Mastermalpass


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I've always sat this challenge out because 4 planes in a month has always felt a bit beyond me. I still kinda think it is, but I've got many a spare part to use up and I'm getting bored of flying the same four planes over and over.

For my entry I shall be doing:
Dassault Mirage 2000C
Flat-packable bush Kadet
RCPowers MiG-29 V4
And an extra plane.

I was gonna do my albatross, but that's a serious build and the Mirage is already a serious build that is likely to eat up most of the time. So the last one will be a random throw together. No idea what. But my Bipe Pipe was a random throw together and look how that turned out!


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1) Dassault Mirage 2000C

I have a 70mm 12 blade EDF, bought it for my Dad to put in a FT Viggen back in 2015 but he never did. So I'm gonna make my first ever EDF Plane around it.

The Mirage seems like a forgiving platform - Delta wings, known for being pretty smooth stallers and not much use for Flaps. This one's gonna have all the bells and whistles though. Retracts, lights, maybe a Gyro I can enable/disable - the real Mirage is naturally unstable and fitted with a gyro, so I might need it. I also want to figure out auto-responding leading edge slats.

At the time of writing, this is very early days. It's currently just a heap of electronics and a part-done plan in Adobe illustrator:


So for more presentation, here's a screenshot from DCS:

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2) Modified Dupreez Sig Kadet


A long overdue promise to build MatthewDupreez's Sig Kadet. I've also long wanted a plane I could Flat pack - this design is built of small number of flat sides - ideal platform for a flat-packable plane. So I'm gonna try and modify it to be a bush plane I can stick in a back pack and hike into difficult places.


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3) RC Powers MiG 29 V4


Model by RCNoob902

The MiG-29 V4 was a fan favourite on the RC Powers forums. It's sleek design made it capable of some real speed while using the same power system as the rest of the fleet and also being a stable dream at slow speeds. My RC Powers Su-35 V5 is getting old and I've got a good few flights out of it, so I'm gonna chop it up and put its parts into one of the most loved designs from RC Powers.

Completed 23/02/2023
As with most RC Powers design, assembly was a breeze. It did get a little fiddly between the engines, but that was nothing compared to the Su-36.

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4) Su-26

I've been wanting to have a pop at 3D flying for a while. What with me always having to be different and wanting to venture into 3D with anything but an Extra 300, I figured I wanted to do an Su-26.


Being one big cylinder that gets pinched into wedge at the tail, this should be a pretty simple fuselage to whip together. On top of that, to maintain simplicity and increase my chances of completing it in February, it will be getting a KF-4 Airfoil.

Completed 18/02/2023
Well, it wasn't a very simple fuselage to put together. Probably could have been if I designed the plans differently, but either way, I got it done!

Wingspan: 380mm
Empty weight: 392g
Weight with 800mAh 3S: 472g
That weight plus camera: 517g


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Today's progress: After discovering yesterday, that the Blueprint I was working off did not have all the views to scale with one another and I discovered all my work so far had been a complete waste of time, I have since re-scaled the views and laid them out in a more convenient fashion. I have also altered the design to be slightly bigger. I have drawn out the overall dimensions of the fuselage and have measurements laid out for the formers. I have also mapped out where a core plate will run through the formers, helping me line them up. The healthy number of fuselage slices provided by the blue print should do me well enough to just design them and 'Rollate' the entire skin.


I actually think the biggest challenge for this will be the wing. The blueprint doesn't have any slices for those, so it's gonna be a bit of an eyeball job on that one.


Master member
Today's progress: After discovering yesterday, that the Blueprint I was working off did not have all the views to scale with one another and I discovered all my work so far had been a complete waste of time, I have since re-scaled the views and laid them out in a more convenient fashion.
Yup, you'll find that a lot of 3-views are not scaled alike. I've run into this a couple times.

Depending how you break things up, you may have a little difficulty rollating this one with the concave sections of skin where fuselage and nacelles meet. Building those as separate pieces may make that easier.
What construction method are you thinking for the wings?


Elite member
Yup, you'll find that a lot of 3-views are not scaled alike. I've run into this a couple times.

Depending how you break things up, you may have a little difficulty rollating this one with the concave sections of skin where fuselage and nacelles meet. Building those as separate pieces may make that easier.
What construction method are you thinking for the wings?

Yeah I did think that just after I posted. I might make some 'copies' of the formers where the two intersecting ovals are separated and cut seperate shapes - Depron foam isn't a fan of being bent both ways.

For now, I'm thinking the wings will be two separate cuts - one for the top skin and one for the bottom, brought together onto formers and spars. This model is gonna be big and I want the wings to be removable so I have a 7mm aluminium tube that slides snuggly into an 8mm one that will double up as the reinforcing spar.

The nose-to-tail length of the model is gonna be around 1.3 metres as well, so I also want all fuselage forward of the engine intakes to be removable as well. While I'm at it, I want the big vertical stab to come off too.

It's gonna be a fun challenge figuring how long all the servo wires will need to be in order to be easily plugged and un-plugged. I also simply need to get some ESC wire extension as well.


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We're almost one week into February and I have yet to cut a single piece of foam! I really don't know how long that Mirage is going to take to do, so I think I will focus on the simpler planes and get them out of the way first.

Today I started plans for the Su-26. And in less than three hours, already have all the formers and spacers between them planned out! The vertical stab is also planned, with itself kind of being a spacer. This plane is going to be a small-medium like the PipeBipe. With a wingspan of just 65cm and a length of 58cm. The power system is going to be a 1000kv motor swinging an 8x5 three-blade. I'm being accommodating of 4S but seeing how much excess power the BipePipe has with an 8inch two-blade on 3S, I probably won't need that.



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That's most of the rest of the Su-26 planned. I will 'Rollate' the rest. Now I just have to tile these plans out, print them off and get cutting! A new batch of Foamboard arrives tomorrow as well! :D



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This evening I tiled the Su-26 plans, printed them off and stuck'em to foamboard & plywood. Depending on how big the skin templates end up after I rollate them out, these plans might just be a one-sheeter!


I also made a start on the MiG-29. For some reason, unlike the Su-34 or Su-35, this plan is one of those silly ones where they only provide one template for all the things you need two of. So I've printed it twice and laid the sheets out to see what sheets I can get rid of... The total of which turned out to be three. Many of what I need two pieces of have bits running just an inch into some of the pages... Just why? 😂



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Today I printed plans for the Sig Kadet and made a start on trimming them as well as the plans for the MiG-29.

Just layed out the plans for the Kaddy to suss out how they'll go together and I'm glad I'm making this one flat-packable... It's huge!




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I have cut out some foam! The initial parts of the Su-26 have been cut out. Tomorrow shall hopefully see the details cut out, the formers connected to their spacers and the skin templates 'rollated' out. Not to mention cutting out the plywood parts and setting up the electronics and getting the initial bench tests.



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Spent most of today in the workshop. The Su-26's power system has been set up and bench tested. 1000kv motor spinning an 8x5 three-blade, supplied by a 40A ESC and a 1500mAh 4S battery.


Initial tests showed ridiculous vibration, which turned out to be caused by a bent adaptor shaft so I changed that out. There was still some vibrations, but as the throttle went up, it would go away, then come back a bit up the throttle, then go away again a bit up from that, which suggests to me the vibrations are coming from this bench test set up being a bit of a spring board and the prop resonating it at certain frequencies, so it should be fine in the air.

I probably won't need that much power. This plane is going to be the same size as the BipePipe and that thing can go vertical on 3s with an 8" two-blade. But it's nice to have the headroom.

The wing has been stuck together. The underside KF has been reinforced with both a carbon spar and a bit of plywood to keep things rigid around the slot I cut for the battery. I took care not to let epoxy / hot glue (was gonna epoxy the whole wing, but I ran out) go too near the leading edges. I want to sand the leading edge nice and round and a layer of glue does not sand as easily as foam.


Also set up the tail stabilisers and surfaces as well. After cutting the bevel for the hinge I noticed there wasn't much foam left joining the two. So I've stuck in a lolly stick and filed down the centre to keep it from jamming the throws.



I also got all the formers detailed, the spacers glued in and the rough skin shapes cut out.

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Master member
@mastermalpass - why don't you take a look at the jetworks site to see how they build their wings. It's very straightforward and simple. They've got build videos and illustrated build directions. It could save you some headaches. And the SU looks great.


Elite member
Today saw a lot of test fitting, remeasuring, recutting and retest-fitting of skins until I got them dialed in. I sanded down the surfaces and the wing - the KF4 looking very nice after being smoothed out.


I now have epoxy setting on the bulkheads and the skins ready for sticking on.



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This evening only saw a short time in the workshop, so I glued the remaining bulkheads onto the body and chucked all the electronics on to get an idea of the lay out (featuring the bottle that will become the canopy).


Things are a bit cramped in there. The aileron servos will be going as far out along the wings as they will fit, just to get as much of their cable out of the fuselage as possible. I might also feed their lines underneath the wing. The ESC-to-battery cable is best fed under the wing as well. It's all a bit snug in there at the moment and I don't want a repeat of the Su-35 where the internal airflow was constricted to the point of the ESC needing a heating poking out of the fuselage.

I also want to figure out how I can make a long section of the top fuse detachable so I have plenty of room to fumble around with the battery when taking it in out. The fortunate surprise is that as it is appears in this pic, the CoG is exactly where it should be in normal circumstances, with room either side of the battery for it to shift.


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Life once again finds a way to divert time away from the workshop. But I have managed to rig up the electronics and discovered I did a bad solder job on the XT-60 plug for the ESC (of course I discover it NOW). But with the ESC and aileron cables running under the wing, the battery compartment is now much more spacious. Despite that, putting the battery in is still a bit of a fiddly job, so the top hatch is likely going to need to run most of the wing chord.



Tomorrow will hopefully see the skin going on and the fixing of that dodgy solder joint. Don't want this one rebooting on the maiden!


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Thursday night and Friday night carried a few hours each, running late into the night, with today's session being a good six hours or so.

Thursday night:
The handy thing about rigging the electronics before the skin is it becomes easy to lay them out neatly. The downside to that is you risk glue dripping on them. Fortunately, this interior was quite easy to stick tape on and safely protect all the electronics.

From that point on, there was a lot of chaos. For starters, when test fitting the engine nacelle skin I put a little too much downforce on the firewall at one point and the front fell off.

I hot glued it back on by the struts and stuck in a third strut for good measure.

The nacelle skin was a little bit short, but I couldn't be bothered to cut another, it was only a small gap anyway. Next was the fuselage skin running from the leading edge of the wing to the back of the cockpit. This one was a pain; a couple takes weren't wide enough to wrap around, one take snapped and on a fourth take, I cut away foam from the wrong part to fit it on the KF! Fifth time's a charm, though and I finally had the epoxy setting on it.

Friday night:
Friday night saw two more skin spices attached. The underbelly, which was pretty easy, and the tail. The tail, despite having two previous test-fit and re-cuts, still demanded a lot of trimming and fine-tuning. I got that epoxy setting on that and then it was 01:30am.

Saturday, time to really blast ahead and catchup on all my builduray progress. I'll get this plane done by lunch and make a start on the next one... Or so I thought! 😂

First step was the simple underbelly skin going over the ESC. Originally planned to be foam, which would have smothered the ESC, I cut the shape from acetate and paper. The a estate was sanded and paper pritt-sticked onto it, to make it white like the foam. Next task was removing the prop and cutting hatches. The front one is to access the prop mounting nuts - needed immediately as despite aiming to put the prop on straight, this method of frame building resulted in the prop's yaw angle being offset WITH the torque, not against it. So I undid two screws, slipped some washers in and screwed the motor back in. That top battery hatch seems to be the only one I need to get the battery where I want it.

Next I mounted the control horns on the tail and for some reason, the rudder was getting stuck. I'd throw it to the left, but when releasing the stick, it would swing into the full opposite position until I used the stick to bring it back. After cutting a hatch above the servos and another hatch in the tail-fuse, I finally found that the arm on the servo was slipping. I removed the screw it was using and stuck in a shorter screw that could hold it in place properly.

Next was the nacelle front. This was pretty simple; cut three rings, stick 'em together, sand them down a bit, stick them to the fuselage and sand down some more. Then of course, re-mount the prop and spinner.

Then I did the landing gear, which was again fairly simple, but still demanded a bit of time. By the time that was done, it was already 14:00ish. I certainly thought I would be getting this done by lunch.

After stopping to eat, all that was left was the canopy. I knew I was gonna cut it from this bottle:

But beyond that, I hadn't actually thought about how I was going to make this. It needs to be removeable: it sits right on top of the battery hatch. This adds a bit of complexity - flimsy plastic and acetate would be easy to form to the correct shape if I could just glue it on, but I needed to work something out. The simple start was another back-plate to the cockpit that could stick to the original with a magnet then the acetate can be hot-glued onto that. I stuck the bottle-bit onto that with some hot glue (along with a thin strip of foam to make the join look nice) and eventually sussed out some foam bits on the fuselage that the whole canopy could slip into to find its form and with that, it was finally finished!


At this point it was 16:45. It's not like I couldn't make good progress on the next plane with the hours left in the day, but I'm exhausted and want to just admire the build I just completed.

It's the first 'master series' plane I've made - if we ignore the KF airfoils - and my most accurate rendition of a real life aircraft I've ever built. I hope it flies well, 'cause I'm really happy with it. The control surfaces are TIGHT, normally my builds have a bit of play on them, but these are dead on, with no subtrim needed to straighten them out. The throws are great and the power system is a beast for this size.


It's come in weighing 50g more than the PipeBipe which has the same wingspan and prop diameter, with an empty weight of 392g, a 800mAh 3S weight of 472g and that with a camera would be 517g.

What a journey. I know this has still only been eleven days from design to finish, but I was still expecting it to be so much quicker. It seemed like it was gonna be so much like the PipeBipe, but it seems when chasing a real design with a razorback fuselage, you get a lot more wrong in the process. Here it is next to all the failed skin attempts:


The next two planes, I am very glad to say, are far, far more straight forward designs. For a start, they don't need me to make any curved pieces!
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