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FTFC: FT-Build-ruary by DamoRC (The Replacements Edition)

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#1
These are my four entries for the Build-ruary Challenge

I call this "The Replacements Edition" as these are all planes that were in my hangar but are either lost or trashed and need to be re-built.

Edit 27th Feb Unfortunately the month didn't go as planned and I did not complete the challenge as described below, but it was fun trying! To relieve my frustration I also build an FT Tiny Trainer and a modified FT Racer!

Bloody Baron
Build Skill: 1 (Simple) Pilot Skill: 2 (Simple)

Tree that ate my plane.jpg

This is the tree that ate my Bloody Baron (actually, this is some random tree on the internet). I had done a reasonable job building and painting my original build and really loved flying it. A gust of wind took it into a tree from which it could not be recovered. On the following day it seems the tree consumed the plane, electronics and all, as there was no trace of it to be found.

Mini Arrow
Build Skill: 1 (Simple) Pilot Skill: 2 (Simple)

Original Crashed.jpg

My warm up plane. Always the first plane I chucked into the air to get my thumbs up to speed. Radio glitch about a month ago lead to her untimely demise.

Aviation Design's Diamond
Build Skill: 4 (Challenging) Pilot Skill: 3 (Moderate)

Original Crashed.jpg

One of my favorite planes because it flies great and it is soooo pointy. Radio glitch this weekend sent her to her doom (notice a pattern here? - I have a new antenna coming for my DX6i)

C-130
Build Skill: 3 (Moderate) Pilot Skill: 2 (Simple)

Original Mule.jpg

This is a picture of the mule version. The original build came together pretty quickly but I struggled to build a wing that was close to scale yet stable in flight. The wing you see on this one is the third version, and the nose is the second version which has taken a beating. I am using this "mule" to finalize stuff like cargo doors etc. But I need to rebuild her from scratch for the guy that originally requested this plane.

DamoRC
 
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DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#2
Bloody Baron

The finished product.
IMG_3121.JPG

If you haven't already done so, build one of these! The return on investment is off the charts in terms of the amount of time you will put in against the amount of fun you will have.

This was a Dan and Keegan Sponholz design that FT brought out as the first Community Series planes.

Here is the link to the build article and plans.

The Build

Some tips / tricks / cheats
The plans / build for the Baron are nice and simple. But I took a few additional short cuts. These don't save a huge amount of time but simplify the build a little
(1) Don't cut the fuselage tabs. I found the tabs that, once you have folded the fuse, protrude upwards to guide the placement of the wing and horizontal stabilizer a little tricky to cut and fold properly so I didn't use them. The rearward tabs for the HS are, I think, redundant because the vertical stabilzer has long tabs that go through both the HS and the fuse, keeping the tailfeathers aligned. The mid-fuse tabs are to help mount the wing so I just marked the position for the trailing edge on the fuse instead (10.5 inches back from the front of the fuse)
(2) Don't cut the wing spar tabs or pockets
(3) I didn't use the fuse doublers. Instead I ran a fuse width piece of DTFB from the nose to the tail to box off the fuse, leaving a flap for the hatch.
(4)"Crush" the wing leading edge. I haven't beveled a leading edge in I don't know how long. Instead I just widen the LE score cut by crushing the foam on both sides

Onto the build.

This is how I cut my pieces. Using pins to hold the plans on the DTFB, I use another pin to "trace" out the pattern. After removing the plans I use a straight edge and blade to cut between the pin holes. For straight sections this is pretty quick. For curves (such as the entire bottom edge of the Baron fuse) this is not so quick. For this I mark a hole every 3/4 or 1 inch and freehand cut between the pin holes.

1 - pins.JPG

This is a really low part count build.

6 - low part count.JPG

Here is how I make the LE bevel, first pass with a blunt-ish point, then a second pass leaning against the foam to widen the bevel.

8 - le bevel 1.JPG
9 - le bevel 2.JPG

Glue the spar in place and then fold FT style.

10 spar on.JPG
11 finished wing.JPG

Mount the wing onto the fuse (sorry, no pics of making the fuse but its pretty standard FT build technique)

12 wing and fuse.JPG

Assemble the tail feathers. In this build I am not adding rudder. Then added the tail feathers to the fuse using the VS tabs as a guide.

13 tail feathers.JPG IMG_3070.JPG

I haven't used a power pod in a long, long time. Instead I build small blocks using multiple pieces of foamboard to which I glue a plywood motor plate and reinforce with extreme packing tape. Then the block is glued into the fuse. My experience with this approach is pretty good. The mount it solid and invariably is the one piece to survive a bad crash. The pieces were cut to the inside width of the fuse so that it could be glued to both side plates and the top plate.

IMG_3072.JPG IMG_3073.JPG IMG_3074.JPG IMG_3075.JPG IMG_3076.JPG

The bottom plate for the fuse was cut as a single piece matching the outside width of the fuse and about 23 inches long (not all of this length will be used). The nose section was score cut multiple times to allow it to curve along the fuse lines when it was glued on. The battery will be attached here with velcro, so before gluing the piece in, the velcro was added.

IMG_3078.JPG IMG_3079.JPG IMG_3080.JPG

The next piece, the hatch was about 5 inches long and was attached using a simple tape hinge. The inside of the hinge was also wrapped in tape for strength and durability. A 1 inch piec e of foam matching the inner width of the fuse was cut and a small magnet added to one side. This was then glued in place. Applying marker to this magnet and closing the hatch firmly transfers the position of the marker onto the hatch - this is where I placed the other magnet.

IMG_3081.JPG IMG_3082.JPG IMG_3083.JPG IMG_3085.JPG IMG_3113.JPG IMG_3114.JPG IMG_3115.JPG

For the paint job, I cut out these German Cross templates which I glue-sticked to the plane. Also used masking tape to mark stripes. Applied three coats of paint, the first very light, the next two progressively heavier with about 5 minutes between each coat. After removing the tape I used black sharpie to outline the stripes and crosses.

IMG_3116.JPG IMG_3117.JPG IMG_3118.jpg IMG_3119.JPG IMG_3120.JPG

Summary

I can only summarize this by saying "You gotta build one!" In fact, because the Baron is such a straightforward build, you should build two. Why? Because then you can fly combat!

IMG_3192.jpg

Only word of caution is that she is quite agile in the air. I would not recommend this as a beginner plane. But if you have limited experience and want to try this, then cut your throws to 25% of the recommended, add 30% expo and fly her gentle.

Build Difficulty: Simple Build.jpg
Flying Difficulty: Moderate Fly.jpg

DamoRC
 
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DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#3
FT Mini Arrow

The finished product.
IMG_3133.jpg

The Arrow is another pretty simple build and a great flying experience.

Here is a link to the build article and plans.

The Build

I didn't make many changes to the standard build on this version. The only item of significance is the extra large bespoke center section in which I wanted to mount a 2200 mAh, 4S lipo to go with the NTM 2836s 2300kv spinning a 5 x 5 prop. I also did not cut the servo hole into the spars when making them. Instead, I waited until I had the wing complete and then cut through the servo hole in the wing.

These are the plans with the extended center section marked. The section is 1.5 inches wide (so a total outer width of 3 inches when the two wings are attached to each other). I added a couple of inches front and back because I didn't know how far back I wanted to mount the motor and how far forward the center section would need to extend.

IMG_3087.JPG

And this is the cut part. Repeat for the other wing.

IMG_3089.JPG
IMG_3092.JPG

Again, this is a nice low part count build.

IMG_3091.JPG

Spars were made up based on the plans and glued onto the wing. I used the crushed bevel technique for the LE and the wing was then folded FT style

IMG_3093.JPG IMG_3094.JPG IMG_3095.JPG

With the wings the right way up, I brought them together, lined them up, and used two small pieces of tape to hold them in place. Turned them upside down and added a full width strip of extreme packing tape along the join. Turned the wing back to right-side-up, opened the joint and filled with hot glue. Then hold the wings flat on the bench until the glue sets and add another strip of extreme packing tape.

IMG_3098.JPG IMG_3099.JPG

The motor mount is the same style as I described above for the Baron, a small layered block of foam to which I glue and tape the ply motor mount (you can see that I recycle the old motor mounts from previous build - crash - repeat projects. The mount is then glued to the center section floor. At this point you will note that I decided to remove the excess material from the rear of the center section and the motor plate is almost flush with the trailing edge of the wing.

IMG_3100.JPG IMG_3101.JPG

Next step was to start figuring out what the profile of the center section would look like. With a 4s 2200 mAh in position, I offered up a piece of foamboard and started to outline the shape I wanted. When I was happy with the shape, making sure that the "lid" would clear the 4s when velcro was added and that I could glue a cross brace across the motor mount to both walls of the center section, I cut out the piece and used it as a template to cut out the second side. Slots were added to clear the servo wires and these sidewalls were then glued in place.

IMG_3103.JPG IMG_3104.JPG IMG_3105.JPG

Trimmed the excess from the nose of the center section and then started paneling the lid. Used score cuts to help the piece shape to the curve of the side walls. For the hatch, I opened up the score cuts and added a little hot glue and then place the hatch in position. When the glue set the hatch retained its shape. A simple tape hinge and some magnets (highlighted) finished the hatch. A piece of foamboard was glued across the motor mount onto both side walls and some extreme packing tape was added for strength.

IMG_3107.JPG IMG_3108.JPG IMG_3109.JPG IMG_3111.JPG

The winglets were added, using the alignment marks provided in the plans to line up with the bottom flat surface of the wing.

IMG_3112.JPG

Decided to try to copy this paint scheme which I found on the web. Turns out this is the plane in Realflight.

FT_Mini_Arrow_Phoenix.jpg

Three coats of yellow for the base color (start with a light coat and then progressively heavier coats to finish). Then the "fluoro" orange was added "freestyle". Not perfect but I am pretty happy with the final product.

IMG_3130.JPG IMG_3131.JPG IMG_3133.jpg

Summary

If you want to build a wing I would recommend this over the Versa. Things to watch out for include:
(1) Don't forget to set the reflex as per the plans and build video - really important to help you make that maiden flight a success.
(2) If you are going to use alternate power (such as mine), spend some time ensuring that you can balance the plane with your motor and battery of choice before finalizing your canopy and motor placements.

DamoRC
 
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DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#4
Aviation Design's Diamond 70mm EDF

Edit: Unfortunately I did not get this completed. Might add it to March Madness!

Based on the turbine kit from Aviation Design, this is a plane I have been working on over a few years from pusher versions to the current EDF. Original build thread is here.

Since I started there have been a couple of EDF versions of this plane that are now available commercially, most notably the Hobbyking SkySword

Here is a nice vid of a Diamond I build for one of the guys at the field.


The Build

During this build I will be making some modifications to the plans, mostly the fuselage, to address some points of wear-and-tear that I have observed over time. When done, I will post the updated plans here and on the original build thread.

I started at the tail with the V-stab and H-Stab. I modified the V-stab to be shorter because the plane doesn't really need such a tall V-stab and I liked the look. Both of the parts are pretty straight forward using FT techniques. The V-stab is a simple foil style using a foam spar. The H-stab is reinforced with a piece of paint stir stick cut to height to fit into the slot marked for removal. The elevator is reinforced as the center section is a little narrow. Normally I use a wooden coffee stirrer for this but in this case I used 1/16th ply (because I didn't have the stirrer to hand).

IMG_3178.JPG IMG_3180.JPG IMG_3181.JPG IMG_3184.JPG
 
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DamoRC

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Mentor
#5
FT Tiny Trainer and Modified FT Racer - The Extra's

So my fourth entry was suppose to be the C-130 but I didn't even get started on it. To relieve some frustration with the Diamond build, I built an FT Tiny Trainer and a Modified FT Racer instead. Technically the trainer is not a replacement plane so it does not fit my "theme". The modified FT Racer that I have been flying for months went head-to-head with a valiant last weekend and it's wing was cut clean off.

Tiny Trainer - The finished product

IMG_3223.JPG



Context
I have a friend with two young boys, 9 and 11, and have always talked with him about bringing the boys flying. Problem was that I never had a plane in the hangar that was appropriate to buddy box with a beginner. Not any more! This is a really nice flyer and I am looking forward to introducing some kids to the joys of flight using this plane (and it's replacements as necessary).

Plans and Build Instructions

I built this almost totally stock. The plans and build video can be found here.

Here are some pics of the build...

IMG_3200.JPG IMG_3201.JPG IMG_3202.JPG IMG_3203.JPG IMG_3204.JPG IMG_3205.JPG IMG_3206.JPG IMG_3208.JPG IMG_3209.JPG IMG_3222.JPG IMG_3224.JPG

A couple of modifications included:
(1) I glued the power pod holder in place as I don't do the swappable thing anymore
(2) The motor mount is just a block of small foam squares that are hot glued together. Then glue the firewall in place and cover in extreme packing tape. Almost indestructable. This mount is then glued permanently into the fuse
(3) I glued the wing in place
(4) Because the wing is glued on and the motor is glued in I added a bottom hatch for inserting the battery.

[To be completed with final painted version pics]

I maidened this build on the weekend and she was a real pleasure to fly. With the small motor and battery (Turnigy 2730 1300kv, 450mAh 3S), she is nice and light. I have great hopes that she will perform well as a buddy box trainer.

Summary
Based on the maiden, the 3 channel version of this plane is a great flyer for a beginner.

Build Difficulty: Straightforward Build.jpg

Flight Difficulty: Easy Flight.jpg

Modified FT Racer

The FT Racer wing is just brilliant, and tough. The wing in my last version had been recycled into a new fuse and tailfeathers a couple of times. For the last version I made a custom fuse and extended the control surfaces on the tail-feathers. I was very happy with the result - particularly because I installed an E-flite Power 15 motor running a 10 x 7 prop on 4S! (the motor was all that was left of the Caudron C460 from FF West). This plane was destroyed in a mid-air collision last weekend so I needed a new one. The custom fuse is not the prettiest, but it works.

The Build

The original FT Racer build video and plans can be found here.

I am building the wing per the plans with some additional wood reinforcement. The tail feathers are per the plans with 1 inch added to the control surfaces. The fuse is custom. I won't add much (any) detail to the build, the techniques for wing and tailfeathers are standard FT and the construction of the fuse is pretty much the same technique as the Ohka and the Reichenberg. Although this plane will be built before the end of today (just in under the wire) it will not have been maidened.

Basic Build pics...
1.JPG 2.JPG 3.JPG 4.JPG 5.JPG 6.JPG 7.JPG 8.JPG 9.JPG 10.JPG 11.JPG 12.JPG 13.JPG 14.JPG 15.JPG

Servos and horns installed ready for painting.

IMG_3233.JPG

I seriously thought of stopping after the first coat because it had this nice camo effect. But I want to trim it in yellow so continued until I had a solid color so the yellow would pop.

IMG_3234.JPG IMG_3235.JPG

Finished her off with some yellow tape.

IMG_3236.JPG

Summary
The FT Racer is a solid flyer. I prefer her with the extended tailfeathers for some additional umph in the elevator and rudder. This modified fuse version is not the prettiest and, well, not the easiest fuse to build. The cutting is simpler, but the assembly is trickier.

Build Difficulty: Moderate Build.jpg

Flight Difficulty: Moderate Fly.jpg

DamoRC
 
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DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#7
Thanks Nate!

Got started last night (technically it was Feb 1st somewhere). Man! - the Bloody Baron is such a quick build. Pretty much done with the airframe. Will start the Arrow cutting tonight. Want to get as much foam work done before I head out of town with work for most of next week. I can post the build info / pics then so as not to take away from precious "shop time".

DamoRC
 

thenated0g

Drinker of coffee, Maker of things
Mentor
#8
I thought about doing this build off thing as well, but i dont know if i could do it with my other projects. I did order 3 kits from ft that i havent built before and will be doing those for sure. I got a bronco coming i am going to paint up like Trent Palmers Kitfox and i got a bee coming and the little sparrow.
 

DamoRC

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#9
Do it Man! What have you got to lose? (maybe some sleep, and some sanity).

Would be cool to see the Trent Palmer Kitfox.

DamoRC
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
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#11
Good progress last night. Now that the easy builds are close to being done, I'm pretty confident that the Diamond will be finished by the end of the month. Not 100% sure about the C-130.

2-Plane Update.jpg

DamoRC
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#12
I thought about doing this build off thing as well, but i dont know if i could do it with my other projects. I did order 3 kits from ft that i havent built before and will be doing those for sure. I got a bronco coming i am going to paint up like Trent Palmers Kitfox and i got a bee coming and the little sparrow.
DamoRC's right! There is nothing to lose and Everything to gain. March is (finish it up month) for anything you had to put off.

You'll be fine! :D

Join us. you know you want too.
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
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#14
Bloody Baron is finished (still need to do the build post). Should get the Baron and Arrow maidened tomorrow.

IMG_3121.JPG

DamoRC
 

DamoRC

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#16
Very pretty! How'd you do the finish on that one?
Thanks SlingShot!

Masking tape for the lines, some templates for the german crosses that I glue-sticked in place, and three coats of the spray paint shown below. Then used a black sharpie on the white edges.

Paint.jpg

DamoRC
 

FoamyDM

Building Fool-Flying Noob
#18
Bloody Baron

The finished product.
View attachment 101669

If you haven't already done so, build one of these! The return on investment is off the charts in terms of the amount of time you will put in against the amount of fun you will have.

This was a Dan and Keegan Sponholz design that FT brought out as the first Community Series planes.

Here is the link to the build article and plans.
Congrats on your first Build-Ruary build done! Great Job, looks sharp and I agree. This plane and the Mini Arrow are my go-to fliers!

I'm looking forward to your diamond build...I've had my eye on it.
(although those babies are a lot of fun)
 

DamoRC

Well-known member
Mentor
#19
The patiently applied light coats technique? No Minwax?
Yep - no minwax, 3 coats, first really light and then progressively heavier coats with a good 5 mins or so between to make sure the coats were nearly dry (its the buildup of solvent that wrecks the foam)


I'm looking forward to your diamond build...I've had my eye on it.
Thanks - I am going to use the build as an opportunity to refine the design. Flying the last one for a few months shows me that some areas of the fuse could do with reinforcement.


DamoRC
 
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