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FTFC19 - Build-ruary by BrickRedRock

This is my Build-ruary entry. If I have to make a declaration of skills, I'm going with a 1.25/5 for build skill (just replaced the fuselage on my apprentice) and a 1.5/5 pilot skill.

Plane List:
1. Explorer - both wing types
2. Tiny Trainer - Work with my 11 year old son
3. Tiny Trainer - Work with my 10 year old son
4. Tiny Trainer for myself

EC: Simple Scout
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FT Explorer - Start Date: 2/4

Day 1. I thought it would be a great idea to use my speed build kit as a template since this will be my first build and I don't want to screw it up too badly. Our Dollar Tree didn't have any of the suggested foam board but I found some Elmers board at Wal-Mart. I traced out the pieces and have 5 of the 6 sheets cut out. **Edit** After finishing this post I was more annoyed that I couldn't finish the 6th sheet, so I finished it...

Through this process I have learned two things. First hardware store razor blades run dull kind of quickly, in my opinion. Second, Elmer's foam board seems quite dense compared to the FT Foam Board. Thickness doesn't seem to be an issue but removing paper when needed should prove difficult.

Day 2. I managed to mark all of my cut lines and started assembling the fuselage/nose
The fuselage part turned out better than I hoped as it looked like my cut lines were really nice. The tabs where the power pod part slid in took a little force but I managed.

The nose on the other hand really showed off the jagged lines.
I'm still very happy with it. I mean it fit and all! Plus it seems quite secure. Tomorrow will be the tail boom!

Day 3 (and 4). Tail boom completed! ...but then I noticed that I left the servo walls (anchors?) out. Had to cut in and and a new half section to the bottom plate. Day 4 got the firewall put together, ESC and motor soldered, and motor mounted.

Day 5:
Trainer wing complete. That wing really is a two person job though unless you have heavy stuff to place as the glue sets. Luckily my son was eager to help. That thing is insanely huge sitting next to my apprentice wing though! Sport wing and paint hopefully finished on day 6 so I can get a maiden flight on the 7th.

Day 6:
I'm withholding pictures for the maiden tomorrow. Sport wing is complete. Paint job complete. Transmitter is bound. Have to install servos on the sport wing and connect the wires. I'll pack it up tomorrow and see what I get.

Day 7
Maiden flight. I knew it was tail heavy but was curious how bad it would react.

Day 8:
Finally got out for another go at a maiden flight. Realized I didn't post a picture of the finished product.
FT Explorer - Finished.PNG

Re-Maiden video:
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Pete's Tiny Trainer

Pete opted to use the heavier Elmer's board wing thinking it would be sturdier and last longer.

His chucking skills were pretty good, got a good glide on his first try.
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Sam's Tiny Trainer

Sam's was the second plane that we balanced out. It was really interesting but we moved his battery a good 1.5 to 2 inches back from the tip of the nose to get the same balance. He did have the lighter DTFB wing.


He's very much my comical one if you catch his comment at the end of the video.

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Tiny Trainer

This required a little bit of modification to work with what I put in it. First the wires on the Spektrum servos I used were way too long (SPMSA330), it only adds to the crowding inside the fuselage. Second, the 2212 2200KV motor I'm using is powered with a 1300mAh 3S. If I had installed the servos farther back, this would have been ok but I did have to remove some of the top foam from the access compartment to get the battery to slide in. I'll probably find some smaller batteries later. I had to balance this out with 2 nickels on the edge of the vertical stab.


The maiden... well it flew! Also, not my best choice in location but the rains have been relentless here and I wanted to make sure I could get something in between. So I tried in my front yard (horses and lots of mud in the back...).

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I had planned to do this completely by scratch. I'm not sure if it was cheating, but I started creating the templates for the Explorer. I'm not sure that it matters 100% or not but due to my perfectionist/OCD tendancies I decided to just buy the speed build kit for the Explorer and Tiny Trainer and use those as a template. I'm committed to doing the Simple Scout completely from scratch though.

I have a full power plant purchased from the local Hobby Shop to replicate the Power Pack B and I purchased a comparable replacement to the A and B from Amazon. We have some stormy weather coming this week so I should be able to start the build process quite soon! Additional details to follow.
Took the explorer up with a GoPro. Had to completely nix the weight I had added to get the proper CG with it mounted just in front of the air duct. I was being very conservative with the flight time in this video but both batteries were sitting at 3.9 so I probably could have pushed close to the 10 minute mark. I think that's good?

Tiny Trainer Trio (TTT?):

Since we are doing these all together, I will use this post for the build and the individual ones for their maidens. Additionally, I'll be building a TT in place of the Scout but will hopefully keep that for extra credit.

Day 1-7 (Yes, I'm that slow, LOL):
All pieces have been traced, cut, and scored (where needed). The 7th day we started putting the fuselage together. I'll have pics starting tomorrow, the kids were over-excited and we went at a pretty good pace. We ended with the push rods run through, with the bottom flap open, and our tail assembled ready to install. Just finished centering servos, I'll fly a 4-channel, my kids will start on a 2 and progress to a 3.

As a side note, I'll be working on the FT Piggyback launcher, probably beef up my Mini Apprentice to take on the job. If anyone has thoughts on that one, let me know!

Day 8:
It was probably not a good idea to build today. I got home late and it's also a bath/shower night so we had a very limited amount of time and I felt rushed so I left the boys to their own vices (within safe reasons). I slapped glue down after showing them how to properly finish off the top. While helping one the other forgot what to look for. All-in-all, we did pretty well though.


Final for the day was getting the fuselage completed with the tail feathers attached to rods and servos:

Day 9:
This was the final build day. I built my sport wing showing the boys how the foam spars lined in between the marks on mine, how to hold the wing after folding over, and how to set the dihedral. This was also their first shot at gluing. All-in-all they did real well. We did end up having a very limited discussion on aerodynamics. It was limited only because of my brief understanding on how lift works but they got the general concept easier than I did probably.

We also finished out the morning with a maiden for each of us and some decoration. Those are in the individual posts.
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Lots of updates incoming. Have the bare minimums completed as of this morning. Including...

Retrieval of a plane from a tree..... can’t win them all! Haha!


Wake up! Time to fly!
Isnt that what the boys are for?

When I was a kid I was my uncles bird dog crawlin thru briars when hunting. I was his trolling motor for creek fishing.

I would be his surgical assistant fetching tool when he worked on cars n trucks.

Its just fair they should chase planes hehe.
Well, I made it to the bare minimum. I was trying to burn out a Simple Scout at the end but I didn't want to rush it and stopped. It'll be a good March project. Plus, with the two I have for myself, I tripled the size of my hanger :)

The boys are super excited as I also built a FT Piggyback and I'm going to try and haul them up on my Mini Apprentice. Should be fun times ahead!
I managed to get some real flying time in over the past weekend and came away with some good crashes and some good flights. I tried using my Piggyback Tow on the Mini Apprentice, it was horribly under powered for that. I guess I kinda had that in the back of my mind going out there but was hoping that the extra wing strapped to the top would somehow help. Needless to say, we got it off the ground just enough that when the TT slipped to the left it pulled the pair over to hard for me to correct. One good cartwheel and I busted the motor mount on the Apprentice.

Next I thought I would give my TT a real flight. I realized I had a big problem with it wanting to fly straight up when under throttle without any elevator applied. After backing the throttle down to just under half I could keep something that resembled level flight. I'm not sure if this has to do with my thrust angle needing to go down?

The final ending for that plane was coming out of a turn, it fell in to a nose dive. While trying to recover, I noticed the wing folded. Wish I would have had video of that, I couldn't believe the noise it made when it buried the motor into the dirt.
Sadly it looks like the bend came in right at the middle of the two skinny foam pieces that made the channel for the aileron wire. I'm not sure that I can fault the design on this, I did have a 1300 3S powering this plane at that was probably more than the wing could handle.

Nevertheless, I thought I could do better (I did just go buy some 800 3S but it was nice that I could get a 1300 in there :) ). I figured if I could take the skinny (are they?) struts and glue them on either side of a BBQ skewer, maybe I would have a good enough reinforcement to handle the extra weight in the future.

We'll see how this goes.
Wing rebuilt along with power pod. Waiting to see how the weekend weather turns up to give her another shot.

I did point the power pod down 1-2 mm in the front to help provide some downward thrust. Also going to use ailerons in separate channels to maybe try flaperons at some point