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Full size vs mini's: what is your preference?

Just a discussion. I've been kit and scratch building a few different FT designs, and mods of FT designs. I just wondered what you guys preferred in terms of plane size.

The other day I totally hard munched my P-47 mini, which is mostly based on a mini-Scout. Think mini scout, but with reshaped wings, rudder, stabilizer, and turtle deck. It hit so hard it snapped one wing clean off, and twist-broke the fuselage just fore and aft of the wing. 15 minutes with some hot glue and it was amazingly straight and rigid. I've put bigger planes in the trash for lesser crashes.

Before & after:

It got me thinking of big vs. little.

Pro's of mini's:
  • It seems that the mini's have an amazing strength-to-size ratio as compared to their big brothers.
  • Mini's require less foam and materials.
  • Mini's fly in smaller spaces.
  • Mini's fit better in your vehicle.
  • Mini's fly with cheaper/smaller batteries.
  • Mini's fly comparatively slower, which allows for better reaction time.

In favor of the "big 'uns"...
  • Easier to see at distance/altitude.
  • Easier to build, especially for those of us with "mega-mitts" for hands.
  • Bigger "wow" factor.
  • Handling tends to be more forgiving.
  • Crashes are much more spectacular!:eek::p
  • Easier to balance and manage thrust angles.

What are your thoughts and preferences?


Skill Collector
I'm usually caught between these two forces...

Easier to pack lots of little ones into the car.


Easier to see big ones in the air so I know which side it up.


Construire Voler S'écraser Répéter
I have lots of mini components, which makes my decision for me. Also, space to store is limited. Maybe I’ll build a simple cub soon.


Maneuvering With Purpose
I like the bigger ones. But the minis have insane vertical performance. Especially with the lighter water resistant foam.
Bigger seems better for me to actually fly, but there is something to be said about the portability of the minis. I know I'll continue to do both as they each fit specific needs.
I'm usually caught between these two forces...

Easier to pack lots of little ones into the car.


Easier to see big ones in the air so I know which side it up.
I agree both have there merits. Big ones are easier to fly and see. I have both, if that clarifies anything.
I have zero luck with the mini's :-(

I love the way they look, but every one of them I've built (SE5, Mini DR1, Baby Brit, Mini Sportster, mini mustang and a bloody wonder) all suffered the same torque roll to the right and crash symptoms. Not sure if I over-motored them (either a 2204 or an 1806) or over-prop'd them...just no luck. I was going broke buying props since just about every crash resulted in a busted prop even with a prop saver....so I went back to the big birds.

I can fly the SE5 and DR1 fine in Realflight...but no luck at all for real
I am itching to scale down some planes to mini size, like 24-30" wingspan. I like the WW2 warbirds, but I need some diversity in my lineup. I am thinking about doing a PT-17. I have no idea how a biplane will behave, so it might be an adventure. I think the build would be pretty easy.

Mini's don't take up as much storage space, either.


Toothpick glider kid
I am actually liking very slow flying micros lately, but I do really like the larger models if I have the space for them. Right now I don't, my 04 mazda 3 can only fit so much plane in it.
I probably twice as much mini's as I do swappables. I like them because I can fly most of them in my front yard, the parts are cheaper, they are a bit more durable, and they're faster builds, but they don't handle wind very well, and unless you have a perfect runway you'll be doing hand launches.
In my opinion, go big or go home. Big planes look cool, feel cool, but are really hard to transport. In my experience you can do a billion things wrong when building a big plane, and it still flies ok. But small planes get problems much faster. Also I have never flown a small FT plane that I liked. Just felt weird, I don't know why. Big planes have the coolest crashes too!:D


Toothpick glider kid
I just made a full size bloody mustang and it flew around the baseball field at the end of my street with no issues. Well except when I went to film it lol. It is a lot of fun and has a lot of power with a power pack C, In the future I plan on using a power pack b to get more flight time.
This plane has the perfect balance between size and durability in my opinion.