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Getting into RC Flying and foam builds

messyhead

Active member
#1
Hi folks. I'm new here. I've always wanted to get in to RC flying since I was a boy. There used to be a model flying club near where I grew up, and I used to go watch them fly for hours. But I couldn't never afford to buy all the kit to have my own one.

Anyway, I've been watching the FT channel for a while, and then discovered their downloadable plans. So I'm going to attempt to build either the Tiny Trainer, or the Simple Cub with my son.

Finding the foam board here in the UK seems tricky, but I found some in Hobbycraft which I've bought. But I've read it's a bit heavier than the FT board, so I'll need to research which motor to used instead of the recommended one. Actually, I need to do a lot of reading up on motors, batteries, esc's etc as it's all new to me :D
 

FastCrash45

Well-known member
#2
Hi folks. I'm new here. I've always wanted to get in to RC flying since I was a boy. There used to be a model flying club near where I grew up, and I used to go watch them fly for hours. But I couldn't never afford to buy all the kit to have my own one.

Anyway, I've been watching the FT channel for a while, and then discovered their downloadable plans. So I'm going to attempt to build either the Tiny Trainer, or the Simple Cub with my son.

Finding the foam board here in the UK seems tricky, but I found some in Hobbycraft which I've bought. But I've read it's a bit heavier than the FT board, so I'll need to research which motor to used instead of the recommended one. Actually, I need to do a lot of reading up on motors, batteries, esc's etc as it's all new to me :D
Welcome to the forums. I'm new to foam planes too but there are a lot of VERY helpful people and a lot of knowledge here. Most of these planes have plenty of power with the recommended motors. If you do increase the motor size it should be.likr the next size up for the most part. My first plane was the mighty mini scout and I built it heavy. The only motor I had was a 2212 which is actually too much motor. As long as the cg is right it still floats along really well in spite of the weight on a 2s 800mah. The 3s battery makes it fast for the design. Main point is to get the cg right and it should fly well
 

FDS

Well-known member
#3
If you want to save learning about motors etc then the FT power packs will do everything for you and get you in the air quicker.
I would build the Tiny Trainer first, it’s more versatile and forgiving than the Cub. The modular design makes repairs easier and the design is set up to allow you to progress from 2s 3 channel trainer to 4 channel trainer to 3s fast trainer.
 
#5
Welcome to the FT Forum family!

I have also read that the UK foam board is heavier than the stuff we have here in the states, but there are plenty of FT members in the UK that are active on the forum, I'm sure some of them will chime in and give you advice for your motor setup.
 

messyhead

Active member
#7
Thanks for the welcome. Buying the FT power packs isn't an option in the UK as they're shipped from the US. The UK really needs a supplier.

I think I'll try the trainer build first, as it looks simpler, and will be a practice with using this board, as well as learning to fly.

Edit: I just found out a bout some UK shops that sell the kits and foam board. So might go with that option.
 
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FDS

Well-known member
#9
@messyhead Graupner sell the power packs here, they are pricey but if you want alternatives I can supply you with Hobbyking links for everything you need. TT stuff is dead easy and cheap. Buy the speedbuild kit, it’s £30 but will save you time and hassle on your first build since you won’t have to spend ages sourcing the push rods, control horns, firewall and cutting out.
If you build any FT design out of UK 5mm without modifying it the only place it’s going is down, sometimes inverted and down, as it will always be too tail heavy.
 
#11
If you aren't already committed, I would consider the FT Pietenpol in your list of possibilities. I've been having a blast with it. The FT Spitfire is still my favorite (I'll have to build another soon), but this easily slides into second for me. I have a cub in construction that I'm really excited about, but you can't go wrong with the trainer too. Be judicious about how much glue you use aft of the CofG, I've taken to using medium CA wherever I can back there. The FT planes are well designed and easy(ish) to build, especially with the build-along videos; I have a hard time within 25-30g of their listed dry weights with a scratch build, those guys are glue gun masters!
 

mayan

Well-known member
#13
@messyhead first and foremost welcome to the family. My personal recommendation is the TT as a first plane especially if you have no building or flying experience. It very easy to build very easy to repair and has so many mods that it can keep your hands full for a good while. I recently started using black FB which is heavier so don’t think that extra weight will hurt you much. You can use the MT1086 2230kv motor A pack with a 6x4 or 6x4.5 props and you’ll be in the air I can almost promise it.

Important things to do before anything is watch the FT beginners series I can link it if you want. It will give you basics of understanding across all the aspects of preflight and flight including power systems. They will also talk about a CRAP check the next very important thing before any flight and after every crash / landing. Don’t do it and you’ll probably pick up your plane pieces.

Other than that read the forum it’s filled with knowledge and information. But if you feel stuck stop and ask us one of use and all of us will help no questions asked.

Happy flying.

Ahhh last and most important. Build, Fly, crash repeat.
 

skymaster

Active member
#14
welcome
Have any of you guys in the uk ever thought of contacting the local foam company, and asking them if they could make something similar to adams foam board. giving them a call or a letter telling them how the material is used could spike their interest in making a little $$. just an idea. good luck and have fun.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#15
The minimum quantity manufacturers want for a “new” product is in the tens of thousands of sheets. I tried the major wholesaler here too, several times with questions, no response.
I talked to Adams, who were really helpful, they don’t ship outside ‘Murica and their minimum order is a WHOLE TRUCKLOAD of board. That’s a lot of foam, which then has to be containerised, shipped then taxes paid.
We can buy FT foam and speedbuild kits here, both are around £1=$1 on pricing. It’s the electronics and peripherals that we get a poor deal on. Power packs with single motors are equivalent of $120-150 here, way more than the US equivalent. Graupner make great stuff, it’s just very expensive.
Firewalls are $12 a strip, twice what you pay. Having said that they are super easy to make.
 
#16
I saw office depot and staples in london, they may have various thicknesses of USA foam. Bandang for electronic stuff. Rc clubs either cars or planes for used electronics/ power. By scrounging about, it is possible to get a start for under 50 quid.
 

messyhead

Active member
#17
@messyhead first and foremost welcome to the family. My personal recommendation is the TT as a first plane especially if you have no building or flying experience. It very easy to build very easy to repair and has so many mods that it can keep your hands full for a good while. I recently started using black FB which is heavier so don’t think that extra weight will hurt you much. You can use the MT1086 2230kv motor A pack with a 6x4 or 6x4.5 props and you’ll be in the air I can almost promise it.

Important things to do before anything is watch the FT beginners series I can link it if you want. It will give you basics of understanding across all the aspects of preflight and flight including power systems. They will also talk about a CRAP check the next very important thing before any flight and after every crash / landing. Don’t do it and you’ll probably pick up your plane pieces.

Other than that read the forum it’s filled with knowledge and information. But if you feel stuck stop and ask us one of use and all of us will help no questions asked.

Happy flying.

Ahhh last and most important. Build, Fly, crash repeat.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm in the middle of reading through your thread when you were learning, so I can see how painful a process it can be. I'm hoping by reading it all, and getting advice, I'll not go through the trouble you had. It's a great thread by the way, really enjoying it.

As for the foam board, I'm going to try making the TT as a chuck glider with my son to see how it goes. If nothing else, it'll be fun to build it. I got a glue gun delivered today, so eager to build something. I've also ready that removing the paper covering can make it quite a bit lighter, so I'll try that too. I've found a few shops in the UK that sell the speed build kits, so might go that route. I've also been keeping an eye out for 2nd hand trainers with electric or glow engines as I think they might fly better in the UK conditions.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#18
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm in the middle of reading through your thread when you were learning, so I can see how painful a process it can be. I'm hoping by reading it all, and getting advice, I'll not go through the trouble you had. It's a great thread by the way, really enjoying it.

As for the foam board, I'm going to try making the TT as a chuck glider with my son to see how it goes. If nothing else, it'll be fun to build it. I got a glue gun delivered today, so eager to build something. I've also ready that removing the paper covering can make it quite a bit lighter, so I'll try that too. I've found a few shops in the UK that sell the speed build kits, so might go that route. I've also been keeping an eye out for 2nd hand trainers with electric or glow engines as I think they might fly better in the UK conditions.
Happy to hear that you are enjoying my thread. And sure as hell hope it saves you the time on where I fell. Any how good luck buddy and if you need any advice whatsoever just post it.
 

FDS

Well-known member
#19
A £4 quad motor off Hobbyking will give the TT enough power to go full vertical, even with a bit of additional mass. Brushless motors have stupidly high power to weight ratio, far higher than glow motors. You can fly the TT up to 15mph wind. I have flown in 20 but the wing was flapping a bit.
A big heavy trainer will be harder to learn on than a lighter, floatier and more forgiving design. You crash something like that once and once only too. Big planes fly better than small ones, but big traditional planes are made from balsa! Something like the Apprentice is a good second hand purchase, especially with a good 6 channel transmitter.
The TT is easy to build with Hobbyking parts, they just go in and out of stock a bit more, the equivalent of the recommended power pack from them is about £50 including a battery, maybe £70 with batteries and a quality charger.
The TT is fully modular so you can just swap the glider nose for a power nose. If you don’t glue the top of the fuselage at the back down a lot (4 dabs of hot glue) you can open it up later to add the servos, just be sure to cut out the slots for the push rods when you cut the fuselage. You should mark the bevels for the tail assembly but don’t cut them.Why build twice?
 
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evranch

Active member
#20
I don't think he means to swap the glow engine onto a FB plane, he is thinking to buy a glow trainer and fly it. However, I also think he'd be better served by a TT with an electric motor. Throttle control is just so easy, the airframes are lighter, and the whole thing is far more crashable and repairable than a glow airplane.

I honestly don't know how anyone got their first airplane into the sky back in the balsa and glow days. Buddy boxing, I guess - something that is almost irrelevant now with foam trainers.