Looking for EDF jet for short-field [belly] landings and hand launching


New member
Hello folks, I posted this exact topic on RCGroups but since FT is focusing more on families in flight I thought it would be fitting to put it here too...

Brief intro
I'm an avid foamy flier but never an EDF and the only "jet fighter inspired" aircraft I've built / flown are foamboard designs like the mini vector and FT-22 (mini and fullsize) plus several other designs I've found here and on other forums, never ran an EDF. I'm looking for my first at the request of my son (we buddybox together but he isnt old enough to have full control on his own plane just yet).

Ok so let me describe what I'm needing, I know what I think looks like good options (really like several Freewing birds) but I just dont know if they'll actually work for what I need.

I am a farmer and most all of my flying is done at my horse farm, the only problem is there is no runway, if the plane can go unlimited vertical there is a paved strip I can takeoff from but mostly I prefer to hand launch if at all possible (even planes with landing gear, I prefer to hand launch). There is plenty of space to land but it's non-manicured grass or a dirt / mud field, it IS NOT smoothed out and cant be. I can't stress this enough; there is no where for a plane to roll along. Again even my planes with LG I usually either leave it retracted or completely remove it and belly land on grass (and by "grass" I actually mean our hay fields so between 6 and 24" tall).

Questions for you guys:
I'm wanting to get something <1000mm wingspan that will easily handle hand launching and repeated belly landings on grass. Something fighter looking (personal preference would be a "jet trainer" style aircraft like a Yak-130 or a T-45 or similar) that can handle the "runway conditions" listed above lol. I've taken an interest in the Freewing YAK-130 and been watching numerous YT videos on it but I've yet to see anyone hand launch it but it does look like it can handle the landing strip I have available with the gear kept up.
Budget is in that range (under $200 would be top of the mark price wise). Looking for either a kit, ARF/RTF or maybe buying something used, though I love to build I want to be flying this summer and learning a new build technique (foam hot-wire cutting) doesnt fit that time frame (note that is my winter plan this off-season as I do love to build but again, I want to get something now I can start flying with my son right away). Definitely needs to be foam and EPP is my preference for it's ease of at-field repairability. The plane does NOT need to fly like a trainer, I'm pretty confident in my piloting and even my son is getting pretty good (plus again we buddybox, dont quite trust him on his own yet and when that time comes it will be with a $2 foamboard plane lol)

Open to any suggestions from any seller, tho US based and a FT/RCGroups sponsor is preferred. As I have several "pusher-jet" planes already, plus it was my sons only specific request I do need it to be EDF powered and military looking.[/LEFT]
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Cardboard Boy
I have a cheap F-16 with a 50mm edf and 2 servos (works as elevons)
I didn't flew it yet but did some "runway runs" in the street and it takes off pretty easily, I found it at 70€ without receiver and battery and it is easy to assemble.
I can't find it online because it's kinda a noname kit but it should work quite well.


The 50mm edf series jets by, Um...., they are branded under different names, are good. My personal favorite is the F-18. It is very stable and easy to fly.


Master member
As Irussi750 points out building your own in foam is a way to ensure they are light enough and fly slowly enough to hand launch and belly land easily.

Indeed it is the only option for all 13 of my EDFs as I too have no runway and no control over the length of the grass where I fly.
A viggen with sticky back plastic/vinyl on the bottom of the wing. I've belly landed mine on grass every time and it's fine.

Just try to avoid belly landing on a pebble beach with lots of rock pools. Speaking from experience it is not the ideal place for a belly landing &#55357;&#56834;


New member
From the videos, the FT Viggen handles slow speeds really well so it should be easy to plop it down in a bush at your feet :p

Not sure if it meets your size requirements, but you can always scale down!


Wake up! Time to fly!
You could always modify an FT pun jet. As small as that is you could probably tumble that in tall grass nearly forever without damage.

I agree though the FT Viggen is probably best. I'm sure it will laugh at grass landings after they nosed one straight in at full power in one of the videos and all it did was smoosh the replaceable nose. I think they also ran one dead smack into Chad Kappers house as well.