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Mini Trainer is here. Can I build it? Can I fly it?

The mini trainer arrived today. My order was made by phone last Wednesday and arrived here in Edmond OK Tuesday afternoon. It was packaged well and arrived in good shape.

The precut foam boards look good. I thought it might be a bit bigger than it is, but then I haven't built it yet. I am ready for this part as I watched the build video several times.

Controller is straightforward and has lots of little switches that I have no idea what they are for. I will find out. I am excited to learn.

Lots of little parts and pieces. Now i am intimidated. Wow those parts are small. I have big arthritic hands. Where is that granddaughter with her tiny little hands and long little fingers?

Looking forward to getting started on this project as soon as i find the instruction booklet. Anybody seen it?


Well-known member
Best of luck to you on this and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. I think the size of the FT Tiny Trainer is actually pretty good. It has a 3 foot wingspan so not too small. I always think of Horizon Hobby micro series planes as being small. The transmitter might be kinda tricky if you've never messed with it but like I said, feel free to ask. Actually for a plane like the Tiny Trainer you will probably use just 1 switch (or 2 if you want throttle cut which is a good safety feature) for your dual rates option.
Although the comment about an instruction booklet was tongue in cheek, as it turns out there is written instructions in the form of a PDF. http://fr.zone-secure.net/11829/124085/#page=1

The PDF is helpful, but the instruction videos are better. Please keep in mind as you read through this, i am a first time builder, and what my be common knowledge to you is new knowledge to me. If what i do is crazy, just go ahead and laugh, that is the merciful part of the internet, I can't hear you. I can read your helpful suggestions, however.

As suggested in the main build video I started by building the power pod first.

Packaging of this kit is clever. Everything you need to build the airplane is package in the shrink wrapped package. Cutouts in the foam board hold the firewall and velcro. Sticks, straw and wire are taped to the foam board and everything is shrink wrapped together.

When looking for a part to assemble you need to look at both sides sometime to clearly ID the part. They look different.

Front of fuselage board.


The Assembly of the pod was pretty straight forward. Punch the pod out of main board, remove the, strips and glue.

There was one small problem. I have limited experience with glue guns. I have used them once or twice over a lifetime, a long time ago. My wife, the retired Kindergarten teacher who used them all the time in her career, laughed at me, very long and loud when I burned myself, several times-slow learner. She warned me when the Grand-daughter comes over, I can not use those words. Darn that glue gets hot.

The kit includes two firewalls, a three holer an a four holer. The four holer was installed in the Tiny Trainer video, so that is what was used.

Things were going pretty smooth at this point, burns aside.

The Motor comes with three lengths of screws and a small ball tip allen wrench. A nice touch, the ball head wrench.

The flight test Power Pack A (Minis) list an allen wrench in the list of parts on the store website. The picture online of the Pack does not show the allen wrench. In the Assembly video a long handle allen wrench is shown in the power Pack. I did not get a long handled allen wrench in my kit. As things progressed in this step, I very much wish that long handled allen wrench was included.

That small allen wrench included in the motor kit was difficult for my large arthritic hands to operated in the close quarter of the assembled engine pod. Before I do another kit, if i do, i will have one of those long wrenches.

To mount the motor I used the medium length screws. There are two larger motor mount holes in the firewall and two smaller holes. There are also four motor mount holes in the back of the motor. So I need to use four screws-right? Wrong!. After much trial and error, fumbling and dropping and some more of those blue words, I am not allowed to use around the grand daughter, i discovered only two screws are required to mount the motor. The second pair of smaller holes in the firewall do not aligned with the holes in the motor.

I tried to find the part in the video that tells which way the prop get mounted. Writing forward or writing to firewall? Bushing installed on shaft first then prop? I could use advice here.

So this is where I am right now. This took me about about an hour and a half to build. I was taking pictures as i went and editing them on the computer and reshooting the pictures until good. The issue of mounting the motor probably took 45 minutes by itself. I am doing this build on the dining room table. I had to make several trips to the shop looking for my set of metric allen wrenches and revisit to find a pair of miniature long needle nose pliers. Plus crawling around on the floor looking for screws that went flying. Working over carpet helps

It takes longer to do things when you don't know what you are doing.

Next step fuselage.


WWII fanatic
Yep, only need two screws to hold in the motor I tried to use four on my first build. As far as which way the numbers on the prop face, you always want them to face in the direction of travel, so in this case you want them pointing away from the motor.

Good luck with the fuselage!!!


Well-known member
@The Double D

You are providing a fresh and entertaining perspective. I am enjoying reading your post. I will totally follow you on your FT adventure! Although, I am not quick enough or experienced enough to provide technical support sometimes, I will provide encouragement when I can:)

You are doing a great job so far.

Build, fly, crash, repeat...



Well-known member
You are doing really well!! I remember my first FT build and it didn't look half as good as yours. Mine had glue EVERYWHERE! have you flown before or and haven't built or.. Keep up the great work and don't hesitate to ask any questions!
A quick note, and then I need to run to town. I have the fuselage assembled and later today i will put some pictures up. I ran into a problem and that is part of the need to run to town. Be patient, i'll show you.

I still do not think I have the prop right. I will post what i have in a bit and you folks can help me.

Glue everywhere, Yes i am meeting that requirement. Burns, yes a couple more.

I have flown before, 65 years ago, plane on a string. Truth is I spent more time try to start the engine than flying, so gave that up pretty quick. I have however stayed in a Holiday Inn Express and watch lots of Youtube videos, so I must be an X-spurt! :)
First things first get the video running. Then find where I left of.

Video says to punch out the fuselage and peel out the cut strips. Piece of cake that ,

The glue up of the fuselage is pretty straight forward. Just do what Josh says in the video.

In the picture above you can see the square outlines where the push rods go. As I discovered later once the fuselage is glued up the boxes are hard to see clearly, I don't know if that is because of the brown paper foam board, or not. i suggest using a fine point marker of some sort and go over these lines. It will make it easier later to see the boxes and align the push rod guides when you glue them in place.

With the fuselage glued up it was time to do the rudder and elevator. Gazoo above signed off "Build, fly, crash, repeat...so I did. Oh wait, crash comes after fly, doesn't it.

Well it started as a little crash during the build.

As per the instructions, I broke the crease on the rudder and elevator, then started to cut the 45 degree bevel. Understanding a bit about cutting tools, it was real obvious the blade on my Exacto knife was dull. Here is what was going on.

First cut, ragged paper, blade wouldn't cut the paper.

Second cut, blade would dig in and wander.

Okay so not a very big crash, but enough to head off to town and pick up some new blades.

I will pick this up when I get back.


Well-known member
Progress is progress. Bevel cuts are one of the trickiest thing for a beginner. So easy to cut too far. And yeah dull blades stink too...i still experience that now sometimes. Keep it up! Just take it slow.


Active member
Like many of the others said, this is really cool to see this hobby from a new perspective! Most of the people on the forum are experienced. But, the forum is also full of an incredible community! Be sure to ask questions!
Could you describe your motor situation so maybe we can help? It looks correct from what I can see from your image. All but the propeller. I can’t see much, but the shine side of the prop usually goes to the rear. I can’t see it in the picture, but the side with the numbers engraved into it is always the side (no matter the shine) facing towards the nose of the motor.
Good luck with the build! I’ll be following this thread and I might try and chime in.


Well-known member
I purchased a bevel cutter from Hobby Lobby when I was building my first FT builds. While I seldom use it these days, in the beginning I found it to be quite handy. I'm still a young man but I've got arthritis in a few places already (So the VA keeps telling me) and I can sympathize... despite that, I like to remember the old proverb my grandfather like to tell me, "never complain about growing older, it is a privilege that is denied to many" It wasn't until I was veteran myself that I truly understood his words... Don't let the little frustrations get to ya, there is always a way forward!

Looking forward to the maiden!
Well good morning. Things are looking much brighter this morning. Stuff happens and as everyone says crashes happen. I am supposed to fix the broken and move on.

If you haven't figured it out I had a crash. So picking up where I left of let' get to it.

I got the sharp blades and they are sharper, but they do need steady hand control, something i no longer have.

The rudder bevel came out pretty good.

So I moved on to the the Elevator, not so good.

As Josh says in the video, don't worry it, it can be fixed with tape. So i did.

My Daughter works for Hobby Lobby, I will have her get me a bevel cutter with her employee discount

Now you are going to see the start of the crash. Before i went to town I watched the section of the video on the rudder-elevator assembly and install. when I got back I did the install. When I got back I should have watched the install section of the video again. Here is the dry fit of Rudder and elevator, see the problem?

The elevator is on upside down. I glued it together this way, Then I proceeded to install the assembly on the fuselage. After the glue set I started to install the control rod horns and noticed the problem.


This was followed by an application of many of the phrases used by Drill Instructor SGT Callahan at Marine Corps boot camp, 50 years ago to describe my intelligence. Wife wasn't home and Granddaughter is off to church camp.

I did remember Josh making the comment in the video that once the glue was set it was difficult to undo. He is right.

After i settled down a bit and had a glass of Pineapple-Mango juice I figured out what to do. For all my working years I saved into an IRA. If I don't use it, when I go my kids will get it. They should save their own money. So I spent the $37 to get another mini trainer kit from Flite-Test. I will use parts from it to do repairs.

I have looked over the fuselage and I think it is OK and I can still use that. When the replacement kit gets here, i will dry fit and check the elevator-rudder assembly and see if things are still square and solid.

In the meantime I will complete the wings and the rest of the kit. When I am finished with that I'll post up some pictures on the motor and we will sort that out.

I think I have come up with an idea for a new bumper sticker, "Spending my kids inheritance, one Flite Test Airplane at a time!"
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Well-known member
Not to rub salt in a wound... But you probably could have left it that way. While the best place for a control horn is closest to the hinge, thats not always possible. I have quite a few builds that end up with horns opposite the hinge...


Of course the OCD in me understands the need to tear it off and fix it! Lol

Never hurts to have some spare parts around... Sorry to hear about the delay!



Old and Bold RC PILOT
You need not have attempted the FIX of the horizontal fin and elevator portion of the tail because it will work equally well with the hinge bevel under the tail as it will with the bevel on the top of the tail. I use both normally based upon my need for aesthetics Vs a need to keep water out of the hinge line!

Have fun!
You need not have attempted the FIX of the horizontal fin and elevator portion of the tail because it will work equally well with the hinge bevel under the tail as it will with the bevel on the top of the tail. I use both normally based upon my need for aesthetics Vs a need to keep water out of the hinge line!

Have fun!
Yes I realized that this morning. I could have simply swapped sides for the rudder and elevator horns. But I am new to this, and slowly learning. Thanks Hondo76251 and Hai-Lee, and Semper Fi back at you1

I went to Hobby Lobby this afternoon and picked up a foam board cutter. I was also admiring all the different colors foam board comes in. My wife wondered why i couldn't just get a piece board and trace the damaged parts and cut it out. Humm, she is so smart. She was kindergarten teacher and has extensive experience with foam board and glue guns. I am blessed to be married to her. :)

Tape measure says this foamboard is 3/16" is that correct?


Well-known member
Main thing to watch for is the weight of the foam board... Most flight test designs are pretty dependent on using a similar weight/density of board to maintain proper CG. I find that the Dollar Tree board is the most similar (its made by Adams) but I can't recall what Hobby lobby uses, very well could be the same stuff... You can tell pretty quickly when you feel it/pick it up if its the same stuff as the F.T. board


Old and Bold RC PILOT
If the FB you get is heavier you may be required to add a little weight to the nose to balance it up.

Heavy planes still fly and still balance at the same CG point the only real issue is that they must fly a little faster to compensate for the extra lift they require. Normally only a small bit of extra speed hardly noticeable!

Have fun!
After church and my afternoon nap-(an optional entitlement of retirement) The wife and I ran over to Dollar General and picked up a piece of 3/16" foam board for a buck. I told my daughter who works for corporate Hobby Lobby lobby, that for the price on sheet of foam board at HL-$2.99 I could buy three sheets at Dollar General. She just made an ugly face.

I taped up the damage rudder and laid it and the elevator out and trace the them with a fine lead mechanical pencil. I will cut everything out tomorrow and see what happens.