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Plywood FT Flyer

Fygar

Junior Member
#1
Anyone every try to build and FT Flyer out of plywood?

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No not really. I did make templates for an FT Flyer though. A much cheaper alternative to springing for your own laser cutter. This makes building another very fast because you only have to print and tile together the plans once.

If you would like to try, just make up the tiled plans like normal. Use spray adhesive to glue the plan onto a piece of ply. I used a piece of 1/8" "Hobby Ply" I found at Lowes. It has a smooth veneer finish on both sides and was less than $20 for a 4' x 8' sheet. I used a jigsaw to cut the shapes out. I have a 6" wheel sander so I cut a little on the outside of the line and sanded it to shape.

The slots in the wing are tricky. I drilled a couple of holes to make an opening big enough to get the jigsaw blade through. To even up the edges of the slot I used the spray adhesive to glue sandpaper to a thin piece of metal (actually a galvanized strap leftover from my deck). For the inside cuts like the slot for the control horns I drilled 1/16" holes at either end. Then when you cut out the foam board you can just poke through the foam with a piece of control rod and finish the cut between the holes with a knife later. I also drilled a larger hole at the two CG reference marks big enough to get a Sharpie through to mark them.

Once I had the pieces all cut out I sprayed them with Minwax quick dry polyurethane. That will protect the plan glued to the top so I have the marks for 50% cuts and other reference lines.

Making the templates definitely took a while. It wouldn't be worth it for just one or two builds. Now I am thinking ahead to my next plane. Once I can keep a Flyer alive for a few flights I want to try the Old Speedster. I love the lines on that plane. Cutting the curves is another matter. I think I will try the templates again so I don't have to cut the curves freehand.

I will let you know how it goes.
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#2
I used to do somethign similar with framing matboard. very tough stuff, and you can cut the foamboard directly from it -- no tracing! -- but got tired of it after about 5 plans . . . becasue where do you store them?!?

I still use them (pieces from all the plans are stacked up on one wall when not in use), but I've switched to laminating paper plans with Ductape and contact paper -- takes about 1/2 eveing to make 'em and rolls up into a mailing tube when not in use. All but the longest slots are cut (longer ones like dihedral cutouts and wing slots, I leave in reliefs to keep the structure of the pattern) and internal lines are marked at intersections or bends with holes that a pen can mark through. **I've even made these using SBK by applying contact paper to the lasercut side, then delaminating the foam**.

Tape up the back with duct tape for a rubbery backing, and they work great for tracing out patterns on foam.
 
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jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#4
I used to do somethign similar with framing matboard. very tough stuff, and you can cut the foamboard directly from it -- no tracing! -- but got tired of it after about 5 plans . . . becasue where do you store them?!?
Poke/Drill a hole through them and hang each set on it's own split ring. Can fit a dozen or so on one 3" nail in the wall :D
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#5
Poke/Drill a hole through them and hang each set on it's own split ring. Can fit a dozen or so on one 3" nail in the wall :D
I may do that with the sets I've made, but the laminated templates are much easier to make, and the only extra step is tracing then drawing.

It is getting harder to find mailing tubes, though :p
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
I may do that with the sets I've made, but the laminated templates are much easier to make, and the only extra step is tracing then drawing.

It is getting harder to find mailing tubes, though :p
I still favor the thin plastic sheets that are about the same size and thickness as posterboard. The work as easily as posterboard but hold up WAY better.

Never been a fan of storing much of anything rolled up in tubes myself....I hate having things try to roll up on me once they take a set :D