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raTBD Devastator

Here's my first go at designing and building from scratch. First, I learned everything I'm doing here from either Flite Test or NerdNic videos and builds (and all the people who inspired them). Second, my plane choice is driven by the fact that Douglas Devastator does not receive much love in annals of aviation history. While the TBD was cutting edge technology when introduced in 1938, by the time of its disastrous performance at Midway it was hopelessly obsolete. I seek to honor the impossibly brave men who flew her; the pilots and gunners of Torpedo Squadrons 3, 6 & 8. 41 planes started the attack and only 6 made it back home. More later.


FUSE 27in
MOTOR: - LazerToyz Beef: 2210/1280 Kv 8x4 prop
BATTERY: - 2200 mah 3s
SERVOS: - 4 x 9g

View attachment TBD PORT WING_SPAR.pdf
View attachment TBD FUSE_STAB.pdf
View attachment TBD AFT DECK.pdf
View attachment TBD COCKPIT_V2.pdf
View attachment TBD CANOPY.pdf
View attachment TBD FILLET.pdf

The design borrows heavily from the FT Spitfire. In fact, I use the exact same spar. The rest of the design is driven by the 3-view images I found on the web.

View attachment 33442 , View attachment 33441

The wing build started with an ill-fated shortcut. I tried removing the DTFB paper and min-waxing (water based) my full scale plans directly to the foam board. Hopeless warping ensued. It was probably for the best, because I ended up making 6 or 7 wings before finally getting all the cuts, bevels and hot glue correct.

wrinkled paper

yikes. zero chance of flying straight

After six or so different builds, I finally got it right. I used the exact same spar from the FT Spitfire


The fuse and stabs went much smoother.

View attachment 33455
I peeled the paper off the inside of the bottom plate to get a smooth curve

Standard FB PowerPod mount



Next is the turtle deck and cockpit. Once I know everything fits, I'll post the plans. I'll also fill in with some more comments. Enjoy!
Last edited:

Ron B

Posted a thousand or more times
new design wings can be hair pulling
I had to do 3 wings on my present build to get it close enough to satisfy me.


New member
I always like it a lot to see a plane grow from scratch. Good job working without PDF's, that's not easy, I know!
Hope to see the finished plane soon.
Succes, Marc
TBD Canopy/Cockpit/Battery hatch

Some progress at last. I like the battery hatch designs that NerdNic and Jayz 84 are using. Much easier than pulling the powerpod. I'm printing my canopy and getting the window panes to line up right has been pure torture. I have way more hours designing the cockpit than the rest of plane. Getting there.





Canopy/Cockpit done at last.

Canopy/Cockpit done at last. I might add a few more scale details later (rear machine gun, pilot canopy, etc..) But let's see if it flies first. Just four control horns and we're ready to maiden. Then a paint job.



Biplane Guy
Beautiful plane Rames. I really like the look of this thing, especially the half open canopy. Even though the SBD eventually replaced it, I have always liked the look of the devastator better.
Thanks. Having the canopy open was extra work. But it really defines the shape of this plane. Like the Dauntless, it just looks weird with the canopy closed.
raTBD: Last bits prior to maiden (wheels and skid plate)

Control rods and horns are in. The plane has been Min-waxed.

As this is a belly lander, I added two half wheels to wing to scale and a skid plate cut from a milk jug. I like using 3M Super 77 for the skid plate. It is a much thinner adhesive than hot glue. Nasty stuff though-don't be spraying this in the kitchen.


Ready for the maiden then a paint job...wish me luck.

jayz 84

Posted a thousand or more times
Very nice build man great job on it and i can tell you i know its hard to design these things i do all mine on paper our just wing it as i go. Like the hatch man nice work( but still dont think i have convinced nic to use it yet lol) but like how you built it in, nice touch. Think ill put this one on my list too when its done

jayz 84

Posted a thousand or more times
Just a idea. You should try for a foam board/poster board cowl for it. Ive been thinking on that one for when i do the AT-6
It flies!

Hurray! I came home with the same number of pieces. The video won't win any awards, but you get the point. Way to much elevator and needs a lot more aileron. Rudder control was pretty good. Thank you again to the whole FT community for making this possible. Next up: paint.

Just a idea. You should try for a foam board/poster board cowl for it. Ive been thinking on that one for when i do the AT-6
That's a good idea. The cowl is the only part of the plane I'm not thrilled with. It really needs that round look up front. The trick is making a smooth transition from round cowl to the slab sides of the FT design.