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Read this before building the FT Spitfire ! :)

#1
Hello !

I just finished my FT Spitfire and the maiden flight will be soon ! Here it is :

IMG_20190723_153349.jpg This was my first Flite Test build. I can say I am a beginner, even if I am used to hand crafting things, gluing, cutting etc. But this was my FIRST RC build ever.

And I am making this post in the hope it can help other beginners like me who would like to build it. I will explain what difficulties I faced, what steps are the most difficult, what I did differently... I will try to make it quite short.


What I messed up :

The first thing that gone wrong is when I tried to fit the pod inside the airframe after the plane was (almost) finished.
The problem was that the pod was too hard to fit in ! It was almost impossible to put it in, and so is to clip it in the airframe.

Why I faced this problem ? Answer :

When I glued the upper surface of the wing to the fuselage (I decided to go on a non-removable wing), I pressed on the fuselage side and when it was glued the fuselage didn't keep its original shape, so it was not wide enough anymore to let the pod fit in.

How I solved that ? I unglued one joint of the upper surface of the wing, I let the fuselage take its original shape and reglued with the pod already inside.

To avoid this : PUT YOUR POWER POD (not precisely, just fit it in) BEFORE GLUING THE WINGS ! So the fulselage won't get messed up when you glue. Or simply go on a removable wing ! You won't have this problem.

Next problem I had : RC Veterans, prepare to laugh !

After gluing the wings in, it was time to pull the servos wire out of the wing, inside the fuselage.
Before putting the wing into the fuselage, I put a tape on the servo extension so that I can pull them easily.

But when I tried, only one wire came out. What a mess to get the other one ! Took me 30 minutes at least.
I had to cut a hole in the upper side of the fuselage to access the wing center, and finally managed to get it out.

To avoid this : Do a knot with some string on the two servo wire so that you can pull them after you put the wing. OR SIMPLY GO ON A REMOVABLE WING ! Everything is easily accessible then.

Gluing the fuselage bottom at 90° :

When I did the fold to bend the fuselage 90°, the holes for the wing came out so it was extremely difficult to keep a nice 90° angle at the bottom of the fuselage. I know they said in their build video to keep them in place but mines just came out on their own.

What to do : PUT TAPES ON THE 2 SIDES OF THE FUSELAGE TO KEEP THEM IN PLACE BEFORE GLUING.

Other problem : plane was too tail heavy. And I could'nt move the battery any closer to the nose.


As you can see on the photo above, I add a sort of cockpit and pilot. Problem was : even when putting the battery as close to the nose as possible, it was a little bit tail-heavy. So I had to add some weight (about 30g) into the nose.


My tip : Think about it before you make any cannopy or before you add anything that adds weight close to the tail. That's very important when you are underpowerd because adding nose weight makes your plane heavier, just to balance it.

How I did the upper-fuselage paper things :

In the video, Josh and his friend are sticking the sheets of paper to the fuselage using some thin, transparent packing tape. I tried it but it was not sticking enough.
What I used is double-sided, thin tape and it just worked perfectly !! Impossible to remove, very strong and invisible because inside of the fuselage.

One last tip : Use very long servo extensions !! That's even more important if you DO NOT HAVE removable wing !

Mine were a little short and it was difficult to reach the RX and then put the RX in the power pod. All that can be eased if you have long servo extensions - which give freedom of liberty-.


Well, I think that's it !! Sory for the mistakes and langage errors that might be in, I am french.


If you avoid making the mistakes I made, the build of the FT Spitfire is simple and can take less than 1h30 (but take your time) !

Feel free to give me your feedback about my plane, some piloting tips (I will need them for the maiden ! :D), and tell me what happens during the build of YOUR plane. I will be doing the maiden flight in few days.

Thanks for reading !!
 
#4
Thank you !

Battleaxe, first I applied some blue/grey acrylic paint on the plane. Then I cut some shapes on paper, cover them on the airframe and painted some outlines, then filled the rest to form the green shapes. I then covered the plane with some spray vanish to protect the paints.
All was painted by hand so it looks pretty "hand crafted" but I like it haha.

Thank you both for your interest
 

chris398mx

Well-known member
#5
Nice looking plane.
Here is my attempt. I was too lazy to mask every thing off like you did for your crisp lines. i just free handed with 2 colors of green for the Camo appearance. I spent about 30 minutes total painting. Mine has been crashed several times already and stuck in a tree once so i didn't want to spend a lot of time painting it.

Spitfire.jpg
 
#6
Thanks ! Yours looks great too !
30 minutes for this is way more efficient that the hours I spent painting for mine haha. But I like painting !
 
#7
Just did the Maiden !!! :D

All went more than fine !! The flight was made during sunset and it was beautiful. This plane is just incredible. That was my first RC flight and I was just fascinated how nice it was flying. When I was not doing any adjustment on the controls, it kept flying straight. The stability was insane !
I did some loops, barell rolls, even some inverted flight and low passes.

And the 2 landings I made were perfect ! Belly landing, so smooth and gentle.


That was my first RC flight ever (out of simulator) and I just cant believed my eyes :ROFLMAO: Like as I said this plane is very stable and it was flying scale ! Doing some barell rolls it seems like a true one. Scared myself couple of times because I was not used to see the plane from the front when the controls are inverted so I saved the plane from a crash at a last second haha. But I am beginning :ROFLMAO: I will be posting some video on Youtube.

Thanks Flite Test for this design !! Just awesome !!
 
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chris398mx

Well-known member
#8
Just did the Maiden !!! :D

All went more than fine !! The flight was made during sunset and it was beautiful. This plane is just incredible. That was my first RC flight and I was just fascinated how nice it was flying. When I was not doing any adjustment on the controls, it kept flying straight. The stability was insane !
I did some loops, barell rolls, even some inverted flight and low passes.

And the 2 landings I made were perfect ! Belly landing, so smooth and gentle.


That was my first RC flight ever (out of simulator) and I just cant believed my eyes :ROFLMAO: Like as I said this plane is very stable and it was flying scale ! Doing some barell rolls it seems like a true one. Scared myself couple of times because I was not used to see the plane from the front when the controls are inverted so I saved the plane from a crash at a last second haha. But I am beginning :ROFLMAO: I will be posting some video on Youtube.

Thanks Flite Test for this design !! Just awesome !!
Awesome and congratulations. This plane does fly very well although i crashed mine during its second flight flying inverted way to close to the ground. I also used a simulator before flying and it helped immensely.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#9
Just did the Maiden !!! :D

All went more than fine !! The flight was made during sunset and it was beautiful. This plane is just incredible. That was my first RC flight and I was just fascinated how nice it was flying. When I was not doing any adjustment on the controls, it kept flying straight. The stability was insane !
I did some loops, barell rolls, even some inverted flight and low passes.

And the 2 landings I made were perfect ! Belly landing, so smooth and gentle.


That was my first RC flight ever (out of simulator) and I just cant believed my eyes :ROFLMAO: Like as I said this plane is very stable and it was flying scale ! Doing some barell rolls it seems like a true one. Scared myself couple of times because I was not used to see the plane from the front when the controls are inverted so I saved the plane from a crash at a last second haha. But I am beginning :ROFLMAO: I will be posting some video on Youtube.

Thanks Flite Test for this design !! Just awesome !!
Wohoo! Sounds a lot better than my maiden! 😂. The spitfire flys SO well, right? Welcome to the hobby!
 
#10
Thank you every one !! Yeah that was an incredible experience for a first flight. The air was so calm.
Indeed the spitfire is a great plane. Yeah I don't really remember how I saved my plane from the crash but it was an aerobatic too close from the ground haha. I will never do that again haha !
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#12
I see in the background there your using a Flysky T6. Be careful flying 200-300 feet away. The T6 has a VERY short range. I lost my FT mini mustang due to this. Could figure out why I kept losing signal, 3rd crash did it in. After the 3rd (and final) crash I did some research and found MANY people said the same thing. I quickly sold my T6 on eBay and upgraded to a Flysky i6x. The i6x has 2+ kilometer range. I have since moved from Flysky to Spektrum but still have my i6x as back up. The i6x uses the same receivers as the T6 so no extra money there either.
Anyway, just a tip to keep you from losing a plane to range issues.
 
#13
Damn ! Didn't knew that.
I did some flights while my plane was a good 800ft away I had no problem.
I think I should be careful with that. I will try to search for topics about this problem !
Maybe it was a battery problem ? Not enough power in the transmitter ?

Thanks anyway for this info.
 

kdobson83

Well-known member
#14
Damn ! Didn't knew that.
I did some flights while my plane was a good 800ft away I had no problem.
I think I should be careful with that. I will try to search for topics about this problem !
Maybe it was a battery problem ? Not enough power in the transmitter ?

Thanks anyway for this info.
I believe it was a signal issue. The fix was to put a bigger antenna on it. There are lots of how too videos out there and and handful of aftermarket antennas to chose from as well. But I was new in the hobby and didn't want to modify my transmitter. I noticed the i6x was only about $50 or so and the T6 was selling on eBay for $30 or so. So I listed my T6 with a buy now option of $35. As soon as someone bought it I ordered my i6x. The i6x has 10 channel capability too so it was an upgrade, small but still an upgrade, and it uses the same software so no need to learn a new Tx. No issues with it other than a faulty gimbal, $10 5minute fix.
Anyway, if you've been 500+ feet without issue I wouldn't worry too much. Anything more than 300-400ft is hard to see with your eyes anyway. If you plan to fpv you may wanna upgrade tho.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you about a known issue with the T6 so you don't total a plane like me.
Happy flying.
 
#15
Yeah I searched for some mods but it requires some soldering skills and I don't wanna mess up my transmitter as it is working good for now haha.
Thank you for the information, I will always check for range before any flights.

Happy flying too !
 

chris398mx

Well-known member
#17
First off, Welcome!!

Second, We've got a group going to be tackling the Spitfire soon, so thanks for sharing!
Looks like I will have to join the build group. This just happened! This happens every time I paint a plane. Busted the fuselage and pulled both the BBQ skewers out. On a good note, I made some pretty good low inverted passes just before this happened. Spitfire crash.jpg