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The FT Flyer thread

I was thinking we needed a thread just for the FT Flyer. Mods, success or fail stories, problems etc all in one place.

I'll start off with a bit of a success story. My first swappable and it flies! Well sort of. This is only my second RC plane and I'm sure my skill set is not the best way to maiden a new plane.

I'm having a little bit of a CG problem as I was still nosediving with full up trim and not quite flying straight with full left trim so I'll have to adjust the linkages to get my throws right.

Also I really should figure out expo and dual rate on my new Tactic 650 radio as I was flying with no modifications there and it sure was twitchy.

Aside from those issues, it flies pretty darn good, even with the 1300mah 2s battery from my ECX Smash. Yup, it's probably the heaviest FT Flyer out there, but I was still able to land it into the wind without any damage ;)

So, a few more tweaks and then it will be back out flying. Really liking this plane so far and I'm sure it will just get better!


Dedicated foam bender
I'm fixing to build mine I hope this weekend. We have one of the granddaughters this weekend and she will probably be flying the nutball (if she's gets good enough on the sim first!) I'm going to have to swap out the motor from my combat delta to one of the power pods to lighten it up a bit more first though. Going to be very busy for the next few days...


Junior Member
This is one awesome aircraft. Three have been built so far, one as a three channel ,and two others with less dihedral ,a Kf step and ailerons. We have been progressivly increasing the size of the ailerons. our last one had one inch full span ailerons but we going to try and increase that along with a bigger rudder and elevator. A big thanks to you guys for a wonderful design. All of your swappables are a big hit at the Baton Rouge Radio Control CLub.
Does anyone have any recommendations for the Flyer to make it less effected by wind? I maidened mine today and I was absolutely brutalized by a fairly innocuous breeze.
The only time I've noticed wind affecting mine is when I'm flying crosswind. It banks over and then the huge outboard wing acts like a sail and catches every lil wind variation. There are only 2 ways to lessen that effect that I know of. Lessen the dihedral angle so the wing doesn't point vertical as much in a turn and cut your wing area down so the wind has less to push against.

However both those changes will change the character of the plane and it will loose what makes this design so fun to fly in the first place. So my only advice with the stock plane is to fly as little as possible crosswind *shrug* Sorry, I know that's not much help.
Just had another thought on the wind effecting the Flyer....are you sure your CG is right? Mine ended up being much further back than the plans indicate for good stable performance. Experiment with that a bit and see if it changes things.
Well my FT flyer frame is headed to the trash bin. A couple of mistakes during construction have lead to a really difficult to fly plane. I believe I have too much dihedral which leads to dutch roll in the corners and a resultant tip stall/ground impact.

Also with my heavy 1300 2s battery it was only good at speed. Just a lil too heavy for any high alpha that the flyer is famous for.

So to continue this thread with info. When you are building the FT Flyer, make sure you have the right dihedral angle and go as light as you can :)

Attempting a modified FT Flyer, styled like a Cub next


Junior Member
You were wrong about yours being the heaviest flyer around. Sure, there's nothing good about running this plane heavy, and your absolutely right about the lack of high alpha capability with too much weight but get this. After a couple hard crashes, the front of wing started getting torn up. I reinforced it with aluminum flashing. Then my friend had the brilliant idea of taping his iPhone to the bottom to get some footage. To get longer flight time, I through my 1800mah 3s on and let the fun begin. It flew surprisingly quite well and I pulled of a loop, and the thing barely pulled out of it. While I don't recommend sticking a pricey phone onto a park flyer, don't be afraid of a little weight with this thing. You will compromise performance, but the plane is so versatile, that it will take a lot to keep it off the ground. As far as upgrades go, all I need are some LEDs so I can fly mine at all hours of the day.
Well you got me on that one! I think I could have pulled mine off with a 3s but alas the only one I had was a 6500mah...eek! Has anyone tried putting ailerons on the Flyer yet? Totally pointless?
I'm loving my Flyer. My first RC plane and I couldn't be happier with it. I just added a bomb/parachute drop to it's power pod. Works like a champ. I'm going to get another motor/ESC and build a second as an intro plane for friends interested in the hobby.
The FT Flyer link in my signature has the full specs for my Flyer.
After a horrible experiance with a Nutball, I decided to try the Flyer. Wow.......what a plane!! This thing flies so much better (for me anyway) than the Nutball. I'm not sure if its a build error or because I used the hexTronik 24gram Brushless Outrunner 1500kv instead of the 1200 kv motor recomended but mine had a hard pull to the right on maiden. Luckily, I had a more experienced pilot with me to maiden it and he managed to land it safely to make the needed adjustments. Once that got handled, I took the controls mid-flight and learned the meaning of "finesse". Then we (ok.....he) did a few take offs instead of hand launches and gave me some pointers on that process. I managed three take off, fly, land cycles before hunger and nightfall ended our flying. Today was a little windy but I had the itch to fly again so I packed the Flyer and radio into the car and headed to a different field. This field is MUCH larger thankfully because the wind (about 5-7 gusting to 8-10) pushed the Flyer around a good bit but never made it scary or unstable for me. The other thing I noticed today is that flying down wind, I had to put a little back pressure on the stick that I didn't have to do the first time. I am assuming that is because of the loss of percieved airspeed? The moral of my story is that I broke four of the five props I bought for the Nutball build trying to get the nutball to fly for more than about 30 seconds but my remaining prop has lasted through five batteries on the Flyer.


Dedicated foam bender
Yeah I also have to add a little elevator downwind. How much depends on the wind.

Great job on the airtime, Brother! Keep it up, the more flight time you can add is just more experience as a pilot, and experience is always a good thing when it comes to flying!


creator of virtual planes
Where to start this story...

Well, I built an EDF version of the FT Flyer. Basically I've been wanting to build an FT Flyer for a while and I also wanted to start messing around with EDF. This was my very first EDF plane, but certainly not my first plane. I know how to fly but I'd still call myself a beginner, but not a noob.

I'm still working on writing an article about the EDF FT Flyer. I have enough video footage of it flying, I just need to edit it and narrate it to talk about the problems with it.

Basically, I have to throw the EDF FT Flyer pretty hard to get it flying, then I have to maintain full throttle. It actually flies great, but it is clearly either under powered or overweight. I think there is just too much drag and not enough torque in the EDF motor. EDF is meant for speed, the FT Flyer isn't. It is very, very inefficient but is amazing during crashes. I haven't had to fix a single thing on the plane and no broken props!!! I can crash at full throttle, keep it at full throttle, and it just tries to suck in grass. Which it has. The EDF is rather dirty.

I actually really want to write the article as a "the cheapest way to get into RC, but not the best", but I'm just worried about it's lack of power. I have an 850mah 3cell battery. I want to buy some 500mah 3cell batteries to save on weight, but they're back ordered. :( I really like that the EDF motor I'm using is only $20 (complete and with aluminum alloy casing) but I don't know if I should buy a better EDF.

Seriously, my major concern is writing an article about an easy to fly plane that is cheap, easy to build, and you can't break a prop on, then have some kid(s) build it and not get it to fly because it's so under powered.

I also want to add that when I maidened it, it was rather windy. Probably too windy for an FT Flyer. I had a larger, heavier battery and it seemed to fly great. I don't know if the wind helped to create more lift or if it was because the EDF was brand new and perfectly clean. I can't imagine that caked on grass would decrease the motor's power enough to make it slowly fall to the ground when flying in still air.

(Last note, I'll probably add some pictures of it onto this thread tomorrow. I'm at work and can't access those photos.)


creator of virtual planes
Here are some pictures of the EDF FT Flyer that I mentioned in my last reply.
I flew it again last night and I think that the plane has a hard time getting to the correct speed, but once it's there it can hold it. So I just have to launch it with a hard/fast hand to get it started. Also, I noticed that my EDF is loose, I didn't glue it because I didn't want to have to unglue it, and it looks like it might have a slight thrust angle. The exhaust tube is long enough that it doesn't effect the flying characteristics, but might be enough to loose power/efficiency. I also wonder if having the rudder/stabilizer in the exhaust tube is effecting it negatively. But it complicates the build to move it.

Any thoughts?


Dedicated foam bender
EDF's are not known for their instant response time. Unless you are WAY overpowered I think that is just a feature of the fan, although maybe feature is the wrong way to say that...


creator of virtual planes
EDF's are not known for their instant response time. Unless you are WAY overpowered I think that is just a feature of the fan, although maybe feature is the wrong way to say that...
I think you're right. The EDF I'm using has an output of "Up to 450grams" and is the "3cell version". Originally this plane weighed 380grams but I got that down to about 340grams with a smaller 3cell battery. I think Hobby King was full of crap with how much power their EDF actually has. Or it's calculated differently because it's EDF?

Last night I flew it again and managed to get a lot of speed out of it when flying it straight and level. I think I loose a lot of efficiency by having to fly it with it's nose up. But that's just how the FT Flyer flies.

Hopefully I'll finish the video soon so I can write the article. I got some really good flights out of it but I want to make it clear in the video of just how inefficient it is. But it actually is a great beater plane. It's nice to be able to nose dive crash with throttle and not have to fix anything. It can just be a pain to get it up to speed.
I'm on to my second flyer now, The Stealth Flyer as I've taken to calling her. My first flyer took a hard nose in on a parking lot and the force broke the airframe just in front of the tail assembly. The force was strong enough that the paper was torn from the foam and the foam then broke. If you held it it just looked like there was a little wrinkle in front of the tail but the whole thing would flop around when you shook it.

When I built the Stealth Flyer I glued two BBQ skewers to the inside corners of the tail assembly. This should strengthen that area without adding much weight.

Another tip, I always cut my elevator's bevel on the bottom rather than the top. In my thinking the hinge has freer travel when you are pulling up. Or at least my brain thinks so.

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It does look sexy in black!! The packing tape on the black pod almost looks like carbon fiber in the picture. I went flying tonight and had a great time. The Flyer is so much nicer than the Nutball IMHO. My son even got some video. http://youtu.be/GYcqL8y1bOg It is a bit boring in parts and is completely unedited so feel free to skip through the slow parts. I even flew inverted for the first time!! Is it just me or does everyone elses Flyer have alot of elevator authority but seem a bit week in the rudder area?
Today my FT Flyer had it's first maiden voyage. And it's second and third.
I wasn't ready for how sensitive the controls were. I also placed the rudder on rudder channel and tried to bank and yank. That didn't work so well. Luckily it had no damage when it came down kind of hard. I was surprised just how well the foam handled the first two hard landings. I will adjust with some expo the next time I fly it. Also dial down the controls.

I put BBQ skewers on the leading edge of the wing. I think that helped save the plane when it came down a bit hard.

I love the idea of putting BBQ skewers down the length of the tail.

Jason, that black looks great! I thought I heard in one of the FT videos? or online in a forum that the black foam was not as strong as the white foam? I think Josh Bixler said something about it.