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*Unofficial* Mini Pietenpol


FT CAD Gremlin
Staff member
FT Mini Pietenpol

FT Mini Pietenpol.png

The FT Mini Pietenpol was designed to honor the vision and benefits of its full-size, two-seat, big brother. It is simple, fun and easy to fly while also being easy to build. These characteristics were the goal of the original 1928 design by Bernard Pietenpol. Pietenpol took pride in getting people in the air with minimal investment, skills and tools. His heart reflects Flite Test’s values in every way.

The FT Mini Pietenpol is a three-channel design that makes coordinated turns and flies slow and stable. The kit can be built after dinner and be ready to fly before bed time. The techniques needed to build this kit are not only simple, but carry across all 40 plus FT designs. Our desire is that this little bird will be the source of many wonderful flights and memories that will be shared within families for years to come.

“I was powerfully inspired as a young child when I received my first Pietenpol ride at the age of 12. Flite Test’s desire is to inspire both young and old with this little plane.” Josh Bixler


Release Date: February 8, 2017

Speed Build Kit: FT Mini Pietenpol

Article: FT Mini Pietenpol Build

Release Video:

Preview Video (VLOG):

Build Video:

Build Article: FT Pietenpol Mighty Mini | BUILD

Plans: All-In-One | Full-Size | Tiled
FT Mini Pietenpol Specs:
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I will get started today! looks like a nice little plane for flying around the yard. Thanks guys....

This one will require a temple, I see several in my future.
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The Geeky Pilot
Were there models that did not have the massive radiator in front. I am wanting to stick a fpv cam in the cockpit. :) I cant really look around the radiator in a small micro fpv cam.


Biplane Guy
Were there models that did not have the massive radiator in front. I am wanting
Yes, there are. Many examples were built using a corvair engine converted to be used in an aircraft, and even more were built using the air-cooled C-65 aviation engine (same as the J-3 Cub.)
My templates are close to being done, is there a time line on the build video release SPONZ? Sure could use some build time over the next week with 3 snow storms stacked up and coming my way. :D


Just dog tired
Received my speed build kit on Friday, built it on Sunday. (was otherwise busy on Saturday) This was my first Flite Test style build and the build video really helped. I have done scratch builds with foamboard before, primarily in the Experimental Airlines style, so I wasn't unfamiliar with scratch building with foamboard, but this was my first Flite Test one. A couple things I noted:

1. The engine pod is a smidgen too wide. At first I though I had accidentally done a "B" fold instead of an "A" fold, but after double-checking I confirmed that it was folded properly. Not too big a deal, I just had to carefully shave down the mounting location on each side with a sharp razor blade to make enough room to fit it prior to completing the model. Again, not a huge deal, it's only slightly off.

2. The holes in the radiator and faux engine for the "straw" are too small. I had to use a 1/4" drill bit (held in my hand) to core out the holes to be large enough. Again, not a huge deal, but it did make the holes a bit sloppier, if that sort of thing matters to you. I didn't really care all that much.

3. Because the motor pod is a bit to large, I had to widen the motor mount point in the front cowling. Because of this the faux engine would not friction fit at all, and was in fact quite loose. I solved this by carefully driving a third bamboo skewer through the cowling (had to make a small hole in the paper on both sides) and through the lower part of the faux engine to hold it in place.

4. I also drove a small bit of bamboo skewer at a diagonal through the upper rear of the faux radiator and down into the straw. This is to hold it in place without having to glue it in. With this plus my change in #3, I am able to easily remove the faux engine to get at the motor and wires and then easily replace it while still having a nice tight hold on the faux engine so it won't blow off in flight. NOTE: If you do this with your own build, remember to cut the skewer off and push it in FLUSH with the back of the radiator. Otherwise you will have to notch your wing center to make it mount properly. (Ask me how I found that out.)

5. You may want to have a supply of your own popsicle sticks for the cabaines. The ones I received were ever so slightly warped (pretty common with popsicle sticks) and as such I had some issues mounting the wing as some of the sticks wanted to bend inwards towards the centerline or out away from it rather than just sticking straight up. NOT a huge deal, but it did make mounting the wing harder. If you have your own supply of sticks you can pick out a bunch of perfectly straight ones.

It should be said that none of the above issues were severe or serious. If anything they are really "nitpicky" given how perfectly everything went together. Overall the build was a great pleasure, and I found myself wanting to just keep going and keep going on the build. Of course, as a family man I couldn't do that, but every spare moment on Sunday was spent at my bench working on it and having a great time. I started the build after breakfast, and finished it up at midnight, with a total of probably 6 hours into the build. A more experienced builder would probably have built it much faster, but I was intentionally going slow as I scrubbed back and forth on the build video. All that hard work paid off, it is nearly perfect. Now it just needs paint!