Warbird trainer?

The Fopster

Master member
Hello FT. I thought I’d post my new “pre-first-warbird” trainer, the Argy Bargy Blighty Bird (terrible name I know, but I’ll get to that).

This one came out of my experience with the Mighty Mini Mustang - my first speed build kit. It flew perfectly straight off the board, but it’s pretty small and pretty fast. Combine that with inexperienced thumbs with middle aged reflexes and several things become apparent:
  1. Because it’s pretty small and pretty fast, it gets far away enough to lose orientation surprisingly quickly
  2. Once that happens, because it’s pretty small and pretty fast, the inevitable crash ensues with surprising speed.

So - I needed something slower to practice. To make it slower I wanted to make it bigger, but of course that means it’s heavier, compounded by the heavy foam board that I can get in the UK. Which means it was going to be tricky to achieve my goal of making it slower and easier to fly. And as it was designed as a next-level trainer, it needed to be crash friendly which in my world means quick and easy to build so I don’t worry too much and can always build a replacement should I get it REALLY wrong.

As I can’t make the foam board any lighter, that means I needed to use less of it. The design is therefore very simple, with the major weight saving coming from a simple under-cambered wing like on the Old Fogey. I used a wing like this on a scratch-built Cessna trainer I made and it worked well, helped by the fact that although our foam board is heavier than the FT stuff it’s also stronger, and an unsupported single skin wing with no spar is (hopefully) going to be robust enough to survive flight forces.

The wing is banded on to reduce crash “implications", and the design is made entirely of straight lines so if you have a blade and a ruler you can build one in an afternoon. If it flies well I’ll probably work out a poster-board upper structure to make it look a bit more realistic, but for now I’m keeping it simple.

It’s got a wing span of 28.5 inches, and weighs 288g with an 800mAh 3S on board - a few grams less than my smaller MM Mustang speed build kit that has had a “Rasterise” skin added. It’s not as pretty as the Mustang, but with a much lower wing loading it should be much easier to cope with.

The weather here is terrible so no maiden today - maybe next week. In any case it was fun day working out the design and building it, so it doesn’t even matter if it doesn’t fly well…

Fingers crossed for the maiden!

Oh - the name. An “argy bargy” is UK colloquial slang for a minor disagreement, which as this was not a full “war” bird felt right. And “Blighty” as it’s specifically designed to exploit the characteristics of the UK foam board due to the wing construction (or lack thereof).

ABBB - 3.jpg ABBB - 2.jpg ABBB - 1.jpg


Skill Collector
This looks like a great solution! Glad to see designs that specifically use the heavier foam board too.


This looks interesting. I was envisioning something similar over the last few days since my son suggested we go flying during a really windy day. He wanted to see if we could do it, and what crazy fun could be had. Because I didn't want to trash a plane that takes considerable time/effort to build, I wondered if there was a design that was cheap/easy to build, with similar flight experience as my regular planes. Can't wait for the maiden!

BTW, welcome!