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why dosen't ft sell rtf planes

Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#2
hello I was wondering why does flite test not sell rtf planes.

i noob this is a very expensive idea
#1 when you look at rtf planes today they are all foam molds
#2 the production of the models is funnel foam into a mold let it expand and then have a robot come in and trim the edges put down two drops of ca and your done for the most part.

but the difference is with ft models is they are a bit more complicated you have to remove paper inseret spacers and pieces and do fold over's and all the other stuff that goes along with the build process and unless you hire some one to do that and make each model almost exact or get a very hi tech $$ robot to do the work for you which is about the only way to do it

i'm not saying it is a bad idea it is just expencive and hard to pull off
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
A large part of the primary mission, goals, and values of FliteTest is to encourage making memories through building, designing, and flying. The idea of RTF models has been discussed before, and really isn't in line with the direction of the organization.

They (and by extension 'we' being most of the forum community members) really enjoy the whole process of making something that flies - although we do enjoy just flying something that someone else made once in a while too. :)
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#4
1. Cost -- building out the plane yourself isn't hard or expensive, but their labor costs for them to do it would price the planes beyond what most people would be willing to pay. There are enough inexpensive RTF options on the market elsewhere that they would never be able to build their designs, compete on the market and still maintain a livable margin.

2. Time -- Episodes or assembled planes (I can tell you which I'd rather see).

3. Shipping -- it's already too expensive . . . now make the box bigger?

4. Purpose -- One of the fundamental goals of FT is to get YOU building, and get you building with OTHERS. If you build it, you can repair it when it crashes. If you build it, you start to think about how you can mod it to suit your taste or experiment. if you experiment . . . you start to design. If Bixler was ever accused of a nefarious plot, this would be it. If the "build" only involves unpacking the box, they've shorted you and the people you might build with of that experience.


The FT store does carry a few first-plane trainers to get the completely green-and-timid novice started, but that's so they have something to start with that requires next to no trimming -- it eliminates the "is it my building skill or my flying skill" question long enough to get basic flying skills. After the novice has gotten over that hump, it's time to encourage them to build more :)
 

Gryf

Active member
#5
I think I know where you're coming from... not everybody's into building! I enjoy the process myself, but I'm always tinkering with things anyway and building planes out of foam board just fits in with my general interests. Maybe you can find a Flite Test fan in your vicinity (we're EVERYWHERE...) who can build you one of the FT models just to get you started.

Gryf
 
#6
I think I know where you're coming from... not everybody's into building! I enjoy the process myself, but I'm always tinkering with things anyway and building planes out of foam board just fits in with my general interests. Maybe you can find a Flite Test fan in your vicinity (we're EVERYWHERE...) who can build you one of the FT models just to get you started.

Gryf
it is not that I dont like building i do enjoy it but sometimes I just want to buy somethin easily repaired say an ft 3d i would get that rtf and if i crash pay 2 $ to fix it instead of 16 $ so I would buy them on ocassion just to get one and chuck it.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#7
I've bought commercially built RTF planes such as the Horizon Hobby/Eflite Delta Ray, which was the plane I learned to fly on, and have repaired foam damage on that using nothing but glue and tape. If I ended up with missing foam parts, I suspect I would be able to patch it up inexpensively with other materials instead of buying replacement parts. The only things I wouldn't be able to replace without buying expensive parts would be the original electronics, but rather than replace the stock electronics, if anything went bad, I would probably upgrade to better, cheaper parts.

Basically, I don't think you need to assume that buying a RTF/BNF model that's already manufactured and on sale means that replacement/repairs have to be with expensive stock parts.
 
#8
My first though on reading this question was to reply "The same reason Nutrisystem does not sell triple cheeseburgers".
Just as Nutrisytem and weight watchers are programs to teach you to make healthy eating a habit, Flite Test is a program to teach how to make building a habit.

Building models is a fantastic hobby to have to teach skills that carry over into many other areas. Problem solving, planning, math, and engineering are just a few of the skills that are enhanced as you build. The fixed wing market is now saturated with options to buy and fly. That is great, and it brings people into the hobby quickly. For people to truly make the hobby a life long passion, building needs to be a part of it in my opinion. Flite Test has done a phenomenal job of turning flyers that are a little apprehensive to build into builders. Once you start with a few FT designs you are equipped to head down the rewarding path of scratch building, and then custom designed airplanes, and then who knows.

I have been in the hobby for 40 years, as I started flying control line when I was four. I love building the most, and hope to live another 100 years to have time to get to half of the builds on my list.
 

Gryf

Active member
#9
Actually, I think the main issue would be price. Flite Test got me into the hobby in large part because I can scratchbuild their airframes for next to nothing. That meant a lot when I was starting out, and was reluctant to spend much on something that I was going to crash a lot. I'd guess that if FT provided pre-built models, the added labor would put prices up there with other ready-to-fly models on the market, and their advantage would go away. And if I saw two models at a similar price... one a properly engineered EPO/EPP/balsa type, and the other folded up out of foamboard... I'd go with the former, even if their performance was comparable. Flite Test's niche is to provide plans, kits, and supplies, and they do it very well.

Where are you located, by the way? Maybe someone on the forum will be local to you and can build you one.

Cheers,

Gryf
 
#10
it is not that I dont like building i do enjoy it but sometimes I just want to buy somethin easily repaired say an ft 3d i would get that rtf and if i crash pay 2 $ to fix it instead of 16 $ so I would buy them on ocassion just to get one and chuck it.
So your telling me you would spend ~$200+ on a RTF FT3D, even though you could buy a HH Sukhoi for the same price?