FT Flyer Swappable - Scratch Build by FliteTest

Rating: 4.76      58 ratings
Posted: August 15, 2012  |  93,342 views
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FTScratchBuild-Beginner

This is the latest video featuring instructions for the FT Flyer and Speed Build Kit:

Click HERE to see the original FT FLYER BUILD VIDEO.

Click HERE to see the POWER POD BUILD VIDEO.

The plans for this build are available here:
FT Flyer Swappable FULL SIZE PLANS

FT Flyer Swappable TILED PLANS

Click HERE to see the Recommended Electronics

Click HERE to see a complete list of FLITE TEST SCRATCH BUILDS

The FT Flyer is a scratch built air frame designed specifically for our 'swappable fuselage' series (airplanes with a swappable powerpod).

The other wings in this series include the Nutball and Delta wing. This episode is a step by step build plan to show you how to make your own modified BluDart called The FT Flyer. Plans for the original Blu Dart: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599674&highlight=bludart&page=4

Foam board swappable fuselage scratch build series is setup like this: The Nutball as a beginner flyer, then the FT Flyer as the next step up, after that the Delta wing for the more advance flying experience. 

This dollar store brand foam board is becoming available in colors!  Hopefully in the near future we'll see an assortment of color options.  The colored boards are just as lightweight as the white foam boards so it will be great if more colors become available soon!

The FT Flyer (BluDart) is a great intermediate scratch build and it consists of only 4 main foam board pieces!  

This scratch built air frame offers all the fun as the Nutball but provides a nice transition into the ability for more aerobatics and aerial maneuvers helping you improve your skills and prepare you for the Delta wing.

One of the best part of all of these wing designs is that they are constructed from inexpensive foam board, so if a wreck does happen, you're only out a dollar or two worth of foam. 

Scratch building these foam board planes is a fun way to learn more about RC flight, improving your flying and it's a cheap way to explore your creativity in designing your own airplanes as well as a great way to introduce friends into the RC hobby!


 

The plans for this build are available here:
FT Flyer Swappable FULL SIZE PLANS

FT Flyer Swappable TILED PLANS

See how to build the swappable fuselage here:
SWAPPABLE FUSELAGE - BUILD

Recommended Electronics

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Comments

kenton August 23, 2012
Really great detail on this video that was lacking in some of the others, but it is really helpful to see. Also the plans are very nicely done. Overall a great video and looking forward to building one soon.
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Manuel August 21, 2012
It's a great trainer. I'm planning to build one for my nephew.
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Hal9000 August 21, 2012
Just completed this model this evening.

Now waiting for the electronics from HobbyKing.

Thanks guys for the swappable series. I am lookng forward to what you come up with next for this series.
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motoringmaniac August 17, 2012
Multi-coloured foam board is available at hobby lobby I think
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Garth August 19, 2012
This is another great plane in your series!
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akash August 23, 2012
I want to build fuselage where can I get plans

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batmat November 22, 2012
Hello! Hi Dutch. What is the correct name and manufacturer of this stuff that you did this plane and where to buy?
I thank you.
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Hal9000 September 6, 2012
I build this over the last couple of weeks and my order of electronics from Hobby King arrived on Tuesday.

There are some errors in the build video regarding measurements. I tried building the undercarriage out of .7 mm wire (14:25 in Delta build video) but it just flops all over the place. Would you recheck the wire diameter please. It has to be bigger than .7 mm!

Also you show the wheel axles being bent with the voice over saying "an inch and a half" but if you watch carefully (14:36 in Delta build) it is actually .75" I got quite confused here and bent it at 1.5" which looked really odd.

Its like the voice over was scripted with out reference to what was going on in the video.

You have in the plans "C.G. IS 20-30% BACK ON CENTER OF WING". Are you able to clarify if this is measured from the front to the back centre of the wing section. My wing is 40cm at the centre line, front to back. So is C.G. then between 8bm and 12cm from the front of the wing front apex?

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tramsgar September 14, 2012
I used 1 mm wire for my fuse, floppy and stable at the same time - very nice. Guess 1.25 mm could work also.

Second that on the CG - what does "back on center of wing" mean?
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mvaller00 September 8, 2012
Hey Guys,

Can ya help me out?

I'm trying to print out the plans for the "Swappable Fuselage" but there is no tiled PDF option... so when I go to print the PDF it's not to scale. How are you guys printing that PDF file to scale? Am I missing something?
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tramsgar September 14, 2012
You can choose scale in the pre-print dialog. Use 100%, 1:1, "actual" or whatever "real" is called =). Most pdf viewers offer to tile a large document for you. You'll see the tiles in the print preview. Use "print marks" and no overlap if available, do not center.
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mvaller00 September 14, 2012
@ tramsgar

Thank you for the heads up... :)

Go figure i JUST found that out the day before yesterday. But I'm glad you mentioned it here. I'm sure others might be wondering the same question. Thanks again
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Tarak August 18, 2012
Nice design, was wondering how you were getting that attached tail to jive with the pre-built fuse. Definitely going to have to build one of these just for fun, maybe even a smaller one for indoors. In case you were wondering, here's a website I just stumbled across selling the Adams Readi-Board in most of the colors they offer:

http://www.glwholesale.com/s?SearchString=foam+board

Maybe we'll see Josh Scott with a pink scratchbuilt soon? lol, just kidding.
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RCmaniac February 17, 2013
I just downloaded the plans I think it will fly good!
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Rc Mania Cyprus February 18, 2013
Great little plane.I got the electronics and today i am going to the shop to buy foam.I've also build the bloody wonder the baby blender and the f-22.I will come back to you once i finish the build!
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lostcity February 23, 2013
I am getting ready to put the FT Flyer together. I do have most of the electronics, but am wondering if I could use my Turnigy D2822/14 (1450kV) in place of the 1350kV recommended. Would it too much or too little motor for the FT Flyer?

Thanks
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weezypain March 13, 2013
I love this plane. I was doing front loops with it today in some pretty good wind.
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baronbernie March 20, 2013
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baronbernie April 21, 2013
What size wheels were used on the plane?

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entomophile April 15, 2013
OK, silly question but bare with me as this is my first plane. This plane only has a rudder and elevator correct? Do I want the actual plane rudder controlled by the TX rudder stick or the aileron stick?
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sstokes1971 April 26, 2013
Rudder & elevator is correct. I use right stick L/R (mode 2) for rudder which would normally be aileron control.
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JimC June 26, 2013
I too use mode 2, ( throttle on left stick), and I plug the rudder into the aileron port of the Rx. I used to do this from my slope soaring days, many years ago, (I'm more rusty than Titanic, lol). I do this so all primary controls are on the one stick, that way when I go onto a 4 channel model only 1 extra skill needs to be learned by my ageing brain, lol.
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gunntommy1970 May 4, 2013
Anyone used a smaller prop with this?...like a 6X4?
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eagle4 December 10, 2012
I wonder how this would go if you added a KF airfoil?
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FOhmFlyer June 6, 2013
I highly recommend adding a Kline Fogelman wing. As an experiment, I added a 40% KF step and slightly reduced the dihedral on one of my FT Flyers (my first build, the one that I use as my test platform). The performance was noticeably improved. It maintains altitude at a lower angle of attack as well as a lower power setting. I also noticed better penetration when flying upwind, yet it still has great manners flying at high alpha. My next mod will be to add ailerons.
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baronbernie June 7, 2013
Will we be able to purchase 3 packs of FT Flyer Speed Build Kits soon?
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JimC June 26, 2013
Downloaded plans, cut them out, built it up, maiden flight yesterday......YAY! Sweet flyer, gonna be a great trainer, when I can get my mate off his nutball. Keep up the good work Flight Test
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Davo6 August 11, 2013
You should sell these on HobbyKing.
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Luca September 13, 2013
Yeah
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Jtbluefeather October 4, 2013
Just completed my first FT Flyer, and had her maiden flight today! After wrecking three Nutballs learning to fly, I took this one up, flew it around and brought it in for my first landing on wheels. Great flyer! Easy build video. I crashed it on the second flight. Augered straight in. Only broke the prop and the landing gear. Easy fixes and when the rain stops I'm heading back to the sky. Until then, I've got a stack of foam board (colors even!), plenty of hot glue, and plans for the Delta, Old Fogey, Spitfire and Baby Blender to keep me busy. Thanks for the great vids and especially for getting this old pilot back in the sky again.
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Hell2Go October 13, 2013
I built this for my son but i built it with alerons instead of a rudder so that he can learn to fly with alerons. took about 2 hours to build. on the maiden flight elevator was super touchy so i moved the control rod in on the servo and adjusted the alerons so that there was about an 1/8 inch of flap on the outer edges of the alerons. now it flies amazingly! I might have to build one for myself next!
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Luca September 14, 2013
Does anyone know what type of foam this plane is made of? Thanks josh for the great video.

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Hell2Go October 21, 2013
dollar tree foam also called adams board because the sticker on the back says adams board
dollar general also sells it but black is $1.25 instead of $1.00
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DimovFlyer November 16, 2013
I built this very quickly from scratch, and it flew great until the wings folded and it fell out of the sky.

Is there a way I can prevent this if I build it again?

Please leave some suggestions. Thank you.
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Hell2Go November 28, 2013
You could put a strip of packing tape on the bottom of wing from wingtip to wingtip or even a couple strips to add strength. Also stick to small batteries to keep weight down and reduce the throw on your elevator to reduce wingload when pulling out of dives.

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Nathanaaron December 23, 2013
can i add ailerons?
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RcEverything January 4, 2014
You could but they would have very little effect on a plane like this.
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irekkin@yahoo.com January 21, 2014
I just built the ft flyer exactly as shown on the video and used the recommended electronics and it is super tail heavy as was the nut ball. I had to add 3 3/4 washers (taped on) to get the cg correct according to the plans. well, it gets about 20 ft. in the air, banks and slams the ground, just like the nutball. can't wait to get the delta out and start slamming it in the ground (sarcasm). this rc flying is so much fun, my grandson has learned a life time worth of cuss words (more sarcasm).
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PaladinDG January 24, 2014
I had to same issue... I had to use a 1300mah battery and stick it under the motor to get it to balance. The elevator is more sensitive than you would think..... just being off a few clicks of elevator was enough for it to go into a dive. After this one I built the FT Delta and I couldn't get it to fly with the blue wonder and the 1300mah battery, seemed too heavy a setup... I dont think there is enough wing area on that one. My next to try is the Old Speedster. I have it built, but it is TOO cold!!
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airdustin February 27, 2014
I just built my second FT flyer. The first was a bit nose heavy so I was adjusting by sticking the battery further back. The second I put a smaller motor on and it seems perfect. Lighter battery too, the first was a 1300 3 cell but I picked up a 850 three cell and it feels just right.
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on4mj April 3, 2014
Mine is really tail-heavy too. I guess the foamboard I've got here is very different from the one used in the build videos. I'm going to get some weight off of the rear section of the fuselage. Probably not enough, but it will help.
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hursto75 March 8, 2014
The FT Flyer pulls great loops when flying into a 15mph headwind.

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Gaurav March 2, 2014
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timflim March 31, 2014
how much sheats of foam do you need ???

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JCPhlux April 23, 2014
I am a new flyer and I am busting props allot. Is there a good source that is not sold out to get props.
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akash August 23, 2012
where I'll get plans and measurements




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bluznbeers May 8, 2014
Ummmm - on this page....

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House Of Noob August 15, 2012
A dutch role eh? Did you make that up? ;)

How thick was the wire? Under 0.096?
Love the zip tie stuff. It really works.
Got a link for the speed clevis? I'm a Hobby King fan (your fault)

I can say that the foam board you use is probably going to make a difference. I went on vacation and actually found a "Dollar tree" store and the foam board they have IS A LOT LIGHTER than what I have been using. As I have an FT from the original video, I may just have to build another to see what the real difference is.

Thanks for taking the time to put this all up on the net.

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bluznbeers May 8, 2014
This kind of pertains to my issue. I made an FT Flyer for my son to use as a trainer and I used the craft store foam board for improved rigidity. It is a bit heavier and I just can't seem to get the plane to balance. It is so tail heavy that even with the battery as far forward as possible and extra lead weight added it w3as still "un-flyable."
I think I will have to re-do it with the cheap froam board.
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action57 May 21, 2014
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jrvalentin62 May 29, 2014
I share your wows. I found it best to use DLT($Tree) foam board for all my builds with the exception of the wings, I use the Elmer's board or craft store boards for the wings only ( Extra rigidness helps during crashes (OOPs). It might help for your next build
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tom112 June 7, 2014
hi josh, i have turnigy l2210 1400kv motor and 8x3,8 prop. will it fly slowly or crazy?
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ItWorkedForMe June 8, 2014
I thought mine was very tail heavy too, but I turned out to have the wrong CG location. I found that the CG suggested in the previous posts and where Josh appears to have his fingers on the video to be very far forward. Mine flies great with the CG 6.75 inches behind the front tip of the wing. It flies great just don't let it get into a nose dive. I think this means it is a bit too far forward, but that is the only negative side affect so I think I'll leave it there.

Flies great with the Turnigy d2822/14 (suppo equivalent), 18a plush esc, 3s 1250 20c rhino. 19 degrees throw, 20% expo all around. This setup can get fast, so be careful especially when going downwind.

I'm going to love this one for a while.
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ItWorkedForMe June 8, 2014
and an 8045 prop
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lusid666 July 8, 2014
Flying my one on a Turnigy park 480 1320kv with a 9x4.7tf prop and its balistic. loving every second of it :)
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shermanhartman July 10, 2014
lusid666, im running mine on a 800kv NTM 28-30 with a 10x3.8 prop off of my tricopter (im saving up for some sunny skys, tired of replacing ntm motors) and its insanely fast. Is it normal that trainers vertically climb? xD
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lusid666 July 12, 2014
I dont know if they should vertical climb but mine does lol. It turns into a little speck very quickly. A friend has the same setup as me on a bloody wonder, cant stay with the flyer though :)
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Micke July 23, 2014
May i suggest that instead of pre-cutting the templates, just place them straight out of the printer (taped together though) on top of the board and mark the changes in angle/corners with a needle. That way it´s easier to store the templates for future use/repairs as a single sheet, and i think the marks on the board will be more precise that with a pre-cut template and pen.
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ZackB July 20, 2014
I have tried to build a nutball and this ft flyer. For the life of me I can't seem to get the pieces to fit together straight and square. No matter hot carefull I cut and glue the fuse came out crooked so did the tail section. This made it so the power pod would not fit into the wing. Do you have any suggestions on how to make this work. I'm gettin discouraged as I have built two plane and can't get either one to fly.
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lusid666 July 24, 2014
Something I used to do years ago when building basla gliders was to use the kitchen worktop to build and use the wall as a 90 degre square angle, cant see why it wouldnt work with foamboard, just plan how your going to fold and how your going to hold and push the joints together before you apply the glue. Keep working at it, it will come to you in the end. :)
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