FT Cruiser - Build by FliteTest

Rating: 4.98      50 ratings
Posted: April 17, 2013  |  64,689 views
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FTScratchBuild-Advanced



Here's the full step by step video tutorial showing how to assemble your FT Cruiser Speed Build Swappable kit. This foam board twin engine is also available as a scratch build with the free build plans available below.

The FT Cruiser is a direct result of your input! The Cruiser project started when we received many requests to build a Twin swappable.  The FT Cruiser was inspired by the D.H.88 Comet introduced in 1934.

You'll need to build two power pods for your twin engine swappable.

Be sure to watch the supplemental video below to see how to connect your electronics, make your custom connections as well as setup and install your FPV pod and more!

Use the included throw gauge for proper control surface throw. Be careful not to get too excessive on the elevator because pitch control is very sensitive. 30% EXPO on all surfaces works great.


FREE Build Plans:
FT Cruiser - Swappable  [ FULL SIZE ]
FT Cruiser - Swappable [ TILED ]


Click HERE to see the POWER POD BUILD VIDEO

Recommended Electronics: 
2 MOTORS (Option 1) - NTM Prop Drive Series 28-26A 1200kv / 250w 
2 MOTORS (Option 2) - Suppo 2208/14 1450kv Brushless Motor (Park 370 equiv.) 
4-6 Servos (Option 1) - Hextronic 9 Gram Servo  
4-6 Servos (Option 2) - Suppo SP-90 9g Micro Servo  
2 ESCs (Option 1) - TURNIGY Plush 25amp Speed Controller 
2 ESCs (Option 2) - Suppo 18A Brushless ESC 
Battery - Turnigy 2200 mAH 20c 
2 Props - APC-style Electric Propeller - 8x4E  

LazerToyz.com currently has a great electronics package designed specifically for the FT Cruiser!
More details AVAILABLE HERE.

 

Check out more photos from this build and share your build photos in our forum post CLICK HERE!

 


» Join the discussions on our forums

Comments

Orcoz April 17, 2013
Great job Mr. Bixler!
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gouldie86 April 17, 2013
lets start building. cant wait to get this in the air
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DStevens3800 April 17, 2013
Wooooohoooo! Hot damn! That's nice! Can't wait to get my hands on her. Great job FliteTest, as always.
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rallyman April 17, 2013
Great plans thnx - will build tomorrow .......
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cloud9photos April 17, 2013
What is the average flight time you guys are getting?
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baronbernie April 17, 2013
Another extreamly fantastic plane by flite test, you have come through again, way past my expectations of a 2 engine plane. Again, outstanding and great job!!!!
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rallyman April 18, 2013
Can you just ship it USPS ground. The expedited shipping to Canada is $ 31.00 to $ 39.00 on a 39.00 kit. I have the plans and will build it tomorrow but I would rather buy it as the laser cut pieces are terrific. Keep up the good work!!!!
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808aerosquadron April 18, 2013
Beautiful plane.
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oneiwily April 18, 2013
it's gonna be long night tonight .. building
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johan.jonker April 18, 2013
I'm really excited about this plane.. Busy cutting out the foam, I cant wait to get this in the air. this weekend is building weekend.. Thanks Josh..
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Nitroneo April 18, 2013
When doing the folds & glue for the wings, you can lay in a string with the ends hanging out where your servos go and where the leads come into the fuselage. Then later in the build, you can tie the string onto the servo leads and power wires to pull them through the wing versus fishing everything using a wire & hook.

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ronnie.burchfield. April 18, 2013
good idea i will use that method !!!
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cloud9photos April 18, 2013
This is the way I do it too! Much easier than using the wire like in the video
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jamboree1 April 17, 2013
Be warned, this is a 78 page printout
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sailorJohn April 18, 2013
thx I just ran into the other room to turn off the printer
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Mark S April 18, 2013
Nah, it 's just 45 sheets! Seriously though, I found it a lot easier to save the full-size pdf's on a thumb drive. A local blueprint shop will print this size of sheet in black and white for $1.50 each. I just like the challenge of building from plans, so I just buy the control horns and fire walls from FT in appreciation for all they give..
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FLYitRC April 19, 2013
only 39 for me, but each page only printed out a 6X4 square... took 3 hours just to cut and tape the tiled prints!
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lusid666 September 30, 2014
the tiled plans are only 33 sheets
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sailorJohn April 18, 2013
WOW this is definitely a kit build. What do you think about scaling it down to the 30 in size so I can carry it in my Miata. Seriously it appeared that your early builds were smaller. When I build it , it will be scaled down any advice would be appreciated.
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quick1234567 April 18, 2013
cant wait to make one!!

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gouldie86 April 18, 2013
the rudder doublers are not in the plans nor are the poster card parts, il have to wing it for this build till they get added for the next build
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FliteTest April 19, 2013
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FliteTest April 19, 2013
Hello Brother

That is my fault! I will get them up asap!

Josh B
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gouldie86 April 19, 2013
thats alright seen worse missing from plans before (the wing lol) love the build so far, extremely simple hoping to be in the air by the end of the day. weather permitting cheers
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coffeebean56 April 18, 2013
On the "Y" connector, what is the gauge of wire that I need?
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mattplaneflyer April 19, 2013
probably 14awg
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coffeebean56 April 19, 2013
thanks


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nickatredbox April 19, 2013
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nickatredbox April 19, 2013
Best build so far very cool design. What does it weigh?

Would it work with 2 50mm Jets ?
http://kiwitricopter.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/what-about-twin-jet-cruser.html
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FLYitRC April 20, 2013
no poster board turtle deck plans?
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djn1400 April 20, 2013
Awesome kit. Have built 4 of your previous swappables with the grandson, and enjoying the heck out of them. What fantastic training planes!! Just purchased this one for myself, and curious as to whether or not I was one of few privileged to obtain the additional add-ons, i.e. split flaps & FPV module? If not, will there be plans/kits available soon? Please advise, and thanks again for all that you folks do for the hobby!
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djn1400 April 20, 2013
Another quick question, should we try and make the props counter-rotating?
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gouldie86 April 20, 2013
finished my scratch build of the ft cruiser and have managed to get 3 flights in today and all i can say is this plane flys great and the twin motors sound awesome. they wasnt lying when they said this plane can slow right down to a craw, you can cut the motors and glide it right to your feet. i think i may have a little thrust issue on mine but should be easy to sort, flite test hope you can help as im a little confused with the issue. at 1/4 throttle and full throttle the plane pitchs up quit bad but at any other throttle it flys straight and level. iv checked cg and moved the battery around but no change hope you can help and cheers for a great plane with defo be building a smaller version to keep in the car.
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Josh Bixler April 20, 2013
Hello brother. I'm happy she went together well for you. My guess is that at 1/4 throttle, your at 0 thrust. That is where the drag from the disc area is neutralized by the throttle. This would probably be where pitchyness from neutral or aft cg may show up. The more I fly the cruiser, the more she seems to like flying with more nose weight. I fly mine with the 2200 all the way forward to the point it touches the poser board on the nose. With the long straight leading edge, pitch and balance are sensitive. Thank you so much for bringing this to light. This will help many people in the future. I truly want to make sure everyone has a great experience building and flying all the swappables. I hope this helps brother. I want your plane to fly great at all throttle settings.

JB
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gouldie86 April 20, 2013
cheers for the quick reply il try adding abit of nose weight first and see how it goes. il get it flying at all throttle settings im stubborn. i thought il ask before changing things. the pitch is sensitive i couldnt believe how little of throw it needs, with the throws up it can do some really tight loops. cheers for the help
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Josh Bixler April 20, 2013
That messed with me too. Everyone is different, but I keep increasing my expo to get the best of both worlds. Tight loops and smooth fast passes. You guys deserve the best. Thank you for your input.

JB
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Josh Bixler April 20, 2013
When I balanced the cruiser. The nose points down at about 30 - 40 degrees. She must be like a p-51 mustang that likes 20 percent more than 30. :)

JB
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gouldie86 April 21, 2013
just tried it with more noise weight, it stopped the pitching at 1/4 throttle but still pitching abit at full throttle so i think i have a thrust angle problem. il just keep adding thin packers till i get the correct angle. and im loving the fast low passes, the sound of the twin motors is great. something you dont hear everyday
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psguardian April 21, 2013
Are you getting servo jitter (ele servo) at these throttle points? Flying level @ 3/4 & pitching up sharply at full doesn't seem right without some flight surface changes.... Unless your throttle is not calibrated & therefore may have a larger power difference from point to point compared to a linear throttle curve?

~psguardian
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gouldie86 April 22, 2013
i already thought the same myself iv changed the servo and added carbon fiber to the tail in case it was flexing but still the same. it wasnt at 3/4 throttle it was at 1/4 and full. sorted the 1/4 throttle i made it a bit more nose heavy but still doing it at full. its acting like a thrust angle issue, iv changed the angle but cant test (raining)
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gouldie86 April 26, 2013
sorted it now i had fitted the wing with a very slight positive angle of attack, removed it out now and it flys straight and true at all throttle setting. its mad how 2mm can make such a difference
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Yogenh December 8, 2013
Have you done this as one of the planes from the movie planes? The twine engine one. I think it would look great like that.
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oneiwily April 21, 2013
did anyone try to close the wing tip with some poster board ?
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ronnie.burchfield. April 17, 2013
does the motors have to turn oppsite of each other ?
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randall_l April 21, 2013
I'm going to say no. The parts list says, "2 Props - APC-style Electric Propeller - 8x4E".

For anyone who's built and flown this yet, how's the torque effect?

I look forward to scaling this to 60% for 3mm depron. Now I have to build a different set of modded power pods (http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?3365-Swappable-fleet-on-the-way) for twin-engines. Thank you Flitetest folks.

Cheers!
Randall
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gouldie86 April 21, 2013
there is a little bit of torque roll but no more than any other plane, the only time you notice the torque roll is when i hand launch it, which it has a bit more than single prop planes but nothing a bit of opposite aileron cant sort. im also going to build a smaller version out of 3mm depron. im going to build it 50% and use a couple 10g 2000k motors with 5x3x3gws props. these give about 135grams of thrust per motor so if i can keep it under the 270g mark i should have great performance and give me a great little park flyer to keep in the car
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jamtin1987 April 21, 2013
Very much looking to building this swappable! I am curious how much extra performance could be expected from running a 4S setup? I have built and flown the FT3D today and it is a blast! But with everything setup running 4S on the FT3D, is it worth going 4S on the Cruiser too? Josh & David, have you tried 4S? And if yes, which battery? I will be looking at getting a 4S with the same weight as the 2200mAh 3S.

I would also LOVE for Flitetest to sell a kit for David's Linear Voltage Regulator he uses on the Tri2.6HV. The regulator would complement a 4S setup on the Cruiser for FPV!

Cheers,
Michael J
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gouldie86 April 21, 2013
i personnel havent tried mine on 4s yet but i think 3s is well suited to this plane, it doesnt fly like a fast plane it fells more like war bird crossed with a glider feel to it. it likes to do tight loops low passes and scale flying and is a very easy and pleasant plane to fly
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Fly2Film April 19, 2013
Very nice! I orderd a speed build!
short question do you use a special hot glue or will just anyone be okey?
Thank you! Awsome work!
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rcflyer729 April 21, 2013
Just make sure that it is not one of those micro hot glue guns and not a low temp one.
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cade861 April 26, 2013
not trying to be picky or anything and maybe its on there and I am just not seeing it which is possible but on the tiled plans I dont see a scale on it to make sure the printer is printing the right scale its on the turtle deck add on plans do and the full size version shows the scale but not the tiled version. I printed them and will try to verify the size before going through the trouble of making it just a thought maybe Bixler could add it back for others.
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rcflyer729 April 28, 2013
hey I just tried to fly my ft cruiser and it would just stall out as soon as i launched it I think I need to angel the motors down but I am not sure does anyone have an thoughts Thanks!!!!!
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gouldie86 April 28, 2013
i had a similar problem with my build. i thought it was trust andle but mine turned out to be that i had put a slight positve angle of attack in the wings. but first check the cg, you can make the ft cruiser really nose heavy and it still flys then check the thrust angle if you have no look with it then try changing the wings angle of attack. this plane is worth the effort, it flys really nice and stable once sorted out.
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gouldie86 April 28, 2013
anyone know what bottle to use for the cockpit window, the missis is kicking my ass for chopping all the bottles up and tipping everything in tubes
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rcflyer729 April 28, 2013
I think they used a water battle
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thomahawk0 May 10, 2013
I just received a FT Cruiser speed build kit from my in-laws (yes, they are awesome) and look forward to getting it together. Electronics are ordered and should be here whenever Hobbyking gets around to shipping the components. After building the FT Old Fogey with no issues, I contemplated whether to build my next as a speed build kit. Major props to Josh Bixler and the FT crew on the speed build kits. Awesome quality with my FT Cruiser kit. I love the clean laser cuts.
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I am a evry SB June 10, 2013
Hello, I am in China. Can't download drawings, can send to my mailbox?2574679730@qq.com.Thanks!
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Winging It R/C June 14, 2013
Hello,
I recently recieved my ft cruiser kit and have had a lot of fun building it. I noticed that you guys at flite test added canopies. How did you make those?

Thanks
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pgorey June 21, 2013
I used the larger sized Smartwater water bottle and did some mock ups before hot gluing. Looks great!
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Auflyer July 19, 2013
Were the videos on applying decals and using water bottles for canopies ever posted???

If so could some one send me the link.
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ahmed July 20, 2013
I love u boys
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ahmed July 20, 2013
i have a small note...i am from iraq ,you are speek so fast in your tutorials and our english is poor so please slow down
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midohioboarder August 15, 2013
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Rc Mania Cyprus September 8, 2013
Has anyone tried it with hextronic 24g motors.I am thinking of putting 2 hextronic 24g motors and a 1300mah 3s for it.From my calculation total weigh will be about 700 grams and a total thrust of 1000 grams.Please help!
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91shadowrider November 7, 2013
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Haralabos December 6, 2013
does anyone haw build it with Depron foam?
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Smok1n December 29, 2013
I love the look of this plane, and it looks like I'll be scratch building one this winter. I'm just about to receive my first FPV system, it'll go in this build. My biggest concern is the size, and the fact that it can't be broken down for transport. I own a small sedan, so space is a problem. Has anyone built one with removable wing sections? It looks like the best place to break the wings up would be outboard of the nacelles.
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Mewgun November 28, 2013
People! Tell me, how thick sheet foam board used for aircraft construction?
Thank you!
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Smok1n January 1, 2014
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Gaurav May 9, 2014
3/16 inch
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artbykenb January 17, 2014
Flite Test folks, can you please explain how you make 90 degree bends in the FT Cruiser landing gear wire? My bends tend to have rounded corners - even after putting the wire in a vise and banging on the corners with a hammer. :-) Thanks for the laser cut kits. Those cut edges are S-H-A-R-P!
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Gaurav May 9, 2014
How do you cut nice rounded edges from the plans? Anyone have any ideas? Wings, nose, tail all have circular edges.
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Tom553 May 26, 2014
where can we find the whole package of our electronics to buy went to laser toys and there's nothing posted have my FJ Cruiser finished but don't know where to buy all my electronics and is there a way where you can buy em all together in one package
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revoman July 25, 2014
I'm sure you've found electronics by this point, but for anyone else, here are the components I purchased from hobbyking.
NTM 28-26 1350kv http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=35673
NTM Prop Drive 28 Accessory kit http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=24527
Turnigy MG90S Servo's - http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=23594
20 A Turnigy AE ESC - http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=28122
Nano-tech 3s 2200 mah battery - http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__20432__Turnigy_nano_tech_2200mah_3S_25_50C_Lipo_Pack_US_Warehouse_.html?strSearch=nano-tech%202200%203s%20us
2 Propellers (I wanted them to rotate opposite each other) -
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=20333
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=20334

Hope that helps
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CheapGuitar August 5, 2014
I built a cruiser using Elmers board and it came out weighting almost double the weight specified on the plans. I managed to get two flights out of it. The first flight I had it a bit nose heavy and it was very pitchy. The second flight I had the Center of Gravity matching the plans and it was uncontrollable. Did I have my CoG wrong somehow or does having it weigh so much more account for this behaviour?
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flyin~hoss August 18, 2014
does this come in a tri-powered non swapable version?
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SpaceWalker1992 September 3, 2014
I am thinking about using this scaled down when my Duet airframe becomes too heavy to fly from repairs.
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