FT Flyer Ailerons

I’ve been itching to build something but still have no real works space or power tools back yet after the fire.  So I bought some poster board and printed out the FT Flyer plans from FliteTest.com.  I had to cut the board on the floor or my bedroom but everything turned out well, it’s a very easy build and takes about an hour or two. The hardest part was making the firewall without any proper tools. I actually used a camping saw to cut it out.

After cutting out all the pieces I realized that the online plans mention nothing about landing gear.  The gear normally comes with the kit version and consists of disks of poster board that get glued together.  I knew there was no way I could cut perfect circles even if I had a jig so I went to plan B.  I swiped some film canisters from the camera store where I work and glued those together to make very serviceable wheels.  Some bent music wire served as the supports.

FT Flyer 3

The other minor oversight on my part was that I failed to check my motor mount against the holes in the plans.  Thank god for zip ties!

FT Flyer 5

It flew OK but was too tail heavy and stalled like a teenager driving stick.

FT Flyer 2

If you’re familiar with the FT Flyer, you will notice something different here.  After flying it around a couple times I decided three channel control was not gonna cut it so I decided to add ailerons.  I wanted to keep the weight down so I used only one servo.  Installing it was super simple but I only had two linkage stoppers so trimming out the ailerons was painful.  Rather than trimming each side or using the radio subtrims, I had to center the servo, disconnect the horn, trim the right aileron, reconnect the horn and trim the left side.

FT Flyer 4

All that work paid off because it was much easier to control.  Although after making this I learned that it is perfectly ok to have just one aileron on only one side of the plane and it will fly fine!

Overall my version doesn’t fly very well.  I got the CG all wrong and tried to compensate by adding weights but the motor was underpowered and it was too unwieldy.  Without the weights I can get it to fly around but it is reminiscent of a fledgling duck.

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