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With some time to spare(!) I decided to go back to my very first Flite Test build. Originally I had used Depron but now I wanted to see how the FT Flyer performed when built from Australian foam board…

The original build

The first time I built the FT Flyer I wasn’t even sure I knew what foam board was so I used Depron instead. This gave me a very light model but I have to say, Depron is good but it just isn’t that good when it comes to large unsupported wingspans.

It flew okay but very soon the wings started to curl up and soon it wasn’t really good for anything apart from hanging on the wall of the workshop.

Enter the FT Flyer – foam board version

Once again, this whole thing was an experiment to see whether a lightweight model would work when constructed from our denser Australian foam board.

I was using the board from and selected gear that would be purposely light on weight and power – a Turnigy Park 250, 2 cell 800mah lipo, and 5g servos.

Building the FT Flyer

Like most of my build articles, I’m not going to go into great detail about the build as it is very straightforward and the Flite Test build article is spot on.

The FT Flyer fits easily on a single sheet of foam (with a bit of shuffling of parts) and I transferred the pattern using my customary pin-through-plan technique.

It only took maybe an hour to complete the whole process and be left with a pile of components ready for the build.

FT Flyer   FT Flyer

The actual construction took only a little more time than the cutting and I quickly had the basic airframe sat on the board. There isn’t a lot to say here. Everything fits together well and with such a small part count less than one stick of glue is required to finish the model.

FT Flyer

Finishing off

All the gear dropped in easily enough. The marked holes are perfect for the little Turnigy TGY5 servos. 1mm wire is fine for the pushrods but you do need to reinforce it part way along the run to prevent slop. The pushrods do need to curve down to the control horns so the best way to support the wire is using Chad Kapper’s little technique: Cable-ties fixed around the wire, chopped off to a point and pushed into the foam with a little glue.

The Turnigy Park 250 and 8×4 prop looked a little small up front but I was interested to see how they would go. A Turnigy Plush 12A ESC and OrangeRX 6ch DSM2 receiver all fitted easily into the power pod.

I didn’t want to add the landing gear as it would be pretty pointless on our grass (as lovely and smooth as it is).

Unfortunately I did discover that the tiny motor and tiny battery meant I needed a whole heap of weight up front. This wasn’t the best outcome as it’s just dead weight and I would have been better using a bigger motor and battery.

Off to the field…

So, it flew pretty well then!

All up I was pretty happy with that performance. Yes, it isn’t the greatest flyer in the world but it is fun.


I you want a great flying model to practice your aerobatics with then the FT Flyer is not the model for you.

This model was designed to give newbies an introduction to scratch-building and flying for the lowest possible price – and at this it excels.

Even with the extra weight of our foam board the FT Flyer is still an excellent model. So if you are new to the hobby and looking for a design to try out your first scratch-build then you’ve got no excuse – get cutting!

FT Flyer

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