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With the FT Versa Wing unsuitable for flat field operations I was looking for another glider design – enter the FT Simple Soarer!

I had an evening and some foam board spare so I thought I would put one of these floaters together quickly. The design certainly looked interesting in the Flite Test videos:

A very quick build…

The FT Simple Soarer is a pretty complicated plan and, in keeping with their plan to make each new plane a little more complicated than the last, this one had a lot more folds and curves than other FT models I have built.

The wing is a folded polyhedral design. The biggest problem here was getting the angles constant and holding down all the edges whilst the glue dried. Fortunately my long arms took care of this and the wing came together straight and is nice and strong.

The fuselage is a little more complex. It is much sleeker than other FT planes and as such the parts are a little flimsy to work with. The guides and instructions in the video though are very accurate so installing the servos and pushrods before the fold works well.

TIP: Leave the cutouts and hatches in place and attached to give strength to the components during the fold process. Cut them out after – it really does make things easier!

I had already decided to make this a pure glider so didn’t bother with a power pod. This was fortunate as my tolerances on the nose section were so tight that it keyed perfectly onto the fuselage and stuck fast! The folding nose hatch is a work of genius. I reinforced the card wrap with glass reinforced tape to make sure it doesn’t wear out over time.

…and that’s it!

There really isn’t anything more to say. I threw a small OrangeRX DSM2 receiver in the nose along with a LiFe 6.6v RX pack. Incidentally both of these came from HobbyKing and really are top-notch kit. I did need a little more weight in the nose but the overall weight of the model was still very light.

FT Simple Soarer

Time to fly…

The test flights were made on a very windy day so I didn’t get chance to do much flying but it did at least prove one thing – this is a real floater!

I’ve already made a towhook from Instamorph to use this model on the high-start. Hopefully when the wind dies down I can get out to the field for a bit of thermal action.

Overall I really like this model. It was just a quick build to fill an evening (sorry about the lack of photos) but it really has turned out to be an excellent addition to the Red20RC fleet.

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