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We build (and will eventually fly) the FT Versa Wing. Is this wing really as good as the hype?

I was going to wait until I’d had chance to fly this wing properly in a variety of different conditions and then write the article. Alas, the weather here in NSW has not been kind. Spring is in full swing and the wind keeps blowing so this is going to have to be a two-part article.

Off to a rough start…

The original plan was going to be to use some Depron I had lying around to build a scaled down Versa Wing. This was more of an experiment than a serious build and unfortunately I drank a little too much wine before I started gluing and this happened…

Mini Versa Wing

Can you spot the problem?

I wrote a well-received article about the problem on the Flite Test website that you should take a look at. Maybe one day I’ll build the other two wings and have TWO mini Versa Wings!

FT Versa Wing take two…

After the success of the FT Bloody Wonder built with Officeworks foam board I decided it would be great to give a Versa Wing a go using the board from Riot Art & Craft. The recent windy weather had turned a few flying friends on to slope soaring and I was eager to give it a go. Therefore, the decision was made to build this wing as a slope soarer. This decision would make the build very quick as there was to be no power-pod.

Versa Wing plans

The plans fit easily onto 2 sheets of foam board

I used my normal pin technique to transfer the plans onto 2 sheets of foam board. The only modification I made to the Flite Test plan was to remove the alignments tabs (and corresponding holes) from the main spars. I don’t see the need for these as they actually offer little structural support to the wing other than their depth. Simply drawing guidelines onto the wing and gluing them down is easily good enough to ensure a straight build.

Versa Wing components

A very low part count

The part count on this one is exceptionally small. Getting to this stage takes no time at all and is a great pleasure. It was immediately obvious how strong the resulting structure was going to be.

Putting it all together

Assembling the wing halves takes very little time. The spars are glued into place and the servos attached. I went for the top-mounted servos as there was to be no pod underneath.

Versa Wing panels

Spar and servos in place on the upper wing skin

Al that remains once the spar and servos are in is to fold the skins together and join the wing in the center. This is where is got fiddly for this build as the gear was to be 100% embedded in the wing. Everything was hooked up and tested and the receiver and battery glued along the center line of the bottom skin. There is plenty of room to slip everything into the wing. I fixed the receiver switch into the skin and the charge socket out of the trailing edge.

Versa Wing complete

The completed wing ready for finishing

Looks beautiful doesn’t it? Of course, things weren’t all plain sailing after that…

Whilst putting the pushrods in I managed to dislodge one of the servos. Of course this is a one-time build so the only way to get the servos out is to cut the skin and create a hatch. So, that’s what I did – and promptly cut on of the servos wires in the process! After some very fiddly soldering I did manage to get the servo reconnected and remounted. Sadly the damage was done and that beautiful wing skin has a scar…

Versa Wing completed

The finished model, ready for the maiden

Someday I’ll try to fly

I’ll tell you now, we still haven’t made it to the slope. A mixture of the wrong type of wind and bush fires has made slope flying all but impossible over the past few weeks. I did manage to take the model down to the flat field a week ago for a hand launch test. Chris gave it a good throw and we managed a circuit or two of the field (see Chris demonstrate has launch technique here).

I could immediately tell that this model is a winner. I have since retrofitted a tow-hook so if all else fails we can try a bungee launch for some more height.

Watch this space…


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