– Ben Martens

FT Delta Maiden Flight

My second RC plane is an FT Delta built from a kit from the store. This one uses the same “power pod” as my first plane. The power pod consists of most of the electronics – motor, speed control, receiver, and battery. The pod just pops off the first plane and straps onto the second plane. That saves a lot of money and makes it really easy to try multiple planes.

This plane only has two control surfaces at the back of the wing. They’re either ailerons or elevators depending on your perspective, but on the transmitter, you set the two to be combined. It’s called “elevon mixing.” So whether you’re going left, right, up or down, those two control surfaces do whatever they need to do to point you in the right direction.

While building this one, I covered the whole thing with Minwax to protect it from getting wet and also filled in the edges of the cut foam with hot glue. I made an attempt at painting the plane too. It looks ok from a distance.

So how did the first flight go? I made it about 10 feet and crashed. Second flight? Same thing. Turns out I had left and right reversed on my setup and didn’t notice it. Luckily this plane is a tank and other than some broken props which are cheap to replace, the plane was completely fine. I crashed a few more times that day. Some of them were because I was trying things I wasn’t ready for (like inverted flight) and later in the day the prop seemed to be popping off. My theory is that the motor got some mud in it and wasn’t spinning properly so I took it home and gave it a good cleaning.

Hopefully I’ll get this back out to the park soon and spend some more time with it. It’s significantly faster than the FT Flyer and it’s a lot more nimble too. It’s a good next step in my RC learning process.