FT DR1 Triplane Build

by FliteTest | November 29, 2016 | (8) Posted in How To


The FT DR1 Triplane was designed to build fast, fly slow and look great on the ground and in the air!

Start by building the power pod. Don’t forget to make sure the screws are not close to the motor windings, otherwise you could damage your motor.

Connect your ESC and make sure your motor is spinning counter clockwise.

Remove the fuselage pieces and cavities in the foam. Fold the top plate of the fuselage and glue the sides of the fuselage.

After the fuselage is dry, glue down the bottom plate. Make sure you hold it nice and square while it dries.

Add the notch piece and glue it down to the back of the fuselage. Reinforce the fuselage with the cheek doublers.

When the doublers are dry, install the bottom wing saddle piece to finish off the fuselage.

Remove the rudder and elevator tail pieces. Cut a single sided bevel on the thicker portion of the stabilizer.

Repeat the same process on the rudder. Attach the elevator to the fuselage. After the elevator is dry, attach the rudder.

Install your control horns and push rods. Then install your servos.

Remove all three wing foam pieces. Start with the smallest wing and score along the joint. Install the four under camber gauges, and glue the wing down when you’re happy with the fit.

Install the dihedral gauges and hold the center section down to make the dihedral. When you’re happy with the fit, glue down the seams and scrape off the excess.

Repeat the process with the middle sized wing. Leave the dihedral gauges on the wing.

Score the seam on the largest wing and install the gauges. Glue the seam when you’re happy with the fit.

Set the large wing on top of the middle wing and center it. You want the dihedral of the largest wing to match the dihedral of the middle wing. Glue the center section when you’re happy with the fit.

Install the smallest wing on the fuselage, and glue it down. 

Position the middle wing along the trailing edge of the center section. Make sure the two wings’ leading edges are parallel to each other. Glue it down when you’re satisfied with the fit.

Pass the wing struts through the wings, and glue them down.

Glue the formers on top of the fuselage. Install the poster board piece on top of the fuselage.

Install the cobains on the wings. After they’re dry, flip the plane over and install the landing gear, wheels and tail skid. 

Once the landing gear, wheels, and tail skid are installed, install and connect your electronics.

Assemble and install the cowling, then take it out for a maiden!



CENTER OF GRAVITY: Directly on the fold of the top wing

CONTROL SURFACE THROWS: 12 ĚŠ deflection (elevons) – Expo 30%

WINGSPAN: 24 inches (609 mm)

RECOMMENDED MOTORS: 2204 sized 2300 kv minimum


RECOMMENDED ESC: 12 amp minimum


RECOMMENDED SERVOS: (2) 5 gram servos 












New to the R/C hobby?

Here are some resources to help get you up to speed!

Beginner Series: WATCH HERE!

Electronics Setup: WATCH HERE!

First Flight Quick Tips: WATCH HERE!

Scratch Building without Knives: WATCH HERE!

Got glue?? Get Some Here!


FoamTest on December 6, 2016
I think that there is a typo, it says spear plans but this is the article for the DR-1. The plans themselves are the right one, it just says they are for the spear. The SE5 article has the same typo as well.
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wanabeRCexpert on December 6, 2016
thats strange im not having that problem
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zachaum on December 6, 2016
If one wanted to make this plane 4 channel and add ailerons. Which wing would be best? I know that the original plane had ailerons on the top wing but wires or cables would be hard to run back to the fuselage.
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Plane Stupid RC on December 7, 2016
I don't know. As much as a pain it would be I would say stick to the origional because if it worked in real life it will work on a smaller scale. On the same subject I have built and flown the SE5 and to be honest it didn't leave me wanting ailerons. I thought it flew perfectly scale as it was.
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TurtlesThatFly on December 7, 2016
These builds aren't in the "FTScratchbuild" section anymore either...
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wanabeRCexpert on December 13, 2016
how do you know where to put the diehdral gauges?
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Plane Stupid RC on December 19, 2016
Build video should sort that
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Capt_Kitt on February 9, 2017
Wonderful kit, I really enjoyed putting it together and detailing it.
Flys great but tends to act a bit squirrely at moderate alpha. Almost like its tail heavy, however it balances out fine but will tip stall and assume the death spiral position very easily. Am I flying too slow, have too much throw on the control surfaces (stalling them out) or a combo of both?
Hats off to the entire FT team for putting this plane out there, I'd love to see more bi/tri planes from the early days of aviation.
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JakeTheSloth on February 23, 2017
I thought that I'm the only one having that problem :) I think the problem is balance. I just made SE5 and it's very "aggresive". It flies like DR1 so my advice is to keep plane nose horizontal, avoid stalls at low altidues, becuase it's going to flip and dive towards ground like F-104 . Avoid loops near trees, I had to climb a tree today 2 times, so yeah, don't do that :)) And if it's about throw on control surfaces, you need an expo, or just to be gentle with sticks.
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JakeTheSloth on February 23, 2017
Can I use 1806 class motor with SE 5 and DR 1 or is it a bad idea?
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danieljorden on April 18, 2017
Support the definite artist by procures the reliable DVD Ft Dr1 Tripling construct Flute experiment to write my college essay for me ensure the performer provides the greatest song along with keep on liability work.
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adilshabbir on October 4, 2017
Nice plane... I have developed my own adroid app and programed ep32 chip as receiver to take this nice plane into air..check my video for more details

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rmzalbar on December 13, 2018
Josh and team, I'd recommend updating the power pod instructions with regards to the red-bottom 2205/2300KV motor included in Power Pack F now. The short screws are too long with this motor and can touch the coils. You should use the included spacer between the motor and the bulkhead with the longer screws instead, this gives perfect clearance.
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VonHelton on July 27, 2021
The historian in me is going bonkers. A D7 rudder on a Dr1? Dihedral on a Dr1? No ailerons? And the nose is wrong as well. No "face" on the front. I will buy this plane & fix the above problems. I'll videotape the build & corrections so that you guys can fix your planes as well. I may even release the corrections as a kit, not sure. I'm thihnking of building other WW1 birds as well. The "moustache" as he calls it can still be used.....On a Nieuport 11 "Bebe"! :) (I might also be able to use it on a Fokker Eindekker E4, after I cut some holes in it.).
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FT DR1 Triplane Build