FT Explorer

by FliteTest | October 12, 2015 | (41) Posted in Reviews

The FT Explorer, multiple wings, endless possibilities! Our first speed build kit that's designed to be customized!

The FT Explorer was designed to showcase 3 parts of what we love about this amazing hobby, Building, Flying, and Design.

The FT Explorer comes with Two different wings. 

The Trainer wing is perfect for those looking to enter the hobby or enjoy relaxed 3 channel flight.  With our Power Pack B motor, The Explorer flies at a slow and easy speed.

The Trainer wing gives the pilot a relaxed speed and simple three channel control.  This wing, coupled with our Power Pack B motor makes for an extremely docile flyer.

The sport wing is great for those looking to combine speed and four channel flight. 

The Sport wing gives the pilot the opportunity to discover and learn four channeled flight.  Rolls, loops, inverted and many other aerobatic maneuvers will be easy to take on.  Add the larger Power Pack C Motor to get more speed and an excellent climb rate.

Combine with our Power Pack C motor and a 9x6 prop and you will have respectable speed with a great climb rate.  

More details about our Electronic Power Packs HERE.

Add a camera and FPV gear and your ready to Explore the world. 

We love learning through design.  The FT Explorer Core makes an excellent platform to design around. 

Here, Peter has pushed things to the limit with his "Bronco" mod. This design can be a twin engine, VTOL, or a pusher. 

Peter also designed a VTOL around the Explorer Core. Featuring an "A" tail design.

The VTOL is controlled with a KK2 board that's been flashed with a custom software from HappySundays. More details available HERE. 

Using parts from around the shop Peter equipped his VTOL with a Tough Tilt Motor Mount.

Emax motors from our Power Pack D and a custom designed plywood tilt. 

This VTOL is a great example of what we hope to be one of many designs to come in the future from the community and the FT crew.

 

The FT Explorer can also be reconfigured to be a glider.  Add the tow release and your ready to go. 

Build a second fuselage or buy a FT core kit and fly with a friend, we want memories to be made!

We can't wait to see what designs will come from your FT Explorer! Be sure to post your videos and articles of the designs that you come up with!

If you'd like to learn more about the FT Explorer speed build kit or any of our other foam board kit airplanes CLICK HERE!


COMMENTS

kknapp on October 12, 2015
Did I miss the link to the plans?
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SP0NZ on October 12, 2015
Build video and plans almost always come out on Wednesdays.
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SHolman on October 13, 2015
So,.... we don't need to keep refreshing your plans page in the forums every five minutes? :) At least not until Wednesday, huh?
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SP0NZ on October 13, 2015
Nope, no need. Since I am doing the official plans now, they will come out with the article on Wednesday. I will also maintain links to the plans in my forum thread for those that following that.
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bargy73 on October 13, 2015
Its Wednesday in Australia already and I have the day off and I need something to do today Im off to the craft shop to get some more foam board, I will be back in about 1hr will they be ready then? BAHAHAHAH
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Talsharf on October 14, 2015
That's not fair! Why in Australia they get the plans before us ?!
;-)
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capatinIIII on October 15, 2015
SPONZ! It's thursday :-(. I want so badly to built this design. Any update on the plans? I know everyone is busy, but knowing will give me something to look forward to. Thanks for everything you do!
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SP0NZ on October 15, 2015
Try here...
http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?20019-FT-Explorer&p=236602&viewfull=1#post236602

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capatinIIII on October 15, 2015
Yes! Thank you so much! Now I have to wait for 4 more hours until I'm off work :-P.
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JosephR on October 16, 2015
Hello Sponz,

Will you also be doing the plans for the Bronco and the tilting Mech?
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SP0NZ on October 16, 2015
Bronco yes. Tilt mechanism for the VTOL version, unsure.
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JosephR on October 21, 2015
Hello Sponz,

When do you think we will see the Bronco plans or speed build kit?
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SP0NZ on October 12, 2015
Thanks for the shout out Josh. Completely unnecessary, but still pretty cool. Couldn't be happier to be working with you guys!

The Explorer episode is really cool. The formation flying shots looked really amazing.

Love the versatility and the idea behind this aircraft...Build, Fly, and Design. This is going to be a great platform to get even more people into the hobby. I'm looking forward to using it as a trainer to try to get my girls to fly.
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SP0NZ on October 12, 2015
Ford Bronco...LOL!
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SP0NZ on October 13, 2015
Peter, sticking with the Ford name theme...few names come to mind for the VTOL...
FT Ranger
FT Escort

:P
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bladezx2 on October 13, 2015
Just make sure you guys don't come out with the FT Exploder. Wait on second thought....a plane that drops fireworks like missles, or firecrackers like bombs

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Takeshi_M on October 18, 2015
I don't think suggesting that was such a good idea....
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SuarezLuis on October 12, 2015
Flight times?
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WombatControl on October 12, 2015
On Periscope, Josh mentioned that the flight times are crazy long - as in (IIRC) 20 minutes on a 2200mAh 3S.
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The-One-Who-Never-Crashes on October 12, 2015
Hey! Where's the new long intro that was mentioned on Periscope?

Thanks for the show!
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kkmalu on October 12, 2015
another great video guys... Really looking forward for fpv and the vtol setup on this... Looks great!

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Hell2Go on October 13, 2015
Great episode guys! I'm really excited to see what else comes from your recent connections with Jake at MesaFoamFighters, Truly a great program! I love the versatility of this design, too bad the name versa is already taken... Peter, You need to post plans for all these crazy designs you come up with for those of us with the time to build them, that VTOL design just looks rock solid! I think that would make an awesome FPV and camera ship as it will hover, rotate fast, and move fast enough to keep up with some of the faster planes that you film. Maybe program it to switch into forward flight automatically then have Alex use it to keep up with the fast planes! Great job to all of you guys, keep it up, and Thankyou!
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mvx800 on October 13, 2015
Okay that's an awesome plane the Bronco Twin and Bronco VTOL. When do you think we'll see some plans... :D
Thanks, Love the shows and articles!
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91shadowrider on October 13, 2015
I am ready for a mini version to come out. Now that would be even more exciting. Great job guys! Speed build kit ordered. We have needed this for a long time.
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davereap on October 13, 2015
Excellent work... another great design, introducing a versatile system that opens up even more configurations and possibilities...
You do realise that one episode/article gives you openings and leaves us wanting at least four more shows and articles..
We will now need plans and builds for the bronco, the VTO , the motor tilt , and an explanation on the KK2 controller setup that was used...
keep up the good work.... thanks.... dave


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steadfast4life on October 13, 2015
Bronco VTOL!!! I have been waiting for this forever! I have an old tricopter setup that has been waiting for this plane. Please show how the VTOL was made!
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steadfast4life on October 13, 2015
And Peter, on the Chimera, you were running a tweaked code for MultiWii. I have a Multiwii 328P for the VTOL. Could you give me your code for the Multiwii?
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loadmaster on October 13, 2015
Fantastic video! Can't wait to build one or two. I admire your mission for this aircraft. The more you can get into the hobby, the better. This will be a good basic craft to experiment with.
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Nick5 on October 13, 2015
Great work as always FT Crew.
Please please release either the vtol version or the tlit mechanism.
Regards,
Nick.
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Wolfgang1402 on October 13, 2015
Hi guys, great job Thank you so much:) greetings from Germany
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Noobi1951 on October 13, 2015
WOW ! You guys are amazing, and you make the rest of us want to have just as much fun as you do.
I'm just now finishing up a plane for my 10 year old grandson incorporating a shortened Sky Surfer wing ( too many crashes) and a foam design pirated from another group that I hope will be fairly crash resistant. Had this plane come out a week ago I would have gone with it.
Great work guys, and Peter is a creative genius.
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Korben1 on October 13, 2015
i really liked the avatar gunship episode, do you think you could make a terminator one? with edf? maybe a tri-copter base and the foam body, or you could have a tilt on all the motors and make it look really like the one from the film.. that would be awesome, i wanted to do it myself but i cant afford it.
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Ano Pilot on October 13, 2015
A very good show, it's been a long wait.
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PropSpinner on October 13, 2015
Wow! I'm so glad you hired Peter. I saw Peter flying at the Columbus golf dome when he was just a kid. I built his cargo plane and saw some of the other stuff he was doing on RC groups and thought to myself, somebody better snatch him up for their research and development department. I'm so glad FlightTest hired him. I think he gets more artistic freedom there than he would other places.

Great episode! Not a dull moment and it. I thoroughly enjoyed FliteTest's designs and your whole concept behind the bronco.
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PropSpinner on October 13, 2015
Correction ...explorer
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Good Kebo on October 13, 2015
VTOL add on parts kit needed in store! :) Too cool
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gregp on October 13, 2015
+1
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kkmalu on October 14, 2015
+2 :)
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JosephR on October 16, 2015
Add me +3 :)
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Maikara on October 17, 2015
+4
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CJGFX on October 13, 2015
Brilliant design and episode guys... looking forward to the making of videos... Peter PLEASE do a making of the bronco... I've got a good idea to do with it....
Keep up the good work as ever guys....
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JosephR on October 16, 2015
Agree, +1 love to see the making of the twin boom, see some plans and then ultimately the VTOL setup and kit.
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gregp on October 13, 2015
The kit already shipped!!!! Can't have the kit before the build video though.
FliteTest rocks:)
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TheBurrito on October 13, 2015
How about an episode for those of us starting to scratch design our own planes? I'm currently using sketchup but your designs have some nice aspects that look like they'd be nearly impossible in sketchup to do.

Here's an F-35 I did from a 3 view picture in sketchup: http://imgur.com/a/LNBTQ

P.S. Moar helicopters!
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ludodg on October 13, 2015
this plane comes on just in time .. or just too late ... :)
I just started a model-building-class with a group of young students.
We are starting with the Tiny Trainer as a glider ...
but now this model seems even more versatile ... :)

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guytranspo on October 13, 2015
Will you be selling the plywood tilt mechanism?
The VTOL is very, very cool!
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fireplane98 on October 14, 2015
This looks AMAZING! I've been looking at the storch to get into 4 channel flight but being able to modify and reconfigure this one really appeals to me. You guys nailed it with the age thing I'm in high school right now and this is definitely going to be my next plane! Just need that build video now.. haha
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JosephR on October 14, 2015
Hello Peter,

As others have said we have been waiting for some time to see the evolution of the Chimera and now you have tempted our senses with the Bronco. Will we now be seeing a speed build kit for this with the mechanisms, really would like to see more detail just on the Bronco, how it is set up and building tips. This would be a good segment to demonstrate your skills and help a number of FT followers build their own model. Look forward to seeing more soon.....great work Peter and the FT Team. Regards, Joseph.

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GluedFingers on October 14, 2015
Amazing job guys. When will FT connections be a real thing? I can't wait
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vitorbarros on October 14, 2015
Awsome!! this is the kind of plane that makes easy to frankenplane every pieces!! nice one guys!!
Actually i thing this design is a "Legal Frankenplane" 'cause it can receives lots of things in it!
hahahahhaa see ya keep the awsome job dudes!
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china fans on October 14, 2015
The plane is very good,but why is it so much like China's“冲浪者”?
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valenpasto on October 14, 2015
please upload plans!
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Kuechenuhr on October 16, 2015
Ja, Bitte Pläne Hochladen!
Danke
Klaus aus Germany
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aerovetro on October 18, 2015
I'm from Brazil and would like to have the plans of FT Explorer. If possible send to aerovetro@uol.com.br email
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Geferson Pianissola on November 11, 2015

Good morning , I'm from Brazil and I would be able to receive the sole of FT Explorer in email geferson.pianissola@outlook.com
Thank you!
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Ron DuBray on October 14, 2015
Awesome! How about a 1/2 size test/ build/ parts info for indoor flying ? Indoor flying is coming fast here in the Great white north :) I was thinking that a small pusher would be awesome for indoor crashing :) Then you guys do this video of just the thing I was looking for only bigger. A
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tgozilla on October 14, 2015
Great video. I'd also like to see a mini version of this design. I've been teaching my sons with the Tiny Trainer, but I keep going through props. It could share same wings as the Tiny Trainer.
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CrashnDash on October 14, 2015
I'm still looking for the plans. When are they scheduled to be released? I imagine they are rather extensive. Given all the modules and booms and extra wings and stuff, the parts count on this puppy has got to be huge.
It looks like loads of fun. Hey Josh, congrats on the glider tow! I think you may have broken the curse.
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dz1sfb on October 15, 2015
This is by far one of the very best that Flite Test has produced. Flexible and practical.
Kudos!
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beatnik1967 on October 15, 2015
i am also waiting for plans. please, and thankyou
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Orville 1903 on October 15, 2015
Guys Awesome plane!
When will the plans be available and when are you going to launch the STEM curriculum?
You mentioned in the video that this would be a good upper school STEM plane I agree! I just finished the tiny trainer in my STEM Robotics class. We are flying the plane with a retro RC high start. Rudder and Elevator using the "sport" wing
Please let me know how to get the curriculum and Ft Explorer plans. I also sponsor an aviation based engineering club and want to build quad copters. I am working on a grant from the aerospace consortium to build a fixed wing or quad autonomous. I am listing you guys in the grant for parts etc.There is an unmanned craft group that meets at the big fab lab in Bowling Green, Ohio The head of the group uses autonomous drones in his work with the state of Ohio.
Best and Blue Skies
Awaiting you reply
Orville
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bmosinski on October 15, 2015
They are all available here, I got them yesterday and already printed out. Hope I didn't give away a secret LOL... http://www.stonekap.net/ftplans/index.cgi now just waiting on the build video but cutting the parts. What a great design again. Keep them coming.
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Rogue Outlaw on October 15, 2015
Being the E-Flite Aprentice S 15e was reviewed on july 8 2013, has there been a better trainer to expert model been produced with the same abilities, if so what is it?
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91shadowrider on October 15, 2015
Speed build kit arrived this morning. Time to get building!
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leonairo on October 15, 2015
Just started to cutting out the parts... thanks Flitetest for the design... can't wait to fly this plane with my fpv gear..
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Aeropiff on October 20, 2015
Hey can you guys make plans for the bronco mod. ITS SUPER COOL. I also think that you should make a mini version of the ft explorer and the bronco :-)

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magicmerlin on October 27, 2015
This is truly an exciting build that can give everyone many options for building ones own design. After comparing the old way of creating the plans to build the plans and the new way that has been presented, it is my choice to use the old way as it is to me less confusing and much simpler. Great job Flite Test
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Geferson Pianissola on November 11, 2015

Good morning , I'm from Brazil and I would be able to receive the sole of FT Explorer in email geferson.pianissola@outlook.com
Thank you!
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danielvc on November 11, 2015
Hello, I have three motors and a 30 amp esc lying around.
Turnigy D2830/11 - 1000kv - 210W
Turnigy D2826/6 - 2200kv - 342W
RCTimer BC-2212/10 - 1400kv - 205W
What motor is the best option for this plane (Sport wing)? And what propeller? I intend to put FPV equipment in it.
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magicmerlin on November 28, 2015
Sill being a new pilot/builder, I was wondering about the mixing of the aileron, flaps. I have searched the articles and anything that might pertain to this action but with no results, Can any one help me? Also I use an Orange RX transmitter.
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albertomellado163 on February 16, 2016
Can I use a 35XXmm motor on the ft explorer?, I have 2 turnigy xp 3542mm 1400 KV and 1 3542 1180kv, im thinking in 9x6 prop. Thanks in advance

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albertomellado163 on February 29, 2016
Can somebody post flight time data with the Ft setup?

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Neskair on March 29, 2016
Will I hurt the C motor if I use a 3s 2200 20-30c lipo with a 9x6 prop? Or will I be drawing too many amps.
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flying-coqui on September 30, 2016
A question What airplane is more easy to fly, FT Tiny Trainer or Explorer what you think?
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FooPlinger on October 3, 2016
What about addressing the fact that the plane, as called for in the plans and built to the plans will not even fit an 8" prop, much less a 9"? After attempting to fly it with a 7x6, I tore down the power pod and rebuilt putting the firewall all the way at the top, and barely had room to put the 8" prop called for. With either, the plane was way underpowered, I could not keep it in the air, after having ordered and used the "B" Power pack from the site.
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tadejgasparovic on July 1, 2018
Does anyone know how much load this can carry? I'm planning on putting quite a bit of hardware on it. I'll be building an autopilot system for fun and I thought this would be a pretty good platform since it seems to be very stable and forgiving.
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FT Explorer