FT Jenny XL Build Supplemental

by Joshuamelvin | March 6, 2024 | (2) Posted in How To



The FT Jenny XL is an iconic fast build representation of the classic Curtis JN-4 “Jenny”. This Large 58 inch biplane was designed by Dave Jester to build fast and fly slow!  In as little as three hours, you can go from the build table to the skies and experience all the thrills of classic barnstorming flight.

The FT XL Jenny is a 4 channel aircraft, which gives you aileron, rudder, elevator, and throttle control.  This large scale aircraft flies so slow, it can easily be enjoyed in a large back yard, Park, or soccer field.

The FT XL Jenny was also a special project as a special surprise for our wonderful team leader, backbone of Flitetest, and the beloved wife of Josh Bixler. For over 10 years, Jen Bixler has requested this very airplane to be added into the FT hanger for not only her love, a vintage aviation, but of course it's awesome name!  Dave Jester and Josh Bixler collaborated together to create a gentle larger trainer version of the Jenny to allow Jen and other new pilots to experience the wonders of flight in style.

If you’re ready to take to the skies, grab your scarf and goggles and of course a hot glue gun. I hope that this awesome little plane brings as many smiles and memories for you as it has for us.  

If your passion is scale, you can easily upgrade your FT Jenny XL with optional 3D printed Engine halves and Radiator. We also have you covered (literally) with optional decals to take you from military to flying circus!  One of our favorite features of the XL Jenny is the included 24’ of Flying wire chord that not only adds amazing strength, but also complete the scale look of the Jenny

To build the XL Jenny, Simply use the build video of the mighty mini Jenny along with the XL Jenny Build Supplemental Article.  The XL Jenny build is very similar to the Mighty Mini Jenny and the Build Supplemental article shows the changes and additional steps needed to complete your project.

Weight:  2.7 lbs (with Battery)

Recommended Battery 3300mah 3cell

Flight time:" 8-10 min 

Wingspan: 58.5"

Length: 42”

Center of gravity: 2.2” from top leading edge

Control Deflection: 12-16 degrees

Airframe Kit

  • 4) sheets of Laser cut MakerFoam 

  • 4) 16” pushrods

  • 2) 4.3” Printed wheels (one Pair)

  • 1) wood 1/8” plywood strut kit 

  • 1) wood ⅛” Plywood cabane and firewall Kit

  • 1) 1/16” 4PK Control horn kit

  • 1) Velcro

  • 2) Thick landing gear wire (.125)

  • 2) 3.1mm wheel collars

  • 4) small zip ties

  • 24’ of nylon 1mm cord

Motor/Electronics needed:

  • FT 2814 1200kv motor

  • FT 40 Amp ESC

  • 4)  FT9g servos

  • 4) 60cm servo extensions

  • 1) servo Y extension

  • 1) 6pk linkage stoppers

  • 1) 2pk 12x4.5 CCW Propeller

3D Printed Options:

  • XL Engine and radiator kit 

    • Top engine valve covers (XL Size)

    • Front radiator (XL Size)

Decal Kit: 

  • Military 

    • XL Blue roundels plank

    • XL White Stars Plank

    • XL Red dots plank 

  • Flying circus

    • XL Silver nose cowling 

    • XL Blue roundels and flag plank

    • XL White stars and stripes plank

    • XL Red stripes and dots plank

    • XL Black flying circus plank

  • Cowling decals (for either color)

    • XL Brown or Silver decal kit

In this Build Article, You will learn everything you need to know in conjunction with the Mighty Mini Jenny Build Video plus a cool fun tips!

Use this Video in parallel with this build article to complete your FT Jenny XL.  For the smoothest experience, Read the entire build article before starting your project.

Fuselage front battery bay and firewall.

  • Before gluing down front former on the nose of the plane, glue in left and right doublers to the side of the front nose piece.  Make sure to glue the left and right sides on the proper sides by reference the marks on the doublers. Use the etch lines to properly line up the pieces. 
  • Open up the the channels for the firewall on the left and right doublers by removing the thin piece of foam with a small screwdriver

  • Clear the channel on the upper battery support, fold over, and glue the two halves together.

  • Fold over the front nose piece and fold down and glue the front former. Slide in the battery support above the side doublers making sure the angled end is pointing forward and the wider side of the battery tray rests on top of the doublers. Slide the battery to align with the back side of the firewall notch.

  • Using the mid or rear section of the fuselage, allow the rear of the nose piece to form around the former to establish the proper fit. Once you are happy with both fit and alignment, glue only the Battery tray in place and continue to hold around former until glue has set. You may notice a small gap on the sides of the battery tray and that is OK.

  • Slide in and fit the firewall making sure the esc wire pass through is in the lower Right corner and flush with the bottom of the nose doublers. Once you are satisfied with the fit, glue in place

Rear Fuselage former

  • To aid in alignment and strength in the rear of the fuselage, test fit and glue in the rear former between the score cut and the etch line.  Make sure the rear former is flush with the top of the first bend of the fuse sides and the lower portion of the former is 3/16" (Thickness of foam) above the lower fuse sides.

Rear servo mounting

  • The Rudder and elevator servos are mounted in the rear of the Fuselage each are connected to the receiver with a 60cm servo extension.  
  • For the elevator servo, center your servo and secure the single side servo arm along with the 60 cm servo extension.  Guide the servo extension and servo into the rear left hole with the servo arm pointing up.  
  • Glue in your the control horn with the linkage stopper installed pointing out on the left side of the elevator.
  • place your pushrod through the center hole of the servo arm and pass it through the linkage stopper.  Trim pushrod 1/4" past linkage stopper

  • For the rudder servo, center your servo and secure the single side servo arm along with the 60 cm servo extension.  Guide the servo extension and servo into the rear right hole with the servo arm pointing down.  
  • Glue in your the control horn with the linkage stopper installed pointing up on the right side of the rudder.
  • place your pushrod through the center hole of the servo arm and pass it through the linkage stopper.  Trim pushrod 1/4" past linkage stopper

Landing gear. 

  • The landing gear can be installed before or after the wings are glued in place.
  • Locate the plywood pieces and landing gear wire in your kit.

  • Glue the center section on top of the etch marks of one of your landing gear plates.

  • Measure and bend your landing gear wire 1 3/4" to match the open channel in your landing gear plate

  • once happy with the fit, secure wire to landing gear plate with ZAP adhesive and kicker.  Glue on top plate of landing gear with ZAP

  • Measure 3 1/2" on both sides of the landing gear from the bottom of the landing gear plate.  Mark with tape.

  • Bend wire from the refence point on the tap parallel to the bottom of the landing gear plate.

  • Install the 4.3" wheels and lock in place with the 3.1mm wheel collars.  
    • Tip!  you can file the edge of the wire to allow the wheel collars to slide easily over the cut end
  • Trim the ends of the wires 1/4" from the edge of the wheel collars

  • Remove the foam from the lower Fuselage between the wing and the back of the front former.  Bevel the sides of the fuse so the wire comes out the lower corners of the fuselage.

  • Test fit the landing gear and shift the plate.  Shift the landing gear plate with the lower wire against the side of the Fuselage and allow the bottom of the Landing Gear plate to be flush with the bottom of the fuse.

  • Once you are happy with the fit, glue the landing gear in place.
  • Glue the lower fuse/ wing cover onto the bottom of the wing.

  • Now would be a great time to glue in the rear tail skid.

Wing forming using struts and lower wing braces

  • Clear out the foam from the upper strut tab using a skewer or the tip of a small screw driver

  • Test bend the wing around the upper strut support to make sure foam easily bends to meet the strut evenly

  • Clue the center of the wing to the support struts.  Make sure the strut with the servo hole is on the outer portion of the wing

  • apply glue to the front support strut and press wing and struts together using the flat surface of a table and repeat the same process on the rear of the wing

  • To add additional strength to the wing and airfoil, apply a thin bead of glue to the open creases in the wing

  • Use the same technique on the lower wing with the lower wing supports

Installing servos and ailerons

  • release the aileron, cut a 45 degree bevel on hinge line, and reinforce with hot glue with the same technique as the rudder and elevator.

  • Install control horn with and linkage stopper pointing out toward the tip of the wing
  • Install pre-centered servo with single servo arm pointing 2 notches forward toward the leading edge.  This setup gives the ailerons the proper amount of differential control

  • Join the aileron and the servo with a pushrod with the Z bend passing through the outermost hole of the single sided servo arm.  Secure the aileron flush with the wing using the linkage stopper.  Cut the pushrod 1/4" from back of linkage stoppers
  • Repeat the same process on the other side of the wing.
  • Guide the servo wires down the inside rear of the outer wing strut and pass it through the hole on the lower wing.  Secure with a zip tie on the upper and lower strut.

  • Attach and secure a 60cm extension on the servo lead and pass it through the holes of the lower wing supports and through the center wing holes.  Once laid flat, secure with glue or tape

Installing Center cabane struts

  • Lower the cabane strut sides through the fuse slots 

  • raise the struts into the bottom of the upper wing and glue struts into the upper wing and glue in place

  • Sight down the upper and lower wing leading edges and confirm that both wings are parallel to each other

  • Once satisfied with wing alignment and position, glue the lower Cabane struts into the fuselage.  

Flying wires (chord)

  • place a drop of ZAP on the tip of the nylon chord to keep it from fraying

  • Starting with the front top Cabane hole, feed the chord from top to bottom all the way around the perimeter of the wing and through the bottom of the lower wing hole.

  • Loop the chord through the plywood donut twice and secure with ZAP

  • Glue the donut as an anchor to the bottom of the lower wing.
  • cut the chord leaving about 3" of slack

  • Repeat the same process on the other 3 holes on the cabane struts making sure the zig zag pattern ends with the bottom wing hole

  • Starting with the donut anchor on the trailing edge, Remove the slack of the chord by apply gentle pressure through each strut until you trace your way to the main cabane and the end of the string.  This is easier with a friend helping.

  • Secure the chords tension with a drop of ZAP on the cabane strut.

  • Repeat the process on the opposite wing trailing edge before doing the same process on the front of the wing.

  • Once the chord is under tension, Check for alignment and twist of the upper and lower wing leading edge.  Have a friend hold the wing in position as you drop in and lock the chord with a drop of Zap on each hole of the struts.

You have done it!  you are just a few steps away from going from the build table to the skies.  This concludes the uniqe steps in the FT Jenny XL Build.  Happy flying and blue skies!


cozza on March 12, 2024
HI ARE you going to have free build plans
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John Kizzor Alonzo on March 22, 2024
I'm Still waiting for the free build pdf plan LOL, I'm so excited to build this wonderful airplane.
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ik343a@yahoo.com on May 11, 2024
Are the stl files for the nose available for download?
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FT Jenny XL Build Supplemental