FT Pietenpol Mighty Mini | BUILD

by FliteTest | February 7, 2017 | (10) Posted in How To


The FT Pietenpol designed by Josh Bixler is a plane the entire family can build together! Follow the steps below to assist in your build process and watch the video for detailed information.

Build Process


First, fold and glue main spar. Next, cut a double bevel on the leading edge of the wing. After that, glue the main spar on trailing edge of the inside of the bottom surface of wing. Carefully fold the wing to make an airfoil shape. Always reinforce creases with hot glue.

Next, apply glue to leading edge and top of spar. Then fold over wing to airfoil till dry. Use dihedral gauges at wing tips to hold dihedral shape to wing.


Use the foam from designated pieces to allow for A fold, B fold and fold overs on the fuselage. Next, assemble and glue power pod holder together. After that, glue the completed power pod holder onto the fuselage.

Next, raise center panel of the fuselage to an A fold at 90 degrees and glue. Raise rear and front of the fuselage at crease lines. 

Apply glue and raise fuse halves one at a time to a B fold and let it dry at 90 degrees. Repeat this step on the other side.

Peel paper from inside of rear fuse cover and mold to the shape of the lower, rear fuselage then glue in place.

Tail assembly

First, cut single bevel into horizontal stabilizer and rudder. Then use hot glue smear technique to reinforce both. Next, install horizontal tail and rudder according to video instructions. Finally, check motion of tail surfaces and square them.

Servo and pushrods

Insert elevator pushrod and control horns. Next, glue control horn to elevator with hole lined up with hinge line. Add z bend wire in center of the cavity. Install centered servo onto pushrod with glue. Repeat process for the elevator.

Turtle Deck

Glue formers to the appropriate locations. Install rear and center turtle deck as well as front cowling. Glue popsicle sticks aligned with etch marks.

Landing Gear

Bend and glue wire to former. Then glue former with wire in fuselage.

Bevel landing gear fairings on slotted side at 45 degrees to meet fuselage. Bend wire at the end of fairings to form wheel axles. Glue in fairings per video. Install wheels and cut excess. 

Glue lower front fuselage cover per video instructions.

Power pod and reciever

Install power pod and radio. Then check throws.

Wings and struts

Test fit wing and align per video. Secure wing with glue. Cut struts to length and install.

Balance and fly

Use battery position to balance plane. Install your propeller and have fun!

Get FREE FT Pietenpol plans here!

Get your own kit here! 

Watch 6 quick tips for a successful first flight!

Skill level to build: Beginner to Intermediate
Skill level to fly: Beginner
Average build time: 2.5 hrs
Recommended power pack: F
Recommended battery: 2 cell for Beginners and 3 for Advanced and windy conditions ((XT-30)800mAh 3s 20c Lipo Battery)
Recommended propellers: Emax 6.45 CCW Prop
Recommended wheels: Mini Wheels 2.4” (pair)
Transmitter option: Graupner MZ-12 – 6 Channel Transmitter

Who is excited to build the FT Pietenpol? Already built it and have some of your own tips or tricks to share? Put them in the comments below!


flysky on February 9, 2017
love it!!!!!!!!!!!!
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pherder on February 12, 2017
Flew my copy of the Mighty Mini Pietenpol with the 3d printed engine this weekend (11 Feb 2017). What a blast!

Using the 3d motor file to modify to use with my House of Balsa Pietenpol that has a ~ 63" wingspan and is under construction.
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Jagger35 on February 14, 2017
I ordered this kit from the store last week, and am expecting it tomorrow. Could you tell me where to find the file for the 3D printed engine? I can't find it. Thanks.
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SP0NZ on February 16, 2017
You can download the Model A engine from Thingiverse here:
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adilshabbir on February 16, 2017
I put some printed stickers...
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mmiller1 on February 22, 2017
Just finished my Mini Pietenpol. Ready for a test flight as soon as the motor arrives. I would like to build a larger version of this, say 40-45" W.S. However, I have not seen any plans for a build on the FT website...unless there are none. Any ideas how I might go about this process w/0 plans?
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Desert Wings on February 23, 2017
Awesome plane, love Josh's 100% version as well. What is with the dismembered arm on the floor by the table?
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jefffox205 on March 1, 2017
Love your builds. Spent much time building your plane as my wife was rehabing after a heart attack. Wondering if you could tell me the length of the popsicle sticks you used for this build? I picked up some from a local craft store but they seem like they might be a bit too short,
Thanks in advance!!!

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NikkolaiV on December 23, 2017
Growing up, I always heard stories of my Grandpa building a plane in his basement when my mom was growing up. As I got older, I learned it was a Pietenpol he had built. Apparently, he was a part of an RC club and had built a scale Pietenpol, and when he showed it to his club members, one wrote him a note asking when he would build a full scale version. Apparently that was about all the motivation he needed, and a couple years later, he had a finished plane. He eventually sold it, and it was unfortunately involved in an accident a couple years later. My grandpa's name was Joseph Nickerson...planes N number was N3586 if anyone's. Interested in looking up more info.

Thank you guys for putting that design out...its brought back so many memories of my Grandpa. Thank you!
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FT Pietenpol Mighty Mini | BUILD