FT SE5 Biplane Build

by FliteTest | November 29, 2016 | (15) Posted in How To


Introducing the FT SE5 Biplane, an easy to build and easy to fly WWI style biplane!

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. Remove the paper from one side of the cheek piece and the doublers.


Fold along the crease lines. Perform an A fold on the center support piece. Fold the sides of the fuselage up and glue them down. After it dries, glue down the bottom plate.

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

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

Before you tackle the tail assembly, make sure your servos are centered.

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

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

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

Remove the two wing pieces. Score along the main seam of the bottom wing. Install the under camber gauges and hold the back portion down. When you’re happy with the fit, put glue into the seam.

Remove the gauges, and pop out the small cutouts on each side. Install the dihedral gauges. Make sure the arrows on the dihedral gauges are pointing forward.

Flip the wing over, and hold down the center section. Place glue in the seams of the center section and remove the excess.

Repeat the same process on the top wing.

Install the formers on the fuselage, then install the poster board on the back and front of the fuselage.

Attach the bottom wing to the bottom of the fuselage. After it dries, install the large wing struts on both sides of the wing. 

Test fit the top wing on top of the struts. Make sure the leading edges of both wings are parallel to each other. When you’re satisfied with the fit, glue it down.

Install the cobains on the wings. Use the brace to make sure the wings and struts all stay together while the cobains dry.

Flip the plane over and install the landing gear, wheels and tail skid.

Install and connect your electronics. Test your electronics, and you’re ready to maiden!



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

CONTROL SURFACE THROWS: 12 ̊ 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!


Rasterize on December 3, 2016
Love this plane! Made some SE5 Billy Bishop "skins" I'd like to share with the FT community..
Download them here: http://www.mediafire.com/file/a9dbtmlyncdx6qj/FT_Tiny_SE5_BB_V2.zip
A paper Lewis gun is in the works. Please post pics on the forums when your done.
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pX on December 10, 2016
Maiden it just today, flew great once correct servo travel was configured, thank you very much!

Btw, I made a timelapse of my scratch-build ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNhghzNpJfg ) I'm finally getting the hang of building with foam.
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CaptBill on December 7, 2016
Nice, very nice. Brings back memories of when there were many left over biplanes around and it was almost common to see one flying over

Question, both the SE5 and the Tiny Trainer use a 2300 motor. Why is this suggested to be a 2204 vs 1806?
Please keep them comming

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CaptBill on December 10, 2016
Just did the finishing touches with the electronics and adjusting the CG. Using a Zippy 3s 1000 it was necessary for me to add 6 gr at the back of the fuselage, 3 gm each side of the keel.
I have also found that the Zippy 1000 & 500 are wider than the powerpod. In order to slide the battery into a Tiny trainer or the SE5, using a Zippy, I modified the cheeks. With this bird he cheeks are 2 lauers of DTFB -paper on each side. I cut the inner most layer of the cheek material, just below where the powerpod sits. This gave me width to spare.

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CaptBill on December 10, 2016
forgot to add, 395 grms all up
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wanabeRCexpert on December 2, 2016
second comment!!!!!!!!
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Yogenh on December 3, 2016
Love it I have to make the time to build one or two well or more!!! LOLL
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Del-Dredd on December 14, 2016
"Install the cobains on the wings", I think you mean Cabane Struts, they were not named after Kurt.

Misspelled in the DR1 thread as well.
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Plane Stupid RC on December 2, 2016
Another Brilliant looking model from the flite test crew. Another job well done.
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PRIHER on February 5, 2017
Can I put 9g Servos
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bigone5500 on November 29, 2017
Yes, you can use the 9g servos. You have to be sure to put them over the Cg.
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modise kgosi on October 30, 2018

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Ryan.S_97 on December 1, 2018
Has anyone tried creating a 4 channel version with ailerons on both wings? Ive had difficulty getting them to move in sync with the positive wing stagger.
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Supermud on November 6, 2019
You only need them on one wing
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bigone5500 on November 29, 2017
FYI: There is no motor mount included in the plans.
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oldensly on September 12, 2017
This little bipe is a pleasure to build. The draftsman for flite test is a national treasure. I built from the plans and every tab fit every notch. I have not flown it yet but will shortly. Bob
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Ryder on April 24, 2019
I want this to be a slow flyer, so I ordered it with power pack A instead of F (which can take my Pietenpol vertical!). Will power pack A work?
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Zanda on August 15, 2019
How do I change a servo ? It’s all closed up and one servo has crapped itself before my first flight
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FT SE5 Biplane Build