The FT Sea Duck is here! This plane design is based on the Sea Duck from Tail Spin, a cartoon that was a huge inspiration for us here at Flite Test.
Josh used to dream of flying and designing the planes he saw in the cartoon. And he wasn’t alone!
We discovered that many of our community members found inspiration in Tail Spin. Their feedback was invaluable in making the FT Sea Duck a reality. Thanks to community members Matthew Chapman, AircPirateNinsei, nevelenestate, rcspaceflight and Dan Knight for your contributions!
AircPirateNinsei also created a 900mm version of the Sea Duck, which you can download the free plans for here.
We went down to Lake Mohawk to test taking off and landing the FT Sea Duck in the water. The plane is easy to fly from the water and handles similarly to the Guinea.
We stayed as true to the Tail Spin Sea Duck as possible, but we did have to make a few adjustments for the plane to fly and handle well: we changed the wings, the proportion of the fuselage and the pontoons.
The pontoons from the cartoon caused a suction rather than pushing the plane off the water. With Peter’s help and feedback, we reengineered the pontoons out to help the Sea Duck maneuver better in the water.
The airplane only has three servos, and it yaws off of differential thrust. This allows one of the propellers to speed up or slow down to give you primitive yaw. We have markings in the plans for rudders as well, but we found it was not needed.
We tried to recreate the tow from the cartoon using a flying wing, but we found that it was unstable. We modded the FT Explorer as a tow instead, which worked out great. Josh and his sons, Noah and Michael, had a great time towing and flying together.
Although the FT Sea Duck is an intense build, it still uses the same basic build techniques from our Tiny Trainer, FT Sparrow and FT Explorer planes. The Sea Duck is also easy to fly on the water and on land with a stable and forgiving design.
We also want to give a shout out to Richard Kennedy and Jeff Anvic, who designed the Sea Duck within the Phoenix and Real Flight simulators. Thanks guys!
If you have an idea, a design, or anything else you believe will contribute to the R/C community, share it with us! We want to hear from you!