FT Spitfire Flaps, Retracts and Cosmetic Mod

by X-R4Y | April 13, 2017 | (7) Posted in Projects

Firstly I would like to say thanks to the FliteTest team for giving me the motivation I needed to get into the hobby seriously (through your amazing youtube videos). Respect guys o7. 

This plane is the third plane I have scratch built (second FT plane after the explorer). It has been a challenge to create but it was worth it with the end product being something functional that I am really proud of.

This plane was built from "Australian" Foam that I found at the art store. The main difference being that it is a lot less flexible and a bit heavier, basically a lot less forgiving. I found this out the hard way after breaking my first wing as I was trying to form it. Using this broken wing as my test wing for the landing gear and flaps. I eventually figured out it was just a matter of cutting the double bevel on the leading edge of the wing I lot shallower. 

Fully laden weight (with 3s battery): 925g

I 3D printed all the servo horns as well as the FT firewall. 

The flaps I installed extend to roughly 45 degrees with the flap servos being hidden under the 2 radiators in the wing (Resembling the Mk9 Spits ). I created them by carefully cutting along the foam to split it into 2 pieces one thicker half for the flap and one thinner half that I reinforced with barbecue skewers that I cut in half length ways.

The landing gear was a challenge to fit in but after a bit of careful carving, I managed to make the fit. However, I did have to make compromises, I could not angle the gear back like the original Spits and I had to rotate the gear 180 degrees so they would not stick out ( the tires are facing in and not out like the original). The tail gear was a breeze and I had no problems with them ( I just had to move the servos back a bit).

The custom cockpit was a pain to make and took me a whole day to create. I used plastic bottles and cut out the shapes I needed from them.

 The shark teeth were custom made on adobe illustrator, feel free to use them on any of your designs.                                Spitfire Shark-teeth decal 

The exhausts were made using 6 triangles put one on top of the other with their base cut at an angle. (Mk IX exhausts) 

The prop resembles more of a prop used on the early models of spitfires (Mk I-II) 

Model of a Mk IX spitfire that I used to base my measurements off (flaps, radiator & exhausts)

Mount I created on the wall for it using 2 pre-existing screws and a piece of string.


This is attempt #2


When I finally managed to take off, I had trouble controlling it as I did not think to trim the plane ( I was way too excited over the fact it was flying). This lead to the eventual stall and crash of the aircraft. (I did not have the opportunity to test the landing gear on takeoff or landing because I did not have a suitable runway).The tail broke off and the nose took a hit. However, I managed to fix it and I am now impatiently waiting for the opportunity to fly it again.

Landing gear:

Tail: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/retractable-tail-landing-gear-set.html

Main: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-90-degree-all-metal-retract-system-w-sprung-leg-s-wheels-models-2kg-auw-max.html

Motor: http://www.banggood.com/EMAX-GT221809-1100KV-Outrunner-Brushless-Motor-For-RC-Models-p-989039.html?rmmds=buy

Thanks again to FT for the amazing Spit plans. 


gcok2010 on May 26, 2017
Excellent project and good description.
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Sir Fly on May 25, 2017
That's really nice looking! Thanks for sharing! :D
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Damig on October 7, 2020
I can only echo the comments of others... and than YOU for helping us, who are crafting SPITS, here in the age of COVID19. Salute
Excellent project and good description.. That's really nice looking! Thanks for sharing! :D
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FT Spitfire Flaps, Retracts and Cosmetic Mod