FT Tiny Trainer | Fuselage Modification

by ToddMerrill | October 13, 2015 | (16) Posted in Projects

This is my first article for FliteTest and I'm thrilled to be a part of this community!
Here is my fuselage modification to the already excellently designed Tiny Trainer.

This started out as a sketch based on the original profile and gives you a little more room for all those servo wires.

 I also did my own version of the power pod and created new thrust angles ~ 6 degrees down and 3 degrees right. I know it looks crooked, but it seems to mellow out the flight characteristics. I've noticed much less torque and less dramatic climb when adding power. I also extended the power pod to be used to support the 800 mAh 3 cell battery. Here is my full sized sketch being transferred to the foam board.

Here I'm working out the internal engineering of where to place the longer power pod, the two formers (front and rear of the wing saddle) and the servos.

 Here's a closer look. The rounded rectangles in the formers get punched out to allow for the throttle wire coming from the nose to the receiver... and the servo pushrods going back towards the tail surfaces. Yes that IS my rudder arm (the long one) I like to have a lot of rudder throw at my disposal. The bbq skewers (that are used to hold wing down) sit on top of the formers and are solidly glued to them to prevent pulling thru the foam board.

 So once I got the placement of the electronics worked out, I just glued them in place and then attached the sides and top pieces together while keeping the pieces square (using the table as my friend). Here is how it started to look along the way.

 And finally like this... a black marker makes quick work of those windows.

 I covered the entire bottom of the fuse and the tail with clear packing tape since the middle school field where I fly is often wet with dew in the early morning. This really helps prevent the foam board from warping. All up weight with the battery ready to fly is 11.7 ounces! Enough of these still pictures ~ let's see some video! Notice that on this maiden flight I get chased by a hawk, stall the plane into a tree and still manage to get it back in one piece. Great flying plane (mod or no mod) ~ yet another success from FliteTest.

Thanks for watching!


 The outside width of the fuse is 1 5/8" ~ so it is just wide enough for the power pod to fit snugly inside.


PDF of Full-Sized Plans: Improved Full-Sized Plans (10/25/15)

Here's what she looks like with the polyhedral wing. Haven't flown it yet ~ but confidence is high!

Here's a video of the polyhedral wing on the modified fuselage.


 And the final evolution ~ with landing gear!




scott firman on October 28, 2015
I love the change! I have built three of the tiny trainers two were gliders. I just finished a replacement for my original that I killed by crashing it too many times. I found out the glider wing works best for me. I think the aerlrons are too small to control this plane and diehedral is needed otherwize you are constantly on the sticks. I prefer a nice easy fly as opposed to agressive stick banging. I will be building your design soon. Please do not call it a F.T. design. Its your design not theirs. I think that even they borrowed the original design from someone else. I know calling it a F.T. plane gives it a better chance of being on their site but realistically, its your design for the body. I agree. I like to think I could be flying that plane so windows are required. I thought of that too but you went and built it. THANKYOU.
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ToddMerrill on October 28, 2015
Thanks for your praise Scott. Deeply appreciated. I too like to have a plane in my fleet for cruising around the sky. I'm going to build the polyhedral glider wing next (Josh's design) and test it out on MY fuselage. Eager to hear how yours flies!
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The-One-Who-Never-Crashes on October 26, 2015
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33jesus on October 23, 2015
Very cool Todd! Looks like a great little upgrade.
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ToddMerrill on October 24, 2015
Thanks 33! You're going to be putting in some stick time on it next time we go flying!
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Flyingninja on October 25, 2015
Nice! Does it have to same flight characteristics at the stock Tiney Trainer?
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ToddMerrill on October 25, 2015
In my opinion, it does! I put in quite a lot of great flights with Josh's original design.I printed out the free plans and I jumped right into the powered, sport wing (4 channel) configuration.
So in my modification, I wanted to stay true to his geometry - the wing is in the exact same location (in relationship to the tail) as his original. It’s just placed a bit higher on the air frame. I haven’t tried/tested it with the polyhedral wing yet… but my guess is – that configuration would fly just as nice.
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Skeets22 on October 26, 2015
What a great modification you made to the tiny trainer. I really like the new look. Did you double up the front end like the original tiny trainer?
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ToddMerrill on October 26, 2015
Thanks Skeets22! As shown in my full sized plans above, there's no doubling. Unless you count the power pod inside of the nose of the fuselage as doubling. I just noticed how my profile picture shows the original Tiny Trainer with my attempt at drawing windows on the nose. I guess I always imagine myself INSIDE any plane I'm flying ~ so it's got to have windows.
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ToddMerrill on October 24, 2015
Well, I made an attempt to add full-sized plans. I hope they allow you to try my fuse mod out. I think I need to watch nerdnic's PS tutorials to really master all the skills required. Thanks again for checking it out.
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GregHesslewood on October 23, 2015
That look really cool, nice change. How about you share your plans or even a drawing with measurements so we can try it out.
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ToddMerrill on October 24, 2015
Thanks Greg! I'm scrambling to 1. get my Photoshop files scaled to the right size and 2. convert them over to PDFs ~ ideally both full size and tiled. I can share the dimesions: tip of nose to the tail is 25 5/8". The bottom of the fuse to the wing saddle is 3 5/8". And the outside width of the fuse is 1 5/8". The power pod fits snugly inside the fuselage ~ no doubling used at all. Now back to my computer.
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Rod bolt on January 20, 2017
Hi Todd, I am new to the hobby and was just starting to build the tiny trainer when I came across this article, so I am incorporating this into my build. Good article. Keep up the good work ! I
Am just getting started at the young age of 68.
Rod bolt
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ToddMerrill on January 22, 2017
Never to late to have fun! I really enjoy flying the Tiny Trainer with the polyhedral wing. It is such a great first airplane. Good luck with your build and with your maiden flight. One of many I'm sure!
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PoorManRC on December 2, 2018
Thanks for the plans, Todd! I can't wait to try this out, as my replacement TT Fuse.
So, everything else is the same, except Wing height? Same Incidence?
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ToddMerrill on December 3, 2018
Hey PoorManRC - you're most welcome! Would love to see a pic of your build of this mod when you're done. To answer your question... yes the geometry preserves Josh's original design. I really love this little plane - whether you choose the polyhedral wing or the 4 channel version it flies great.
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FT Tiny Trainer | Fuselage Modification