RC Flying Boat | NEW FT Sea Angel Release!

by FliteTest | October 11, 2018 | (12) Posted in News


The newest Flite Test speed build kit is here! It's a seaplane based on an aircraft from an anime film. Here's more. 

What happens when RC boats and RC airplanes collide? Flying boats of course! We've just released our latest airplane design into the community and it sure is a good looking plane! 

Order your speed build kit here! - http://bit.ly/ftseaangel

The New FT Sea Angel

This DIY Seaplane is an RC version of the famous flying boat that appeared in the anime film Porco Rosso. Jeremy has been developing this foam board RC aircraft over the last few months here at Flite Test. Here is one of the first prototypes.

The design process was fairly complicated with the eye-catching configuration rarely seen on other RC aircraft. Despite this, Jeremy and the team did a stellar job. 

One key consideration for the plane was to make it both stable in the air and stable on the water. As a seaplane, a whole new dynamic needs to be considered whilst prototyping. 

In terms of what sort of power setup you can expect to install in your new Sea Angel, this plane takes a C pack. This is our fixed wing large pack that powers most of our bigger RC airplanes. 

Building this plane will be a lot of fun. The Sea Angel has been designed to be a scale flyer with lots of details and new building techniques meaning it will be a gripping and challenging build. You can install ailerons or leave it as a three channel - it's up to you how you want to customize it to your personal flying style. 

What it's like to Fly

One thing that has to be said for the Sea Angel is that it's certainly unique looking. What's more, it's certainly unique to fly. To paraphrase Niel Armstrong, every flying machine has different handling characteristics, some good, some not so good. This seaplane, though, definitely has an abundance of the former. 

I had the opportunity to take one up for a few hours of flying at Flite Fest Ohio 2018 and, man, this thing is a great flying plane. With its shoulder wing, even with the top-heavy looking engine pod, the aircraft flies very stably indeed. All you have to do is allow for some interesting torque effects from the motor when applying throttle. With too low of an airspeed, punching the throttle will roll the plane, so this aircraft will teach you how to deal with this!

If you'd like some proof, I got four seperate people who'd never even flown before to pilot the Sea Angel. Wow! They all found it to be a forgiving platform. It cruises effortlessly around the sky needing only small inputs to correct its flight path.

How to Fly a Seaplane

If you haven't flown from water before, here are some techniques you may want to bear in mind when flying your new seaplane. Even if you're a pro, these tips might come in handy! 

1. Taxiing

Taxiing a seaplane isn't quite like taxxing on land. You have to bare in mind roll: if you steer too sharply with your rudder, you may sink the outside float into the water causing the aircraft to 'dig in'. To counter this, use small movements and only make large turns at slow speeds. You really don't want to flip over! 

2. Takeoff

On take off, slowly increase the power until you reach the hydroplaning 'step'. This is where lift takes over from buoyancy. With the FT Sea Angel, you don't want to punch the throttle as this will contribute to a significant torque roll effect. Gradually increase your speed whilst giving the plane a little up elevator.

3. Landing

Landing on water is much like taking off. As with a conventional landing, you need to descend whilst bleeding off your airspeed. However, on a seaplane, you don't want to bleed off absolutely all of your airspeed. Instead, keep your momentum going and carry that speed onto the water. This is so you don't 'plop' down ungracefully with a stall. If done right, you'll be able to scoot along as the surface supports the airplane until, like the air, it ceases to provide lift.

4. Celebration

The final stage is to party - you just flew a seaplane!

Build your own Sea Angel

If you would like to build an FT Sea Angel kit of your own, here are the links to everything you'll need.

Speed build kit (option 1)

Free build plans(option 2) 

Electronics pack

Foam Board (to cut out a Sea Angel using the free build plans)

Pro Hot Glue Gun

Hot Glue

Crafty Kit

Build Video:

Article by James Whomsley

Editor of FliteTest.com

Contact: james@flitetest.com

YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/projectairaviation


seansgrandad on October 24, 2018
Hmmm! No plans :-/
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uniondelta on October 17, 2018

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David Gettman on October 19, 2018
The FT Sea Angel free plans don't seem to download...

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bjaipean on October 23, 2018
where is the link to the free plans? The link listed just goes to this article.
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Budzo on October 24, 2018
The link to the free plans is not correct.
BUT, I found them on the FT site at:

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dedger2 on December 14, 2018
I found the link to the free plans but when I go to print the pages all I am getting is the colored markings printing non of the black out lines or lines are being printed. when I check my printer on other printable matter it prints as should be black lines and all colors. Is there something I am not seeing that I should be adjusting for? Have not had this problem before with flite test plans.
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The Hangar on April 25, 2019
I love Alex's dancing at the end!

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MikAZpilot on January 11, 2020
Question: What was the spray paint that stuck to this water resistant foam-board? I sometimes use the expensive Liquitex stuff and then brush a thin coat of Varathane, but from the video it look like some other brand and no having to seal it.
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ctmccloskey on October 5, 2019
That is a beautiful airplane you have designed and built. I am curious about making a twin engine version. What do you think about two engines in the above pod, one pusher and one puller to eliminate the torquing of the aircraft upon adding power? Two engines working to counter the torque from the engines.
How could this be done easily?
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Wawan on September 19, 2019

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Wawan on September 19, 2019

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jinnjinn on October 30, 2021
What kind of paint you using, thanks
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RC Flying Boat | NEW FT Sea Angel Release!