Swappable nnBucker Bu 180 - Free plans

by nerdnic | August 23, 2014 | (15) Posted in Projects

-JohnRambozo from the FT forums

“Its just a fun plane. I'm loving it.”

-egunderson from the FT forums

“This Bucker looks nice and pretty. After watching his videos and seeing the plane fly, i knew i had to build one.“

–newguy2012 from RCGroups

“Looks good, flies great! What else can you ask for?”


Hey guys this is the first plane I've ever designed and I couldn't be happier to finally release the nnBucker Bu 180 to everyone! But first.. a little background on myself, nerdnic :-)

I got started flying RC after finding FliteTest on YouTube about 6 months ago. A real spark was ignited in me and it’s been a real joy each step of the way learning and growing in this hobby. Over the last few months I’ve been crashing less and really started to experiment with flight. I decided I wanted to try my first design after spending a lot of time looking at plans and adjusting/scaling them. I even have a thread on the forums dedicate to nonstandard size FT planes.

When trying to decide which plane I wanted to try I immediately thought to myself, ‘I want to do something different.’ There are hundreds, if not thousands of DTFB plans available on the internet, but the same planes are built and redesigned constantly. I don't want another Mustang, or Spitfire, I want something new, something fresh. I was looking around for a few days before I first saw the Bucker. The Bucker really stood out to me as a unique looking plane and the large wingspan was very appealing. I didn’t see that anyone else had DTFB plans for a Bucker and it isn’t a plane you see at the flying field very often in general. So I knew this would be a good place to start.

The design, build and testing process took me several weeks from start to finish but I am very pleased with the final result. The entire design, build, and test process is documented here if you’d like to take a peak. There are even a few nnBucker’s already airborne, a handful of FT and RCGroups forums members followed my threads and even helped me work out a few bugs.

I designed the nnBucker to follow the standard FT build techniques that everyone has become familiar with. So if you've built any of the swappable FT planes before, you'll be right at home.


31.5in (36in including vertical stabilizer)
Airframe - 350g
AUW - 735g


Turnigy D3530/14 1100kv 73g 315w 22a
9x6 APC
HobbyKing Blue 30a
2000mah 3S
4x HobbyKing 9g


Beginner – You’ve never flown a plane before, let alone done a scratch build
Novice – You’ve flown a plane but have no experience with scratch building
Intermediate – You’ve flown and built a few FT style planes before
Advanced – You’ve mastered the standard FT build style and are looking for a new challenge
Expert – You’ve mastered all build techniques and aren’t afraid to improvise or tackle tedious builds

The nnBucker Bu 180 is a Intermediate build.


3 sheets of DTFB
1 sheet of poster board
1 BBQ skewer
1 FT PowerPod


nnBucker Bu 180 - Added August 23rd 2014
FliteTest Power Pod


Will this plane work with the standard FT powerpod and electronics?
Yes. The Beef package/park 425 or greater will work just fine.

Will there be a build video?
At this time, no. However the nnBucker 180 follows very similar build techniques as the FT Mustang. So if you need some guidence check out the build video FliteTest made http://flitetest.com/articles/ft-mustang-build

You list a 2000mah battery in the electronics section, is that the only size that will work?
Nope. I've flown my nnBucker 180 with a 1500mah 3S all the way up to a 3700mah 3S with no issues. I'm sure you could fit even more if you wanted.

No landing gear? What gives?
I fly in a large grass field and normal sized wheels don't work well. I didn't want to include landing gear that I wouldn't be able to properly test, so for now you'll need to experiment on your own.

Can I use a different size motor than what's listed in the electronics section?
Yes! As a minimum I would not go under 200 watts as you need around 700g of thrust for a decent flight experience. 500 watts is a good ceiling but make sure to add a CF or aluminum spar.

Can I use a smaller prop than 9"?
Yes. I have tested an 8" prop with no issues. You could also use a larger prop and have no issues.

How scale is the nnBucker?
I designed every part of the nnBucker to be as scale as possible from the very beginning. From wingspan vs fuse length, to aileron size, tail feathers and control surfaces; everything is very close if not exact in proportions. I didn’t deviate from scale on any part of the plane to the best of my ability so this is as close to scale as you can get with DTFB.

Wow the nnBucker looks amazing, will you be making any other planes?
Yes! I have already begun designing a swappable nnMoth Minor and nnChipmunk. Look out for the article in the near future!



I shot this video review after my maiden flight and I mention an issue with the ailerons during my performance break down. The issue mentioned was caused by having more down deflection than up in my ailerons. After adjusting this I no longer have any issues.


Thanks for checking out the nnBucker! Please leave a comment with your thoughts or questions; I'd love to hear from you! If you built a nnBucker and enjoyed it please consider donating a few bucks so I can buy more supplies to make more planes.


Krivak957 on September 15, 2014
Nic - I'm so glad you decided to do "something different" instead of another "classic". Not that there's anything wrong with the classics, but aviation history is too full of interesting planes to only make the same "top ten" planes over and over. This Bu-180 is a great subject that can be decorated in either civilian or military colors (for those of us who like to decorate) or just flown for fun. I see you have a thread in the forum, but I haven't had a chance to review it (but I will).

Rather than drone on and on (pun intended), I'll just say "thanks" for your efforts to put such a well-presented article on a fine new model. I hope to build your Bu-180 as soon as I finish my Fi-156.
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nerdnic on September 15, 2014
Thanks Krivak. You should definitely check out the forum thread. I go into detail about the entire process and there are a lot more photos. Do let me know if you end up building the nnBucker, I'd love to hear what you think of it.
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sailorJohn on September 11, 2014
Good looking fun plane!
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nerdnic on September 11, 2014
Thanks! It was a blast to design and build.
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Swappable nnBucker Bu 180 - Free plans