Swappable nnChipmunk - FREE PLANS

by nerdnic | September 16, 2014 | (26) Posted in Projects



80+ MPH

-Blackbeltrrf from the FT forums

Wow! Why did I have to watch that 80+ video? I am going to have to build this!

-Neilyboy from the FT forums

I just wanted to say thank you for such an excellent design. Keep the wonderful designs coming!!


The last few months I've been hard at work designing planes for you guys, you may have seen my designs featured on FliteTest in the past, if not please check them out!

The nnChipmunk was exciting to design and I was able to pull all my previous resources and experience to make something truly great. From the beginning I wanted a fun, nimble, stable all around plane that would work for a wide range of skill level. The final product is something I am very proud of and I am pleased to be able to offer the plans for free to everyone. Check out the Review below for more details about why the nnChipmunk is my new favorite plane, and why it should be your next build.

If you're interested in reading more info about the nnChipmunk, I have a forum thread that covers the design and build.










Airframe  270g (with 25g aluminum spar)

AUW        620g (Standard build)
               1000-1100g (80+ build)


Standard build
MOTOR - Turnigy D3530/14 1100kv 73g 315w 22a
PROP - 9x6 APC
ESC - HobbyKing Blue 30a
BATTERY - 2000mah 3S
SERVOS - 4x 9g

80+ MPH
MOTOR - NTM 35-48 1100kv 173g 1000w
PROP - 10x10 APC
ESC - Dynam 80a
BATTERY - 2600-3300 40c 4S
SERVOS - 4x 12g metal gear


3 sheets of DTFB
3 BBQ skewer
1 sheet of poster board
1 Popsicle stick
1 landscape flag (15 gauge wire)
1 FT Power Pod



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 nnChipmunk is a Intermediate to advanced build.



December 12th 2014
Change log
--Added Super Chipmunk options
--Increased size of aileron and elevator tips for increased durability
September 4th 2014
Change log
--Increased size of wing cut out
--Added elevator control mechanism
--Changed tail 'step up' section 
--Added BBQ spar to horizontal stabilizer

--Added CG mark

-Poster board
--Made tail grove wider
--Increased size of cockpit cutout in tail poster
--Reduced height of cockpit
--Squared off end of winglet
August 30th 2014
Change log
--Added fuse crease lines
--Added remove paper from belly - tail section
--Lengthen belly tail section
--Trimmed rudder notch for elevator movement
--Notched cockpit former 3
--Lengthened vertical stab
--Added former 4 to support vertical stab/poster board
--Added center line to belly
--Added paper and foam removal section in belly for wing
--Added power pod holes

--Add dihedral
--Add dihedral gauge - 10cm

-Poster board
--Added nose poster
--Added tail poster
--Added wing groove poster
--Added cockpit
August 28th 2014
Change log



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?
Yes, but it won't be ready for a bit. The nnChipmunk is a Intermediate to advanced build and follows the same FT build techniques you're already familiar with. So if you need some guidance check out the build video FliteTest made http://flitetest.com/articles/ft-mustang-build

The only really tricky part is the rear poster board and the split elevator but with a little patience it comes together perfect.

How scale is the nnChipmunk?
I went the extra mile to keep the nnChipmunk as scale as possible. No major changes were made. 

Is the nnChipmunk a good plane for a beginner to fly?
No. The build requires someone familiar with scratch building DTFB planes and the flying style is a little ahead of a beginner. You'll want to already know how to fly before tackling the nnChimpunk.

I want to build the 80+ MPH version of the nnChipmunk, what do I need to know?
The nnChipmunk is built ready for speed. You’ll need an aluminum spar in the wing but no structural changes need to be made in order to achieve 80+ MPH. 



No bad tendencies, at all. No tip stalls. No high speed stalls. Nothing. In the maiden video I drop the throttle and she floats down like a feather.

Wind performance is great. Side winds are no problem and in a light breeze the nnChipmunk will hover in place.

It takes very little effort to hand launch and landing is very floaty and graceful.

Rolls, loops, and inverted are solid. You’ll need a decent amount of up elevator when inverted but the nnChipmunk is very stable upside down.

Amazing. For its size and weight I wasn’t sure it would perform this well but it glides like a champ.

¼ throttle flying is possible with the nnChimpunk, that’s all that needs to be said.

The Chipmunk is a unique looking plane with its tail ridge and cockpit. The final product really captures the look of the Chipmunk.

As far as feel goes, the nnChipmunk is a real treat to fly. It’s hard to sum up if a plane is ‘good’ or not by just reading a review. Sure it might have decent tendencies and characteristics, but would you enjoy flying it? Will you want to fly it? With most planes the answer is no or maybe, but with the nnChipmunk I can whole heartedly say that it’s a fun plane to fly. It handles so well and is very responsive at all times during flight. It has a huge speed envelope and appeals to a wide range of skill levels.



WOW! The nnChipmunk is amazing. If you guys don't already know, the FT Spitfire has been my favorite plane from the first time I flew it. I've made pretty much every possible size FT Spitfire and always have one ready to fly, and I recommend to everyone that they need to build one.

With that being said, know that I don't make the following claim lightly. The nnChipmunk is my new favorite plane. It has a huge speed envelope, just the right amount of floatiness, is very fun to fly, and just has a great feel to it all around. It is by far my best design to date and the nnBucker and nnMoth Minor are no slouches. After my maiden I put 8 more batteries through the nnChipmunk and I can't find anything bad to say about it. 

Everyone should build one. You, guy reading this article right now, download the nnChipmunk plans and build one, you won't regret it!

Thanks for checking out the nnChipmunk! If you built a nnChipmunk and enjoyed it please consider donating a few bucks so I can buy more supplies to make more great planes.


MT Alex on September 16, 2014
Great job, Nick, looking forward to building this one. I also think this is your best article yet. The others were very good, too, but since they all got posted at the same time it was kind of too much to take in.
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nerdnic on September 16, 2014
Thanks Alex! Let me know how your build goes or if you have any questions. Are you gonna go with the standard electronics?
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MT Alex on September 17, 2014
I just downloaded the plans so I can email them to my print shop, I'm very glad they are not tiled. I will probably go with something in between the standard and speed packages, I currently don't own any 4s lipos.
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nerdnic on September 18, 2014
Sounds good man, let me know if you have any questions.
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mjmccarron on September 16, 2014
Great job! Your designs are clean and reflect well on the Flite Test methods. Keep up the good work and thank you!
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nerdnic on September 16, 2014
Thanks Mike! It's pretty cool what can be done with simple foam board, have you ever done any design work yourself?
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mjmccarron on September 17, 2014
I did an ugly stik and an attempt at a spacewalker. The stik was pretty fun. The Spacewalker was a bit disappointing. I will try to rebuild it using FT's under cambered tips. Hopefully that will give it a bit more stability. I'll also increase the size from the 30" wingspan of my original. It's so much more fun to goof off with a plane that cost less than $10 and only took a few hours. DTFB has really allowed me to expand my flying without catastrophic and heart wrenching crashes. Way better than a simulator IMHO. Plus, when they get ragged I pull the electronics and give them to my kids to play with. It has got my 8yo son very interested in flight. He has started adding weights to the planes to get them to glide. Good times for all!
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alibopo on September 17, 2014
Looks like another winner! I particularly like your solution for bridging the elevator control left to right - very neat. (More than one way to skin a cat!) :)
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nerdnic on September 17, 2014
Thanks! I tested a few different options and this one required the least amount of extra work. It's also very strong so it works well.
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sailorJohn on September 17, 2014
Great job, like some of your technics , now if someone would find a way to make the under camber wing tip more durable and finished looking without losing the benefits, it would increase it's attraction. Maybe some one out there has some suggestions and would make some video's on howto. Looking for a durable, moisture resistant sport plane with similar flying characteristics .
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nerdnic on September 17, 2014
Yeah that's a tough one. I add a BBQ skewer to the first airfoil fold and it helps a lot but it doesn't fix the whole issue.
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Gantorin on September 17, 2014
1. Awesome plane, and I like the speed envelope in the second video. Very nice design.
2. Anyone ever tell you, you have a slight resemblance to Wil Wheaton?
3. Props to the camera guy on the second video... He kept up with that thing speeding by really well.
Awesome job dude! I really like it!
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nerdnic on September 17, 2014
Haha, thanks. No, I've never gotten a Wheaton reference before, that's too funny. I'm glad you like the design and I will tell my camera man you like his work.
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cbarnes0061 on September 17, 2014
Love it looks awesome. Now time to build one and get Mr Art Scholls scheme on it.
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nerdnic on September 18, 2014
Do it!
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jarpy on September 18, 2014
Kinda reminds me of a zero very cool design keep posting!
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nerdnic on September 25, 2014
Thanks, I'd like to do a zero in the future.
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GB-air on September 23, 2014
Nice! Could tell you were at Baylands. Hopefully see you there sometime. It looked awfully quiet there. I'm there on sundays mostly.
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nerdnic on September 25, 2014
I'm usually there during the week or later on Sunday. It's a bit crowded early on Sunday and others aren't always happy with my low fast flying :P
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GB-air on September 26, 2014
Haha same. I usually pull near 100 with my funfighter. Your chipmunk looks really neat. I might get some money for helping a neighbor put together his plane. Ill see, but i might try your fast chipmunk.
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Tree Top Tommy on September 26, 2014
First I am newer to the hobby and I really enjoy your website and videos. I buy your aircraft accessories but love the scratch building aspect. I have built quite a few of the simpler models but this is my first crack at a more advanced build. BUILD QUESTION: It appears wing cuts clear our of the the fuselage on the trailing edge. I am just about to attached the wing. Do I just glue it in the best I can? Or did I cut the fuselage incorrectly?
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nerdnic on September 26, 2014
Hi there. Thanks for building the nnChipmunk but I just wanted to make sure you knew this is not an FT plane. I'm just a community member who is a big fan of FT and makes planes.

For the wing, it should be flush with the fuse. The fuse bottom plate has a remove paper and foam section so it's only the paper that sits right below the wing. If you wing is not fitting properly you can trim down the trailing edge. The most important part of the wing is that the flat bottom is the same angle as the horizontal stabilizer and perpendicular to the motor thrust angle. Outside of that you can fudge things around a bit with no issues :)

Hope this helps!
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Tree Top Tommy on September 26, 2014
Thank you. I plan to finish the build tonight. If I am able to post a pic/or a link to a pic, I will. Our R/C group is having a "fun fly" this Sunday. Can't wait to get this one up in the air! :)
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nerdnic on September 26, 2014
Yeah I'd love to see! One thing to note, if this is your first intermediate plane then start off will gentle elevator throw, the FT low rate gauge is a good measure from their others planes. The nnChipmunk ailerons are pretty thin so you need a decent amount of throw, I'd start with maybe a quarter of an inch of up and down deflection.
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Tree Top Tommy on September 28, 2014
All done :) The maiden flight will be tomorrow. Hopefully it looks at good at the end of the day as it does now. Chances are, it won't, LOL. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=789040861158106&set=pcb.789040941158098&type=1
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nerdnic on September 28, 2014
I love the pilots! Nice touch haha. Good luck on the maiden!
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Tree Top Tommy on September 28, 2014
It flies great! It is super steady and smooth after the initial trimming. I am already thinking about bumping it to a 4 cell battery and maybe a better motor... must, go, faster! Great plane, love it!

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nagromnewo on September 29, 2014
Is there anywhere those who are not on Facebook can see the pictures?
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Tree Top Tommy on September 29, 2014
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Tree Top Tommy on September 29, 2014
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nagromnewo on September 30, 2014
Thanks! :)
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Flying Fox on November 19, 2014
WOW awesome Build
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china fans on October 14, 2015
You are all talent,can I join you?

From China!
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fonzoahrak on January 17, 2016
Love it, keep on the good work
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Swappable nnChipmunk - FREE PLANS