- FPV Gear
- FT Merch
- FT Specials
The FT Explorer carries all the simple lines, features, and characteristics that you will find with many of the most common and successful trainers, such as the Hitec Easy Star, the Sky Surfer, and of course, the Hobbyking Bixler series. The difference is that the motor, wings, tail section, and nose can all be swapped, reconfigured, or changed out to allow you to discover the performance changes of a new design. Our hope is that the community will design, learn, and share what they have created, so others can learn and grow. Just like the Mighty Mini Tiny Trainer, The FT Explorer comes with 2 wings– one for 3 channel flight and a sport wing for faster 4 channel operation. Both the B and C motor packs (c packs need 9x6 propeller) can be used on the FT Explorer to go from a light and slow trainer to a strong performing FPV platform or sport trainer.
Recommended Electronics Packs:
Power Pack B - a lighter set up and is great for a light weight trainer setup on the explorer.
Power Pack C - a heavier more powerful setup that will give you more extreme performance and plenty of power to carry extra FPV gear. Requires 9x6 propeller.
FT Explorer Build
Please watch recent build videos before removing any paper from the foam! Some videos may use white foam board, which is no longer available and has now been replaced with water-resistant foam board.
This was a fun build and will do more!. This is not my first RC plane (but close) so I thought I could get the "C" power pack. LOTS of power! In a moment of pure brilliance, I tried to do a loop and folded the wing :( I should have known better. The tail boom seems the be a weak point on this design so be sure to trace out the section for future replacements. Jamie L. on 14th Jan 2017
I've been out of RC airplanes for 27 years!! Saw your videos on youtube and decided to get the Explorer with the Graupner mz-12 combo. Can't say enough about this plane! Super easy the build and just as easy to fly. Landing was so graceful, made me look like a better pilot than I am. Great beginner plane in my opinion! I have built the Scout, 2x Bloody Wonder, FT-22 and the FT3D in the last week! Can't wait to get them in the air! Thanks to Flite Test for all you have done and continue to do for this awesome hobby!!! And a special thanks for helping me fall in love with flying again!!!!!!! J. Barton on 6th Jan 2017
A great a great fun airplane. Worth the money. I would recommend this for anyone getting into the hobby. It flies great with a camera and fpv and can fly anywhere over 2200mah 3s. Unknown on 26th Nov 2016
I built this plane to fill the role of my second ever RC plane. I was looking for something easy to fly and cheap to repair/rebuild in case of the inevitable crash. I built the plane from downloaded plans, Dollar Tree foam board and servos/motor/battery etc. ordered from FliteTest.
The plane does exactly what I wanted it to do. Have crashed it several times and the only harm was a crunched nose. Those were replaced with new noses using 50 cents worth of foam board in less than an hour each. Mine have turned out a bit tail heavy so have had to add up to 2 oz. fishing weight to the nose to get the CG right. It flies like a powered sailplane (with the trainer wing). Today I got it crazy high and timed the glide back to near ground level at about 2 1/2 minutes. The plane would probably make an excellent slope soarer. It is a good airplane. Fairly docile and easy to fly. With the small motor it gets a little dicey under full power but settles down substantially at 75% or less.
I just ordered the two servos and "Y" harness necessary to build the sport wing for it. This build will include reinforcement spars to avoid the wing collapses reported by other builders. I hope the folks at FliteTest come up with a good fix for this problem.
Kingbird on 8th Sep 2016
I found the plane easy build, and love flying it. It took me a little over three hours to take it from foam in a box to a complete airframe. I fly at high altitude (8500') in Colorado and find that with power pack C it dose awesome. The only note on that is because of the large prop the motor mount needs to be angled way up. Test fitting with the prop on is advised to avoid it striking the tail boom. I find that using packing tape on the leading edges and on the nose cone has improved the durability and helped the plane survive many crashes. I would recommend this plane to anyone looking for a stable, durable, and fun fixed wing FPV platform. Jared on 17th Aug 2016
Followed Da Bixler and his conveniently oblivious yet enthusiastic side kick in their assembly video. Everything turned out all right.
The plane showed up in a timely manner, but upon opening the pristine shipping box the plane boards themselves all arrived in a shrink wrapped tight package. The boards them selves had all warped to flex to the odd and uneven pressures of the wrapping taking on a kinked plateau shape and speckled with crushed sections leaving unsightly spider web patterns and deformations instead of nice flat crisp laser cut boards.
The kit other than that was easy to pop out and assemble. The provided pushrods and other widgets to be installed were all easy to sort and well fabricated or sourced.
All in all if they came up with a less constricting warehouse packaging It may keep them purtier. But Alas it will be bendy and buckled after a few flights anyhow so does it really matter? Maybe I like a virgin when I maiden her. Brian s. on 15th Aug 2016
I have been out of the hobby for about 15 years. A friend pointed me to FT as a resource to get back in the saddle. I choose the FT Explorer as a platform to explore foam board building and flying. WOW! This was an easy plane to build and easier to fly. After two batteries with the poly wing, I moved right to the sport wing to push myself and the plane a little. So much fun! Now I am thinking of thinks to add or designs to test. Thanks Flite Test! Great Product! Eric on 22nd Jul 2016
I've built three Explorers and all of them have been terrific flyers. My wife was flying her new Explorer that only had about 5 flights on it and the wing folded. She was doing a gentle loop, pulled the throttle back over the top, and the wing snapped at the bottom of the loop. Has you can see by the attached pictures, it wasn't in the middle, but right passed the wing saddle. The Explorer is an excellent flying airplane, but no way should the wing have folded while doing that gentle of a loop. Unfortunately it was destroyed, but I did have a backup Explorer so she was able to keep on flying. The other two I have are also showing wing stress in the same area as the one that snapped.
Bottom line is strengthen the wing and its not only a great flyer, but structurally sound as well. John Bergsmith on 21st Jun 2016
I am new to RC airplanes this year. So I finally made my mind up, I'm gonna build a Guinea Pig. When I called to make my order for the G.P. and all the necessary parts that would get it flying, the person on the other line was super informative and helpful explaining all that was going to be needed. (So if you have trouble getting them on the phone some days don't get too upset, It's not that they don't answer the phone, it's because they are answering the gazillion questions that we all have once we do call) I was asked if I would be interested in the explorer as a plane that would give me a solid stepping stone into this hobby. I got em' both... Built the G.P. first and flew it, it was/is awesome. Then decided to build the explorer and see if I was able to fly this one as well. I got it built and it also flew great, these planes and speed build kits from F.T. are right on the money. I have since extended the compartment on the explorer between the nose and the L.E. 3.75" (being brand new to building planes and having the build come out a bit tail heavy). I am thankful that the people at Flite Test took the time with me and helped instill a bit of confidence that I think is needed in a daunting hobby, that is R.C. planes. Jamie on 5th Jun 2016
I'm a brand new RC pilot and this is my first plane. It has taught me quite a bit so far. I'm actually on my second build. I flew and repaired the first one until it wouldn't trim out straight then pulled all the electronics out and built another one. I now have reasonably good control and can get it from hand launch to the ground undamaged. I'm just now to the stage where I'm considering building the sport wing. The growth potential in this airframe is excellent and I expect to keep flying the Explorer in some form or another for quite a long time. It has been forgiving and surprisingly durable. Another Flying Bicyclewrench. on 30th Apr 2016