This plane was purchased for my grandson and I to build together. He was amazed at how big this plane was, actually, I was too. The follow along build video was an excellent production and was easy to follow and understand. We did a simple elevator, rudder set up which will be perfect for our first flight...test. Thank you guys for making this easy and fun.
I have built several of these Explorer aircraft #FLT-1028 and they are one of the best flying (and cheapest in cost)planes anywhere. Please don not discontinue this model. I recommend this model to everyone!
Great design with a lot of space for battery and electronics. There are lot of videos on youtube of people loosing a wing. For this reason we enforced the wings with carbon rods. Maiden flight today and I crashed my sons airplane in the first curve, after loosing one wing! Now we reinforced the center with two thin aluminium carrier sections. It is really a weakness of the design, that the center is glued with a thin center spar. The glue does not work well on the foam itself, only on the paper, thus cutting the paper and glue the center section does not add a lot of stability. The tesa tape did not last a full turn ;-)
The build was easy and fast; the instructions clear.
My wing is strong; has NOT folded even thru loops, steep dives and hard pull-outs.
It's an excellent trainer. Even thou I built mine with no dihedral to make it more maneuverable, it's still easy to fly.
It was nice to have an extra wing, but I'd rather have parts for an extra nose, and a cheaper kit instead.
Maybe you could make two kits: one with a 3 channel wing, one with a four channel wing AND included parts for an extra nose in each kit?
Got this after smashing my simple scout into a tree because it was my first build and I made some mistakes.
Glides very well and is a relaxing flight experience.
Would recommend for a person who is new to the hobby.
Hands down the best way to learn to fly with a Flite Test build.
I jumped right into building one of their over wing planes that looked terrific, learned very quickly that my total lack of experience meant I often broke a prop and ended my flight early! So I took a step back before totaling my main plane and built up the Explorer to get used to flying, understanding a "bank and yank" control setup, and flying in light wind. This turned out GREAT! It handled a light breeze well, has HUGE control surfaces to maintain the direction you want to go, and with the glider wing is incredibly stable. The best part is, you can belly land it in a field and have zero worries about busting a prop due to lack of experience, After a few mishaps and a half hour of flying it was still ready to fly!
I let my father try it, who managed to land it in a tree over a pond! after getting it out of said tree,it went into said pond! it surprisingly floats well too! A evening to dry off and it's ready to fly again!
This is hands down got to be the best way to get into foam-board flying if you have NO prior experience, It's modular and easy to replace damaged parts, the large nosecone which would take the brunt of a nosedive landing is easily re-built and it's VERY stable in flight! I should have started with this plane to begin with, But I'm glad I have one made now!
Banging good airplane. Honestly this plane is so good when it come to efficiency and soaring. Not fast, but definitely a great airplane. It handles well with both wings, and the pusher config is great for saving props.
Good job I am intreated in aeroplanes
And flytest channel also
Having built and flown a few of my own scratch-builds from foamboard, I took a chance on one of these FT Explorers. Written instructions would have been a plus, but the video os okay.
Im not quite done with this build, but noticed all the motor mount parts were not in the kit, mainly the angled side parts, and the firewall was seemingly larger than it should have been.
This is not a problem for me, but could be for those who are less experianced. I will be using up to 1300g thrust on this thing, so I was already planning on reinforcing the assembly with fiberglass and C.A. for resin.
Overall things seem to be going together well enough aside from the boom fitting way too tight in the pod... I will have to do some creative foam compression here.
I would post pics of my motor mount "fix" if I could.
The instructions are helpful. I will be able to use some of these techniques in future scratch-builds.
4 stars for overall quality being as expected...
-1 star for the missing parts that I was able to work around.
Maiden flight update:
I eeked-out a short maiden flight before dark, with scratch-built landing gear installed.
I litterally drove the thing around on the ground using the rudder for half a minute, then gunned the throttle and went for it...
The Explorer ran-out 15 or so feet and lifted off, no crazy stick corrections needed once in the air. Flight was predictable per the reviews Ive read here, it handled responsively yet not overbearingly so.
I used a 2212/980Kv/8x4 prop setup on 4S/1500mAh and stayed at 1/2 throttle most of the short flight with no tendancy toward a stall.
Landing in a light headwind, I simply cut the throttle and let it glide in, again, with no hint of stall, eased it down to a nice rolling landing on the wheels.
Rudder authority is excellent, in the air and rolling on the ground with wheels. I can see why this thing would fly well on a 3-Ch setup, though I opted to go directly to 4-Ch (aileron wing).
I would definitely recommend this bird to others that want a simple kit that flies well.
1 month update.....
All is well, except I pushed the wing too far even after adding a 5/16 x48" dowel rod during the build. It broke just past the servo and linkage. I believe that servo cut-out is a weak point with no support around it.
One too many hard climb-outs to vertical while running 1100g thrust 4S power system on a 900g plane. Still well worth the money.
This has been an great experience. Before I buy the kit and a C Pack, I've been playing with B Pack 3 Channel setup and building with dallar tree foam board. So far three complete planes, 4 wings, 5 noses, several props and finally have completed several flights. This old retired guy is finally living the dream of a lifetime. I had several issues along the way that I worked out solutions to, major one center of gravity. I bought Dubro 30" park flyer pushrods to enable mounting the servos at the very front of boom. I went sparingly with glue on the tail section and heavy on nose pieces. The nose cone I lengthened 3 1/2 inches, adding some side support and threw in some triangles to build a crush zone. Lost a battery on a brick wall. You will break the nose if a beginner so plan on building spares. I raised the motor 1/8' from plans for some prop clearance. By the way my second plane was built with foamboard from Hobby Lobby, big $9 4 in 1 sheet. Too heavy for B Pack. Nose is nice in this board and may use the fuselage section again with a C Pack. Plans now are to buy Simple Cub kit, build one of these Explorers 4 channel and finish up Sig balsa kits with glow and then with my Fokker TriPlane which is done go join a club and fly. Maybe someone will find this useful as I notice several folks have had discouraging results. I do have an AMA license by the way.
This plane flew exceptionally well. I am a beginner and I successfully flew and landed the plane. It was a blast, as well as remarkably sturdy. It glides through the sky and guarantees high satisfaction. Thanks for reading my review.
update edit: I have to modify this review. There's been more problems that have popped up since. First, the power pack B is just.. wrong. The motor provided doesn't match the videos in terms of mounting and the hardware provided really is irrelevant at best. I had to screw it into the wooden firewall with the wires pointing down because otherwise they won't reach outside, and that means breaking one of the wooden firewall pieces to get it to fit. Not a huge problem because we can work around that, but more importantly the prop doesn't fit the motor shaft. Or maybe it does? I was able to fit it on by forcing it a bit but the shaft nut doesn't screw over it very tightly. I'm not convinced it will hold under a load. I don't know. Third, assembling the whole plane leaves the prop hitting the tail boom just on the tips. I'd think a different prop would fix all of this if the prop was smaller and the hole was bigger, but I don't know enough about the hobby to even know what to do here. Honestly this is all a bit frustrating. Revised down to three stars from 4. I think this might just not be a very good kit, maybe the others are better, but so far not super impressed with flite test in terms of kit completeness.
Overall though I still love what you all provide, but you simply cannot claim the power pack is a complete kit when the parts provided aren't even compatible with each other.
I am continually impressed with the work flite test does to make sure the first experience with RC flying is good.
The youtube build videos are informative and show step by step nearly everything you need.
I recently bought an explorer kit for my and my 10 year old to work on. I've been interested in flying ever since I was a kid myself but didn't have the money to get into the hobby. The most expensive part is the transmitter, but aside from that the people at Flitetest have done an incredible job of reducing the cost and learning curve to put together a plane.
I will say though that the electronics aspect is very confusing, and the videos don't explain enough about the different kinds of connections and what they do to understand what is happening, at least for me. I watched most of the beginner series and got the basic strokes, but I messed up when trying to bind my transmitter and start up the motor with the esc. You need to power up the receiver while binding, which means hooking up the battery and BEC, which is in the ESC.
Testing servos is pretty straight forward and there were tons of warning on how to hook up the tester, plus if we accidentally killed something servos and the tester are cheap. However I mistakenly thought the servo tester could be used to accelerate the motor to verify functionality before hooking up the receiver, and I accidentally fried my signal wire on the esc because I didn't understand that the control wires for the esc were also providing power in the form of a BEC, and plugged the wrong end into the servo tester. Surprisingly the tester is fine, but the 3 wires for the esc control fried.
So while I am so grateful for the work you've all done to bring the hobby to people like me, it would be nice to see a more complete video on the electronics aspect. Maybe I missed it but this was the only aspect that was a bit frustrating.
Overall though, I can't say enough positive things about this company. We're not even done building our first airplane and I've already got a couple other people interested to the point they say they will buy from flite test as well!
This is a great plane for anyone interested in this hobby. I'm 11 years old and it wasn't hard at all. The video should have been updated a little because the people in the video had a different brand of motor and I didn't get some of the things you should have gotten. If you get the c power pack, the motor didn't fit into the motor mount properly. Also, i would recommend the c power pack because you have to fly the plane at 75% throttle to even get it to not stall. They sent all the foamboard pieces correctly so that was good. It fly's very well and lands smooth. Would recommend for younger kids to build.
Nice winter project but before you dive into this build I have some suggestions.
The kit I received was covered in craft brown paper. The video instructions on line have a kit covered in white paper. I had no idea of what paper was to be removed and what paper stayed so I think I removed paper that was supposed to be left. It would have been nice if the instruction was the same as what I received. Actually finished it and headed to the field, 1st flight and about 75ft up and the wing broke in 2 and down she went. One side of the wing was still held on by the rubber bands. Glued the wing back together but this time I put black gorilla tape on the bottom across the wing joining line about 2 feet long in 3 places. Then added tape going from the front to back around the wing. I then added a piece of corrugated plastic (coroplast) to the top of the wing 10" wide glued it and taped it.
This wing will never fail in the air again. This is the wing without the ailerons, I plan on reworking the aileron wing next. The flight after the repair was great!
Ordered a kit, and after that crashed, and burned,scratch built another, and same story.The thrust angle is off or something.The plane is not very tough at all, one crash , and it's toast,Find Another to build.The simple cub at 135% works great!I would actually like my money back!
Terrible. There is no way to adjust the angle of the motor mounts. I built mine and had one of our best pilots fly it, and it took max rudder trim to make it fly straight. First, I bought the smaller motor and it would barely make it over the trees at our flying field. This was listed as a good trainer. It should have been listed as a good plane to make people quit the hobby.