Nov 8, 2015

Building the Flite Test - Tiny Trainer

My oldest daughter is now six and a half and has a mild interest in the airplanes she frequently sees me flying.  Upon asking if she'd like to learn how to fly one, she jumped up and down and screamed for several seconds.  Working off that bout of enthusiasm we started looking online at different planes that might make good candidates as a training platform.  Being familiar with Flite Tests foam planes, it didn't take long to decide on the Tiny Trainer.  The tiny trainer can be built as a glider, or a powered plane.  It also has two wing designs, one is straight with ailerons and one without.  I decided to build this as a two channel glider to keep it simple.

I've assembled just one other Flite test plane, the Baby Blender.  I was considering purchasing the kit for the Tiny Trainer but after looking at the plans it didn't seem like that much foam to cut.  :)  After several evenings of cutting foam, we got started assembling the plane.  Flite Test provides a build video which is very helpful.  I utilized my phone to keep pace with the build video as I assembled things.  It makes for a very convenient way to build a plane.

All told it only took one and a half sheets of foam board and took about a week to finish.  I completed it right at her bed time but managed to sneak it up to her room so she could give it a quick look over before morning.

 The next morning we went to the hardware store and purchased purple and pink duct tape for decorating the plane.  We balanced it out before taking it to a nearby park.  She got to fly it several times before we headed home.

We now have a couple of weekends of flights on the plane, considering it has seen several hard landings it's holding up quite well.  The only issue encountered while building was getting the balance right, it took much more weight in the nose than I would have guessed.  On average flights are about 80 yards off a hard throw.