Pilot history and first flight of my new FFX FW190 - RC Groups
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Sep 28, 2002, 04:25 PM
spinnetti's Avatar

Pilot history and first flight of my new FFX FW190

As a newbie, I bought the TM and loved it. Did all the mods, got tons of mileage out of it, but was ready to move up.

I bought the GWS Zero as soon as it came out (at the weak signals show in Toledo). Expecting the same great performance, I went on to great disappointment instead as I could never get it to fly (no slam to GWS, it just wasn't a fit for me after many attempts).

Thinking I still needed more trainer practice, I bought kind of an intermediate plane, the 42" Stick built Wattage Eindecker arf. This plane is a lot larger, nicely built and nice looking, a lot faster than the TM, will fly inverted, but is a bit underpowered and still no alerions.

After reading the thousands of ezone posts on Ken Manuels FFX 'Park Fighter' foamies, I finally bought one - a FW190. I have no building experience (since all previous 3 were arfs), and after the Zero fiasco, I was just to chicken to build it. Months past, and I was getting eager to fly something interesting again.

I finally got up the gumption, and built it up using 8cell 600 ae, a direct drive graupner s400 with builton speed controller, CAM 6x3 folding prop, GWS pico 4 channel reciever and hs55 servos for alerions and elevator.

Construction is a little unusual in that you use ultra light fiberglass cloth over foam cores and waterbased polyurethane as the 'epoxy'. It looked hard, but was surprisingly easy. If (When?) I build another one, it will go together very quickly.

I didn't finish painting yet for fear that it would end up in crumbs anyway, but it ended up at exactly 15oz auw.

I set the alerion and elevator at a little less than the recommended 3/16" travel and checked that all the controls were working smoothly.

As us newbies are wont to do, I rushed it out to the back yard as soon as the batteries were charged up. I didn't have a helper, so I just aimed up a little and gave it a toss under full power...

It pulled away strongly with out any rolling, but was heading towards the ground a little. I pulled back on the stick, and WHAM! It slugged into the ground at about 20 mph. DOH! I guess I should have checked my servo directions....

Disaster! my new Graupner motor was trashed. It would barely rotate, even though the speed controller and prop were fine.

I reversed the offending elevator servo, tossed the motor and soldered the speed controller onto the back of a spare MFA rocket I had been planning to put in the Eindecker.

A quick check for other damage revealed nothing major, so it was back outside.

Looking for a little more disaster recovery room, I climbed up to the deck (10' off the ground) and repeated the toss. This time I got it right, and even though I have very modest skills, the FW was off straight as an arrow into a wind too strong for my old TM.

Even with the throttle at around 2/3, it easily did very tight loops from level flight, was extremely stable, yet turned with authority.

It didn't require any trim, though I'm not sure I ever really tried to fly straight to check

Stalls were easy, flat and predictable, and turning with no rudder was still super easy. Full rolls were a little lazy, but with the throws down around 40%, thats easy to fix.

I didn't time it, but I still had no apparent drop off in power when I decided to bring it in after many loops, rolls and hard combat turns.

Landing (no gear) on the lawn was a little harsh, so I still have some practice to do, but at least I can fly a fast sporty plane now.

For anybody considering the FFX birds, give em' a try.. I doubt you will be sorry! (anybody want a well dented zero cheap?)

Last edited by spinnetti; Sep 28, 2002 at 04:30 PM.
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Sep 28, 2002, 10:58 PM
Captain Carnage says......
AirWarriorBelgy's Avatar

Great report

glad to hear its was an easy flier spinetti and as for the servo revesal...lol i still do that very now and then too......lol

dented zero??? i got two of em...lmao...well only 1-1/2 actually

how bout a website to FFX have ya got one??

Sep 29, 2002, 05:03 PM
Unregistered Foamsmith
I am inspired by your success Dave. By the way I've done the "servo reversal" thing myself as well as watched 20+ year veterans do the same. It's a part of life, specially when you have more planes than you can remember to trim.

Most warbirds have minimal foward drag and are very clean. You may need to throttle down very early in order to bleed off the speed before coming in to land. I tend to take the aircraft much farther than needed and then run 1/3 throttle all the way back to the aproach. Then cut to zero throttle about 100 feet from me and bring it in gently. Being only 15oz your FW-190 should really slow down nicely before snuggling into the grass.

Belgy. The webpage address is

Sep 29, 2002, 05:40 PM
spinnetti's Avatar


Thanks for the landing tips Ken....

Naturally, after my initial success, I had to show off for my wife. As is often the case (I'm pretty sure), I managed to screw up while bragging to the wife instead of paying attention.. I pulled up late out of a dive and JUST ran out of clearance.

I gotta say it was pretty cool. The plane when 'WHUMP' as though a real one had crashed. The fuse broke apart just in front of the wing, and the motor (with part of the nose) and battery went flying off on their own...

I guess you really pay for it when you crack up a fast plane!

I already have it fixed up, and used this opportunity to shape the nose more to my liking. While I'm am awaiting a replacement blade for my CAM prop, I'll do the wing fillets, fill some defects in the battered wing and put some paint and details on..

I'm Hooked!

(If and when my wife ever gets a job again, I'll buy a couple more).


Ken, When I order my next plane, is it possible to get a spare wing? After my first 2 'Landings' I can see that I'll have to replace it sooner or later.

Also, anybody in Cinci OH area carry your kits?

Last edited by spinnetti; Sep 29, 2002 at 05:51 PM.
Sep 29, 2002, 11:34 PM
Unregistered Foamsmith
Sure I can supply an extra wing in your next kit if you wish. Email me when the time comes.

I sell to what ever hobby shop requests and it seems none have asked in your area. With the use of the internet for shopping, things are quite easy to buy from anywhere to anywhere.
Oct 09, 2002, 02:12 AM
Unregistered Foamsmith
I would love to see a picture Dave. Here's the way I painted one.
Oct 10, 2002, 02:48 AM
spinnetti's Avatar



At this stage, I'd be embarassed to post a picture of my effort.

I have to agree with a post on another thread though that the nose profile is not so hot. It would be great if you could cut it with more 'meat' on the nose so you can make a true round profile in front much like Panzy ended up with. The canopy is a little odd too. I'm guessing you did this to give similar frontal area to the other birds? (For the first effort, I didn't want to mess with the form much until I had some experience).

I was just reading your stuff about using house paint, so I'll touch up the 'bodywork' on my bird, get some paint and a sprayer and post a pic in a week or two when I'm done..

How do you make your decals by the way?

You'll probably laugh at my plane.. the nose is carved down too far in the front to get it round, so it doesn't look too much like a 190... Once I get it all figured out, I'll do another one and go for more scale appearance.

I'm using a folder prop, but does a fixed one perform better? I'm always worried about breaking it, but still managed to break the folder..

Oct 10, 2002, 04:53 AM
Unregistered Foamsmith
Dave. Yes the 2" inch wide fuselage and canopy are designed to give the FW-190 the same drag as all the other fighters to make them even for "dogfights" or pylon races.

I find fixed props to give a slightly better performance, but as you say they do break easier.

Here's how I did the nose on my fighter. At 60mph plus if you can see the profile, your eyes are too good.
Oct 10, 2002, 04:57 AM
Unregistered Foamsmith
Panzypoof did the decals on this one for me.

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