Vortex-RC brings FliteTest inspired Laser Cut Foamboard kits to India
Vortex-RC brings FliteTest inspired Laser Cut Foamboard kits to India.
Hold your breath , the wait’s finally over. Vortex-RC is proud to announce availability of Precision Laser cut Paper laminated FoamBoard kits, originally designed by FliteTest, but modified and adapted to improve upon and suit the available materials. These kits are as close to the actual Flite Test Speed build kits as one can get and are manufactured in India.
Several months of hard work, planning and execution have gone into building these kits, and this goes all in the direction to make this wonderful hobby and sport, more popular, more accessible, more affordable, and above all much more fun. We want to inspire and encourage our Indian aeromodeller friends and pilots to not only just build and fly but also experiment, modify, and learn through the process. Our kits help speed up the build process many times and also reduces the number of mistakes that can be made during the build. Apart from the laser cutting, our kits include accessories ( like piano wire pushrods, landing gear wires, pushrod guides etc ) , which though sometimes look easy to find, but are hard to actually source locally ( for the majority of us ).
When we thought about doing the Laser cut Foamboard kits of FliteTest models, we were confronted with many challenges:
Challenge 1: Paper laminated foamboards were not available .
This was the biggest one ! In India you get Coro, Depron, Sunboard and what-not, but No lightweight paper laminated foam boards that our US friends make us so jealous of !.
So we started making our own Foamboards and FliteBoard PRO and FliteBoard Lite was created. Read FliteBoard announcement here.
Challenge 2: Models when built with the FliteTest plans, do not balance properly, when built with a slightly heavier material.
Even making our own FliteBoards, our material is very slightly heavier than DollarTree Foamboard. Well, it’s not just us who have faced this problem, our counterparts in Europe and Australia too have had heavier Foamboards:
What that means is, if you simply printed out the the FliteTest FT plans, and made your models, most likely, in fact always the Centre of Gravity (CoG) CG of models will not come in the right place. This leads to a tail heavy plane, that either flies bad or requires modification, sometimes out of scope for the first time builder.
What we wanted to give out was something that works. out of the box. That is a kit that has been built, flown, proven and tested by an experienced aeromodeller.
All of our FliteTest based Laser cut kits have modifications made on them to make the m balance correctly. Nose has been extended , FliteBoard Lite has been used on the tail to keep the weight down.
Each of the kits that we offer, have gone through weeks of efforts in modifying, flying testing, again modifying, testing, before coming up with something that flies well.
Challenge 3: Dollar tree foam is 3/16” (4.76mm) versus our material is 5.5MM
The other thing was that all of the plans required modification to adjust and compensate for the thickness of material. In US, they use the standard system so Dollar stree foamboard is 3/16 in which is 4.7MM whereas our boards are 5MM-5.5MM So that needed to be changed.
Challenge 4: Laser cutting is expensive and inaccessible
Laser cutting was expensive ( well, it still is ).
We made our own laser cutter ! Yes, completely DIY. And after hundreds of hours of operation, we can confirm it works well ! We plan to release plans for making one soon.
If not anything else, all this goes to help us to make our kits more and more affordable.
Challenge 5: Sheets are fragile, delicate hard to ship without getting damaged.
We got special custom boxes with double corrugated sheets ( 5-Ply ), Apart from that, we use a cling film to tightly package the sheets together. We hope our customers will get the kits in the same way as when we pack them.
Challenge 6: Kit accessories are very hard to find.
Small kit accessories like Rubber bands, piano wire for pushrods and landing gear, sounds easy to get. But try finding locally in India, and you would be hard pressed to find something of even a usable quality. We have spent weeks in getting the right kind of pushrod piano wire – Something that is rigid, and straight, yet can be bent with the use of pliers, and of course that does not rust !.
Enough of writing , The first two kits available are :
FT-Explorer – A versatile trainer/sport 3-4 Channel airplane, that is extremely modular. Includes a full set of laser cut sheets along with 2 Wings ; a Trainer 3 Channel without ailerons and a Sport 4 channel with ailerons.
FT-Bloody Baron – The Bloody Baron is an extremely easy to build kit, that will take less than 3 hours to build and a true Bank -n– Yank plane to fly. Small, portable and zippy to fly around in small parks and places, the Bloody Baron can be flown with streamers to do some combat flying with friends . Choice of decals include a Nazi Ugly Stick Style or a Batman theme.
Each kit will include, well packaged laser cut sheets, a datasheet that lists all of the kit contents, and important information about that plane – ie weight/CG location/ control surface throws etc,, a sheet of custom designed decals, and of course any kit accessories as may be required.
To those limited few of you who may be concerned on what FliteTest has to say on our endeavours: we have contacted FliteTest and informed them about our plans to make these kits in India, and they are one wonderful / open group, that truly believes in encouraging the aeromodelling sport. We continue to give them full credits for their work. We have not renamed any of their models. We link back directly to their site. The Build Video and Review on the products page are directly of their YouTube Channel. We do not copy or put in any of FliteTest’s plans, images or content on our website.
In essence, through our efforts, the hobby is what benefits – Aeromodelling becomes much more accessable, affordable and more fun in India. FliteTest gets more website hits, their videos get seen by many more, their planes become more famous, Lots of aeromodellers in India will become aware of FliteTest brand, their ultra cool videos and their contribution to the hobby. To re-iterate, we are not just downloading, printing and selling kits. We are innovating. We have solved several problems ( if you have read above ), we have tried to add value, and we have done a lot of hard work before any of the kits becomes available, each model goes through several test iterations, before we deem fit for production ( did we tell you that we design and give a sheet of free decals too with each kit ?) . And needless to say, we are not going to encroach upon any of the FliteTest’s current market ( USA ), and we are currently limited to sales within India only.
Lastly, and to conclude:
Vortex-RC is committed to innovating, and trying to make things here in India, instead of being just another LHS (Local Hobby Store) reseller of Chinese products. We started out by making our own VT-Allrounder which is a Laser-Cut Coroplast electric airplane kit with a CNC Airfoil wing, ideal for beginners, and the VT-Speedster which is a CNC cut Flying wing for intermediate and sport fliers.
We hope that our current efforts of making the Lasercut foamboard plane kits to India will be appreciated by Indian aeromodellors. For any further questions, suggestions, concerns or doubts we can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org