Introduction: FliteTest Mig-3

The Flite Test Mig-3 build is an exceptionally fun task and can prove greatly rewarding and provide builders, of all ages, experience with the technicality and science of flight. And as a student in Ms. Berbawy's Principles of Engineering course and as a member of Berbawy's Makers, I knew I had to undertake this project.

This Instructable is a beginner-friendly guide on tips to constructing the Flite Test's Mig-3 RC plane written by a fellow novice in all things RC. Note, I am only giving tips as the actual steps to building the plane is already on Flite Test's website which is available for the public.

NOTICE: I did not create the design for the Mig-3 RC plane. All credit goes to Josh Bixler and Nic Lechner, who designed the model, and Dan Sponholz, who made the drawing for the plans and their website is called Flite Test.

Step 1: Finding the Plans

Starting by visiting their website, FliteTest has a Build Plans section that can be accessed by scrolling all the way to the bottom of their home page.

Then after clicking the icon to Build Plans, you get redirected towards their blueprints section where you can search up the Mig-3 build. To begin building the Mig-3 RC plane designed by Flite Test, access to their parts plans is necessary and can be achieved through here, link to tiled parts, which gives the plans for the correct scale models of the individual parts if you're considering to manually cut out the parts.

I found that trying to rasterize the image through adobe illustrator to try and laser cut the foam cardboard was difficult as the program could not read the individual lines of the image but if you want to have access to those plans, they're found here.

Step 2: Cutting Out the Individual Parts

After printing the plans of the parts using the tiled PDF, cutting out these parts will be the longest section of your build. I suggest using an x-acto knife with a new blade to cut the foam cardboard into the right dimensions.

A nice tip for this section is using a ruler when cutting straight lines as it really straightens the line that's being cut. Another useful tip for cutting your sections out is to cut straight down (90 degrees) and to make sure your knife isn't slanted when cutting which might result in beveled cuts that distort the dimensions of the parts. Also, make sure to use a cutting mat to avoid surface damage.

Step 3: Piecing the Plane Together

After cutting out the individual components, you will need a hot glue gun to piece together your plane. I suggest having a scrap piece of foam cardboard to scrape up excess glue that squeezes out of your plane.

The building section of the plane is possibly the fastest and most fun section of your whole build, but it is crucial that you pay close attention to the gluing and wiring of your plane during this phase. If any mistakes are made during this section, it is possible that you may have to separate the pieces that are already glued which can rip off the protective layer of cardboard paper that covers the foam.

Furthermore, making sure your wires are long enough to reach the receiver you'll use later in the build is a huge must. You do not want to finish building your plane only to realize your wires are too short to reach your receiver. In addition, using extensions to increase the length of your wire is also possible but be sure to have them connected correctly with the right heads and orientation, otherwise, your servos may not function properly as like mine.

Step 4: Wiring and Finishing Your Build

After gluing your foam cardboard together and placing the remaining components in their respective positions, you will need to wire all your servos and motor to the receiver. Color coding your wires with masking tape or by having different colored sets of wires is a useful strategy to remember which wire leads to which servo.

A cautionary notice to make is to research how your receiver and it's connected transmitter/controller work together to make sure no complications arise from connecting and operating your plane. In my case, I used a Futaba R617FS receiver connected to a Futaba T6EX controller. The connection process was weird in that I had two ailerons which had its individual servos but the R617FS receiver only had one port to connect the aileron so I had to search online on how to successfully operate both ailerons.

Should any problems arise regarding the placement of servos in the channels of the receiver, I suggest visiting your controller or receiver's instruction manual for solutions or searching it up on the internet. In addition, your transmitter and receiver may be different than each other which may cause some problems regarding compatibility so keep an eye out for that as well.