TEST: Fei Lun FT011, the 65cm 4S speedboat

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BEFORE FIRST USAGE, PERFOM SHAFT/BALL BEARINGS INSPECTION TO BE SURE IT’S CORRECTLY LUBRIFIED!!! YOU CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGED YOUR FT011 IF NOT. DO NOT USE THE FT011 IN SALT WATER !!!!

INTRODUCTION

Why change a success story ? After the success of the FT007, & the FT009 two brushed speed boat and after the pretty cool brushless FT012, here is the giant 65cm member in the Fei Lun familly, the Feil Lun FT011. This “monster” is announced to run at 55km/s thanks to a 4S battery…. Let’s have a look to this new beast.

BOX CONTENT

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+ 1 x Fei Lun FT011 (with a 4S 2200mAh LiPo with T-dean connecter)
+ 1 x Transmitter (using 6xAA batteries not included)
+ 1 x Charger
+ 3 x Spare props (same size than the FT012)
+ 1 x Boat holder
+ 1 x Grease tube
+ 2 x Allen key
+ 2 x headless hexscrew
+ 1 x Wrench tool
+ 1 x Instruction manual (English)

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A nice attitude… the presence of this small tube of grease

Two spare headless hexscrews for the coupler

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OVERVIEW

The FT011 is a giant model, the FT012 looks like a dwarf aside.

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I really appreciate the carbon paint style of the upper canopy plastic. In general, the plastic quality is the same than former models. Like predecesors, the FT011 uses the same deep “V” shape, known to not be the best design for high speed racers. At very high speed, the boat is partially lift and part of the traction can be lost because the props time to time is out of the water.

-Front view

On front, you have to install the shock absorber part

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via the two front holes

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With the shock absorber installed

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A large close-up

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-Side view

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The exit of the watersystem is located on the left side

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-Rear view

The “backoffice” shows two long orientable plastic turn fines and two horizontal trim tabs stabilizers to guarantee maximum stabilization at full speed.

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Like former models, you can remove water without disassembling the double desk system.

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Turn fins/water scalpel are longer than FT012 model of course to increase stability… The price will be a poorest manoeuvrability vs the FT012, no free lunch.

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-Upper view

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-Bottom view

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The same structure than the FT012 .

-Weight

With the battery inserted, the boat weights around 1.2Kg ….

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Interior

To avoid potential water leak, a double desk system is present like the FT011 but more efficient IMHO. No problem with the battery for example. In another hand, since there is no waterproof powerswitch, you need each time to disassemble/install the two desks… it’s really annoying versus time. I regret the absence of a powerswitch.

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The outrunner motor, a 2822 model.

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Here a rigid shaft system…. It means it’s ultra important to grease/inspect the shaft section especially at the coupler part

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IMHO, a larger and more powerfull brushless motor would have been a better choice. Maybe with a larger model, the rigid shaft durability would have been deeply impacted

A close up on the the coupler

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BE SURE TO REGULARY INSPECT/GREASE THE COUPLER/SHAFT PARTS. Use the provided tube of grease. The shaft system is getting hot in action and it’s very important to avoid any extra friction.

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A simple 18g servo, maybe a little bit weak to manage at full speed the ruddler control even if I never observed a non-possibility to turn the boat.

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Notice the half-loop probably playing the role of shock absorber in the direction pipeline. Another good news, no more the Fei-Lun security system (see FT007, FT009)… This former in practice came fast out of order and was needed to by bypassed.

The 3-in-1 ESC-FC-2.4G receiver combo welcoming a 65A ESC.

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All the combo is hot-glued/silliconned as waterproof protection. This protection need to be really well done to avoid any shortcuts even if in practice, I observed very small water leaks not very dangerous IMHO.

Shaft system

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Props

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The same FT012 prop is installed. So, if ESC can handle a little bit more strange, faster speed can be achieved with a more efficient prop

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LiPo

The 4S LiPo monster with a capacity of 2200mAh and a discharge rate of 30C, a pretty powerful LiPo equiped of T-dean connector.

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Transmitter

The radio chassis since the FT011 with two analog trims for the throttle and the direction. Good news, I was able to bind the FT012 with the FT011 radio but not the FT011 with the FT012 radio (strange …)

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A solid green LED is here when the pairing is done.

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6xAA batteries for the radio… too much IMHO.

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In practice, the control range is pretty solid, no sign of lost connexions within a radius of 120m ( I didn’t go further). When the transmitter is turn off, the boat cuts the throttle immediatly and if you turn on it again, the pairing is done immediatly, a good news.

FIRST USAGE

For sure, the FT011 is a fast boat thanks to its 4S power. Since the FT011 is pretty heavy, the acceleration are less strong than smaller familly’s members and you need a couple of meters more to reach the top speed proportionnaly (IMHO closer to 50km/h than 55 km/h). As expected, with such stabilizers, the manoeuvrability is really worse than a FT007/FT009… it’s obvious. Now even at a moderate speed (from 30km/h), you need a diameter of 25m-30m to make a full turn. It means in order to enjoy more your FT011, you need a more open/large water-surface.

Don’t be wrong, I really appreciate this boat. The stability is here until maybe at ful top speed where the boat seems to “dance” between each side probably lift by the top speed. The FT011 don’t introduce important water leaks that a good news but be aware, after usage all ESC, motors, LIPO and the rigid shaft are getting warm (around 35-40 deg Celscius).
The FT011 have a lot of potential for future moddings. You can of course install a larger brushless motor and swap the prop to a more efficient model. Be sure to check carefully the solidity of the rigid shaft and grease regulary. I won’t be surprised to see a FT011 pushed over 70km/h.

EDIT 03/14/16: A new demo

CONCLUSIONS

All ingredients of the success story are still here with of course a lot of improvements. I really liked the new design carbon inspired, the efficiency of new double desks system and the amount of power given by the 4S battery. This boat need a wider space due the considerably reduced maneouvrability introduced by the presence of all the stabilizers. I strongly suspect Fei Lun to integrate an underpowered brushless motor to limit the top speed. I guess, the stability is no more guarantee over 55 km/h with this V design and a larger motor. I regret also the absence of basic telemetry feedbacks such as RSSI and LiPo voltage as well as an external powerswitch. With such model, you need absoluptly to inspect/grease regulary the shaft section.

UNBOXING

PROS

+ 4S monster
+ Beautiful design with carbon paint style
+ Up to 50-55km/h
+ Efficient double desk system with few water leaks
+ Self-righting system
+ Radio protocol retro-compatible with the FT012 (but not the inverse)

CONS

– Reduced manoeuvrability (no free lunch)
– No waterproof powerswitch
– No telemetry (RSSI, LVC alarms on the TX)
– Heavy (1.2Kg)
– “Jumping ” a bit at full speed

RCgroups thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2622244#post34229517

This quadcopter have been courtesy provided by Banggood in order to make a fair and not biased review. I would like to thank them for this attitude.
You can find it actually for 140USD at http://www.banggood.com/FT011-65CM-2_4G-Brushless-RC-Boat-High-Speed-Racing-Boat-With-Water-Cooling-System-p-1036340.html

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