I had been looking for a new, big, scale tug for a while and had considered several options. I was concerned about cost, size, ease of assembly at the field, airfoil, quality, etc, etc. Most everything winds up with compromises and my decision to go with the Hempel 38% Decathlon was no different. I found this airplane by chance after talking with Steve Rojecki at the JR Aerotow in 2009. He mentioned the Hempel 50% Cub and remarked he thought it was a pretty good quality offering at a very reasonable price. I went to Hempel’s website, looked at what was available and decided nothing there would fit my requirements. I wanted a tug with at least a semi-symmetrical airfoil, not too much area, and something that would accept a 150cc engine. Hempel didn’t have anything at the time that fit these criteria but there were rumors….
I kept visiting Hempel’s site and learned that new 38% and 57% Decathlons were in the works and would be available in early 2010. The 57% was off the chain for me but the 38% looked very interesting. I lurked around the giant scale airframes thread over at Flying Giants and learned a lot about Hempel’s planes. They were held in high regard for quality, flight characteristics and overall value. I asked a few questions which were promptly answered and a check for the cost of a 38% Decathlon was on the way to Tucson.
I received the plane a few weeks later. It was carefully packed and doubled boxed. Initial inspection proved most everyone’s observations...Continue Reading