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Hangar 9 ShowTime 50 ARF Review

Tim Tworek takes an in-depth look at the new offering from Hangar 9, the ShowTime 50. The ShowTime 50 packs all the same great flying characteristics as its larger sibling, but in a smaller package. Let's take a look as Tim builds and flies the new ShowTime 50 using electric power.

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Introduction

  Hangar 9 ShowTime 50
Hangar 9 ShowTime 50
Wingspan:57"
Wing Area:716 sq. in.
Weight:7.2 lbs.
Length:59.5"
Wing Loading:23 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:(5) DS 821's
Receiver:Berg 7p
Battery:(2) TP 3s2p 4200mah packs
Motor:E-flight Power 60
Prop:APC 16 x8E
ESC: Castle Creations Phx 80
Manufacturer:Hangar 9
Available From:Horizon Hobby

Following the successful release of their ShowTime 4D 90, Hangar 9 has unveiled a new, slightly smaller version called the ShowTime 50. The ShowTime 50 has its big brother's same great features such as the distinctive and unique SFG Technology®, light ply and balsa construction and an excellent 4-color covering scheme that really sparkles. Most exciting is Hangar 9's recommendation of an electric power package! Let's take a look at this new 3D aerobat offering from Hangar 9... the ShowTime 50.

Kit Contents

The ShowTime 50 arrived very nicely packaged and without any damage. The very first thing I noticed after removing the outer packaging was the impressive photo of the plane on the front. I have always liked the color scheme on the ShowTime 4D 90 and the color scheme on the ShowTime 50 is equally as impressive. The covering was superb and wrinkle free.

Kit Contains:

  • Dazzling 4-color Ultracote covering scheme
  • Laser-cut lightweight balsa and plywood construction
  • Complete high quality hardware
  • Removable Side Force Generators (SFGs)
  • Fully illustrated and well organized manual
  • Quality decal set (for both E- and glow-powered models)

Equipment used to complete:

  • E-Flite 60 BL motor
  • Castle Creations Phoenix 80 speed controller
  • (5) DS-821 servos
  • APC 16 x 8E
  • (2) 3s2p 4200mah TP lipos wired in series (6s2p)
  • 4 cell 1200mah Nimh Rx pack (could also use a UBEC)
  • Berg 7p receiver (min. 6 channel)
  • Miscellaneous building supplies

Assembly

The ShowTime 50 came with a well-organized and very thorough manual and I found the pictures and text to be helpful for a quick and easy build. It did not, however, include instructions for installing the recommended electric package.

I won't rewrite the entire manual here, but rather point out the highlights and answer possible questions to help clarify the electric power system for those who might be new to converting.

Wing

I used the new DS-821 servos which are rated at 72 oz./in. on 4.8v and 88 oz./in. on 6v. With my 4.8v setup, this was more than enough torque for this plane's size. The DS-821s just drop right into the aileron servo bays with no modifications.

NOTE: I had to switch out the stock DS-821 servo arms for some Dubro servo arms for all the control surfaces. The stock servo arms would not provide enough throw for full 3D rates.

Tail Setup

The horizontal stab comes with the covering already removed where it will affix to the fuselage, eliminating the possibility of cutting too deeply into the balsa on the stab when removing the covering.

I really like the pull-pull rudder setup on the ShowTime 50 for its ease of setup and installation. I used a DS-821 servo with the Dubro control horn to get maximum 3D throws on the rudder and I used the included rudder cable that came with the kit with terrific success.

E-Power Conversion

Meet the E-Flite Power 60


Type: Brushless Outrunner
Size: Replacement for 60-size glow engines
Bearings or Bushings: Ball Bearings
Wire Gauge: 14
Recommended Prop Range: 14x8 to 16x10
Voltage: 18.5V to 28.8V
RPM/Volt (Kv): 400
Resistance (Ri): .06 ohms
Idle Current (Io): 2.70A @ 10V
Shaft Diameter: 6mm (.24 in)
Overall Length: 62mm (2.40 in)
Weight: 380g (13.0 oz)
Overall Diameter: 50mm (2.00 in)
Diameter: 50mm (2 in)
Length: 62mm (2.4 in)
Continuous Current: 40A
Maximum Burst Current: 60A (15 sec)
Cells: 16-24 Ni-MH/Ni-Cd 5-7S Li-Po

Now we get to move on to one of my favorite parts of setting up an e-conversion plane... power!

The E-Flite Power 60 motor was selected to put the ShowTime 50 through its paces. I used the included E-Flite 60 radial mount to determine where my mounting bolts and blind nuts would attach to the firewall. The standoff hardware that I used consisted of (4) 3" 8-32 bolts with matching sized blind nuts and a total of (8) 1" nylon spacers (2 per bolt). I bought the mounting hardware at my local Lowe's home improvement store for less than $4, providing me with a very cost effective, lightweight alternative to many of the aluminum cages being offered on the market. This setup gave me approximately 4 1/2" from the firewall to the back of my prop adapter and this spacing worked perfectly when it came time for mounting the cowl.

I used a dremel to remove a small portion of the stock fiberglass neck on the bottom of the ShowTime to add additional cooling for the battery packs.

Choosing to Change -- Adding a Canopy/Battery Hatch Quick Release Setup

The ShowTime 50 comes with two screws that are used to hold the canopy/hatch in place. So that I could quickly access the battery compartment after each flight, I decided to use 2 sets of 1/4" magnets in the fuselage area and 1 set of 3/16" magnets in the turtle-deck area. Installing the magnets is simple, and the hold is incredible making easy work of accessing the battery compartment.

Smile For The Camera

The finished ShowTime 50 came in at an AUW of 7.2 lbs. It balanced precisely at the recommended 5 5/8" from the leading edge with the battery packs an inch or two forward of the wing tube.

Here are the numbers I obtained using the E-flite power setup:

WOT STATIC TEST:

  • Amps - 55A
  • Watts - 1200W
  • Watts/Pound - 167W/LB.

Based on these, I thought, the E-Flite 60 should provide more than enough power to pull the ShowTime 50 through almost any 3D maneuver.

Control throws were set per the instructions manual:
Low Rates UpLow Rates Down High Rates Up High Rates Down
Elevator 9/16" 5/8" 2 5/8" 2 5/8"
Aileron 1 1/16" 1" 3" 2 15/16"
Low Rates Left Low Rates Right High Rates Left High Rates Right
Rudder 2 1/2" 2 1/2" 3 3/4" 3 3/4"

Flight Report

The Basics, Including Takeoffs and Landings

I found the ShowTime 50 breaks down very easily for transport to the field even when using the smallest of vehicles. Once at the field, the plane assembles quickly and is flight-ready in just a few minutes. The packs were fully charged before I arrived at the field, so after they were connected and secured and the hatch was installed, I was off!

The ShowTime is taxis easily and I had no problem with the stock wheels on my grass field. After taxiing down to the end of the field and into a slight headwind, I gradually advanced the throttle and the plane required only a slight amount of right rudder to maintain a straight track.

Once airborne, this plane tracks just as well as a pure-bred pattern/precision airplane. Low rates on the ShowTime 50 offer no surprises, which most sport flyers will enjoy. See "Aerobatics" for how she flies on high rates!

When it comes time to bring the ShowTime 50 in for a landing, it's just a simple matter of lining up with the runway, setting up a nice glide angle, keeping just a few clicks of throttle in and you will be rewarded with a nice 3-point landing every time. It was very fun to see the ShowTime 50 do a few tailwheel-first landings (you will see this in the video). The ShowTime 50 controls feel solid all the way through touch down.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance...let's look at what the Showime 50 was really designed to do...

ShowTime 50's 3D Report Card



ManeuverGrade Notes
Blenders A The ShowTime 50 performs this BEAUTIFULLY.
Ends with a very flat inverted spin.
Torque Roll A EXCELLENT. The ShowTime 50 does these with ease.
High Alpha Level Flight B -I could not eliminate wing rock. (See below.)
High Alpha Inverted A+ Terrific, no wing rock at all!
High Alpha Rolling A OUTSTANDING. Check out the video and see for yourself!
High Alpha Knife Edge A+ Best done with the SFGs on the ShowTime 50.
Knife-Edge-to-Knife-Edge Turns A This can easily be done on low rates with the SFGs.
Tail-Slide A Will come right back down on its tail.
Wall A+ Full elevator throw no problem, pops right up with no snap tendencies.
Flat-Spin A-Inverted spins are dead flat.
Waterfall B+ Could not get these as tight as I would have preferred.

On high rates, the ShowTime 50 offers the intermediate to experienced 3D pilot an excellent platform to practice and perfect 3D flight maneuvers.

Inverted harriers and harrier rolling circles are nothing short of terrific with the ShowTime 50. Don't miss them on the video!

SFGs: Knife edge performance dramatically improves with the SFGs installed; the ShowTime requires markedly less power and rudder to maintain a nice knife edge profile from one end of the field to the other. There is plenty of rudder to perform knife edge loops with the ShowTime 50.

Balancing Goals - Less Wing Rock vs More Vertical Power

Overall, I was extremely pleased with the ShowTime 50's 3D flight characteristics with the exception of upright harriers. The plane was laterally balanced while on the bench before the maiden flight so I ruled that out as a possible factor for the moderate wing rock I experienced during the upright harriers. With the CG at the manufacturer's recommended starting point, the ShowTime required moderate down elevator while inverted to maintain level flight. With the recommended TP Prolite 6S2P 4200mah packs, there is no room in the plane to move them further back (the front of my packs are right up against the wing tube) to allow for an aft CG, which could possibly help the wing rock.

While I am not a fan of adding dead weight to the tail of an airplane (especially on electrics), one way that I found to get the ShowTime 50's CG slightly back was by using a different battery pack. I had a 5s 4000mah pack that I used to see how much it would improve the upright harriers. This pack was slightly lighter than the recommended 6s2p setup, but turned out to be a great alternative to the 6s2p packs. While not providing as much pullout from hovers and having limited vertical performance, it removed much of the wing rock.

Is This For a Beginner?

The ShowTime 50 is definitely NOT a beginner's airplane. It is marketed toward an intermediate to experienced modeler who has flown at least a couple of low-wing aerobatic airplanes.

Photo Gallery

Here are some shots of the ShowTime 50. Many thanks go out to my camera guy, Tim Lambert, for taking these great shots!

Flight Video

Here are a couple videos of the ShowTime 50 in action; the first shows the ShowTime 50 without the SFGs and the second shows the plane flying with them. Many thanks also go out to Ivan who did a great job of taping the flights!

PLEASE NOTE: Some of the excess noise you will hear in the video is coming from the cowl vibrating on top of the fuselage. This has since been corrected using some double-sided sticky tape between the cowl and fuselage.

Downloads

Conclusion

The Hangar 9 ShowTime 50 is a terrific pattern/3D crossover aerobatic airplane. The color scheme looks great and provides easy orientation of the ShowTime 50 from any angle. The build is quick and easy and the quality of the hardware is top notch. The E-Flite Power 60 pulls the ShowTime 50 with authority and the plane 3Ds with ease. If you are looking for a great .40 sized plane for an easy electric conversion, the ShowTime 50 is the ticket. It has been a real eye-opener of an airplane for many of the glow/gas pilots at my field. The ShowTime 50 really draws the crowds every time it heads to the field...which will be often this year, I'm sure!

Plusses:

  • Great looking cover scheme
  • Excellent high quality and very complete hardware package
  • Ease of electric conversion
  • Flight performance

Minuses:

  • Manual lacked instructions on how to setup the electric conversion
  • Limited ability to move CG aft with stock battery packs
Last edited by sun.flyer; Apr 02, 2007 at 01:51 PM..

Discussion

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Old Apr 05, 2007, 02:24 PM
blucor basher's Avatar
United States, PA, Lancaster
Joined Jun 2003
24,141 Posts
Great job, Tim! Really great build log and nice flight video. Looks good!
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Old Apr 05, 2007, 02:43 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
7,990 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by blucor basher
Great job, Tim! Really great build log and nice flight video. Looks good!
Thanks Ben!!

Tim
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Old Apr 05, 2007, 03:18 PM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
United States, NH
Joined May 2005
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Looks like a great flyer!!
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 05:51 AM
Time For Me To Fly!
Get Real's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Feb 2006
4,963 Posts
I really liked the videos .
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 06:28 AM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
United States, NH
Joined May 2005
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Anyone try this plane on glow?
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 09:52 AM
Forgot how to fly
Mike Parsons's Avatar
Atlanta, Georgia
Joined Oct 2002
10,177 Posts
Good job Tim
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 09:56 AM
blucor basher's Avatar
United States, PA, Lancaster
Joined Jun 2003
24,141 Posts
Anyone try this plane on glow?

I helped a customer with an OS-46 powered ST for an afternoon. The plane was nice and light with that setup, but had no pullout. I don't think my Os-50 would have been enough, either. I'd definitely go larger.
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,370 Posts
Very nice review, very nice plane!


Come out to California and with a few lessons on the buddy box I will have you flying right side up and making smooth level turns. Enjoyed the videos. Mike
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 01:57 PM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
7,990 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Parsons
Good job Tim
Thanks Mike!.... and Mike!

Tim
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Last edited by sun.flyer; Apr 06, 2007 at 02:50 PM.
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 02:10 PM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
Hi Tim,

Great review as usual, very nice video and the pics are EXCELLENT!

Ronnie
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Old Apr 06, 2007, 11:50 PM
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RickC2009's Avatar
USA, NY, Brookhaven
Joined Mar 2003
1,475 Posts
Tim,
Very well done review!
I am currently working on a showtime 50 too and I'm ready to pick out a motor.
How did you like the power of the eflite 60? I see in you were getting 1200 watts of power.I ran this motor in motocalc but was only getting about 800 watts.
I was also looking at the Hacker a50 16s and rimfire 50-65-450 both show over 1000 watts in motocalc.
Any suggustions?
Rickc
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Old Apr 07, 2007, 05:28 AM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
7,990 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC2009
Tim,
Very well done review!
I am currently working on a showtime 50 too and I'm ready to pick out a motor.
How did you like the power of the eflite 60? I see in you were getting 1200 watts of power.I ran this motor in motocalc but was only getting about 800 watts.
I was also looking at the Hacker a50 16s and rimfire 50-65-450 both show over 1000 watts in motocalc.
Any suggustions?
Rickc
Rick,

The 1200w was pulled right off of my wattmeter with freshly charged packs (TP Prolites 6s2p). Not sure about your motocalc reading, I can only account for what I seen off the meter. The E-flite motor works extremely well in the ShowTime and can definately haul the mail even at over 7lbs RTF. As far as a good alternative, I would look at the Hyperion line of outrunners. I have had very good success with them and they really produce some good numbers. As to which one in the ShowTime 50 I would go with this one. I have one of these in a 6.5lb Yak-54 on 5s and I am see over 1400w of power. I even know someone that is flying one of these motors in a Fliton Inspire at less than 6lbs. on the same wattage. Crazy power!!

Tim
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Old Apr 07, 2007, 06:38 AM
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800mZero's Avatar
Rhode Island
Joined Jun 2005
5,682 Posts
Well done Tim!

She looks very light on the wing--an nice landing considering you had to dodge puddles!
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Old Apr 07, 2007, 06:41 AM
Test your skills....fly IMAC!!
sun.flyer's Avatar
Swanton, Ohio
Joined Feb 2005
7,990 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by 800mZero
Well done Tim!

She looks very light on the wing--an nice landing considering you had to dodge puddles!

Thanks Zero!! Yeah the field was still pretty wet when we shot the videos but definately flyable. Made it fun trying to spot land though with a 7lb airplane.

Tim
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