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Horizon Hobby Seagull Pilatus Porter PC-6 ARF ~ Electric Powered Version Review

The Vietnam-based Seagull Models' 55 sized Pilatus PC-6 Porter can be flown on either a nitro or electric power system.

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Wingspan: 63 in (160cm)
Length: 53.7 in (136cm)
Flying Weight: 7.1 lbs (3.2kg)
Battery: Thunder Power 4S 3850
Motor: E-Flite Power 46 (670Kv)
Experience Level: Intermediate
Distributed by: Horizon Hobby
MSRP: $189.99

Introduction

Seagull is quite the prolific manufacturer of radio controlled ARF model airplanes. Distributed by Horizon Hobby here in the United States, they offer up an amazing diversity of different sizes and types of kits. I especially notice when a company does a model of an aircraft that is less commonly modeled. Once I noticed that Seagull had designed a Pilatus Porter PC-6, I had a hard time getting it off of my mental radar. When given the opportunity to do a full blown review of it for Ezone, I did not have to be asked twice. Though Seagull has been in the business for several years, this would be my first ARF from them. The Seagull Pilatus is designed so that it can be flown on either a nitro based power system or electric power system (parts necessary for installation of both power systems are included in the box). I opted to go with the cleaner, quieter electric power system. The Horizon Hobby factory team has been campaigning this very model at some of the major events this year, using the recommended E-Flite power system. Co-Author and Reviewer Andy Grose attended the 2011 SEFF event earlier this year and snapped these nice photos of the Horizon Teams Seagull Pilatus PC-6. (Thanks for sharing the pics Andy!)




The REAL Pilatus PC-6!





The unique Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities, reliability and versatility of the Pilatus PC-6 in all types of weather and an amazing variety of terrain conditions have given it a reputation as a rugged utility aircraft. The Porter is capable of operating from different types of unprepared, rough and short airstrips, in remote areas, at high altitudes and in all climates. From the jungles of Indonesia to the Moroccan desert, the Pilatus Porter has operated in some of the roughest environments known to the planet. It is also adept, however, at such relatively "mundane" tasks as carrying skydivers aloft in various parts of the more civilized World. Thus far, 442 Porters have been manufactured by Pilatus in Switzerland. Fairchild Hiller aircraft has also produced 92 PC-6's(including ten kits provided by Pilatus) in the United States. Seagull now brings the excitement of the Pilatus to the world of radio control with their 55 size version of this unique, Swiss built aircraft.



In the Box

Full Specifications:

Wingspan: 63 in (1600mm) Length: 53.7 in (1363mm) Wing Area: 722.3 sq in (46.6 sq dm) Size Class: 55 Flying Weight: 6.2 to 7.1 lbs (2.8 to 3.2 kg)






In The Box:

  • Balsa and light ply composition airframe, covered in Hangar 9 Ultracote
  • Painted aluminum landing gear, gear struts and wing struts
  • Foam main tires, tail gear assembly
  • Fiberglass, painted cowl
  • Red plastic spinner
  • Electric power system installation components
  • Fuel tank, nitro motor mount (not used in this review)
  • Plastic scale details
  • Complete hardware and fastener assortment
  • Color, self adhering graphics
  • 26 page black and white, photo-illustrated assembly manual







Required for Completion:

  • Minimum four channel radio system
  • Four standard size servos
  • 46-55cu in 2 stroke, 72-82 cu in 4 stroke, 46 class brushless electric power system
  • 14.8v 3800-4000mAh lipoly battery

Included for Review:

  • Thunder Power Pro Power 30C 4S 3850mAh lipoly battery
  • E-Flite Power 46 brushless outrunner motor (670Kv)
  • E-Flite 60-Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC brushless speed controller
  • Spektrum A6020 digital aircraft servo (4))
  • Spektrum AR6210 DSMX 6-channel receiver






Assembly

Online Seagull Model Pilatus PC-6 Assembly Manual [Click HERE]

The assembly manual that is included in the box with the PC-6 is akin to a 1985 Toyota Corolla; nothing fancy but it will dependably get you from point A to point B. It is illustrated with both black and white photographs and line art style drawings. Some of the printed English directions may elicit a chuckle due to the at times erroneous translation E.G "blink nuts" instead of "blind nuts". However, the instructions are never so lacking that they left me scratching my head or unable to complete the necessary assembly steps. The assembly manual covers installation of both nitro and electric power systems, though the latter could use a little more attention as to the details of properly mounting the electric motor to the firewall such that the prop shaft is centered in the cowl opening. As builders, we have probably been somewhat spoiled by assembly manuals that go into amazingly great detail and offer up an abundance of helpful tips and tricks to speed assembly along. Utilizing the knowledge accumulated from these other manuals will benefit the builder as he makes his/her way through the assembly of the Pilatus.


There were some pieces of the model that were suffering from a minor case of the wrinkles, notably the ailerons, tail pieces and rearmost part of the fuselage. I do not get too upset about this. It is difficult for the manufacturer or the distributor to prevent this from happening on the long journey across the ocean in a potentially hot container, which most of these models have to endure on their way to the States.

Wing



Seagull receives a big thumbs up from me for eliminating the mundane task of mounting the aileron servos to the removable wooden access panels. Most ARFs require that the builder glue hardwood mounting blocks to these panels and mount the servo to the hardwood by drilling servo mounting holes. The time spent doing this, especially on a model that is equipped with both ailerons and flaps, can be substantial. I was thrilled to find that Seagull has already completed the bulk of the aileron servo mounting assembly for you. A piece of light plywood is built right into the aileron servo mounting panels. All that is required to complete this step is to lay your servo into the cutout (the provided Spektrum digital servos fit perfectly, with no need to remove any material) and drill the mounting holes. I hardened the holes using a few drops of CA.



Since this is a two piece wing, there is not much else that is required to complete the assembly of the wing other than mounting the aileron control horns and gluing the CA style aileron hinges in place. Seagulls control horns are much beefier than the typical plastic control horns included with many kits. They use a machine head screw, onto which threads a plastic clevis. These horns are used on all control surfaces in this ARF. Assembling and installing the aileron control rods completes the assembly of the Pilatus wing.

Fuselage

Fuselage assembly primarily involves mounting the uniquely configured Pilatus PC-6 landing gear, including the tail wheel assembly. The installation of the brushless power system and radio system is covered in the appropriate sections below. Seagull includes a pilot with this kit and he comes installed in position and ready for active flight duty. The plastic windshield and side windows are also factory installed. The fuselage innards are accessed through a large access door on the side. This side door is actually fairly scale to the real PC-6. I like the way Seagull makes the entire elevator and rudder servo mounting tray removable. Slide the spring loaded release pin aft and the tray can be lifted up and then out through the cargo door.



The fuselage also features two additional removable doors. Both are on the underside of the fuselage, one forward and one aft. They are both held in place using plastic wing nut style threaded fasteners. The forward compartment is used to gain access to the flight batteries. The smaller, aft compartment serves as the recommended location for mounting a receiver battery pack. Though I did not need to use a separate receiver pack, it would appear that going with a nitro power system may necessitate the weight of such a receiver battery pack being positioned aft in order to hit the recommended center of gravity?




The Pilatus PC-6 main landing gear mounts via a set of four traditional metal landing gear straps. These shiny straps get anchored into hardwood blocks that are embedded in the bottom of the fuselage. The blocks can be easily located through the covering thanks to the slots cut into them. I used a sharp hobby blade to cut slits in the covering, aligned down the center of the two slots. I then positioned the gear in the slots and drilled the mounting holes in the hardwood using the landing gear straps as a template. The gear also features extension struts that get anchored higher up on the fuselage sides near the corners of the windshield. Seagull embeds blind nuts in the fuselage sides to serve as points of attachment for these extension struts.

The main wheels/tires included in the kit are large in diameter. I did experience a little difficulty getting one of the main gear wheels and the included wheel collars slipped over one of the axles. I started sanding/filing the problem axle but in short order decided to instead use larger wheel collars that I had in my parts box.



Tail

The Pilatus Porter is recognizable for its uniquely shaped tail surfaces. A more accurate statement is that its tail surfaces lack any real shape, being composed of an arranged combination of simple rectangles that are conspicuously devoid of any curves or contours. Assembling these rectangles to the rear of the fuselage is done in a most conventional manner. It is necessary to first carefully remove the covering from the parts that will receive the epoxy using a sharp hobby knife, at which time epoxy is used to lock them in place. It is probably best, and easiest, to install the control horns on the twin elevators and single rudder prior to gluing the stabilizers in place. The CA style hinges must also be glued in place. The horizontal stabilizer in my review kit fit into place nicely on the rear of the fuselage. It was not necessary to make any adjustments to this saddle to get the horizontal stabilizer to sit parallel to the wing. The vertical stabilizer slides into a notch cut into the top of the fuselage. One somewhat tricky task encountered in getting the vertical stabilizer properly positioned involved the long control rod that is anchored in the leading edge of the rudder and that passes through the fuselage to drive the tail wheel assembly. It took me quite a few minutes to "thread the needle" I.E to find the exit hole on the bottom of the fuselage. In fact, my first attempt resulted in me punching a new hole where a hole was not meant to exist! And this was just a test run to check for correct orientation. Once I glued it up with five minute epoxy, the real test was on! No pressure ... just get the rod correctly situated before the epoxy begins to harden. Though I did succeed in getting the vertical stabilizer in place before the epoxy started to cure, this somewhat anxious exercise in frustration could probably be alleviated by utilizing a metal tube to connect the holes on the top and bottom of the fuselage. This tube would serve not only as an easy way to position this metal rod but also as a bushing of sorts.






The tail wheel assembly that comes in the box is effective but perhaps a bit over-engineered in my opinion. It anchors to the very aft end of the fuselage bottom. I strengthened the twin mounting holes after drilling them by dripping some thin CA into them. This step is important since the tail wheel assembly is typically very prone to being subject to a lot of force and potential snags. The tail wheel is steered via a push rod that is connected to the rod that passes through the fuselage and up and into the rudder.

Detailed Power System Specifications

E-Flite Power 46 Brushless Outrunner Specifications:

Diameter: 50mm Length: 55mm RPM/Volt (Kv) : 670 Voltage: 14.4 to 19.2 volts Wire Gauge: 14 ga Shaft Size: 6mm Recommended Prop Range::12x8 to 14x10 Weight: 290g Resistance .04 ohms Continuous Current: 40 amps Max. Surge Current: 55 amps/15 seconds Idle Current: 3.9 amps@10.0 volts Cells: 1216 Ni-MH/Ni-Cd or 45S Li-Po



E-Flite 60-Amp Pro Switch-Mode BEC ESC Specifications:

Width: 33mm Length: 76mm Height: 13mm Weight: 66g Wire Gauge: 13ga Battery Connectors: EC3 Motor Connectors: 3.5mm bullet Input Voltage: 10.8V - 22.2V Continuous Current: 60A (w/ reasonable cooling) Maximum Surge Current: 75A (15 seconds)


Power System Installation

As the artwork on the outer box says, this model can be flown on either an electric or nitro based power system. Seagull includes the necessary components in the box to cover the installation of either system. If you elect to go electric, as I usually do, the fuel tank and nylon motor mounts can be set aside. What will be of interest is the small bag which contains the wooden goodies necessary to mount a brushless motor to the firewall of the Pilatus. In this bag, one will find an adjustable motor mounting box, several pieces of triangle stock, a set of blind nuts with fasteners and a battery mounting tray. I was pleasantly surprised by the cleverly constructed plywood motor mounting box that Seagull includes in the box. It features an adjustable firewall, which enables the use of a variety of differently dimensioned electric outrunner motors. The E-Flite Power 46 that I used required the adjustable plate to be positioned at one end of its travel. Once you have determined the correct mounting position for the electric motor you intend to use (Seagull provides a recommended firewall to spinner back plate dimension of 115mm), the adjustable plywood motor mounting plate can be epoxied in place. While the motor itself mounts to this adjustable wood box using metal fasteners, the wood motor mounting box itself is attached to the firewall using epoxy. The actual area to which the glue can adhere is increased by cutting the included triangle stock into short pieces, which are in turn glued around the perimeter of the motor mounting box.




Getting the motor properly centered on the wood mounting box so that its shaft aligns with the cutout in the fiberglass cowl is not really covered very well in the assembly instructions. A tried and true way that I like to use is to set the motor in place on the firewall and then hold the fuselage so that the motor shaft is pointing straight up. Slip the cowl in place on the fuselage. Grab the motor shaft and position the motor so that the shaft is perfectly centered up in the small cowl opening provided for the motor shaft. Carefully lift the cowl off and mark the four motor mounting holes on the firewall. Once the motor is mounted with the fasteners (don't forget the thread lock), slip the cowl back into place and mock the spinner assembly up on the motor shaft. Position the cowl so that you have an acceptable amount of clearance between the back of the prop spinner and the front of the cowl. Tape the cowl into this position and proceed with drilling the four cowl mounting holes. Remove the cowl and "over drill" the four holes, to provide a little clearance for the mounting screws to pass through. Harden the holes drilled in the fuselage with CA to insure that they provide a good, strong means of holding the cowl in place.


The fuselage firewall comes out of the box with a rectangular shaped slot cut across its bottom edge. This slot serves as the pathway for the three motor leads to enter the fuselage and connect to the speed controller. I used hook and loop material to mount the E-Flite 60 amp ESC to the side wall of the battery mounting area. This area is accessed by removing a hatch from the bottom of the fuselage. The main flight battery is mounted to the included wood battery tray, which is then slipped through this hatch and mounted inside the fuselage. The front end of the battery tray has a tongue of sorts. This tongue indexes into a slot that is built into one of the fuselage formers. The rear of the battery tray is then held in place with a short wood screw. Though it is a somewhat tricky, and a little time consuming, to have to insert and remove this tiny screw on every battery change, the design works perfectly. The battery hatch is held in place with a pair of nylon thumbscrews. They are a little on the long side and could probably be trimmed down a little to save having to thread the excess length in and out every time you access the battery to remove it for for recharging.



The long, slender nose of the Pilatus PC-6 Porter really lends itself to using an electric power system! The E-Flite Power 46 motor fits inside the fiberglass cowl with nary a need to cut into the fiberglass cowl at all. The photographs in the Seagull instruction manual that detail the installation of a nitro methane engine show that one must mercilessly carve up the cowl to make that power system fit.

Detailed Radio System Specifications

Spektrum AR6210 DSMX 6-channel Receiver Specifications:

Type: Full Range Aircraft Receiver # of Channels: 6 Height: 12.3mm Width: 21.6mm Length: 30.1mm Weight: 10g Modulation: DSM2/DSMX Band: 2.4GHz Antennae Length: Main Rx: 30mm (2); Remote Rx: 30mm (2)


Spektrum A6020 Digital Aircraft Servo Specifications:

Width: 20mm Length: 41mm Height: 39mm Weight: 49g Voltage: 4.8 or 6.0 volts Torque: 146 oz-in @ 6.0V Motor Type: Brushed Bearings: 2 Gear Type: Metal Connector Type: Z Connector)



Radio System Installation

There is ample room inside the fuselage of this model. Easy access to it is provided by means of the large removable access door on the right side of the fuselage. The entire tray onto which the rudder and elevator servos mount can be removed. Simply slide a spring loaded release pin and lift it up and out. This feature made the installation of the rudder and elevator servos 100% pain free. I mounted the Spektrum receiver to the corner of this large tray, neatening the excess servo leads and tucking them under the tray before re-installation of the tray. The provided elevator and rudder push rods are of good quality and feature metal clevises with lock nuts. The twin elevators are independent of one another but are joined up just aft of the elevator servo using a small metal union block. This hexagonal shaped block has three receiving holes cut into it and accepts both elevator push rods from the rear, which get inserted into the two outer holes. A short push rod is then inserted into the center hole and connected to the elevator servo horn. All three set screws are worthy of a spot or two of thread locking compound. I connected a short servo Y cable to the aileron channel, so that the two aileron servos can be easily connected when installing the two wing halves.



Completion

Some of the final and miscellaneous steps of assembly include attaching the removable wing struts, the finishing of the authentic color scheme by using the included sheets of graphics, setting up the control throws (recommendations provided in instruction manual), attaching the included scale goodies and verifying that the center of gravity falls within the recommended measurement. The painted wing struts are of a somewhat soft composition. While installing them, I accidentally deformed one of them. I was able to re-straighten it but they are a little on the malleable side in my opinion. They are removable thanks to the use of more of the same nylon thumbscrew style fasteners used on other parts of this model. This facilitates breaking the airframe down for easier transport.



If you prefer to leave the wing on, the model will fit comfortably in the bed of a full size pickup. The large cargo door on the side comes into play when mounting or removing the wing. The two wing halves mate up to the sides of the fuselage. An aluminum spar slips through the fuselage and feeds into each wing half. The wings are held in place using one nylon thumbscrew for each wing half. These are inserted into the wing halves by sticking one's hand in through the big cargo door. Seagull has selected an authentic color scheme for this model. I Was able to find more than a few photographs of a full size Pilatus PC-6 with this exact scheme on their web site. The included sheets of graphics allow the modeler to add Pilatus titling and aircraft numbers to the model.

Recommended Control Throws
Low Rates High Rates
Elevator 8mm 10mm
Ailerons 10mm 12mm
Rudder 15mm 20mm



Another feature that helps make the model appear more realistic are the included scale details. The assembly manual details where they need to be mounted. The Pilatus web site is also a good source should one wish to verify the correct positioning of these scale bits. Finally, the recommended center of gravity is 80mm aft of the leading edge of the wing. Using the recommended Thunder Power 4S 3850mAh lipo resulted in my CG being just a little forward of this point (nose heavy).

Flying

Take Offs and Landings

My first take off was completely uneventful, at least until the very moment when I initiated my rotation. At that point in time, one of the main gear departed from its axle after its securing wheel collar gave up the fight. The Pilatus skidded to a stop long before the runaway wheel did but with no damage. I retrieved the runaway component (I was absolutely sure I had tightened all of the set screws on the wheel collars) and reinstalled it, applying a little extra something to the hex driver to insure it would not happen again. Reset! The second take off attempt was sterling and the Pilatus climbed gracefully into the air. Since this is a tail dragger, you definitely need to be proactive on the right stick and stay one second ahead of the rudder on the take off roll. I dumbed my low rate rudder down substantially, so that I do not "chase" the steering. I slowly advance the throttle when taking off, allowing the Porter to accelerate in a somewhat realistic fashion. The Pilatus will use up a modest amount of the runway building the velocity necessary to lift off when performing this type of takeoff. Or, if you prefer, you can just jam the throttle to the stop and get up right quick! I prefer the former.



The Pilatus is specified as a 55 size airframe. It is powered by a Power 46. The slight discrepancy between those two numbers hints at the relative amount of power available on the PC-6. Since I really enjoy flying scale models in a scale manner, I feel that the provided power system is a very good fit. The wing has a generous amount of area and as such generates a good amount of lift. It would have been really sweet if Seagull had seen fit to include flaps on this model, given the fact that the full size Pilatus Porter is a bit of a STOL specialist. Though the model certainly does not NEED flaps to perform, the cool factor of flaps and the fun of shooting short approaches and touch-n-goes makes me wish they had included this feature.

Landing the PC-6 is not difficult but certain parts of the landing can be a little challenging if you forget the basics. It did not take me very many flights at all to get very comfortable landing this model. Though I started out flying traditional rectangular landing approaches, I quickly transitioned into coming in on very short finals. The Pilatus bleeds energy fairly quickly as you pull the throttle back. This makes it quite easy to shoot relatively short approaches, cranking the Pilatus around hard to get it lined up on the runway at the last minute. Once over the runway, you do need to modulate the throttle a click or two to properly manage the rate of descent. Just dumping the throttle and trying to glide her in will probably get you into trouble.



My worst landings with this model usually involved improper use of the throttle. Trying to flare the Pilatus while you have either little or no power feathered in tends to result in one of those landings that deteriorate into a series of successively larger bounces right back into the air, until the PC-6 finally runs out of steam and stops flying. Conversely, manage the throttle properly and the PC-6 will reward you, allowing you to land either on the mains first or in the prettiest three point landing configuration that you will ever see. This is one of those models that is just too fun to shoot a batteries worth of touch-n-goes with! As such, I again find myself wishing that it came equipped with flaps, which would only increase the challenge and realism of shooting short field approaches. In any event, the Seagull Pilatus Porter PC-6 is not in any way, shape or form difficult to land and take off.







Flight Performance

The electric power system included for this review project provides around 700 watts of power. This works out to approximately 100 watts per pound worth of performance for the Seagull Pilatus PC-6. This is an entirely adequate amount of power and makes for a bunch of fun. If scale looking flight performance is your pursuit, it could even be flown on less power, say 75 watts per pound. I routinely would cruise my PC-6 around at a throttle setting of just over 50%. At this throttle setting, flight durations of up to 8 minutes and more are possible. Mixed throttle use, which is typical to how most of us fly our models, trims the flight durations to 5-6 minutes. This takes into account that you really do not want to deplete the Thunder Power lipoly flight battery to anything below 20% remaining capacity. Though aerobatics are not necessarily this models forte, most of us are known to try anything and everything with our models! I had fun flipping the Pilatus over on it's back and making inverted passes for the cameras. Knife edge flight is also entertaining, although you will need to either mix the coupling out or fly it through it. Loops are doable but they are better with a bit of a diving entry, to help maintain a litle velocity over the top. Aileron rolls can be a little porky but a some time spent experimenting with aileron differential could help clean them up. I also enjoyed pushing the throttle all the way forward and engaging in a good old fashioned stick smashing session, yanking and banking the PC-6 all over the field. It is well behaved and responds nicely when turned fast and hard. It is a great model to practice coordinated flight with and though it is not absolutely necessary to use the rudder in turns, the model looks and flies even better when you do. I especially enjoy practicing my departures and arrivals with the PC-6. It really looks fantastic as it comes down towards you on final, especially when you are working through a crosswind approach. The overall appearance of the rivet embossed, aluminum finished Hangar 9 Ultracote covering in the air is convincingly that of a metal aircraft. Mine often reflects brightly as the late afternoon/evening sun catches it in the air.

Is this Model Suited for a Beginner?

This four channel, high wing scale model is not really a difficult model to fly per se. It is a tail dragger however. Most beginners lack the ability to manage the at times temperamental steering that tail dragger configured aircraft can present. Additionally, the wing has but a small amount of dihedral and possesses minimal self-righting tendencies. I would not really feel comfortable recommending this model for a rank beginner, though a newer radio control pilot who has some tail dragger experience would probably be capable of successfully flying this model.

Review Media











Conclusion

Overall, I found my first Seagull model to be a positive and pleasurable experience. Though not necessarily up to the same high standards as some of the more mainstream product lines, the end result is still a very snappy looking, well flying model. I like the way that the covering has panel rivet lines printed right on it. These rivets, coupled with the aluminum looking color of the covering, work together to convincingly create a real looking Pilatus PC6 in-flight in my opinion. Many of the photos that we shot for this review could almost be mistaken for the full size aircraft. I tip my hat to the folks at Seagull for several notable and well thought out features of this kit. The adjustable, wooden electric motor box is clever and facilitates using a variety of different length electric motors. Gluing the hardwood blocks to the aileron mounting/cover plates, such is typically the case when assembling an ARF, is a task that I have started to dread, especially when doing a full house wing! I really like the way Seagull built the aileron servo mounts into the aileron wing mounting plates/covers.

I did find several relatively minor gripes in connection with the kit. The wing struts are made of a very soft metal. It is a little difficult to keep these struts straight, as they bend with very little force or effort. The outer diameter of one axle on the main gear was noticeably larger than the other side. I tried sanding it down but ended up just using some larger wheel collars that I had in my parts box. The long, narrow nose of the PC6 is perfectly suited for an electric power system. The photographs in the assembly manual that illustrate the installation of a nitro motor show the cowl getting carved up like a Halloween pumpkin. With a brushless motor, nary a cut needs to be made! The recommended Thunder Power 4S 3850 lipo makes for nice long flight durations. My PC6 excels at cruising around at a click or two above half throttle. Flown at this throttle setting, flight times of 8 minutes or more are possible. Though this model really does not need flaps performance-wise, the real PC6 is KNOWN for its outrageous STOL capabilities. As such, it would be especially fitting for this model to come equipped with flaps.

Likes:

  • Accommodates either electric or Nitro power systems
  • Long, narrow nose of the Pilatus PC6 is perfect for an electric power system; no cowl cutting required!
  • Recommended battery capacity makes for long flight times
  • Half throttle makes for very scale looking flight performance
  • Innovative adjustable, wooden electric motor box
  • Aileron servo mounts integrated into servo mounting plates; no need to build them
  • Removable two piece wing
  • Nice plastic scale details included in the box
  • Battery tray nicely engineered, for easy insertion and removal of flight battery

Dislikes:

  • One main wheel axle had an outer diameter that was much too big for the included wheel collars to slide over; due to excessive paint perhaps?
  • Real Pilatus PC6 model known for its STOL capabilities; the model, though not needing them, BEGS for flaps!
  • Metal used to make wing struts is very soft and easily bent and/or distorted
  • Limited instructions for getting electric motor properly oriented/centered on firewall

Last edited by Angela H; Oct 02, 2011 at 03:49 PM..

Discussion

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Old Sep 30, 2011, 12:55 PM
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Bajora's Avatar
United States, CA, Petaluma
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 02:07 PM
Pile-it
Alien_Tech's Avatar
United States, CA, Edwards AFB
Joined Nov 2007
1,630 Posts
Great review Jon. The Porter has been a favorite mine for many years, and this one looks really great! Unfortunately the omission of flaps is a deal breaker for me. STOL fun is where it's at.

Red
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 03:29 PM
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lrplin's Avatar
Stockton CA.
Joined May 2007
682 Posts
really nice finish but ugly nose, oh boy.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 04:03 PM
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United States, PA, Grove City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrplin View Post
really nice finish but ugly nose, oh boy.
It is ugly for sure, but the long moment makes for a plane that can have a scale like, sheeted fuse, and balance without tons of lead in the nose. Good practical flyer. I figure if it's ugly, then choose a scheme that will enhance the ugliness of the plane, such as the local one below that used to fly in the area.

I see one of these often, in my walks through the park with the dog. There is a local skydiving outfit that uses one, and they circle over a 5 mile loop, when climbing. It doesn't fly fast, but really gets up there quickly. They had an IC version, and now have a turbo Porter. The sound is distinctive, especially when it is approaching. One of these days I'll have to have a model of one.
Bill
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 06:59 PM
E-flyer since 1981
Michael in Toronto's Avatar
Joined Oct 2000
1,466 Posts
Nice review.

I was thinking about buying this plane.

Read the article, went to the local hobby store, and bought it!
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 08:37 PM
When's the next fly-in?
dee-grose's Avatar
Tanner, Alabama
Joined Oct 2003
6,340 Posts
Very well done, Jon. Very nice pictures and video...except for that handful of pictures at the beginning that some yahoo sent ya.

I agree with you...flaps would have been very cool on this plane (even if it is just for the looks and realism). I was impressed with how close-in you were able to fly it despite it being a pretty good-sized plane. You flew it like a parkflyer.

Oh, and Matt Andren (Horizon factory pilot) had no problem with nice short grass at SEFF!

Andy
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 08:56 PM
Meh close enough.
minivation's Avatar
United States, TX, Longview
Joined Dec 2010
558 Posts
Great review. I'm currently covering a ChinModels PC-6 kit, wingspan 44" only.
Great plane. However, it seems that many PC-6 kits fail to accurately model the very unique windshield. Also, the main wheel struts seem very high compared to the real deal.
Else than that, I am very impressed with the detail given to the covering job.

I'll be covering mine in PK-UCE colors.
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 01:36 AM
Registered User
Kilsyth, Victoria, Australia
Joined Oct 2003
1,939 Posts
Dear Jon,
Nice review. I did one for RCMNews (mag in Oz) some time back. I greatly enjoyed the Pilatus other than the rigid undercarriage so modified this. Some pictures are shown in the thread I stated on the Porter in Glow to Electric conversions.
Regards
David
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Old Oct 01, 2011, 04:15 AM
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MartinT's Avatar
Joined Mar 2006
456 Posts
Awesome review of an awesome model! Beautiful livery iron on livery too!
But how COULD they leave out the flaps????
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 07:13 PM
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Rich Uravitch's Avatar
Florida
Joined Sep 2001
319 Posts
Turned mine into a pseudo AU-23 Peacemaker gunship. The flap mod is easy to do and is a fun option to play with. With a little headwind, you can actually land the thing nearly vertically!
Added the three barrel MX-167 gun, built from scrap balsa and ply then applied the camo scheme. Easy to fly Warbird!

Rich
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Old Oct 02, 2011, 10:23 PM
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Bajora's Avatar
United States, CA, Petaluma
Joined Sep 2004
13,500 Posts
Rich,

I have read your magazine articles and admired your work for many years. Your mods to the Pilatus are pretty cool! Thanks for sharing them here!
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Old Oct 06, 2011, 07:23 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
11,418 Posts
Excellent review and very nice video as always. This one would be so cool on skis !
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Old Oct 07, 2011, 10:21 AM
tom
tomme21's Avatar
USA, LA, Natchitoches
Joined Apr 2004
1,578 Posts
looks better than my VQ WARBIRDS porter.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...1#post17988869
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Old Oct 10, 2011, 11:41 AM
Learjets
United States, IN, Lebanon
Joined Nov 2003
162 Posts
No flaps is a deal breaker for me...............
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