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World Model AT-6 Texan EP ARF Review

Hop into the front seat for a flight while Mike pilots from the back seat on this classic tail dragger!

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Introduction

Wingspan:44"
Wing Area:295 sq in
Weight:31 oz.
Length:31.5"
Servos:5 GWS Naro + D digital servos
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Receiver:Spektrum AR-500 receiver
Battery:3-cell 2200mAh Impulse battery pack
Motor:Brushless Outrunner KM0283010
ESC:Motrolfly 20 amp ESC with BEC
Manufacturer:The World Models
Available From:AirBorne Models
Price:$119.99

AirBorne Models has been importing some very nice RC parkflyers; there was the recent P-47 and now this all wood Texan. It comes with LightTex shrink covering, pre-installed retractable landing gear and four channel flight controls. Its 44" wingspan it grabbed my attention in the June edition of Model Aviation, and now I am lucky enough to get to share my experiences with this lovely yellow warbird trainer.

Kit Contents

Kit Contains:

  • Built and covered fuselage with easy access battery hatch cover installed
  • Built and covered wing with 44" span
  • Retracts with wheels installed in the wing
  • Built and covered stabilizers with elevator halves and rudder
  • Fiberglass cowl finished with matching paint
  • Tail wheel
  • Two pilots
  • Brushless motor with bolts
  • Motor mount with mounting hardware
  • Folding propeller
  • Propeller adaptor and nose spinner
  • Canopy
  • Control rods and connectors
  • Battery securing strap
  • Double side sticky tape
  • Packing foam to wrap receiver
  • Instructions
  • Decals
  • Hardware

Items GWS Supplied for Testing and Review:

GWS Naro + D Specs
GWS Naro + D Specs
Type: Sub-Micro Servo
Operating Speed (4.8V): 0.16 sec/60°
Stall Torque (4.8V): 22 oz-in.
Weight: 0.35oz (10g)
Dimensions: x 0.43"x 0.96"
Connector Wire Length: 5"
Gear Type: All Nylon
Operating Voltage: 4.8-6.0 Volts

Items reviewer Supplied:

  • Motrolfly 20 Amp ESC
  • Three 3mm electrical connector pairs for motor/ESC
  • Pair of Dean's connectors for Battery pack/ESC
  • Solder and soldering iron
  • 3-cell 11.1 volt 2200mAh Impulse Lipoly battery pack
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • Thin CA
  • Thick CA
  • Loctite
  • Two 12" servo extension wires
  • Three 3" servo extension wires, optional
  • Spectrum AR-500 receiver
  • Spectrum DX7 Transmitter
  • Drill Bits: 1/16" 2mm, 3mm
  • Ast small screwdrivers
  • Heat shrink covering iron
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Regular pliers
  • Wire clippers
  • Metric Allen wrenches
  • Exacto knife

Assembly

Wing

The wing comes prebuilt. It is built up, made of wood and covered with Lighttex shrink covering. It even comes with the retractable wheels installed. The ailerons were resting in place with hinges inserted into the aileron and wing in precut slots but the hinges needed to be CA’d into place using thin CA. plugged in and taped together the servo connecting wires with aileron 12" servo extension wires. I pulled them from the servo’s bays to the center of the wing with string that came installed in the wing. I then installed two GWS Naro + D digital servos onto the aileron servo bay covers. I mounted the servo bay covers over the servo bays with the supplied screws. Using the supplied hardware, I connected the servo arms to the ailerons at their control horns.

For the landing gear I installed a third GWS Naro + D servo. I had to add a small block of wood to the mount in the front but the rear mount was fine. I drilled holes for the mounting screws and secured the servo. I used a servo connector with two arms and drilled holes to fit the EZ type connectors (supplied) into the arms on opposite sides. I used a small metric Allen wrench to open the holes for the retract connector rods and slid the rods into the holes. I positioned the servo arm connector onto the servo in the wheels up position per the manual after making sure I had the servo in the wheels up position per the transmitter. I locked the retract connector rods into the holders with my Allen wrench. I used my wire clippers to snip off most of the excess wire from the retract rods. I tested the retract servo with my radio system and adjusted the servo movement to half of normal. I threw the switch and the servos dropped the landing gear part way. I adjust the throw out further until I got full gear down and out to a position where the gear should stay in place. The actual adjustment needed will depend on your radio and servo used. The GWS Naro + D servo does the job nicely, and no special retract servo was necessary. With the wheels down, I used thick CA and glued the wheel doors onto the struts as shown in the instruction manual pictures.

The final step for the wing assembly was the addition of the supplied decals, and I used the instruction manual and pictures on the box as my guide. The wing assembly was complete.

Tail

I used thin CA to glue the hinges into the vertical and horizontal stabilizers after removing the rudder and elevator parts. I secured the control horn to left side of the rudder using first my 1/16" drill bit and then a 2 mm drill bit. The supplied bolts secured the control horn in place. For the elevator I installed the combined control horn joining connector to the two elevator halves as I slid the elevator halves back onto the hinges in the horizontal stabilizer. I secured the control horn/joining rod with two 2mm bolts and used thin CA to secure the elevator halves to the hinges from the stabilizer.

I cut and removed the covering over the space for the horizontal stabilizer in the fuselage and slid the stabilizer into the fuselage. I lined up the vertical stabilizer slot with one in the fuselage. After a trial fit I glued it in place per the instructions. I slid the vertical stabilizer into the slots cut for it and glued it in place. I then secured a rudder hinge into the rear of the fuselage. I added the rudder and glued the hinges into it.

Radio Installation

I fitted two GWS Naro + D servos into the fuselage per the instructions and drilled holes with my 1/16" drill bit for their mounting screws. I used the 2mm drill bit to drill out the servo arms to fit the supplied connecting rod’s Z-bend, the outer hole for rudder and one hole in for the elevator. I installed the receiver in the section in front of these two servos and plugged in the servo’s wires to the elevator and rudder and centered the servos before adding the control rods to the control surfaces. I added three 3" servo extension wires to the receiver. Two extensions for the two aileron channels and one for the retracts on the AR-500 receiver. This made connecting the servos from the wing very easy which is important since I plan to remove the wing for transportation and storage.

Motor mount

I soldered one end each from the three pairs of connectors I supplied to the motor wires and the matching ends to the ESC. I also added the battery connector to the ESC at this time and mounted the motor to the supplied plastic motor mount with the supplied bolts and my Loctite. OOPS! I had to enlarge a hole on the motor mount to fit the motor wires through even one at a time. I should have mounted the motor and slipped the wires through and then added the connectors. Otherwise, the motor mounted right into the mount and the mount right onto the front of the fuselage firewall. I had to use my own metric Allen wrenches on the motor mount bolts and again used Loctite. I slipped the Motrolfly ESC inside the fuselage front and pushed the wires for the motor out the front. I plugged in the wires and put them back inside the fuselage. The battery wires went up to the battery tray behind the firewall, and the servo connector wire went into the receiver. I glued some Velcro (I supplied) to the battery tray and ran the supplied strap up through holes in the tray as well. I installed my 2200mAh 3-cell Lipoly Impulse battery pack into position and added the matching Velcro to it. My motor was ready to go. I tested it, and it was pulling, so it was running in the correct direction. With the motor working properly I secured the ESC to the side of the fuselage up in the area above the front half of the wing. I used the other half of the double sided tape that came in the kit to do this.

Completion

I added the cowl by lining it up and drilling 1/16" size holes through holes in the cowl into wooden mounting blocks on the fuselage. I assembled the folding propeller, and using the supplied prop adaptor, I secured the folding propeller to the front of the plane using a pair of pliers and my needle nose pliers. I used a lot of strength to avoid having the prop fly off in operation. The final touch was adding the decorative gray spinner to the front of the prop adaptor. It simply screwed into place.

The recommended Center of Gravity was 3" back from the leading edge of the wing as measured near the fuselage. This C/G worked well for me, and I left it there. Servo throws were left at 100% of normal movement for my GWS digital servos. I did use Exponential on the transmitter on the elevator of 60% and on the ailerons of 50% to keep my smaller movements smooth. I found these worked well for general flying and acrobatics.

Bench Testing the Motor

Using my Watt meter I tested the motor on the bench using two almost fully charged battery packs. With my 3-cell 2100 mAh 15C Impulse pack the readings within seconds of starting the motor were: 16.9 Amps, 183 Watts, and 11.4 Volts. With my LightMax pack of 3-cells, 2200 mAh and 25C the readings were:16.9 Amps, 191 Watts, and 11.4 Volts. The initial Voltage reading with both packs was 12.3 Volts without any draw.

Flying

Basics

The plane handles well and has sufficient power for a good rate of climb, and the plane turned with authority with just ailerons or even more smoothly when combining ailerons and rudder. The retracts went up nicely after takeoff, stayed up through all flights so far and came down nicely when summoned for landing. The folding prop, which somewhat bothered me from an aesthetic point of view, functioned very well in actual practice. In fact, in one premature landing short of the runway, the plane flipped in tall grass. A normal prop might well have been broken, but there was no damage to the folding prop or the plane other than a retract door cover had to be reattached. Fly on throttle and right stick if you want, but rudder not only smoothes out the turns, it allows for more aerobatics as discussed below.

I had no stalls in normal flight even with some slower passes. When intentionally flying too slowly, I forced her into a stall in straight flight. The Texan dropped some and recovered on her own. Intentionally stalled in a turn, she did drop a fair distance before she picked up speed and I was able to recover. This is in the normal range for a warbird, they aren't supposed to be floaters, and was expected. I won't be doing any slow turns near the ground so it shouldn't be a problem for me. If you fly until the motor shuts off from low battery power just keep her in a shallow dive to keep up speed and there should be no problem controlling her. Try to glide too slowly and risk a stall.

Taking Off and Landing

With the retracts up the plane can be tossed firmly for a hand launch and landed on grass with a sliding landing with the wheels up. However, with a hard surface for a runway it is far more fun to take off. The gear looks a little bit on the short side but it works fine. The rudder with steerable tailwheel makes for good control while tracking down the runway. Thirty to fifty feet was normally used by me for takeoffs and about 100 feet maximum for my landings. It can even be landed in a cross wind thanks to the working rudder.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The plane is responsive and was surprisingly fast with the supplied brushless motor for use with the plane. I was very happy with the plane and motor's performance and have been able to perform both small and large loops and multiple axial rolls when entered with a slight climb. She picks up speed well in a dive, and I have put the GWS servo on the elevator through a few tests and so far she has pulled out with authority after every dive. The GWS Naro + D servos made a little hum in a couple of cases when first installed. I did some minor adjustment to the control rods and/or servo arm angles and they were soon all quiet. The rudder does a good job on hammerhead stalls and flying 1/2 pipes, and barrel rolls are possible by coordinating ailerons and rudders.

Is This For a Beginner?

NO! Although this plane was easy to assemble and is easy for an experienced pilot to fly it goes where pointed and does not self correct if the pilot goes hands off. The plane is not intended to be flown very slowly, and it is not intended for the beginner pilot. It would be a good aileron trainer for the person who knows how to fly. It’s a very nice flying plane but not an appropriate choice for the first time pilot.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

I am favorably impressed by this plane and the included brushless motor. The covering not only arrived in great shape but the LightTex has stayed in very good shape despite being out in the hot California sun for multiple flying sessions. The retracts have worked well. The plane, with motor and retracts, is a great bargain at the price. Everyone has been impressed by the plane’s looks and surprised by its performance. The supplied motor has worked very nicely with the Motrolfly controller. The GWS digital servos also continue to test well. I know several people that have seen this Texan in the air who plan to get their own based on how nicely mine performs and the reasonable price.

Pluses:

  • Kit was nicely built and covered
  • Cowl was nicely made and painted
  • Final assembly was quick and easy
  • I liked the installed retracts

Minuses:

  • A solid propeller would look better then the supplied folding propeller.
  • Doubled sticky pad on pilots came loose after a couple of weeks. Epoxy instead!

My thanks to Airborne Models for supplying the kit and Jeff Hunter for his assistance with this review.

Last edited by Angela H; Jul 27, 2009 at 04:17 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jul 27, 2009, 05:04 PM
The ground is approaching fast
Lewisville, TX
Joined Feb 2009
125 Posts
Nice review... I really like this acft... Looks like it will be on my horizon in the very near future.
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Old Jul 27, 2009, 06:21 PM
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WTFLYR's Avatar
West Central PA
Joined Dec 2008
2,140 Posts
What's the secret Michael? GWS never gives anything away.
They're my favorite servos in the Naro and Pico size.

Nice looking plane. I have a HOB Texan that I really should fly more. One of those planes you go through the mill with, finally get right, and then stop flying.
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Old Jul 28, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,601 Posts
GWS is not currently supporting any events with donations, not even my clubs fun fly that I CD in October. RC Group authors are participating as test pilots especially for the new GWS digital servos as to how they work. All the ones I have used have worked great! I only know of one servo that had a problem in the entire test program so far. Hope that answers your question. As to the plane and the included motor they are both sweet and actually exceeded my expectations of how they would perform before they arrived. The covering works really well with very little expansion even in the Ca summer sun. Mike H
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Old Jul 29, 2009, 02:13 PM
Yup, gravity is still working!
Flying Frank's Avatar
Dark side of the moon
Joined Oct 2004
844 Posts
Thanks for the review Mike. How long of a flight time would you expect from a 2200ma battery?
Frank
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Old Jul 29, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,601 Posts
"Your mileage may vary."

Hi Frank:
First I have been reviewing too long not to give you the standard disclaimers: length of flight will vary depending on the prop you use, the quality of your battery and how you manage throttle, yada yada yada. I mix my throttle usage with all my planes. Half throttle gives a very nice flight with this plane and the std motor and prop that were included. Full throttle as shown in the video is surprisingly fast. I get 8 minutes and land and I use BEC so my main battery is my only battery. I could fly longer but I am happy with 8 minute flights. When I have bothered to check I still have had sufficent battery that I could have made ten minutes with a large reserve to spare. I remain very pleased with the motor and ESC combination I have used. The servos continue to work great as well. I thought I would change props for static looks when I finished the review but the performance has been so good I have stuck with the folding prop. I hope that answers your question.
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Old Jul 30, 2009, 10:06 AM
That Guy Who Flies Wings.
La Vista, Nebraska
Joined Mar 2007
395 Posts
Always wondered if this plane was worth a darn...guess I have to get one now!
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Old Jul 30, 2009, 01:54 PM
Yup, gravity is still working!
Flying Frank's Avatar
Dark side of the moon
Joined Oct 2004
844 Posts
Sounds good Mike. I'm not a WOT guy either but I like having power available. If I get 8 mins that'll be more than adequate.
Frank
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Old Aug 01, 2009, 10:13 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,601 Posts
Had an 8 minute flight this evening. Mostly cruising but did a couple of high speed passes right down the middle of the park as there was no one thee...when I started. After the two passes I had a whole birthday party come out of the trees to watch my plane fly. I kept away from the birthday party but put on a little show with loops, rolls and a rolling circle. Had some gusts of breeze but she handled them fine. Flew a good 100 feet out from them and dropped gear and flew over to the baseball diamond and had a nice landing. very appreciative audience. I may have to give their P-47 a closer look now. Mike
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Old Aug 02, 2009, 06:38 AM
Balsa just crashes better
Cub Fan's Avatar
Bradenton, FL
Joined Nov 2004
601 Posts
Nice review- This looks like a winner since I have a soft spot for Texans. I have had a couple of world models planes and think they are a great bang for the buck- looks like this needs to go on the list of next planes.

Great job- Cub Fan
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Old Aug 09, 2009, 06:16 AM
The original Flying Pigs Sqd.
Up&Away's Avatar
Netanya, Israel
Joined Aug 2002
10,091 Posts
My father was an instructor on the AT6. I might have to get one, and dig up some of his pictures to make a scale one...
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 09:44 PM
Registered User
Joined Jun 2005
68 Posts
nice video and landing...thx
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 02:52 PM
Registered User
Atlanta
Joined Mar 2009
118 Posts
Excellent review. I just received the Super Chipmunk EP from World Models as am impressed with the quality. It was a heck of a deal for $49, so much so that I just ordered the P-47 EP. Has anyone built this kit yet? Can't wait to get her in the air...
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,601 Posts
Look for posts on the EP P-47. It is another nice kit. Mike
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 09:49 PM
Team 3DHS
djmoose's Avatar
USA, OH, Macedonia
Joined Jul 2009
3,281 Posts
My Zero EP is coming in the mail on Tuesday. If I like that model...this will be my next.
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