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Old Oct 23, 2001, 10:38 PM
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AutoMatt's Avatar
Perth, Western Australia
Joined Jun 2001
29 Posts
Speed 400 Tucano - the hype is true! Simple, cheap, exciting, durable...

Nigel Hawes from RCM&E is to be congratulated. You may have seen the free plans offered for the Tucano and the Hawk and wondered if the planes are any good. I can testify that the Tucano is my favourite plane so far in my short modelling career.


The pic also shows my cooling method - leaving off the motor cover. I hardly notice it missing when in flight but I'm sure this method can be greatly improved.

I run a 6x3 folder, 6V sp 400, 8 600AE (at only $12US a pack - with Deans connectors - they one of the few bargains in Australia), RC line 35 Amp ESC and 2 sub-micros (ailerons and elevator). Duration: 4 minutes. AUW: <18 oz.

You can putter around 5 feet off the ground or go all out for high speed passes (possibly 60 mph but that's a rough guess). It has a flat-bottom airfoil but still does inverted flight and other aerobatics without hassles.

Other good points:
1) I really like the wings. They are solid balsa and took all of a few hours to build and cover. The all up weight is just under 18 oz. For the weight watchers out there, there is plenty of room to trim this down.
2) The wings are fixed to the fuse. This provides great strength. I was once under the impression that elastic bands were required to give compliance under crash / hard landing circumstances. I now know from experience that this plane can handle anything I throw at it - UNLIKE the SIMPLE 400!! Obviously no plane can handle suicide missions but this is a pretty tough plane.
3) The canopy is held down with a toungue on one end and an elastic band inside the fuse on the other end. This makes for 15 second battery changeovers.
4) It launches with a gentle toss but penetrates strong winds.
6) It takes less than 1 week of evenings to build (sans covering).
7) FANTASTIC VALUE FOR MONEY!

Only two cautions:
1) Don't fly at great distances at sunset - but that's the same with any small plane.
2) Devise a cooling method for the motor.

I look forward to any questions you might have...

- Matt
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Last edited by AutoMatt; Oct 31, 2001 at 09:25 PM.
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Old Oct 23, 2001, 11:15 PM
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SheldonYoung's Avatar
Vernon, BC, Canada
Joined Jan 2001
803 Posts
Re: Speed 400 Toucano - the hype is true! Simple, cheap, exciting, durable...

Quote:
Originally posted by AutoMatt
Nigel Hawes from RCM&E is to be congratulated. You may have seen the free plans offered for the Toucano and the Hawk and wondered if the planes are any good. I can testify that the Toucano is my favourite plane so far in my short modelling career.
Tell me about it! I'm most of the way through building a second one and the first one hasn't even been trashed yet. What ever happened to variety, sheesh!
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Old Oct 24, 2001, 04:49 AM
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AutoMatt's Avatar
Perth, Western Australia
Joined Jun 2001
29 Posts
Sheldon, a few questions. Are your specifications for the plane essentially the same as mine? Have you tried any NiMH's? What made you decide to build the Toucano again instead of the Hawke?
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Old Oct 24, 2001, 06:12 AM
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Figure9's Avatar
Granger,IN
Joined Oct 2001
149 Posts
Are the plans available on the net somewhere?
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Old Oct 24, 2001, 11:56 AM
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SheldonYoung's Avatar
Vernon, BC, Canada
Joined Jan 2001
803 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by AutoMatt
Sheldon, a few questions. Are your specifications for the plane essentially the same as mine? Have you tried any NiMH's? What made you decide to build the Toucano again instead of the Hawke?
Mine is similar except I'm using a smaller ESC (Castle Creations Pixie 14) and different props. The little plastic Gunther Zagi prop works very well and so does the APC 5.5 x 4.5 I've tried. The Zagi prop has a little more speed and less weight because there is no need for a spinner but the APC generates a little more thrust.

I run it off three different packs:

1. 8 x 600AE NiCd - Keeps the plane light. Duration is about 4 to 4.5 minutes and power is good.

2. 8 x Radio Shack 1650 mAh NiMH - A couple ounces heavier and not as much power means flights are less fun. Duration is about 7-9 minutes.

3. 8 x CP1300 NiCd - Heavy at about 10.5 oz per pack, but should provide more power. I've flown with it once but four minutes into that flight the motor self destructed so I can't just the pack for sure. Same weight as 8 x 800ARs so it should do pretty well.

I chose the Tucano instead of the Hawk because I no longer have the plan for the Hawk.
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Old Oct 24, 2001, 11:59 AM
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SheldonYoung's Avatar
Vernon, BC, Canada
Joined Jan 2001
803 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Figure9
Are the plans available on the net somewhere?
The plan is from the June 2001 issue of RC Models and Electronics (RCM&E) magazine. You can by a kit from:

http://www.modelflying.co.uk/pages/a...010618rcme.csv

The construction article and canopy can be ordered from:

http://www.modelflying.co.uk/feature...e31/index.html

They say the plans will be available soon.
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Old Oct 26, 2001, 05:40 PM
I am M I G H T Y !
Steve Wrona's Avatar
Ipswich, England
Joined Feb 2001
486 Posts
Please check out this site.
http://www.modelaircraftsales.co.uk/
This is Nigel's commercial site. These are some of the BEST "micro-brew" kits/designs I have seen for quite a while. I'm ordering a Vampire kit from them and word has it that they are cooking up a Vulcan Bomber kit for 2 S400's.
I spoke to Graham on the phone a few days ago and he was really helpfull with explaining the intricacies of the Vampire kit. A buddy of mine built the Toucano from the plans and another has a kit and they both fly fast and true wit DD S400 and 7 cell N500AR packs.

Steve
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Old Nov 16, 2001, 05:45 PM
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FLY ELECTRIC's Avatar
Carlisle, Cumbria UK
Joined Jun 2001
390 Posts
Thanks for all your kind comments guys, All a humble designer like myself can hope for is that his designs will give pleasure to fellow enthusiasts - looks like I hit the jackpot this time!
Nige.
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