|Dec 31, 2012, 11:55 PM|
Unique Models PC9
I first saw this model advertised on one of those banners at the top of the screen. I went to the site and was impressed by the flight video. I've also since devoured the thread info for this model.
The model arrived in very good condition, with the model box being inside an outer container. All parts were perfect, without damge or warping, unlike some other kits I have purchased. (GOOD)
The model comes with an instruction sheet with colour plates to help illustrate the various assembly steps. The instructions are general in nature and rely on the builder to have had some experience in assembling such models before. (ADEQUATE)
Assembly of the wing is quite simple. You need to install the aileron servos and run the servo leads through the channel. Fitting of the servo horns and rods is straight forward with no noticeable 'gotcha's ' to worry about.
The wing spar fits beneath the servo leads near the center so be aware of that. One of the very nice aspects of the wing is that the servo leads all plug into a single connector which makes fitting and removal of the wing quick and easy.
The Horizontal and vertical stabilisers fit very nicely. I dry fitted both parts and was quite pleased with the neatness of the snug fit. Due to some unintended rough handling, the elevator snapped off, so I fitted 4 flat dubro hinges and hinged it.
There are also two horizontal strakes to be fitted at the top of the Vertical fin. There aren't any directions for this in the instructions, but I found that the shape of the recess is such that they will only fit one way.
Cockpit / Battery compartment
The cockpit is electrically opened. On the left hand side, just in front of the cockpit is a deans, male connector recessed into the fuselage. This means that you need to fit and bind the receiver through the underside of the fuselage first. This can be fiddly, but easily achieved. The switch used is that which is normally reserved for flaps, and the cockpit opens in a very nice, Thunderbids like way. There is not a great deal of room to work this way, so I removed the screw retaining the cockpit to the operating arm, and then flipped the cockpit out of the way giving quite a bit of room to work inside the battery bay.
Servo Leads to Receiver
The servo leads are all bundled very neatly, labelled and ready for plugging into the receiver. Cool, HOWEVER, I found that most of mine were incorrectly labelled. When I had them all plugged into the receiver, I started testing functions; Ailerons - check;
Elevator - nothing;
Rudder - Elevator moves; switch leads around;
Gear - check;
Cockpit - check.
The entire time I was testing this, the Speedy (ESC) failed to initiate and the motor was contiually beeping every half second or so.
I eventually worked out that the leads were incorrectly labelled, switched them, and found myself with the speedy initiating and the motor running up. Finally.!!
Now, I only needed to fit the wing (1 screw), re-fit the cockpit operating arm (1 screw), and fit the prop and spinner (2 screws and one nut). Then I could fly!.
Prop and Spinner
The backing plate went on very nicely, the prop, however, was a VERY tight fit over the shaft. I simply got it as far as I could with my fingers, then fitted the washer and nut and used the nut to move the prop down the shaft. The blades need to be lined up with their individual positions on the backing plate. Now the spinner, a very nice fit, first screw in, and the second screw...BUGGER! The screw head snapped off. (poor)
I attempted to drill the shaft of the screw out of the backing plate, but only managed to damage the plate around the screw hole. Just a little frustrating.
I contacted Raymond from ABONG RC in Canada from whence I had purchased it on line, and he will be sending me a replacement early this month.
Thanks Ray. (Great After Sales Service)
In the meantime, I really wanted to maiden this sleek, sexy looking aircraft.
I re-fitted the backing plate and prop, and then considered a maiden minus the spinner....but wasn't happy with that thought, so I re-fitted the spinner.
With one screw and some clear tape holding the spinner to the backing plate between each blade, I was happy to continue.
I ran her up to full noise and held her there for a good 4 mins, finding that the spinner was, surprisingly, stable and had not moved. COOL, lets fly.
I re-checked all parts and decided that I would conduct the maiden using and FMS 25C, 2600, 4S battery......it just seemed under powered on a 2200 3S.
The Day of the maiden (30 December), was really quite gusty. Summer storms were brewing to the South and West of me, and the wind was being drawn into the storms from the East. At my park this means a steeper climb out to the East, but provides a nice long shallow approach at the Western end, NICE.
I lined her up, and had as my spotter, my neighbours 5 year old son, Noah. The wind was still gusting, then dropped briefly, so young Noah said "GO".
I advanced the throttle gradually, and found the model was being pulled downwards at the nose. Full up elevator, and about 45 meters of park used up, she took to the air.
I wasn't too concerned with scale departures at this stage, so I quickly took her to about 60 + feet. I backed off the throttle, retracted the gear, and adjusted the trims.
The nose really is very heavy, so I have used about 3/4 of the available trim adjustment on up elevator. She was also hooking sharply right, so I have had to use about 1/4 available trim on left adjustment. Hands off, 3/4 throttle, straight and level, cool. (good)
Stall test, straight and level at 60+ feet, reducing throttle and slowly increasing elevator, stalled, dropped left wing and rolled left, recovered and repeated twice more, same result. The speed was difficult to judge, but seemed quite high for a model of this size (Hmm, should make landing interesting)
Loops were nice and large, and rolls quite brisk. (This is surprising because there doesn't appear to be a great deal of movement of the ailerons).
Stall Turns were more like hammer heads given that this is quite nose heavy.
This was going to be fun, gusty winds and a model with quite a high stall speed.
I selected the gear down, the cycle is very scale looking, throttle back on down wind, turn base and reduce throttle again, turn final and maintain some speed and fly in.
(On the Western edge of my park, the ground drops away some 6 feet. In gusty conditions, this creates a rotor which causes considerable turbulence when crossing it.)
As I crossed the rotor, the wing was tipped through about 50 degrees, I quickly got wings level and levelled off at speed, and performed a high speed 3 point greaser. WOW!, I had pulled it off.
I turned to young Noah who gave me a High 5 with a "pound it".
The Maiden Flight was a success.
The high speed landing did concern me enough to make me decide to fit it with Flaps.
I have since done this, and test flown it with the reccommended 35-45C, 3S 2200mAh battery. I will never fly it on 3 S again. It Struggled into the air, and needed full throttle to maintain level flight.
I have also tested the power draw on both 3S and 4S batteries.
The supplied Speedy is a Hobbywing Skywalker 40A, with BEC 5v @ 3A.
Using the Turnigy 35-45c 2200, 3S, at WOT it pulled 19.5A @ 206W.
The FMS 25C, 2600, 4S at WOT pulled 28.1A @ 3845W.
This tells me that my 40A speedy is safe to use with the standard FMS 4S batteries.
Scale appearance is very good. The exhaust stacks are over sized, but for me, this does not take anything from the over all scale look of the model.
( as a post script, I have also added two screws to the nose cowl. This was only glued on, but I removed it to tighten the engine mount screws. Rather than glue it back on, I cut some ply and glued them in p[lace and screwed the cowl on.
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