|Wingspan||54 in. (1380 mm)|
|Wing Area||396 sq. in. (25.6 sq. dm)|
|Length||35 in. (900 mm)|
|Flying Weight||33 oz. (960 gm)|
|Wing Loading||12 oz/sq. ft.|
|Prop||Graupner CAM 10x6|
|Cells||7xCP1300 or 8x800AR|
|Radio||Multiplex Cockpit transmitter, Multiplex ICD receiver, 2 Hitec HS-81 servos, 1 Dymond D-200 Servo|
|Available From||Hobby Lobby International, Inc.|
Back in the 1960's, automotive manufacturers in the U.S. hit upon a formula for success in the muscle car market. Take a standard, competent, but somewhat mundane family sedan, beef up the suspension, and give it a huge increase in horsepower, and voila! You had a serious performance machine that was still familiar and friendly. Remember the Plymouth Satellite/Road Runner, or how about the Pontiac Tempest/GTO? Hobby Lobby's latest offering from Scorpio follows a very similar formula for success. Scorpio took a sweet, mild mannered plane, the Miss 2, added ailerons and a hot brushless motor, and then came up with a little hot rod that flies as nicely as the original, but with a whole lot more pizzazz! That's the basic story of the Super Miss.
Having reviewed the Miss 2 a few years ago, I was exceeding pleased at the opportunity to review this latest offering from Hobby Lobby International. Much of the Miss 2 review applies as well to the Super Miss, so I would highly recommend referencing Miss 2 review to help with additional details. Both have very similar fuselages, but the Super Miss has been given a little different tail treatment. The Super Miss has a larger rudder than Miss 2, which is somewhat odd since the Miss 2 is a rudder/elevator plane, but this is welcome nevertheless. Of course, the biggest difference is in the wings. Whereas the Miss 2 has a polyhedral wing, the Super Miss has an essentially straight wing, with a small amount of dihedral and ailerons. Other changes from the Miss 2 include stouter landing gear wire and heftier wing dowels. (I had to drill out the wing dowel holes for the dowels. Apparently, the dowel holes are leftovers from the Miss 2 design.)
As a side note, I used aliphatic resin (wood glue, like Elmer's or Titebond) for nearly all of the construction, with some CA for dissimilar materials or to tack down a difficult joint. It's light, non-toxic, cleans up with water, and creates very strong bonds in wood, and the drying time is quite reasonable, especially when the weather is warmer and dryer. It might be something to consider, especially if you have allergies to CA or epoxy.
If you've never assembled one of the Scorpio kits offered by Hobby Lobby International, you're in for a very pleasant surprise. The kits are very complete, superbly constructed, and well thought out. Even the instruction manual is well laid out and easy to follow, something that I haven't found to be common in most of the European kits I've built. Nice touches include pre-hinged control surfaces, pre-drilled holes for control horns, precut torque rod slots, and good fits on the parts.
|Here's what it looks like when you pull it out of the box. Beautifully built and expertly covered, this plane rivals the best I've seen in construction.|
Assembly of the Super Miss starts with the wing. Not much is required here, other than joining the wing and making some cutouts for the servo assembly. The photos below pretty well detail the steps. This wing is beefier than the Super Miss, allowing for more extensive aerobatics. I want to sound one note of caution. Be sure to follow the order of the instructions when assembling the wing. I started to install the dihedral brace first to one side, only to find I couldn't properly fit the two halves together. (The instructions say to join the two wing halves, and then install the brace.) Fortunately, the glue was still wet, and I was able to get things apart. (This is one advantage of using wood glue over CA!) I appreciated the tapered design of the wing joiner/dihedral brace. Most joiners/braces are constant thickness out to where they end, causing a sharp stress riser at that point due to the sudden change in stiffness. A gradually tapered design removes the stress concentration and makes it less likely that wing will break at that point.
|Construction begins by gluing the halves of the wing joiner (dihedral brace) together. I used aliphatic resin (wood glue) and clamped the assembly until dry (first photo). Before joining the wing, the area between the mid-chord slots is cut out to allow for later installation of the servo mount (second photo). The wing is joined by gluing the two halves together, with a dowel about halfway back aiding in alignment. The third photo above shows the dihedral brace in place, but it actually gets glued in after the two wing halves are joined.|
|The dihedral brace has a fairly tight fit. I glued it in place before I realized that I should have done a little extra fitting, and I couldn't remove it. A little work with a Dremel Moto-tool cleaned up the excess, however, and it came out looking pretty good (unfortunately I did leave some marks on the wing where I started trying to clean it up with a file first.)|
|The holes in the fuselage for the wing dowels are undersized. (They are apparently left over from the smaller dowels used for the Miss 2.) I found it necessary to drill out the holes before gluing the wing dowels in place.|
The vertical fin is assembled to the horizontal stab first, making certain the two parts are perpendicular to each other. Of course, before they can be glued together, the film covering the hole in the stabilizer has to be removed. The plans don't mention removing the film over the forward part of the stabilizer under the film, but I would recommend doing so to give additional bond area to the fin. I used a drafting triangle to make sure the two components were 90 degrees to each other. Once the vertical fin and stabilizer were dry, this assembly is glued to the aft end of the fuselage, making sure everything is square with the fuselage. I removed the covering material under the end of the vertical fin that fits over the fuselage, adding a little extra bond area and strength to the assembly. As a side note, you may want to install the wing before gluing the stabilizer in place, checking the alignment between the two and sanding the stabilizer mount as needed to ensure proper alignment.
The Super Miss scores big points with beefier landing gear and a better method of locking the wheels in place over the Miss 2. The landing gear on the Miss 2 was a little too flexible, causing some difficulties with takeoffs and often bending on landings. This new gear is quite a bit stiffer, easily handling the extra weight. The landing gear now uses a couple of lock washers to hold the wheels in place, an easy and quick method that seems to hold very well. The Miss 2's fittings were somewhat more difficult to install.
Landing gear installation is very similar to the Miss 2 otherwise. A slot is cut in the bottom sheeting just ahead of the forward bulkhead for the landing gear wire to come through the fuselage. A plywood plate with a triangular cutout is glued to the bulkhead, and a plate to cover the other side is glued to that plate. The bend in the wire is then inserted into the triangular cutout between the covering plate and the bulkhead, and a triangular piece of ply is installed beneath the wire to hold it in place. This seems to be a simple and strong method of gear attachment.
|The photo on the left shows the sandwiched plywood plates against the forward bulkhead. On the right, you can see the plywood triangle that locks the wire in place extending below the fuselage.|
Radio Gear And Control Surfaces
Rudder and elevator servos are installed in the Super Miss by first gluing a die-cut plywood servo tray into the fuselage under the longerons. The ailerons use a built-up servo mount installed in the wing cutout. The Super Miss servo tray and aileron servo mount are designed to allow the use of full-size servos, and Hobby Lobby provided three HS-300 servos with the review plane for that purpose. The Super Miss can definitely handle the weight, but I just couldn't bear the thought of carrying the unnecessary extra weight in a plane of this size. Even though it could carry it, that extra 3+ ounces in a 33 ounce airplane adds up to around 10% of the plane's weight, and lighter planes just seem to fly better (in general). I would rather put the weight in larger batteries if it were going to carry it. Therefore, I took matters into my own hands and substituted micro servos for the full size servos. Actually, a couple of strips of plywood are provided to allow micro servos to be used on the rudder and elevator, but I had to come up with my own modifications for the aileron servo installation.
I cheated a little when installing the rudder/aileron servos. I re-used the tray from my now defunct Miss 2 (I still had the servos installed in the plate, making things very easy). I also modified the way the push rods were installed. I don't care for the recommended method of installing the Z-bend in the servo arm, which required inserting the rod in the tube, cutting to length, and then either epoxying or soldering the threaded clevis fitting to the rod. Soldering is almost impossible in that situation, at least without melting the surrounding covering, and I'm not sure I fully trust the epoxy to hold the relatively smooth metal parts. Therefore, I reversed things a little. I inserted the Z-bend side in the rudder and elevator control horns, ran the wire through the tubes, and attached the push rod wire to the servo arms with quick-connect links. It worked great, and was pretty much hassle-free. (Plus, it allowed easy adjustment at the servo end.) The hardest part was getting the Z-bends in the horns. I already had the horns installed, and I used CA to secure the nut plate to the backside of the horn (I later found the nuts and used them as well.) I found the horns were flexible enough that I could bend the wire some and bend the horns quite a bit (using needle-nosed pliers), allowing me to install the Z-bend. Of course, if I had seen the nuts in the first place, I would not have CA'd the back plate on, since I could have simply removed the horns.
|These photos detail the installation of the rudder elevator control rods. Note that I placed the Z-bend end of the wires in the control horns, and used quick-links at the servo end. There was plenty of control rod wire for the rudder, but the elevator came out just right. If I placed the servo tray any further forward, I would probably have needed to purchase additional wire for the elevator rod.|
Pre-slotting the wing for the torque rods was a very nice touch, although, the hole for the wire must be drilled in the aileron. Drilling the hole for the aileron wire is fairly easy. The wire comes over and down on top of the aileron, rather than through the leading edge. It was also nice to have the torque rod assembly come as a pre-built unit. I glued the parts in place with CA, and then covered the top with stranded fiberglass tape (just in case). (Epoxy would be a better choice, but this was easier.)
The wing trailing edge reinforcements need to be moved further out than dictated on the plans. (Miss 2 experience taught me that one.) I ended up aligning the outer edge of the plates with the inner edge of the aileron cutout.
|The photo on the left shows the slots for the torque rods. The photo on the right shows the torque rods installed and the wing trailing edge reinforcements being bonded to the wing.|
As with the rudder and elevator, I went with a micro-servo, rather than the full-sized servos sent with the kit. (In this case, I used a Dymond D-200 I had laying around.) To mount the servo, I simply glued a couple of strips of plywood on the standard servo mount, and then screwed the servo in place. A servo extension allows easy joining of the servo to the receiver when the wing is assembled.
|The photo on the left shows the assembled servo mount, without my extensions for the micro servo. On the right is a photo of the servo installed and the linkages hooked up.|
It's not shown in the above photos, but I mounted the receiver beneath the rudder/elevator servo tray and ran the antenna out the top of the fuselage behind the wing saddle (cutting a hole in the covering for the antenna wire).
Mounting the AXI 2814/10 motor to the Super Miss is about as easy as it gets, short of having the holes pre-drilled. Drill a pair of holes slightly larger than 3 mm (1/8 inch is about right) 1/2 inch on either side of the center of the motor shaft hole in the firewall. These will be the motor mounting holes. You'll have to counter-bore the holes through the balsa facing that covers the plywood firewall so that the screw heads will have clearance to tighten up against the plywood. Next, screw the motor to the firewall using 3 mm screws. I set up the motor so that the wires exit towards the bottom of the motor compartment. Exiting the wires out the top will probably interfere with mounting the canopy. I allowed the speed control to sit freely over the top of the battery (basically suspended by the wiring).
Hobby Lobby supplied an APC 10x7 E-prop and a 5 mm prop adapter for the motor, but the supplied prop adapter didn't go well with the APC 10x7 E-prop. The adapter required the hole in the prop to be heavily bored out, and then it would have required several washers to allow the nut to tighten up the prop (the prop is thin, but the unthreaded length on the adapter is fairly long). I switched to a Graupner CAM 10x6 folding prop, which worked very well.
Battery mounting required a little more head scratching, but in the end I came up with a system I think works very well. One nice aspect of the Super Miss is that the CG came out just right with my proposed battery mounting location. It seems like many people experienced aft CG issues with the Miss 2 (although mine came out ok), but that shouldn't be the case with the Super Miss. I actually set up a dual battery mounting system, allowing me to use either my 8-cell folded packs of 800AR cells or the 7-cell straight pack of CP1300 cells supplied by Hobby Lobby.
As the photos below show, I covered the back of the forward bulkhead with Velcro hook material to match up with the Velcro loop material on my 800AR packs. These battery packs fit just right in the region between the servo tray and the forward bulkhead. For mounting the CP1300 stick packs, I cut a slot in the forward firewall and added Velcro between the rudder and elevator servos. (Here was a good reason to use the smaller servos!) I then added a Velcro strap (attached to the Velcro behind and on the front of the forward bulkhead) to make sure everything stayed put. The width of the forward slot was cut a little smaller than the diameter of the cells so that I could slide the pack in place with the slot going between cells, effectively locking the pack from moving fore or aft.
|In the photos showing details of the Velcro installation, note Velcro on both sides of the forward bulkhead. The aft side Velcro doubles for mounting the 800AR batteries and the strap for the CP1300 packs. The forward side Velcro is used for locking down the strap. The Velcro between the servos helps anchor the rear of the CP1300 packs.|
|Here's how the CP1300 pack looks installed. Note how the slot fits between the cells in the pack, and how the strap comes over the top of the battery to ensure it stays put in inverted maneuvers.|
When it came to final assembly, I found the wing was slightly askew in relation to the tailplane. (Looking head-on, the wing and stab were slightly angled relative to each other). Since the stabilizer was already glued in place, and I didn't want to sand down the wing saddle (and a thin piece of balsa was too much), I added a few strips of tape under wing to bring it into alignment with the tail surfaces.
The canopy was relatively easy to fit. I was initially going to use the blue tinted canopy from my Miss 2, just because I like the color, but then I decided to go with the clear one in the kit instead. The kits calls for painting the region over the motor black (the cowling), but I like seeing the brushless motor under the cowl. Besides, I don't care much for my painting skills. I cut the canopy to fit, and then used plastic packing tape on one side to hold it in place and to act as a hinge. I used a single piece of tape on the other side to hold it down when closed. This allows me to open the canopy to change batteries, making things a lot easier than removing the wing each time.
The final weight of my Super Miss came out to 33 ounces. The catalog says 32 ounces, but I don't see how they could achieve that weight with the recommended full-size servos. Perhaps that was for a Speed 400 version with 600AE cells. (The plans show the installation of a Speed 400 power system.)
Using a tachometer on the motor showed that with a seven cell CP1300 pack, the 10x6 CAM prop turned 9000 rpm at 29.4 amps, dropping to 8800 rpm at 28 amps after a few seconds. With an eight cell 800AR pack, the prop turned 9400 rpm at 31.5 amps, dropping to 9000 rpm at 30 amps after a few seconds. The higher resistance of the 800AR cells apparently reduced the gain with the extra cell. This current level is probably pushing the 800AR cells a bit, but it should be no problem for the CP1300 cells. I was highly impressed with the performance of the AXI 2814/10 motor. It seems to be one of the most efficient 7-cell motors I've found, at least if my *.calc numbers are to be believed. (I modified the constants to match up with my readings.) It also runs very smoothly and quietly. I'm tempted to pick up a few more of these motors for other seven to ten cell projects.
|Here's how she looked when I was finished. I opted to leave off the decals at this time, but I may add them later. The Super Miss is a very pretty plane either way.|
Flight performance of the Super Miss/AXI combination is outstanding. My plane flew right from the start without any need for trim, other than adding a little down elevator to compensate for the tendency to climb under power. The Super Miss was off the ground with a very short ground roll, and I didn't have any problem with ground looping on takeoff's. (Taxiing is another story!) Climb out is fairly steep (30 degrees plus), and it just seems to go for altitude. It will still float around gently and seemingly forever with the power off (and it's very stable), but with power on the plane will easily loop, roll, and fly inverted. This is an outstanding combination of gentle, comfortable flying with superb climb and good aerobatic ability. Landing was easy and smooth. As with the Miss 2, it pretty much floats in for gentle landings. The stiffer landing gear is very nice, not deforming like the Miss 2 landing gear, and helping to keep things straight on takeoff and landing. The motor is very smooth and quiet, and performs with gusto. This is one of those planes that could be used to help someone get going in R/C, and stay with them essentially forever. I love flying planes like this; the low wing loading, excess power, and nice manners join to make a plane that's nice to fly anytime.
As with the Miss 2, the Super Miss doesn't have a lot of cooling air in the fuselage. This wasn't a problem for the motor or batteries, but the speed control was rather warm on landing each time. I've found the 30 amp units tend to run quite warm anyway when they're run close to their rating. If this is a concern, consider upgrading to the Jeti 40-3P controller, adding cooling holes, or running a smaller prop to drop the current. I haven't run into any problems so far, but I still allow the speed control to cool between flights. I did fly it once without the canopy to see the effect of additional cooling. It helped, but the speed control was still pretty warm on landing. One nice feature of the Jeti controllers is that they have over temperature protection, and they'll shut down the motor if they get too warm, yet maintaining power to the radio. I should note that my flights were on a hot day as well, adding to the heating, and it would be less noticeable on cool days.
Just for grins, I was hoping to install my AXI 2820/10 motor, Jeti 40-3P controller, and a 14x7 prop to try hovering (cheap electric 3D!), but the landing gear extends forward far enough that I think the prop would hit the wheels. I may have to see if I can work around that some way. 3D-style aerobatics with the Super Miss would certainly get a fair amount of attention!
Ever since I built the Miss 2, I've become a real fan of these Scorpio models. (I have a Miss Moravia sitting in my building cue awaiting that mythical period of "free time".) I can't recommend the Super Miss and the AXI 2814/10 package highly enough. This is well built, easily assembled, and reasonably priced airplane that should satisfy a pretty wide spectrum of flying moods, short of pylon racing or pattern flying. Open up the throttle, and she'll leap off the ground and turn in a great sport aerobatic performance. Grass takeoffs should be no problem, either. Back off the throttle and the Super Miss will float around gently, catch thermals, and land with grace and ease. On top of all that, the bright colors and reasonable size make this plane easy to see. What more could you want?
|Jan 22, 2006, 07:56 PM|
I know that this review is older, and that Hobby Lobby has stopped selling the plane, but I need to comment on my Scorpio Super Miss. It is a great flying plane! I was lucky to pick up one of the last of these planes from Hobby Lobby on clearance about a year ago. I finally got around to putting the plane together, and I flew it for the first time today, in 22 degree temps and no wind. The set up HL suggested is a little different than the review. The AXI is smaller and probably more powerful, and the battery is a 3s1p 2100 lipo pack. I decided to put a steerable tailwheel on it, and was worried when I had to add 3 ounces of lead weight to the front... but the plane still leaps of the ground with less than half power and flies around great with less than a click or 2 on the throttle. I can't wait until it warms up and I can really fly the plane with a warm lipo pack. So far I am very impressed. Here is the setup:
3s1p Kokam 2000 or Thunder Power 2100 packHobby Lobby warned me that I would have tons of extra power, and they were right! Very nice plane. If you can find one some where, I would recomend it.
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