A Sneak Peak at Great Planes Matt Chapman-Authorized 1/3 Scale CAP 580 ARF

AnnMarie Cross sneaks a quick peak at this amazingly complete, uniquely-colored, unbelievably priced new 1/3 scale ARF! With a street price of $750, this bird is AT LEAST $150 less than its competition, BEFORE you realize it includes roughly $425 worth of top quality "add ons" the other kits require!



Wing Area:1885 sq. in.
Weight:29-32 lb.
Wing Loading:35-39 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:** (varies)
Engine:4.2-7.2 cu in (DA100 recommended)
Manufacturer:Great Planes
Available From:Tower Hobbies

Great Planes has done it this time....at nearly 100" span, this third-scale aerobat, the only licensed 1/3 scale version of Matt Chapman's uniquely-marked exciting aircraft, is an ARF so complete it includes not only all the required hardware but even painted pilot and scale dash panel, and all at a price tag of approximately $750!!! (To learn more about this amazing pilot, visit Matt's website.)

RCGroups' was provided a sneak peak at this exciting new aircraft. This ARF is available to back order through any Great Planes authorized dealer at this time, and anticipated in-stock in Late December/Early January 2005.


This kit is uniquely complete for an aircraft this size, including at least $425 of high quality "add ons":

  • all required hardware ($150+ value) (details below)
  • main wheels ($15 value), tailgear with tailwheel ($30 value)
  • gas-safe tank with all hardware, including barbs to keep gas-permeated lines in place ($15 value)
  • aluminum spinner, painted blue to match fiberglass cowling and wheel pants ($60-160 value)
  • aluminum servo arms, with inserts for Futaba, JR, Hitec, and Airtronics servos ($70 value)
  • painted pilot! ($60 value)
  • detailed scale dash panel ($25 value)
  • aluminum engine position spacers for varied engine lengths
  • aluminum 2-piece gear with heavy mounting hardware (included in most high quality 1/3 scale kits)
  • specialized nylon thumb bolts for wing mounting without need for any wrenches or screwdrivers
  • accurate and detailed recreation of Matt Chapman's unique "paint ball" scheme, including the belly bullseye (with decal provided to properly complete the bullseye to match your wing placement)

Special features include:

  • 2 wing mounting positions for ideal CG placement with varied power plants
  • 2 aileron servos per wing half
  • plug in stab with all hardware mounted in the stab half for easy installation
  • slotted wheel pant mounting is so simplistic, even the blind nuts are preinstalled!
  • the ultimate flexibility in rudder servo selection -- 2 giant scale, 2 standard size high torque, or 4 standard size 75 in oz servos.
  • Covering scheme is entirely MonoKote'd, with all plaint spatters pre-applied. A liberal decal sheet is also included for many of the corporate sponsor markings and other fine points, including completing the bulls-eye on the fuse.

A Closeup Of the Hardware

If you've seen the ads or read Tower Hobbies' webpage, you may already be aware of many of the points above. No matter what else you've read, however, what you're likely not yet aware of is the exciting new Great Planes giant scale hardware INCLUDED in this aircraft. Great Planes indicates this hardware will be available separately in the future, but is so new it doesn't even have stock numbers assigned yet.

The GP giant scale hardware line starts with a uniquely ball-shaped bolt head fitting through a cup-shaped socket, mounting on the top of the control surface, providing a tight fit to even the steepest tapered surface. It continues as an 8-32 rod screwed through the control surface and out the bottom. Attached underneath is the main control horn body, positioned in one of 3 holes to provide proper positioning of the hinge pivot over the actual hinge line. These 3 holes provide a full 1/2" of range for control horn placement. From the main control horn body extends the hinge pivot point, then the threaded segment for the rod itself to attach. No 4-40 simple pushrods that are common in this size aircraft here. Screwed into this body is 6-32 ultra heavyduty turnbuckle-based pushrod itself, with opposing threads on each end and a hex shaped center section to allow the finest of control length adjustments. The other end of the rod is screwed into the nylon ball link which is mounted to the control horn with a ball-and-socket mounting that provides the ideal fluid motion to the surface while also protecting the servo in case of 'hangar rash'.


I certainly was excited to get up close and personal with this new Great Planes airplane! It's competition sells for $800-1200, with few to none of the 'extras' listed above. The construction is fantastic, the color scheme flashy and exciting, and the completeness might be overshadowed only by the low price tag. Great Planes indicates she is as exceptional in the air as she is straight out of the box. I hope to have one to fly myself some time soon!

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