|Wing Area:||270 sq in|
|Wing type:||Built up balsa - Symmetrical|
|AUW weight:||Advertised Ė 23-29oz Actual - 24oz|
|Wing loading:||~13 oz/sq. ft.|
|Transmitter:||/Futaba 7c 2.4/GHz|
|Receiver:||R617FS 7-Channel Receiver|
|Battery:||BP Series 1600MAh 3s LiPoly|
|Motor:||Rimfire 400 (28-30-950) Motor|
|ESC:||25 AMP Silver Series ESC|
|US distributor:||Great Planes|
|PT-19 Fairchild ARF:||PT-19 EP ARF|
Great Planes has released a new scale electric power ARF, the PT-19 Fairchild. This is a great park-flyer sized model that has a very attractive scale yellow and blue covering scheme, and as good as the PT-19 looks - the flight performance is even more amazing. This plane is a winner!
The review package arrived in perfect condition. It was exceptionally well packaged, double-boxed and the contents in the box were isolated, bagged and protected from shifting during shipment.
The PT-19 came with an excellent pictorial manual with complete step by step instructions which were clear and easy to follow. PT-19 Manual
Included for this review:
The Great Planes Fairchild PT-19 comes in true ARF form with most of the difficult work completed at the factory. Itís highly prefabricated, including a expertly covered fuselage, wing and tail surfaces.
Most will find the PT-19 can be assembled in just a few short hours. Especially impressive was the factory installed MonoKote in scale colors. I found it very attractive, and it shows up extremely well in flight.
Done by the factory:
The builder needs to:
Assembly starts with the wing panels. It was a simple matter to build up the two piece joiner and then join the wing halves. Use 30 minute epoxy on the wings as for the necessary open working time.
Once the epoxy cured, the installation of the single aileron servo was complete. The PT-19 uses torque rods and short linkages to actuate the strip ailerons. Installation of the aileron servo was totally straightforward with the servos mounting in the wing and direct short linkages (my preference).
Landing gear was quickly installed. Although the kit had two straps per gear leg, I have found one is more than enough and saves a tiny bit of weight. Every little bit counts!
The fuselage comes assembled and covered. The builder must install the stabilizers, elevators, rudder and tail wheel assembly.
My elevators were a bit misaligned with one higher than the other. A quick bend of the elevator wire had those surfaces even.
Gluing the fin was straightforward, and the slot was perfectly aligned. The tail wheel assembly also bolted right on.
The servo installation was completely standard. factory-cut holes in the servo tray fit the S3114 servos perfectly.
The PT-19 has a factory installed battery tray. While I appreciate the lightening holes in the ply battery tray, it makes attaching the hook and loop tape a bit tricky. I added a 1/16" hard balsa piece to form a solid tray and give more glue surface for the hook side of the hook and loop tape.
The recommended Rimfire 400 brushless motor was used to power the PT-19. Installation was straightforward, and the blind nuts factory installed. They mated to the three leg mount on the Rimfire 400 perfectly.
The instructions had the 25 AMP ESC mounting under the battery tray, but I moved it forward to aid in obtaining the proper CG without having to stuff the battery too far forward and allow for better ESC cooling.
I did cut out the MonoKote in the last bay of the underside of the PT-19 to allow the cooling air to escape from the fuselage.
The PT-19 as a primary trainer was obviously a "two holer". The forward cockpit point acted as a battery hatch. Great Planes has used strong magnets to attach the hatch which is my preference on small models.
The cowl attachment for the PT-19 uses small screws and washers.
The included Rimfire 400 brushless motor is a lower 950Kv motor intended for use with 3s packs. With the ElectriFly 1600mAh pack I recorded the following results:
|Rimfire 400 brushless motor statistics on 3s|
|GWS HD 9x7.5||14.8||170||11.7v|
These power levels gave the PT-19 about 127 watts per lb, enough for solid performance. In fact, it is certainly well past scale power for a WW2 trainer. The performance was perfect for me, but the low pitch of the 10" propeller was not enough speed for my taste. I settled on the 7.5 pitch propeller for a bit more speed and a bit less power.
The Futaba 3114 servos have provided consistent, solid performance. They are fast, center very well and provide plenty of power for this small plane.
The Silver Series 25 AMP ESC has also performed well and has plenty of overhead for larger projects. The tiny Rimfire 400 is a little powerhouse. It is small and light yet does not complain at 170w. Itís amazing for its small size!
A single 3s 1600 MAh 20c LiPoly battery was used to provide power. This pack weighs in right at 5oz (140g). Performance of this pack was stellar. It provided great voltage with a 14+ amp load. I have also used some smaller, lighter 3s packs with excellent results.
The PT-19 is covered with a very attractive, genuine MonoKote covering. As is common, the change of climate from factory to Texas made a few wrinkles form but they were easy removed with an iron.
The 3s 1600MAh pack placed in center of the tray had the PT-19 balancing right at the recommended spot. I was glad that I moved the ESC forward. The CG was flown at the recommended 64mm. CG is a pilot preference, and I found it nose heavy here, but itís a good starting point.
The Futaba 7c transmitter was used for this plane. Rates were set as recommended in the manual, and they even included some easy to cut out deflection gauges. Ailerons were set to 6/10mm, elevator at 6/13mm and rudder at 13/22mm. Exponential rates were not recommended so I used my preferred 25% low rates and 35% high rates for the primary flight controls. I used 40% expo in rudder.
The roll and pitch were very light on control responsiveness, so I switched to high rates throws for low rates. This provided plenty of aileron and elevator control more suited to my taste.
Control surface throws are a very personal preference, so please adjust your accordingly.
The flight timer was set to the throttle stick. Eight minutes gave an audible warning to land before the battery was depleted.
The park sized PT-19 was a pure joy in flight. It had not a single bad habit, and it lands wonderfully. It is a touch and go tail-dragger airplane if I ever have seen one. It was smooth and forgiving allowing me to stick the wheel landings, stay tail up and take to the air again.
Thanks to Ronnie for his spectacular in-flight shots!
With its light wing loading and power the PT-19 gets up to takeoff speed in a hurry but with great dignity. I was amazed at how little rudder input was needed. It tracks remarkably well! Ground handling was excellent, among the best of any tail-dragger I have flown.
Landings were easy and uneventful. The PT-19 tracks well with gentle inputs. Go easy on the elevator inputs, and use throttle to control altitude! It is a blast to keep the tail off the ground for a good long while and for wheel landing touch and goes.
The PT-19 is not a super acrobat, but it will loop, roll and perform inverted flight with ease. It was comfy with stall turns, snaps extremely well, will form a very tight corkscrew spin and recovers quickly and well.
The planeís stalls very predictable for a model with a low ~13 in/oz wing loading. Recovery is very quick and assured, especially with no wing drop.
Power with the Rimfire 400 was very good. It provides great sport power. Remember this was a primary trainer not a rocket ship!
The PT-19 has its heritage as a step-up trainer from the Stearman used for pilots in WW2. They advanced from flying this to the AT-6, then on to the war birds we also know and love. While used as a trainer, this is likely not a good choice as a first RC trainer. However, it was not hard to fly by any means and would make a great first low wing plane.
It was clear from the beginning that this small model was going to quickly become a favorite for me. The MonoKote covering scheme, wing and tail surfaces were all perfect. It is a well engineered plane.
Assembly of the PT-19 ARF was quick and straightforward. The prefabricated parts fit was good and made the assembly process smooth. I appreciated the magnet system for securing the battery hatch.
The Rimfire 400 brushless power system provided great power for this park flying scale bird.
Flying is where this little gem really shines. It goes to the park site with me every single time I go, and it never leaves me wanting more. It is responsive yet very well behaved on the ground and in the air.
It is fast becoming a true favorite for me. It is budget priced, looks fantastic and will make an excellent addition to your hangar!
Nice review Mike, as always. The assembly coverage really tells the story of how quickly this one goes together. Your description of the flight and ground handling characteristics are spot on .
Here's how I resolved the missing bottom markings. I used my printer, Monokote trim sheet, and an Xacto to cut out the U.S. ARMY marking and some spare MonoKote to make the roundels. Here's what it should have looked like out of the box:
You can find a Word template and image of the U.S. ARMY markings, a full color roundel image, as well as other discussion on the model here.
Nice review! I agree it is a sweet looking airplane.
Reference the missing markings, as soon as this plane was announced I sent Great Planes an e-mail informing them of this mistake. I am surprised they never made an addendum and included the missing markings or made them available to customers.
Re: GPM Product Suggestion
Kevin Burner <email@example.com>
Add to Contacts
Dear Mr. Keliher,
Thanks for the input. I thought he had it right but I will need to take another look at it. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
Sr. Manager Airplane Division
>>> <firstname.lastname@example.org> 7/30/2009 12:00 AM >>>
Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
(email@example.com) on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 00:00:30
suggestion: Hey guys, the new PT-19 park flyer looks awesome! Only
thing is, you forgot to include the decals for the
underside of the wing. It needs two more star roundels
as well as the lettering for US ARMY. Best wishes!
I really hate that crease in the fuselage covering above the wing saddle.
I was thinking about attempting to add a piece of balsa stock that would keep the saddle in its compressed position. CA it in place with the wing installed, then remove the wing and work the wrinkle out of the covering. I'll have to look at the model tonight and see if you can even get to it.
Any other thoughts on how to eliminate it?
Nice review Mike - I love mine also- She is a blast to fly. If you have the decal sheet from a GWS -P-40 laying around( happens I did) it has the missing markings for the bottom of the wing in the perfect size in water slide decals.
This is a great plane for the money and a joy to fly- It has become one of the planes I always take to the field.
OK, how many folks were like me and spent a bunch of their allowance or paper route money on the almost indestructible Cox control line version of this aircraft back in...well, too many years ago? I've never bought an ARF, but I might have to make an exception for this one just for nostalgia's sake.
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