Hangar 9 Taylorcraft 20cc ARF Review

How about a break from the typical aerobatic monoplanes? From nice and lazy to wild and crazy, Hangar 9's Taylorcraft brings the excitement back to the flying field.

Steep bank.

Introduction

Hangar 9 Taylorcraft 20cc ARF

Wingspan:80.5 in
Length:63.5 in
Wing Area:1152 sq in
Weight:15.2 lb
Servos:JR Sport DS821 (x5) and JR Sport 537 (throttle)
Receiver:Spektrum AR7000
Engine:Zenoah G20ei 20cc gasoline
Propeller:Evolution 16x6
Transmitter:Spektrum DX7
Manufacturer:Hangar 9
Available From:
Horizon Hobby
Price:$549.99

In 1980, Warren Pietsch began to modify his 1946 Taylorcraft, reducing the wingspan 14 feet to become a Clipped-Wing Taylorcraft and upgraded the engine for more power. He flies an aerobatic routine that is quick, precise and up close. One of his famous maneuvers is the inverted ribbon cut where he brings the upside down Taylorcraft right down to the runway to slice a suspended ribbon with the rudder. Talk about precise flying! Anyone who has seen Warren's routine would attest to the abilities of this amazing pilot and his trusty Taylorcraft. If you haven't had the opportunity to see it, you can view a clip of Warren's routine at Pietsch Aircraft.

Hangar 9 has recently introduced a new and updated version of their clipped-wing Taylorcraft. The new Hangar 9 Taylorcraft 20cc ARF offers a shorter 2-piece wing and more scale detailing. As an ARF, it is a quick build and not too difficult. This plane will attract attention when you unload it at the flying field. Soon you will be performing all those famed aerobatic moves that airshow pilots have amazed crowds with for years. Now let's go assemble this beauty and get that 20cc engine started!

Kit Contents

The Taylorcraft comes packed neatly in a big colorful box. All parts are separately bagged and taped down to ensure safe shipping.

When the review model arrived, I was taken aback by the sheer size of the box. I knew it was going to be big, but I was not expecting it to be this big. Before I opened the box, I took a minute to admire the nice, colorful photographs and detailed specifications. The box is very descriptive with the pictures and text, but opening the box reveals even greater attention to detail. Inside the box you will find all the major airframe parts already built and covered for you. Each part is separately bagged and taped down. The wings and tail surfaces were arranged in the top layer of the box, while the fuselage and hardware packages were packed in the bottom layer.

Assembly

The included manual gives excellent step-by-step details on every step of the build. A clear picture is included with each step to ensure proper setup. Go see a copy of it online.

Wing

The Taylorcraft's wing consists of two wing panels that plug into the fuselage. This is one of the improvements over the original Hangar 9 Taylorcraft which had a one-piece wing. The two-piece wing makes transportation of the model much easier.

The first thing you will notice about the wings is the big, bold checkerboard covering on the bottoms of the wing. It won't be hard to tell which side of the plane you're looking at with such contrasting colors between the top and bottom of the wing.

Since the wing panels are already built and the ailerons are pre-hinged and have control horns mounted, the only remaining steps for the builder are to install the aileron servos into the servo bays, hook up the pushrods, and attach the struts. The functional struts are very easy to attach using the supplied hardware. They also add that extra bit of scale realism that makes this model look so great.

Fuselage

The inside of the fuselage can be accessed by the door on the right side. One of the cool scale features of the Taylorcraft is the door into the cockpit. It is hinged and secured when closed by two magnets. When installing the radio components and fuel tank, having the top window out makes it more accessible. After all components are secured the floor of the cabin can be screwed down to cover up most of the electronics. This helps maintain the clean, scale looks of the Taylorcraft.

Following the instructions exactly, I mounted the Spektrum AR7000 receiver on the left side of the radio compartment using the provided hook-and-loop tape. The remote receiver was installed perpendicular to it. The recommended receiver battery is a JR 5-cell 2700 mAh NiMH pack. Everything is switched on and off by using the two deluxe charge switches. One is for receiver power and the other is for ignition power for the engine.

Engine

The Taylorcraft was designed to accept a variety of power systems, including gas, glow, and electric. The Zenoah G20ei was provided for this review and fits perfectly on the nose of the Taylorcraft. The electronic ignition makes the hand start even easier than with a magneto style engine and also has smoother transition and better idle. There are clear markings and pilot holes to ensure that you get the proper motor mount holes drilled for whatever setup you plan to use.

The cowling easily accommodates the Zenoah engine with just a few carefully trimmed holes for the intake, exhaust, spark plug, and fuel dot filler. The manual shows how to make templates for cutting these holes so you don't hack up this nice cowling. A Dremel tool works wonders on fiberglass. Hangar 9 takes some of the guesswork out of this ARF by pre-drilling the holes to mount the cowling to the fuselage. The recommended ignition battery is a JR 4-cell 4500mAh NiMH pack. Keep in mind that you will have to change the fuel lines in the tank to Tygon (fuel safe) tubing if you are using gasoline. Recommended fuel to oil ratio is 32:1. With the fuel tank full I am getting about 22 minutes of flight time per tank.

Tail

The tail pieces easily bolt on to the fuselage with the pre-drilled and tapped holes to make the alignment picture perfect every time. There are two metal braces or "flying wires" that go on the top of the horizontal stabilizer and four wooden stabilizer struts that mount underneath to strengthen the tail. Like the wings, the control surfaces are all pre-hinged and have control horns mounted. The rudder is controlled by a single servo set up with pull-pull wires and hardware. The elevator is controlled by two servos. Hangar 9 includes a very nice tailwheel assembly that has spring-tensioned steering to maintain precise ground control during the taxi.

Radio Setup

The instruction manual states recommended control throws as noted below. When I set up the throws on my Taylorcraft, I maximized my throws mechanically and then toned them down in the radio to suit my taste. With the exception of aileron differential, I arrived at nearly the same values that Hangar 9 recommends.

Recommended Control Throws

Function Low rate High rate
Aileron 1" up, 9/16" down 1 1/2" up, 15/16" down
Elevator 1 1/8" 2"
Rudder 1 7/8" 3 1/4"

Completion

Once all the fuselage and wing components are complete the windshield and top window can be installed. The windshield is mounted by applying a bead of canopy glue around the edge and securing it with masking tape until dried. The top window is held in by eight screws making it easy to remove if you need more access inside the fuselage.

The wing halves are mounted onto an aluminum spar then held into place with nylon wing bolts mounted from the inside of the cabin. Now the strut attachments need to be made with the quick connect pins.

The attention to detail that Hangar 9 puts into the Taylorcraft really shows when you get everything assembled. For this to be an ARF, you still get a lot of the neat things like an instrument panel that's complete with gauges. This isn't just a sticker that looks like a dashboard either. Each gauge is covered with a plastic lens for authenticity. They even include a scale pilot figure to round out the looks of the cabin.

Using the recommended equipment for the Taylorcraft means that the CG will be close to the recommended range. Hangar 9 suggests the CG should be 3 3/4" back from the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage. There I attached a couple of small, clear bumper pads to mark the CG. Now I have a solid marker for checking the CG.

Now that we've got this baby assembled, let's get it in the air.

Flying

Basics

I was pleasantly surprised at how gentle and stable the Taylorcraft was in flight. Being true to the high wing design, it is a very controllable plane and will stay upright in flight with no stick inputs. It can be flown in a mild-mannered style or with high rates it can become an aerobatic wonder.

Taking Off and Landing

The Zenoah engine pulls the Taylorcraft into the air with ease from pavement or grass. As with any taildragger, the Taylorcraft will keep you on your toes during your takeoff roll. Rudder inputs are necessary, but I found them to be minimal and easy to handle. It is possible to take off with half throttle to make it look more scale, but this allows the plane to drift a little more and keeps your left thumb busy on the rudder. Full throttle takeoffs will get this beauty in the air within 50 feet.

Landings are a breeze as long as you realize how well the Taylorcraft glides on approach. This 15 pound beauty has very low drag and will carry its speed quite well. The first couple of landing attempts I did resulted in the need for a "go around". It has a pretty low stall speed but you do need to keep the plane moving enough to keep it in the air until the right time. Very low throttle inputs will keep it floating until it is over the runway. It does nice 3-point landings as well as wheel landings. The Taylorcraft looks so good doing takeoffs and landings, you might just find yourself going around the pattern a few extra times at the end of the flying session just to see this beauty "one more time".

Aerobatics

True to its full size counterpart, this Taylorcraft is right at home in the aerobatic category. With the G20 engine, scale aerobatics are no problem for the Taylorcraft. It doesn't have unlimited vertical, but has quite a bit of power for tricks.

Using the recommended control throws, the Taylorcraft provides spirited aerobatic performance. However, when you crank in the high rates and max out the control throws, the Taylorcraft delivers some insane maneuvers.

Aileron rolls look awesome with the alternating color patterns of the top side of the wing surfaces and then the bottom side checker pattern. Snap rolls are very fast and dramatic even with the recommended control throws. With maximum control throws, snap rolls turn into a blur of tumbles!

Knife edge flight takes some getting used to with the tendency to tuck to the canopy side. With the right thumbs on the sticks this proves to be something that is easily corrected. In fact, my buddy Chase Wolk does knife edge passes within 5 feet of the ground with his Taylorcraft. Like I said, with the right thumbs! Knife edge flight proves to be easier with more rudder throw.

The sight of the Taylorcraft as it climbs into and out of a big loop will bring a grin to any pilot's face. If you get bored with plain old loops, then throw in a snap-roll at the top of the loop. The Taylorcraft answers the call and you've got a nice-looking avalanche. Cuban eights of all varieties are lots of fun with the Taylorcraft. Hammerhead stalls are a breeze and are a must for any aerobatic routine. The Taylocraft does them perfectly.

Spins are fairly tight with the recommended CG and recovery is as simple as neutralizing the controls. Recovery time from upright spins is less than one revolution and about one and a half from inverted spins. Knife edge spins are even possible when you crank it up to extreme throws.

If you ever get bored and decide to point the Taylorcraft straight up into the sky and climb, then go ahead and let it climb until it finally slows to a nice prop hang. Keep it vertical long enough and you will start to back down into a tail slide. These are even cooler if you reduce the throttle after you have achieved a vertical upline.

Inverted flight is wonderful with the Taylorcraft. In fact, this happens to be my favorite maneuver with the Taylorcraft. Nothing quite beats the look of a down-on-the-deck inverted pass with this plane! Very little stick input is needed to maintain straight and level flight while inverted.

Is This For a Beginner?

I would have to say that the Taylorcraft isn't a good model for a beginner. If someone has had experience with a 4-channel trainer and is comfortable with takeoffs and landings with a tail dragger, then this might be a "next plane" for them.

Photo/Video Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

A WORD OF THANKS

Many thanks to my brother, Andy, for his excellent photo, video, and editing skills. I appreciate your help with making this review look good. Another big thanks to my buddy, Napo, for the awesome flying shots of the Taylorcraft when we were down in Birmingham flying with you.

I'd also like to thank Horizon Hobby for providing the ARF kit and components for this review.

Many thanks to each of you!

The Taylorcraft is a definite eye-catcher at the field. It attracts the attention of pilots of all ages with its classic character and a very stylish color scheme. The realistic look of the scale detailing makes the Taylorcraft stand out from other ARFs. When you get this plane in the air, you will be pleased at how nice it looks and how well flies. It makes any aerobatic routine look extraordinary. Scale aerobatics to wild tumbles will keep you smiling until you're packing this plane up at the end of the day.

Pluses:

  • Easy to follow, step-by-step instruction manual makes the build process worry-free
  • Excellent flight characteristics, stable for a large airplane
  • Very detailed scale looks for an easy to build ARF
  • The Zenoah engine gives a great scale sound

Minuses:

  • Need to run the covering iron over several places that were peeling right out of the box
Last edited by Angela H; Apr 11, 2010 at 05:11 PM..
Thread Tools
Apr 16, 2010, 11:35 AM
Registered User
b7gwap's Avatar
Nice review! Thank you for not doing YET ANOTHER electric review. Fantastic pictures!
Apr 16, 2010, 01:52 PM
One of the usual suspects
Vicarious's Avatar
Good one, Gary! Almost makes me want a gas plane!
Apr 16, 2010, 02:01 PM
just go FLY !!
brn-grose's Avatar
Nice review Ghee !! cant wait to see the electric set up. too bad you cant take it to SEFF.
Apr 16, 2010, 07:20 PM
Registered User
Was thinking about putting the DLE 30cc in this plane. Do you think it would be to much? Would I need to reinforce anything?
Apr 17, 2010, 12:02 AM
Servos can't have all the fun!
Moonbeam Six's Avatar
A great review of a beautiful plane! I love the sweet realistic sound of it.

MB6
Apr 17, 2010, 07:03 AM
In NY's beautifull hills
staggerwing's Avatar
Nice review--I have the 1st iteration w/ single pc wing I converted to elec.--see my blog.
Thinking of selling it as it doesn't get flown much.
Apr 17, 2010, 12:48 PM
All electric, all the time!
QuietRCFly's Avatar
Nice review! Has anyone done this in electric? I was thinking of doing it with one of the new Hyperion ZS motors.

Chris

Quiet RC Flying
www.quietrcflying.com
Apr 17, 2010, 05:44 PM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP
The manual recommends an E-Flite Power 110 motor for electric setup. Unfortunately they haven't completed the instructions for mounting it though. It will require a standoff or motor box to bring it out to the proper place inside the cowling.

This motor on 8-cells will give "scale" power. Use 9-cells for "performance".

Devin McGrath has done one with the electric setup. I think he used a pretty hefty motor though. I've seen the pictures and video from him flying it.
Apr 17, 2010, 06:16 PM
*It Ain't Lookin Good*
olezippi's Avatar
NEAT Fair 2009: Hangar 9 Taylorcraft 20cc (4 min 12 sec)
Apr 19, 2010, 11:14 AM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Nice review..

I hope he made it through the first loop, though..
Apr 21, 2010, 03:34 PM
AMA #903699
Tony_Fletcher's Avatar
Great review-thank you!

I have a fuselage from this kit and I'd like to scratch build a new set of wings. The ARF wings from H9 are almost $200 a piece! Can anyone share some info on the wings? Dimensions, number of ribs, etc? Any info would be really helpful. Thanks in advance!
Apr 22, 2010, 06:01 AM
*It Ain't Lookin Good*
olezippi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamsterflyer
Was thinking about putting the DLE 30cc in this plane. Do you think it would be to much? Would I need to reinforce anything?
Hamsterflyer,

I have the DLE 30 on the H9 TC. With the mods to the engine it fits inside the cowl with only one cut out for the exhaust pipe on the bottom. Very nice combo.
Apr 22, 2010, 07:29 PM
A trail of smoke is GOOD!
waynemia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by olezippi
Hamsterflyer,

I have the DLE 30 on the H9 TC. With the mods to the engine it fits inside the cowl with only one cut out for the exhaust pipe on the bottom. Very nice combo.
Not sure what MODS are needed. How about the balance with the 30?
Apr 23, 2010, 06:09 AM
*It Ain't Lookin Good*
olezippi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waynemia
Not sure what MODS are needed. How about the balance with the 30?
waynemia,

I had my DLE 30 converted to a single bolt prop hub and extended it to a total length from the firewall to the end of the prop hub to 5 11/16". I have a battery pack on each side of the fuel tank and the CG came out fine.


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