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Jun 12, 2011, 10:10 AM
Groundloop World Champion
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SCORPIO ThreeDee400 Maidened

Well folks, I've had this Scorpio ThreeDee400 ARF for a number of years... Actually, I have two of them but only one put together and ready to fly. I hadn't flown it because I thought my older flying skills may have deteriorated and I do not like to crash !

A couple of Thursdays ago it was calm and so I thought, what the he**, lets see if it will fly and I can fly it. It turned out to be more of test of my flying skills than I had intended . The takeoff went just fine (I need to relinquish my Ground Loop World Champ title ). I found that as I advanced the throttle it wanted to climb .... no problem. BUT, uh-oh MAYDAY !! The 3D was real jumpy and wasn't responding to my inputs properly. Being an experienced test pilot, I quickly realized that the stupid crew chief (that's me also) had the ailerons reversed .......aaarrrggghhh.

This is where my many years of experience took over and I managed to land without any damage...wheew. Now, one of the mandatory basics that one needs to learn is how to control roll when your plane is flying toward you. There are two (perhaps more) techniques for this. One is to mentally put yourself in the cockpit and turn your body more or less in the direction the plane is traveling, while looking over your shoulder at the plane. The other is to move the control stick in the same direction as the down going wing. I use the second method and doing so has saved my ass a couple of times. In this case it was relatively easy (mentally) to reverse the technique, move the stick in the direction of the up going wing.

I reversed aileron after landing and took off again. The 3D400 was way over powered with the Eflite 480 outrunner and while this can be positive, being over powered also has some negative aspects. One that I'm familiar with is decreased power resolution....... a click of the throttle trim gives more change in power level than one wants. This makes landing a little tougher when the plane has relatively low wing loading and excessive thrust. Anyway, I'm sooo happy to find that I still have the skill to handle a quick, jumpy, control reversed, too fast, flying machine

There is still one aspect of being over 60 that is a potential negative. I tend to lose focus and make silly errors. When back home with the 3D400 and starting to program in the trims the test flight revealed were necessary, it was found that the stupid crew chief (that's me again) had reversed the normal positions for the dual rate switches. No wonder the 3D400 was jumpy.... while I thought I was flying on low rates, I was actually on high rates . WOW.... I really haven't lost ANY flying skills.... ...that's nice to know.

Well folks, the 3D400 now has a PJS900 outrunner for power and I've swapped out the T-Bird 36 for an Ice Lite 50. A few other minor changes has reduced the AUW from 22.6 to 21.4 ounces.

I think the 3D400 is going to be a more often flown "pilots choice". Pictures below:

ps: Why are SCORPIO ARFs not more popular ???

Last edited by old_dude; Jun 12, 2011 at 10:38 AM.
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Jun 13, 2011, 04:09 PM
Registered User
Good story, where can you buy the scorpio 3d? Anywhere online?
Jun 13, 2011, 06:21 PM
Groundloop World Champion
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It has been out of production for a number of years.
You might try a "wanted" add.


Jun 15, 2011, 03:58 PM
Registered User
Thanks! I think I've been to Glendale back in the 70s.

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