Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85" - RC Groups

Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85"

Great Planes is known for their line of great looking and flying sport and scale ARF airframes. The Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF is the next generation scale airframe that easily utilizes an electric or gas power system and doesn't compromise its structural integrity or its flight characteristics.

Splash

Introduction

From the manual ... Great Planes is very proud to bring you the Citabria. This is a great flying model that you will enjoy and will turn heads at the flying field. We have made a realistic airplane that has no bad flight characteristics. We believe you will be very pleased with the final product.

When the Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF was first announced I was immediately intrigued. The Citabria and Decathlon have always had a soft spot for me in my hangar of liked airplanes, and this offering was designed with an electric option from the start, not as an afterthought. The removable windshield seemed like the perfect idea for those of us that would only consider the electric option. The ability to easily access the battery packs definitely helps me decide on which models I choose for my hangar. The size of the airframe was also an immediate draw. It's not too big that it becomes difficult to transport but it is big enough to have a great presence in the air while also being IMAA eligible ( http://www.fly-imaa.org/ ).


Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85"
Length:62 in (1575mm)
Wingspan:85 in (2160 mm)
Weight:14.5-16.5 lb (6.57-7.48 kg) - Review plane was 16 lbs. 6 oz. ready to fly
Wing Area:1168 inē (75.3dmē)
Wing Loading:29-33oz/ftē (88-101g/dmē)
Servos:2 standard and 7 high-torque servos (GP), 7 high-torque servos (EP)
Transmitter:Futaba 12FG
Receiver:Futaba R617FS 7-Channel 2.4GHz FASST Receiver
Battery:(2) 5000mAh 5S 18.5V LiPo
Motor:Great Planes Rimfire 1.60 63-62-250 Outrunner Brushless
ESC:Great Planes Silver Series 80A Brushless ESC High Volt
Typical Flight Duration:6.5 minutes
Manufacturer:Great Planes
Available From:Tower Hobbies
Price:$449.97

Kit Contents

First Impressions

I was a little concerned when the shipping box showed up on my front porch since there was a decent size hole punched through it, but luckily there was no damage to the well packed airframe inside. As I unboxed the plane it became very evident that extreme care was taken when packing the airframe. The main sub-assemblies are packed in bubble wrap! ... not just plastic bags. The smaller components are individually wrapped and held in place in the kit box with tape.

As I began to unwrap the main sub-assemblies, I noticed how well the components were covered, and how well the parts fit together. Overall, I was very impressed with the kit. The main components (wing panels, fuselage, and tail surfaces) have a very solid feel but also feel fairly light. The fiberglass cowl and wheel pants are rather stout. They are not very light but they are also not overly heavy. This seems like a good compromise for these particular parts given the option of a gas engine for this airframe. The paint on the cowl and wheel pants was great and the color matching to the MonoKote covered parts was about as perfect as I would imagine you could get. I almost immediately made my way to the removable windshield / battery hatch since I would be building mine with the electric power option. This is a very slick design that provides great access to the battery packs without having to remove the wing or any other components! The plastic windshield and side windows were very clear and well installed, but they did have a few scratches in them right from the kit box.

The ABS plastic cockpit floor was the only part that seemed a little flimsy, but it became obvious quickly why it needed to be. In order to get it in and out of the airframe you need to flex it to get it to its final installation place. Once it is in place, it is plenty strong for its intended purpose. Speaking of ABS plastic parts, one thing I noticed was the lack of them on the wing tips. Many of the somewhat earlier airframes with nice rounded wing tips would include plastic wing caps (and usually cowls and wheel pants) to get that shape. These are nicely shaped full wood wing tips. Did I mention the included aluminum spinner? That is a great addition too. Also of note was the clarity in the decals. I have seen a few models of late where the clear part of the decal was slightly off color or there were bubbles in the adhesive. The instruction manual is well done and included nice sized black and white photos, although there are steps around the installation of the elevator servos that could be a little clearer depending on the modelers' use of a Y-harness. All of the supporting hardware looked up to the task for a model of this size. I could go on about the included parts, but let move on to the build!

Additional components required for completion

The additional components used to complete this review are noted in the pictures in this section.

Assembly

Before assembly begins, the manual recommends tightening the covering of the model at this point with a covering iron. My model only needed some very slight tightening on the main wing panels and the wing control surfaces. The rest of the model was tight and wrinkle free.

Wing

The wing panels are provided from the factory with the hinges for the flaps and ailerons installed and GLUED! Although I like to do this step myself to insure there is no glue mess on the surfaces, there was no mess as provided and the control surfaces were very secure.

Assembly of the Citabria begins with the aileron and flap servos in the wing panel. If you have assembled a handful of ARF's in your past, this will be nothing new. But a nice touch provided from the factory is including the servo covers with the covering removed from the servo arm slot. The servos are installed onto blocks that are glued and screwed to the servo covers. The addition of the screws provides some safety and a very rigid assembly. The manual recommends hardening the screw threads in all of the assembly steps that include threading screws into wood, and I would recommend the same. This provides for a more solid thread for the screws that is less likely to loosen.

After the servo extension wires are pulled through the wing panels with the included and mounted pull string, the aileron and flap servos are then mounted in place on the wing panels with four screws for each servo cover.

Before the Flap control horns can be mounted, they must be slightly modified to allow the clevis to move freely against it. The aileron and flap control horns are mounted to the wing control surfaces with screw that are driven into plywood mounting plates in each control surface that are just under the covering.

The Citabria kit is provided with pushrods that require some soldering. They include solder clevises on one end of the pushrods and threaded clevises on the other ends. I realize there are many modelers that are leery about the soldered clevises, but if you solder them as outlined in the manual, they will function as intended. Make sure to use the included 4-40 nut on the ends with the threaded clevises and a silicone clevis keeper on all clevises.

To complete the wing panels, a wood dowel is glued into the leading edge of each wing panel and an anti-rotation dowel is glued into the trailing edge on one of the wing panels. A large wing tube provides the final support for the two wing panels.

Fuselage

As provided the fuselage seems rather light and well built. You can tell that whoever designed this had structural rigidity, and keeping weight to an acceptable minimum, top of mind. The one other thing that stood out to me, besides the removable windshield, was the factory installed windows. They were securely installed and had no glue slop on the edges (although mine did have some slight scratches). This is one area in about 20 years of modeling that I have never liked ... Thanks Great Planes for having this done at the factory!

The first part of the fuselage assembly includes attaching the main aluminum landing gear, and aluminum gear doubler, to the fuselage with ten socket head cap screws. Access to some of the screws is a bit limited but it is nothing to slow you down as long as you have the right tools.

The next steps of assembly include removing the covering on the contact areas of the horizontal stab. The manual outlines a process for using a soldering iron to do this. I decided to use my old standard of a lightly pressed Xacto blade up against the covering which has always worked perfectly for me ... but be careful not to use too much pressure if using this method.

I ran into my first issue after removing the covering from the horizontal stab and test fitting it onto the fuselage. As provided, the stab was crooked when I laid it on top of the stab deck at the back of the fuselage. I rolled back some of the covering on the right side of the fuselage to get a look at the stab deck to fuselage joint. The stab deck was glued into place; unfortunately it was not pressed all the way down into position when it was glued. I decided to whittle down the high side of the stab deck with a knife. After I was confident I had the issue fixed, I sanded the stab deck slightly and installed the horizontal stab and vertical fin with epoxy.

Unlike the hinges for the control surfaces, the hinges for the elevator halves and rudder must be installed and glued in by the modeler. It is a very easy process when following the steps in the manual. Don't forget to use oil on the center of the hinges to prevent glue from locking them up during the installation process.

The control horns for the rudder and elevator halves use the same installation method as the ailerons. The servo end of the pushrods has solder clevises and the control surface end has threaded clevises. The elevator pushrods worked fine in their factory installed conduits in the fuselage, but the rudder pushrod was very tight. I used some light oil on the rudder pushrod and in the conduit to lessen the friction.

The manual shows the elevator servos with the servo control horns opposite of each other when mounted on the servos. If you are using a Y- harness for the rudder servos, the servo control horns need to be on the same side. They will also need to be moved as shown below in the picture to get it to line up with the elevator pushrod conduit that is factory installed. Note: The production version of the Citabria has more room on the servo mounting tray from that shown in the manual, so moving the servo is very easy and doesn't require modifying the servo mounting tray.

Tail Wheel, Bracket, and Support Wires

The tail wheel assembly is made from carbon fiber and metal, with a sold rubber tire and metal wheel hub. The assembly look great and is seems very rigid. The aluminum rudder T-bracket is installed with two screws in the bottom of the rudder after holes are drilled by the modeler. The tail wheel bracket is screwed into two factory drilled holes on the bottom of the fuselage. The T-bracket is connected to the tail wheel assembly with two small springs.

The tail surface support wires are actually one piece of braided wire that is threaded through factory provided holes in the rear stab and fin. First, an aluminum flying wire bracket is installed on the bottom of the fuselage that serves as the mounting point and also where adjustments can be made for the length of the wire.

Motor and ESC Installation

Before mounting the motor, I had to drill the mounting holes in the firewall for the Electrifly "Large Motors" aluminum motor mount. A paper template is included in the manual that helps line everything up before drilling. The manual mentions installing a 8-32 blind nut into each of the holes I just drilled, but I couldn't find those or the 8-32 screws in the hardware provided. Luckily, I had some screws and blind nuts on hand. The mount and motor are easily mounted to the firewall. The motor mount is easily adjusted in order to get the proper clearance for the upcoming cowl installation.

The Electrifly 80 amp ESC has built in mounting tabs which makes installation easy. The ESC is screwed onto the plywood ESC mounting tray, and then screwed into place in the fuselage.

Cowl Mounting

Mounting a cowl onto a model can sometimes be difficult, especially when it comes to centering the prop adapter and getting everything lined up. Great Planes reduces the stress level around this assembly step by providing plywood centering discs. But before we get there, the rear plywood cowl ring needs to be secured to the firewall with four 6-32 socket head cap screws. I then dry fitted the cowl in place. At this point the discs are glued together in order to provide proper centering of the shaft to the cowl. The rear disc sits inside of the cowl opening, the middle disc provided the reference to the centering of the spinner back plate, and the front disc is what provides the centering to the motor shaft. When the three discs are aligned they easily provide proper centering of the cowl. With the cowl centered, I now needed to reach into the openings of the cowl and tack glue the cowl to the rear plywood cowl ring. The next step was to remove the screws holding the cowl ring and cowl in place. With the cowl removed, I could now properly glue the plywood cowl ring in place. After the cowl ring was permanently glued in place and the cowl reinstalled, I mounted the propeller and spinner to the motor.

Main Gear Wheel and Wheel Pants

With the main gear legs installed earlier in the assembly process, all that is left to do for the main landing gear is to mount the axles (need some modification as outlined in manual), wheels, and wheel pants. The axles fit into factory drilled holes in the end of the main gear legs and are secured in place with lock nuts. The wheels are then held in place on the axle with a wheel collar on each side of them. At this point the wheel pants are added. Great Planes take a process that is usually a pain and makes it simple. In this case the wheel pants are completely ready to mount including blind nuts already installed in them. All that is needed is to slide them into place and attach them to the gear legs with 4-40 socket head cap screws. I did have a slight problem with one of the wheel pants. One of the blind nuts was mounted slightly off and it took some time and finagling to get the screw in.

Wing Struts

The wing struts are definitely part of what makes a Citabria and Great Planes has once again made this "process" fairly easy, although I did have a few bumps along the way. The first issue I encountered was during the installation of the wing strut brackets in the fuselage. Two screws hold each wing strut in the fuselage. The screws are the same length, but the fuselage curves under the point of installation. During the installation of the screws into the first bracket, I noticed that the screw in the outer hole was actually pushing out the sheeting and covering on the bottom of the fuselage just under it. The solution was to cut the screws shorter to allow installation of the brackets without touching the sheeting under it.

After the wing strut brackets were installed, the rest of the wing strut installation went very smoothly. The wing struts and interplane struts are installed with a series of brackets and screws into factory installed nuts in the wing panels.

**Take your time when mounting the wing to the fuselage. You can easily poke the strut ends against the sides of the fuselage if you are not careful.

Radio Installation and Cockpit

At this point I finished the receiver and extension installation to prepare for installing the cockpit floor. I simply mounted my receiver to the plywood plate in front of the servos with Velcro. The manual recommends mounting the battery next to the receiver as well, but I opted to mount the receiver battery in the flight battery compartment so I could have easier access to it (a plywood tray will eventually be mounted with wood screws over this sections). I used servo wire clips to hold down the servo wires and to also rout them up to the top of the fuselage opening where they will eventually get connected to the flap and aileron servos.

During a test fit of all of the components installed in the airframe with the batteries installed on the primary battery tray, it became evident that I would be rather nose heavy. So at this point I needed to install the secondary battery tray that is provided. The secondary battery tray allows you to move the batteries rearward while providing a solid support for them. The secondary battery tray and cockpit floor needed some slight modification to rout around the aileron and flap extension wires. I also modified the cockpit floor to allow the batteries to move back without contacting it.

During my C.G. test I had temporarily installed the instrument panel shroud in to the front windshield assembly. Now that I was comfortable with the battery placement and knew that I didn't need to modify the instrument panel shroud, I installed the instrument panel decal to the shroud and glued it into the front windshield assembly.

Completion

Now that I had the airframe completely assembled and balanced with the decals installed, I was interested to see how much this RTF airframe weighed and how much power the Rimfire 1.60 would have. I had in my mind a power to weight ratio that I felt would be great for this airframe. The RTF weight ended up being 16 pounds 6 ounces. During my initial run of the power system (with a Xoar 20x10 prop), it registered 66 amps and 2570 watts at the 15 second mark into the run ... That yields roughly 157 watts per pound! That should be plenty of power for great performance.

Flying

Taking Off

The day of the maiden had arrived. It was a bit windy but I knew that the wind would be blowing mostly down the runway so I headed out to the field. I was very excited to get the Citabria in the air. As I had mentioned before, I really like the looks of the Citabria and the Great Planes model looks .... well, GREAT!

For the maiden flight...

After doing a range check and checking my control throws again, I taxied out onto the runway. I lined up with the runway heading into the wind and slowly began to advance the throttle. The Citabria veered right slightly and the tail wheel lifted up after about 20 feet. I feed in a bit more throttle and it veered right a little more. Having flown models of the Citabria before, I was aware that the rudder could be very effective so I didn't want to overdo it on the ground during the maiden takeoff. With that in mind, and the fact that full scale runway landing lights were on the side of the runway. I decided to advance the throttle to about half and avoid the landing lights and the overcorrection all together. The Citabria responded with quick acceleration and lift off almost immediately. It was heading a little right and I could tell it was going to need some trim. As I flew around at just under half throttle in slow sweeping circuits, I trimmed the model for level flight. The Citabria needed a little up elevator, some left aileron, and eventually a little right rudder. (Note: After the first two flights I reset the elevator halves to match better at the trailing edge. Although the elevator counter balances were level with the stab, the elevators were actually off a bit at the trailing edge.) Although the maiden takeoff wasn't as smooth as I was hoping for. I was glad to see that the Citabria was very responsive on the controls and had no problem lifting off in a short span of runway.

Subsequent take offs (after the re-trimming) have proven to be rather uneventful as far as stress level is concerned. I apply just a little bit of back pressure on the elevator after the tail wheel starts to lift off. The Citabria responds positively to smooth throttle input on takeoff. As long as I am smooth on the throttle and stay active with the rudder, I am rewarded with very smooth scale - like takeoffs.

Landing

I spent the better part of the first flight making slight trim modifications, trying basic aerobatics, and getting used to the flight characteristics so now it was time to land. The wind had shifted slightly and was now quartering down the runway. Since the wind was blowing at a decent clip, I decided to land the Citabria on the first flap setting. I dropped the flap on the downwind passed and only noticed the slightest dip in altitude with the flaps dropped. I actually prefer it this was because I like to hold just the slightest amount of back pressure during the landing sequence. Although the Citabria was being bumped around a bit from the wind, it actually settled in rather nicely as I began to reduce the throttle. Because of the wind, I was working the throttle a little more than I normally would on a landing approach. Once I was closer to the ground, I slowly began to work in more elevator until the Citabria touched down on the mains first. The Citabria bounced back up into the air slightly and then settled onto its main gear on the runway. The tail wheel came down on the ground within about 20 feet of the main gear touching down. The first landing had a little bounce, but was rather uneventful considering the wind that was blowing.

Subsequent landings have been mostly uneventful, although I did have an instance where I bounced the Citabria on the runway which resulted in one of the gear bending and a broken prop. To date, the Citabria has had four total flights with five landings. All of my landings were with the lower flap setting and it proved to work just fine. In lighter wind conditions the Citabria is rather easy to land. It settles into the pattern well and is very responsive even at slower speeds. My best landings were when I carried slightly more power all the way to touchdown, instead of just a slow idle. Do not try to force the Citabria on the ground too soon, landings can get bouncy if you land with too steep of a glide slope.

Basics

After I had the Citabria trimmed on the first flight, I flew a couple of circuits around the field to get used to the airframe. I admit it took some getting used to. I had been flying a 6 cell electric pattern plane and a few high speed jets of late so everything was happening at a slower rate with a little less precision. The Citabria responds well to control inputs and tracks very well, but this airframe matches is full scale counterpart very well as an aerobatic trainer not as precision aerobat. One thing to note was how neutral it felt while flying on low rates. In the air and on low rates, I couldn't imagine a much more relaxed feeling while flying a large, scale airframe. The Citabria cruises easily at half power. As you might imagine, the Citabria is more responsive on high rates but I prefer to fly it on low rates ... the aerobatic maneuvers seem more scale and majestic.

Basic aerobatic maneuvers with the Citabria are easily executed. The power provided by the Rimfire 1.60 is more than adequate for all of the maneuvers, and more, the full scale airframe can perform. First up were a couple of stall turns, which are very scale and almost effortless with a small amount of rudder at the top of the maneuver. Too much rudder will cause the airframe to wiggle and rotate out of the maneuver on the vertical down line. Speaking of rudder, the rudder is very effective so care must be taken to not overcorrect with it, especially on high rates. Inverted flight is rather easy with the Citabria and only a small amount of down elevator is necessary to maintain inverted flight, which was a bit of a surprise. I really enjoy flying the Citabria inverted, which is fairly evident in the flight video provided. I did manage to try a stall with the Citabria but it was on fairly windy day. The stall was very uneventful, straight ahead, and easily recovered from but I chalked some of that up to the wind helping. The plan was to try a stall on a much less windy day, but that day didn't arrive before the "final" flight.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The Citabria excels at sport scale aerobatics and the grunt and growl of the Rimfire 1.60 and large prop only adds to the experience. As mentioned before the rudder is very effective so the Citabria snaps and tumbles with ease. On high rates, the snaps can be somewhat violent so if you are flying an electric version make sure those packs are secured. I prefer the snaps and spins on lower rates since they are a little more "scale" and look more graceful. The Citabria has a slight tendency to over rotate so be aware of that when planning your exit point. The Citabria rolls with ease and on high rates without having to correct the airframe while inverted. They are not quite axial but also don't have that exaggerated picked up pace that most high wing planes have when going from inverted to right side up again during a roll. The low rate rolls require only the slightest amount of down elevator while inverted. Loops can be just about as big as I liked and the Citabria tracks well through the entire maneuver without any sign of pulling out at the top.

Given that incredibly effective rudder on the Citabria, I was eager to try some point rolls and knife edge flight. It is possible to do point rolls with the Citabria, but only the slightest amount of rudder can be given while on edge during the point roll. If I gave it too much rudder while on edge, the Citabria would promptly roll off of the edge. Extended knife edge is rather difficult with the Citabria. It takes a significant amount of work with the ailerons and elevator to keep it tracking straight, and if too much rudder is given it will immediately roll off of the edge. As mentioned earlier the Citabria flies inverted with ease. One of my favorite maneuvers is to climb vertical starting from inverted, do a snap on the vertical, continue climbing, and then do a stall turn after that. It performs this sequence exceptionally well. The Citabria will perform other basic aerobatic maneuvers with ease such as split-s turns, Cuban eights, reverse Cuban eights and immelman turns.

Is This For a Beginner?

The Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85" is not for a true beginner, but it could be a great first giant scale aircraft for a modeler with intermediate flight experience that is completely comfortable with a tail dragger.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Great Planes Citabria 85" - RCGroups.com (4 min 0 sec)

Conclusion

When I first saw the Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85" I was very intrigued. I have always loved the looks of the Citabria and the Great Planes version appeared to be the perfect size for me. I wanted a giant scale airframe that was large enough to have a great presence in the air without being too big that it becomes a hassle to get to the field or set up once I am there. The Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85" fits that bill perfectly for me and the removable windshield / hatch makes it a must have for those like me that are electric flyers and have a soft spot for this airframe. Was the build completely hassle free? No. There were a few things that slowed down my progress but there wasn't anything that would keep a seasoned modeler from moving forward. For the sport flyer this airframe does just about everything you might want to do with an airframe and does it well. Overall, I am satisfied with the Great Planes Giant Citabria GP/EP ARF 85".

PROS:

  • Overall appearance. The Citabria looks great. Great Planes has captured the factor and feel of the scale airframe. The covering on the airframe and paint on the cowl and wheel pants are as good as I could have hoped for.
  • High level of prefabrication. Most of the hard work is completed at the factory.
  • Fit and Finish. The main assemblies are built and finished well.
  • Great size and design. For an IMAA legal aircraft the Citabria is big enough to present well in flight without being too large to cause problems getting it to the field.
  • Removable front windshield makes it easy to access flight batteries.
  • Two piece wing makes it easy to transport. Hinges for the control surfaces on the wing panels factory installed!
  • Plywood centering discs used to center the cowl before final mounting.
  • Designed with optional power systems in mind. The electric version is not a conversion.
  • More than adequate power with the recommended electric power system.
  • Flight characteristics.
  • Quality components used (although, see note on landing gear).
  • Tail wheel assembly
  • Instruction manual was easy to follow.

NEUTRAL

  • Access to the landing gear mounting screws and the cowl mounting screw are somewhat limited and will require long versions of hex wrenches.
  • Care must be used when mounting the wing to the fuse as not to scratch or poke the struts into the sides of the fuselage.
  • The stab mounting deck on my kit was not completely flat and needed some modification. I could see that the design was solid, but whoever built my kit didn't get the stab all the way down before it was glued into place.

CONS:

  • Main landing gear. I find the main landing gear to be softer than I would like on a plane of this size.
  • The blind nuts used in this kit are not glued in place (except for the wheel pants).

My thanks to Mike Magnacca, Gary Pace, Chery Petrilla, and Cole Petrilla for their video and photo services.

Last edited by kevin; Nov 02, 2014 at 08:07 PM..
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Nov 03, 2014, 06:46 PM
Registered User
Steve Merrill's Avatar
Needs a gas engine!
Nov 03, 2014, 10:15 PM
Registered User
nice well done
Nov 04, 2014, 06:06 AM
Registered User
Very nice review. I was thinking about getting this plane but I was disappointed to see that they added flaps. I do not understand why manufacturers keep adding flaps to just about everything. In this case, the real plane does not have them and I do not believe that it needs them. Other than that, it seems to be a very nice plane.

On a final note, to save a little weight, you could probably go for smaller battery packs. I fly 2M pattern plane on a 10S set-up using 4400 mah batteries. On a normal day, I can fly the advanced sequence and use a little less than 3000 mah. The flight time is in the neighborhood of 7 minutes not including taxiing out and back and the approach portion of the flight. Also, if you were willing to build a plywood box for the motor, you might be able to save some weight. Given that the landing gear appears a little soft, saving weight could be beneficial.

Teo
Last edited by viva_peru; Nov 04, 2014 at 07:39 AM.
Nov 04, 2014, 08:44 AM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Thanks for the compliment.

The full scale 7GCBC Citabria does have flaps. Two full scale pictures are attached.


Quote:
Originally Posted by viva_peru
Very nice review. I was thinking about getting this plane but I was disappointed to see that they added flaps. I do not understand why manufacturers keep adding flaps to just about everything. In this case, the real plane does not have them and I do not believe that it needs them. Other than that, it seems to be a very nice plane.

On a final note, to save a little weight, you could probably go for smaller battery packs. I fly 2M pattern plane on a 10S set-up using 4400 mah batteries. On a normal day, I can fly the advanced sequence and use a little less than 3000 mah. The flight time is in the neighborhood of 7 minutes not including taxiing out and back and the approach portion of the flight. Also, if you were willing to build a plywood box for the motor, you might be able to save some weight. Given that the landing gear appears a little soft, saving weight could be beneficial.

Teo
Nov 04, 2014, 09:38 AM
Registered User
Oops! I stand corrected. I did not know that, I should have known better. I have enclosed a little inspiration:


Greg Koontz 2012 Super Decathlon Airshow Routine (2 min 26 sec)


Thanks,

Teo
Last edited by viva_peru; Nov 04, 2014 at 10:08 AM.
Nov 04, 2014, 02:11 PM
Team Hillbilly 🐘💨
bullittjeff's Avatar
Nice review Kevin.
Nov 04, 2014, 02:59 PM
TEAM FUTABA
kitman's Avatar
Great job!!
Nov 04, 2014, 03:49 PM
Onward and upward.
Pilatuspc12's Avatar
The full size Citabria has a flat bottomed airfoil with a bit of Phillips entry shaped leading edge. Check Kevin's full size photos. Some of them had flaps, some models did not. The video of Greg Koontz's aircraft is a Decathlon.
It has a shorter wingspan, fully symmetrical airfoil and no flaps. It was designed for more aerobatic flight maneuvers and sustained inverted flight.
The Great Planes Citabria appears to have the wing planform of the full size Citabria with a fully symmetrical airfoil and flaps. It looks like a great combination for this model. Good article, Kevin, thanks.
Nov 04, 2014, 05:28 PM
Registered User
The plane on the video is a Decathlon. I looked at changing the SIG Citabria kit into a Decathlon some time ago and I think that the difference in span is about 1 ft per panel for the full scale. It might be a little less, I just don't remember. I looked at the video as more of what the plane might be capable off if flown in a scale like manner.

Teo
Nov 11, 2014, 03:19 PM
Registered User
Very nice review....it's all I can do right now not to go to tower.com
Nov 12, 2014, 05:35 PM
Registered User
Excellent review, I just finished building my own GP Citabria (gas powered) and I can say I agree with your comments/observations. Still waiting for a nearly perfect day for the maiden flight (at least one with no crosswinds) but I am a bit concerned about the "soft" landing gear. Have you had any actual issues with the LG spreading or bending?
Nov 13, 2014, 10:43 AM
Registered User
kevin's Avatar
Yes. I have. I did slightly spread the gear on my second landing. It did result in a broken prop, but that broken prop probably could have been avoided with a smaller stronger prop. I was swinging a wood 20x10 at that point. I do have video which I can link to later, when I am at an actual computer.
Nov 13, 2014, 02:13 PM
Registered User
Well that's bad news. You see, yours is only one out of two videos I have found of the Citabria (not counting GP's or MAN's) and I can tell your landings were fairly smooth. At first, I gave GP the benefit of the doubt and thought most complaints were by guys who had modified or overpowered their planes with extra weight, etc. Obviously, that's not your case, yours is electric, well within normal weight range and you seem to be an excellent pilot, so there is definitely an issue there which GP, up until now, has not addressed. I look forward to watching your other video. Thanks for the feedback.
Nov 22, 2014, 04:31 PM
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kevin's Avatar
Sorry I didn't get this up sooner. Here is the other video of the gear spreading slightly. As mentioned earlier, I was running a 20x10 prop so that contributed to the prop strike. After the review was complete I crashed the Citabria while flying at sunset . My first dumb thumb in about 12 years. Having said that, This plane is so good that I already have plans to have another one up and flying for the spring.

Citabria Landing gear (0 min 19 sec)


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