Who's Built the Graupner Me-323 Gigant? - RC Groups
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Jan 14, 2005, 04:27 PM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar

Who's Built the Graupner Me-323 Gigant?

Some months ago I bought on Ebay a new-in-box Graupner Me-323 Gigant kit with the standard Speed 280 power setup and I would like to know who's built one.

Years ago, possibly in 1998, there was a kit review in Electric Flight International magazine, but I no longer have that issue. I remember reading the model is somewhat lethargic when turninng.

Does anyone have any more information or general advice?

Thank you.
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Jan 14, 2005, 10:28 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
Hi james, I have one that I purchased on ebay,I attempted to fly it about two years ago.I had to hand launch it because of rough surface and didnt get up enuff speed.Not too much damage. latley i have thought about fixing it and using lipo batteries. I think the reduced weight will help alot.I have read that they will fly but its got a lot of drag so its slow which would explain the lethargic turning.If I get it to fly i will let you know.
Scott S
Jan 16, 2005, 04:05 PM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
My goodness! Is Turbonut the only modeler here who's got one of these things? This kit's been available for roughly 8 years, so I assume enough people have tried their luck with it or Graupner still wouldn't have it in their product offering (and yes, it's still in their current catalog).

Well then, is there anybody who's seen one fly and has comments about it? Or does anyone have a buddy who's built one and, 1) flew it, and 2) loved it, or 3) hated it?
Jan 16, 2005, 04:20 PM
Lithium Member
Herb's Avatar
Flies fine on the recommended speed 280's or whatever they were. Saw one fly at the MWE (not mine).


Last edited by Herb; Jan 18, 2005 at 02:52 PM.
Jan 16, 2005, 09:16 PM
KOMET 44's Avatar
I have built this plane and flown it!! YES it does fly.Okay, now lets start at the beggining.I first read the artical from EFI.So I then had a idea about how the plane might fly.But also about the time I started on my small one Mr Terry Mitchel made the cover of EFI Sept 2OOO?? with his scratch built 13' Gigant.I was able to email him and converse back and forth on this plane.So I want to also say it was help from him too.(He also built and flies the graupner version) Once I framed up the fuse then the wing I look at the tail area and it seem small for a 60" plane.So next I enlarged the tail area by 15 or 20%(because there is a issue with lateral stability) Then finished the building.I would suggest also to put in a couple degrees of washout in the wing tip area .You'll see where the alieron is the wing is very narrow.You should use a film type of covering that will give you structural rigidity to the plane like ultra coat.Next control throws, 30% on alierons&35to40% on elevator(this would be on low rates if you have a computer radio)if not GOOD LUCK! This plane is one of the reasons I went out and bought my first computer radio.Up till then I flew with a skysport 4 radio.Rudder max movement both ways.On the ground the rudder has no imput what so ever once flying it works very well.First flight saw the plane use a 100'runway to just get off the ground and then the left wing dipped down to cause a small crash.Plane undamaged I rechecked the c/g and found it a little to the rear.Plus the batteries where not that great.I used 8x1700cp cells and the power fell off quick too so that was part of the crash issue.Next I went to 8x3000 Sanyo Gp cells and to the comp.radio .Second flight piont plane into the wind and push the throttle wide open! again used the whole runway but much better power.I kept the throttle at full until I was a safe altitude and then brought the throttle back but the plane then lost altitude real quick so back to about 3/4 throttle until the power started to drop and then set up for a landing.Once you commit you cant turn back.Out of ten flights I have had 3 good landings *Another iportant aspect is turning the plane with alierons,MAKE THEM AS SHALLOW AS POSSIBLE!!!* If not the wing will drop and the plane will spieral into the ground.This is why I use low rates.The alierons only need a small amount of movement.Another important item is that this plane needs to be flown at all times!!!! Don't take your eyes off or it will bite you in a bad way!!I fly mine also with the complete stock power system but It is marginal at best.My best flight time was 5min.You'll see when the plane takes off the tail will be down low so get it flying and keep it level until its high and safe.I have a fligh loge I keep with more details in it on this plane.I'll try to find it to see what other comments I can give you. I 'm going to bench test the geard 280 ball bearing motors on direct drive to see what kind of numbers the motors will produce.I have 4 and need 2 more.Anyhow these are my comments on this plane.Good luck,stefanP
Jan 17, 2005, 01:24 AM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
I had one but sold it to Scott Summersgill.
He should be done with it by now??

Jan 17, 2005, 04:29 AM
Registered Snoozer
Ju388's Avatar
Do you know of a U.S. distributor for it?
Jan 17, 2005, 07:35 AM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Komet44, great comments! That's the input I was hoping for. And it's also what I kind of suspected. I had the Graupner JU-52 and some of the flight characteristics were similar, especially that it needs to be flown at all times!!!!" Thanks!
Jan 17, 2005, 02:55 PM
AMA 670207
Rudderman98's Avatar
Originally Posted by Ju388
Do you know of a U.S. distributor for it?
Hobby Lobby used to sell them but the kit was discontinued (as I was told) and I purchased the last two remaining kits approximately 2 years ago.


Jan 18, 2005, 06:33 AM
Registered User
Propeller's Avatar
James Frolik,

I also like the Graupner JU-52. How is the build of it, is it flying easy? The recommended power setup by Graupner is it sufficient?

Jan 21, 2005, 08:53 AM
Registered User

Its all my fault!


I did the orginal review in EFI that you mentioned but it was a long time ago so I'll try to help as best as I can remember.

Pretty straight forward except for the motor nacelles/mounts, getting them aligned and all pointing in the same direction. This took quite a bit of time and eyeballing!

I seem to remember I added some washout on the wingtips, probably about 5mm.

Some of the wood supplied was way too hard and heavy.

If I were doing it again I would make the outer wing panels removeable, for ease of storage and transportation, and use a seperate servo for each aileron mounted in the centre section. This would make aileron differential a lot easier to set up.

It needs 8 cells to get it going but once flying you can throttle back quite happily. If you can reduce the weight as much as possible that would be a good thing because it flies way too fast, pretty much like the JU 52.

I also used CAR, but it needs to be used with caution else the nose appears to "dig in" on tight turns. In fact the best way to fly this thing is like a big thermal soarer, flat turns and long aproaches.

It sounds absolutely wonderful in the air!

Keep us posted as to how you get on.

Jan 21, 2005, 06:28 PM
KOMET 44's Avatar
Ian I'll agree too.The sound is very KOOOOOOOOL in the air.Iused a servo in each outer wing for the ailerons.stefanP
Jan 21, 2005, 08:09 PM
Todd Long's Avatar
I have the kit also and when doing research several people/websites said to enlarge the horizontal elevator 10%~15% in size.

Jan 22, 2005, 08:07 AM
Long-Time Member
James Frolik's Avatar
Okay Ian, since it's all [your] fault, I'll blame you if anything with my plane goes wrong. I really appreciate the consolation.

I've seen this kit in the hobby shops here and after one seems to disappear another reappears some days later on the same shelf, and I understand the kit is still in production. Ditto for the JU-52. But maybe I'm wrong and some supplier just has a huge leftover inventory somewhere.

I've copied these posts and have slipped them into the Gigant's box so I can refer to them once I begin building. Not sure when I'll start this, but hopefully sometime this year. Enlarging the stabilizers, both horizontal and vertical, is a good suggestion and one which I'll do. Also, I decided some time ago that because of the inexpensive price of servos these days, I'll use separate servos for each aileron in any model that could really benefit from this setup -- and that goes for the Me-323. Also, by the time I'm ready with this model I'll probably have a useable LiPo pack for it. And removeable outer wing panels?...that's an intersting consideration.

Graupner JU-52

Regarding Propeller's questions about the JU-52, it's kind of a swimmy model. Or, in other words, it doesn't track like its on rails. I found that little wind gusts would alter its course enough to require rudder or aileron correction. Aileron response was also a tad hesitant and once neutralized after a turn I had to use more opposite control to striaghten the model than with any other model I have. This took some getting used to.

It flew terribly on 7 cells -- if you could get it off the ground. I replaced the nose motor with a 6v-400 and takeoffs were better with 7 cells but you still had to fly cautiously. With 8 cells -- and still with the 6v-motor in the nose -- it quickly took off and climbed great! Therefore I'm sure with three 7.2v-motors and 8 cells it would also fly fine.

Mine had flaps. With them fully extended and just a tad of power it floated pretty well on landing. Without flaps it glided down nicely but firmly. Overall, they helped.

It does need washout which is not in the plans. I built mine per plans, so it didn't have any. Although what I could do was deploy the flaps 2mm or 3mm to mimic some washout by making the ailerons "higher". This helped a bit to alleviate tip stalling, but building in the washout would have been a better choice.

The model is not a quick build. It takes time, but I recall it was mostly straight forward. One thing about the tailwheel: secure it somehow to the fuselage, because in the plans it's only affixed to the rudder. If, as happened to me more than once, the tailwheel got caught or jerked on something while taxiing then the lower rudder hinges would rip out. Good-bye rudder.

Unfortunately my JU-52 met its demise last summer. While flying downwind a small gust of wind lifted a wing tip so I gave a bit of opposing aileron (to turn into the wind.) Knowing there was some lag in control surface response, I held in the aileron. But the wing kept rolling over the wrong way, so believing the wind was stronger than I had expected I gave it more opposing control input. Then it snap-rolled and spiralled down. So I gave it full (the same) opposing aileron thinking "Damn, these ailerons just aren't responding!", but it didn't help. It just spiralled into the ground from about 75' altitude. In my opinion, once this model spirals down more than one turn, it's a gonner. The lagging aileron control won't recover well unless you're really up high. I wasn't so high because this was on the downwind leg right after takeoff.

Both co-owners of the local hobby shop saw this happen and afterwards asked me why I hadn't applied opposite aileron to correct the initial wind gust. I said I did give it right aileron. They both replied "Right?!!! It was turning to the right! You should have applied L E F T aileron."

Ooopps. Chalk that crash up to pilot error. My eyes (or brain) literally deceived me. My model was gray and there were some slightly gray clouds behind the model in my line of sight. It was also shortly before sunset and the skylight was dimming. I lost it due to a visual illusion that I hadn't experience before -- lost attitude orientation. ("It looked like it was turning right...") Afterwards I spoke to other modelers who'd experienced this. A few lost their planes, some were able to rescue them, but most were aware of the potential illusion and were prepared. I wasn't.

Live and learn.
Last edited by James Frolik; Jan 22, 2005 at 08:42 AM.
Jan 22, 2005, 09:43 AM
Registered User
Admiral Piett14's Avatar

Did you use one or two servos for the flaps, and how did you couple the servo or servos to the flaps?

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