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Sep 12, 2020, 02:22 PM
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GWS PT-17 Stearman Kit

GWS PT-17 Stearman Kit

Been thinking for a while that I would like to try a Biplane. I stumbled across a thread that claimed GravesRC had some GWS PT 17 Stearman planes, so I went to check it out. Sure enough they had two versions, the more expensive one came with a geared brushed motor which I didn’t want, but it also claimed it was made of yellow and blue foam instead of painted white foam. So I ordered it, paying $12 extra for the colored foam. The package arrived 9/8/2020 but I was disappointed it is just painted white foam, not as advertised. An inquiry with GravesRC got a quick response, but the only offer was that I could send it back. I decided to keep it, but it will probably be a long time before I will consider doing business with Graves RC again. Poor customer service and false advertising. And I have a 400 brushed motor with gears I have no intention of using. Here is the product page of what I ordered:


Manufacturer: GWS

• Details
• Specifications
• Reviews
• Tags
• Construction: Easy interlocking blue foam, with built-in thrust angles.
• Wings: One-piece, yellow foam
• Radio Compartment: Located above the bottom wing
• Dummy radial engine
• Cockpit Features: Two seat cockpit, windshields and instrument decals
• Landing gear: Pre-bent wire
• Hardware: Complete hardware package
• Motor: EPS400C with ball bearing gearbox
• Propeller: One included (EP1060-10X6)

All foam to construct the airplane, pushrods, prebent 2mm main landing gear, 1mm tailwheel wire,hardware package, foam dummy radial engine, GWS glue, windshields, decals, photo-illustrated instructions and ultra-light 2" main wheels and 1" tail wheel.
Speed Control: 10A or higher ESC
Battery: 8.4V 270-400mAh NiCd or 8.4-9.6V 500-730mAh NiMH
Charger: Charger capable of charging the selected flight battery
Radio: 4-Channel
Servos: 3 nano (1-ailerons, 1-elevator, 1-rudder)
Servo Extension 6": one needed for the aileron servo
Misc. Items: building and field equipment
Wingspan: 38" (962mm)
Wing Area: 403 sq in(26 sq dm)
Weight: 18-20.5 oz (510-580 g)
Wing Loading: 6.4-7.3 oz/sq ft (19.62-22.31g/sq dm)
Length: 30" (760mm)
Airfoil: Bi-Wing
Center of Gravity: 0-3/8" (0-10mm) back from the bottom wing's leading edge at the fuselage sides
Control Throws- Low Rate High Rate
Ailerons: Up & Down 3/16"( 5mm) 9/16"(15mm)
Elevator: Up & Down 3/16"( 5mm) 9/16"(15mm)
Rudder: Right & Left 3/16"( 5mm) 3/4" (20mm)

It came well packaged and undamaged in a Horizon Hobby box. After studying the kit and the instruction booklet, I have to say that neither is as well executed as the GWS T6 kit I got last month. Instructions are rather poor and the foam fuselage does not even fit together properly. But I think I am up to the challenge and I got it because I like building. Box and contents:
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Latest blog entry: GWS PT-17 Stearman Kit
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Sep 12, 2020, 02:29 PM
siriusflier's Avatar
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The plane is made with EPP foam I think, so I decided I would do some reinforcement of the fuselage on the inside before assembly. May also do some on the outside. I have never done that before or done any “glassing” of a plane, so I searched and studied RC Groups and found some suggestions of how to do it. I found and bought a roll of Tulle at the local Dollar Tree, am gluing it in place with GWS glue and will coat it with Minwax polyacrylic. Should be a fairly lightweight reinforcement, but I weighed the first side of the fuselage so I can see how much weight it adds. The only other thing I have done so far is trim the battery bay to fit the Lipo I plan to use.

I weighed the fuselage half before I started applying the Tulle, glue, and minwax and then I weighed it again afterwards. I only applied the glassing materials to the two main cavities in the fuselage. The resulting weight gain was only 2.55 grams.

Here is a photo that shows what the Tulle applied to the outside of the fuselage looks like. I will probably only glass the nose. Will put a couple of coats of Minwax polyacrylic over this then repaint. Would not have been able to see it on the inside because it was white on white.
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Last edited by siriusflier; Sep 14, 2020 at 06:50 PM.
Sep 12, 2020, 02:30 PM
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Latest blog entry: GWS PT-17 Stearman Kit
Sep 15, 2020, 01:48 PM
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I finished the nose with 3 coats of Minwax polyacrylic, then repainted the fuselage. Weight added to half the fuselage came to 4.4 grams, total 8.8 grams for entire fuselage. You can still see the Tulle mesh in this picture after 3 coats of finish.
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I found this tub of lightweight spackle at the Dollartree last week. I had been thinking of getting some anyway, and already found a use for it. I tested it before I put it on these wings, and it seems to work fairly well.
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Latest blog entry: GWS PT-17 Stearman Kit

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