Carl Goldberg Pitts Model 12 Monster 1.20 ARF Review - RC Groups

Carl Goldberg Pitts Model 12 Monster 1.20 ARF Review

Jerry Festa has a great time building this big, beautiful scale aerobatic ARF, and finds her to be as terrific in the air as she looks on the ground.

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Wingspan:60" Top 58" Bottom
Wing Area:555 sq. in.Top; 534 sq. in Bottom
Weight:178 oz.
Wing Loading:23.5 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:7 (5 Standard, 2 with 100 oz. torque)
Transmitter:JR 9103
Receiver:JR 700
Battery:JR1400 4.8 volts
Motor:Thunder Tiger 120 w/J-Tec Pitts muffler
Manufacturer: Goldberg
Avail. From: Goldberg
Radial/Cockpit: Wright RC

What is Yellow and Blue and can be performing all over the skies? With some advanced skill level, the Carl Goldberg Pitts Monster ARF can fulfill that statement with pride. This is an offering that has resulted in some great engineering, construction and hardware. If you are 'into' larger 'bipes', this might be your next hangar-mate!

Kit Contents

Kit Includes:

  • Iron On Covered wings and fuselage
  • Quality hardware
  • Pre-Bent 2-piece landing gear
  • Quality tailwheel setup that doesn't strain the rudder
  • Pull-pull rudder hardware
  • Fiberglass cowl/wheel pants

Kit Requires:

  • glow engine -- 1.08-1.20 2stroke or 1.20 4-stroke
  • Muffler (inverted mount engine)
  • 4+ channel transmitter and 5-6 servos, plus 4 extensions
  • Misc completion items & glues

All the supplied hardware was used with only one exception...I chose to change the flying wire clevises from metal to nylon to minimize potential radio interference.

The manual did an excellent job of explaining the assembly and with the accompanying photographs, no questions should go unanswered. One 'minor' omission was that the canopy was never attached! I guess most of us would know to do that before flying - right?


I'm sure Carl Goldberg would love to have this Product Review covering every sub-assembly, step by step, but I'm not going to do that for two reasons: (1) the kit includes a quality manual, and (2) if you NEED that kind of information, this plane is beyond your abilities! This model was made for the serious aerobatic pilot, not for the novice, or 1st timer.

However, what I have done is point out many of the fine subtle features contained in this kit that may impress you. This is the first time I've had the privilege of assembling a Carl Goldberg ARF, although I have built many of their kits over the years. Much of it impressed me!

Wing Mounting/Attachment.

With any biplane, the interaction (and alignment) between the two wings is vital to the performance (expected or otherwise) of the airplane. Therefore it goes without saying anyone who dares to offer a biplane ARF had better know how to get those two wings aligned correctly in more than one direction! I'm happy to report the brain power behind the design of the Pitts Monster did their homework and, if this model is any indication as to the accuracy of the rest of their kits, they did it correctly - the first time.

The two wings were attached to each other and the fuselage by a total of twelve (12) 4-40 machine bolts. By following the directions carefully the two wings lined up almost perfectly, first with the fuselage and second with each other! The lower wing was secured in the normal fashion with two 1/4-20 (metal) bolts located in the rear of wing, and two 1/4" dowels protruding forward into the fuselage former. No problems there, as the wing tip/aileron junction lined up within 1/16" from each other as measured at the tail of the fuselage.

The top wing was then placed into position and tightly secured to the cabanes. This called for the loosening of some of the fuselage bolts holding the struts. Next, the interplane (AKA "I") struts were installed and, to my pleasant surprise, fit almost perfectly in respect to both the top and bottom wings. There was very little twisting of either wing panel in order to align the holes in the struts with the securing eyebolts on the wings.

I took note that the securing bolts in the wing were on the inside of the strut, not outside as pictured on the box top. Making sure the correct strut was positioned on the proper wing, a large decal stating "Left" and "Right" was affixed to the struts.

I noticed a large hole just above the strut, this was an exit for the "Y" connector which extended the two aileron servos in the upper wing to the receiver. It was also refreshing to discover I was able to use four 'Standard' servos on the ailerons! Of course the one time I got a plane that could use Standard Servos, all of mine were currently in use! So I opted for some JR 8101's which was a bit of overkill on my part.

The Rest of the Story...

Enough with the wings! The first impressions of the fuselage was SPACE! I easily could have installed a smoke system, or a fuel tank 3 times the size included. If there was a tail heavy problem, a couple of clay bricks from the back yard could go in the nose section :).

The only inexact part fit was the belly pan. Three corners matched with the fuselage, but one corner didn't fit flush. For a change, this was located in a place that was not noticeable; how many times does that happen?!


Having only a 60" wingspan, the CG Pitts Monster was assembled at home and brought to the field in the back of my pick-up. The 10% PowerMaster fuel was added and my trusty Du-Bro Ni-Starter got the engine to make a lot of noise. A Sullivan starter was needed to start the TT 120 on its initial flight each day.

Editor's Note: This flight report is being published now to provide information on this model as rapidly as possible. As the weather improves, we've asked our author to stop back for more extensive flight reports in less extreme windy conditions!

Taking Off and Landing

The day of the first flights was less than desirable for flying, let alone test flying! The sky was a typical deep blue, but the wind was a strong (15-20 MPH) 90 degree crosswind to the (paved) runway. Taxiing a tailwheeled aircraft in a crosswind can challenge even the best of us. Under those conditions, taildraggers always seem to have a mind of their own -- or perhaps its the wind's mind? The CG Pitts was no different as turning downwind was next to impossible.

However, the first takeoff was easily accomplished as some left rudder (yep, that's not an error -left rudder, due to strong wind from the right) kept the accelerating bipe running down the center of the runway. With its tail proudly up, a gentle bump of the elevator resulted in a slow climbout. The resulting right turn required a couple of clicks of left aileron and rudder to fly wings level. Also a couple of down clicks of the elevator produced a level flying bird on it second pass.

By reducing the throttle, a definite rate of sink was visible but a change to full throttle did not appear to change the plane's vertical climb rate. A couple of passes for photo purposes was followed by many of the typical 'aerobatic' maneuvers seen at almost every flying field.

Landings required a bit of power to stabilize the rate of sink. When close to the ground the elevator still produced a nice flair. The ailerons seemed to keep working even immediately after the plane touched down. Once the tail wheel was firmly planted on the runway, the rudder wasn't too effective unless full 'Up' elevator was commanded.

Only one dead-stick landing occurred and once the glide speed was stabilized, the landing was uneventful as all flight controls worked as normal.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Loops were quite large...the TT 120 appeared to be a good match for this airframe. Rolls and snaps were relatively quick and, when combined with a loop, the avalanche maneuver looked good. Inverted flight required only a small amount of pressure of down elevator to fly level. Four-point rolls and knife edge were completed without any difficulty, as was a rolling circle.

My favorite maneuver for the Pitts was the Cuban 8. This plane rolled so nicely and when done close to the ground, added a lot of class to the plane's presentation. The majority of all my flights were done at or near full throttle, reducing power only on the down lines. One thing I noticed that did not happen was a whistle as the plane flies by. Darn, even my Citabria and Cub do that!

The rudder was very effective and stall turns were simple to accomplish. I had some difficulty with knife edge flight as the wind was pushing the plane all over the place when on edge. Either that or the plane wanted to point into the wind :).

The Thunder Tiger 120 functioned well during the test flights. Never once did the engine quit due to overheating (the temperature during the week of test flights was in the mid 60's F). As you can see, not a whole lot of air could get in, but what did, was well directed right over the head of the engine, and happy to leave via the oversized air exits.

I was also pleased with the two exhaust extensions - they stayed on! I guess that wrapping with thin copper wire helped. The APC prop was turning about 8700 RPM's on the first flights, but I forgot to check on later flights.

Is This For a Beginner?

Absolutely NOT a beginner's plane - this bird will go exactly where you tell it to go. It will quickly stop rolling when controls are neutralized. The Pitts Monster will do a quick snap roll and slow rolls are a thing of beauty. But this is NOT a plane for the novice pilot.


If you are into bipes, give this ARF a good look. Hardware was complete, wings lined up easily, and there was a lot of room for a smoke system if you so desire. Personally I don't think the box top picture did this plane justice - it is much better looking when you can see the whole plane from an oblique angle!


  • Flying! Man does she fly! Really sweet scale aerobatics.
  • Easy assembly, including wing alignment and strut mounting.
  • Great quality hardware.


  • Oops! Manual forgot to mention to mount the canopy
  • Metal clevises terminating the flying wires could cause radio noise
  • Box art could've presented this great looking aircraft better
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Dec 28, 2005, 06:06 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
I bet this kit would make a STUNNING electric conversion with the big Axi.....
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Jan 04, 2006, 06:46 PM
Registered User
tailskid2's Avatar
I bet it would!

Jan 05, 2006, 11:22 PM
Registered User
No video..?
Jan 06, 2006, 09:13 AM
Registered User
tailskid2's Avatar
I couldn't make connections with my video man and it is hard to shoot video AND fly the plane

Jan 24, 2006, 01:13 AM
Around the World
cadconversions's Avatar
Can't wait for some video. Hasn't been to many on the web so far...
Dec 02, 2006, 12:36 AM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar

Do you think the canopy could be manipulated to be turned into a battery hatch for some lipo's?

Dec 05, 2006, 09:48 PM
Registered User
tailskid2's Avatar
Don't see why not.....lot of room in there...
Dec 05, 2006, 09:59 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Yeh, I'm sure there is plenty of room, just trying to figure out how one would cut the canopy out to make the hatch.. I guess I aughta just buy one and figure it out..
Dec 05, 2006, 10:09 PM
Registered User

start hackin..!

get out your #11's...!
Dec 05, 2006, 10:12 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Yeh, I could grab a roll of Oracover.. pull out the 11's and trim it up, some magnets and joila.. hatch..
Jan 03, 2007, 07:30 PM
Registered User
IronKnees's Avatar
Mine just came this evening... As mentioned, the box top doesn't do it justice... One problem I'm having though is getting a reply from this Kregg Wright guy... I'm about ready to just order a plastic dummy engine similar to what I put in my Top-Flite F4U and do the cockpit details myself ... I've looked and looked, but other than Wright, I'm not finding a cockpit kit for the Goldberg P-12 (Model 12 ARF) Can't wait to fly this plane though... It's my first ARF, and I am completely impressed so far...
Jan 04, 2007, 09:22 AM
Registered User
IronKnees's Avatar
Okay... Got another quick question... The cowl on the Goldberg Pitts P-12 (Model 12) ARF is so massive that, even using a stock muffler with a bit of an extension, there is absolutely no physical need to cut any holes except one to access the high-speed needle... Since this is only my second round cowl model (Top-Flite F4U is the first) and since I don't see any exit area for air from the cowl on tailskid2's pictures on this thread, I need someone to help me understand how I should set the cowl up in order to get good ventilation... Oh, I plan to use the same dummy engine in this plane that I have in the Corsair with one or two cylinders removed for airflow over the real cylinder...
Oh... One other thing... Has anybody on here tried putting the throttle servo in the engine compartment? Lord knows there is enough room... I'm thinking of holding a dance insife mine!
Jan 14, 2007, 11:59 PM
Just a couple of questions as I'm looking at this as my next model, but have some concerns as the the height of the model because of space in the bed of my pick-up with the bed cover on.

What is the tallest point on the airplane, and how tall is it?
Jan 15, 2007, 09:50 AM
Registered User
IronKnees's Avatar
I know this doesn't exactly answer your question, but for the life of me I can't find what SHE did with the yardstick... I've got the lower wing off installing the receiver etc. today, and took a quick pictue of it in front of our love seat... Maybe that will at least give you a relative idea... I have the tape measure right here and will give you a more exact number shortly.. Gotta' make a quick run to mail some bills though before the freezing rain hits... Here is the picture and I'll be back shortly. Oh, I have a tri-fold cover on my GMC Sierra Crew Cab short bed (bed is aprox. 5' X 5' and this plane fits under the closed top okay... although usually when I have planes in, I fold the top back since many of my planes need to sit with their tails stuck up out of the bed for them to fit...

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