DV Flight Tech AT602 Air Tractor - RC Groups

DV Flight Tech AT602 Air Tractor

Sam Schmidt gives us a nice look at this nostalgic and fun aircraft.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan:42"
Wing Area:205 sq. in.
Weight:12 oz.
Length:24"
Wing Loading:8 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 sub micro
Transmitter:5 channel
Receiver:5 channel
Battery:3s 500-1200 lipo
Motor:GWS 350C
ESC:5-10Amp
Manufacturer:dV Flight Technologies
Available From:dV Flight Technologies

The venerable AT602 Air Tractor is the icon of crop dusting and rugged STOL performance. Although the Air Tractor line has been around since 1951, the 602 was first flown 1995 and is an intermediate sized Air Tractor. It has a 56ft wingspan, and a 6900 lb. useful load, which is pulled around by a 1050 hp engine.

dV Flight Tech introduced their Laser cut AT602 with one goal mind: A quick and easy kit build which would result in a faithful replication of the AT602, while delivering fun aerobatics, and scale flying. Did they make their mark? Lets find out!

Kit Contents

Kit Contents:

  • all required balsa and ply,
  • manual & full size plans,
  • cowl & canopy,
  • control horns, motor mount and control wires.

Kit Requires:

  • 5+ channel radio with 4 micro servos,
  • GWS 350C & 9x4.7 prop
  • 5-10 amp ESC
  • 3s 500-1200 lipo
  • covering
  • 1.5"-2" wheels
  • 1.5" dubro spinner
  • 4 bellcranks

Assembly

Although this is a kit, I will not spend exorbitant time documenting the build step by step. The manual does that all ready, and does a good job (if you are interested, you can download it at the Manuf. website listed above). Rather, I will touch on each major build point, and comment on anything this is unclear or perhaps somewhat difficult.

Fuselage

The basic fuselage construction is a balsa framework, with some areas sheeted in fine balsa. The result is very light and strong! Its pretty simple , with the most difficult part being the sheeting. Measure twice, glue once, and its a piece of cake.

Tail

The tail parts take all of 3 minutes to assemble. It was so quick I almost felt I was missing out on part of my kit building experiance. ;)

Wing

This part of the build was the coolest in my opinions, simply because of how well the wing goes together. The CAD designed structure fits very well, and is not clumsy to construct because of how it slides and locks together. You would have to try pretty hard to get a crooked wing with this kit. Just be sure to assemble a right, AND a left. ;)

The one addition to the wing construction is pictured below. The instructions would have you simply slit the covering for the pushrod exit. I wasn't thrilled with having a hole in the wing covering that could spread unhindered on one side. So, I glued in small, 3/16 strips, to box in the 4 pushrod exits.

Radio Installation

The radio installation for the rudder and elevator was extremely simple, nothing to mention there. The Wing took considerably more time, simply because routing control lines for ailerons and flaps inside a wing takes a little more care. However, take it slow and you should have no problems. Oh yeah, please, please, double check that your flaps move in unison and your ailerons move in opposition. It would be really sad to glue your bellcranks in only to find you had spent all that time building dual ailerons or dual flaps. ;)

Completion

Time to cover this baby! Before I pulled out the iron however, I went over the whole airframe, wing and tailfeathers and made sure everything was sanded and cleaned off. I chose a simple navy and white scheme for mine, and painted the cowl and canopy with Krylon for plastics.

Power Talk

I had a couple different ideas for power for this model. The motor is a GWS 350C with D gearing and my starting batt was an E-Tec 3s700, which I just velcroed to the fuselage roof. I had two props I wanted to try; one was a GWS 9x5HD and the other was an APC 8x3.8. The GWSHD I figured would give me the most power, while the APC fit perfect with my scale Dubro Spinner. Now I know what your thinking: Could you underprop it anymore!? Trust me, check out the vids and you will be singing a different tune. Now imagine a brushless motor...

Flying

I was psyched about trying out the flaps on this beauty and couldn't wait for good weather. I had the flaps set up on a three position switch on my Hitec Flash 5 in easy reach of index finger, my aileron, elevator and rudder throws were set, and I was raring to go!

Taking Off and Landing

Without even touching the flaps, the AT602 rises off pretty quick. With flaps, it defines short takeoff and landing! Because of its high aspect ratio wing, it will slip in pretty quick on landings, but once again drop the flaps and it walks right on down. The one aspect I was dissapointed in for landings was the fixed tailwheel. Landing on hard surfaces means pretty wicked ground loops. On grass its better, however I am planning on modifying it to steer, and would reccomend that if you fly off hard surfaces you do the same.

Wheel Wisdom

Wheels are pretty important, especially with this model, so I wouldn't skimp. For flying off hard surfaces I went with Dubro 2" ultralights. They look great with molded tire treads, and are really light. For flying off my, "super rugged outback grass strip" I used 2 3/8" foam tires; still light, but the extra size helpes combat the bumps and rough grass. The tailwheel is a non-descript 1" lightweight plastic wheel which works quite nicely.

Basics

Turns are pretty good with just ailerons, but add a little rudder and its even better. The "tractor" doesn't have any bad habits to speak of, and as long as you add a little washout to the wingtips per the instructions, it has no tipstall to speak off. Set control throws per the manual, and you will have no worries. Bear in mind though, even if your aileron throws are maxed, its not going to roll super fast. The high aspect ratio wing delivers a smooth bank, but not a screwdriver roll rate. Power with the 8x3.8 prop yielded 4ft takeoff runs, 30-35 degree climbs, and plenty of power for nice round loops. With the 9x4.7 it didn't feel that much faster, but it had steeper climbs and even shorter takeoff runs. Both props with the etec 700 lipo delivers flight times is excess of 10 minutes.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The highlight of this plane is without a doubt the flaps. I could do takeoffs, and touch n gos, and landings all day! Basic aerobatics are also pretty fun. Wingovers, stall turns, and loops are easy and gracefull. With full ailerons and some rudder, some funky barrel rolls are also possible.

Is This For a Beginner?

This is not a plane I would recommend for a beginner because of the involved, balsa construction, and low wing. However, as a second or third plane, I would certainly say go for it!

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Downloads

Conclusion

dV Flight Tech has certainly scored with this plane! It has great sport scale looks, and an awesome blend of forgiving yet fun flight characteristics. I couldn't ask for a better cruiser, and lazy day aerobat.

Last edited by AMCross; Sep 07, 2006 at 11:17 AM..
Thread Tools
Sep 09, 2006, 11:18 AM
Paul Teesalu
ss2p's Avatar
That has to be brushless. Too much power! :O Nice video. I should get one of those....
Sep 09, 2006, 11:21 AM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
Nice review! This is a great little plane. I don't have one but have some stick time on Gary's original and quite liked it. I was amazed when I saw him fly it indoors in January, too.

Martin
Sep 09, 2006, 06:33 PM
Registered User
pda4you's Avatar
Great review - and what a fantastic looking plane...

Mike
Sep 09, 2006, 06:41 PM
"Each Day Is A Lesson"
diver don's Avatar
Happens ever time.

Review a plane and and you go to order it and it's out of stock.

Realy wish they would plan ahead.

DD
Sep 10, 2006, 09:02 AM
Registered User
FLYWINGFAN's Avatar
Hey guys, thanks for the comments.

I hope I was able to capture it in the video, but this plane looks so Awesome in the air.

Diver Don,
I believe dVflighttech has some distributors, they may still have some kits in stock.

~Sam
Sep 10, 2006, 09:04 AM
Registered User
FLYWINGFAN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss2p
That has to be brushless. Too much power! :O Nice video. I should get one of those....
Nope, just a good old 350 brushed!
Sep 10, 2006, 01:18 PM
Paul Teesalu
ss2p's Avatar
I just tought that what setup were you using. (esc, battery and stuff)
Would TP 1320 3S be too heavy?
Sep 10, 2006, 02:06 PM
Registered User
FLYWINGFAN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss2p
I just tought that what setup were you using. (esc, battery and stuff)
Would TP 1320 3S be too heavy?
Thats pushing it, but you could probably get away with it as long as your battery mounting is sufficiently secure.

~Sam
Sep 10, 2006, 07:25 PM
"Each Day Is A Lesson"
diver don's Avatar
Sam,
Have you talked to the guys at DV lately?

Seems that all their kits are sold out and I can't find their kits listed at the two distributors that they have listed on their web site.

I sent them an E-mail so we shall see.

Don
Sep 10, 2006, 08:35 PM
Registered User
Sweet plane. Love those agg planes
Sep 10, 2006, 09:52 PM
Registered User
FLYWINGFAN's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by diver don
Sam,
Have you talked to the guys at DV lately?

Seems that all their kits are sold out and I can't find their kits listed at the two distributors that they have listed on their web site.

I sent them an E-mail so we shall see.

Don
Not about kit distribution; It will be interesting to hear what they have to say.

Sam
Sep 11, 2006, 08:48 AM
Registered User
P. Tritle's Avatar

AT-602 Power Set-up


I reviewed the AT-602 kit for MAN mag and found the kit to build nicely and fly well also. I powered mine with a Himax 2808-980 outrunner with a 9-4.7 prop, and though it was not a "barn-burner", it performed very well on a Thunderpower 1320 2 cell. Plan to try it with an 8-6 prop as well, which will offer a bit higher flying speed.
Flying weight came out to 13.9 oz. with battery, which is right on track with Gary's published weight of 12 oz. (without battery).
I looked up the web site, for a video on the model go to http://gvillette.rchomepage.com/ or go to the web site at www.dvflighttech.com for info on the kit.

PAT
Sep 11, 2006, 09:20 AM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
I'll second Pat's report as I got to fly it for a bit on maiden day.

The plane was very nicely behaved and flew very well. It did have a nasty and unannounced stall that would turn turtle faster than you could blink. Wasn't too much of a problem in the air, but, landing required a bit excess speed to avoid problems.

Those who do fly it should make sure that their turn to final be done with a bit of extra speed to avoid a stall.

The flaps slowed it quite a bit and the plane was very controllable with the flaps deployed. It was important to slow down a bit before extending them, and, to get up a little speed before retracting them (just like the real thing ).

Very enjoyable to fly, if you're careful.

Also, make sure you get the CG just as shown!! It is very sensitive to even a few mm change.

charlie
Sep 11, 2006, 11:23 AM
Registered User
AmpAce's Avatar
Do the stall characteristics change very much between having flaps deployed and not?

AmpAce


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