This is one good looking (as well as flying) plane for the Sunday Pilot.
|Wing Area:||1020 sq. in.|
|Weight:||9lbs 1 oz.|
|Wing Loading:||20.47 oz/sq. ft.|
|Servos:||3:DS821 2: NES 537|
|Battery:||6.0V 1400 mAh|
|Engine:||.91 four-stroke recommended (Saito 100 used)|
|Available From:||The Wings Maker|
|Manufacturer's Suggested Prince: $189.99|
This is one sweet flying sport plane! It’s very large by some standards, but is easily transportable. It’s not a speed demon by any means, but offers the pilot some thinking time as it gracefully maneuvers around the sky. With its great looking color scheme this complete ARF kit will turn many heads along the flight line.
I wasn’t all that impressed when I first opened the box: the brown box was bland, and the label on the box didn’t show the plane’s “wow” factor that we are so accustomed to nowadays. But once I opened the box, I changed my mind drastically as the cream and maroon color scheme radiated through the clear plastic wrapping and immediately placed a smile on my face.
The manual consists of 11 pages of diagrams, pictures and some very small drawings to guide you through assembly via pictures and some very small drawings. This model was intended for the sport pilot, and the instructions should be sufficient for the average modeler.
The decal sheet was very large and colorful, but the hardware package weighed a ton! A LOT of hardware is supplied.
The good news about the wing is that it comes in two pieces and stays that way! Both wing halves get their own servo and landing gear and are coupled together with an aluminum wing tube making transportation of this bird much easier. Why, it will even fit in Ralph’s (full-size truck wannabe) Toyota.
Installation of the aileron servos requires an extension of approximately 12” to exit the wing. When it came time to install the aileron control horns, three little marks were already on the aileron for perfect alignment! By drilling at those locations, the horn AND its back plate were easily installed. That’s a first for me!
Next the landing gear was installed and a strong one it is! Some fiberglass struts were bolted on, followed by the beautifully painted fiberglass wheel pants. The detailed drawing was difficult to read (old age setting in? No, they are just small!), but perhaps the picture below will explain everything.
The fuselage appeared very well built, and there were traces of extra glue at various places. A coating of Pacers 30-minute Z-Poxy was used to protect the firewall area as 4 stroke engines can have a tendency to coat the inside of a cowl with fuel.
When it came time for the installation of the engine progress slowed down to a crawl. The supplied engine mount is engineered to be shock absorbing, but to get those shock absorbing results requires a total of 16 bolts! Four of those bolts hold the mount to the firewall and the remaining 12 hold the Saito 100 to the mount!
The Saito 100 was quieted with a Kelo muffler, and 95% fit inside the cowl. I really like the sound that muffler produces: it even makes my models sound like they are flying faster than they actually are!
Both the elevators and rudder come pre-hinged and glued in position right out of the box, and they lined up perfectly in relation to the wing. The horizontal stabilizer can be made removable if desired. Our Sport 90 had its stab glued into position. To aid in mounting the control horns on the rudder and ailerons, three little marks are positioned so the control horns could be correctly located. Sadly, the elevator marks were not even close to the control horn’s holes or location, so check before you drill!
All of the servo mounts had an additional piece of wood to give the mounting screws more holding power. The tank installed without any difficulty and uses 3 lines because the engine’s carb is concealed inside the cowl.
What do you do when you want to center a “Y” pushrod for the elevators and a pull-pull setup for the rudder? The engineers merely located the elevator servo above the rudder servo making everyone happy. Cool move! Both servos were then aligned with the centerline of the plane.
The elevator pushrods were guided into place with pre-installed outer tubes and were almost friction-free. The elevator pushrod’s “Y” connector was assembled and secured with some Pacers Z-42 thread lock and some red nail polish (which was also used to balance the APC 14-6 prop.
A brand new radio was obtained from Horizon: A Spektrum DX7! This is that “new” 2.4 GHz Spread Spectrum concept that is supposed to replace (or at least supplement) our current frequencies. The only new procedure for us with the Spektrum was the installation of the two-part receiver. It seemed to work; the model is still flying and hasn't had any hits (which seems to becoming more and more common at our flying site!) in over a dozen flights. I have added confidence knowing that I had solid radio control! Guess I'll be converting over to 2.4 more and more as the funds permit.
On the inside of the fuselage a 2” section was painted with some finishing resin to give the double sided tape something to stick to. That smaller second-part receiver (called a “Satellite”) was then attached to the tape. There’s no antenna to fish through the fuselage.
The transmitter’s computer menu was easy to become acquainted with, and the control surface movement matched the recommended amounts given in the instruction manual – at LOW rates. I increased all the throws to the max when I switched to the high rates (that way Ralph won’t fly it as much).
One word on the covering: It is a low-temperature film and will shrink quickly when heat is applied. Go slowly and carefully as those pretty straight lines will become crooked if you leave the iron in one place too long.
The control horns needed to be drilled out to accept the nylon clevis! And yes, all the hardware is metric.
Fearing a tail heavy condition, the battery was tucked under the fuel tank, and it quickly became apparent the plane was way too nose heavy, so the battery was relocated under the rudder and elevator servos. The 4.25” recommended location was spot-on! A beautiful 3” Tru-Turn Red anodized spinner was added to the noisy end to give the Sport Wing 90 the classy appearance it deserves. And yes, Pierre is the pilot and came already painted and even had a sticky foam bottom that secured inside that large clear canopy. The canopy actually fit! No trimming was needed.
When Ralph picked me up to go flying he was STUNNED with the appearance of this plane. He kept saying, “Wow, this plane is beautiful!” time and time again. He also commented on the fact that the picture on the web site of this plane just doesn’t do justice to the beautiful and unique color scheme. I happen to agree with him (but this is the ONLY time I’ve ever agreed with Ralph on anything).
The first day of test flights proved this plane is one big attraction both in the pits and in the air. About a dozen pilots crowded around the plane as it was being assembled and comments ranged from “What is it?” to “This brings back memories of when I had one of those.” One popular comment was, “Man, that is one attractive looking plane”.
The first takeoff attempt was aborted, as it was quite squirrelly and way too sensitive on the tailwheel. A quick blast of throttle brought the tail up, and then she was centerline all the way. The Saito 100 and the new DX7 on low rates produced some very slow rolls so high rates were activated. That big 80” wing carrying over 1000 square inches of area isn’t going to set any roll rate records, and even a snap roll took some time to complete. Someone in the Peanut Gallery commented that the Sport Wing 90 did its aerobatics like full scale planes, and I have to agree with this.
This is one smooth flying plane. Inverted flight required a little bit of down to fly level, and the Saito 100 provided enough power to do some very large loops but when reduced to idle, the plane slowed down quickly.
Stalls were tried next and every time the right wing would drop, and it required some altitude to recover. Of course spins are out of the question: all you will get is a spiral. It held knife-edge a bit longer than expected as the rudder seemed to provide enough force to keep the nose up. In fact this is one of the easier planes I’ve ever flown knife-edge.
This is one large, smooth flying plane and reacts (generally) slowly to aileron commands, and this is not a bad thing either! Maybe a better word would be “scalelike” (those who have flown full-scale general aviation airplanes know what I am talking about). No over-control reactions, but not sluggish either. I personally feel this plane and the Saito 100 are a perfect fit. If you want to go faster, look somewhere else.
Takeoffs are nothing to get worried about. I learned to VERY gently steer with the rudder. The Saito 100 pulled this bird off the runway in about 60 feet not even at full throttle!
Landings are very predictable – and slow! The Sport Wings 90 will float, so plan accordingly. Ground control is very stable. Most of my landings have been on the mains although one time I did manage a 3-point landing.
This plane is not designed for 3-D flying by any stretch of the imagination. General sport flying – YES! Rolls are very smooth. Loops were very large, and it seemed the plane didn’t appear to slow down on the vertical side. Constant speed through the loops were common. One of the more graceful maneuvers is the Cuban 8 followed by a stall turns. Both maneuvers give you some time to think.
Not a rank beginner, but if you can push a trainer around the sky and bring it home in one piece, yes, this plane is for you. In fact if you wanted to try a larger model and have some concerns this might be a good place to start.
I am very impressed by both the quality of the plane and its flying characteristics. Once the transmitter was passed around, more than just a few wanted to know where to get this model! I’d highly recommend this model to anyone who wants a great sport flyer.
A word of thanks to Ralph for the flight photos and some of the static shots. Thanks Ralph - now you can take off the lens cap :).Last edited by Angela H; Jan 07, 2008 at 09:33 PM..
Happy to see this reviewed as I spotted it awhile back & thought it was not only a cool looking plane at a heck of a price, but with its light weight, very applicable for E power or maybe a G26 .
Hope someone reviews thier large Spit w/ retracts--another great looking bargain @ $300 plus ship.
I'd like to order both but may not live long enough to build what I already have.
I am building the Worlds Models version of this plane. If you were to use a 2 stroke on this plane what would be the prefered engine? I am always paranoid with the 4 strokes because I always think they are too lean. Its hard to tune one. I have 2 saito engines and hate to run them. I love my super tiger 45 on my trainer because I can peak the engine so easy. I am considering a 2 stroke in this plane even though its made for a 4 stroke.
Without a doubt it would be the OS 1.20AX. This engine is awesome power. It spins a 16X8 or a 17X6 with no problem and costs the same as a Saito .82 but spins a prop as big as a Saito 1.50 would. Very light too for an engine this big. Do some forum searching on this one. You can't beat it for the price.
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