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Model Airplane News

Model Airplane News April 2020

Model Airplane News is the brand that started it all back in 1929, and it remains the trusted resource for RC aircraft enthusiasts everywhere. Written for the full spectrum of RC airplane, helicopter, and multirotor fliers—from beginners to seasoned pros—Model Airplane News entertains and informs with on-the-flight line event coverage, impressive flight techniques, detailed flight reports, DIY workshop projects, and much more.

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Air Age Media
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2 min
flight plan

MODEL AIRPLANE NEWS MAKEOVER After being in continuous publication for more than 90 years, we are proud of our rich RC heritage. But like your favorite P-51 hangar queen, sometimes you just need to dust it off. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with this issue. We have a whole new look, with cleaner layouts and several new columns, like “Hangar Talk,” where experts share pro tips. A makeover highlight is our “On the Flightline” section, where we will be showcasing news tidbits, sneak previews, model and gear releases, build updates, and local club content. That’s where you come in: if you know of an RC award winner, unique event, or special achievement, drop me an email at Debrac@airage.com—we want to make you famous! We hope you enjoy this “refreshed” issue as…

3 min
pilot projects

SE5a Scouts Art & Brian Irwin, Calgary, Canada Brothers Art and Brian decided to build 1/3-scale Vailly Aviation WW I biplanes in 2017 for their club’s Battle of Britain fun-fly on Remembrance Day to honor Canadian WW I pilots Captain Fred McCall and Captain Billy Bishop. As Art writes, “Cutting two parts is just as fast as making one, right?” Both 108-inch-span aircraft flew together in 2019. Art notes, “Each plane takes about an hour to set up at the field, mostly due to connecting all the functional flying wires, which each took about 8 hours to make out of crimped steel wire with Sullivan 4-40 Kwik Links.” Both planes are covered in Coverite. Art’s SE5a is powered by a DLE 85cc gas engine with a custom Bisson muffler, and Brian’s uses…

2 min
hobby hacks

Handy Storage It never fails. You’re working on your model and you lay the fuselage on the workbench only to gain some hangar rash, by placing it on top of some loose item you didn’t see. In most shops, things like screws and servo arms are everywhere. The best way to prevent hangar rash is to keep your workbench clean, and the best way to do that is to store items in handy organizer boxes. Instead of throwing them in the trash, I recycle the plastic boxes that my servos come in and use them for storing my hardware. Most of them are stackable, with a recessed bottom for even more convenience. Bob Perkins, Cherry Hill, New Jersey No Sanding Required Here’s a nifty way to make quick work of molded fiberglass engine cowl…

5 min
electric jets join top gun

So, I was sitting around one day a few weeks ago, just thinking about how quickly the hobby and sport of model aviation is evolving, and I wondered if there was any one thing I might be able to do to boost it up a bit. Then it hit me! We have Top Gun—a worldrenowned event that hosts 160 or more entries and gets coverage from just about every media source on the planet. And what’s newer or more exciting than the huge number of super looking and flying electric ducted-fan jets (EDFs) that have recently come onto the market? When you think of it, even from a short distance, these newer foamie models are difficult to tell apart from the fiberglass models. The color schemes are awesome, and some…

4 min
latest news & gear

E-flite Twin Otter 1.2m This 48-inch-span scale aircraft would be a perfect first twin for intermediate and experienced RC pilots. It’s versatile, easy to fly, and is outfitted LED navigation and landing lights, flaps, and optional-use floats. Its one-piece, composite-reinforced wing is easy to install and remove with a thumbscrew and snap-in struts. The Twin Otter offers great STOL performance, and with the optional matching floats you can even fly off water. The Plug-N-Play version is $199.99; the BNF Basic with AS3X, SAFE, and floats is $229.99. horizonhobby.com Xuron Corp. 451 90-Degree Bent TweezerNose Pliers These “tweezer-like” pliers have extremely fine and narrow tips for handling small parts and working in tight areas. They’re made out of high-carbon steel that is blackened to prevent glare and reduce eye strain and have soft Xuro-Rubber…

4 min
trakpower tk955 digital soldering station

At some point during your adventures in RC, you are going to have to solder something—and this is an area where the right tool for the job makes all the difference. You need a tool that can solder fat wires, yet be delicate enough to take care of the small details as well. That’s where TrakPower and their $110 TK955 Digital Soldering Station come in. The TK955 is a durable digital unit that lets you change the temperature and comes with two tips. Let’s take a closer at the TK955 and see what it has to offer. FEATURES The TrakPower TK955 includes the control unit, the soldering iron itself, and a stand for the iron. The control unit is 4.6 inches wide and 5.5 inches long and comes with a 5-footlong power…