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Model Airplane News

Model Airplane News May 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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2 min
flight plan

JOIN THE JET SET Just like their full-size counterparts, RC jets are the leading edge of aviation: they’re fast, maneuverable, and look (and sound) cool. And even better, today’s inexpensive and easy-to-assemble electric ducted fan jets and their built-in flight stabilization systems make getting started in jets easier than ever. This month’s feature, “Life in the Fast Lane,” details everything a would-be jet jock needs to know, from choosing a first model to flight tips and more. You, too, could soon experience the thrills of piloting a smooth-flying, high-performance jet. Check it out! DUMMY ROTARY ENGINE Have you ever seen a 3D rotary dummy engine that spins? We hadn’t, either, and so we had to ask master modeler Brian Perkins to tell us how he made the one in his 1/3-scale Dr-1 triplane.…

2 min
pilot projects

Convair XFY-1 Pogo Ettore Quaglia, Persichello, Italy After designing and building three prototypes in different sizes, Ettore Quaglia presents the “biggest scale RC Pogo on the planet”: the 52-inchlong model is made out of fiberglassed foam, carbon fiber, and wood. It uses a custom contra-rotating power system made from two brushless motors spinning two 18 x 8 3-blade Fiala Classic wood props, and powered by a 5,000mAh 6S 40C LiPo. Ettore adds, “My big tail-sitter uses the OpenAeroVTOL stabilization system, and it shares some problems with the full-scale airplane: it can only fly in calm air, it’s pretty fast in horizontal flight, and it’s very demanding during landings.” We say, Bravo! Fokker Dr. I Whitney Philbrick, Nolensville, Tennessee Ron Prestin originally built this 70-inch-span triplane using Scratch-A-Plane plans, and after Whitney bought it, he suffered…

2 min
hobby hacks

Rolling Danger If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a hobby knife that’s rolled off your workbench, you’ll appreciate this easy hack. I wasn’t paying attention when my knife, with a sharp freshly replaced blade, rolled off the edge of the workbench and stuck itself squarely into the top of my house shoe-clad foot! After the trauma, I took care of the situation by simply applying adhesive tape to the handle. Fold the tape back onto itself to form a flap. No more rolling foot danger! Jerry Edwards, Chicago, Illinois Toned-down White When it comes to scale RC airplanes, subtlety is what weathering is all about. You don’t want your efforts to stand out or look “dirty” as you tone down your paint job. A trick I have been using for years…

3 min
latest news & gear

Irregular Corp. Balsa Model Flight Simulator Test your engineering abilities with this challenging and detailed model flight simulator that lets you design, build, and fly your own airplanes, and battle other model aircraft. It also features a single-user career mode, where pilots can progress through checkpoint flying, combat, base defense and attack runs, or just solo flying. (Just be careful you don’t get your model airplane stuck in a tree!) The physics-based sim even lets pilots build and host their own game sessions for up to 16 players. Check out the trailer at ModelAirplaneNews.com/BalsaModelFlightSim and stay tuned for more details on the summer 2020 release. theirregularcorporation.com E-flite P-51D Mustang 1.5m Scale details, such as guns, removable drop tanks, LED lights, flaps, and sequenced main and tailwheel gear doors make this warbird stand out on…

3 min
sneak peek: dji mavic mini

When it comes to the world of aerial selfies and personal drones, size is not always relevant to performance. You can now open up your sky with the new, compact yet powerful Mavic Mini. The perfect companion to your creativity, the Mavic Mini captures moments in a way that effortlessly elevates the ordinary. Together with the easy-to-use DJI Fly app, you’ll be able to enjoy a simplified flight experience with a point-of-view simplicity beyond any other combination. Exceptionally portable and almost as light as a smartphone, the Mavic Mini weights only 249 grams (8.78 ounces), so it is below the weight that requires FAA drone registration, which is 250 grams (8.82 ounces). With a satisfying 30-minute flight time, the Mavic Mini includes a 4km HD video transmitter, Vision Sensor + GPS Precision…

2 min
du-bro snowbird skis

Up here in Canada, we get our fair share of Old Man Winter, so if you’re not out flying in the snow then you are certainly cheating yourself out of some prime air time. I tested the Du-Bro Snowbird Skis on my old standby fun-fly competition model, Turnbuckle. It’s powered by an O.S. FX.40 2-stroke using a moose can muffler. The oversized ailerons and big tail feathers of this design ensure maximized fun while you’re playing all those crazy competition games. Since the Turnbuckle is a tail-dragger, I only needed to use the main gear set, which costs US$29.95. (Du-Bro offers an additional US$15.00 nose gear for those who use tricycle gear.) The skis are made out of tough highdensity polyethylene plastic and come in seven hot colors. I tested the.35-…