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Model Airplane News December 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.

United States
Air Age Media
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
flight plan

SPECIAL SCALE THEME ISSUE We always enjoy working on our December Scale Special issue, as it gets to the heart of RC airplanes that reflect the aviation history of their full-size counterparts. Scale model airplane modelers and fliers take great pride in getting the details right and piloting their models that’s appropriate for the subject aircraft’s performance. Whether you enjoy civilian classics, contemporary jets, or heavy-metal warbirds, the thrill is the same—operating a true miniature aircraft. And for the sport flier who wants to step up to scale, today’s ARFs are at an all-time high when it comes to appearance and performance. They are impressive both on the flightline and patrolling in the traffic pattern. Don’t wait! Get your scale wings today. IN THIS ISSUE When it comes to building scale models, one…

3 min
pilot projects

Canadair CT-114 Tutor Rick Trigatti, Grimsby, Ontario Starting with 3-views, Rick generated CAD plans for his 1/8-scale and first scratch-built jet. His design is a combination of sheeted foam-core and balsa- and lite-ply structures and is finished with polyester dress liner sealed with water-based polyurethane. The tail cone and gear doors are fiberglass, and the canopy and nose cone dome are vacuum-formed. Rick painted his aircraft with Rustoleum and added his own vinyl graphics. The 55-inch-span jet is powered by a FMS 90mm 12 blade EDF running on a 6S-5000 battery. Rick says, “It flies very well at ½ to ¾ throttle and can get close to 5-minute flights. Landings are smooth. The flaps really help to slow it down and once it’s in a nice glide slope, easily flares and settles…

2 min
hobby hacks

Binding Plug Extension For scale airplanes with an open cockpit, I save the hassle of opening various hatch covers by adding a 9-inch servo extension lead to the binding port of my receiver. This way if I need to rebind the receiver in the future, I can just attach the bind plug and continue on with the binding process. When not in use, I simply tuck the extension lead out of sight. Jerry Church, Waco, Texas Quick Size Guide When it comes to sizing prop shafts, drill bits or other items you need to know the diameter of, this inexpensive size guide is a great shop accessory. A lot cheaper than a micrometer or a vernier caliper, just slip the guide over your item and find the size hole that fits the best. It’s…

2 min
sal’s polikarpov i-16

The Polikarpov I-16 (Russian: Поликарпов И-16)-16) was a Soviet single-engine single-seat fighter aircraft of advanced design; it was the world's first low-wing cantilever monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear to attain operational status, and as such "introduced a new vogue in fighter design. The I-16 was introduced in the mid-1930s and formed the backbone of the Soviet Air Force at the beginning of World War II. In 1941, its main opponent in the sky was the German Messerschmitt Bf 109. The I-16 was slightly more maneuverable than the early Bf 109s and could fight the Messerschmitt Bf 109E (Emil), on equal terms in turns. Skilled Soviet pilots took advantage of the Polikarpov's superior horizontal maneuverability and liked it enough to resist the switch to more modern fighters. The German aircraft, however,…

3 min
cortex 3-axis flight stabilization system with usb

A not-so-well-kept secret of many competitive scale and jet RC pilots, the Bavarian Demon Cortex is like an electronic way to turn off the wind! Distributed by Chief Aircraft, the Demon Cortex 3-axis Stabilization System with USB costs $289. It is very well made with a lightweight and compact CNCmachined aluminum housing. It comes with a wiring harness for connecting to your servos and receiver, thin double-sided mounting tape, a jumper plug and a programming USB cable for use with the downloadable PC software. Compatible with all standard receivers, the Cortex can be used with Spektrum, JR 2-satellite receivers, Futaba S-Bus, and Jeti PPM systems. In general the Cortex works with up to five control channels making it ideal for most scale or sport scale models set up with two…

5 min
aluminum engine cowls

With my Balsa USA 1/3-scale Fokker Triplane project, I have had a really good time both on the workbench and on the flightline. The Triplane is powered by a Zenoah GT-80 and I used my Spektrum DX18 for control. The kit took about 500 hours over eight months to build and I finished the model with SCALE Stitts fabric and PolyTone paint from F&M Enterprises. I also added some modifications along the way to improve its looks. One of which was to replace the kit’s fiberglass engine cowl with an aluminum one from Arizona Model Aircrafters. This cowling is actually a kit in itself and requires assembly. Here’s how I did it.…