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Model Airplane News March 2021

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

1 min
honoring military aviation

Three years in the making, the World War II SBD Dauntless campaigned by Michael Fetyko at this year’s Top Gun event makes quite an impression with its museum-scale detailing. Flown to a first-place finish in Sport Class, it isn’t a surprise that the 1/4-scale warbird also won the trophy for Top Gun’s Best WW II aircraft. It turns out that the SBD is the handiwork of multiple modelers, with final detailing and engineering by master builder Henry Nguyen. In this month’s “Gallery,” we have up-close views of the model throughout its build as well as the finishing touches that make it stand out from the crowd. _ is year, Michael plans to fly the Dauntless with the Warbirds West airshow team at events across the U.S. and at the Pearl Harbor…

1 min
faa rules on remote id

As we head to press, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published its final rule on Remote ID for drones, which include RC fixed-wing planes, helicopters, and drones. As commercial and consumer drones proliferate, Remote ID will help to identify uncrewed aircraft that are operating too close to airports or in restricted airspace. The new rules go into effect in September, 2023 and will especially affect RC pilots who don’t fly at AMA club fields, as their aircraft will need to be equipped with Remote-ID broadcast modules. Club members can apply to have their fields established as FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs) through the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) so they will not need the Remote-ID broadcast modules when flying at those sites. Special events held at non-AMA club fields can apply…

1 min
pilot projects

SHOWCASING WHAT YOU BUILD & FLY | EMAIL ENTRIES TO: MAN@AIRAGE.COM FOUGA MAGISTER Tom Perry, Greer, South Carolina Built from the Philip Avonds kit, this jet has a fiberglass fuselage and built-up wing and tail. Tom writes that the model is completely scale and has internal linkages, counter-balanced flight controls, and speed brakes. He created the beautiful scheme with Klass Kote paint and Callie Graphics decals. The 30-pound jet is powered by a Jet Central Rabbit SE turbine, and Tom flies it with a Jeti DS16 radio with the help of a Cortex Pro gyro. Tom adds, “Took me two years to build. A very graceful flier.” S-BACH 300 Theofanis Katapodis, Crete, Greece Theofanis modified his 68-inch-span GoldWing aerobat for an O.S. Max FS 120 glow engine turning a Master Airscrew 16x6 prop. He notes, “I…

2 min
hobby hacks

Static Cling Here’s a good tip for when you are adding iron-on graphics over a covered wing or fuselage. First clean the surface really well to eliminate particles that will show up under the new covering. Then wipe with a tack cloth and go over the entire surface with a dust-collector wand (like a “Swiffer”). This will further clean the surface and add a static charge that will help hold the new covering into place while ironing on the trim pieces. George Lewis, Flemington, New Jersey Tag and Bag When cleaning up after building a model airplane, collect all the extra hardware and instead of simply tossing them out or dumping in the “stuff” drawer, collect the screws and other items and store in a zipper lock bag. You can slip a tag in…

7 min
goodbye, flybar!

Aflybar on the main rotor head of a helicopter imparts stability in the rotor head system and helps the main rotor blades change pitch (a sort of power steering mechanism, if you will). Removing the flybar makes it more aerobatic because there is less inertia in the rotor system, which is awesome for 3D flying but more importantly for my purposes, it makes the helicopter look scale. I can remember as a kid watching Towering Inferno and Capricorn One and seeing the flybars in the slow-motion movie scenes and knowing they were model helicopters After years of wanting one, I recently stumbled on an estate sale deal on a Hirobo TOW Cobra. They are no longer generally available, and they cost near about as much as a turbine jet when they…

2 min
two approaches to balancing

The main parts of our hobby are building a model and flying it. In between, there’s a critical intermediate step, called “balancing.” There are two basic methods: one I know of, the other I use. In that order, they are: METHOD “FLY, CUT, AND TRY” Take the completed airplane out to the field for its maiden flight. Start the motor and fling the airplane upward. Observe its flight characteristics, including response to your radio control inputs. Results will fall among these possibilities: A. Plane levels out, assumes reasonable speed, and responds appropriately to control input. This means the plane is balanced; proceed to flying it. (This is theoretically possible.) B. Plane tends strongly nose-down, flies very fast, responds sluggishly to control inputs—especially to elevator control—and cannot be slowed down enough for a safe landing,…